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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  ›  Away With The Fairies
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  Author    Away With The Fairies  (currently 1251 views)
Don
Posted: February 11th, 2018, 1:48pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Away With The Fairies by Warren Duncan - Short, Sci fi, Fantasy, Pyschological - A Fairy enlists the help of a common man to free her from the prison that holds her. 9 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Warren
Posted: February 11th, 2018, 2:15pm Report to Moderator
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This was just a bit of fun and a writing exercise. A friend wanted me to write a story for her. Had to be a fantasy, have a fairy, and be a love story. This is the best I could come up with.


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Dustin
Posted: February 11th, 2018, 2:34pm Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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I read the first page, but I don't believe you have proofread this as there are some errors:

Code

A chimney releases smoke into the night air.



You tell us it is night in the slug.

Code

Pigs sleep restfully in a muddy pen.



Restfully isn't needed. It's taken for granted once you mention they are asleep. Nobody is going to read that they are asleep and then ask themselves, 'but I wonder if they are asleep restfully?'

Code

An axe hangs wedged into a chopping block surrounded by wood.



How does it hang if it is wedged? Wedged into the chopping block is enough.

Code

candle light



candlelight

Code

dirt stained



dirt-stained

Code

Alfred, 40, in dirt stained overalls, sits at a table and stares out a small window with dark tired eyes.



Rearranging like so will help this sentence make sense:

Alfred, 40, in dirt-stained overalls, sits at a table and stares with dark tired eyes through a small window.

I just thought too... it's night, so he would be staring at his own reflection.

Code

Alfredís attention remains focused outside.



How? It's dark and this is a log cabin, there's no streetlighting.

Code

Eyes widen and teeth clench as she stares down at him.



Whose eyes and teeth?


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Warren
Posted: February 11th, 2018, 3:57pm Report to Moderator
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Cheers for the read.

I gave this my usual three proofreads.

1) Check punctuation and orphans.
2) Spelling and grammar.
3) Have Final Draft read the script back to me; I find this the best way to see if it makes sense. I guess the problem with "candle light" and "dirt stained" is that they still read back sounding correct. Will fix them.

The staring is daydreaming so he isnít necessarily that focused on anything; this is mentioned at some point.

"Eyes widen and teeth clench as SHE stares down at him" considering there is only a male and female character I thought this would be obvious, but agree this could be more clear.

The rest is relatively nit-picky, but I'll have another read through and make some changes as required.


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eldave1
Posted: February 12th, 2018, 12:24pm Report to Moderator
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Warren: Gave this a read.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Overall, I liked the story and did not see the twist coming. Fast paced enough and a page turner. I have some nit-picky issues and some macro-level issues. Iíll do the nit-picky stuff first.


Quoted Text
Suddenly the plate lands hard in front of Alfred. Boiling
liquid spills from the bowl onto his lap.

EDITH
Stop your daydreaming.

Alfred pats his pants.

ALFRED
Dammit, Edith, thatís hot!

EDITH
Stop your moaning and eat your
dinner.

This sequence needs to be inverted IMO. Boiling hot liquid on his pants would cause an immediate physical reaction from Albert - i.e., before the first word of dialogue. . i.e., should be ordered something like:

Suddenly the plate lands hard in front of Alfred. Boiling
liquid spills from the bowl onto his lap.

Alfred frantically pats his pants.

ALFRED
Dammit, Edith, thatís hot!

EDITH
Stop your daydreaming and eat your
Dinner.

The other nit here is "Damnit!" Didnít strike me until I completed the story. But Albert is such a timid, cowering man throughout the rest of the script, made me think he wouldnít curse at her here. His disdain would be a bit more cowered.


Quoted Text
Another nit issue.

ALFRED
Edi --

She points at the door.

EDITH
Get out!


Really nitty Ė but since Albertís dialogue is interrupted Ė I would go with a parenthetical here. i.e.,

ALFRED
Edi --

EDITH
(pointing at door)
Get out!


Quoted Text
Alfred sets some bait on a hook.

MADELEINE (O.S.)

Please don't run.

ALFRED
Ití you. You canít be real.


Typo - Itís (I think). Not crazy about this line of dialogue. Think it would read better if Albert sees the image Ė then starts to bolt Ė then Madeline asks him not to run. Something like:

Alfred sets some bait on a hook. Just as he readies to toss his line he spots the image of Madeline neath the water. He jumps to his feet.

MADELEINE (O.S.)
Please don't run.

ALFRED
You..You canít be real.


