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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Shellshock Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 24th, 2013, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Shellshock by Lee Cordner (leegoin) - Short, Psychological Drama - A Soldier returns from duty experiencing hallucinations of his dead comrades, which leads of him revealing the truth behind his escape from Insurgents.  8 pages - pdf, format


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spesh2k
Posted: May 24th, 2013, 6:42pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Lee,

So this wasn't too bad. Your writing style made it a breeze to get through, very easy on the eyes.

It feels like I've seen this story before (not specifically your story, but I feel like its been done a lot). There are some cliches in this story, too, specifically the jolting awake thing near the beginning.

Is your character arrested after speaking to the psychiatrist, or does he turn himself in?

And the dialogue doesn't quite work for me - it's wooden. Especially when he's speaking to the ghosts of dead soldiers. And the dialogue with the psychiatrist didn't work for me either... "Is there anything else?" That line, to me, felt like the psychiatrist wasn't overly impressed with the confession... the line read like it was drenched in irony, which I know it isn't because it wouldn't make sense.

And the dialogue with his wife after he shatters the glass in the bathroom -- "Cameron, what happened?" -- I imagine this can't be the first time he's had an episode. And a glass just shattered... she walks in and sees Cameron on the floor crying. And all she can say is "what happened?" Maybe have her comfort him, show that they've been through this together. It would add more depth to your characters a little bit. Because as of now, I don't like Cameron, and just because he confesses at the end doesn't make me like him.

I just didn't really believe his guilt, and I didn't believe that a confession would be enough for redemption... after all, there's blood on his hands.

Some minor issues...

You flashback without telling us it's a flashback, though it didn't slow down the read. Also, you need to watch out with CHARACTER NAMES, even BIT CHARACTERS. You have SOLDIER gets shot DEAD. Then the next line is SOLDIER'S eyes widen followed by SOLDIER dialogue (I'm paraphrasing). Name them SOLDIER 1 or SOLDIER 2... or something like that.

And this paragraph reads awkward:

Cameron steps back in horror. He looks at his hands. Blood stains his hands. Cameron looks at Michelle.

Would read smoother like this:

Cameron steps back in horror. He looks at his blood-stained knuckles. Then up at Michelle.

Overall, not a bad effort, Lee.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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Leegion
Posted: May 24th, 2013, 8:18pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Michael.

This was a... branching out for me.  Never done a short before.  So the errors kind of seap through as clear as day.  As you have stated with the wooden dialogue.

Cameron turns himself in after the barbeque incident.  

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courhaw
Posted: May 27th, 2013, 2:53pm Report to Moderator
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lee, how do we know the wind that blows is cold? and, haven't he and michelle been through this scenario before now? they appear to have a kid together. his breathing quickens...that's sort of passive, wouldn't you say? his dog tags jingle...as he panics.

i stopped very early on, lee. good luck. keep writing.
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Leegion
Posted: May 27th, 2013, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read Courhaw.  You and Spesh made some excellent points, be sure I will go back to this eventually and redo the errors.

Lee
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SilvaSly104
Posted: May 29th, 2013, 3:45pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Lee

Interesting read. Had me captivated from start till end. Kudos on the writing, though a story like this, much as I hate too much exposition, kinda needs some more of it, if you know what I mean.

I would suggest to start focusing on tightening the story up a little bit, both descriptive and in dialogue. Some of the suggestions I had in mind, the above commenters have already touched on. So I will leave it at that.

Great piece, bud

-Silva Sly-
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Leegion
Posted: May 29th, 2013, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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This script is now optioned to a director.
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