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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  January 2019 -  One Week Challenge  /  Persistent - OWC
Posted by: Don, February 1st, 2019, 11:04pm
Persistent by - Ekon Kwan - Short, RomCom - A man thinks up a way to ask a girl of his dreams on a date. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: henb, February 2nd, 2019, 2:57pm; Reply: 1
I thought this was a rather original concept, though the way it’s written now it is somewhat hard to follow what is happening in some scenes, due to some confusing action lines and dialogue.

pg. 4 - “Have some breakfast first.”, along with the egg throwing was really funny.
pg. 4 - The Hobo theft was also very funny and abrupt.
pg. 6 - “It’s a Valentines Day”, either delete ‘a’ or add ‘gift’.
pg. 8 - When Fabien spells out Diane’s name you forgot the N.
pg. 9 - “you want he for ten years”, I think you meant to write “you've wanted her for ten years”.

I thought the romance was well represented, but I did not believe the lengths Fabien was going to win the girl. I think this should be expanded upon and explained more in a future draft. I found the awkward way Fabien spoke at the start amusing and a little too awkward. While I only found two exchanges between characters funny enough to laugh at, and they both happened in the same scene.
Posted by: Mr. Blonde, February 2nd, 2019, 3:10pm; Reply: 2
I think I liked the idea of this one more than the execution of it. It's the classic "boy wants one girl while not realizing the one who's right is right in front of him" storyline. There's a reason that's a classic set-up. My worry is that you didn't add to that type and filled in the gaps with some errors and awkward phrasings. This wasn't bad, just uninspired. Perhaps, in a rewrite, you'll build the story on top of the stable foundation.
Posted by: StevenClark, February 2nd, 2019, 7:59pm; Reply: 3

Nice try here with a good misdirection, but this went wayward. The writing was tough to follow, and not clear in places. The Bitter Old Lady, The Hobo - all these extra characters took the focus away from the real story. By the end it had turned into mish mosh, and I couldn’t really follow along. You had a good idea, a nice twist but the execution was lacking.

Good effort!

Posted by: Warren, February 3rd, 2019, 4:55am; Reply: 4
Hi Writer,

If you're going to go with the fancy title page, at least centre it. No marks off for it, but it's not a great start considering it's the first thing we see.

You really can tell that the vast majority of the scripts are written by guys just from their female character's descriptions.

This was too all over the place.

Sorry but not for me I'm afraid.

All the best
Posted by: eldave1, February 3rd, 2019, 1:08pm; Reply: 5

Is how I felt through most of the script. It's odd - I understood the words and the writing is fine - just somehow it seemed more chaotic than necessary.

I don't know - this may be the dumbest review I've posted - just confused.
Posted by: Dreamscale, February 3rd, 2019, 2:08pm; Reply: 6
Title Page looks terrible, sorry to say.

Page 1 is labeled as Page 2, and in reality, you shouldn't actually even number Page 1.

This is not a good start by any means.

I guess I'll be saying this until I'm blue in the face, but using an age like "30's", just isn't the way to go for main characters.  Huge life differences between age 30 and 39.  Pick an age that works for your characters and story.

Page 3 - this is very say that Tatyana is "30's", but she says she's 37, and then Fabien says he's 41, but you already intro'd him as 30's".  Am I missing something here?

WAIT...these are shoe sizes?  37, 38, 41?  WTF?  I have pretty big feet and I wear a size 13.  Are these giants?

"splatters all over his features and clothes." - WTF?  All over his features?  Very odd.

"Fabien is hot in pursue." - WTF?  OK, maybe English isn't your actual language and maybe where you live you're on a completely different shoe sizing scale, but whatever it is, I'm out.  This isn't working at all, and is very poorly written.

Posted by: Philostrate, February 3rd, 2019, 3:54pm; Reply: 7
Hi Writer,

There's romance and comedy, and the idea is good but the execution not so much. As it is, the script is tough to follow and I was confused in some places. I liked the characters, you did a good job, but there were too many shifts and turns in the story and the way it's written didn't help.

