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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Horror  /  Horrific Tales of the Wickedly Macabre
Posted by: Don, March 31st, 2019, 3:17pm
Horrific Tales of the Wickedly Macabre by Zack Akers - Short, Horror - A five-part anthology that celebrates brutal, dread-filled horror. Prepare yourselves. This gets dark. 42 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Zack, March 31st, 2019, 4:01pm; Reply: 1
Thanks for getting this up, Don. Much appreciated. ;D

The majority of the shorts in this anthology are based on my past work. I'd actually really like to expand this farther with a "wrap around story" that bookends the script, kind of like Tales From the Crypt. Got a couple of different ideas on were I can go with this.
Posted by: Warren, March 31st, 2019, 5:42pm; Reply: 2
Hi Zack, going to try check these out one at a time.

SCARED YET?



Quoted Text
NICK (O.S.)
Matt? Are you awake?
Beat.
NICK (O.S.) (CONT)
Matt?
MATT (O.S.)
Shut up.


Some would say that you shouldnít have a speaking character before theyíve been introduced, I think this reads perfectly fine. Some would also say that the (O.S.) is confusing and that you are trying to direct the camera too much, I think it's fine.


Quoted Text
NICK
(shakey)
M-matt...


This is an instance where I think the wrylie isnít needed. We can tell the dialogue is 'shaky' or stuttered because of the way itís written. It would also be M-Matt.


Quoted Text
Matt gets out of bad


Bed

Quoted Text
He puts his arm around Nicks shoulder and leads him back to
his bed.

Nickís


Quoted Text
The electric is out.


Electricity


Quoted Text
Slowly, pale fingers reach out from behind the frame and
grasp around it, grip it tight.


This is a very overused horror trope, but we'll see if it brings anything new.


Quoted Text
books it for his bed.


I'm not sure 'books it' is overly universal. I know what you mean, but it might be worth changing it to something that everyone would understand.


Quoted Text
Just as he reaches it, a pale hand shoots out from under the
bed, grabs his ankle, and pulls him underneath the bed.


Another overused horror trope.


Quoted Text
Then, at the foot of the bed, something slowly rises.


And another...

SPOILERS

The story, as it stands at the moment, isnít great. I definitely think it could be better if it had more purpose.

I read it a couple of times and I couldnít understand what the kids had done to kill their mother. "But it was our fault", so we assume itís something both the kids did, but did I miss something that alluded to what they actually did?

I think this could link back to the mother dying during child birth. Nick would still know what his mother looked like from photos, so he would recognise her. Then it gives the dad a legitimate (at least in his eyes) reason to kill his son. This gives the mother a reason to kill the son in the dream as well. I think you could incorporate this without making it too on the nose.

I think the only issue that leaves you with is why would he wait so long? You could probably show the house as being messy and unkempt, piles of laundry, that type of thing, to illustrate a downward spiral.

With a bit more purpose this could be a good little short, at the moment I'm left wondering why any of it happened.
Posted by: Zack, March 31st, 2019, 6:43pm; Reply: 3
Hey Warren,

Thank you very much for taking a peek at the first story. I've always struggled with wrylies. Not that I think I overuse them, more so that I use them at the wrong times.

Always appreciate peeps pointing out typos for me. I really do proof read my scripts, yet I always seem to miss a few. Thanks for the heads up.

As for the story aspect, how the mom died isn't important IMO. Just the fact that the boys were some how responsible. The mother died very recently. A week tops.

I do like your idea, though. Would have to make Nick much younger for it seem plausible. But it could work.

Thanks again for giving this a peek.  ;D ;D ;D
Posted by: Warren, March 31st, 2019, 6:49pm; Reply: 4

Quoted from Zack

As for the story aspect, how the mom died isn't important IMO. Just the fact that the boys were some how responsible. The mother died very recently. A week tops.



Thatís what I suspected. I think giving the characters actual motivations for their actions will only help the story, but I get what youíre saying.

