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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  Circle of Greed - WT4 Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Circle of Greed - WT4  (currently 785 views)
Posted: June 24th, 2019, 10:40pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Circle of Greed by Jon Lord - An old church in Detroit hides a valuable secret 5 pages - Short, Action

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  June 24th, 2019, 11:22pm
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 2:07am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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Quite an apt title.  The overall story was not bad given the title.  As a story, itís like two stories in one.  It does meet the objective.  Easy enough to read.  I think it would be better to focus on the first story and lengthen that to five pages.  I also like the ending.

Things to fix:


Old men instead of old man.

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 11:23am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Shakespeare's county
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Hello writer

"Presbyterian" - back to google I go

"FLOCK AND TOOK OFF" - what's that? I guess you were against the time and missed this when checking.

Quoted Text
Well, why the hell didnít you
sell it back then? Instead of
getting into trouble with that
street gang? Christ, Lenny...

On the nose territory

Seems like a lot of dialogue in this for an action script...

Quoted Text
Oh, is that right? Iím not the
one who did time for armed

You have told us a lot about Lenny's background in dialogue... just got out of prison, messing with a street gang, did the warehouse, did time for armed robbery - it's too much repetitive exposition.

Some of this dialogue is so cringe...

Quoted Text
Time to take out the trash.

Does anyone say that? It would be good for a comedy, but this ain't a comedy

Jeez - more people with bigger guns lol

and we end on a BOOM.

I see what you are doing with this - although it's not quite a circle, the greed doesn't tie back to our original characters other than the card being shredded - so would have been nice if it did come full circle.

The scenario is absurd and over the top - that's not a bad thing BTW - but it felt like you were trying to control it - you should have let it go and go really over the top comedic absurd with the underlying message of greed - might have made for a better read.

Decent effort, dialogue not great and way too much of it - needs a different tone throughout to work. Good effort writer



Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 11:41am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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This one is just a bit of a mess. I think you had a pretty decent idea to start with, and then it just devolves into a series of coincidences, with another group showing up to kill the group that showed up before them.  Iíd rather you had stayed with just the siblings and focused on them and developed a story out of that. As it stood, I think you just kept bring in these random groups to try and satisfy the action element. With a limited number of pages, that hurts the story by bring on new characters every half page.

Honestly, the writing a tad rough here, as if written in a hurry to get in before the deadline.  I think the story loses focus because of that.  Iíll give you credit for meeting the challenge parameters, but Iím afraid the story itself will drag this score down a bit.

Best of luck,

An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Southern California
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Parameters met.

The Monroe- DiMaggio card was clever.  

The dialogue was really on the nose

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 3:23pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
Circle of Greed


in the middle of the page
Not sure where to assign this to or why it is capped anyway; possibly dialogue, no clue-

p2 The dialogue is a little heavy on exposition.

p3 "You said he was dead." Just a quick example - The dialog is extremely expository. I actually realize that you have a lot of back story and things have meat and substance but they just talk about it yet.

However, I'm still on boardÖ let's see what act three does.

Interesting turn Ė you take a lot of risks there, appreciated. I like such kind of non-linear telling; far better entertainment than the same old 101.

There were some weaknesses with the set-up that I addressed above. The back story simply needs a better delivery other than talk.

However, I like your overall proceedings in this truly unexpected second half of the script. Pretty okay, why not.

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Posted: June 26th, 2019, 8:47pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

Quoted Text
Its still so


Quoted Text

What is this? So confused. Oh I get it, itís the rest of the dialogue, really should have picked that up in an edit.

Quoted Text
Well, why the hell didnít you
sell it back then? Instead of
getting into trouble with that
street gang? Christ, Lenny...


Lots of OTN dialogue. Youíre telling us so much backstory in the dialogue for the audienceís sake.

You just killed everyone we might have cared for.

Quoted Text
Oh sweet lord. Black Mafia
Family. We have to__

This underscore is pretty odd, use an em dash (--) for interrupted dialogue.

Okay so the glaring issue here is the dialogue. You need to learn the art of subtext. Read this dialogue out loud to yourself, no one talks like that. The writing in general could use some work.

I didnít care for any of these characters, give us someone to route for, it will make the story way more enjoyable.

All the best.

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Posted: June 27th, 2019, 1:38am Report to Moderator
Guest User

The action is overwritten and stagnant.


The Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church still has a
grandeur despite the decayed interior.

It does? How so? Even if this is true (I really cannot see it), you have used more words than necessary. The word 'still' is not needed.


LENNY(38)and RACHEL(35)enter.

Aside from their ages, who are these people?

I had my hopes pinned on the dialogue carrying this story, but it's bad. Lenny is particularly bad.

You seem to have a serious aversion to apostrophes.

It's really difficult to get past the first page for me. In fact, I don't think I'm going to make it.
e-mail Reply: 7 - 13
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 6:41pm Report to Moderator

Posts Per Day
Not bad as a parable of what happens to greedy people, but its episodic nature weakens the story. Five pages is too short to develop even one set of characters and their story, much less three sets of characters (four if you count the hapless white youths). Wish I knew who FLOCK AND TOOK OFF is, but good thing s/he left cause thereís no room left in this church. All of the dialogue between Lenny and Rachel, then with Brent joining in, slows everything down. Backstory can be important, but it would be better if itís worked in simultaneously with action.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 10:44am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Love your title .. and Love your logline.

This was pretty good. I like how they keep showing up and greed keeps getting them.. and then they get it!

Decent writing on display here. It's more story on the action and less on the characters in this one. Overall I liked it.

Good job.
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Posted: June 28th, 2019, 1:10pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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This is specified as in a church in first slug and first few lines but then is never mentioned again so hardly integralto anything.

There seems to be 3 different story threads in here, maybe four, but they clash against each other and feel coincidental - coincidence ins scripts should largely be avoided.

I'd pick a thread, the first one and just stick to it.

Dialogue issues have been mentioned so I wont go over old ground.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: June 29th, 2019, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Posts Per Day
This might have worked if you stayed with the original story - the one about the couple and the man's brother.

Or, if you had stayed with the original idea and really gone for it. What I mean, is, create a real circle of greed, where each part of the circle is intricately connected to the other. As it sits, it reads like a series of coincidences.

There's an idea here. I'd encourage really taking everyone's notes to heart... and then taking another couple of runs at this. Definitely worth exploring to get right.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: July 1st, 2019, 9:02pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

No sh*t, there I was....

Tucson, AZ
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A quick and easy read but something seemed a bit off. Others have already picked the OTN and the 'Flock', so no more there. Great attempt at cascading or escalating greed and mistrust. Kind of 'A Card and Six Smoking Barrels'.
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Posted: July 4th, 2019, 2:21pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Between Chair and Keyboard
Posts Per Day
Formatting mistake with the early dialogue.
These people talk too much. One chatterbox is fine as a character trait, but this is just dumping exposition.
How many groups of ne'er-do-wells can arrive in the same place in the same five pages?
I've seen this outcome used before, where the thing they're fighting about gets destroyed. Not sure it's common enough to be considered a trope, but it fits well here.
A good try.

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TV pilots:
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"Mal Suerte" (Superhero)

Additional scripts are listed here.
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