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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2019 -††One Week Challenge  ›  Little Brown Box - OWC
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  Author    Little Brown Box - OWC  (currently 411 views)
Don
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 11:24pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Little Brown Box by Eva Markowitz - Short, RomCom - It's what's inside that counts. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Dreamscale
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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Right away, I can tell that the spacing here is off.

Use a hyphen between "parts" of your Slugs.

CAP a character's first intro.

"...dashes out the door, down the stairs to her car." - Are we really still in the kitchen?  No, are not.

Who is "Joan"?  Clueless...

"plan brown wrapper" - plain brown wrapper.

Way too many mistakes for this Kid.  Sadly, I'm out.

*


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Cam Gray
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 3:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Writeroo,

So normally Iíll take issue with Jeffís comments on formatting and what not if heís being over zealous, but heís definitely on the money here. The parenthetical parts are off, the random slug line at the bottom of a page doesnít read well and the dialogue just didnít really work and didnít aid the story at all, which I did struggle with.

Romcom wise. Not much comedy, romance was a bit dulled too.

Best of luck with it,

Cam


23 Mu Muís in an ice cream van...
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Zack
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 3:50pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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This is the first one I read. Unfortunately, not a great start.

Tons of writing issues here. Why are none of the characters introduced? Some of the dialog just isn't formated correctly. And even then, the dialog isn't very good.

I skimmed after the second page. Nothing particularly funny or romantic.

Sorry, but this one just didn't do it for me. Good job on getting an entry in, though.

Zack



Revision History (1 edits)
Zack  -  February 2nd, 2019, 8:37pm
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eldave1
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
She leaves the mess and dashes out the door, down the stairs
to her car.


If you are going to have this - you need a new header - she's no longer in the apt.



Quoted Text
JEENA
Hey Joe. In a rush today, running
late. Thanks for saving the paper
for me. You know Joan!


Got confused here. Don't know what the "You know Joan!" means.


Quoted Text
Joan Bennett the supervisor is in at her desk and sees Jeena
come in.

JOAN

She raps on her glass office to get Jeena's attention.


You haven't intro'd Joan yet - should be CAPPED and how about at least an age. Also - there's an action line where dialogue belongs.

Now I have noticed several other areas where the same issue occurs. You don't intro Charlie and you have dialogue without a character name.

There are format errors and typos throughout.

Good on ya for entering - but you do need to work a bit on the basics.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Philostrate
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Writer,

There are quite a few format errors and typos. Some basic writing issues too.

Some examples:


Quoted Text
Jeena is rushing around getting ready for work. She opens
the refrigerator to get her lunch and a jar of mayonnaise
crashes to the floor, breaking.

JEENA should be CAPPED. Age?


Quoted Text
She leaves the mess and dashes out the door, down the stairs
to her car.

You need a new header as Dave said.


Quoted Text
She gets in her car and heads for work.

Same here.


Quoted Text
Jeena greets Joe, the 60-something proprietor who has her
morning newspaper ready.

JOE should be CAPPED too.


Quoted Text
(To herself): I picked the last box
anyone would want. It's gonna be
that kind of day.

Who says this?

There are more, but I'm going to stop here.

Story wise... it's not a bad idea but there's little romance and not much comedy.

This one wasn't for me but I appreciate the effort.

Good job on entering.


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Warren
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 7:05pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Writer,

Straight away, this is passively written and the character introductions arenít capitalised.

The way you are using parentheticals is incorrect, they are placed below the characterís name or below a chunk of dialogue, completely independent of that dialogue eg:

JOHN
(smiling)
How are you today?
(pointing)
Look at that guy.

Lots of pretty basic errors throughout. You would benefit from reading a lot more scripts.

The comedy didnít work for me unfortunately.

Well done on entering, it was a tough challenge.

All the best.


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Vincent
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 7:27pm Report to Moderator
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All sorts of problems (as others have noted); it has a feel of a rush job, though it's only five pages. Its heart is in the right place, but there's not enough romance OR comedy; add something to the mix to make it succeed.

BTW, FWIW there was an actress from the '30s through the '50s named Joan Bennett (part of the famed Bennett acting family). A fine actress, Joan was a rather pallid blonde at first compared to her more glamorous elder sister Constance, changed to a brunette in the late '30s and it changed her fortunes, particularly in the new genre of film noir.
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LC
Posted: February 4th, 2019, 1:20am Report to Moderator
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More of a drama really.

I see others have touched on formatting so I won't harp on.

How about making Joe the same age as Jeena?  Perhaps Jeena usually doesn't give the news-stand guy the time of day.

It's a good idea when writing shorts that everything have significance - the Mayo spill in the opening doesn't actually make her late cause she doesn't stop to clean it up, and the office politics is neither here nor there just a minor irritation to offset her windfall.

For a RomCom you could have focused on Joe's, as yet, unrequited love for Jeena.

As is, this is a bit unfocused. Perhaps you ran out of time trying to decide which story to tell.

And yet, there's potential here, easy to read despite errors, and it does have heart. It just needs a lot more heart.
And, you've got to zoom in on one central story you want to tell.


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irish eyes
Posted: February 4th, 2019, 8:58am Report to Moderator
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A lot has been mentioned on grammar so I'll leave that.

Storywise, this was not a romcom neither funny or romantic just a girl with a shitty attitude throughout until she won big at the end.