I'm moving onto the next one now.
Posted by: Warren, March 31st, 2019, 7:32pm; Reply: 5
A CHRISTMAS EXORCISM


Quoted Text
DAVIS
Yes sir.


Yes, sir.


Quoted Text
He turns back to
front door


the front door?

Potentially a personal preference but for broken or interrupted speech I'd use an emdash (--), you tend to use a dash.


Quoted Text
WINSTON
Father? FATHER!?


This is definitely personal preference, but I donít think there is ever a good enough reason to cap dialogue.


Quoted Text
Winston lies Linusís body down.


lays


Quoted Text
"Let It Snow"


I'm even less enthused by underlining in a script, again personal preference. There would also be copyright issues with the song, but in this instance having that particular song is a cool contrast to the mayhem thatís happening.


Quoted Text
WINSTON
Itís gonna be okay sweetie.


okay, sweetie.


Quoted Text
MARK
Shut your cocksucker! This cunt is
mine to do with as I please!


A bit too far for me. You can make it demonic and evil without this kind of stuff. Some will appreciate it.


Quoted Text
MARK
I SAID LIE TO HER YOU WORTHLESS
FUCKING FAGOT!


Again just way too much. Also the capping, also: I said lie to her, you worthless fucking fagot.

This is an enjoyable read, despite the few things I pointed out. The story works for me. Quite a few named characters at the end that probably donít require names.

Quite a big budget, but it would make a fun little horror if filmed.
Posted by: Zack, April 1st, 2019, 10:02am; Reply: 6
Thanks for checking out another one of these, Warren. Glad you liked this one.

I had a feeling I was probably going overboard with all the capped dialogue. Or is it dialog? So many small things still confuse me. Also, thanks for the tip on dashes and emdashes. Never knew that.

Naming all those late arriving characters was actually a last minute thing. Lol. Guess I had it right the first time.

I wrote this one a few years back and have always wanted to give it a proper rewrite. Yeah, I'm aware the budget is too high for a short, but this is one' I've always wanted to adapt into a feature one day. Thanks again for reading, Dude. ;D Anything you want me to read in return?
Posted by: Warren, April 1st, 2019, 6:28pm; Reply: 7
DING DONG DITCH


Quoted Text
MYSTERY P.O.V.
Heavy, muffled BREATHING.
We watch Lou from behind some bushes as he shakes his head,
SNIGGERS. He turns and goes back inside, SLAMS the door
behind him.


I donít really have an issue with the POV shot, but I do think it could be set up better. We go straight into a POV but itís unclear where itís coming from, then we learn itís from some bushes, where are the bushes? I guess at the end of the day it will be up to the director, but in terms of the read it got me thinking and therefore pulled me out of the story. I just think it could be handled better.

There are similar things in each script that Iíve touched on, I'm not going to mention them again, the personal preference type stuff.

The door ringing gag is another heavily used horror trope. I donít have a problem with that, we all do the same thing, steal bits and pieces from other films, but you really need something to make it your own, letís see how we go.


Quoted Text
He stares down at Lou, casually tilts his head to the side.


Again, how often do we see this? Itís such a small thing I know, but I think you should be focusing on trying to create your own thing as much as possible. You seem to rely heavily on used up ideas.

And I'm done, itís Funny Games and The Strangers with nothing new to add. This story is barely your own. In my opinion this one is the weakest of the batch so far. Iím not saying itís not a creepy horror concept. It definitely is, thatís why itís been done to death. Iím just saying your short adds nothing new and that is a problem.

You are a good writer, as in, you have a solid grasp of how to write a screenplay. You just need to work on your creativity, try not to rely so heavily on others work.




Posted by: Warren, April 1st, 2019, 6:28pm; Reply: 8

Quoted from Zack
Thanks again for reading, Dude. ;D Anything you want me to read in return?


I'm good for the moment, thanks.
Posted by: Warren, April 1st, 2019, 7:20pm; Reply: 9
STALKED

I did point out something similar in one of the other scripts. It seems like you forgot a word, now I'm seeing it again I'm thinking you might be doing it to write lean. If you did just forget a word then disregard this, if not:


Quoted Text
A pick-up truck speeds down road.


