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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  The Quickie Challenge  /  Be Devil - QC
Posted by: Don, August 20th, 2017, 11:30pm
Be Devil by Lord Byron - Short, Horror - A teenage girl takes refuge in a church, under the protection of a strict minister. But evil comes in many disguises.  3 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: khamanna, August 21st, 2017, 1:17pm; Reply: 1
It was hard to read for me for the very obvious reason but ultimately I liked this.
Senta and the dog's revival is not justified though. They are kind of at your will and I think it's a bit much to take.
Still good imagery and a well done short.
Posted by: DanC, August 21st, 2017, 1:18pm; Reply: 2
I agree with the 2 of you.  This was pretty awful for the subject matter alone.

A few typos.  

I am not sure you can ever get this filmed.  

However, the biggest issue is other than the "horny old priest pedophile" I didn't get it.

If I'm gonna read something like this, and draw any sort of meaning, for dramatic purposes, I'd like to know why, and why I should care about the priest at all.

Posted by: Dreamscale, August 21st, 2017, 1:32pm; Reply: 3
2nd passage - " an empty church" - Yeah, we know she's in a church, as the Slug tells us that.

"REV. LOCKE, 50s, tall, gangly, slick hair, dressed in dark clothing. He towers over Senta like a vulture." - No reason at all to have this broken down as 2 sentences, as the 1st has no verb.  Use a comma and combine these 2.

"Locke lifts her chin. She opens her eyes, as he smiles down." - This is a poorly written passage.  Here's why - 1st sentence is confusing, as you have Locke lifting Senta's chin, but you're only using "her", which makes it read awkwardly.  Next sentence, in the same passage, then changes to Senta doing something, starting with "She", and then in the same sentence, "he" - awkward and confusing.

The writing throughout is very awkward with strange breaks in sentences, incorrect breaks, incomplete thoughts, subject-less fragments.

Story for me goes nowhere and means nothing.  The dice aspect completely thrown in for literally no reason at all.

Not for me.

Posted by: JEStaats, August 21st, 2017, 1:33pm; Reply: 4
I had a hard time making any sense of this. The logline said that she was seeking refuge in the church: From what and with that freak? I don't think she wasn't running from her own dog. It was all really weird and jumbled.

And more necrophilia? From one religious fanatic to another. Not for me, thanks.
Posted by: Dustin, August 21st, 2017, 1:41pm; Reply: 5

 A pair of diced earrings shiver from her ears.


A decent story but a little too neatly tied up. It actually reminds me of a real story not long ago, where a 15-year-old girl was raped by a Muslim man in my city. After getting away from him, she flagged down a Muslim taxi driver who, after pretending to be helping her, drove her to a secluded spot and raped her himself.
Posted by: stevie, August 21st, 2017, 3:58pm; Reply: 6
No dice dice from me
Posted by: Gary Howell, August 21st, 2017, 7:32pm; Reply: 7
I'm just going to say this one was fine on the writing, but the story just left me blah.  Hopefully others find it more to their suiting.
Good luck,
Posted by: Warren, August 21st, 2017, 9:42pm; Reply: 8

So this priest couldn't care less about getting caught firing a gun in his church?

I think there is too little information to make this a cohesive story. Why did she come back? How did she come back? It's all convenient for the story.

The use of the dice was very weak in this one.
Posted by: Tyler King, August 22nd, 2017, 12:44am; Reply: 9
Is the "diced earrings" supposed to be the use of dice here? If so, shouldn't it read "dice earrings"? Otherwise, "diced" has a completely different meaning...

Story was weak, IMO. And hey another pedophile priest... Formatting was good and read fast, that's about it though. Don't really know where the 'horror' was more like a drama/suspense to me.
Posted by: MarkRenshaw, August 22nd, 2017, 3:24am; Reply: 10
Didn't get this at all, I've got this image of a dog using a rifle to shoot a priest and that's about as much sense as I can make of this. It seems to be shocking simply to shock, with no reasoning behind it. Not for me, sorry.

Posted by: Stumpzian, August 22nd, 2017, 9:08am; Reply: 11
I didn't see much "seeking refuge" as promised in the logline; I'd like to know from what and why. I knew immediately this guy wasn't going to do any "protecting" (hand on her head, etc.)

Diced earrings (chopped?) barely counts as using the required object.

I very much like your description of his movements as being like a mantis. I think I'd get rid of the vulture simile and focus on the mantis. (Also, it fits the character: praying mantis/preying mantis).

A believability problem here: As soon as the girl exits the room, the priest shoots her through the window. Remember, she had to go downstairs, out of the church. Plus, in the darkness, he shoots her twice in the same area of her neck! I recommend redoing this last part of the story.

Posted by: MarkItZero, August 22nd, 2017, 11:00am; Reply: 12
Doesn't work for me. It's all over the place. The concept is good. Now you have to find ways to wring the most tension of out it.

