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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2018 One Week Challenge  ›  Umbra Spirituum - OWC Moderators: Administrator
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Don
Posted: October 20th, 2018, 10:28am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Umbra Spirituum by Pope Boniface VIII - Short, Horror, Psychological, Paranormal - Darcey and Jessy go trick or treating along with their older sister Marta.   They encounter some nasty night time creatures that make them regret ever wanting candy again. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 20th, 2018, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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Cute little Halloween story. It was nice and visual.

It felt like it needed a little more something at the end.
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JEStaats
Posted: October 20th, 2018, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
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A lot of the action had poor grammar and odd wording that derailed it for me. I suggest maybe reading it aloud to yourself if you revise it to hear how awkward it sounds. There's a lot going on here and it would take quite a bit of editing to get it into three pages. Overall, a nice story that needs some work. Good job, writer.
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LC
Posted: October 20th, 2018, 8:57pm Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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I think you've packed too many visual and auditory cues into this at the start (obviously to create atmosphere) but less is more.

The wolf howling, the full moon is fine, but then the bats, the fireworks and the scarecrow, is a bit overkill. You could go more spare with general Halloween decorations, otherwise we don't realise the gnomes are the star of the show.

Your opening intros need a good edit.

DARCEY, ten, dressed as a witch with a broom attached to her
outfit. Holds a bag in her left hand and walks down the
path holding hands with JESSY, ten, dressed as (a) zombie.

You don't need  'with a broom attached', trust your audience will fill in the gaps, or have the character use that broom in action later, and 'holds a bag...' is a continuation of the first sentence.

Suggestion: Twin girls, DARCEY, and JESSY, 10, skip down the path to an ominous looking house. Darcey is dressed as a witch, Jessy in zombie garb.

On chaperone duty, older sister, MARTA, 18,  waits at the front gate.

You don't need to detail so much: White wooden gate, detached rundown house.

The FISHING GNOMEís eyes
It's the first time you're singling this one out so it should be written as:
A FISHING GNOME'S eyes.

Grasps might read better as: grips, or squeezes.
Yous should be the vernacular youse.

You don't need 'raggedy' - gnomes is fine on its own - perhaps they are cracked, paint peeling?

Typos: Itís eyes - its eyes
Lets go. Let's go.
Scoops, not scoups.

and the dream catcher
that hangs outside the entrance.

Suggestion: a dreamcatcher swings in the breeze

Now there's a Samurai statuette (statue) and a dog?!
There's way too much going on here imho.

a lot of candy from
the place...

a lot of candy from this place...

JESSY
This is meant to be fun. Iím not
enjoying this at all.

You don't need the dialogue above at all. A look from this character would say it all.

The door closes with a bang.
Alt: the door slams shut.

Me too.
Me either.


Darcey stands up and then freezes as she looks at (the) all
the Gnomes staring back.

Suggestion: Darcey freezes. The gnomes stare back at her.

Jessy continues to pick up the last remaining candy treats.
Jessy picks up the remaining candy.

(Rhetorical)
You don't need that parenthetical.
What on earth...? would do it.
But, would a kid say that?

Martaís on the phone.
Marta's still on the phone.

(To her sisters)
(to her sisters)
lower case parenthetical
But not needed anyway. We know who she's addressing.

A GARDENER GNOME with a pitchfork jumps the fence and then
quickly creeps up behind the girls.
It punchers a hole in their bags. Spilling their candy.

That last sentence above should be combined with a comma instead of writing it as two sentences btw.

This is a nice scary image - but, a 'garden' gnome weilding a pitchfork would suffice.
It 'punches' or are you thinking of punctures?

Okay, I'll leave the detailed stuff there.

It's a good story. Gnomes coming to life is a scary idea as a creature feature - and them using their props to attack is entertaining. It all going on while older sister is obliviously chatting on her cellphone also adds to the fun.

It just needs a cleanup and more refinement in the execution.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  October 22nd, 2018, 6:59pm
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currentcmine
Posted: October 21st, 2018, 1:17pm Report to Moderator
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Perspective without distortion.

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Some clarity problems (formatting and action). Story is cute, but is it suitable for HyperEpics? Could have been eerier.
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coldsnap
Posted: October 21st, 2018, 4:23pm Report to Moderator
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The action/dialogue feels clunky and disjointed at times, makes it hard to maintain a flow. This reads more G than PG, got a Charlie Brown Halloween kind of vibe. Cute tale, maybe not epic enough for Hyper Epics tho.


