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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  The Quickie Challenge  /  God Does Not Play Dice - QC
Posted by: Don, August 20th, 2017, 11:15pm
God Does Not Play Dice by Won Nut - Short, Drama - A retired Cardinal reveals a secret to a trusted friend. 3 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Cooper, August 21st, 2017, 1:52am; Reply: 1
The Steve Bannon line was pretty hilarious.

My issue with this is that it felt unbalanced. Is this a comedy or a tragedy. I thought it was one, then the other, then the other. The tone was all over the place. also it seem strange that these two are friends yet the pastor uses the cardinals full name.

You did work in both challenges in one, so kudos there.
Posted by: khamanna, August 21st, 2017, 2:12am; Reply: 2
Hi.
Sorry, I couldn't pick onclues in this. Didn't understand why to play dice and how it matters in the end.

Written well and all. I wish the writer could explain as this could be very interesting. A pastor and a Cardinal play dice. Maybe it's thenumber of pages that hindered the clarity in this.
Posted by: Warren, August 21st, 2017, 4:18am; Reply: 3
Hi,

SPOILER

Another one hanging from a jump rope.

So technically this doesn't meet the challenge rules as you have used both sets of criteria, but that would have been pretty hard to do in 3 pages so good on you.

I think the story may have suffered because of it though.

The point of this wasn't very clear to me.
Posted by: khamanna, August 21st, 2017, 4:26am; Reply: 4
I liked the Pastor and Cardinal playing dice in the church. You actually have all four of the requirement - I noticed "two residents" at the beginning of it as well.

I couldn't pick up on clues here. They are playing dice - I didn't get what for, and how that plays out in the end. The Cardinal is about to... but I didn't get why at all. And all the questions during the dice game - didn't get that either. Possibly the 3-page limit hinders the clarity in this. I wish the writer explained this after the OWC is over.
Posted by: Dustin, August 21st, 2017, 4:50am; Reply: 5
Code

He stares at an AIDE standing above a jump rope, 



Above a jump rope? Is he levitating?


Code

while TWO
RESIDENTS lacklusterly hold their respective ends.



lacklusterly is the wrong adverb. 'Unenthusiastically' would be better.

Yeah... hmmm. Not a story, more of a cheap comedy skit we'd see on TV. Not for me.
Posted by: MarkRenshaw, August 21st, 2017, 5:50am; Reply: 6
Someone had an argument with their screenwriting software on the title page and lost me thinks!

Not sure if this is a pisser or not, the tone goes from serious to comical in an unbalanced way. Although the Steve Bannon line was funny, there was no way the Cardinal would know the pastor would ask that question of the dice, yet he seemed to know exactly what he would do with them.  

Reads like a skit, or sketch. Not really my cup of tea.

-Mark
Posted by: Stumpzian, August 21st, 2017, 6:15am; Reply: 7
A DQ, at least in my voting. Brazenly violates the rule about mixing sets.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, August 21st, 2017, 6:31am; Reply: 8
Wrong page numbers

odd first scene… should this be bizarre or ironic in case of the challenge's topic?

All right. I like it. One question: Did Cardinal hang himself because he heard that Bannon will become president? I just realized he wasn't present in the scene when Murphy rolled the dice, so how would Cardinal know that? Perhaps it's just a bizarre ending and I interpret wrong here. Nice comedic undertone.
Posted by: hawkeye, August 21st, 2017, 8:51am; Reply: 9
Eh, I didn't like the blatant middle finger at the rules.  Also, Just a couple of minor nitpicks... are Catholic priests referred to as pastors?  I would think he would be referred to as Father Murphy (I assume he's Catholic and thus the relation to the Cardinal).  Second, "twelve means it will definitely happen. One means no chance."  I think you mean "two means no chance" since you can't roll a one with two die.

The cover page is weird, man. All those continues. And the page numbers are off. Opening in the living facility does nothing for your story other than you're just jamming it in to fart on the rules.

