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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2017 One Week Challenge  ›  Living Nightmare - OWC - filmed Moderators: khamanna
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  Author    Living Nightmare - OWC - filmed  (currently 4173 views)
Posted: October 21st, 2017, 1:01pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Living Nightmare by Warren Duncan writing as UmÖ (Warren)  - Adult, Short, Horror - A woman with severe Insomnia finally gets some rest, but it comes with horrific consequences. 10 pages - pdf, format

Oneirophobia - Fear of dreams

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Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  September 10th, 2018, 9:52pm
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Posted: October 21st, 2017, 4:30pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I thought the writing was fine and it met the criteria of the challenge. It took a while to get going, there's 4 pages of setup before anything interesting happens. I think you could start this later and get to the nightmares quicker.

It then becomes predictable with a very well-trodden twist but it was a decent effort.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Cam Gray
Posted: October 21st, 2017, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

23 Mu Muís in an ice cream van...

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Hey writey, writey, writer,

Yay!!! Someone's done the dream sequence thing correctly!! Huzzah!!!!

Right, it is well written, visuals were good and it has a barely believable, but yet good twist at the end.

Now the brief. I'm not really sure here about the phobia. She apparently just doesn't have dreams? Is this because of a phobia brought on by previous bad times on the sleeping front? It doesn't seem that clear, and maybe should have been emphasised if this was the case.

I liked it though, it read well and couldn't really see any typos or formatting issues.

Good job,


Stuff I've done:
The Dollop Podcast - Voyage Of The HMS Beagle
Devolution of the Species Podcast
Ian's Gone Postal
Really Important Person Book Club Podcast
Rebecca Wong Is Not Happy
Algorithms For Loss
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Posted: October 21st, 2017, 6:17pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Southern California
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Solid writing - good craftsmanship.


For me at least could see the end coming along way away.

Yes, it met the challenge - however, I don't quite buy she had a fear of dreams. She wanted to sleep, took some beds, had a dream which she found quite pleasant.  Then she had a horrific nightmare - one that any rational person would not want to have. i.e., it was at that point a rational fear.

Anyway - despite the above - one of my favs so far.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: October 22nd, 2017, 10:00am Report to Moderator
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Hey, read your short.
Very nice progression here.
The dream sequence works very well and I'm glad you started with them being friends.

The only thing I didn't like is the talk about their father. I think Jemma's running away could stem from something that Cassie did to her. Maybe initiated a rumor not through the fault of her own - something like that. We want Cassie to remain positive character though. But Dad did something to Jemma - this derserves more than just a line. THis is a whole other short.

Anyway, this worked very well for me. And I think you can get it produced in a short time. It's budget friendly and all.
I read recently Polia - a horror about dreams and such. It got produced of this site, I think. At least I read it on this site, and then shortly after it got produced. Yours resembles that one but at the same time different settings and all.
Not that I'm saying it's a cliche to write something like that. It's hard to write something like that and still come up with something that reads well and unique. So I salute you on that. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 22nd, 2017, 12:34pm Report to Moderator
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I thought the horror beats were well written.

Personally I found the story elements disconnected. Her dreams are about guilt over not mentioning her sister's abuse and then she kills the sister, mistakenly at the end.

The denouement is neither connected to the dream phobia,  nor to the information revealed in the dreams.
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Posted: October 22nd, 2017, 2:33pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Bad timing on Jemma's part, I guess.

Good Writing on your part.

I thought it took a little long to get going;  I  kinda got bored with the dreams, probably because they were "just" dreams; go figure.

Never bought into the horror.  I think I got turned off at the top of page 5.  The Linda Blair, Exorcist gyration.

Another "Bad Dad" episode, but I liked how you "snuck" that in.

Pretty Good Sigmund.


Revision History (1 edits)
JakeJon  -  October 22nd, 2017, 3:20pm
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Posted: October 22nd, 2017, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


New York
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Congrats on finishing the challenge. Even though some have said that it took a while to start the story, I would have to disagree. Iím most likely in the minority for that lol. But kudos to you for following the three acts from a feature in a short page count such as setting up the ordinary world, conflict, passing that threshold, etc. I thought you were going for a different angle but the payoff was nice for me.

Hope this helps
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Posted: October 23rd, 2017, 2:07am Report to Moderator

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I absolutely loved the ending. I was worried while reading it that it was going to be another "tortured in dreams" story, but I loved how it affected her tragically in real life.

I might consider getting rid of the psychiatrist altogether. It usually feels like an exposition fest with an unnecessary character whenever psychiatrists are used as sounding boards in films.

Most of the info said in the office can be portrayed in her now lucid dreams, and it would be more powerful as well (the runaway aspect showing a downward slope as the dreams go from happy to dark). Or even a brief conversation with someone close to her could fill in some gaps.

