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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  January 2019 -  One Week Challenge  /  Don't Burst My Bubble - OWC
Posted by: Don, February 2nd, 2019, 2:09am
Don't Burst My Bubble by - blank - Short, RomCom - A determined young boy tries to win over his first love. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Grandma Bear, February 2nd, 2019, 9:30am; Reply: 1
Not a whole lot to say here. It was cute. No dialogue either! Kudos for that. Very visual, so no dialogue needed.

I liked how the boy tries to get Angelica's attention by using all his cool boy stuff that she couldn't care less about.

Very nice cute story that checked all the boxes! Good job, writer! 8)
Posted by: Dreamscale, February 2nd, 2019, 2:42pm; Reply: 2
Opening passage, for me, is overwritten and hard to really "see" what you're after.

This is definitely "cute" so far.  Interesting that we have no dialogue and your use of SUPERs works very well.

Although I bet most will say the writing here is great, in reality, it's not.  It's overwritten, you're missing commas, and at times doing something I detest - skipping subjects.  Don't get me wrong, it's good overall, but when there's so much in terms of action/description lines and no dialogue, the little mistakes tend to stand out.

"don's" - no...incorrect.

"What's it doing up there?!" - No, bro...don't get started with dumb asides.  Please.  Just no reason for it at all.

Well, I'm only to the bottom of Page 3 and things are really dragging and it feels like I've read double the pages.  And it's simply because of the overwriting going on.  It's not's hurting.

I highly doubt Tommy's Grandma would just allow him to run around on his own in a mall.  This I don't buy one bit.

Page 5 - "We see..." - Really?  We're seeing everything single action/description line you're writing!

OK, the end.  It's definitely cute and a good idea, but even at just over 6 pages, it feels so long and that's due to the writing. Cut it down, get rid of the fluff, clean up the writing a bit and yuo definitely have something here.

Posted by: irish eyes, February 2nd, 2019, 6:34pm; Reply: 3
The use of no dialogue... ballsy
I like that

The story itself was cute of the young boy trying to get the attention of the girl but no avail.
Even the ending when he ran back to kiss her was bittersweet.

A warm hearted script which makes a change from the majority.

Well done

Good job entering
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 2nd, 2019, 8:03pm; Reply: 4
The writing is exemplary, but what continued to bother me was what I felt was a lack of realism.

Who is going to let a six year old child wander about on his own?

What kind of money are the gold coins?

What kind of mothers are so infatuated with themselves? Why would a mother keep shoving chocolate at her child?

Some of those things really irked me since it was supposed to be funny. For me, it's child abuse or neglect or both.

However, the imagery drawn was excellent. When I read about the organic coffee and avocado salad, I thought: How junky most North American coffee is these days. Gotta get me some of that. And a salad under Fairy Light. Yes, please!

Very good job with the exceptions which you can easily fix.  :)

Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 2nd, 2019, 8:15pm; Reply: 5

Quoted from Dreamscale

"What's it doing up there?!" - No, bro...don't get started with dumb asides.  Please.  Just no reason for it at all.

I highly doubt Tommy's Grandma would just allow him to run around on his own in a mall.  This I don't buy one bit.


As far as asides: I think in the right circumstances, they're an excellent tool to identify, for the reader and the actor a "sense" that might otherwise take up a lot of space. It might be an emotional response that might be better done with an aside rather than dialogue let's say, for example. Because very often, we might be feeling something, but it's not spoken, and perhaps we're "holding back" but the feeling is there. An actor can work with that.

I don't know if that makes sense to you, but in my reading journey, when I come across such examples, (which I can't think of right now), I'll journal them. I know I've come across such scenarios before, I just didn't note them down. I should have.

Ditto on the boy running around on his own.

Posted by: _ghostwriters, February 2nd, 2019, 8:57pm; Reply: 6
The general consensus from my esteemed colleagues seeems to be  - "A  Cute Story."   That, it is, but it left me emotionally unsatisfied.   Although I'm not a fan of the writing style... your style and voice are pretty darn good.  Interesting choice to do away with the dialogue.

But I have no dog in this fight.  Kudos for finishing
Posted by: Warren, February 2nd, 2019, 11:07pm; Reply: 7
Hi Writer,

So the writing is excellent, clearly one of SS's better writers put this out. No dialogue is always a challenge. Nice touch using the rom coms as a sort of narration.

Yes it is cute.

As a piece of technically-beautiful writing this is a great script but the story, for me, was just too cutesy (obviously this is a rom com challenge, but I am hoping to see scripts that challenge the norm)

Definitely a solid entry, just not my kind of story.