The writing itself wasn't bad but it seems like you could have done more with this than turn it into a Brannon throwaway joke. All the best,

Gary
Posted by: grademan, August 21st, 2017, 8:55am; Reply: 10
I liked how it worked in both sets of criteria which is an auto DQ but  -- who cares? It was creative. This could have ended on the punchline rather than go into the closet.
Posted by: khamanna, August 21st, 2017, 9:03am; Reply: 11
This one is not against the rules!)

Some say it is, but there was a discussion about mixing and matching and the answer is - as long as you have a required object/location set you're fine. You may include any other object or location in the world.
Posted by: Stumpzian, August 21st, 2017, 9:07am; Reply: 12

Quoted from khamanna
This one is not against the rules!)

Some say it is, but there was a discussion about mixing and matching and the answer is - as long as you have a required object/location set you're fine. You may include any other object or location in the world.


Oh, missed that. Will give this one another look.
Posted by: JEStaats, August 21st, 2017, 10:30am; Reply: 13
What the heck is up with the title page?! Not a good way to start off....

Another derail: Genuflects... ugh. Got to look that one up. Oh. Couldn't you just say kneel or pray?

Okay, cool. The stone dice from the Romans. Nice touch. HAHA! How do you roll a one with a pair of dice? OOPS!

Best line: Patriots win the Super Bowl with a groan!

This qualifies in my books. Needs some clean up. Maybe just get rid of the retirement home beginning. Nice work.
Posted by: MarkItZero, August 21st, 2017, 1:53pm; Reply: 14
Well, you managed to pull off all four. But you went over the page count by one line. And only because you started with a CONT'D. Almost like it was on purpose. I'll take it as a clever statement on the absurdity of the rules.  
Posted by: DanC, August 21st, 2017, 2:11pm; Reply: 15
This was odd.  

You went over the page limit and I don't know why.  You could have easily cut a few lines out without losing anything important.

I agree with Mark.  I couldn't tell if this was a comedy, horror (Steve Bannon??), tragedy?  The tone was all over.

And how far do the dice predict the future?  So many questions.

And why did the Cardinal hang himself?  I wish we knew what question he asked.

Not bad overall, and you managed to fit all 4 criteria in just a smidge over 3 pages.

Dan
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., August 21st, 2017, 4:50pm; Reply: 16
Cont. at the top? That doesn't fly very well.

But,

I liked the premise. Playing with dice that they used to cast lots with years ago?

THAT, my friend, is a good one. Such a shame it lands broken in a few too many places.

Yet I was interested reading it. And that is hard for me so you've done something extremely right in my little ball court.

Oh how I wish it didn't end in such a rush for no reason.

Oh how I wish Steve Bannon wasn't mentioned because I don't even know who he is.

Still,

Interesting. Very interesting.

Sandra
Posted by: Dreamscale, August 21st, 2017, 5:02pm; Reply: 17
Over the page count, so I'm not even going to read a single line.

No grade
Posted by: StevenClark, August 21st, 2017, 8:21pm; Reply: 18
Writer,

I don't feel you were mistaken including all four challenge objects. I think you truly felt that was the challenge. I could be wrong. Anyway, in doing so I feel it took away from this story as you really had something interesting going on with those dice. I liked that part a lot. But the opening took away from it, and you really never had time to fully develop the significance of the dice, which would have been great. And not a fan of the ending either. But overall, pretty good!

Steve
Posted by: StevenClark, August 21st, 2017, 8:22pm; Reply: 19

Quoted from Dreamscale
Over the page count, so I'm not even going to read a single line.

No grade


This wasn't over the limit, Jeff!

My bad, Jeff. I actually do remember this being one line over, but it appears that it was allowed to be corrected to fit the challenge.
Posted by: Dreamscale, August 22nd, 2017, 9:02am; Reply: 20

Quoted from StevenClark
This wasn't over the limit, Jeff!

My bad, Jeff. I actually do remember this being one line over, but it appears that it was allowed to be corrected to fit the challenge.


