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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    September 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Black Winters - OWC Moderators: Don
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  Author    Black Winters - OWC  (currently 3316 views)
Posted: September 19th, 2011, 4:58pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Black Winters by Digamma - Short - We are all monsters underneath. 8 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: September 19th, 2011, 5:16pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I don't think the phonograph had been invented by the 1830s. You might want to move the date for this, since it doesn't seem to matter.

I really don't know what was going on here, so I can't add much. I need my coffee, my brain must be missing crucial details in the reading. Sorry. I'll try to come back to it.

I appreciative the effort at uniqueness and creativity.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: September 19th, 2011, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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This one conforms with the one location rule.
However, a period piece is not low budget. Especially the dress.
The phonograph was invented well after the Civil War. Not 1820.
Got some prosthetic work as well to throw in the budget.
I didnít understand much of what was happening.
But your format skills kept my confusion breezy.
Feels like part of a feature script.



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Posted: September 19th, 2011, 7:56pm Report to Moderator
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Cool title.  The script was interesting and different, for sure.  The historical errors have already been brought up.  I also think the name "Darling" was not the best choice for a male character.

This felt like the end story of a much bigger, deeper tale.  Unfortunately, we're not privy to the backstory, and I couldn't figure out what exactly these two were and why they were changing and why exactly they had to blow themselves up.

Good atmosphere, some good dialogue, but too much was missing from the narrative.  
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Posted: September 19th, 2011, 8:14pm Report to Moderator
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The previous readers commented on the phonograph being out of place in the 1820's; it actually wasn't invented until 1877.

Another anachronism that I found was in the header.  A country cabin (in the 1820s) didn't have living rooms.  They were single room structures.  If you wanted separate rooms, you should've placed this story in something bigger than a modern day bungalow.

Is it petty that I bring this up?  No.  Not at all.  Right away, you poorly set up your story.  People look at this and think, "Phonograph?  That wasn't around back then."  And, then this stays with them through out the story.

Another anachronism was Maddy and Charles' dialog.  It seemed too colloquial for me.  The messenger seemed a little more dated in his dialog, which made me how this happened.

I did like how you created your own 'creature' for this story.  I would liked to have seen more of it.

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Posted: September 19th, 2011, 8:14pm Report to Moderator

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This was maddening to read. I kept on hoping for that orgasm of understanding when you go "I-I got  it" I did like the atmosphere; perhaps a hint more from Darling would help us out?
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Posted: September 19th, 2011, 10:16pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Cave Creek, AZ
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Yeah...very lazy, filled with so many typos, missing words, poor grammar, poor punctuation, poor dialogue, and senseless shenanigans.

Phonograph - 1877

Dynamite - 1863

Country Cabin with separate rooms, inclduing a bathroom with "fixtures" - Not sure, but highly unlikely it was around in 1820.

Using a date in your Slug?  Worthless, no one will see it in a filmed version, so if it's important (and remotely accurate), you'll need a SUPER.

You should count how many times said, "Charlie" - I bet at least 10, and I doubt in 1820, Charlie was used as opposed to Charles, though I could be wrong here.

Did you just watch Black Swan recently?  That's my guess.

Sorry, this didn't work on any level whatsoever.

Congrats on completing an OWC entry.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: September 20th, 2011, 3:45am Report to Moderator
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The Island of Jersey
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I have to say I didn't expect a history lesson as well as a script when starting this! However, the others have made a few good points about getting the details right if they are to be used. Someone always picks up the error.

Monster/vampire type scripts are not for me BUT I quite like the tone, the mood, of this. I am sure it's not new but two people in a difficult circumstance accepting a fate has a nice edge to me. The script felt it should focus on this. They know what's happening, maybe they know why and they know what they have to do, but it's still hard. Always something left behind to regret. Against this I wasn't sure that the woman really understood and that surprised me.

I agree the name Darling didn't seem right, but easily fixed.

All the best.

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Posted: September 20th, 2011, 7:44am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Even if period costumes from a local theatre (never say never, peeps!) were used and some set dressing might hide a few things, or if there was a local historical-type park which had old buildings and such, maybe...with the right permissions...

