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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Hell on Earth
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  Author    OWC - Hell on Earth  (currently 3259 views)
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 2:16pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Hell on Earth by Stephen Brown (stebrown) - Short, Young Adult, Horror - Two brothers, on the run from zombies, must convince their alcoholic father that this is no Halloween trick. - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 31st, 2008, 10:08am
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 4:13pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Hmmm, not horrible, but nothing special either.  Not much originality here.

I thought the age group of the YAs was supposed to top out at 18?  Your main protag is 19.  Also, I don't feel that your story really covers what was supposed to be going on.  Not much about a hoax, nothing about saving the place...

Dialogue wasn't very believable.  Action wasn't either.  Kinda seemed like this grave yard was right outside the house.  No mention of anything else in other people, no other structures.  And then the copter comes in and saves the kid just before they drop the bomb?  Nah, didn't make alot of sense and just didn't really work for me.  Sorry.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 4:14pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Toronto, Ontario
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I really liked this one, I thought your descriptions we're great, made this a really entertaining script, nice add that the fathers an alcoholic too! The boys trying to convince their father of the zombies was well written, I could feel the frustration. I found this short to be rather well paced which is impressive for a short, my only real complaint would be the ending, it was really abrupt, I guess it works at the chaos of what's happening but personally, I would of liked to see more resolved, but again with this OWC it's hard, hope to see this fixed up in future rewrites, good little story here!

Bad Influence (Horror Comedy) NEW
Bridesmen (Romantic Comedy)
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 5:19pm Report to Moderator

Some things are better left to the imagination!

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Poor Logan's world was Hell...

The shoulder...(should be soldier)  hesitates then pulls him inside.

I thought the ending was too abrupt....and how would the helicopter know to pick him up...there was nothing leading up to that...

I felt the beginning was good through to the dad throwinghis beer down the sink...after that, it just seemed to go south for me....


I love words and the fact that when the page is blank...there's nothing there until words are formulated in my brain. Those thoughts...rushing through my viens and out my finger tips, find "life" on the page.  

When people and places come to life...that to me is exciting.

MBCgirl =)
My finger nails should look nice while I type - Red works!
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 9:17pm Report to Moderator

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Really good story. Set up well and played out in dramatic style with emotion thrown in.

“Erm...Mom’s outside!” – After the earlier set up this idea is really chilling and the later recognition is a great moment.

I agree with the others that the ending is awkward. It's a story where you build and build the doom-laden situation really well but then find you've painted yourself into a corner and need something out there to retrieve it. Consider setting up the escape route earlier on. So you might introduce the idea that Logan is a champion dirt bike rider in passing. Then he goes over the roof, down into the garage and there is his dirt bike all ready for him to make his escape. Still implausible yes, but now it doesn't come from nowhere.

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Posted: October 20th, 2008, 3:19pm Report to Moderator
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Nicely written, a good small story that fit well into the page count.  However, there really isn't much new here.  It felt like many of the zombie movies I have watched in the past. I'm not sure what you could do to improve that - it's a tired genre.

I did like how you named the Zombies though.  And I thought you told the story well.  The exception being the last scene which seemed to come out of nowhere.  Also it didn't seem logical for them to bomb the place after just picking up one kid.  
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Posted: October 20th, 2008, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

I think most of what I wanted to say has been mentioned already. This one did a good job of setting the mood for a classic zombie film with the thunderstorm, build-up of the zombie invasion and escape.

The dad's attempt to change and pouring the beer down the drain seemed to come a little bit out of nowhere and could have used a little more development before or during the moment he decides to change.

Also, the younger brother didn't feel right; his dialogue seemed to match someone older than 14 while some of his actions (the trick-or-treating with his older brother for instance) seemed to hint at his being younger than 14.

As has been mentioned earlier, the deus-ex-machina felt like a cheap way out and he could've spent more time on the roof before the copter picked him up.

Overall though, considering the short page count and one week's time to write it, I think this one came out really well. Great job!
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Posted: October 20th, 2008, 10:19pm Report to Moderator
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I wasn't happy with the way this short ended.  The military showing up was just too convenient for my taste.

I did like how you developed your characters.  The chemistry between Logan and Josh.  That flowed very nicely.  Very natural.  The father was okay, though I couldn't feel anything for him, but that's okay; the story is about the brothers.

I thought that Josh is a little too old for trick or treating though.

