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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2019 One Week Challenge  ›  Gut Shot - OWC Moderators: Zack
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  Author    Gut Shot - OWC  (currently 721 views)
Posted: April 19th, 2019, 8:38pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Gut Shot by Dick Icecorns - Short, Horror - A man carjacked, shot and left for dead thirty years earlier takes possession of a man traveling the same desert road in the same make and model Corvette Stingray.  12 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.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: April 20th, 2019, 2:04am Report to Moderator


Dublin, Ireland, Europe, The World.
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First off, the title here is Gut Shot. On the script it's Shot To The Gut?

Ok, this is the first one I've read, and it is well written. Seems sci-fi-ish at times. Never really full on horror. And maybe it's because I'm just awake, but it confused me quite a bit. Might have to re-read when I get done with the others.

As I said, though, well written.

Good luck

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Posted: April 20th, 2019, 11:55am Report to Moderator

Perspective without distortion.

Sherman Oaks, CA
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What comes across to me is the pop culture setting that weaves through it. Route 66, pop music from the eighties, and so on.
The story line doesn't seem to be linear, so it gets confusing to me. The ending lacked some punch for me.
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Posted: April 20th, 2019, 12:01pm Report to Moderator

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Hello !

I really like the way it's written. I didn't really feel the horror, but I could visualize very well the scenes and the atmosphere.
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Posted: April 20th, 2019, 12:59pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Orlando, FL
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There were a couple places here where I wasn't sure what was present and what was flashback.  You jumped back and forth between time and place in a couple of spots and it could've been worded a bit differently.  

I think Steven tossing the girlfriend's photo in the trash should've been his wrist watch.  Otherwise, the reader might not remember the ex girlfriend or why she was ever a factor.    

Some added dialogue where Steve comes out of the bathroom at the racetrack and all the sudden it's JJ's Garage would've cleared up what was happening to Steve.  "Where am I?" or something as simple as that.  

Otherwise, the switch from night to day and day to night becomes tiresome.  
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 1:44am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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More Twilight Zone-ish than outright horror and I got a little bit confused around page 8, onwards but it doesn't really matter. I really felt the suspense and the dread which was down primarily to some mighty fine writing.

I do think the story needs a bit of streamlining but it's certainly up there so far in my top picks.
Nice work, Writer!

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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 10:47am Report to Moderator

Not in Britain
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Love the logline. And I love Corvettes.

Good luck finding that 1978 Silver anniversary Stingray should you ever want to make this.

Classic cars, 80's music, Route 66 what's not to love about all that.

Anyway, very well written and clean. Spacing too large between slugs however.

A few descriptions I had to read twice. Elbows down. Stephen reaches the watch back - ready to throw it over the ravine  etc. this is repeated throughout in various places leading to a slightly confusing read.

Like LC says, more Twilight Zone vibe than horror really. I could see it working as a segment in the new TZ show for sure if it was expanded out.

Great job!

Producer/Director of The Dollmaker by Matias Caruso
Producer/Director of So Dark (the series) by James Williams
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 11:14am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Southern California
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I generally liked the vibe of this one. Although there were a few places where I got confused and had to re-read to get my bearings straight.

I think a couple of less songs would be better - it got redundant there.

Congrats on entering.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 1:35pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Let's start with the logline, which reads very confusing.

"A man carjacked, shot and left for dead thirty years earlier takes possession of a man traveling the same desert road in the same make and model Corvette Stingray."

A man carjacked" could mean that a man carjacked a car.  Biggest issue is you need a comma between "earlier" and "takes".  I'd change "earlier" to ago".  It just doesn't read well at all as written.

OK, sorry, let's get into the script...

Well, right away we have issues.  Your title is different than the title posted.  Also, you neglected to delete Page 13, which is a lazy mistake.

Spacing is off - after FADE IN and before all Slugs.  Looks like you have at least 1 extra line - check your software settings and get that fixed up.

Using "canvas" to describe the floor is an odd choice, and does it matter that the floor is hard wood?

So, we're in this "high end apartment", and you end the passage with "An empty room.", and then, you go into a Mini Slug of KITCHEN.  My question involves the word choice of "room" - what room is this? Surely this high end apartment has more than just 1 room.  Know what I'm saying?  Basically, your first Slug is missing detail to know where we are.

Why direct the shot by only mentioning the hand and watch?  I'm against this type of writing...other s may dig it.

"reaches the watch back" - very awkwardly phrased.

"Under a protective enclosure" - what does this mean?  Are you saying the car is covered and he takes the cover off to reveal the car?  If so, you didn't actually say that.

"Tolerance, NM" - Hmmm, interesting.  I looked it up and here's what popped up.

Interesting again - Hot in the City - 1982, Private Eyes - 1981, Who Could it be Now - 1981, Abracadabra - 1982.  So, we've gone back in time to 1982?  And then back to present?

Hmmm, writing style is good, but for me, too short and staccato.  I know others will love it.  I don't hate it, but like a little more visual writing.

OK, I'm confused..."Old" Route 66 runs through Albuquerque.  Truth or Dare is about 150 mile south of that.  Where are we?

Your Flashback is not properly formatted - don't put Flashback in the Slug - if you have more than 1 Slug in your Flashback, you'd have to keep on writing Flashback in each Slug, and you don't want to to do that.

Now I'm really confused!  Without your logline, I think everyone would be confused right now.

OK, the last few pages were extremely confusing, and alot of that is based on your choice of Slugs, and using/not using Flashback.

Lots of orphans here, some unnecessary wrylies, probably close to 1/2 a page that didn't need to be here.

