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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Looking For Normal Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: June 16th, 2016, 10:01pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Looking For Normal by Scott Smith - Drama, Comedy, Romance - This is about a man named gus who goes crazy one day after losing a promotion and has to find himself yet he falls in love with a woman named kitt who hides a secret from him. 124 pages - pdf, format


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cloroxmartini
Posted: June 17th, 2016, 3:49am Report to Moderator
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I am thinking English is not your first language so you have work to do there.

There is a bit of a story that can be followed however you need to study format and fix this.

The story to page 9 has some thread of humor but it's too over the top for me and is cliche, meaning I have read this type of intro many times; guy gets dissed for promotion and guy goes off. Guy has sidekick who is comic relief.
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Gerlinde
Posted: June 18th, 2016, 2:47am Report to Moderator
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Is Kitt a transsexual? I could not read or download the script, so I suspect it from what you've written. I was transsexual (after the sex change surgery and the change of civil status data in the birth certificate and other documents, someone is not a transsexual), and myself have three stories written (all in German), where either the principal or a secondary character are transsexual, or were. I know how hard it is to find the right balance between comedy and drama, and writing so that the dialogue is believable, and allow the viewer to sympathize.
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NW3
Posted: June 18th, 2016, 7:36am Report to Moderator
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I remember this script a few months ago, and some of the comments. The gist was that no-one is going to read this because format is off and poor grammar makes it hard to understand. The 'secret' is gone from the logline but no, Gerlinde, it's not that Kitt is transexual.

Scott, you have lots to do to get this in shape. From what I can see, nothing has changed except the lines you had in blue are now bold. I can send you the notes I made last time but what are you trying to achieve?
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BenL
Posted: June 18th, 2016, 12:03pm Report to Moderator
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I remember this script as well but unfortunately the formatting didn't really improve...

Sorry to say this but the script is still a mess. There are so many articles on the net about how to format a spec script correctly...
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ScottSmith206
Posted: June 20th, 2016, 3:33am Report to Moderator
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Well first off English is my first language being western Canadian eh lol . trouble is I'm a verbal kind of person I can tell you the whole story but writing it down is a issue . I used to have someone write this for me but he dropped dead of heart attack 8 years ago so I'm doing this by myself trying it as best as I can . but if there is help out there please I would gladly listen
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NW3
Posted: June 20th, 2016, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Scott,

I'm sorry to hear about your friend, it ought to make us realise what is important.

If you are trying as best you can it will be hard work for you to improve as much as you need. You might not see the problem, when I say poor grammar makes it hard to understand, I mean things like

Quoted from LOOKINGFORNORMAL.pdf
            Well it never was like this before i
            was more comfortable


I could see what you mean but had to read over, and many lines are like this, which makes a slow read and the story is not that involving. Is there someone else that can write with you or read when it's done? I will send you a Private Message (top left of the screen when you log in to this site) with more specifics from your script and a few tips that might help with grammar and such.

If I can make general comments about your work, I thought the title LOOKING FOR NORMAL sounded heavy, like it might be about mental problems. The opening monologue that could explain this, didn't: "Someone told me once that normal is about compensation and what you makes you feel good in life." The quote isn't revisited or the Someone revealed so we don't know if this is the normal the character is looking for, that as soon as he feels good he will have it. Despite what she claims at the end, there is nothing normal about what Kitt does and Gus might be looking in the wrong place.

For the logline, your story is not about losing a promotion, that just tipped him into an outburst. It's about two people falling or not falling in love. The secret poses a What if? question and presents the central dilemma of the script. It isn't deeply explored. Those wanting to know what it is will have to wait until halfway down the first page.

For an opening, the main character being led to jail with toilet paper up his nose got my attention, it takes longer than it should to find out why. You can learn about format, the story as told would be in FLASHBACK.

Does spelling matter? Yes, if when Ed says, "its a required taste" or Gus says, "Lavishing" I don't know if those show characters being witty or the writer unaware. Pierre Du resistance? When Kitt says "Whula" is that because she doesn't know "Voila!" - endearing if so, and excellent character observation - or because you don't? Gus queries it, so you could get a laugh.

I looked past the writing to get the story. Guy likes a girl who likes him and while it is announced in the opening V.O. it takes to page 90-something in the script before the character realises his prospective girlfriend does porn. Most of the rest is guys joshing.

Gus is a disgruntled office worker, passed over for promotion, and these scenes reminded me of OFFICE SPACE. The script is available from links on this site. If you hope to get your work made you could read it to see what standard is required:

  http://www.simplyscripts.com/o.html

Your 'meet cute' is on page 17:

Quoted from LOOKINGFORNORMAL.pdf
                      KITT
            Why don't you watch you walked into
            me you shithead!


Guy has broken girl's package, girl demands compensation and he acquiesces. There could be more. Just a plot thing, you say she is selling canned goods, yet there are jars in the box (bottled goods) so I thought perhaps she was repackaging canned goods to sell at a profit. It seems from later discussions that you just have the wrong word, unless bottled goods are canned goods in Canada? I think you intend that Kitt is indeed pickling carrots when running a mild scam would show character.