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Posted: October 21st, 2008, 11:57am Report to Moderator

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0.04 i think the descriptions paint an amazing picture for me. It's easy to envision everything going on. But the dialogue to me is too on the ball. The father saying im sorry for being such a bad drunk(waste of space). I try to put them in situations that'll show them, not just him sitting on the couch and THEN saying "im sorry for being lazy". I think thats my only problem here. But really with 13 pages what can i expect. We don't have much to do.

I also didn't like how the military just conveniently shows up to the scene. Still, though, better than some of the bunch here. Good job.

Good Golly Miss Molly
No Place Like Home
New Moon Rising
The Ballad of Uncle Sam: An Anarchists Melody
Toy Soldier
This Modern Love
A Virgin State of Mind

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Posted: October 26th, 2008, 9:23am Report to Moderator

Memphis, TN
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This is one of the better ones I've read.  I liked it a lot.  I thought the characters were well developed (for a short) and it was a fun read.  

The younger brother was a little odd at times. I think someone eles said it but it was kind of wierd for a 14 year old to go trick-or-treating with his older brother.  Also when he falls over during the zombie chase and starts crying and has to be carried--all that sounded like he should have been younger than 14.  Especially to be carried cause 14 year olds aren't light.  Unless he was small for his age or something I would think his brother would have a hard time carrying him.


"Life is short, Art is long"
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Posted: October 26th, 2008, 4:55pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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Hi there,

You have a nice read here.  The story wasn't that unique but fitted in with parts of the challenge.  I don't have any complaints about the dialogue and descriptions.  I felt Logan's dialogue made me like him as a character.

All the best,


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Posted: October 27th, 2008, 5:56pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Good stuff, I really enjoyed this one. The descriptions were great, the dialogue was so-so but what really matters is that I actually cared about the characters. The way the characters interacted was superb. From Logan dealing with his drunkard of a father, to Zombie Josh and his zombified mother sharing one last moment. Like I said, great stuff. The only noteworthy foible is probably the ending.  Way too deus ex machina.

Though earth and man are gone, I thought the cube would last forever.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 27th, 2008, 7:51pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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Hello Mr. Short,

Well you know, this didn't fit the young adult category and there isn't any hoax going on that I can see, but I see some good character work here.

What happens in this however, is that you use a lot of space to develop the characters of Stephen, the alcoholic father who is about to turn himself around and Logan, the conscientious son who cares about his younger brother's interests before his own: and then you kind of delete that development by dialogue that gets weak when the two boys enter the house after the zombie encounter.

For me, what happened is that when Josh turned into a zombie, I didn't feel the need to read anymore. That was basically the end of the story. When Stephen met with his zombified wife and the screen went black, I didn't really know what had happened. It wasn't clear enough for me although I did like the notion that he loved her so much that despite her zombied state, he was blind to that fact.

So what do I want to say here? Well, I think this is just a situation where it was written and then time or steam or both ran out and you needed to end it-- hence, the soldier comes and flies Logan to safety.

I think where it started to really fall off is on page 6 where Stephen is asking: "Is this a trick?" Here you were forcing it to conform to the hoax idea and it didn't work.

As I've said with several others I've read so far, this doesn't fit the young adult genre in my mind. It's reading more as a teen film-- especially since the title is "Hell on Earth". Doesn't sound like something I'd take a seven year old to see.

Maybe if you made the characters more proactive in this and develop the storyline to reflect this, you can use the relationship between Logan and his father to discover something about themselves during this traumatic event.

Good effort.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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slap shot
Posted: October 28th, 2008, 8:09am Report to Moderator

what's the most resilient parasite?

los angeles
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i felt this was the best written piece i've read so easy read...thanks...the ending was a bit contrived...i think this one suffered  from the 13 page limit more than any other submission...there were so many possibilities to have logan try to reclaim his brother before the military option...just wish it could have been hit this one into triples alley...two thumbs up...

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Posted: November 1st, 2008, 6:14am Report to Moderator
Been Around

Newcastle, England
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Cheers for reading this and the comments everyone.

I had a really busy week during the OWC and only had one day spare to write but still wanted to take part. That's my excuse for the poor ending anyway haha.

I wanted to really develop the relationship between the two brothers and between Stephen and the dead wife. I felt that was where the horror was; in their reactions.

I had a great afternoon writing this, just have never written an outright horror before, so may give another script like this a go without the time/page limit.

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