All the best.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, February 3rd, 2019, 1:08pm; Reply: 8
Hello Writer

Every one is saying this is cute - so I am going to go with adorable instead.

Stands out with it's lack of dialogue (Which wasn't missed in this story) so well done for doing something memorable in this sea of entries.

Few comments saying how wonderful the writing is, personally I thought it was good but could deffo be improved - But from the comments on my entry I would question everything I say if I was you lol

I can't remember being 5, I don't know any 5 year olds - do 5 year olds have romantic feelings? no idea

Anyway - well done on your submission.

Posted by: Gary Howell, February 3rd, 2019, 2:00pm; Reply: 9
My two cents is that I'm going to go in the opposite direction of most everyone here in that I'm not a big fan of action only scripts.  The writing is okay, but it's a bit of overdescribing in my opinion.  You probably could lose about a page of the script by just removing big chunks of action that aren't really necessary to the story.

I think it's been pointed out that a six year old running around a mall alone (much less understand purchasing concepts). I would have instead have the kid figure out a unique way to get her balloon back and he gets rewarded by a kiss.

The supers work fine, I think -- a little cutesy, but fine nonetheless.  Good effort here.

Posted by: eldave1, February 3rd, 2019, 6:16pm; Reply: 10
Loved the premise. However...

It started to drag for me mid way.

Not sure that a kid that age would be allowed to roam the mall unattended. That was a logic hiccup for me.

Who uses gold coins????

Nice job overall
Posted by: Vincent, February 3rd, 2019, 10:41pm; Reply: 11
I agree it's adorable, and you work well minus dialogue (although the descriptions need work), but it's not believable to see him traipsing through a mall at his age. Perhaps that scene could take place in his imagination, and when we return to reality he gives her something else that results in a kiss. Please work on this -- kiddie romcoms are charming.
Posted by: DaveTroop, February 5th, 2019, 5:23pm; Reply: 12
I liked your choice of no dialogue, as there are many silent romantic comedies - Chaplin's
"City Lights" comes to mind.
However, as well-written as this is, I agree it does begin to drag.  Also, I kept waiting for
the comedy to work its way in.  Sure, it's romantic and has charm to spare, but comedy...?

I also had issues with 5 year olds roaming the mall unattended, two adults so clueless, and
children who act on romantic feelings they shouldn't posses yet.

There is a lot to like here, and I do thank you for taking the risks.  

Very good effort.
Posted by: khamanna, February 5th, 2019, 6:46pm; Reply: 13
I'd think it's overwritten.
A nice story but a rom com I'd think needs some kind of backstory. This is a whole another kind of story that doesn't fit the genre in my understanding.
It's still a nice little story.

And written well.
So, I got nothing more to say here.
Posted by: big lew, February 6th, 2019, 3:42am; Reply: 14

Hello Writer -

I think the premise is clever, and telling the story without dialog I believe would quickly engage a director or producer looking for a good little short.

Your clever device of teeing up each beat with the names of famous Rom Coms is a really nice touch!

Also I think the idea would be easier to accept if the kids were preteens, maybe 10 or 11,
which would make the viewer more comfortable with the age of the boy who is searching the  Mall for the balloon. Young enough to be cute, but old enough to be mindful about not talking to strangers.

The distracted Mother did bother me a bit, and I felt stuffing the girl with chocolates was forced. What if the Mother told the girl she couldn't eat the candy until later, but the girl snuck the candy in defiance while the mother was addicted to her phone.

I "saw" the story as it was written, and I think it's a job well done.
Posted by: Cam Gray, February 6th, 2019, 4:21am; Reply: 15
Heeeeey Writer,

So I’ll join in on the “cute” story thing. Again, this is tough, but I personally didn’t find it funny so comedy wise I’m not sure it fulfils that need, but being a subjective genre blah, blah, blah...

The lack of dialogue is an interesting choice, I couldn’t work out if it was a good or bad thing. It was well written overall, but the constant supers just threw me off and removed me from the script, not much fun there. Definite romance though.

Look, it was okay so far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t be rushing to see it if made but I wouldn’t be disappointed to either if I stumbled across it.

All the best,


P.S. couldn’t get The Small Faces out of my head after reading the title, I fear this may end up down an Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake wormhole on Spotify, ta very much writer.
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 6th, 2019, 4:42am; Reply: 16

Quoted from eldave1

Who uses gold coins????

Mandella affected people. People who ask, "Whauhat?!"  ;D
Posted by: ReneC, February 6th, 2019, 5:27pm; Reply: 17
Okay, here goes...

This gets high marks for the bold choice in writing it effectively as a silent film. Very interesting choice and, in my opinion, you pulled it off. All that's missing is the score, which doesn't appear on the page anyway. Really cool, I'm happy I read it just for that.

