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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Good Will Moderators: bert
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  Author    Good Will  (currently 3282 views)
Posted: June 21st, 2012, 10:45am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Good Will by Dena McKinnon (pale yellow) - Short, Drama - A good samaritan's good deeds go bad. 8 pages - pdf, format

Visit for what is new on the site.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: June 21st, 2012, 10:35pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Wow.  This was thoroughly sad.  But excellent story-telling, IMO.   Sorry I don't have much else to say.   I enjoyed it.
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Posted: June 21st, 2012, 11:04pm Report to Moderator

Invercargill, New Zealand
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There's not much I can say about this either except... This. Was. Amazing! Great writing here with a heartbreaking ending. It's sad when you realize that for someone out there, this is probably a reality.

I can't say much else.


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Posted: June 21st, 2012, 11:11pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Hi Dena,

Just read your script.

It's wonderfully paced. I think you have a writing style and I'll recognize your story in the future even if your name is not on the script.

I didn't see that ending coming, which is a very good thing. I think you build up to surprise ending with the talks about "good karma". The idea is simple, very simple, yet satisfying - I think much of it has to do with the way you paced it and with all the wonderful images and descriptions you included in your story. It's hard to do - to take something this simple and infuse it with images.

Very sad though. I love happy endings, a bit of me was let down. But I don't suggest you change it though.
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pale yellow
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 6:33am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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You guys are killer NICE.

Thank you for the reads. I wrote this as something easy to tried to keep ti short and sweet...well, sad in the end ...but based on a partly true story. I am always helping people(even when maybe I shouldn't) and we did see this guy broke down in a wheelchair and I pulled over...and sent my husband to go check on him. While Jon was running over to help him(by my request) I thought what if..I put him accidentally in harms way! Shit! Anyway, nothing bad happened but the guy was very scared of us trying to help just a word to those like careful WHO you help. It could always backfire on you

Thank you again for the reads. Hope to have this filmed in the next two months.

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Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 6:51am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

New York
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This was a good read with a sad ending. I like the descriptions and action.

The only minor thing for me is the part where he gets shot. I understand you want to show Carson as a do-gooder, but it still feels too naive for him to just get out of the car (a nice vintage one too) in a shady place of town, especially when there's a drug deal going on nearby.

I think this scene would still work if it was just a normal street and the guy in the wheel chair turned out to be some bad guy, conning him. Just like he was "conned" by the homeless guy with a Starbucks cup.

Overall, I like your crisp, clean writing style. Good luck!
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Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 7:14am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The bleak North East, England
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Dena, this was nicely written.  

There were some beautiful descriptions but also some that I didn't agree with.  I prefer a locations description rather than a statement like 'a place you don't want to be at night'.  This is my preference so I'm not saying it's wrong.


I wonder why Carson was driving through a rough area as he is clearly a nice, well off fella?

I also wondered if the Guy in the wheel chair shot Carson or the drug dealers.  Was the Guy in the chair a previous victim?

You say you wrote this as something easy to film, I'm not sure how easy it would be?  Shooting in a Hospital location? Not easy in England, I don't know about the US?

Anyway, really good good, clean writing and an interesting story.  Really enjoyed it.

Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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pale yellow
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 8:03am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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Thanks cooky and allfy...

Really thanks for bringing up questions. I tend to write better way to say it than...too damn fast and I'm trying to slow down. Appreciate the problems brought up...and will fix them.

I've tried to learn the writing 'rules'in the short 7 months I've been at this thing. But I've  always been one that colored a lil' out of the box I will try harder next time

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 9:07am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Hey Dena,

Always good to see new stuff from SS regulars.
And even better when those scripts gets lots of feedback!

Had to re-read the opening exchange.
Was a bit unsure how the money changed hands at first.
A tad less staccato here would likely help that out.

The third act of goodwill in the bad neighborhood played corny for me.
If it was a normal area, I would've balked less at Carson's kindness.

I like bringing it back to the Starbucks guy. Good stuff.



CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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pale yellow
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 9:31am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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Yeah when I read it back for the first time today....the money thing was very hard to get thru. I was like...What the f...seemed like he put the money in ...then put it in again...instead of putting ones in and then later coughing up the twenty!!! Today was the first time I looked back at this. Sorry. I need to proof my own work. This was a 2.5 hour script that just came out really fast on the keyboard. I liked the Starbucks guy.

Thanks for the feedback.


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Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 3:21pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Hey, Dena

Your writing is really coming along way. You're getting close!

There are still things that slow the read for me a couple times, cause me to have to keep doubling back. Many of these issues probably are more due to my weakness as a reader. Let's look at an example.

Page 5, the scene where he gets shot. It's a new slug with a new time, so I know it's a brand new scene. You go half a page without describing Carson as there in the scene. Then when you do place him there we get no sense of what he's doing. It just says "Carson focuses in on the chair..." Because it was introduced this way, I went back and reread, thinking maybe it was connected to the previous scene. But it's not. I think it would help if you describe Carson standing at a crosswalk, or walking. Something.

Overall, there is some really fine description, the dialogue is really coming along well, sounding more and more realistic in your work. And I think the story works very well too. The reverse Karma at the end is different than how these things normally play out, and I like that. Usually, Carson would have been the type to give the beggar nothing, then pay a price at the end. You changed it up, and that's cool. Excellent work!

