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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2013 One Week Challenge  ›  The Grieving Spell - OWC
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  Author    The Grieving Spell - OWC  (currently 5827 views)
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 10:37am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Grieving Spell by Bill Sarre (Reef Dreamer) - Horror - A grieving man uses a special magic to relieve the pain he feels following the death of his wife. ( R )  - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  November 10th, 2013, 11:27am
revised draft
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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 5:47pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Down Under
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This was an offbeat but nice story. Has a real mournfulness to it that the writing reciprocates.

A little too talky in the scenes between Lawrence and Astrid but no real prob.

Yeah, I kind of dug this one, so good effort!

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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 6:09pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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I like this for what it is.

It's well thought out, but for me, the execution is off. You jump around, back and forth in time, sometimes using Flashbacks, sometiems, not, which to me, is a mistake.  There's also some awkward writing and some confusing writing.

It' also a little slow for me, but again, you accomplished what you set out to do, and that's what counts.

Good job here!

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 6:12pm Report to Moderator

Seb Archer

The Wasteland
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I thought this was pretty good!

But then again I'm really bad at criticizing people and am easily impressed.

The foreshadowing was excellent first of all. You set up some expectations very well. For example, this is exactly what I liked about it.

My expectations that Lawrence might worry that Helen was cheating-they were met. My expectations that the picture of Helen, Lawrence took while spying on her with another man-they were met.

Everything else-I was surprised! Even though in retrospect, you did leave some clues to hint that it was going there.

But while reading, I was like "where's the horror?!" and in the end I got it.

This was good. It seems a bit Stephen Kingy to me.

A bad writer, trying to become decent...

Thank you for all who put up with my work and try and help me improve.

Practice will hopefully pay off for my writing.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Neighbour  -  October 19th, 2013, 6:32pm
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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 6:21pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I liked the storytelling, but the constant whipping back and forth through time sort of killed the momentum.  The Carrie-like ending somehow felt out of place with a story that was so somber up until that point.  Well done but could have been great with different execution.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 6:39pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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I liked this. The Flashbacks were slowing a bit, but it didn't stop me from reading. There was almost too much backstory in dialogue for me...maybe you could trim it down a bit.

Overall good job.
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Posted: October 20th, 2013, 10:36am Report to Moderator
Been Around

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I lot of very good stuff here. I thought the weaving of flashes between the beach, Astrid's office, and Lawrence's memories was effective.

Some things to consider:

- I don't remember getting  a sense earlier in the story that Lawrence didn't remember the crash. Maybe that could be added.

- with some sharpening, especially of Helen's dialogue, I think the audience will care a little more about this couple and their fate.

- Lawrence's reaction after being shown what really happened in the crash doesn't feel right. It should be more emotional, more anguished, instead of this defensiveness.

"Look, Iím sorry. But it wasnít all
my fault. You shouldn't have
flirted with that fucker. You knew
I would find out. And, and, what
about me, what I went through?"

I'd rather have Lawrence say: "I just wanted us to always be together."

And then the fire consumes him, and they are together.

I'm not a  fan of hands coming out of the sand. Unless I have an itch. No, that's too  much of a graphic for me. Why not just have a hole in the sand open, which starts to consume him, and then the fire rolls into the hole?

All in all, a very solid OWC effort. Nice work.
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Posted: October 20th, 2013, 3:09pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Let The Sky Fall

Various, exotic.
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Well, taking account of the restrictions etc, I think this one is the best so far - mind you, I've barely read 25%.

Opening image is very visual, and there's nice use of the significant photo.


I liked the slow exposition of Lawrence's situation, and the nice semi-twist of him grieving over what looked like a less than perfect marriage, moving on to his fatal jealousy.

The back-story was dealt with swiftly - his breakdown, and his wife's occupation was bound to lead him to being suspicious, so that was all very nicely put together.

I thought that Astrid came across as intelligently drawn, and having capable additional characters often adds well to a script.

The crash had a little to many echoes of 'Vanilla Sky' to it, but that's forgiveable. Comma use here and there was dodgy.

A well worked twist at the end, that used a number of references gave a satisfying pay-off to a well paced, well thought out piece of work.

Well up there - congrats.
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Posted: October 21st, 2013, 3:55am Report to Moderator
Been Around

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"Yet, instead of being in the centre of the circle, the fire
rests across one side of the path - the fireís off centre." That makes no sense at all to me.

"Helen died in a car crash, the
brakes failed. I survived." This is the reason everybody hates voiceovers.

Dialogue is pretty poor so far. Needs some work.

"A simple house, not much money." Would make a few peeps laugh. Do you mean not very expensive?

