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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  October 2012 One Week Challenge  /  House - 10/12 OWC
Posted by: Don, October 20th, 2012, 3:39pm
House by Adiams - Short - needed refuge from the weather, she find a place, make a unexpected acquainted character, ho hide a dark mystery.  - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: Dreamscale, October 20th, 2012, 5:16pm; Reply: 1
Here we go again...

A quick glance at the logline and you knnow exactly what you're in for here.  I got about 6 lines in and said that's about 6 lines too many.

Some of the worst grammar and overall writing I've seen in awhile, sorry to say.

That's all from me.  Read scripts, research how to write on the internet.  If English isn't your first language, my apologies...if it is, you owe me an apology.
Posted by: danbotha, October 20th, 2012, 5:34pm; Reply: 2
I have to say, I agree with Jeff.

The script is riddled with grammatical errors and it really is quite a chore getting through the writing. However, having said that, if English isn't your first language, then it isn't too bad. You just need to touch up on a few things.

If your story is good, people will read this. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the little story you have here. I got to Page 2 and decided to put it down. There was nothing keeping me into the story. The little dialogue that you do have is incredibly awkward and on the nose.

Just a few things:

- It's generally advised in screenplay writing to not have Page 1 numbered.

-Don't introduce Maria as "a girl", introduce her as MARIA (in CAPS). It was confusing when this Maria character started talking, but we had no idea who she was??

-The Narrator needs to be in CAPS.

Page 1: "She entered..." - Try "she enters..." . Keep it in Present-tense.

Can't go much further I'm afraid.

Keep writing. Congrats on getting the OWC finished.

Posted by: greg, October 20th, 2012, 5:36pm; Reply: 3
Needs work.
Posted by: Pale Yellow, October 20th, 2012, 5:41pm; Reply: 4
I think this needs a lot of work. Grammar. Spelling. Formatting.

Needs a rewrite....I couldn't make it past page one. Sorry.
Posted by: DarrenJamesSeeley, October 20th, 2012, 6:10pm; Reply: 5
An antique motel.   :(
What's that? Is it worth anything?

I take it English is not your first language.
This may very well be your first script you ever written, or the second.
Maybe you burned midnight oil and got yourself a fifth of Jack Daniels.
If nothing else, proofread.
Posted by: irish eyes, October 20th, 2012, 7:58pm; Reply: 6
Sorry the logline is a horror and the first page is a horror... just blocks and blocks of words...
4 lines max on our actions/descriptions... very hard to read

good job on entering

Posted by: kingcooky555, October 20th, 2012, 9:18pm; Reply: 7
I think the author has issues with English so I couldn't make it past page 2. Also, I stopped on this dialogue:

Wow, was not expecting a Antonio
Pigafetta they explorer, the book
of Congo region, Latin 1598, with
illustrations by the brother De
Bry, that is a find.

that just felt so forced. No way anyone says that with a straight face and not gasp for air. I feel the author might be a beginner. If so, keep your dialogue short and sweet and focus on using action to tell the story. That will ameliorate the English issues somewhat.

Good try though.
Posted by: Mr. Blonde, October 20th, 2012, 9:55pm; Reply: 8
Well, there are things that go without saying, but I'm going to say them anyway. First of all, kudos for trying to write in a language you're not quite familiar with. I, sure as hell, wouldn't want to attempt something like that.

However, that's no excuse if you decided to enter this contest. You entered and you should be prepared for the criticism. There were some times when the translation wasn't awful and times were it was atrocious.

As for the actual story, there wasn't much going on, to be honest. They spent the whole thing talking about a book and then cannibalism got brought up. I don't think much of it was lost in the translation. I think you had something you wanted to talk about but weren't sure how to say it.

Because of that, the script becomes a poorly conceived (and structured) mess. Best of luck if you try a rewrite.

Posted by: SteveCadieux, October 21st, 2012, 2:18am; Reply: 9
Thank for all the reply, it will be constructive at the end, and yes, i am french Canadian, lol. But thank you for the comment, i know were to work on.
Steve Cadieux
Posted by: danbotha, October 21st, 2012, 2:30am; Reply: 10
Well we know who wrote it now...

Perhaps you should read what the OWC is actually about?
Posted by: ABennettWriter, October 21st, 2012, 2:37am; Reply: 11
Ho my God is my new favorite expression.

I'm not really making fun of you, but since you blew your own cover, I guess it's OK.
Posted by: mmmarnie, October 21st, 2012, 12:58pm; Reply: 12
Some serious issues here.  I won't even address the grammar because I don't think that's laziness, I think there is a language barrier.  As for the writing...

First....Maria talks to herself outloud.  That never comes across as natural.  I mean, how many times do you have full conversations with yourself outloud?

You need to intro characters like this: " In the door stands HARRY, old man,"

(he move to a chair and sit, waving her to sit on they other side of the table) --  several of these wrylies are way too long and need to be written as action.

