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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    The September 2021 OWC  ›  Swan Song - OWC
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  Author    Swan Song - OWC  (currently 592 views)
Don
Posted: September 24th, 2021, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Swan Song by Sean Elwood (Zombie Sean) writing as anls - Short, Drama - A woman is tormented by an unknown sound. Do you hear it? - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  October 31st, 2021, 2:11pm
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SteveClark
Posted: September 25th, 2021, 5:16am Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Nice work. Though I didn’t get what was happening, you kept up a quick, tense pace. From what I understand, Joan was in some sort of imaginary cult. Theodore eventually joins in. Something like that. Again, though I didn’t really “get it,” I was rapt. And quite honestly, I’m not sure I want to get it because I thought this was pretty good. Steady tone, too.

This could have benefitted from a little more details. The how and the why that would have at least explained a few things. You could have done that and kept the story ambiguous. Again, good work.

Steve


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Yuvraj
Posted: September 25th, 2021, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, writer,

The writing is decent and easy to read. The ending was tense and dramatic. It would have been more helpful if a little emphasis were given to the mystery woman and how she operates. Imho, leaving it as it is to create a sense of mystery also helps to heighten the suspense.

Good luck.



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Zack
Posted: September 25th, 2021, 2:41pm Report to Moderator
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This is a weird and ambiguous little tale. It has an ominous, unsettling tone which I really dig. Writing is top-notch, too. I like this one a lot.

(


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.

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Zack  -  September 25th, 2021, 3:20pm
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RolandJ
Posted: September 25th, 2021, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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Writer;
The non linear structure makes for suspense. Lots of things going on that lead to chaos and her inevitable suicide. But the husband's eventual suicide suggests a shared illness of some kind. But the very title of Swan Song is a giveaway. I expected the woman's death. Got fooled by Theodore's 'swan song'
Good entry.
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Kevin_L
Posted: September 26th, 2021, 8:35pm Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Non-linear stories are good about keeping the reader/watcher on their toes.   My takeaway from your script is a depressed woman in so much despair that her mind created suicidal visions.   That's how she was "preparing" and saying goodbye to her husband.  He had no clue she was saying goodbye until it was too late.   When the cross necklace was no longer there, I took that as the point of no return.  I think he thought he was helping when he told her to sing.  Just like it suggests when it sounds at its most beautiful...Lights out.   Then, when the depression got him, he heard the swan song, and it was too late.  I can't wait to see your explanation to see if I'm even close.  You had me thinking.

Really good job.  
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ColinS
Posted: September 27th, 2021, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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Hi Writer.

What a very creative and peculiar little tale this one is. Kinda had a 'Midsummer' feel to it. The writing is all good.

In regards to the story,  if I'm gonna be honest, I didn't really get it. I guess that's always a risk with non-linear structure. Sadly my simple brain can only deal with simple scripts.
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Gary in Houston
Posted: September 28th, 2021, 1:19pm Report to Moderator
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Wow.  A thoroughly ambitious effort here, and while it was a struggle at times to keep up with where we were in the timeline, I admire the creativity and the story crafted.  I guess my only question is whether the people in white are people she is seeing after she is dead or is all of that created in her own mind?  I suppose if you did do a rewrite on this, you might consider whether to make that a tad clearer.

I think this is one that someone is going to want to produce at some point.  Good job here and best of luck with it.


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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Max Ruddock
Posted: September 28th, 2021, 2:45pm Report to Moderator
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Another very unexpected, although this time much darker, entry.

I'm not entirely sure I understood it, but I was engaged throughout.

Would love to hear the writer's explanation for this one.

Good luck.


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PKCardinal
Posted: September 28th, 2021, 3:16pm Report to Moderator
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This is one where I'll be coming back to this thread for the explanation.

There are definitely bits that I really like.

That said, it's a bit of a problem that you felt you needed to tell us in advance that it was non-linear. You either didn't trust that we would pick up on that, or you didn't trust the writing.

it's a gutsy thing to do, write a non-linear story in a very short script... mainly because we don't have much time to figure out the structure before the script is over. So, kudos for your bravery in the idea.

Anyway, it was a good script, and I enjoyed it.

One last thought... the challenge suggests that one of the two characters must know they aren't coming back. Did Janice know she wasn't coming back? (It's close enough for my vote, but maybe you have a thought on this that you could share.)


PaulKWrites.com

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: September 29th, 2021, 5:15am Report to Moderator
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Hi Writer

This showed some writing chops, weaving a captivating story into a complex structure.

It gripped me the whole read, great work.

Don't think I completely understand the story but I don't think I need to. I was first given the impression she was drawn into some kind of cult, by the end I wasn't so sure. she is certainly going through something tough.

I like the references to the swan song.

"The swan is white without spot, and it sings sweetly as it dies, that song ending its life" - Leonardo Da Vinci

Great work





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Mr. Blonde
Posted: September 29th, 2021, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
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I know this is a really strange comparison but, while I was reading this, all I could think of was this ancient YouTube video I used to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqWwsUhrFBw. I feel bad because I think I would've appreciated this story more, but it mostly seemed to go over my head. Still, my guess is this one will be well-received and I'm an outlier and that's not your fault. Best of luck with this one.


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: October 1st, 2021, 5:03pm Report to Moderator
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Very good take on the challenge here with some excellent visuals and layered with clever ideas, the sound scape for this would be really interesting too.

If it's not clear... I really enjoyed this one.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Zombie Sean
Posted: October 12th, 2021, 5:44am Report to Moderator
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Hi Everybody!

Sorry I'm late to getting back to you all! Been a rough past week.

I wrote this script on a whim after hearing about the OWC. Decided to give my shot, and I was just as pleasantly surprised by your guys' comments as you all were with the script. I basically vomited out four attempts for this challenge and this was the one I stuck with.

I loved seeing all of your interpretations regarding the story, and sorry for the non-linear story warning but I figured damned if I did, damned if I didn't put it on there kinda thing. My interpretation of the story, which is always open for discussion, is that Joan and Theodore are a happy couple who follow a religious belief and seem perfect. Until one day Joan is approached by a Woman in White, who later takes her to a cult-like group that invites others to partake in a session in which Gardith, the leader, transmits (or, infects them with) a feeling or type of sound that only they can hear.

This new discovery causes Joan to lose faith in her current religion, and she soon begins to realize something that Theodore doesn't, as she's experiencing this epiphany or metaphysical transition. It's discovered that in order to move forward in this metaphysical journey or to complete this epiphany, you must pass the sound on. What is it? We won't really know for sure, but Joan HUMS her transmission to Theodore and INFECTS him.

From there, she's passed it on, and eventually kills herself to complete the journey. Theodore, now infected, sits in the rocking chair looking at US. We eventually hear the humming. Is this the sound that Joan was hearing, and that Theodore is hearing too? The mosquito-pitched RING is also heard. Is that it? Either way, Theodore eventually kills himself. And the ending is meant to be interpreted that we, the audience, will now experience this Swan Song and we will have to pass it on to avoid going insane from the sound of it.

Why would this cult leader want to kill her followers rather than convert them and bring them into her community? Maybe she isn't human. Maybe she's bent on destroying humanity. Maybe she's attempting to take over the world. That is entirely up for interpretation based on the fact that this short is short.

Anyway, thanks all for reading. I am very happy you all enjoyed it. Until next OWC...

Sean


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Come and Find Me - Short, Drama (April 2022 OWC)
Bad Dreams - Short, Horror
Swan Song - Short, Drama (Sept 2021 OWC)
The Dead Body - Feature, Horror
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