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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Riddle Book Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Riddle Book  (currently 2492 views)
Don
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Riddle Book by Rock - Short - A young homeless boy finds a magical riddle book, in which the answers to all the riddles he asks comes to life, that will forever change his life...and the lives of others. 12 pages - pdf, format


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cloroxmartini
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 10:11am Report to Moderator
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*******************if you don't know by now...*********************



Starts off with an interesting premise, but then devolves into a Katrina memorial that just does not work for me. Did the reversal of Katrina bring the dead back to life? It was disappointing that the riddle brought on Katrina and then another riddle reversed it. What doesn't work is that Katrina was not reversed and the aftermath of it continues to this day. You really can't reverse something like that, even in fantasy, because it's too close to home, too close to reality. It dismisses the real tragedy of what happened.

The way it's written it reads like you're trying to emulate someone else's writing style and it comes off stilted. You'll find your style eventually.

The boy's dialogue often comes off as forced, like you felt like you needed to say something when you really don't have to. In the beginning, this boy is just living with no need to editorialize with his dialogue; that continues for the most part. This whole thing could be without dialogue from the boy.
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rock.
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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lol, thanks...

i know, i contemplated for a while whether I should make it a made up storm or a real storm, but I thought of it as representing hope that they can make the city whole again.  I didn't know whether it'd be disrespectful or not, since well, this is sort of fantastical, and an imagination.

I don't quite get what you mean with the emulating someone else's writing style, because I didn't copy or anything...

I guess I sort of agree with the forced dialogue...but only for like 3 lines maybe. I didn't want to make it too much like a silent film

Thanks for the criticism...If i every have time, I might change it up, but schools starting again, and it's always a hectic time for me, lol


My scripts:

Façade:  In a "film noir" set in the 1950's, a detective investigates the murder of a teenage boy in the quintessential 50's American suburbs, and as he slowly peels back the veneer of the picture perfect family, he realizes nothing is what it seems, unaware of what secrets he will uncover.

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rock.  -  August 16th, 2009, 7:11pm
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cloroxmartini
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 2:46pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rock.
I don't quite get what you mean with the emulating someone else's writing style, because I didn't copy or anything...


Not copying, just writing like you've seen other people write that you thought was good. Nothing wrong with that and over time you'll find a writing style that fits you.
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lalaindahouse
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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Didn’t quite get the money riddle.  how do you get $15, without one bill being a $10, but he answers it with a $5 and $10.  i'm not sure if i'm missing something...

I could do without the foreshadowing on p. 6 (“but all his questions will be answered…”)  i dont' think it's necessary to foreshadow when you're going to answer the question in the next paragraph.  

I don’t understand why you put (…) in the middle of sentences in the action lines on p. 8.  A woman…crying.  It doesn’t make sense – is it odd that a woman cries?

the riddles towards the end didn't make that much sense to me, unless he was answering what he wished would happen --

like, the long riddle at the end.  is that really a riddle?  i feel like i totally missed the point.  

i liked the set-up, but it was a bit perplexing towards the end, mainly because i didn't get the riddles.  i guess i'm not a riddly kind of person .

yeah, i wouldn't work in katrina in this story, for the same reason as what the poster above said.  it's the reason why "the curious case of benjamin button" didn't work for me.

good luck with your next scripts!


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Lightfoot
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 3:18pm Report to Moderator
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This one I thought had good potential for an interesting story in the beginning, but it kind of lacked near the end. I thought this was going to be a happier ending than what it ended up being, I was hoping for the boy somehow getting his family back in the end. I thought there was going to be some deep purpose for the boy finding the book.

I suggest you give this boy more identity then what you have, a name and a specific age will help us picture him better.

I didn't like how there was no inside/emotional change to this boy, he now has a house and is off the streets but that feeling of pain, of sadness from losing his parents is still there and from the look of things, will always be.

That question of if the riddle brought people back to life is an interesting one.


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rock.
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 5:21pm Report to Moderator
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About the money riddle: it said, if ONE of them wasn't a $10 bill, not both of them. The answer is a 5 and 10, because one of the bills (the $5) isn't a $10 bill. Neat huh?

As for that long one at the end, I couldn't find a riddle where the answer to it was house, so I made it so that the answer is in the question, but all the other info distracts the reader from it.  Not really a real riddle, just something I made up.

At first, I had given the boy a name, but as I wrote the story, I realized that his name would never be introduced because nobody actually knew who he was, so I decided to make him nameless.  I thought, If Daphne DuMaurier could do it, I could!

I think anyone who has lost a loved one will still feel sadness that they are gone...it's human.  I don't think it would be necessary to bring his parents back to life, or to remove that feeling of pain completely.  I have no idea how it would be done anyway, lol

I hope the whole Katrina thing didn't ruin the story.  I decided I would go edit it, take out the historical reference completely, and fix a few mistakes, and maybe repost it.