Itís undeniable that ďA pick-up truck speeds down the road, or a roadĒ, reads better. I agree that screenplays need to be lean but not at the expense of the read.


Quoted Text
beautiful blond.


Blond and blonde are both acceptable, but I believe that blonde would be more appropriate. Small nit.


Quoted Text
-Jessica pops out of the stalks, SCREAMS at David, who jumps
back in fear. She LAUGHS while he clutches chest, tries to
catch his breath.


No originality is definitely a reoccurring theme.


Quoted Text
DAVID (CONT)
Scarecrows keep him away.


I'm making notes as I read, so I donít know how this turns out, but at the moment I'm seeing some logic issues. How does he know about 'him' and she doesnít if itís such a big deal and she lives in the area. Also if this thing is such a big deal and the guy knows it, why would he go into the cornfield?


Quoted Text
BARNY
Edgar!? I know itís you!


Barny knows as well, so how the hell doesnít Jessica?

Circling back now:


Quoted Text
DAVID
Edgar Flynn.


Who is Edgar Flynn? Does it matter? I think so, if youíre going to give this killer, who is held at bay by scarecrows, a name, I want to know what the back story is. I also want to know why scarecrows keep him away.

Again, running around a cornfield at night and getting scared and butchered is a creepy concept, but itís nothing new.

I suppose this is another recurrent theme, things happen in your stories just because. You might be happy with that as a story teller but as a reader itís very unsatisfying not to have a purpose.

Going back to the movie The Strangers, where a group terrorises a couple (and also do the door knocking thing) their reason when asked why are you doing it, the answer was "because you were home". There isnít much to that, but itís sinister as f#@k and ultimately satisfies the audience. In your stories, stuff happens, people die, and then it ends with no rhyme or reason.

In the first short I suggested a tie in to try give the story more purpose, you were happy to leave that open ended, but when none of your stories really have a purpose that comes at the expense of the audienceís satisfaction, which is the entire purpose.
Posted by: Warren, April 1st, 2019, 7:46pm; Reply: 10
THE WELL


Quoted Text
Doug smiles. He puts his hand down his pants, starts to rub
back and forth.
Cherryís CRIES grow louder.
Doug licks his lips as he pulls his hand out, spits in it.
He shoves it back into pants and continues rubbing himself.
Faster and faster.
He lets out a soft MOAN as he jumps to his feet, puts his
genitals up next to the edge of the well. Grinning from ear
to ear, he squeezes his eyes shut as he climaxes into the
darkness below.



Well thatís disturbing. I think youíll struggle to sell this idea.


Quoted Text
numerous CORPSES OF SMALL CHILDREN, each in various stages
of decay.


As in really going to struggle. So we have a well filled with childrenís dead bodies and semen.

And Numerous


Quoted Text
CHERRY
(demonic voice)
Now there really is a monster in
the well.


Clever turnaround, but I will probably come back to it.

This is a pretty good concept taken a little too far for my taste. I personally think you could allude to the fact that they are assaulted in some way and get rid of the masturbation scene.

Still lots of questions. So Doug completely makes up a demon thing that live in a well, tells the kids about it, and then the demon thing magically actually becomes the thing that does Doug in? Why did it wait until there were a whole lot of bodies, why not manifest after the first killing? But more importantly, how and why does it even come about? Why is Cherry even there, she seems relatively calm considering the situation.

No question you are quite a talented writer, I think it's your story telling that needs the most work. Give them purpose, make sure things happen for a reason. You donít need to explain every little thing, but I think there should be more substance at the core of your stories.
Posted by: Warren, April 1st, 2019, 7:55pm; Reply: 11
I thought I'd add one last thing, obviously this is all my own opinion, in saying that I definitely believe there is an audience for this type of stuff-just-happens horror. I think Terrifier is one of the worst horrors to happen in years but in horror circles itís quite highly praised. I think that it's a perfect example of a stuff-just-happens horror.

