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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Barrier Moderators: bert
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  Author    Barrier  (currently 1020 views)
Posted: December 18th, 2012, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Barrier by Tom Peterson (DivinityFilms) - Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy - A woman finds herself trapped within an unusual barrier of light with an unknown man. As they remain invisible to all else, they attempt to understand the barrier in hopes of freeing themselves. 6 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: December 18th, 2012, 6:10pm Report to Moderator
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Always start your script with FADE IN: to the left.

Overall this was pretty confusing. Not just the storyline, but the writing itself.

Your opening paragraphs were confusing because you introduced WOMAN, then LYNN, and at first it's not clear if they're the same person or not.

Some sentences weren't very clear-- "It lands on the grass outside appearing the same", for example.

I had to read the first page twice to get what's going on-- they're both standing on opposite sides of an invisible wall.

MALE VOICE should say DAVID (V.O.)

Adverbs aren't your friend when it comes to screenplays, so only use them when necessary. And a lot of times they're redundant... Like saying she steps back "slightly" (you used that twice, by the way.)

Some of the dialogue here is pretty on the nose, even wooden at times. Like this:

"If we didn’t see this... what if no one can?"
"We’re here for a reason. There is always a reason."
"What reason would anyone have to put us in here?"

If it helps, read your dialogue out loud. I've found that a good way to judge whether or not my dialogue works is imagining watching it on film-- ask yourself, does this line sound right? Is it corny? Is there a better way to write it?

I'd stay away from having characters say cliches like "we're here for a reason" and "everything happens for a reason." Keep it original. And who actually talks like that, anyway?

End your script with "FADE OUT." to the right. You can even add "THE END" after the fade out if you want.

Hope this helps.

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Posted: January 1st, 2013, 7:57am Report to Moderator

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Although I agree with Crookedowl positive critic, I still like the feel of this short.

COMA /the barrier/AWAKE

What I don’t understand is why does David try to convince Lynn to stay in the barrier.

Even after Davids negative attempt to 'take the'/'overcome the barrier' and therefore his advice to Lynn to stay in the barrier - they are still 'Lynns' coma thoughs. But they 'are' thoughts in which David is trying to 'help' Lynn to stay 'in' her coma. That wouldn’t make David much of a rescuer.

David should - even after his own negative experience - try to convince Lynn to overcome/take the barrier. At first he finds it impossible to convince her (this stand for the difficulty to get out of a coma). But after she does the test with the pen  - she convinces herself some more - at the end even throwing out David. David does not 'slowly disintegrate' but 'vanishes at ones'. Lynn makes her conclusion (not stated through words) and takes a leap of faith...

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Posted: January 5th, 2013, 10:55pm Report to Moderator

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Thanks for reading and especially for reviewing!

This is great feedback and will help me in the re-write.

crookedowl, you definitely made great points about the confusion in the writing. I can fix that and the dialogue can certainly be better.

While I appreciate the advice and knowledge about the "proper formatting" details, I rather not put "fade in/out" in my scripts because they are not necessary or part of the story. Just as I wouldn't put scene numbers on the page.

I could definitely put in the (V.O) and define the characters name's right away however.

vanity, I'm glad you liked the feel of the story and that you understood the real story behind the barrier. You defined it well in that last paragraph.

David is also acting as Lynn's conscious that's reluctant and afraid to go through the barrier. I wanted to keep that element as she is fighting to overcome it, but I see what you mean that it's contradicting too much towards the end.

Thanks for all the feedback and I'll be working a new re-write of this script.
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