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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2017 One Week Challenge  ›  Anna - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Anna - OWC  (currently 1832 views)
Don
Posted: January 28th, 2017, 10:39am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Anna by ???? - Short, Thriller - For a young girl, everything changes in ten minutes.  - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Dreamscale
Posted: January 28th, 2017, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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OK, first read of this OWC, and I'm sorry to say, this was quiet poorly done on all fronts.

This writer has no idea how to use commas, and the way they're used here, is about as bad as I've seen.

It's very possible English is not this writer's first language, as the writing is very awkward throughout.

Mistakes of every kind abound here, including frequent misspellings.

Dialogue is also very poor, sorry to say.  Madalyn does not sound like a 12 year old girl in the slightest...actually, she doesn't sound like a girl at all.

Story is nothing great, but much of the problems with the story come from the actual writing.  Written better, Anna's character could have some power, but she needs alot more story here.

In terms of the challenge, the genre of action has been met, and there aren't any male characters in the script.  But, it doesn't feel right or believable, because there would be men in these crowded settings.

Wish I could have been more positive, but the genre of action involving only women is not a difficult one, so I can't really grade on a curve.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

Revision History (1 edits)
Dreamscale  -  January 28th, 2017, 5:57pm
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eldave1
Posted: January 28th, 2017, 3:07pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



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A solid premise, but there are some problems with execution.


Quoted Text
EXT. BUS STOP - AMMAN – DAY

Am I supposed to know where this is?


Quoted Text
The phone drops to the ground as A LARGE WOMAN walks past and bumps into, Anna without care.

For clarity of action – flip the sequence – the woman bumping Anna should come first – the phone falling to the ground – second.


Quoted Text
FATIMA
If the bus is late there’s a small cafe across the street. In that case, use the money to order a drink and find a seat inside. Pray they there’s a long line for the knafeh this morning.

Typo – don’t need they.


Quoted Text
FATIMA Don’t!
This is like a dead man’s switch. Now if you or anybody else tries to take this off you, they’ll be blown apart like a, like a overfilled water balloon. As a matter of fact, don’t touch anything anymore. Do you understand?


Unnatural and a little over the top - I would lose the balloon reference


Quoted Text
BASMA (laughing)
I hate them. My brother always said I had the eyes of a cow. When we were little he used to chase me around with my uncle’s cowbell and throw grass at me. You have no ideas what little asshols brothers are!


Typo – assholes


Quoted Text
responce

Should be response


Quoted Text
Abrubtly the bus stops in the middle of traffic. The doors open and Anna rushes out at top speed down the street past a row of shops and PEEDESTRIANS.

Should be pedestrians


Quoted Text
Across the street, TRAFFIC whizzes by with even more PEDESTRAINS on the other side. At the intersection a large MOVING TRUCK waits for the red light to change.


Should be pedestrians


Quoted Text
Anna looks behind to find a RESTURAUNT patio packed with DINERS

Should be restaurant


Quoted Text
With a change of the traffic light, the pedistrians cross the street and the moving truck drives off to reveal an

Should be pedestrians


Quoted Text
Watery eyes soon lead to full blown tears as the stress, shock, and loss floods out of Anna. She loses control of her body and breaks down compeltely. Looks up at the sky, then then where Anna used to be.


Where Madlyn used to be – not Anna

Anyway - those were just a few - a good scrubbing is needed.

I did like the premise.

IT does stretch the parameters of the challenge IMO - there are just so many places where male characters would naturally be - on the bus, in the crowds, on the street. But I said stretch - so will accept.

With a re-write there is potential here


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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Nolan
Posted: January 28th, 2017, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Aside from everything that is mentioned in the comments above, I didn't mind this.  This is certainly a possible scenario (minus the no men on the streets, etc).  

I liked how the clock kept on ticking down.  But, I would have liked to see a little more on how Anna came to this.  Was she radicalized?  Or did she just do it because she felt she had nothing to lose after being caught by her mother?  If that's the case, I think she needs more motivation for doing what she did.  It seems extreme to go that route without a little backround into how she was brought up.  I suppose with the page limit of the challenge it would be pretty tough to get that across though.  With some more room I could see this being quite good.

Nolan
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LC
Posted: January 28th, 2017, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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I think there's a lot of good stuff with the story you've presented,  the clock ticking down, the bomb etc.

Introducing the sub plot and the burgeoning relationship between the two girls (in a short) however just muddied the waters for me. I wasn't buying a lot of the dialogue unfortunately but this could be because not only is your task to write female characters but they're also young, and unless you're around kids and have an ear for their lingo it's not that easy.  Are you also a NESB writer? Some of the typos and word usage indicates this, but I could be wrong. Example below:

'What the hell do you got in there?'
'What the hell have you got in there?'

Unless of course your character is uneducated and her way of speaking reflects this. But I didn't get that impression considering some of the other errors.

I definitely think you've a great idea to work on here in the future, without the constraints of the challenge. Good job.


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Female Gaze
Posted: January 29th, 2017, 11:38am Report to Moderator
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One of my biggest pet peeves is when people talk about and write about children. Because they go to extremes with it. Either the kid is a picture of innocence or outlandish adults in kid bodies. The former being the biggest issue for me. When I was a kid I cursed, I experimented, and I experienced a rushed life and so did a lot of the kids I grew up with.

Hello! '13' people?

So, when I read this I thought 'thank goodness' someone got the balance right. I enjoyed this story a lot. I loved Anna and was genuinely worried about her threw out the entire thing.  I would have wished Madalyn was her friend from the bedroom earlier to make this death really hit home.