I guess what I'm saying is that you should definitely not take my opinion to the bank. This may very much be a preference I have for the horror I enjoy.
Posted by: Zack, April 4th, 2019, 5:09pm; Reply: 12
Sorry for the late response.

Really appreciate you taking time out of your day and reading through these. Sorry none of them really seemed to strike a cord with you.

Originality isn't my strength. If I could get away with it, I'd exclusively write Friday the 13th fan-fiction. ;D ;D ;D Not that I don't try to be original. I always try to put my own little spin on things.

I think my biggest issue is that I'm always far too vague when it comes to motivations and exposition. This flaw really shows with STALKED. Just couldn't a good way to explain what was happening without it seeming forced/cheesy. Really trying to improve in this area.

I thought I did a fairly decent job of giving DING DONG DITCH some originality by incorporating the original poem into the story. It actually creeped me out big time when I read it back, but then again maybe I'm just smelling my own farts. ;D

Yeah, I'm fully away that THE WELL has no chance of ever being picked up for production. Still think it's a creepy story worth checking out. Despite it's disturbing material, I actually had a blast writing that script, particularly the very end.

As for stuff-just-happens horror, I myself am a fan. Terrifier, while far from perfect, was a nasty little flick that put a big smile on my face. ;D That said, I don't really think any of these shorts, other than maybe DING DONG DITCH, fall under that category. They simply need more explanation. I've got detailed backstories written out for STALKED and CHRISTMAS EXORCISM, both of which I think may work better as features.

Thanks again for reading through these, dude. Lots of good advice you threw my way. :)
Posted by: Zack, April 4th, 2019, 5:17pm; Reply: 13

Quoted from Warren


In the first short I suggested a tie in to try give the story more purpose, you were happy to leave that open ended, but when none of your stories really have a purpose that comes at the expense of the audienceÔŅĹs satisfaction, which is the entire purpose.


I originally intended on having all the shorts take place in the same town, to give them a sense of connection. It would just be little things, like Lou from DING DONG DITCH calling Dan from SCARED YET?, sure it's Dan's two boys who are pranking him. Stuff like that. May go back are try to tie them all together in the rewrite.

As I stated in my first post, I also want to add a wrap around narrative that bookends the script. Sort of like the Crypt Keeper from TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Have a couple of different ideas for how how I'm gonna do this. Gotta think more on it. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. :)
Posted by: RobbieD, April 7th, 2019, 6:19pm; Reply: 14
Hey Zack,

Thanks for reading and feeding back on my recent script ('Mallory Goode'), in return I just read yours.

Very well done in pulling all these stories together - an enjoyable read, and I like your writing style. I think I'd read a couple of the stories before?

I wanted to give you some feedback if that's OK - (although please take with pinch of salt, I'm very much just a hobbyist).

2 minor points / 2 bigger suggestions:

STALKED // JESSICA: I think your changing the subject. Why donít you like this road?

- you're

SCARED YET?  //  MATT: Youíre mind is playing tricks on you. Come on.

- your

Also:

This line from MATT (12) seems a little too old for him? You nailed the rest of the kids dialogue so this one just stood out for me as odd.

Suggestions.

I really think you should (indeed) find a way to make these stories flow together as one, eg. some of the characters / story lines crossing over - that would be cool.

Cooler still, if you could find a way to subvert the fact that some of these the stories seem very familiar?  You[d have to do a bit of shifting around to get there, but for example (and very off the top of my head), Edgar is Jessica's Dad? Buddy is the killer? Jessica is in Cahoots?  That sort of thing?

Anyway, I did enjoy this very much. I think The Well, if fleshed out, has legs...  And, regarding how dark you're going, if you're going to go there, don't go 1/2 way mad, go all the way mad!  :-)
Posted by: Zack, April 7th, 2019, 6:47pm; Reply: 15
Thanks for reading through this, Robbie. Glad you were able to enjoy it.