Nice twist but the script needs a solid rewrite if you want it to achieve its potential.

Good job on entering.
Posted by: Vincent, February 3rd, 2019, 10:13pm; Reply: 8
I'm guessing those are European shoe sizes, which are different from those in North America.

I agree this story was confusing, and all over the place.
Posted by: irish eyes, February 4th, 2019, 2:21pm; Reply: 9
From the start thought he would end up with Diane.

This had exactly the same concept as Rose BUD only Rose bud executed a lot better.

It was hard to keep track and it looks like you ran outta pages when otherwise you could have trimmed back so much.

Good job on entering
Posted by: Cam Gray, February 4th, 2019, 2:36pm; Reply: 10
Hey writer,

Reading that was like listening to a Captain Beefheart album, I wanted to like it but in the end I was just exceptionally confused. Now, Beefheart is considered by many to be a genius so chances are it’s my fault, but I just couldn’t get to grips with what on earth was going on.

Again there seemed to be a lot of talking and page filling that wasn’t required, and I am fairly confident you could stream line it to get a much cleaner story as for me it just gets lost across the spread of the work.

Anyway, best of luck with it,

Posted by: Zack, February 4th, 2019, 3:14pm; Reply: 11
I think this one has some potential, but it's not quite there.

The writing itself is okay, and it reads quick. I think the dialog needs to be punched up, though. You make Fabien awkward, but you should take it further and put some more humor into it.

Also think you should rethink the end, or where you decide to end it. I think Fabien should confess his love to Diane at the end.

Good effort, just needs a rewrite.

Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 4th, 2019, 4:00pm; Reply: 12
This could have been good, but it started to fall apart.

Fabien's early actions make absolutely no sense if he's in love with Dianne.

Diane’s Dialogue page 5 is too weird

>Sorry. I’m Diane. And... See, my friend Fabien is madly in love with you. He’s a little shy but I want to convince him to wait for you in front of your store with flowers tomorrow, you know... since it’s a Valentines Day and all. I hope you won’t mind.

Then after all that,  Tatanya merely shrugs?

I’m lost on page 7 with Tatanya having “the guys” hid boots under the table at the coffee shop.

And now it’s switching to Fabien in love with Dianne? Like I said, that cancels out all his awkward behaviour earlier.

Hey, just throw your coffee in my face and say something nasty as if I wronged you in some way. She’ll react to that.

What is that all about? Hot coffee in his face? He would have to be insane to ask her to do that.

If you try and make it a little more real and make some clarity for yourself about who wants what and why, then it will help to straighten it out later.

Good job that you entered and you were working on the comedic aspect.

The Hobo trying to steal his guitar was funny. I could really see that.  ;D


Posted by: LC, February 4th, 2019, 9:40pm; Reply: 13
Ooh, I was a bit slow on the uptake regarding the switcheroo of the women. I should have twigged, except the shoe-shop scene made me think this.

This is a bit convoluted and messy with extraneous characters for a short. It should be pared down a bit imh. Some moments of mild amusement but once again the object of his affection doesn't feature prominently enough as just that. I really thought it was Tatyana and not Diane that he liked.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, February 5th, 2019, 9:52am; Reply: 14

Quoted from Dreamscale

WAIT...these are shoe sizes?  37, 38, 41?  WTF?  I have pretty big feet and I wear a size 13.  Are these giants?

European shoe sizes - But not UK, as we use another scale completely.

So based on the above, I'm going to assume the writer has English as a secondary language.

Hi Writer

Tatyana must be great at her job, she's already selected a pair of shoes when all she has to go on is "I need a pair of shoes" - In other words, build the scene up.

Quoted Text

Above is not good - where am I? He's playing the guitar now, I am really confused.

Does this bitter old lady just walk around her house carrying eggs? She seems to have one very quickly.

Dialogue is not natural.

Tatyana is reacting very calmly considering she has just found out she is being stalked! how do they know where she lives?