I got questions. But that's not a bad thing. Good work.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 29th, 2017, 12:51pm Report to Moderator
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Ok, a rushed job, and not perfect, but a fair effort and good premise.

One to tidy up, but a fair effort for the week.

Some dialogue wasn't too female kid like, but again that can be fixed

I hope folk see through the errors .

I applaud the effort.


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Female Gaze
Posted: January 29th, 2017, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Some dialogue wasn't too female kid like, but again that can be fixed


You'd be surprised.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 30th, 2017, 2:50am Report to Moderator
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Some of the dialogue felt off for me.

Basma felt like a boy. Madalyn felt like she was from New York, not from Jordan. It's quite a repressive society. Little girls do not, in my experience, tend to travel alone in their teens or use that kind of language. I could be wrong about that.

It didn't feel very Middle Eastern, either. I didn't get a sense of any of the atmosphere of Jordan.

Fatima, I believe would have professed a lot more religious ideas to coerce Anna and praise her for her bravery. They would need constant reinforcement to convince themselves to kill themselves.

Madalyn should really be the same character as Basma. That would add much needed poignancy.


The topic is an extremely common one in produced, professional films and on the festival circuit. Despite being jaded by it, I still enjoyed the story. Good effort.
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Conz
Posted: January 30th, 2017, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
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I have no clue what AMMAN is.  A place?

Something completely ridiculous about a smiley face in the text I assume is signifying a terrorist attack is coming… ridiculous, but oddly funny?  

This flashback scene – all of it is implied just off the opening scene on a bus.  I didn’t need it at all to know what’s up.   That felt like a “less is more” scene.  We’ll see.

I’m taking this with a grain of salt at this point b/c of the challenge.  I find it hard to believe ALL of these people would ever be female, but whatever.

Yoys?  Whatever, I’ll roll with it assuming it’s just a word I don’t know.

assholEs

giigle – giggle

Lot of lesbian stuff in this competition.  Seems almost too easy to me.

Not buying Madalyn. Not buying her cursing, not buying her immediately striking up conversation.  Not buying her explaining things, etc.  Not buying the fact that she is also showing signs of being a lesbian. Etc.

Now we’re really stretching the “all female” cast thing with a busy intersection, but again, since no man is highlighted or speaking, I think it’s fine.  I imagine someone might bring that up.

This could be good... well, in the eyes of other people, I personally wouldn't have much interest.

Feels like it wants to be a “powerful” scene from a longer Oscar-baity type script, but Madalyn is what totally ruined it for me.  I wanted to feel sympathy but she never felt like a real character.  She was actually pretty annoying to be honest.  Also, the whole “Anna is persecuted for her sexuality and thus becomes a suicide bomber” didn’t feel fully realized.  I left wondering how she even got to this point.  The Fatima and Mom flashbacks were out of order.  … also, 2 flashbacks in 10 pages is a lot to ask.


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stevie
Posted: January 30th, 2017, 4:38pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah this could so much better! Nice setup and premise and even though I knew where it was set - AMMAN needs to be done as a SUPER not a slug - the dialogue was so Western as to be almost comical.

I did like the action paragraphs, they were done well. It did seem like a rushed job overall.

Look, the effort was there and good on you but it needs to be more structured and made more Middle Eastern


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Cam Gray
Posted: January 30th, 2017, 7:41pm Report to Moderator
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I gotta say, that's some dog's breakfast of a script, typos all over the place and that's just for starters.

Now, the above is a right shame as the idea was great, and whilst I may just stop reading a script sometimes if the grammar is all over the shop, I didn't here because I cared for Anna and wanted to know what happened.

Real shame you didn't nail down the basics, but so far as plot goes you're up there. Take your time and re-write it, it's definitely worth another go.

Cam


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 31st, 2017, 11:25am Report to Moderator
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The writing in this really lets down what is quite a tense premise. It's full of mistakes, not only typos but in screenplay structure. Not sure if this is because the writer is new to screenplays, English isn't their first language, or they were in a real rush but it makes it hard to get through.

The dialogue reads unnaturally. Not as in stuff a child of that age would say but in terms of sounding like things being said for the sake of the audience rather than what that character would actually say. An example of this is the whole unnecessary flashback scene where Fatima explains about the bomb for the whole audience.  

And did the mother really turn her child into a suicide bomber simply because she kissed another girl?  

There's a really good, tense and believable story in here, it's just lost in a mess. I think if you gave this a solid re-write and take your time with it, you might be onto something quite producible.

-Mark


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StevenClark
Posted: January 31st, 2017, 1:07pm Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Done in a rush this one is loaded with typos, misplaced commas and repeated words. I can understand that when your back's against the wall though. Still, the story - although a bit long - did kinda grab me and I wanted to know how it ended. That's a good thing. The bad is that I couldn't understand the lesbian angle here. Sounds like a completely different story as opposed to what was transpiring, and I couldn't quite get ahold of it. So, here we have Anna, ugly duckling type girl who gets hit on by two women (~) but wait - she's a terrorist with a bomb! Just couldn't link the two together. Sorry. But good effort, writer!

Steve


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khamanna
Posted: February 1st, 2017, 8:59am Report to Moderator
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I missed some info - what made Anna's mother act that way, and how Anna found Fatima... And why it's all about someone liking Anna - I guess I want to know more about her as well.

Girls sound like they are 7 or 8. Just me?

Good entry though. Well written despite all the typos
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