Stalked will be getting a lot of attention with the next draft I write. I've actually got quite a bit of lore and background information written out for it.

Appreciate you bringing those typos to my attention. Thanks, dude.

Let me know if you'd like me to read anything else of yours.
Posted by: RobbieD, May 3rd, 2019, 8:05am; Reply: 16
Hi Zack,

OK then - I wondered if you'd be interested in reading this one of mine and giving any feedback you have? :-)

MADAME DORA:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-shorthr/m-1556677727/

Cheers
Rob
Posted by: Zack, May 3rd, 2019, 1:50pm; Reply: 17

Quoted from RobbieD
Hi Zack,

OK then - I wondered if you'd be interested in reading this one of mine and giving any feedback you have? :-)

MADAME DORA:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-shorthr/m-1556677727/

Cheers
Rob


I'll check it out for ya. Gotta catch up on the OWC and a few other scripts, then I'll read your new script.

Posted by: Colkurtz8, May 23rd, 2019, 4:37am; Reply: 18
Zack

Scared Yet

Between the grieving husband (complete with photo of happier times) and the pale, white nightgown'd ghostly figure against a nocturnal backdrop of thunder and lightning, it feels a little like we're checking off items from the horror trope handbook ;)

Which isn't really a bad thing, pastiche can be fun when knowingly paying homage to those horror signifiers. I'm curious to see what you'll do with them...reading on...

Nice little switch here at the end, flipping from supernatural to the real. A visceral image to leave us with and the disturbing notion of a vengeful father killing his two sons in this manner.

I want to give you the benefit of the doubt now and say you intentionally littered the build up with clichťs. Firstly, because it was a remorseful kid's dream and secondly, to hit us with that abrupt return to reality at the end. A reality far more horrific than any dream.

Itís suitably shocking, well played.


Christmas Exorcist

Hmm. I'm not sure how this one finishes up. Youíve left us with many questions (which may be your intention).

I sensed there was a shift when Mark suddenly acquiesced and put his hands up. My suspicions fell onto Winston and that perhaps there was some alter ego type stuff at play. Given the seemingly distorted perspective of Winston compared to what the others see, that would seem to be the case.

So, did we just witness Winston's mental breakdown? If so, then how do you account for Davis? Alternatively, did the devil mess with their minds and have them both other its spell?

I don't know, I can only speculate because itís left totally unresolved (as far as I can see, please correct me if not) and thus somewhat unsatisfactory.

I should say that I'm not a someone who needs everything explained, I usually welcome a degree of ambiguity but here we are given very little. Nothing at all really.

I mean, did Winston actual commit these murders or did the devil orchestrate it all? In that, everything did happen as we saw it unfold during the script before it escaped Mark's body and left an apparently defenceless man in a Santa costume with a slain family.

However, Winston can see the devil right up to the end while the others can't, so again, this suggests some kind of psychotic break on Winston's part, it looks bad for him when back-up arrives...but then you would have to consider his motive. Why would Winston kill Mark's family and the priest?

Thus, in the end, itís basically the devil playing games, killing this random family and priest, only appearing to a couple of cops, taking one out while making the other look crazy (and possibly the perpetrator)

In other words, the devil is all powerful, itís merely toying with these hapless mortals and that just isn't very interesting to me. It lacks any real tension or sense of jeopardy if you have the antagonist (which, at least, to your credit, makes a change from the infallible protagonist. That's even more uninteresting) who can do whatever it wants.

I think it needs more than that, another twist or turn. Because right now, it just feels too easy, convenient.


Ding Dong Ditch

This was very short. I was expecting more. There is a distinct Halloween feel to it (tilted stare included) and you craft an escalating tone of dread and suspense as we know there are more than just a few unruly kids banging on Lou's door.

