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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  A Warrior's Anguish - WT4 Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    A Warrior's Anguish - WT4  (currently 1002 views)
Posted: June 24th, 2019, 11:14pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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A Warrior's Anguish by Anonymous 60 - A warrior returns to his village only to find it ransacked. - Short, Action

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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 2:40am Report to Moderator
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Oh... No.

Unnecessary dialogue. This matters more when you only have 5 pages to work with.


With his sword and shield gripped tight, Gulorn moves around
side of his House.

Awkwardly written.


Once he reaches the front, he stops and looks on in horror.

This is confusing. So, when Gulorn races to his house, he is actually running toward the back? So first, he approaches the rear of the house, moves around the side, and then makes it to the front.

When you wrote that he runs toward the house, it is assumed that he is running toward the front.

There is quite a bit of awkward writing on the first page that I find too distracting. I can skip over one or two, but there are lots. A story needs a good flow and not trip me up too much otherwise I find it impossible to read. It becomes a chore.

Waste-band? That was the final straw for me.

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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 11:58am Report to Moderator
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Hooowee.  That was just a bit tough. Lot of mistakes in the writing. Too many hyphenated words that didnít require it. Stone-houses?  Why hyphenate that, and make it a proper noun every time you wrote it out?  Itís only a proper noun requiring capitalization if it belonged to someone named Stone. Then it would be Stoneís house, not Stone-house.

The trading card seemed out of place in the context of this story. The card isnít explained, other than to say the son carried it everywhere. Are there similar cards of other warriors? Give us some understanding of the card rather than just making it a prop.

The story got better with the battle scene, but still the writing was a bit stilted and riddled with errors. And I think you played loose with the challenge rules ó nothing occurred in a church, although I guess you could argue it was on church grounds (I guess ó I couldnít really tell from the script).

Not quite for me, but hope others disagree with me.

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, 7:40pm 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
Gulorn moves around
side of his House.

Sometimes I canít tell if a writer is omitting words because they think it helps the read or if they just forgot a word.

Quoted Text
a gnarly stab wound

"gnarly" really doesnít go with the medieval setup.

Quoted Text
Youíre Son...

Your, hoping you know the difference and it was just a typo.

Some pretty excessive ellipses usage, a lot of which I think could be done better.

Quoted Text
then tosses into the ash.

Again, missing word or writing style. I think that in almost every case it would read better with the word included.

Some of the dialogue is a bit cringe worthy.

Talk about pushing the criteria, the trading card could not have been more shoehorned in if you tried, even the church isnít used in any meaningful way, it has no bearing on the story at all, it could have been anywhere. Not sure how Iím going to score this one. I'll see how well everyone else uses the criteria and have a think about it.

The writing needs work, but again I'm not sure if some of it is style choice or just bad writing.

All the best.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Warren  -  June 26th, 2019, 12:13am
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Posted: June 26th, 2019, 2:42pm Report to Moderator
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Kudos for trying something different. I like that you wanted to get the trading card parameter into another era. Unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. It felt out of place... maybe if the tone were a bit more tongue in cheek?

I'll agree with others that the phrasing was awkward in many places, making for a difficult read. I don't have any suggestions for this, other than to say: concentrate more directly on the essential elements of each line, and make sure you are conveying only the essentials within each. The approach to his house is a good example. There's no reason to have him circle the house. The point is, he sees his house. It's damaged. There's bad news inside. Anything that doesn't add to those thoughts is a distraction.

Looking forward to seeing what you have for next week!

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Posted: June 26th, 2019, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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A Warrior's Anguish

He quickly gave up on his son and then it was all about the revenge. Not sure if that was the right story decision. As it is, it felt rather as an excerpt of a story than truly complete - however the action was handled well throughout, I can say.  

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 7:32am Report to Moderator
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Shakespeare's county
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Hellow writer

This is a slow burner - I don't think a slow burner is good for action. I feel like I have missed the best bit - the sacking of the village. It's like showing up late to a party and everyone is already passed out drunk.

