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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2K16 One Week Challenge  ›  Render Stillskin - OWC
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  Author    Render Stillskin - OWC  (currently 3025 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2016, 12:16pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Render Stillskin by Big Bad Wolf

A handicapped girl, desperate for cash to help her junkie mother, signs a deal with a strange creature which she will soon regret.

Short Urban Gothic Horror based on Rumplestillskin

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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 2:58pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Really enjoyed this until the very last page and then it lost me, the mask may have been good enough, how did Mom know to read the contract and do people really sleep in hoodies?

BUT... well written and I think some work on the end and it could be great.


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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 3:21pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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It's well written despite the lack of time and reads really well in my opinion.

Sound concept, solid story. Nice work throughout.

I was a bit confused about Mom knowing what to do. Besides it's not her contract but Maria's - so I think you could show to us how she talked them into taking her skin instead of Maria's. Also, I don't think you need thugs for your first scene. I thought it would be about them. They are extra characters that don't show in the story. I think it could be solely about Maria, her mother and the agency.

Nice twist on an old story! I like it.
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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Sydney, Australia
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Not bad, it's quite well written.

Why did mom do the deed? I think I missed something.

Anyway it's a consider from me.

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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 6:22pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Seriously disturbing, great twist on the theme and use of ambiguity... I dig the alternative meaning  you had here , makes you wonder if the original writer was not all there.

First few pages really tugged at the heart strings and, it was all I could bear to envision Maria having to suffer even more to appease her sick Mom. Not entirely sure the punks bullying Maria was necessary, IMO,  I would liked to have seen you use that space to build a more complex relationship between Maria and her Mom. It paints a vivid picture, mind you; of Mom hanging around to contend with Maria's disability sans a Father figure, it's a common theme within society for couples to separate simply due to the stress of having to care for a disabled child, and Mom has chosen to contend with it via self destruction.

Slender Man is a creepy little figure, I envisioned him similar to Gollum (if that's what you were going for), wherein the skin masks are his 'Precious'. He feeds/preys on the week, making him an ambitious little weirdo, like Lord Cutler Beckett from Pirates of the Caribbean... simply because he will go to any lengths to possess Sparrows 'Compass', knowing it will take him to that which he most desires.

I guess my burning question is: "what is Stealskins" primary drive to possess beautiful faces? Is it because he himself is so hideous? Perhaps that concept would give this script a great edge and you could devote more time developing that character.

Ending fell a bit flat for me, unfortunately,  cause now Maria's really screwed without her Mom. I was hoping Maria would concoct a clever way out of the contract after seeing the homeless man without a face.

Other than that, this was very well written and had a clever use of theme, good work.
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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 7:20pm Report to Moderator

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The Great Southern Land
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Not going to analyze any technical stuff. I'm not a voter, just a reader. Not sure you need the bit in the middle with the gang. Do you? Hmm, maybe you do...

You kept my attention throughout, suitably creepy, plenty of horror. If I was voting I'd give it a Rec.

Nice job, writer.

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Posted: October 16th, 2016, 8:09am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This is great! There’s a couple of minor things which bugged me. The comment which said her mother was an adult version of Maria, who else would she be an adult version of? Also the scene heading of (MCDONALDS OR SOMETHING) was distracting.

However, the rest fit the OWC perfectly and in such an effective, creepy and horrific way. The ending needs a bit of work to make clear what is going on and why but a superb job, a rec from me.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2016, 8:20am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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A few choices confused me but the deal with the devil type plot device is sound

Why wheelchair? Not sure that added. Bullies in park?

In short a girl has to raise cash to help sort her and her mother out, hence she does a deal.

The contract with the creature wasn't all that clear - I wasn't quite sure why she was offering at the time. Picture, mask ?

Almost felt like we should meet the creature earlier then have longer in the following dilemma to add tension throughout.

Removing the face of his victims is a nice motivation!

All the best

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Posted: October 16th, 2016, 5:24pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Cave Creek, AZ
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Well, another very obvious choice...I just hope it has it's own re imagining.  Let's see....

OK, just a heads up here - Mother is going for hot chocolate, so I have to assume it's cold, and you should have probably set this scene better, so we know that.

"MCDONALDS OR SOMETHING" - very're writing this script.  Tell us where they are.  Really?

"Let's name a few" - Oh man..don't start this kind of shit...

Page 3 - Not buying any of this, sorry to say.  Doesn't ring remotely true.  Almost as if Maria and Mother have never been in this place before, but they obviously live this life and this is their home.

Damn...I hate it so much when writers don't include a subject in their passages.  Why?  Seriously?  WHY????

Is it Mom or Mother?  You need to be 100% consistent and you're far off from this %.

Asides...killing this..quickly.  I can't take much more...

Damn...I'm sorry, but this doesn't ring remotely realistic and I'm so ready to leave...and I am.

No Grade

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 17th, 2016, 7:10am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Cast Your Fate To The Wind

Upstate NY
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An interesting take on this challenge. Though the writing was fine for the most part. Render Stillskin kept reminding me of Golum from LOTR. You set this all up, then didn't follow up. The three hoods? Thought one of them was gonna substitute for the payment of the debt. Really thought Maria's mom was gonna kick her drug habit. What happened to the masks Maria made? She didn't even get to show them to Render!