The story is a little, strange - With a lot of work you might have something.

The way it is doesn't work for me.

Well done for entering the challenge

Posted by: hawkeye, February 7th, 2019, 1:23pm; Reply: 15
It’s a great little story, with the twist and turns. The challenge is met — it’s a rom com with necessary props. So why does this story bother me?  

I think it’s the writing. At times it seems natural, and at times it feels robotic. It could have been written hastily to beat the deadline. I think if you give this a good scrubbing you’ll have a little gem on your hands.

Posted by: _ghostwriters, February 8th, 2019, 4:44am; Reply: 16
No offense, just one opinion, but...

Sounds like it could be a funny concept, but this just felt very generic.  The A/D is a bit tedious in certain spots and confusing.  Some of the dialogue is stilted.  In fact, it seems like you could remove a bit of it and not really lose anything.

One thing you could remove is some of the extraneous named characters with dialogue.  Some were superfluous and only there to "do" something for the writer yet are not necessarily organic to the story.  I'm wondering why you need the Bitter Old Lady.  The twist was decent.  The larger issue here is that everything feels so jarring.

Shrug, my thoughts.  I'm not claiming I'm right, I'm just telling you how I reacted to your script. Hope it helps in some way, good luck with it.  Kudos for finishing...
Posted by: Spqr, February 8th, 2019, 1:18pm; Reply: 17
Good romcom. But why does it take 20 years for Fabian to finally make a move on Diane? One of the few big words I know is "propinquity." It means the tendency for people to form romantic relationships with those whom encounter often. Another thing I wondered about was how he roped Tatanya into helping him. But these are minor points, which are easily fixed. If this is going to be fleshed out into a full script, does Fabian find himself really falling for Tatanya just when Diane is starting to respond to him? This has the makings of an excellent romcom.
Posted by: PKCardinal, February 8th, 2019, 6:07pm; Reply: 18
I liked this much more before I started really thinking about it.

Once the twist is established, Fabian's actions in the shoe store no longer make any sense. Was he pretending to be thrown by Tatanya?

It's not something that can't be overcome, but the script needs a scrub for consistency with the twist. Maybe you wrote most of the short and thought of the twist at the end, but didn't go back and clean up his actions to match?

Anyway, I do think you've got a pretty good idea here. A rewrite or two will go a long way to making this sing. (I agree with others regarding the guitar/hobo scene. Fun.)
Posted by: DaveTroop, February 11th, 2019, 3:54am; Reply: 19
I didn’t even say anything to her,
yet she hates me. Don’t you, Tatyana? Didn’t you want to splash me with your coffee?
Oh, hi, Diane.

This script almost has a The Room vibe to it.  
I could almost hear Tommy Wisesu’s accent and voice every time Fabien spoke.

I figured the shoe sizes were of some European scale.

Why would Tats help Fabien with his hair-brained scheme?  Perhaps a huge commission on boots?  

The hobo scene was a little out of left field (as was much of this) but funny.

Definitely needs some cleaning up, but by no means bad.

Thanks for entering.
Posted by: CameronD, February 12th, 2019, 10:29am; Reply: 20
Not a fan of the attention getting title font. Especially when it's so off putting a choice as this. Some people don't mind, but it looks a little amateur in my opinion.

Your pg. 2 should be pg. 1.

How can Diane make a face behind Tatyana if only Fabian walked into the store?

Why is an old lady throwing eggs out her window? And then a hobo steals a guitar? What the hell is even going on here?

I ended up skimming after that. A persistent guy chasing after the girl of his dreams is at the core of many a rom-com. But you gotta have something unique to stand out with this tried and true formula. I don't think Fabian is as much persistent as he is an idiot. Why in the world would Tatyana ever want him when he's such a goof? On top of that the writing was hard to follow I think because the descriptions were so off. Things happen without much set up or explanation, the egg and hobo scene for example.