You nailed the characterization of the boy trying to impress the girl. You must have kids or spend a lot of time with them, it's honest and real character.

I wonder if this a fellow coins are loonies, or one dollar coins for the uninitiated. You could have helped people out by being a little more precise with that description.

It is over-written, way too descriptive, way too many beats. It felt really, really long for such a short piece, and that pacing hurts the story. It should be a tight, cute piece, but it's all in slo-mo. The emotion is drained from it.

What I have real issue with is objectifying the girl. She has zero agency. Her mother just tries to placate her, and the boy is obsessed with her and her own wants and feelings are completely ignored. She just smiles at some boy who just runs up to her and kisses her? What's the message here, exactly?

All in all, a big, bold swing and a miss, unfortunately. I'm still really impressed, but the problems outweigh the strengths for me. I'm still happy I read it, so thanks for entering.
Posted by: PKCardinal, February 7th, 2019, 5:07pm; Reply: 18
Add one more to the list of people thrown by the boy running around the mall and the gold coins. Too bad, 'cause I hate it when things like that throw me out of a good script.

I did like the "movie moment" of the coin rolling up to the boy, but you could keep that and have him pull paper currency out of his pocket earlier. A gold coin isn't out of place as much with a 70-year-old.

The mall thing was clearly a choice of convenience. You needed him to run around the mall, so he did. Making choices like that rarely pay off.

I was impressed with the effort. No dialogue was bold. Using the supers was also. I liked both.

The little girl was a negative for me. Even though she's 5, I still need to see what he sees in her. Instead, she was kind of bratty.

It may not seem like it, but I liked this quite a bit, despite its flaws. It'll get one of my higher scores for sure. Lot's of good feedback from others. Take it. Then re-post the script after the OWC. It'll be worth the effort.
Posted by: Philostrate, February 7th, 2019, 6:15pm; Reply: 19
Hi Writer,

No dialogue. Wow. It surprised me. It's ballsy, to say the least.
It's a cute nice little story expertly crafted.

The writing is top-notch and the visuals strong.

The supers worked for me. Nice touch.

Cute stories are not my thing, but this one hit all the right points (except for the humor maybe...).

My only gripe is that the same lack of dialogue that made this one interesting, took me off the story here and there. Too much text, I guess.

Anyway - good job!

Solid entry.
Posted by: jayrex, February 11th, 2019, 6:20pm; Reply: 20
Not bad.  Pretty good story overall.  I can see the romantic side.  Can't quite see the comedy.

I think this one was written by a Brit.  On page two you've got favourite.

The one thing I'd question is that Tommy is being looked after by his grandmother.  But he leaves the cafe out of her sight.  I don't think a six year old could get away with this.  But for a cute story, we can let this slide.

Pretty good.  I wish it was funnier.
Posted by: FrankM, February 14th, 2019, 1:45pm; Reply: 21
Hi Writer,

Opening paragraph, and commas, seem to be wandering, aimlessly. The script is skillfully crafted without dialogue, but that only makes the questionable English in the action more distracting. It's overwritten, but to me it wasn't distractingly so, other than, the, commas.

The Transformer is named Bumblebee, the toy LEGO (officially always in caps). Be consistent with the formatting for trademarks... italics or not. Personally, I would italicize titles (songs, books, etc.) and not names (individual Transformers, superheroes, etc.), but the only important things here are clarity and consistency.

The story is an actual rom-com with a beginning, a middle, and an end. I'm with the consensus that there wasn't enough comedy, but the complete non-effectiveness of his advances qualifies as an attempt at comedy. Well done on the parameters front. No grandma is going to let this kid wander around the mall unsupervised, but that's an easy fix... simply have the balloon vendor right in front of where they were sitting. He is so focused on his task that he doesn't notice her mom buying her off with new stuff.

My guess is that this writer is Canadian. Sacagawea dollars aren't particularly common in the US, though Loonies seem more common in Canada (for those outside North America, both are gold-colored coins). Either way $5 seems a bit excessive for a balloon. $1.50 (six quarters) seems closer to a six-year-old's budget, though we are talking about a mall on Valentine's Day and neither of these kids looks poor.

Overall I liked this one.
Posted by: Spqr, February 14th, 2019, 2:23pm; Reply: 22
Nice script. Dialogue is overrated when it comes to children, anyway. The only thing I might want to work on is Grandmother's complete lack of concern that her charge disappears for a while.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, February 14th, 2019, 7:58pm; Reply: 23
Title is good. Logline is short which is good and rarely seen, nonetheless, the wording lacks life and passion imo.

