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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Death of a Saleswoman Moderators: bert
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  Author    Death of a Saleswoman  (currently 1798 views)
Posted: July 31st, 2013, 5:40am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Death of a Saleswoman by Todd Martin - Short, Horror - Alex sales magazine subscriptions door-to-door. She hates it and is not very good at it so a coworker takes her to an apartment complex where she claims to have sold many subscriptions. After failing to sell any subscriptions to a few of the tenants Alex ends up at the apartment of an older man who seems to be kind and highly intelligent. Unfortunately he is also a serial killer and Alex soon becomes his prisoner. If Alex manages to survive will she ever be the same again?  40 pages - doc, format

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Posted: August 1st, 2013, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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Logline isn't great and to top it off, it's in "doc" format.

I don't want to sound harsh here... but I was hesitant to even open this one.

At least the formatting isn't that bad. But you should still get some screenwriting software. Celtx, Trelby -- they're both free. Trust me, it'll make life easier. Plus they let you create PDF files, which is the accepted format around here.

But back to your logline. All a logline needs to do is tell us who the protagonist is, what goal they're trying to accomplish, and what stands in their way. Try to stay at 2 sentences or less.

Something like "A door-to-door saleswoman is abducted by a serial killer and must escape before she becomes another victim." That's not great by any means but you get the idea.

All right, on to the actual script. I'm going to be brief because I'm not sure you're even around.

Always start with "FADE IN:" to the left.

Your opening sentence is problematic. First, it's best to avoid "we see" in screenplays, when possible. It doesn't read well, especially when you say it over and over.

And you shouldn't repeat info from the slugline in your action lines if possible. Usually it's redundant. Your slug says "apartment", and your opening sentence is more or less "we see an apartment".

Next scene, you use "we see" again, and your character intro isn't too great, either. The best way to intro characters is to give us their name in all caps as soon as they appear on screen. Don't write "a woman drives. This is MEL", write "MEL drives".

You can give them a brief description after that, but leave out details that don't have anything to do with the plot. "He's on crutches" or "she's blind" is something you might want to mention, but "brown hair and glasses" isn't important.

You intro the next character the same way, and you also use unfilmables. "She'd rather not be here" is not something you can film. Neither is "she is outgoing". Show her being outgoing instead. Don't just tell us.

Generally it's best to only describe things that can actually be seen on screen. Film is visual.

Eva's dialogue should be labeled "V.O.", meaning voice over. O.S. refers to someone in the scene but not seen on camera... V.O. is narration.

I'm not really sure what this is meant to be... it's not long enough to be a feature, but 40 pages is a little too much for a short film. I'm sure the page count will change if you format this with some actual screenwriting software, but as it is, it's not a real marketable length.

Hope this helps. I don't mean to sound harsh, so sorry if any of this comes across that way.

If you're around, read some scripts around here and provide feedback for more reads in return. Quid pro quo. Giving feedback improves your own writing as well.

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