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irish eyes
Posted: October 21st, 2018, 5:45pm Report to Moderator
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There`s too much blood in my alcohol

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It was a cute story but that is pretty much what it is..  G rated like the Gnomes movie

Good writing  but not comic book material for me

Good job on entering


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PKCardinal
Posted: October 21st, 2018, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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The story is there, the writing isn't quite.

My only note is to cut, cut, cut. This 7 pager would be much stronger as 4.

Other than that, concentrate on LC's great notes.


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Warren
Posted: October 21st, 2018, 6:59pm Report to Moderator
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I quite liked the story; itís a fun little tale.

Potentially a few too many visuals to fit into a 3 page comic.

The writing could use some work, but it looks like LC spent a fair bit of time on this so you probably have a lot to work with.

All the best.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: October 22nd, 2018, 5:04am Report to Moderator
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A cute story with some nice touches, but the clumsy writing made this a hard read. Iím not sure if this is someone fairly new to screenplays, or if English isnít their primary language, but itís obvious youíve got a great imagination. You just need to keep practicing to get those great ideas across in a lean yet clearly understandable manner.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: October 22nd, 2018, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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Lots of early looking and looks. That gets on my bad side quickly.

"and then..." "suddenly..." "then"....If action happens in the moment, then these wors an phrases are redundant.

I'm losing count of how many times Martha's on the phone,
I am so trying to warm up to the garden gnomes from hell, that everytime I do, bland actions from Darcey an Jessy (who have nothing more than basic motor skills apparently) derail it. There's a small bit of a letdown in that "it's all in the imagination" without explaining some of the gnome's actions if that were the case. And why not tie it, then, in a Halloween prank gone wrong? Nobody seems upset that, regardless if the Gnomes came to life or not, that they are destroyed.

And why give me wolves/dogs howling, firworks (?) a scarecrow an a colony of bats under the moonlight? They don't factor in anywhere. I almost expected an owl to hoot.

I like the concept, but not the execution.

(after thought)
oh almost forgot. turn off your title headers.


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MarkItZero
Posted: October 22nd, 2018, 5:52pm Report to Moderator
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A fun little story.

Something to work on is being more selective with dialogue. As a very general rule, you want to "show" rather than "tell". See if you can express a line or multiple lines of dialogue through action instead. Oftentimes a glare, a smile, a look doubt, etc can convey just as much.

For example...

Jessy looks around.

JESSY
This place is creepy.

Could be...

Jessy looks around, eyes wide with fright.



As another extremely general rule, consider whether your dialogue is serving a purpose within the scene. Is it moving the story forward, establishing character, building tension?


Most of all, just keep reading and writing lots of scripts.


That rug really tied the room together.
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stevemiles
Posted: October 22nd, 2018, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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Are we inside the house when we see the Samurai and the running dog or outside?

Youíd have to cut a fair bit to make this fit the page limit - could stand to lose the older sister for starters.

Thereís something to be said for the idea of two sugar-amped kids freaking out on Halloween and smashing up a bunch of garden gnomes but this was a little too random for my tastes.  Did they just imagine it?  I wasn't sure on this point.  Not sure how the Umbra Spirituum fits in, then again Latin's never been my forte.



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Dustin
Posted: October 23rd, 2018, 2:03am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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This is too childish for me to enjoy. I don't understand the title. I Googled so know that it means shadow of the spirits, but I don't understand the implication of it. My little girl might enjoy it. That's not meant as an insult, btw.


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Dreamscale
Posted: October 23rd, 2018, 10:38am Report to Moderator
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Opening Slug is odd to say the least.  "HOUSE 13"?  What does that mean?

The passage that follows is also poorly written, with run-on sentences.

Missing commas.

Wolves and bats?  Where are we?

Writing is not good throughout.

A Samurai?  Huh?

Dialogue is stilted and OTN.  Very unrealistic.

Why is the title on the top of every page?

"clinched hand" - Huh?  WTF?

The End.  Well, obviously loaded with mistakes and poor writing, but I guess it old be a cute story, if handled properly.  I don't see any creature feature here, nor would this fit into 3 pages of comics...but it could....again, if handled properly.

Not for me...way too immature and poorly written.

Grade - *



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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