That was different. I liked the no-dialogue and superimpose concept, worked fine. The writing also had much more flavor than the logline, perhaps even too many tiny details were addressed.

Well, it's sweet and cute and all that, maybe would work best as a cartoon. What I disliked is the typical poor boy (active) gives his all vs spoiled girl (passive) has to be won over. You need a fresher angle there imo. The screen language was fine and felt mature presented. There's just something missing for me. Interested if you got some suggestions from others. It's already good and just needs a little rethinking to make it work from A to Z.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, February 15th, 2019, 9:55pm; Reply: 24
Not a fan of those super imposes... don't think they work as a device and don;t sound right for the kid who's supposed to be saying/thinking them.

Sorry, this didn't work for me at all... not funny or particularly romantic.  
Posted by: LC, February 20th, 2019, 2:55am; Reply: 25
Hmm, used to be more folk would post defending their choices/answering their critics following OWCs.

For anyone interested I'll have a go.

So, thanks so much to all who read and reviewed.

I wrote this with three hours to the deadline so I was pretty chuffed with what I came up with regardless of lack of/too many commas, over-description, and all that I threw at it. My previous few ideas during the week had taken a dive and this no dialogue idea just hit me.

Plus, Warren gave me a push, even if he didn’t know it with his: 'Are we going to see an entry from you, Libby?  ::)

The gold coins were quick-draft me. Yep, Aussies have $1 and $2 gold coins – well, they’re coloured gold anyway. If I'd had time with a proper read through I wouldn’t have been quite so specific.

Speaking of: Thanks PK for seeing the 'movie moment’ with the rolling coin.

To those of you who liked the Supers as running narrative and tribute to other RomComs I'm glad in general that worked for most.

Pia, first out of the gate comment, thanks for your lovely review.
And also, Warren. Both your comments made my day.

Off course Grandma then caused things to go south with regards to logic and realism. Oh, well.

Tommy’s age was also a big problem and I agree. He needs to be a bit older. Eight, maybe seven at a push. Eight-year old's do experience first love, adoration from afar, crushes etc.

As for Tommy running around the Mall on his own I've given this a lot of thought and contrary to popular opinion I 'm not sure I agree. I came up with two things:

This is a script for a short movie. Things in movie-land exist on a different plane than in real life imh.

Also, if Kevin can run around New York City:

I think Tommy can run around a small section of a small shopping mall, and with a little luck no catastrophe will befall him.

There are are other films with kids roaming, left to their own devices etc., for long portions of time, Hugo, Oliver Twist, Coraline, Russell in Up.

I don’t want to protest too much cause obviously I haven’t convinced myself entirely, and the proof in the pudding would be if this was picked up. I don’t want to write their ages any older though cause that’s an entirely different script with a completely different feel.

A few technicalities:

Jeff yes: ‘dons’ is correct, and what it should have been. The asides are fine imh. The 'we see’ on p.5 doesn’t read well and was me writing on the fly and getting carried away with myself. I agree it doesn't read well.

Frank: Good pickup on Lego etc., which I spelled incorrectly.

I won’t address all other points made but a few surprised me -

Sandra: Obviously you’re not familiar with the 'yummy mummy’ set. I personally don’t think feeding a child a few choccies constitutes child abuse.

Rene: ‘objectifying’ the little girl? That’s an interesting comment. I just saw her as the object of his crush. We all like beautiful things and admire beauty. In Tommy's eyes he's never seen anyone more beautiful.

PK: Regarding what he sees in Angelica – love is blind to tantrums.

Anthony: The Supers are purely a narrative device – not meant to be said or ‘thought bubbled' by Tommy. They should probably be formatted title - white on black.

Thanks again everyone who read and commented.
And yes, it does need a clean up on aisle five.  ;D

I'm also going to have to learn how to comment on my own next time. I'm amazed at comments some leave on their own without being caught out.  :D
Posted by: Dreamscale, February 20th, 2019, 12:15pm; Reply: 26

Quoted from LC
Hmm, used to be more folk would post defending their choices/answering their critics following OWCs.

I agree with you on this.  I think 2 weeks is just too long for reading and then by the time things are revealed, peeps interest has left the building.

Quoted from LC
For anyone interested I'll have a go.

Jeff yes: ‘dons’ is correct, and what it should have been.

"dons" is fine, but you have "don's" in the script, which is not fine.