My scripts:

Façade:  In a "film noir" set in the 1950's, a detective investigates the murder of a teenage boy in the quintessential 50's American suburbs, and as he slowly peels back the veneer of the picture perfect family, he realizes nothing is what it seems, unaware of what secrets he will uncover.
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Andrew
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 6:02pm Report to Moderator
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Rock,

There is something beautiful within the story you are telling, but it does feel a little like two separate stories have been thrown together. On the one hand, we have the story of a boy who has lost his parents, and been thrown on the streets - he then becomes indexical to the isolation of those left to die in New Orleans. Was this an intentional ploy? The whole New Orleans tragedy is surely to be on the big screen soon? Unfortunately, I am yet to catch Spike's documentary, but maybe Hollywood is waiting until putting a harrowing Katrina story out there? Such fertile ground to dramatise the fatal mistakes that led to so many deaths, while depicting the resolute nature of mankind.

As a story then, it just lacks a cohesive vision, IMO.  You do some sterling work in placing the same people who left the boy alone and hungry on the street in his same situation, however. The second half of the story feels much stronger, and this made for a compelling read. However, it feels like you threw away your good work with the ending. It tied nothing up, and seemed there to facilitate the 'riddle book'. That book adds nothing to your story, for me.

Why did the boy become a casualty and join the street? Did he have no more family? Didn't the authorities take him into care? That's a glaring problem. Now, it's obviously not possible to answer every question that a character may pose, but this was fundamental. Your gear shift to a wider sphere with Katrina eliminated the possibility of this being a study of his situation and that of those living rough. Yet, there was not a sufficient exploration of Katrina to justify its inclusion - other than a brief thought on the complexities of the rescue debacle and the knife edge of being on the street/independent.

Now, others feel Katrina was of detriment to your script, but - for me - that was the glue in your story. The rest felt like a limp limb that needs to be put out of its misery.

Reworking this, and shifting the focus to Katrina is where it would flourish, IMO.

Andrew


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Eric2nimrod
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 6:39pm Report to Moderator
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I like the idea of the story. But your writing style can use some work. You failed to put in scene headings when they're needed, like at the beging when we go into the alley, you should've used a scene heading, cause now it jus seems like a really long scene. You also use periods too much and sometimes leave out words that are needed like "The" or "He" and stuff like that. I know you try to make it easier to read, but at the same time it gets kinda annoying.
Your story is great, but next time try to cut the actions shorter and put in scene headings to make the scenes seem shorter, that'll help.


We're all just a couple of space monkeys.
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rock.
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Eric2nimrod
You sometimes leave out words that are needed like "The" or "He" and stuff like that.


lol, i have a good explanation for that
Before I said I had given the boy a name? Well, when i realized I didn't want to use it, I used the Find & Replace command to replace all the names with 'Boy', and went back and fixed the ones that needed articles, and I missed a few



My scripts:

Façade:  In a "film noir" set in the 1950's, a detective investigates the murder of a teenage boy in the quintessential 50's American suburbs, and as he slowly peels back the veneer of the picture perfect family, he realizes nothing is what it seems, unaware of what secrets he will uncover.
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Eric2nimrod
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 7:14pm Report to Moderator
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I hate when that happens, but you should probably get someone to read it when you're finished. Like I have my brother, I don't always get all the mistakes, but I get most of them, and we always critize each other, so we work on the scripts a little more before showing them to anyone else.


We're all just a couple of space monkeys.
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rock.
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 7:20pm Report to Moderator
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Lol, i would have, but I no longer trust my brother with reading my scripts.  I let him read my first one, Facade, and he keeps bugging me about how stupid, terrible, and embarassing it was, even though I know it doesn't suck that much...he doesn't support my scriptwriting much, lol what an amazing brother


My scripts:

Façade:  In a "film noir" set in the 1950's, a detective investigates the murder of a teenage boy in the quintessential 50's American suburbs, and as he slowly peels back the veneer of the picture perfect family, he realizes nothing is what it seems, unaware of what secrets he will uncover.
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Eric2nimrod
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 8:46pm Report to Moderator
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My brother hates my work too. But if he critizes me, I do the same. Honestly, we hate each others scripts, but since it's like that it makes us work harder on trying to impress each other. I think that when the day comes that my brother actually likes my script, it'll be the script to win me an oscar.


We're all just a couple of space monkeys.
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rock.
Posted: August 17th, 2009, 12:48pm Report to Moderator
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Note: I editted my script.  Fixed most of the grammatical errors, and of course, I took out the Katrina reference, and made up a fake hurricane.  Other than that, nothing much changed, except for this scene of dialogue I added.  I posted it today, should be up in a few days

In all honesty, I think the story works better this way.  I hope you all agree too.


My scripts:

Façade:  In a "film noir" set in the 1950's, a detective investigates the murder of a teenage boy in the quintessential 50's American suburbs, and as he slowly peels back the veneer of the picture perfect family, he realizes nothing is what it seems, unaware of what secrets he will uncover.
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Andrew
Posted: August 17th, 2009, 1:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rock.
I took out the Katrina reference, and made up a fake hurricane.


What difference does that make?

Andrew


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