I like the Dr Norman idea. If you have Gus at regular sessions the Voice Over makes sense, he could be telling it all to the shrink. "Shotty" threw me, I guessed you meant shoddy.

Gus seems a nice guy, he has some funny lines: "I hear you do dental work?" to the bruiser, and "I might want to check into that" after finding his landlord hands out keys. I got the biggest laugh where he asked "30 or 40, which is it?" in reference to porn.

Suggestions:

Gus has a job 'marketing buildings'. Make him a buyer for a supermarket chain, this will serve the story. When he bumps into Kitt you have it as random; make her about to bring her pickled carrots to a product test at the company Gus works for, so when he breaks them she has lost not $60 but her big chance. He owes her. You do have a sequence where he sets up a meeting with business men and arranges this very thing.

It might work too if this incident caused Gus to freak out instead of the missed promotion, witnessed by his boss so that he's sent to the shrink. His private and professional lives intertwined.

Apart from in his introductory scene (and there is a touch of GOODFELLAS about that) Ed talks and acts like a female infatuated with Gus. He tells him "I love ya" and they even have a heart to heart. You could easily change this character to a female and she would be the 'pure' love interest that Gus doesn't have the sense to notice right under his nose, bailing him out and cooking him breakfast, or his sister if you want closeness without complications. If not, Ed seems a bit of a dimwit bailing out a guy he hardly knows and then taking him home and cooking his breakfast.

Are Kitt's carrots good or not? It seemed only Ed likes her food. Change flea market (a place for selling used goods) to farmers' market (a place to sell food). The market activity seems disconnected from her other job, there is no explanation for why she got into either. You could make it that she is following the family business - either one. We know where her true passion lies, it needs a payoff in the end.

There is too much to be done in terms of editing scenes and dialogue. Look out for my PM.
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ScottSmith206
Posted: June 21st, 2016, 6:08am Report to Moderator
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I guess I should have to explain a little of canned good and jars me being a Canadian here when canned it means a few things.

1. canned goods can be either processed like canned peaches or apple sauce and put in a tin can. Or homemade where they have made it and put it in a glass jar ( this where I was getting at with kitt). not to be the same as pickling same process to a point but don't use pickling juice .
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NW3
Posted: June 21st, 2016, 8:51am Report to Moderator
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Hey Scott,

All that, and you chose that point to clarify!?

My point there was that you could show Kitt's character through how she might hustle for a living. I don't recall the story as set in any particular place but if it was for example New York City, it would fit very well that she might purchase a catering size can of some preserved foodstuff at a wholesaler and dole it into glass jars with handwritten labels to sell at a neighborhood market. I'm picturing her like Madonna's character in DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN.

It may be that you see Kitt as deep down wholesome and her homemade treats her real calling while she slums it in porn until her body goes south, but where Gus very easily sets up a deal with two supermarket buyers, she makes no effort in this direction. The bottled/jarred/canned carrots are a device that might be replaced by dreamcatchers or portrait caricatures as something to sell at the flea market. It's not as if she discovered grandma's recipe and fame awaits at the end of the script.

I'm just going over the notes I made and will send you something. It may be a bigger task than I thought.
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Dustin
Posted: June 21st, 2016, 10:45am Report to Moderator
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I can't saw straight. That's why I don't do carpentry. I have to pay somebody to do it for me. Sometimes that can be quite a lot of money, so much money that I really wish I could saw straight.


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ScottSmith206
Posted: June 22nd, 2016, 8:37am Report to Moderator
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sorry NW3 my bad I was trying to think over what you said what kitt's character is more of a trying to get away from porn and more trying to be a self made business person not a hustler living in the slums. what gus does is sets up a meeting with the supermarket buyers but without kitt's knowing that is why there seems no concern on kitt's part.

P.S. dustin I know a lot of carpenters that cant saw straight either lol.. trust me my parents deck does not show grace of any talent for the people that built it mind you they did a hell of a good job on the cabinets.
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Dustin
Posted: June 22nd, 2016, 11:49am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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You'd be surprised at just how many writers start out really poor with grammar. They have to learn it because their desire to write is so strong. You're like that too. You've got no choice though, mate, you've got some learning to do if you want to succeed in this game.

Execution of your ideas is very important. All you have to do (I make it sound so easy) is change your mindset from 'I can't' to 'I can' and learn the stuff you need to. Start reading books. In one or two years, with the correct mindset, there's no reason your grammar shouldn't be close to perfect.

Don't give up.


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eldave1
Posted: June 22nd, 2016, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry - could not get past page 2. Error after error, almost so many that you would think it was written this way on purpose.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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ScottSmith206
Posted: June 24th, 2016, 5:42am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dustin that's why I'm here to accept the criticism from others to help me get better on writing down the work instead of telling someone and hoping they don't leave me in the dark . I am a firm believer of practice makes good but if you don't have anyone to tell you good or bad you don't know and that's why I am here. don't take it like I am mad I am very happy to here that people are judging my work .
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Dustin
Posted: June 24th, 2016, 5:54am Report to Moderator
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This is the age of the internet. You can educate yourself. Read, read, read, read, read!


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