As for the story...there was just too much talking so you told us everything and that gets old fast.  It's hard to connect to a character if they just talk and talk.  Because of that I sort of glazed over and didn't really understand what the story was about.  

Just keep writing.  Work on character development through their actions.  What can you tell about someone by just watching them?  Their facial expressions, gestures?  Somethimes that is more telling than what comes out of their mouths.

Posted by: crookedowl (Guest), October 21st, 2012, 1:50pm; Reply: 13
I agree with the others, this could use some work. I think the problems have already been pointed out, so I won't go there.

Keep writing, and read some scripts.

Good job completing the OWC.
Posted by: Ryan1, October 22nd, 2012, 1:23am; Reply: 14
I'm sure if I tried to write a script in French, and used an online translator, it would probably come out just like this one.  Good on ya for attempting it, but next time get an English speaker to proofread for you.  Then you'll be able to avoid lines like:

"Got cut in the rain, are you?"

Posted by: Grandma Bear, October 22nd, 2012, 4:26pm; Reply: 15
Page 1. First thought is the mountain road...This is supposed to take place at a rundown motel and it is supposed to be micro budget, hence the one location requirement.

narrator should be in CAPS.

Also typo in that first dialogue. These are quite a few errors to have right off the bat. Hopefully the story will trump those errors.

I’m only halfway down the first page and the errors are adding up. Typos and grammar issues and long wordy action paragraphs. Try to keep them no more than four lines max.

How old is Maria, btw. You said a girl riding a bicycle. is she 6 or 17?

Clunky dialogue from Maria. It’s also usually awkward to have characters talking to themselves like that.

LEAVING ROOM? I imagine English is not your native language so, I’ll cut you some slack, but I have to be honest with you too and let you know that this is tough reading.

Lots of exposition there in her last dialogue...

Those are my thoughts after the first page. You might hate me for this, but I’m going to quit here. There are 36 scripts to read and my time is limited. I’m sure you will get lots of useful comments to help you improve your style and storytelling.
Posted by: Felipe, October 22nd, 2012, 5:14pm; Reply: 16
As some have mentioned, I can't see English being your first language. That's okay, it's not mine either. Keep working at it.

In terms of screenwriting, my best advice is to create more white space. You have a lot of long lines of dialogue and long action paragraphs. These things really slow down the read and contribute to a lot of people giving up on the script.

Congrats on finishing the script!
Posted by: DV44, October 22nd, 2012, 7:20pm; Reply: 17
It was a tough read but I told myself I would read every script. A couple of things, some of the requirements were not met. No supernatural background, no good versus evil outcome. Just two people talking with each other over a rare book until Maria realizes Harry has a knife ready to kill her. My advice - read more scripts, get a feel for format and so forth. Congrats on writing the OWC.
Posted by: LC, October 25th, 2012, 3:12am; Reply: 18
Hi Steve,

regardless of the fact there were quite a few issues as others have pointed out, due to the language barrier, there was definitely a creepy vibe to your story which I enjoyed.

Great to see you giving the OWC a go. :)
Posted by: CoopBazinga, October 25th, 2012, 4:49am; Reply: 19
Sorry but I'm not going to make it far into this one.

I did try and give it a chance but when that large block of dialogue started on page 2, I was out.

Obviously someone new to the craft so all I can say is well done for getting in an entry to a difficult OWC. I'm guessing others would have already mentioned some of the problems and added links and what not.

Congrats on completing the OWC. :)

Posted by: RayW, October 26th, 2012, 3:57pm; Reply: 20
House by - needed refuge from the weather, she find a place, make a unexpected acquainted character, ho hide a dark mystery.
Brief - A young woman discovers old books and old men have old ways of staying young.

Locations & Sets  -  Exterior, mountain road. Exterior, motel lobby/office @ night. Interior, motel lobby/office @ night.
Actors  -  MARIA (??), HARRY (??)
Costumes  -  Old man clothes
Props  -  antique books, knife, liquid stage blood
Audio FX  -  latch fumbling, creaking door
Visual FX  - Rain effect
Other  -  bicycle
Genre & Marketability - horror drama
Comments  -  OMG. A girl riding a bicycle - on a mountain road - in the rain. When given criteria such as “microbudget” and “in a beat-up motel” a writer should stick to the producer’s criteria. Just start with her on the bicycle pedaling into the motel’s parking lot. In fact, just begin from the motel lobby interior and have her drive up to the door on her bicycle to save some effort/cost. English a second language? (That’s okay. I can only speak and write in one language, so you’re doing considerably better that me.) :-) Alright, you gotta severely pare down your descriptions. Dialog’s a bit stiff. Turn off your screenwriting program’s mores and continueds feature. Characters are introduced in all caps followed by age and brief description.

Example, from page 2:
The step go down the stairs, frozen, she don't move,
staring at the door of the room. Sound of fumbling at the
latch and the door swing open. In the door stand a old man,
white bearded and white hair, wearing really old fashion

Cut it down to...
Maria goes downstairs. She stops at the door of another room where someone fumbles with the latch before it opens.