Bottom line is that I don't get it.  I like the idea and I like the effort, but I don't see horror and/or suspense at all, and surely not inside a vehicle...but, again, I give kudos for the effort and because of how bad most of these entries are, you get a better grade than is probably deserved.


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

Revision History (1 edits)
Dreamscale  -  April 21st, 2019, 6:21pm
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 4:19pm Report to Moderator

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Okay.... here we go. First script I've read.

I didn't read the logline, because I like to see if a script can tell me the story on its own. And, in this case, it made things more difficult.

I spent most of the script in a state of confusion. I don't mind starting there, and I don't even mind hanging around there for awhile. But, by about page 8, I needed to know where I was in the story. That's the point where frustration began to set in.

The writing is pretty good, and I like the concept. This would be an expensive short to make, mainly because you got so specific... but, if you decide to work further on this, I'd look for ways to make it a bit more streamlined. Straighten out the story a bit.

I'll say, the multiple mentions of Tolerance, and the jump between modern day and the 80s made me think you were setting up some social commentary on the differences between the times... like tolerance was going to be a theme, and this poor chap was struggling to adapt. But, unless I missed it, you didn't end up going that direction. Too bad, because I was kind of excited to see how you were going to pay that off.

There were several points where I found the action confusing. For example, I read the first mention of the 78 stickers multiple times. Didn't understand it until you clarified several lines later. It's a small thing, but it really took me out of the story. A simple rewrite of that line would clear things up... tell me the stickers are on the windshield of his car in that first mention.

Suspense was good, and I definitely wanted to know where it was going to end. That's a good sign.

So, to bottom line it: confusing story, but well written otherwise (with minor exceptions).

Good job overall. Glad you entered. Can't wait to see how this stacks up against the competition.


60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 6:13pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

A fair bit of time is spent on radio station surfing and music, I don't think it adds anything to your story.

I'm done and I'm not entirely sure how best to comment. It was confusing to say the least. I couldn't get a handle on what was happening and why.

The dialogue feels very stilted.

I not sure what genre I would class this, but I don't think it would be horror. I couldn't quite pinpoint your suspenseful scene either.

Sorry this was too all over the place for me.

All the best.

To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

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Posted: April 22nd, 2019, 12:45pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Question: what's wrong with the title "A Shot To The Gut"? I mean, it seems easy to remember, but you subbed it as 'Gutshot'. On top of that the actual title isn't hard to miss. The fon't a a bit big, and not even in courier. Maybe the title should have been 'Shot Gut" since it's so careless.

Quoted Text
On a marble island countertop rests a framed photo of him
and an attractive young woman posed on the grass.
Stephen stares at it with a sense of regret.

Aside from informing me visually that there's nothing else in the kitchen than a coffee maker and mug, now we get an overused cliche suddenly appearing out of nowhere.  And of course, Stephen has it on the island for no apparent reason - I mean, you know if he's packing up, why bother displaying the photo?  And like the classic cliche, the character takes down or examines an old picture with a loved one n it and gets emotional. Break out the kleenex.
Seriously- why can't we just have said picture ALREADY in the box, we see it on top, Stephen closes up the box, and the point is still made?

This better get better, and quick.

Quoted Text
Stephen rests his mug on the rail and carefully removes his
Cartier watch. With elbows down, he uses both hands to rub
and caress the surface.
He flips it over. To My Love Forever.

I guess not. The entire scene is pointless.  Doubling down on the kleenex.

Quoted Text
Under a protective enclosure sits a vintage 1978 Silver
Anniversary Edition Corvette Stingray.

Stephen pops the trunk

Oh does he now? There's a reason why I highlighted the year and underlined "vintage".
That's a HUGE gaffe.  Guess what Corvettes pre-1982 didn't have?

"Hot In The City." and Stephen sings to it as the song ends. I don't know if anyone has brought stuff like this up,but you know what advice is given about putting in pre-recorded songs in scripts,let alone short ones. What if this gets filmed? He might be singing something else. However, if he just missed the song and the DJ mentions the song being on the chart, you might get away with it. But not today.  And having other songs as "Character dialog" is just plain wrong.  Wrong.

And by Toni Basil, I'm out.
Oh wait---let'sstop to see "what looks like"movie posters. Then you name movie posters.
Now I'm out.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: April 22nd, 2019, 7:09pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Afraid this one lost me towards the end, just couldn't keep track of the timelines or who was in who's body when.

But clearly a good writer and I think with some judicious pruning this could work.

met the criteria too!

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: April 22nd, 2019, 9:45pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

New York, USA
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Sorry, I couldn't get past page 9 on this one.

Maybe it's just me, but it was incredibly difficult to follow. If things become difficult to visualise it's probably time to get another draft out there.

In this industry, readers will largely clock out as soon as the story loses impetus, or if they believe if's not cut out, so to it's important to make your story easy to access first and foremost.

There's a difference between having a convoluted plot that's presented clearly, and a script that is near impenetrable; for me, this script falls into the latter.

Through to page 7 you have a lot of focus on him leaving his place, and then on him skipping through radio stations; I think that's too much weight given on areas that don't really propel your story forward.

All this said, you got something down, and that's more than I can say for myself.

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Posted: April 23rd, 2019, 11:51am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Solid. However, what are the odds Stephen would get the very '78 Corvette JJ owned and drive by the very place -- a couple of states away -- where he was killed? Of course, the answer is that the Racetrack Gas Station is on Route 66, and Stephen decides to take Route 66 out of town. Maybe there was an old Route 66 brochure in the car when he got it, or maybe Stephen is one of those people for whom Route 66 still has a mystique about it. Or maybe he's just a fan of the old TV show by that name.
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