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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  Murder X: All Your Friends Are Dead Moderators: bert
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  Author    Murder X: All Your Friends Are Dead  (currently 446 views)
Don
Posted: November 18th, 2018, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Murder X: All Your Friends Are Dead by Oscar Moreno - Horror, Sci Fi - A young woman must help her comatose best friend escape a VR simulation of a horror film that makes them face their worst fears. 81 pages - pdf format

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  May 13th, 2019, 2:10pm
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Tyler King
Posted: November 19th, 2018, 3:51pm Report to Moderator
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I tried giving this a read but ultimately couldnít make much sense of any of it. The action descriptions are very bland and all your characters seem to blend together, they all seem one dimensional with no personality. The dialogue is pretty cringe worthy as well... itís way too on the nose, itís as if your characters are telling us the entire plot of the movie as it goes along, rather than what they do. Speaking of which, what is the plot exactly? By page 3, my brain couldnít wrap around anything, as I was trying to make sense of what was going on, but just simply couldnít. There doesnít seem to be a flow and it just seems like you were making things up as you went along. Iím sorry but I think this needs a lot of work. Best of luck to you though.
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OscarM
Posted: November 19th, 2018, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Tyler,
Thanks for reading and for your comments. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it.
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OscarM
Posted: May 19th, 2019, 12:41pm Report to Moderator
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Made a few tweaks, I hope it's a stronger script now.
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CurtisJames52
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Gave the first 10 pages a go. It doesn't feel right. The flow is way off. Instead of establishing plot and characters, I felt as though I've been thrust right into the middle of a story, rather than starting at the beginning, and it doesn't make much sense.

I understand as a writer, you want to hook your reader and start with something to really snag their attention, but in horror, it's super easy to do this without starting in the middle of a core story like you've seemingly done. You can have throwaway characters at the start of a horror story and kill them off, or whatever you want to do, to establish the hook of the story you want to tell. Maybe try something along those lines to clue the reader/audience in on what's going on.

The dialogue is on-the-nose and very expositional, coming across as awkward and stilted. I caught an attempt or two at humor that fell flat. The "Snoop Dogg" comment in particular made me cringe a bit. I know humor is the hardest thing in the world to write. Best advice I have for it is to make it natural, don't force it. I know that's not helpful and I'm sorry. Lol.

Some of the action is overwritten, as well. I forgot to pull specific examples, but there were things along the lines of "she's about to fall apart on the inside but is smiling on the outside." Bits like that. From a reader perspective, we get it, but what about a viewer? Short, clean, concise is the way to go. I'm guilty of doing these things too, sometimes, especially at the start of a script to really establish the scene and mood.

Another thing I caught is when Olivia is talking to Ava through the door, you should have (O.S.) with all of her dialogue because Olivia is off screen for the entire conversation.

Anyway, I know this sounds like nothing but negativity and nitpicking but I really don't mean it to be. You've got the formatting down and you write clearly, it just needs a lot more tightening and I would really focus on constructing a new opening. I think that would help this a lot. I really enjoyed your logline. It screams potential and a really excellent concept. Now execute it! Also, congrats on even finishing a script!
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OscarM
Posted: May 24th, 2019, 2:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from CurtisJames52
Gave the first 10 pages a go. It doesn't feel right. The flow is way off. Instead of establishing plot and characters, I felt as though I've been thrust right into the middle of a story, rather than starting at the beginning, and it doesn't make much sense.

I understand as a writer, you want to hook your reader and start with something to really snag their attention, but in horror, it's super easy to do this without starting in the middle of a core story like you've seemingly done. You can have throwaway characters at the start of a horror story and kill them off, or whatever you want to do, to establish the hook of the story you want to tell. Maybe try something along those lines to clue the reader/audience in on what's going on.