Quoted Text
ALFRED
I -- I don't Know, I really need to
get back home.

Typo Ė know.

Okay, thatís the nitty stuff. Nothing that really changes or impacts the story. There were three story related level issues for me. One here:


Quoted Text
MADELEINE
There is nothing left for you here.
A failing marriage, a mundane life.
We can be happy together

To me, this is a big moment in the story and it may be in the wrong place. I would consider moving it to where she is trying to convince him to kill the witch and expand on it a bit. Something akin to:

MADELEINE
If you free me, you can go with me.

ALBERT
I couldnít. Edith needs me  Ė

MADELEINE
And free yourself as well.

ALBERT
Iím not trapped.

MADELEINE
Youíre not? Really?

Not that exactly Ė but the point being milk it a little so we can see what is going on in Albertís deranged mind Ė make the wheels turn even if you keep it where it is, I think it works better as a slow realization for Albert rather than Madeleine simply telling him.

As a side note, I was wanting more dialogue between Madeleine and Albert Ė especially after knowing the ending. It is him working through his derangement and his final solution Ė a little more soul searching with Madeline would really make it zing I think.

Second issue Ė the Thatch Hut.

Just as a starter Ė I have no real solution for this so feel a bit shitty pointing out a problem without a suggestion. Anyway, by the end of the story we know we have a deranged Albert seeing an imaginary Fairy in the water that ultimately ends with him getting the impetus to murder his wife.  

We donít realize this (the twist) till the very end because Albert leaves his Cabin, grabs the axe and heads off to a THATCH HUT where he slays the witch.  I get that you need all that  (i.e., THATCH HUT vs CABIN) to delay the reveal that the witch was really the wife. But Ė itís problematic in my view because we (not a deranged Albert) are seeing the action and the twist is only a twist because we see Albert tromping through the woods, arriving a ta Hutch with a Witch, etc. Maybe:

-     Nuke the Trash Hut per se and just have him at the threshold of a door with an Axe in his hand. The Witch turns Ė faces him, he charges forward followed by the screams in the forest.

OR

-     Donít show it all. Just have him come back to the river bank- exhausted and sweaty - bloody axe in hand telling Madeline that he has done it.

I donít know if I am being clear with the point. Hopefully itís coming across.

Smiles.

Again - only a thought I had when done with the story. There a three occasions where Albert has a large satisfied smile. At the river bank when he gets the fish. In his bedroom that night and at the end when he is dead underwater.

I would only do it at the end. I would make him confused, perplexed, doubting throughout the story and only have the eerie contented smile when he is underwater - having finally found peace. I think he needs to be a tortured soul up to that point. I think it provides a better contrast - more oomph at the end.

Anyway Ė just my thoughts. I certainly think it is a solid story as is and an entertaining read as is. I liked it.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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khamanna
Posted: February 12th, 2018, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Warren.

I liked the story, it kept me going.

Two things:
Thinking Madeline could tell more about herself. I want to see more of her with Alfred, so there's a sure contact between them when Alfred decides "to go with her".
And I didn't like the Rider at the end.

It was a fun read.
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Warren
Posted: February 12th, 2018, 4:03pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the reads, Dave and Kham.


Quoted Text
This sequence needs to be inverted IMO. Boiling hot liquid on his pants would cause an immediate physical reaction from Albert - i.e., before the first word of dialogue.


Agreed, I looked at this particular part for quite a while, I knew it was wrong but I just couldnít sort it out in my head. Thanks for the suggestion.


Quoted Text
Typo - Itís (I think). Not crazy about this line of dialogue. Think it would read better if Albert sees the image Ė then starts to bolt Ė then Madeline asks him not to run. Something like:

Alfred sets some bait on a hook. Just as he readies to toss his line he spots the image of Madeline neath the water. He jumps to his feet.

MADELEINE (O.S.)
Please don't run.

ALFRED
You..You canít be real.


Love having you read my scripts, agreed this is much better.



Quoted Text
MADELEINE
If you free me, you can go with me.

ALBERT
I couldnít. Edith needs me  Ė

MADELEINE
And free yourself as well.

ALBERT
Iím not trapped.

MADELEINE
Youíre not? Really?



Perfect!

I get your point on the hut; I'll have to have a think about that one.

The smile is another one I'll have to think about, I agree that having the one at the end will probably be more affective, but I guess I like the sense that things might get better, and then it all turns out the way it does. Hmm...

Glad you liked it. Thanks for the notes. Will definitely be using a few of your ideas.