Disappointingly though, it just ends. We have that release of horror and violence when the Masked Man confronts and dispatches Lou. The babbling rhyme works well too, very odd. However, there is something unsatisfying about that being all there is. Yes, you imply this madman is just going house-to-house picking of these suburbanites one by one but that's it. There is not much else going on. I know for a 4 pager I can't expect a whole lot I'm just not sure the point of it all, besides providing a couple of scares. It feels unfinished.


Stalked

Again, this is rather short and ends abruptly. You obviously know how to set a scene, establish an intriguing situation. There is an explosion of violence...but then it just ends. Done.

In regards these last two segments, they feel more like opening scenes (such as the ones before opening credits roll) rather than stand alone pieces. Maybe this is your intention but I can't help feeling like they are missed opportunities.


The Well

I know Iím sounding like a broken record now but this has similar underdevelopment issues present in the previous two segments. So much is suggested and intimated, many questions abound...and then it finishes.

However, this one is elevated above the others due to its innovative and genuinely weird and disturbing premise. I like how there is no protagonist here either, itís just evil turning against evil.

The initial jolt of dread when you realise Doug is not a family man, or a watchful parent. He is something altogether different and depraved. This is confirmed by his tossing of poor Cherry into the well, followed by masturbation into said well...which is (somehow) superseded by supernatural forces in the well! For that constant stepping up of horror/perversity, I have to applaud you, sir.

It then all culminates in that striking closing image of the bloated kids corpses rising up to exact revenge on their killer. Good work.


Connective theme/tie in

Iím not sure I see one right now. I thought of suburban horror, that darkness which lies just underneath the white picket fence, but only 2 of the segments relate to that. It could be 3 if you move the Carpenterís house to the suburbs but the seclusion of that abode adds to the suspense.

Another theme, broadly speaking, itís that there is a haunting presence, supernatural or otherwise, terrorizing these characters. Of course, haunting presences are the bread and butter of most horror but I wonder could you include a similarity/parallel between each entity; the mom, the devil, the prowler, Edgar Flynn, the well monster, some link that binds them together. This might involve some back-story though which will add pages and, on the basis of these stories, youíre not too keen on explaining things. These evil forces are here and thatís it, no more elaboration necessary. I donít mean this as a criticism by the way, horror can often work better when it goes unexplained (Us is a good example of the perils of over explaining I think) but maybe in this context, given its anthology structure, could there be some common element drawn between the evilness?

Alternatively, you could have a character, a police officer for example, who comes upon the scene in each scriptís coda. Since all segments end with a murder(s) we can imagine that there will be some police investigation into them (although, The Wellís victimís may go undiscovered) Perhaps, all these stories happen within the same district, the same police officer is witness to their aftermath. A 6th and final segment could follow this police officer as he tries to find out what is going on...yep, severe haunting and gory deaths ensue! ;) Iíll leave that up to you.

Of course, this idea would only work if you take on board the previous suggestion regarding connecting the haunting presences.

Anyway, some interesting stuff in here. As I said, you have a knack for creating terrifying situations, Iím just not always sold on the follow through, or lack thereof.

Col.
Posted by: Zack, May 24th, 2019, 3:44pm; Reply: 19
Thanks a ton for looking at this for me, Col. Really appreciate it. ;D

Stoked you enjoyed "Scared Yet". I'm aware it's not very original, but I thought I could make up for that with a cool/dark twist ending. ;D

I really struggled with writing the end of end of "A Christmas Exorcism". I had to of rewritten the last few pages at least fifty times. Even reading it now, it's just not clear. I need to dial it back a bit and simplify it. And I agree that this needs a little something extra.

"Ding Dong Ditch" seems to be striking out left and right. Lol. Everyone I've shown this particular segment has disliked it. I think it's a cool little story that would be super easy to film. But I suppose it can't hurt to expand on this a bit more. Maybe we follow the Prowler to the next house, and his next would-be victim isn't as helpless as the others. Hmm... Gonna think on it.

Funny you mention the start of "Stalked" seems like an opening scene to a feature. It basically is. :P I've got a ton of lore written for the Edgar Flynn character and would very much like to expand this to a feature one day. Same with "Christmas Exorcism".