Great job. This is my favourite script I've read so far.
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Posted: October 24th, 2017, 10:09am Report to Moderator
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but my body wonít let me rest. - wasn't sure about this line as it's her mind, not body, I would have thought.

I liked the horror with Jemma in the kitchen scene - nice touch.

They always loved you more. Mom,
Dad, Cassie the little angel. -- this took me from the read for a sec - suppose I was expecting some other reason, dang it. Same old, same old.

Cassie shrieks as she pounces. She hails down stab after stab. - did I miss something? When did Cassie get the knife. She got it in the dream, but I don't remember her having any where near her when she woke up.

I did like the bulk of this story. It's well written - nothing to quibble about there. I think my main issue with it is that the ending feels tacked on - possibly because of being rushed. That said (I don't want to sound contradictory, but probably will)  I do like the idea you had for the ending with Cassie waking up and attacking Jemma. This just needs a little tweaking, IMO.

The phobia - hmm, not sure - at the end definitely, but at first she says she doesn't dream and there is no solid explanation for that. Maybe stating that she used to have nightmare when she was younger, but now has nothing? I don't know. When she says that maybe she had dream when she was a child, but can't remember - that doesn't really cut it.

All in all - good job. A nice little psycho horror.

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Posted: October 24th, 2017, 3:23pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Opening passage (line) is a complete waste and in reality, not even accurate.  You're describing the room in very little detail, but you omit what's actually taking place in the room until the next passage.

Upon seeing this filmed, if you were to go back and try and write the screenplay, you would never, ever in a million years, start with this line, like you did.

So, Cassie is 30 years old, yet this is the first time she's seeing a Doc about it?  How could she even be alive if she can't sleep?  How could she work, support herself.etc?

I think most will like this one.  I'd like to like it, but I just can't, as it doesn't ring remotely true or real.  It's like a movie where you're watching and continually asking questions out loud, because things just don't make sense.

Writing-wise, it's OK, but there are lots of improvements you can make, including the formatting of the dream scenes.

My recommendation is to make Cassie come off more like a real person - a real 30 year old.  She doesn't seem to work, yet lives alone in a house with multiple rooms.  Her only contact seems to be wit this Doctor every couple weeks or so, and that's not realistic.

The ending, although "interesting" again, isn't remotely believable.

But, based on the poor quality of the rest of the entries this time around, I have to give you a good score, as this is one of the better ones by far.

Grade - ***

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 24th, 2017, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Tucson, AZ
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Was the phobia her initial insomnia or the fear of nightmares after taking the sleeping pills? Not sure that qualifies with such a quick on-set but you got the RIP in.

A little more backstory would do wonders earlier as to why her twin ran away instead of just a mention near the end. Too much to digest with everything else happening.

Great use of transition from room to room. It really clarifies the mental image when reading the story.

I can't put my finger on it but it reminds me of a 'movie of the week' from waaaaay back in the '70s. Good work.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 24th, 2017, 9:29pm Report to Moderator
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Insomnia! Finally... I am a total insomniac! So I can probably relate to this one! Although I do not have a fear of sleeping... just want MORE.

This one has good writing throughout.

I could sort of see this playing out the way it did. I was hoping that with each dream she would find out more and more what happened to her sister and that maybe she had something to do with or knew more about how her sister died maybe. It got a little complicated near the end with the backstory.

Not sure I love the ending of this. But it was well written. Think the characters need more depth and voice. Could improve on them so that we care more for them. Show the bonds between the siblings better than just playing tag something heart felt so that when we see the opposite near the end.. it's bigger contrast and more irony.

I think with some work this could be REALLY good. I like the use of insomnia in this challenge.

Good job.
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Posted: October 25th, 2017, 3:16pm Report to Moderator
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The transition from the final dream to consciousness isn't noted, so did the murder really happen or is she still in a dream. I suspect it's the former, so I would make it clear by having Cassie wake up in the kitchen, clean knife in hand; then Jemma appears at the door and Cassie stabs her in a mindless panic.
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Posted: October 26th, 2017, 6:59pm Report to Moderator
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It was an enjoyable enough read. Nice job for a week. I think you can do more with the therapy visits though.

The visit on pg. 3-4: I feel like you could easily introduce the abuse element here rather than having all that information thrown in at the very end. At least hint at something dark to do with the father. Maybe it ends with Cassie being evasive and refusing to discuss it with Dr. Foster, creating more tension in the scene.

The visit on pg. 6-7: She's basically recounting what we've just watched happen. Again, perhaps she could be evasive or outright lie as to the nature of the dreams. She's still trying to avoid confronting the real issues.

Anyways, good job.

That rug really tied the room together.
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