Alright - we both know that the writing is not the best here, this one screams last-minute entry. so spelling and grammar and whatever can be forgiven slightly in these challenges. But the overwriting cost you both time to write it in the first place, and points from my scoring.
"...where itís arm used to be." - We know that
"Just as the..." - not needed and slows down the action
"...Headless body..." - again, we know it's headless

I feel like you tried to choreograph too much of the fight - generally, action scripts don't follow the 1 page = 1 minute rule as the action takes longer on screen than is written on the page - I feel like yours is the opposite, a long time to explain a relatively quick fight.
Give us key moments of the fight, the important beats that exchange the upper hand - we don't need to read every step, swing, and dodge.

The trading card, come on now, you can do better lol

Now, I've commented on this in a different thread, my heightened emotions when it comes to father/son storylines.... but, I didn't feel anything when reading this one. If I was that guy, I would be absolutely balling, and I would be trying to find his body, not just throwing a card in a pile of a few bodies.

You had space left to end this properly - he has a funeral for his son, lays the trading card on it, ramp up the emotional ending. I would also open with action, a glimpse of the sacking of the village, it would give us a glimpse of the son to build our emotional attachment and set the action tone straight away - cut down all the overwriting and you would have had room to do that.

I also got a Viking vibe from this, which didn't fit with the troll (might just be me) - but I would have set it up better with more of a fantasy vibe (Think the Witcher game series)

But, I feel this was a last-minute entry so well done for getting something in



Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
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Posted: June 27th, 2019, 9:23am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Vancouver, BC
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Rough read. The trading card felt out of time for me, I kept looking for clues that this was actually the future and the return of sword and sorcery. That doesn't seem to be the case though, so the trading card could easily just have been a drawing of Daddy. The card has no context, it's just a card.

The action is decent when it gets going. Gulorn doesn't seem in danger at all, he's very capable of killing one troll, which is why I was waiting for some twist, like the boy is alive and still in the church (which he never checked, he just assumed the boy was dead) or that the troll would fall on him after it was decapitated. I actually thought that was happening when he closed his eyes as the troll's lifeless body falls, like he killed the troll and didn't get out of the way of the body so he would be killed too and join his son in the afterlife. Instead, we get his eyes closed and the setting sun...what does that mean? What is the ending? Where is the reaction? Any reaction?

I like the idea of burying the boy, if he can identify which body is his. Pick through those crispy cherubs and carry the bones home to bury next to his wife (not a concern in the world for her, she must have died long ago), or maybe the church doors open and three more trolls come out, or maybe that troll's daddy comes out and now it's personal. Just give us an ending.

As for criteria...oh, boy. If the church had meant anything at all instead of just fighting at the front door, that might have helped. Between that and the trading card being a non-entity, I don't think this meets the criteria. But it still got you writing, and you'll have some points from me in other areas.

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Posted: June 27th, 2019, 6:46pm Report to Moderator

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Good action. The story was a little thin, though, and I canít believe that the printing press has been invented in what seems a very primitive society. But stranger things have been done to meet the criteria of OWCs, so itís okay.
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Posted: June 27th, 2019, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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

Tucson, AZ
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Another rough read. Interesting choices for hyphenating words. You must've had a reason?

Criteria: Well, there WAS a trading card and there WAS the smoldering remains of a church. It could easily have been the remains of his favorite pub and made no difference in how the story played out.

The best character by far was the wounded old guy that told him his kid was at the church. Why not make this a rescue story from the church? Would've been much more interesting.

Once the 'action' started with the troll, it was described fairly well, so kudos there.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 10:37am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Love your title and like your logline.

If a man went into his ransacked house and his son was not there... I think he would act different, at least searching or frantic but instead an old man that is on the road now(was he on it before) tells him about the son.

Hmm I'm torn about this because I wanted to like it but the story needs more.. I didn't care about any of the characters.. and every time the guy gets somewhere it's too late.. and then he kills a troll. What if the very man he stabbed with the sword was the very man that could tell him where the kid was?

And the trading card sort of felt tacked on a bit to me here. The church too really.

Good job finishing one in such a quick timeframe.
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Posted: June 28th, 2019, 3:41pm Report to Moderator
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Action - check, for sure.

Church - well there is one.

Trading card - in medieval times??? I think not.

I genuinely thought that when we got 'Someone COUGHS O.S.' that it was going to fade to a group of gaming nerds (like me) playing with trading cards.

Not me me,

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: July 1st, 2019, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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I donít understand the significance of the card.  It didnít appear to have a purpose.  Thereís definitely action.  And sorta meets the criteria.  It wasnít particularly an entertaining read.

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