But that's neither here nor there. The script itself is filled with anachronisms as mentioned by others. There's also times where, for example, Maddy speaks, then in the action line "He" does an action. Substitute 'He' for Charles. Sometimes Charles speaks and "She" does an action. Put Maddy instead of 'she' where needed.

The cabin for the period, as mentioned above by peeps, is correct. Thus, over half of your header slugs are annoying and get in the way. That said, you can fix them if you wanted to. There are two possible ways you can do this..

The first (and risky) way:

Instead of INT. BEDROOM- NIGHT, for example, you use a subhead of


or instead of INT. LIVING ROOM- TIME you write


Please be aware that I am ONLY talking about "new scenes" in a sub-location, not person A walking to a "location". ALSO while normally "objects" are not legitamite locations, in a one room cabin, you CAN cheat and MIGHT get away with it.
Some will debate me on this, but here is the question. If you wanted to call attention to a certain location in the one room cabin, and don't cry "angle on" or anything like that, how would you consider doing it?

Let's say you visualize a wide shot. Then what I just said would not be needed obviously. But what if you wanted to focus in on a specific place in this big room?

The second (and probably better) way:

One obvious way is to CAP your characters again like so in action but sparingly:

near the door

asleep on the bed.

Which visually implies two focus shots of both characters (a replacement for CUT TO, if you will) because these are understood as the subject of the shot.

By the way...the BATHROOM is not in the cabin.  

I know folks are gonna bitch at me for that. But y'know, every now and then, instead of just griping, someone should suggest possible solutions that are close enough to what you had in mind.


The page numbers. Top center. When I noticed it that on page 2 -- I thought that was either careless on the writer's part or they are just starting to learn Word. Sharp enough to know how to turn the doc into a pdf; but forgetful enough to not upper right justify the page numbers. (Most screenwriting programs automatically upper right justify page numbers

Oh, and change Darling's name.
Especially since someone greets them at the door.
(I'm know, 'Hello, my Darling"
But maybe that's just me.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: September 20th, 2011, 9:12am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Trting to be atmopsheric and creepy with mixed results. Liked the transformations of the monsters and they were original beasties rather than run of the mill vamps or werewolves. Even though the script says the year, there is no Super so someone watching this (unless they were period dress experts) wouldn't see the phonograph as out of place but having said that , the script HAS to be accurate but a simple change of one number would work.

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Zombie Sean
Posted: September 20th, 2011, 9:20am Report to Moderator
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A boozer, a user, and a two-time loser

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Tried reading this but couldn't get through it. Wasn't making sense and stories written in a time before the 1950s bore me.



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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: September 20th, 2011, 10:53am Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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There is an interesting barren kind of feel to this that is well done. What is not so well done is the copy itself. It needs a lot of red penning.

I had no trouble understanding what was going on here. Two people were somehow turning into monsters and they were prepared to kill themselves rather
than live in such a state. Who could argue that?

Good effort, but clean it up.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: September 20th, 2011, 2:40pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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So change the dates...

I could appreciate the romance in this script. I liked the tone. I liked the monsters. Not sure about Darling.

Would have liked to known more about what was actually going on. How they came to be.

Maybe you'll do a rewrite and make this script longer????

Hope so. I'd like to read the next draft.


Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: September 20th, 2011, 3:18pm Report to Moderator

I got dipping sticks.

Los Angeles
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as Jeff stated, I too thought of Black Swan while reading this.

obviously theres some formatting problems with your slugs. furthermore theres dating issues (which I won't be elaborating on since my fellow posters already commented on the matter).

overall, i was intrigued. however i was left with little answers. i wanted to know more and i really loved the atmosphere. period pieces with monsters in them have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. so perhaps im a bit biased.

rewrite this one and make it longer. B for me.

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Posted: September 20th, 2011, 9:33pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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This wasn't an easy read but when I got to the end I actually found that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  There's some good imagery in here with the atmosphere and the transformation of Maddy and Charles but the description is very overwritten and at times is really tough to get through.  Then the typos seemed to increase as the story went on which didn't make matters easier.  Dialogue leaves a bit to be desired.  The way Maddy said she wanted to suck blood or eat flesh came off more humorous than it did serious.  

I think in general it also would have been neat to see what exactly was going on with their transformation.  What you have here at the moment is interesting, but I want a little more.

This does need some editing but I liked it for what it was.  

Nice job for a week.


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