PS  I just read Brett's comment. I had some trouble getting through the money exchange too. I'm not sure if the staccato was the issue, maybe. But it wasn't totally clear while it was going on, though it was clear by the end. Keep working on those issues, we all have to. Whether it's a matter of polishing, or experience, very little things like that are what make our amateur scripts different from most pro. When I read a pro script, it takes a couple of minutes to read 10 pages. The script flies. And that makes a huge difference in my receptiveness to the story.

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pale yellow
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 5:12pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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Thanks Kev...You know my strengths and my weaknesses and I owe nearly everything I've learned along the way to you a special thanks. I have a LONG way to go still!

I'll revise this and try to fix the things that've been mentioned.

Thank you to all again.

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Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 5:56pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Los Angeles, CA
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Hey Dena,

I've been reading your scripts since the first few you posted and I have to tell you, your writing has improved soooo much. It's not even like you were bad to start, but there were a few issues with overwriting that I can remember.

While there are still some areas that can be cut down, you do a remarkable job of setting scenes and your descriptions are great!

I did have to re-read the last page to understand what was going on, but it wasn't bad by any means.

My one complaint is the theme. This story seems incredibly pessimistic. If that's what you wanted to convey, you did a great job, but I can't see too many people feeling good after reading/watching it.

Keep writing! You are an amazing student of the craft. Few can soak up knowledge of screenwriting like you seem to have done!

'Artist' is not a term you should use to refer to yourself. Let others, and your work, do it for you.
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Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 6:21pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Let The Sky Fall

Various, exotic.
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Well - this is a shift-change isn't? Anybody might think you'd been reading up on stuff - maybe practising 'n' all. Your English useage has changed - have you been taking writing classes? I dunno. You've been up to something, girl and it's made your writing go upstairs pretty quick.

Apart from it being good -- here's the bits that stood out for me:

A set of KNUCKLES RAP on the window. He jumps, startled.

Carson spins around ...

-- I'd have gone for the line change on 'He jumps' so Carson's actions are kept together.

## The light up ahead turns green.
-- The lights turn green - is just as sweet.

## Most would just speed off,
-- maybe, maybe not - it's novelistic, isn't it?

## retrieves the double sawback.
-- this is why I begun to think you'd been taking writing classess, great use of the written word here, changing the use of words, cranking the imagination.

## A crinkled smile births across the dirty face.
-- Tropes occasionally raise their heads on this site, but often scurry quickly away. Imaginative, yes, but I wasn't sure it totally worked - for me that is.

Buzzing with white collar workers. Tables full of friends,
enemies -- coworkers.

Itís an active place. The HUM of voices.
-- Still part of the description, so these lines could have gone together.

## About halfway down
-- Pet peeve - 'about' is a wimps word - take it out and the sentence works better, least not worse, so it's still trimmed. And trimming is always good ...

Starched shirts form a line. About halfway down, Carson
stands patiently in queue. Then she walks in.
-- 'Then she ... ' really deserves a separate line - for impact's sake.

princess pretty,
-- I liked - have you been reading about plosives? Good use here.

A smile finds her face, because sheís found him.
-- This felt a bit clumpy - maybe word order, maybe take 'because' out - just didn't fit.

A potbellied GUY rolls his eyes as if one person sliding in
front of him is going to make him miss a meal.
-- almost like making a meal of a sentence ...

I got it. Donít worry. Iíll put it
on your tab.
-- I think from just "I'll put ..." is as good.

With a fork, he stabs the colorful English peas. Pauses and
looks into Amandaís eyes.
-- A full stop followed by a pauses ... I think commas would have worked wonders here.

They eat. Their voices drown out amongst steady chatter.
-- I got a wide from this - very nicely done.

She shakes her head in agreeance.
-- some have argued that agreeance is not a word, but let them to it. I think she'd nod her head?

Remnants of former business.
-- businesses?

The Ď75 rolls down the street. Behind it, the afternoon sun
begins its descent.
-- Set a lovely scene.

It nears the far corner.
-- wasn't too sure -- the far corner of what?

     CARSON (O.S.)
Hey! You need some help!
-- is very different from 'help?' ...

-- mmmmm. Is this an okay word?

the crippled climbs back on
-- now you're abusing it ...

A ventilator tube and tape covers his face.
-- cover?

Title: One Month Later
-- Super:?

no where
-- nowhere.

Great stuff! Yes, one day, you'll write a happy script full of happy people doing happy things, but until then -- well, like I say - this is a shift-change. You've improved pretty much every angle here in your writing. Well done - I think you deserve this.
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Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 7:38pm Report to Moderator

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Hey Dena,

I've just read the script. It's very nice!

But IMO there are some things that could strenthen the story.

Firstable, about conflict. What if the protagonist's girl (or wife) goes whith him and swears for waisting money and time? What if she threatens to leave him if he doesn't stop? I believe his good will could be more explicit in this case.

The second thing is that the protagonist has no aim. He has no visible reasons to hurry up, so he can easily come out the car and help somebody.
What if he needs to be in time somewhere, but his goodness takes too much time? For example, he is a theatre-lover and struggles to see the last perfomance at the famous touring theatre. He has tried for 3 days already, but every time was late because of helping other people.

I think the script could be more interesting if the protagonist overcomes difficulties.

It's just an opinion.

Whatever it's a good story. Good luck!


P.S. Sorry for my English. Shurely there are mistakes for it's not my native language.

Low-budget short comedy "A day when dreams come true":
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