Very hard script to judge. The dialogue needs a lot of work, I might know who wrote this. I liked the script though, it has a nice tone and feeling to it and I can tell there was effort put into it. Feels like it was something I'd write. Although I can understand you went with this ending, I can't help but think there could've been a better alternative where Lawrence does indeed live but the emotions are amplified rather than dampened. And Helen doesn't decide to kill him but still confronts him about the incident. This was fine work, a little too many flashbacks though.

Grade: B-

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Posted: October 21st, 2013, 7:58am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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A quick ten pages,  well paced and confidently written.  Looks like the writer put the time into thinking this through with some intelligent (if perhaps a tad convenient...) dialogue.  Astridís explanation of the grieving process and Lawrenceís refusal to heed her warnings were nicely handled.  

Flashbacks worked for me, sometimes a gamble, but here they were put to good effect and given the constraints of the challenge I'd think this would suffer without them.  I like how they allowed Lawrence to be set-up as the grief stricken husband only to be revealed as the one responsible for his wifeís death.

Felt like Astrid could have been a touch more reluctant to offer up the grieving spell, but again given the constraints itís understandable to keep the story moving.

All round great entry to the challenge -- in the shortlist for me.

My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
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Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 9:11am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Perth, Australia
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A very emotional story here and one that I enjoyed overall. Itís the first one Iíve read (which hasnít been many I grant you) where the characters actually had some substance and the author definitely knows how to weave a good tale so well done.

To be honest, Iím pretty confident I know the author.

The constant switching of scenes did slow the pace somewhat and I found it a little unsettling at first, having to re-read some parts to fully understand. In saying that, as the story moved on, it kinda grew on me and I didnít even mind the voice overís in this one.

Was the ending keeping in tone with the rest of the story? Probably not, but I think everyone will understand why you went this route considering the challenge.

All in all, a very good entry and well written which was the cherry on top.

Good work and congrats on completing the OWC.

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Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 3:01pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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I'm thinking you don't need to convey to us info about Helen (p2) in a V.O. We could learn that he survived her in a car crash when he talks to Astrid. This way it'll be less expositional, I think.

This was a very captivating read. Well written and great work all around.

I'm thinking you could clarify a little the story of Helen with Tom - what exactly happened there. But that's very little.
It's very well written - I mean the dialog, the pacing. The prose too.

Super - congrats on it.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 3:28pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Part time writer

The Island of Jersey
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The Grieving Spell

Logline -  ok, gives us an idea, doesn't sound like a comedy at least

Another No Fade In - well at least it's not not the right, the worst sin ever, just kidding
Do you need to under line circular path?
Just about get the description of the fire on the edge of the circle, is it needed?
Does the sign need an INSERT?
So the 'with wife' scenes are flashbacks, but the others are not. You may need to work on that for clarity.
If the photo was of Helen shouldn't you make that clearer at the beginning, make the photo more memorable?
I don't mind the Astrid dialogue but you could paint the scene a bit more.
Quite a. Lot of flashback, forward etc - one to simplfy
Do we need to know the chant? Don't know but it seems worthy of knowing.
You overlap the beach scenes with a fire cracking why not a sound the others for consistency?
Astrid does a lot of warning signs etc maybe more magic?
I just wonder whether we should have more expectation of what the spell will deliver?
No one laughs when I play the broom !
Was he expecting to see her in the fire?


Ok, a hard hitting, drama like horror. Just about horror with that scene otherwise I was wondering.

A spell to remove grief, which actually comes from a man with dark past and who doesn't deserve forgiveness or relief. I think you have a range of options at the end, has he learnt and that's the problem, or is he still a nasty piece of work as suggested. We need a bit more on this.

But what this needs is MORE pages. Interwoven drama needs time and build up, this probably suffers for the ten pages.

But this leaves an impression.

My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Reef Dreamer  -  October 29th, 2013, 2:30pm
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Posted: October 25th, 2013, 4:41am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


Over there.
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I was a bit confused about the beach at the start, about the path. That could do with a little tidying up.
Not a bad little story. Some of it felt a bit too repetitive. A few different scenes to create more tension might have helped.
The dialogue could do with some trimming in parts too.
I've just read all that back and it comes across somewhat meaner than I meant. This is pretty good.

Out Of Character - updated

New Used Car


Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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Posted: October 25th, 2013, 3:16pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Cast Your Fate To The Wind

Upstate NY
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Hey writer,

Pretty good story here. I kinda like the revenge from beyond the grave tale. And I also like the sinking in sand thing. Always kinda feels helpless when someone is sinking, alone, and nothing can be done. Good job. I was concerned, however, by your use of flashbacks and such. I don't think they are properly formatted, because you flashback to Helen and Lawrence, then the beach, then back to Astrids office. But there needs to be an end flashback in there to help is follow better.

Ok so there's that. Otherwise, your use of flashbacks and VO were well intentioned. And effective. It really helped drive the story along. Not bad at all!

Congrats on entering. Good luck.


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