The dialogue is on-the-nose and very expositional, coming across as awkward and stilted. I caught an attempt or two at humor that fell flat. The "Snoop Dogg" comment in particular made me cringe a bit. I know humor is the hardest thing in the world to write. Best advice I have for it is to make it natural, don't force it. I know that's not helpful and I'm sorry. Lol.

Some of the action is overwritten, as well. I forgot to pull specific examples, but there were things along the lines of "she's about to fall apart on the inside but is smiling on the outside." Bits like that. From a reader perspective, we get it, but what about a viewer? Short, clean, concise is the way to go. I'm guilty of doing these things too, sometimes, especially at the start of a script to really establish the scene and mood.

Another thing I caught is when Olivia is talking to Ava through the door, you should have (O.S.) with all of her dialogue because Olivia is off screen for the entire conversation.

Anyway, I know this sounds like nothing but negativity and nitpicking but I really don't mean it to be. You've got the formatting down and you write clearly, it just needs a lot more tightening and I would really focus on constructing a new opening. I think that would help this a lot. I really enjoyed your logline. It screams potential and a really excellent concept. Now execute it! Also, congrats on even finishing a script!



Curtis, thank you so much for your comments. I normally don't like to explain myself or my work unless asked (or even then), but I want to make sure this is working as I'm hoping it is: Right after page 10, we discover the first ten pages were a movie or simulation. Ava wakes up from the simulation with temporary memory loss and Isabella, a doctor that's helping her enter the simulation helps her recover her memory and make her remember that she must get Olivia out of it.

So yes, I wrote it to throw in at media-res because I feel like having that sense of confusion is more intriguing and gets the audience to feel what Ava and Olivia are going through. And at the same time, since we're made aware of what Ava is trying to do for Olivia so I feel like that accomplishes the same thing that a more "conventional" opening would do. Because I feel like you still get a sense of who the characters are and what they want.

Now with all that said: Are those first ten pages still not working?

Thanks again!
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CurtisJames52
Posted: May 27th, 2019, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Oscar,

Sorry for the delay in response. Been a busy weekend. Thank you for explaining your intention and where you're wanting to go with the story.

However, I still feel like it doesn't quite hit the mark. And not because I'm unreasonable or stubborn! But the truth is, if a producer were to give this script a shot, or one of their readers were to give it a shot, they would not make it further than the first 10 and they'd miss what I missed due to the sheer confusion of what you currently have.

I strongly believe there's a way you can change the opening and still introduce the simulation thing and make it exciting without confusing and alienating the audience. Maybe tell the story of what happened to the man whose funeral you open with?

Ultimately, it's your story and you know what's best for it. But, as I stated early, I think you have a really intriguing concept and could make something cool out of it.
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OscarM
Posted: May 28th, 2019, 12:17am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from CurtisJames52
Hey Oscar,

Sorry for the delay in response. Been a busy weekend. Thank you for explaining your intention and where you're wanting to go with the story.

However, I still feel like it doesn't quite hit the mark. And not because I'm unreasonable or stubborn! But the truth is, if a producer were to give this script a shot, or one of their readers were to give it a shot, they would not make it further than the first 10 and they'd miss what I missed due to the sheer confusion of what you currently have.

I strongly believe there's a way you can change the opening and still introduce the simulation thing and make it exciting without confusing and alienating the audience. Maybe tell the story of what happened to the man whose funeral you open with?

Ultimately, it's your story and you know what's best for it. But, as I stated early, I think you have a really intriguing concept and could make something cool out of it.



Hi Curtis,
No worries. It's been a busy weekend for me too. I've given it thought and I've come up with a solution that would require only a minor re-write but could be pretty cool for what I want to do. Thanks!
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CurtisJames52
Posted: May 29th, 2019, 3:29pm Report to Moderator
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Awesome, I hope you post the amendments so I can see what you've done!
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OscarM
Posted: May 29th, 2019, 5:48pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from CurtisJames52
Awesome, I hope you post the amendments so I can see what you've done!


Thanks! It might be a while since I'm writing other stuff, but for sure you'll see it here.
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