Good job on entering though. Keep at it and improving!
Posted by: jayrex, February 13th, 2019, 9:37am; Reply: 21
I can see what you’re doing here but it’s not the best angle for romance.  More impersonal.  You describe her as early thirties but she says she's 37.  Not early 30's to me.  Candella is spelt two different ways.

The moment Tatyana encountered Diane wasn't right.  She shouldn't have acted as if she didn't know her.  She did.  Diane was in the shop earlier to that scene.  You could say she's play acting and pretending not to know her.  But that doesn't work.

Anyway, not the greatest executed idea for me.
Posted by: big lew, February 13th, 2019, 9:31pm; Reply: 22
Well, first of all, a nod for the effort.

I understand the story you were trying to tell, but I didn't feel it.  For me, the hobo stealing the guitar came from no where, and then went no where...taking attention away for the core story.

It's a clever idea, maybe the best thing to do is digest the comments of your fellow writers and take another stab at it because it's certainly worthy of another pass.  

Like a shoe that's the right style and the right color, but doesn't fit right.  You just have to try it in another size.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, February 14th, 2019, 7:32pm; Reply: 23
The sort of wandered around a little bit for me and seemed overly contrived too.

Concept had promise but needs work.
Posted by: FrankM, February 17th, 2019, 11:17pm; Reply: 24
Hey, great effort getting a difficult assignment in under the time constraints.

The title page font... it had me expected some bloodshed. Turns out this is a romcom entry with rom and com. Somehow I've been lucky enough to avoid all of the off-genre ones.

I've been told that characters should be given exact ages even when you don't think it's critical to the story. In this case, you can use then to hint that Fabien and Diane grew up together by giving them identical ages.

The shoe size thing is confusing for people outside of Europe. Just the word "size" in there somewhere, and it should work just fine.

On page 4, "features" should probably be "face" and the expression is "in hot pursuit."

If the goal is to polish this into a shootable short, the Bitter Old Lady and her egg have to go. This character has to be set up indoors to coordinate with an outdoor shot, and the egg thing might qualify as a stunt for Screen Actors Guild purposes. The character also serves no other purpose, so she's ripe to get cut from the team.

Just about anything could serve as a distraction letting the Hobo make off with the guitar. The scuffle can easily ruin his outfit. You can also make the encounter less out-of-left-field by slipping in a prior encounter when Fabien shows indifference to a homeless person who turns out to be this Hobo.

Although you want the reader surprised by the twist, everything up to that point has to make sense pre- and post-reveal. Presumably, Fabien recruited Tatyana before the first scene. Without a strict page constraint, there's room for Tatyana to "accidentally" leave out her driver's license, or for Fabien and Diane to do a bad job of following her home... complete with Tatyana waiting a bit when she realizes she somehow lost them. Just remember that it has to seem plausible pre-reveal to both the reader and Diane.

The ending doesn't quite work, and I'm not sure exactly how to check all the boxes here. In a vacuum, I'd say have Tatyana parrot Diane's "madly in love with you" line back to her, but the escalation with the other suitor is an important element that you should keep. At a bare minimum, the drink should be something cold so as not to risk injury.

Of course, we're talking about a comedy here. His spur-of-the-moment plan is to have Tatyana through her frozen coffee milkshake thing at him, but as he tries to convince her to throw it he clumsily spills it. Now the only thing left is his scalding hot espresso. It would have shades of the wedding reception scene in Mickey Blue Eyes.

Another idea is for Tatyana to blurt out during the coffee attack that she's supposedly insulted that Fabien asked her out when he's obviously been in love with Diane the whole time. I don't know how to make that dialogue work, so just a suggestion that may or may not actually work.

Writing something with a twist like this can be a challenge, any time you change anything it ripples backward and forward, and editing mistakes can pile up. So be sure to read it with "pre-reveal eyes" and "post-reveal eyes" to catch any inconsistencies.

Overall, I liked the story; it was just a bit more complicated than it needed to be. A round of revising should fix that nicely.
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