I had to read it twice which is not a good thing

sorry

Good job on entering


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CameronD
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 9:45am Report to Moderator
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Your logline is not a logline

As I'm like the 8th review I'll leave out all the nit picky formatting issues and errors as stating them again will be redundant to focus on story.

Very little setup here. This is a short so every page matters. Pg 3 and all I know about Katrina is she's overworked and in a rush. No real conflict except to get caught up on work and no romance, or comedy at all. That's bad considering this was supposed to be a rom com. Get to the point.

5 pages? Very short. Here is your story from what I could gather.

Woman late to work picks up a random gift from newspaper guy.
At work she is berated.
Wins 10,000 from the box she picked and thanks newspaper guy.

Not really a story here at all. No conflict, motivation, romance, or comedy. Your main does nothing to influence the story, the story just happens to her and she is caught in it.

My guess is this is a newer writer which is fine, we all start somewhere and just entering this contest and taking the chance to work on your craft is exactly what you should be doing right now. So good job on this, take the advice to heart and keep writing!  


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 11:47am Report to Moderator
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Hello Writer

There is not a lot more I can add that hasn't already been said.

I'm assuming you are new to writing - I hope you won't be put off by negative reviews - They can be a bitter pill to swallow when you first start, but trust me, they are a good thing - These reviews will be priceless in helping you to better your writing.

Story, I could see what you were trying to do, but it didn't work for me.

Well done for entering the challenge

Matt


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James McClung
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, again with the typos/formatting/etc. Sorry, but I think it's an important point to drive home here.

I would hope that you're new to writing. If that's the case, the many issues others have pointed out previously could easily be remedied with brushing up on your screenwriting basics and reading other scripts. Don't sweat it. But if that's not the case, I think I'm left to assume that this simply wasn't edited before it was submitted, as many of these errors are particularly egregious and surely would've been caught in a quick once-over. If I'm wrong, I apologize, but that this wasn't edited doesn't seem to be that much of a stretch to me.

Beyond that, I'm not sure that this works at all. I mean, if you think about it, the plot is barely functional.

First off, if Jeena were so late that she had to leave a puddle of mayo and broken glass on her kitchen floor all day, why would she have the time to pick up a newspaper and chit-chat with Joe, even briefly? If she's at risk of staying late at the office, would she even have time to read the newspaper (I realize it's Joan who mentions that Jeena might have to stay late, but clearly Jeena has enough on her plate that she can expect it to take up most of her workday)?

The conflict with the expense report is rife with issues. You mention "Jeena continues working on the expense report and finally has a draft version done. She needs to double check it before sending it to JJ." How do we know this? Even if we did (say Jeena outright says "Finally done!"), are we supposed to assume she finished her draft as soon as Joan finished chewing her out? Or is there supposed to be a transition here somewhere?

Weirder still is that in the next scene, JJ mentions the report is incomplete. Didn't you say she finished a draft? Maybe it's a "bad" report but perhaps not incomplete. Even if it were incomplete, wouldn't they think something was odd, as in Jeena surely wouldn't have sent it on purpose? I mean, maybe not; just a thought...

Not that any of this matters. The situation is resolved almost immediately and with little agency from Jeena, if any. It's a random character, Kyle, who comes out of nowhere and saves the day. The swiftness of the resolution kinda indicates how half-baked Katrina's plan was from the beginning.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the brown box. Jeena could've just as easily not been late, came to the office at the regular time, and immediately opened the box. Not that I'd advise that; that's barely a story. Either way, that Jeena wins the lottery is totally arbitrary, i.e. anticlimactic.

Finally, are we supposed to assume Joe has some romantic interest in Jeena. It doesn't come off that way, especially as he says he's "thanking all the pretty ladies" and not just her (thanking them for what, anyway?). Presumably, Jeena could've taken anyone of the boxes. Why would she take the ugliest one? How would she even have time to peruse? I thought she was running late.

Even if any of this added up, how would Joe know the lottery ticket is a winner? I suspect the necklace was supposed to be the main gift, in which case, why cheapen it with a random lottery ticket? On second thought, in a weird way, the fact that it's a winning ticket cheapens the necklace even more as a romantic gesture.

No comedy that I could discern. Were there chocolates in this one? I didn't notice. Definitely falls short on meeting the challenge in my book.

Okay...

Lemme try to end on a positive note and try to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you're new to writing, you've got plenty of resources to improve. Kudos to having the guts to enter this challenge. If you're not new to writing, I'd hope that you were down to the wire/eager to participate and tried to belt something out in the time that you had. I didn't do that, so you've got an edge over me no matter what.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 8:01pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Issues with formatting and who says what.

It doesnít sound or feel real. She gets a ruby necklace from a Newspaper vender? If you fix the formatting and do a little foreshadowing with the Brown box, you can work towards making this a sweet little short.

Get rid of needless banter in the office. Since it's a short, try and make every word count towards the effect you want to produce character wise.

Give us a little suspense maybe? Like her receiving a plain brown paper wrapped box and she needs to discover who it came from? That sort of thing.

The basic idea of the story is good though.

Thank you for your effort and taking the challenge!  

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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IamGlenn
Posted: February 6th, 2019, 12:44pm Report to Moderator
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Hi,

This one didn't hold my attention. Seems like there was a lot of dialogue that could definitely be cut. Typos, grammar mistakes and formatting issues all over. Story-wise, as I said, didn't hold my attention. A lot of nothing going on, then a sloppy conclusion.

Good luck,
Glenn


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