Posted by: FrankM, February 20th, 2019, 11:55pm; Reply: 27
Three... hours?!  :o

I liked the coins, they're more tactile than paper notes. My concern was the $5 price for a balloon, which seems really steep for any dollar issued in "gold" coins. HK$5 might even be a bit cheap for a helium balloon, but HK$1, HK$2 and HK$5 coins are "silver." That was why I suggested six quarters. The vendor comes off as a bigger jerk for refusing to haggle $0.25 off the price.
Posted by: LC, February 21st, 2019, 12:26am; Reply: 28

Quoted from FrankM
Three... hours?!  :o.

Yes. No exaggeration, Frank. Which explains the bloody expensive balloon. ;D , the Leggo, and the Don's typo, gold coins, muscle man, (should have been 'men') etcetera.
Oh, and another mistake (which nobody picked up on, thank goodness) the 'question mark' that Angelica was drawing.  :D I meant to decide what she was drawing later but had to submit with a minute to go.

I agree that Balloon Man is a jerk but some Vendors are like that - you're even 5c short, no balloon for you (Seinfeld 'Soup Nazi' joke there).

Thanks for your extra comments, Frank.

P.S. I just looked it up:
Single helium balloons $3 - Giant foil numbers $4 (Australian)
And Jeff, yep, it is Incorrectly spelled in the script.  It is a typo I was conceding to.
Posted by: FrankM, February 21st, 2019, 1:30am; Reply: 29

Quoted from LC

P.S. I just looked it up:
Single helium balloons $3 - Giant foil numbers $4 (Australian)

Sometimes I forget that the US is a helium exporter... mylar helium balloons are US$1-US$2 here, big numbers maybe a bit more.

We actually have a Strategic Helium Reserve, and it took until 2005 for someone to realize that the US Navy doesn't actually use blimps any more. The current plan is to have all the stockpiled helium sold off by 2021 (because the government does absolutely nothing fast).
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 21st, 2019, 1:43am; Reply: 30

Quoted from LC

Sandra: Obviously you’re not familiar with the 'yummy mummy’ set. I personally don’t think feeding a child a few choccies constitutes child abuse.

It's true I haven't heard the term yummy mummy.  :)

Also, if done the way you intend, I suspect will be funny and over the top and not the way I was reading it.

The way I was reading it was:

I think that you did a really good job of drawing up a a self absorbed inattentive careless mother. She and her vain friend who are like high schoolers going googly over muscled men is part of the reason why our world might be in a shambles.  :)

>The women have taken to Facebook and Instagram, oohing and ahhing over photographs of themselves in various vanity poses.

>The Blonde and the Brunette giggle hysterically at an Instagram photo of muscled and tanned man.

>Desperate, she rips opens the box of chocolates, takes one out, pops it in Angelica’s mouth. Angelica acts up again, she frowns, starts to cry again. The Blonde Woman feeds her another chocolate, and another...

So all together, I very much felt like they needed to snap out of it and "relate" with the poor spoiled (in the wrong way) child. And that goes for the Grandmother with the boy, too. She cared more about Sudoku. But that is very much our world today.

Part of me reading it this way...

Recently, I was in a laundromat and two little children about two and five, (the five year old opened the door) ran out and into the parking lot where there was traffic.

I was right near the door, looked up and the mother didn't even notice. She wasn't even distracted by a phone. Nope. Just oblivious.

I went outside and called the kids back in. "You're mom wouldn't want you going out on your own like that." And the kids ran back in.

For me, it still strikes me as such an odd thing and scary.

I was blessed with a wonderful grandma. She read with me, took me walking in her garden pointing out and teaching me about flowers, she engaged with me, brought out pennies for me to count, told stories about her life etc...

By contrast, my mother was more self-centered. The perfect nails and such-- they ring a bell for me, but not a good one.

I guess some of those things are what made me read some of the lines and feel bad.

My experience with children tells me how it is the little things we do together that makes life special and enriched.

So with that, I think that by doing that same style of writing in another story, (borrow from this one) you could really produce some powerful emotional effects.

And perhaps in this one, there are things you can inject from the little girl, where she mischievously does something to gain her mother's attention. Something funny. Something that shows her less "acting out" and more "thinking and scheming"? Does that make sense.

I hope these comments at least help for pondering.  :)

Posted by: LC, February 21st, 2019, 6:06am; Reply: 31
I think if it were filmed the primary focus would be on lil Tommy and Angelica - the other players were background characters, least in my head.

I appreciate your comments, Sandra. Taken all your comments on board and no doubt will mull over all the feedback.

Oh, and those kids were lucky you were around. I've found myself in similar situations with some people oblivious to what's going on around them, so I can relate.
Frank, thanks for the helium info.  :D I think if you look at the Aussie dollar exchange rate :1.40 U.S.  the cost pretty much evens out.

Anyway, back to the drawing board. :)
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