Happy you were able to enjoy "The Well", despite it's grim content. I particularly proud of this short. ;D Sick, I know.

I really like some of your ideas for how I could connect these stories more. Especially like the idea of bringing one of the cops from "A Christmas Exorcism" back for a sixth short that ties in with another of the shorts... maybe "Stalked".  Would love to talk to you more about this, if you're down to listen to my mindless babbling. :P

Thanks again for the read and all the awesome notes. Incredibly helpful stuff, dude. :)
Posted by: Colkurtz8, May 26th, 2019, 4:57am; Reply: 20
Zack


Quoted from Zack
Stoked you enjoyed "Scared Yet". I'm aware it's not very original, but I thought I could make up for that with a cool/dark twist ending. ;D


Yeah, for me, the ending makes up for the trope filled set up. Especially since itís the boyís dream so all the movies heís probably seen would be feeding into his guilt ridden subconscious and manifesting itself in this nightmare.


Quoted from Zack
I really struggled with writing the end of end of "A Christmas Exorcism". I had to of rewritten the last few pages at least fifty times. Even reading it now, it's just not clear. I need to dial it back a bit and simplify it. And I agree that this needs a little something extra.


Yeah, this almost functions in the opposite way to Scared Yet in that the ending is the weakest part or perhaps there just isnít enough there in the bulk of the story to make it satisfying for the reasons I already mentioned. It needs more.


Quoted from Zack
"Ding Dong Ditch" seems to be striking out left and right. Lol. Everyone I've shown this particular segment has disliked it. I think it's a cool little story that would be super easy to film. But I suppose it can't to expand on this a bit more. Maybe we follow the Prowler to the next house, and his next would-be victim isn't as helpless as the others. Hmm... Gonna think on it.


It is the flimsiest of the 5 I feel. As I said, like Stalked, it seems more like an opening scene, not a complete script. Plus, conceptually, it is as generic as they come. Yeah, shifting point of view from Lou to the Prowler could work. Or how about make that a continuing device? For example, letís say the next neighbour disposes of the Prowler then you shift to their perspective and so on. Finish back at Lou's house with the boys perhaps, bring it full circle. Something like the Max OphŁls film ďLa RondeĒ


Quoted from Zack
Funny you mention the start of "Stalked" seems like an opening scene to a feature. It basically is. :P I've got a ton of lore written for the Edgar Flynn character and would very much like to expand this to a feature one day. Same with "Christmas Exorcism".

Cool. I love me some lore ;)


Quoted from Zack
I really like some of your ideas for how I could connect these stories more. Especially like the idea of bringing one of the cops from "A Christmas Exorcism" back for a sixth short that ties in with another of the shorts... maybe "Stalked".  Would love to talk to you more about this, if you're down to listen to my mindless babbling. :P


Sure, tell me what ideas you have, Iíd be curious to hear them. Iíd try to find a character that links all of them to give it that connective tissue. I just suggested a cop as it would be the most plausible.

Col.
Posted by: Zack, May 26th, 2019, 9:32am; Reply: 21

Quoted from Colkurtz8



Sure, tell me what ideas you have, I'd be curious to hear them. I'd try to find a character that links all of them to give it that connective tissue. I just suggested a cop as it would be the most plausible.



Cool. Let me get my thoughts together and I'll get back to you shortly. BTW, I've already started reading your script and I'm breezing through it. I'm not nearly as good at reviews as you are, but I'll try to give you as many helpful notes as I can.
Posted by: Colkurtz8, May 26th, 2019, 8:13pm; Reply: 22

Quoted from Zack
Cool. Let me get my thoughts together and I'll get back to you shortly.


Cool.


Quoted from Zack
BTW, I've already started reading your script and I'm breezing through it. I'm not nearly as good at reviews as you are, but I'll try to give you as many helpful notes as I can.


Don't worry about that, any thoughts are welcome. Cheers.

