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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  February, 2008 One Week Challenge  /  Death of a Soul on Earth - OWC
Posted by: Don, February 25th, 2008, 9:10pm
Death of a Soul on Earth by Ignacio Velásquez - Short, Drama - A man explains how he lost his soul after his own wife accidentally killed their daughter accidentally. - doc, format 8)
Posted by: ReaperCreeper, February 27th, 2008, 4:01am; Reply: 1
Okay, man. The death was accidental--we get it. You don't have to write it twice.

This needs a lot of work. Your format is way off and your sluglines do not need to be in bold. I can tell this is a beginner's work. There are very common mistakes littered throughout. Example: In the first scene, your slugline is Emerald Park. Okay, cool. But later on in the description you have--"It is a beautiful day in the park"--we already know we're in the park, you don't need to tell us again.  

Do NOT use this ( : ) with dialogue, not ever. That is only done in plays.

Lose the "we see"s and camera directions unless this is a shooting draft.

"Loose" and "Lose" are two different words. Fix that up.

As for the story itself, it's emotional and heartbreaking, specially if it was indeed a true story in your life. However, I must say it was poorly excecuted. The dialogue was flat and uninteresting. The descriptions were boring to read. You had a good thing with some potential going on, but ultimately lost it along the way.

I'm sorry I sound a little overly negative, but this script really needs work. I know if someone read something of mine, I would like them to tell me the truth about what they thought of it, be it positive or negative.

This wasn't very good, but we all write bad pieces from time to time. Just keep practicing and good luck.


Posted by: BPeterson, February 27th, 2008, 8:36am; Reply: 2
This was alright but as stated above, needs work. The formatting was all over the place and the actions could use some trimming. It gets a little too wordy and at times, redundant. It would be a smoother read if it's leaner.

you walk a dangerous line when dealing with lots of flashbacks. it gets a little jarring.

If you're serious about screenwriting, I recommend looking into a screenplay program. I think when a writer gets format down and gets comfortable with it, they get more confident with their writing.

this entry is by no means bad but keep working on it. I feel like you have the framework and still need to build and rework it.
Posted by: stebrown, February 27th, 2008, 2:21pm; Reply: 3
Have to agree with the formatting issue. Seriously download celtx, it just makes the technical side a smaller problem, freeing up time to actually write.
I can't figure out if this has been written by a non-English speaker due to the spelling mistakes. We're instead of were, loose instead of lose but then you use the correct their. It's a problem if English is your first language.
Onto the story, if this is indeed a true story then you have my sympathies. I didn't like the description of the actual accident though, just seemed overly gorey. "Her head explodes.."? Didn't think there was any need for that and made me doubt how true this story was. Just saying that a small child is run over by her own Mother is shocking enough.
Very boring descriptions and they were way too corny at times. I think 'With or Without you' would be the walk out time for me if this was on screen. Over-used song and would just be cringe worthy. Maybe just a personal thing there though.
The dialogue was ok at times but got kind of messy. Maybe cut-down the amount of children involved. They didn't really serve a purpose to the story and I imagine made writing this more difficult for you.
Having said all this if you had kept the accident less hard-core I'd have forgiven you for most of the errors. As it is it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Posted by: James R, February 27th, 2008, 7:05pm; Reply: 4
I have to agree with the posts so far, which is a shame because it must have taken a lot of effort to get this one out. Dealing with real life memories can often bring out great writing because life is so unpredictable. However, there are numerous things that need to be addressed before this script can even be analyzed.

The title suggested to me that we were going to be dealing with more planets than earth and I was a little excited, but then there were no aliens or space ships. I don't think "On Earth" is needed in the title.

The word we're is a combination of two words: we are. The word were is the one you want to use (I think) every time you use we're.

Quoted Text
I didn't like the description of the actual accident though, just seemed overly gorey. "Her head explodes.."? Didn't think there was any need for that and made me doubt how true this story was. Just saying that a small child is run over by her own Mother is shocking enough.

Amen. I was very surprised when I saw that her head exploded. The script previous to this was touching and then this happened. Unnecessary.

Pretty good with the characters but the dialogue gets long winded.

And get celtx, it's a great little program.


Posted by: Zombie Sean, February 28th, 2008, 9:30pm; Reply: 5
Wow, this one was a downer. Like what some people said, the way you described the deaths were a bit outrageous to think that this was based on a true story.

I was starting to get bored with the dialogue, but I supposed it helped to help you feel sorry for the family. Your descriptions were plain, but easy. You had some unnecessary stuff in them, along with camera angles.

You also had a lot of grammatical and spelling errors, so I'm hoping that English is not your first language. Also, your format is off, and, just a little tip here, you don't need to justify dialogue. There was one part where there were only three words on the line, so they were extremely spaced out and it looked weird.

Posted by: cybercelt, March 2nd, 2008, 1:28pm; Reply: 6
  The beginning of the film gets to a "ok I get it, everything is normal, get on with it" moment, then hangs on for a little longer.
  This happened here. Too much set up.
  One other odd thing. I'm interested if anyone else noticed it or I'm reading too much into it. The action voice changes, this happens in the dialog but it's strange to see it happen with the description.
  Was this written by two people?
Posted by: pwhitcroft, March 2nd, 2008, 3:58pm; Reply: 7
There is no doubt that you've got across a moving sense of tragedy. However I agree with all the earlier comments.

In 1958 did they show real operations on TV?

It reads a little like he is having his life story told by a newspaper biographer instead of telling it himself. It is not a natural style.

The build up to the catastrophe goes on for six pages and feels like a long slow introduction that could have been summed up quite quickly.

I liked the last part where he is clearly writing in his own diary. If you rewrite this then perhaps you could frame it as him writing out the story with the flashbacks shown as he moves through each element. It becomes one of those stories where the story is about the writing of itself.

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