HARRY, 70, white hair and old clothes, smiles at her.

Now, imagine I put a video camera in your hand and gave you two actors and a stairway.
Re-read both versions a couple times and consider if you would film them different in any significant way that the viewing audience would appreciate. Probably not.
You have “INT. MOTEL LEAVING ROOM - NIGHT” four times in a row. Don’t do that. Characters are not interesting, just a nice girl that gets scared and a friendly old creep. Storm coming, but no hurricane. No decision being made. Certainly none between good and evil. Story’s a little predictable. Good use of minimal cast, a few props, and essentially one location with two brief establishing shots, one of which can be eliminated entirely. And I wanna give a little shout out to whomever wrote “One of God's Special Children” that people of different cultures do indeed have different ways of speaking and there’s nothing derogatory in intent.
Script format: needs work. Final word: Uninteresting characters & story

$500 - $1,000  Lo/Hi Estimated Budget Range
/ 5.25 Screenplay Pages
= $95 - $190 Estimated Cost Per Screen Minute

Adherence to Given Criteria:
Odd but interesting character(s) - nope
take refuge from a hurricane - nope
in a beat-up motel - yep
and are forced to make a choice - nope
between good or evil - nope
in order to survive the night. - nope
Each character must -
have some history involving a supernatural event in their lives - yep
that factors into their choice. - nope, Harry’s going to kill her, no choice
Genre is open. - horror drama
This is a micro-budget short, - yep
so no destruction of the motel, - yep
no children or animals - yep
and minimal special effects. - yep
BONUS! Story also included:
mime(s) - nope
dinosaur(s) - nope
Posted by: RJ, October 26th, 2012, 7:33pm; Reply: 21
Agree with the others here. Needs lots of work. Keep at it and you'll get there.

Good effort.
Posted by: DaveTroop, October 28th, 2012, 7:16pm; Reply: 22
Don't want to kick a dead moose.

I will say something positive.  Canadian, eh?  My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Niagara Falls Ontario.  You have a beautiful country, my friend.  

Good luck in your writing.

Thanks for playing.
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), October 28th, 2012, 10:36pm; Reply: 23
Well, congratulations on completing the OWC.  And welcome to the boards!   ;D

We do all have to start somewhere.  And I know that I wouldn't be able to write a script in another language at all.  So kudos for trying.  Please feel free to ask anyone on the boards, as you have questions re: the script writing process.  That's how we all learn. :)

Best and cheers,

--J (Wonka)
Posted by: Oney.Mendoza, October 29th, 2012, 2:59pm; Reply: 24
I didn’t make it past page 2, sorry. I can usually look past grammar and punctuation errors – but you didn’t even have the proper format at all. You didn’t bother to capitalize your n in narrator at the beginning.

And sentences like “It is raining hard” irritate me. They’re so bland. Hell – you could’ve even used “It’s raining like cats and dogs” or just something more…

Can’t comment on anything more because I didn’t finish.
Posted by: albinopenguin, October 29th, 2012, 4:08pm; Reply: 25
haha looks like Steve broke his silence.

can't afford to spend much time on this one. seriously rushing like a mad man.

just a tip. your expository paragraphs are WAY too long. should cap it around 4 lines, 5 lines max. scripts should be easy to read. and when you come across a chunk like that, reading your script becomes a chore.

congrats on completing a script in another language. i'll try to take a look if and when you repost it.
Posted by: jwent6688, October 29th, 2012, 6:01pm; Reply: 26
I would not give this another look.

Quoted from SteveCadieux
i am french Canadian, lol.
Steve Cadieux

Typical Canadian. Didn't even read any other entry.


Posted by: Dreamscale, October 29th, 2012, 6:19pm; Reply: 27
And over 20 peeps plodded through this "script".

Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), October 30th, 2012, 6:44pm; Reply: 28
English is not your first language; I figured that out right away.  You're not the only one like this.

From what I can tell, this didn't really meet the criteria of the challenge as there was no good-and-evil-choice to be made.

This story, from what I can tell, reads like the first few pages of a longer piece, or is a summarized version of a feature script.  You cut straight to the chase without any build up in story or characters.

When Maria found the book, her dialog is extremely on-the-nose.  She told us everything about the book that we, the readers, needed to know.  People don't talk like that in the real world; your characters shouldn't.

Posted by: DarrylLuster, March 8th, 2013, 12:42pm; Reply: 29

Adiams, Let's change the narrator into a capital n, Where it looks like this: Narrator.

And when the old man is introduced for the first time, You should capitalize, such as this: OLD MAN. When the old man speak for the first time you should address the character cue as this:

                                             OLD MAN/HARRY  

And finally, Please eliminate the profanity orphan word at the end of Maria's sentence.
It can go on to greener pastuers without it.

Your story is a great gathering by the fireplace night-time story, Which probably would be a bigger story and attract more readers if it was somewhere in the United Kingdom.

A great story.


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