The pedophile stuff is not tense. It doesn't seem like she's being lured into it, or too afraid to resist, or forced to make any sort of decision. It just happens. No resistance, no reaction.

Then he's about to shoot a dog and it's a complete 180 with her wildly overreacting, shouting at him that he's crazy. If it just dawned on her she's trapped with a crazy man the last thing she would do is announce that fact out loud.

Think about something like 10 Cloverfield Lane. The tense beats are stuff like her pretending, manipulating, trying to hide her true thoughts and intentions in a desperate attempt at survival.
Posted by: Heretic, August 22nd, 2017, 12:52pm; Reply: 13
This one's got too much stuff for this short a story -- in particular, you've gotta earn it if you want us to stick around for the nasty content. There was lots of fun in the details and I think it could be a satisfying short if there was a bit more development of our protagonist. Even as a three pager, there'd be plenty of room to learn a little more about the situation if this didn't dwell on the rape so much. Less is more here, I think.
Posted by: StevenClark, August 22nd, 2017, 3:17pm; Reply: 14

Okay, did I miss the dice? I skimmed through again and didn't find it. Regardless, a fanatical preacher protecting a girl from a dog he believes is Satan? Then a little necrophilia, then she's not really dead. Writing wasn't bad, and the tension was pretty good, but this all kinda fell apart for me.

Posted by: PrussianMosby, August 22nd, 2017, 10:55pm; Reply: 15
I don't get why Senta is merely wounded at the neck by the rifle shot. If Locke truly hit her, wouldn't she be dead since a rifle is such a powerful weapon?
First page and I thought this could be great but then it went a strange route when the confrontation was delivered through the appearing dog and having Locke shooting out there. So, all in all, it's half and half for my taste: set-up and ending was good, the confrontation stage and its structure there not so. Still, good effort.
Posted by: Pale Yellow, August 24th, 2017, 5:45pm; Reply: 16
If you would have stuck to your logline... did the log come first or the story? I thought this would play out like the girl begged refuge... and instead of it being a safe house it was anything but! But instead she was just there and there was no reason stated to even be seeking refuge.

I could have liked the end but there is some confusion for me. First Senta said she saw a kid coming... the Priest said it was the devil and got out his gun. But then I guess he shot Senta instead because later he was carrying her dead bloody body with bullet holes in it? And then what happened? Did the Devil go into the dead body of the girl Senta?

I really liked the log. I would've liked this story if had stayed true to the concept. Twist is good at end...just needs to be more clear. Fine line between mystery and confusion.

Good job.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, August 25th, 2017, 7:14am; Reply: 17
Regarding Pale's comment, I see my wrong interpretation here about thinking Senta's still alive.

Don't know how I came to that conclusion. Perhaps the whole dog part felt too erratic constructed for me, so that I haven't realized Locke carries, kisses and eventually f**** an actually dead body. That's crazy.

Of course this changes a lot in case of the whole context. Will add an extra point in hindight.
Posted by: Grandma Bear, August 25th, 2017, 9:28pm; Reply: 18
This didn't really get my attention. I'm not religious, but I know a lot of people who are and I'm sort of tired of these stories of pedophile priests. It feels very old hat, to me.

It was well written though. The subject matter just made me roll my eyes. Sorry.
Posted by: ajr, August 26th, 2017, 7:08am; Reply: 19
Agree with a lot of what's been said previously.

I think the 2nd sentence in the log line gives much away. Also the questions I have are why Locke is not outed as some sort of crazy by the 'townsfolk' when he really doesn't appear to hide his crazy at all, and why Senta is there in the first place.

Also, never kill a dog in a movie. You can show pedophilia, necrophilia, Hotel Rwanda genocide - but if you kill a dog, people will come after you. Not sure why but it's true.
Posted by: Michael, August 26th, 2017, 7:39pm; Reply: 20
Like people are saying - It read awkwardly. It's a pretty sick short if you ask me. But you pushed the boundaries. I am torn as to whether I liked it or not. hmmmm,
Posted by: Cooper, August 31st, 2017, 12:17am; Reply: 21

Quoted from Dustin

 A pair of diced earrings shiver from her ears.


A decent story but a little too neatly tied up. It actually reminds me of a real story not long ago, where a 15-year-old girl was raped by a Muslim man in my city. After getting away from him, she flagged down a Muslim taxi driver who, after pretending to be helping her, drove her to a secluded spot and raped her himself.

Yeah, that might be the most awful thing I've ever heard. Remind me to never go to your city.

Moving on...

This story is just creepy but it doesn't go anywhere. The ending feels random. Also the dice aren't even dice. They're diced earrings which I'm not sure qualify.

The imagery was good but it wasn't clear where the story was going. Everything just happened.
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