Kham, seems I need a bit more with Madeline as it's been pointed out a couple of times.

The rider is probably unnecessary, could have the same scene minus the rider with almost the same impact, I'll have a think about it.

Thanks.


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Warren  -  February 12th, 2018, 4:29pm
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eldave1
Posted: February 12th, 2018, 4:21pm Report to Moderator
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My pleasure - best of luck with it


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Warren
Posted: February 13th, 2018, 10:19pm Report to Moderator
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Bump... Love a few more read on this from the regulars (or anyone), if you feel so inclined.


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eldave1
Posted: February 14th, 2018, 10:35am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren


The rider is probably unnecessary, could have the same scene minus the rider with almost the same impact, I'll have a think about it.

Thanks.


I agree with Kham on this as written. However....

I do like the visual of the Rider opening the door and finding the body. So one suggestion is to change the Rider to someone meaningful. Just as a spitball example:

Let's say that the wife has a Brother coming to visit - a dick much like her. Maybe some dialogue previously leaning toward the wife telling at Alfred why can't you (Albert) be more of a man like
him (brother). Maybe after Alfred comes up the first time without fish. That way when the brother shows up at the door he is more of a meaningful character than the nondescript Rider. Long winded way of saying keep part where a person at the end finds the body - just make that person integral to  the wife/Alfred.


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Warren
Posted: February 14th, 2018, 3:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1

Long winded way of saying keep part where a person at the end finds the body - just make that person integral to  the wife/Alfred.


I really like this idea, thanks.


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eldave1
Posted: February 14th, 2018, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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My pleasure


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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MarkItZero
Posted: February 17th, 2018, 12:41pm Report to Moderator
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I'm late to the game so I think most everything has been covered. A couple nitpicks to add:


Quoted Text
EXT. FOREST - DAY

Moss covered rocks and fallen trees cover the forest floor.

Small animals scurry for cover as Alfred makes his way through the dense bush.


You use cover three times here. Perhaps go with...

"fallen trees (litter/blanket) the forest floor."

"Small animals (scatter/scatter for safety) as Alfred makes his way through the dense bush."



Quoted Text
ALFRED
Are you there?

The flowing river is the only sound.

ALFRED
(to himself)
Don't be ridiculous.

He laughs nervously.

Alfred sets some bait on a hook.

MADELEINE (O.S.)
Please don't run.

ALFRED
ItÔŅĹs you. You canÔŅĹt be real.


I'd add a description of Madeleine appearing in the lake. A second ago, Alfred was staring at empty water so it's a little disorienting not to describe her reappearance. With the O.S. dialogue I thought she might suddenly be on shore but turns out she's still in the water.

Story-wise, it was an enjoyable enough tale.


That rug really tied the room together.
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stevemiles
Posted: February 17th, 2018, 2:20pm Report to Moderator
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A breezy read.  I like the dark fairy tale approach - always had that feel it was leading to a bad place which keeps me invested.  For me, the means by which you got us there felt a little too forced to really make for a satisfying pay-off.

The moment Madeleine asked him to kill the witch I got a sense of where this was headed - fair enough, I was interested to see how it played out.  But you then set up two different characters in two locations only to pull them into one for the reveal. Thereís too little in the set-up that supports that conclusion which leaves me feeling a little cheated.  It left me wondering whether Albert was delusional or a trick by a very real Madeleine.  Could be you need to explore Albertís psychosis a little more deeply?

I think Dave makes a good point about making the Rider someone close to them.  Iíd consider going a step further; perhaps someone with a stronger connection to previous events/Albertís psychosis.  Maybe that final character forms part of the twist?

How big is Madeleine?  I thought she was a fairy.  I think a little more description could help out here.

All the best,

Steve


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Zombie Sean
Posted: February 17th, 2018, 3:09pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Warren,

Everyone's pretty much covered all of the good stuff. I gotta say that I liked the story. I wish you explored the psychological aspect a little more in this script. Maybe have him return to the river after Edith tells him to go back to catch a fish, only to not find Madeleine for the rest of the day. Have him really question himself if he's seeing things or if Madeleine is actually real. Then he wakes up early the next morning to go fishing before Edith wakes up and he sees Madeleine again. He's actually not crazy!

I agree with having the character who discovers Edith's dead body be relevant to them. Maybe Alfred is catching fish for dinner for company that they're having, as Dave suggested.

Same with taking out the hut part too. Also what Dave suggested.

If there's anything else you have questions on that nobody's answered, I'd be happy to help out.


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