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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  A Burgler Moderators: bert
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  Author    A Burgler  (currently 1762 views)
Don
Posted: May 27th, 2011, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Burgler by Connor Macgregor (cm93) - Short, Drama - A single girl is held hostage in her flat by a dangerous robber. 7 pages - pdf, format


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CM93
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for posting this. This is one of my first scripts so i would like honest criticsm please. Your level of nastiness is up to you lol.

Thanks for reading.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 5:01pm Report to Moderator
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Connor, I'll say the same thing I say alot lately...

If you want reads on your scripts, you need to give reads and feedback on other scripts.  Quid pro quo.

It doesn't matter if you know anything about screenwriting...you know story and you know what you like, what you don't like, and why.  Jump into some of these shorts and post feedback.  Chances are good that you'll get some reads and feedback yourself.


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CM93
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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oh ok thanks very much.
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_ghostwriters
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 10:15pm Report to Moderator
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CM93...

The grammical errors are plentiful and most of the writing is redundant.  You could easily trim two pages off this puppy.  Use your action paragraphs to tell us what we see and hear.  Dialogue to let characters reveal themselves.  But don't tell us in your descriptions or comments what the character is thinking or why they do certain things.

Real-time... write the action scenes as they happen not after.  Present tense.  I'd cutback on the "ly's and ings."

The confusion between your and you're occurs because the two words are pronounced pretty much the same.  The ironclad rule - no exceptions - is that if you're able to replace the word with "you are," you're saying you're. Otherwise, your only choice is your.

Example the opening paragraph...

Its 2:00AM.  The room is dark, the curtains closed and lying in the bed is KERRY (20s) who is fast asleep in a double bed.  She's on one side where as the other is empty.

She is asleep when...  What's left is all you really need.  I'd even consider taking out "the curtains closed."   And just pick up with...

CLANG!

How do we know it's 2:00AM?  You're telling when who should be showing.  Maybe the alarm clock reads:  2:00 AM.  But having said that, its not important to the story, so I'd just can it all together.

Let me just say this...  the more you write, it will get better.   Hang around, you'll learn a lot.  

Your story... not much here too be honest.  Actresses like to play intelligent characters and for the most part, Kerry came off as the exact opposite.  She reminds me of the typical "horror chick."   She knows something is out in the woods, but instead of running, she goes to see what's out there and the next thing we know... she's getting carved to pieces.

Clearly, Kerry sees the burglar robbing the house.  She could have easily ran out the door or went back to her bedroom and climbed out the window.  Better yet, if you were to take a poll... 99.9% of people would tell you, "Yes, we have a phone in the bedroom."  Whether the house phone or cell.  Sometimes both.  That's just common sense.  But what she ends up doing is going into the room, the burglar is in close proximity, trying to get to her house phone and gets caught.  Most women wouldn't have done that.  But I played along here...because there's always that 1% that don't have cell phones or phones in there bedrooms.  Still she had alternatives.

As cheesy as it sounds, I would have took a different approach... hurt and violated she fights back, goes to her bedroom and grabs a gun or even a bat and lets him have it.  Yeah...I know it's cheesy, but it might have played better then how you ended this one.  After readers take the time to plow through this and get to the so called ending... it's like WTFeck!  Regardless I think it would be better for Kerry to somehow turn the tables on him.

Nice attempt...but needless to say,  I didn't care too much for this piece.  But this is JMHO...others might get a kick out of it.   Welcome to the boards and participate.  

And no...I'm not a screenwriting guru...but I pretend to play one on Simply Scripts.

Good luck

Ghostie


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_ghostwriters  -  May 29th, 2011, 11:04pm
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Loulou
Posted: May 30th, 2011, 2:59am Report to Moderator
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Hey Connor,

This script is pretty straight forward, almost too straight forward for my liking. The dramatic premise is about a girl who is attacked in her apartment. One dimensional. I agree with Ghostie, your protagonist is very inactive in this story and rendered a punching bag, by her intruder. What if... there was a tense stand off where by she convinces him to leave her alone? She could lie about her boyfriend coming home, she could seduce him, she could convince him she has more money stashed somewhere else-- if he would only let her go. THEN you'd have me!