Anyway, I gotta say I did like this. However, it just went, IMO, in the wrong direction and ended on an abruptly grim note.


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Posted: October 17th, 2016, 2:58pm Report to Moderator

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Fairly well written but a lot of the story choices threw me for a loop and kept taking me out of the read.

I thought you were setting it in present day to add an element of realism. Then a gang of thugs kidnaps a girl leading to a stand-off with her syringe-wielding mother in broad daylight in the middle of a park.

At the height of this confrontation...

Quoted Text
Bored with it all now, Chip Tooth walks off, leaving Maria.

I was just kidding anyway. Let the
junkie have her kid

He just kidnapped a handicapped kid with the goal of throwing her down a steep hill. When confronted, his response is to walk away claiming it was a joke. That's not even remotely a believable character.

Once it gets into the meat of the story things pick up a bit... but then there's always some odd choice that takes me out of it again...

Quoted Text
He will collect, if you don’t show.

But how will he know...?

Where you live? Render will know.
And his butcher will take it.

The last thing I was wondering is how would an evil, magical creature find this woman's house. A normal human loan shark could probably find where she lives.

I dunno, the writing overall is not bad at all. Perhaps this was simply rushed and you ran out of time. It's a good concept and the mother-daughter relationship is skillfully established.

That rug really tied the room together.
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Posted: October 17th, 2016, 4:36pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I like this one a lot. I could kinda see where it was going, but wasn't quite sure how it would get there. I'll echo the other comments in that it seemed like the Mother knew too fast and too easily what the situation was. It seems she found the contract and decided, in a very short amount of time, that she had to cut her own face off. There's so many steps between finding that contract and cutting off one’s own face that it's awkward to reconstruct exactly what was going through Mother’s head to convince her to do something that extreme. In some ways, she's lucky the contract wasn't just some random bit of nonsense Milly printed out on the internet.

I think to really sell this you have to give us a clue that Mother is somehow already aware of Render Stillskin. Perhaps she warns Milly away from the shop herself. Maybe Mother could even share a subtle moment with the Homeless Man that suggests that she, him and Render Stillskin have some sort of shared history. This would make it much easier to buy that Mother knows exactly what to do when she finds the contract.

My second big note is that I think you should cut out the part where Mother saves the day with the hooligans. Not necessarily the whole scene, but the part where she turns into Rambo with a syringe is too strong for the character at that early stage. I think you wanted to show that, despite her addiction she really cares about her daughter, but it might serve Mother’s arc better to leave that an open question until the final image. She can SAY she’d do anything for her daughter, but until she really shows it by cutting her own face off, I think the audience should be allowed to doubt Mother’s intentions. I think that could strengthen the final image because now it's not just a horrific occurrence, but it's a confirmation of the love Milly doubted was there. But for that to work Mother needs to be failing pretty decisively right up to her final moment of redemption.

All things considered though, this was really strong and I suspect will remain one of my favorite.
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Posted: October 18th, 2016, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

North Carolina
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I certainly like the idea but think the script would benefit from a revamp.
1. Get rid of the thug scene.
2. Focus on heightening Maria's feeling of complete desperation so that it's believable that she (a 10-year-old!) would consider cutting off her own face.
3. Don't telegraph the end. The contract says "or suitable substitute," which is enough. Repeating the line (p. 7) draws too much attention and tells us what's likely to happen.
4. Trim out explanatory descriptions of the mother -- "a junkie in need of a fix," "monkey on her back," etc. Showing her in the bathroom stall, her physical reactions, and behavior is sufficient.
5. Clean up problem slugs (eg. "mcdonald's or somewhere").

The upshot -- potential for a great story here.

Revision History (1 edits)
Stumpzian  -  October 18th, 2016, 4:45pm
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Posted: October 19th, 2016, 7:15pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Why did the clerk from the pawnshop send her to Stealskin? There's no reason.

Writer, I'm at page 8 and I love that kid now. You won't do something to her now, right??? I might have a heart attack.

BATHROOM SCENE – you must be kidding

So Maria believes she needs to scrape off her face because a homeless man and a crazy shop man say so ------------------------TWIST

and grand finale.

Aaaaah, my nerves. Pure torture to see that adorable character in danger. Pure torture. I'm all run down, give me a break….

There are some flaws you may see from my notes. I'm just… that kind of possible fall of Maria was too crazy, an extremely emotionally challenge full of endless suspense for me…


… and send me some compensation soon No really……….

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Cam Gray
Posted: October 20th, 2016, 12:53am Report to Moderator

Laaaaannnndddaaaan (London)
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The writing was solid here.

I liked the story with the junkie mother as an addition, it brought more sympathy to the kid than she already had.

Not sure about the necessity of the thugs, that kinda worked I guess to show the mother's love for her daughter, but I reckon you could cut them, or at least alter them so Stiltskin gets some more time.

Anyway, I liked it, a consider for me

23 Mu Mu’s in an ice cream van...
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