It was over when I looked at it yesterday.  It also started with a "CONT."

So, corrections are being allowed days after the deadline?  What am I missing here?

Posted by: Stumpzian, August 22nd, 2017, 9:55am; Reply: 21

New comments now that I understand it was okay to have all four elements:
But -- why do it that way? It just added to the muddle.
I like the premise involving the biblical stone dice, and this looked like it might be a good story. Alas, it did not come to pass.

Also, little things irritated me:
Use of lacklusterly and genuflect.
Describing the stone dice as weather-beaten. What, left outside? Weren't they gathering dust in the Vatican?
Confusion over the meaning of "one" and "two" and some questions that didn't fit the will-happen, won't-happen responses, such Blue Elephant and Mother's Name.
Trivializing use of Steve Bannon, Super Bowl.

Henry



Posted by: Angry Bear, August 22nd, 2017, 11:06am; Reply: 22
So these dice can tell you if something is true or false. Murphy first tests this by asking silly questions like, there are too many blue elephants and is Murphy a woman. Dice tells him false. He starts asking questions he knows are true and the dice agree. He asks if Steve Bannon will be president and gets a TRUE. Shudder!!!! Would've been a rather scary thought, but since he's no longer a player in the WH, it fell flat.

I enjoyed it. Just would've had a better punch if Bannon was still on the scene.  :)
Posted by: heyDaddyStudios, August 23rd, 2017, 2:56pm; Reply: 23
My first "negative" review...and go!

A priest hanging himself with a jump rope seems kind of...bizarre. It just doesn't seem significant in any way aside from the fact that his aides were using it to play, and then it aided in his suicide.

There was a couple time where it seemed like the writer was taking words straight out of a thesaurus without reading to see how it blended in with the sentence as a whole, mostly in the first page.

Definitely not a drama, and I think the only thing that hit me as intriguing was that no answer earned a one. because in an infinite universe, no matter what the situation is, there is always a minuscule chance of anything happening. I don't know if that's what you meant, but I liked it anyways.
Posted by: heyDaddyStudios, August 23rd, 2017, 2:56pm; Reply: 24
HAHAHAHAH and there's two dice, how would he come up with a one!?!? Silly me.
Posted by: Michael, August 23rd, 2017, 7:22pm; Reply: 25
Just don't understand why the Cardinal being so old would jump rope, then bam we are in the Church. Just confusing for me.
Posted by: denamckinnon (Guest), August 23rd, 2017, 7:53pm; Reply: 26
Hmmm this is well written but I do not really get it. I wanted to like this but I do not really understand why the guy killed himself at the end. Or did he?

Confused.
Posted by: Abe from LA, August 27th, 2017, 7:01pm; Reply: 27
GOD DOES NOT PLAY DICE

There is a certain amount of misdirection here that stifles your story.  What I like are the biblical elements, the stone dice, the telling of the future stuff.  Forget the jump rope and Steve Bannon.

So the Cardinal stole the dice because he "needed to know." I was unclear what specifically he needed to know, and how the dice played a part in this knowledge. what's confusing is that the Cardinal explains what he needed to know, by saying the dice can foretell the future? Right. So he didn't need to know, really. He just needed the dice.
Like the golden egg vs. the goose that lays the golden egg.


Another puzzler for me is that the dice seem to have led to the Cardinal's downfall. And ultimate suicide.  So why is he passing along the dice to Pastor Murphy?  He doesn't issue any warning, but almost a blessing to Murphy. Cardinal: "You are the one, Jim."

What does the Cardinal foresee Murphy doing?  Interesting, but confusing.

Maybe Murphy is entrusted to "return" the dice to the Vatican. But like Adam, he gives in to temptation.  And once he rolls the dice, he ain't rolling back.

Reminds me some of the Twilight Zone episode, Nick of Time, with William Shatner.

This is a flawed piece of work, but so intriguing. Writer, you should clean it up and reintroduce.
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