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Liam James
Posted: May 30th, 2011, 4:03am Report to Moderator
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I see shorts as a way to practice on the craft of writing before tackling bigger projects. With that said, the story was cute and dry, a home invasion. Nothing wrong with that, yet the narrative has that much tough a job to do to keep the reader interested.

Show don' tell

In your narrative, you want to use verbs rather than linking verbs likes "is". I usually don't mind a few of those, but you have them peppered throughout your story, telling not show. I hear in my ear telling me wants going on rather than just see images.
Lying in bed is KERRY -- Kerry lies in bed
who is fast asleep -- Sleep, Kerry lies in bed
Her upper body is now wake. -- She sits up.
All she sees is darkness. -- She stares into the darkness.
Kerry is scared. -- Scared, Kerry...
Her mouth is taped over to avoid screaming. -- Tape covers her mouth.

--
Adverbs can also be detrimental to showing the story.
She starts sobbing silently -- She whimpers.

--
BUT
She hears a voice, but can't make it out what is beings said. -- She hears muffled voices.

--
An example where you did show
"She wallops the burglar on the head with it, making him crash down to the floor."



Good, luck


Michael Corleone: I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!
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CM93
Posted: June 3rd, 2011, 4:50pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks all very much for your comments. I am really glad to be getting advice from fellow screenwriters. I didn't expect praise and i wanted criticism if perfectly honest. I will bear your advice in mind when writing more scripts and maybe go back to this and correct the script and make it more believeable.
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lynndidiano
Posted: July 10th, 2011, 7:32am Report to Moderator
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I liked the beginning and the build up and 'thrill' of the burglar getting the best of the victim at the beginning. But, after that, I would've liked to see her get terrified, angry and pissed then have beat him with the statue.  
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ajr
Posted: July 11th, 2011, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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Someone also has to tell me whether "burglEr" is an accepted form of spelling in the UK or elsewhere. If not, then a typo in a two-word title is not good...


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Tyler
Posted: July 11th, 2011, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ajr
Someone also has to tell me whether "burglEr" is an accepted form of spelling in the UK or elsewhere. If not, then a typo in a two-word title is not good...


In the UK, we spell it with an "a" as well. Although, the word isn't used as much as "robber" - but that my just be my area.

I was going to comment on the script, but I'm not sure if the person is around.
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albinopenguin
Posted: July 14th, 2011, 2:28pm Report to Moderator
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hey Connor,

some thoughts while reading this.

make sure to write in the present tense. other posters have dabbled on this so i won't repeat them, lest i sound redundant.

a burglar making a phone call in the house he just broke into? pretty ballsy move if you ask me. if anything, you should have him whisper.

"If I hear anything that makes my business slow down from you..." Awkward phrasing.

BURGLAR
(yelling)
I TOLD YOU BITCH!!!!
^^^we get it. he's yelling. not only did you specify it in the parenthetical, but you capitalized every letter, and added exclamation points. get rid of the capitalization and parenthetical.

the ending was kind of a let down. no surprise, no twist, no nothing. just pretty standard stuff. for a second there i thought perhaps the burglar was a woman pretending to be kerry (as the real kerry lay dead in another room), but obviously that wasnt the case. glad you didnt take that route though.

overall, an okay story. just standard and unfortunately forgettable. if this were simply an exercise, then good job with it. move onto a different story. you're obviously more than capable of delivering something that wows us. just make it happen.


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Branzig Rubenburg
Posted: October 5th, 2011, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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The script was sterile and had no climax.  It wasn't bad, but I can't say that it was better than average.  I understand if this was one of your first works though.
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13thChamber
Posted: October 12th, 2011, 11:23am Report to Moderator
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This wasn't too bad, but it was very straight forward. Man breaks into womans apartment, beats her up, robs her, and leaves. It also seemed like it just ended, which struck me as odd. I don't know, wasn't bad, but wasn't great.


13th
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