Posted by: Diane, June 29th, 2019, 9:16pm; Reply: 23
hi
Posted by: LC, June 29th, 2019, 9:42pm; Reply: 24
Hi Diane, welcome to SS.

I PM'd you a couple of links to help you navigate the site and a link if you'd like to introduce yourself, here:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/

If you read Zack's script I'm sure he'd love to hear your feedback. :)
Posted by: Diane, June 29th, 2019, 9:49pm; Reply: 25
Hi Zack, just finished your script   Scared Yet? I thought the idea was very good. Good suspense too. My biggest problem with it was the Over-writing. I think I read somewhere you are new at this so more experience will hopefully improve the writing.  PS I am brand new too. So here goes:
Heavy? rain pours straight down Ö Torrential rain / straight down as opposed to straight up/ or sideways Rain generally rains down
you can not be surrounded on either side...either you are surrounded or you are bordered on either side surrounded implies all around.
lightening flashes for a brief moment .. that is what a flash is . a brief moment of light so just say lightening flashes
the darkness returns- it always does after a flash - get rid of the darkness returns
two small twin beds.  twin beds don't come in different sizes Ö they only come in "twin" size, "small" is unnecessary
no such word or expression as modernly furnished .. modern furnishings
He squints his eyes... rather than squinting his nose?  We know what someone means when they say he squinted - adding "his eyes" is unnecessary
the rain outside pounds Ö as opposed to the rain inside? Again adding necessary words. The rain pounds.
overwhelming, nearly pitchblack I think overwhelming IS pitch black - pick one
a thick thunder rumbles through the neighbourhood - thunder doesn't generally select neighbourhoods to rumble through - all you need to say is thunder rumbled
If you read any really good scripts Ö there is a great one on the Black List called King Richard, and GreenBook is available on Simply Scripts - the language used in these scripts is terse but perfect.  There are zero extraneous words. Because the writers only choose the best words, the scripts move along at a good pace, making the reader want more.  So, when you go to rewrite, make sure every word you use is necessary. If it isn't, get rid of it. I strongly urge you to read these scripts.
Posted by: Zack, June 29th, 2019, 10:20pm; Reply: 26

Quoted from Diane
Hi Zack, just finished your script   Scared Yet? I thought the idea was very good. Good suspense too. My biggest problem with it was the Over-writing. I think I read somewhere you are new at this so more experience will hopefully improve the writing.  PS I am brand new too. So here goes:
Heavy? rain pours straight down Ö Torrential rain / straight down as opposed to straight up/ or sideways Rain generally rains down
you can not be surrounded on either side...either you are surrounded or you are bordered on either side surrounded implies all around.
lightening flashes for a brief moment .. that is what a flash is . a brief moment of light so just say lightening flashes
the darkness returns- it always does after a flash - get rid of the darkness returns
two small twin beds.  twin beds don't come in different sizes Ö they only come in "twin" size, "small" is unnecessary
no such word or expression as modernly furnished .. modern furnishings
He squints his eyes... rather than squinting his nose?  We know what someone means when they say he squinted - adding "his eyes" is unnecessary
the rain outside pounds Ö as opposed to the rain inside? Again adding necessary words. The rain pounds.
overwhelming, nearly pitchblack I think overwhelming IS pitch black - pick one
a thick thunder rumbles through the neighbourhood - thunder doesn't generally select neighbourhoods to rumble through - all you need to say is thunder rumbled
If you read any really good scripts Ö there is a great one on the Black List called King Richard, and GreenBook is available on Simply Scripts - the language used in these scripts is terse but perfect.  There are zero extraneous words. Because the writers only choose the best words, the scripts move along at a good pace, making the reader want more.  So, when you go to rewrite, make sure every word you use is necessary. If it isn't, get rid of it. I strongly urge you to read these scripts.


Hey Diane,

Thank you very much for taking a look at this. I really appreciate it. :)

I've been writing for over fifteen years now, but I'm still very much an amateur. Overwriting is still an issue I struggle with.

I appreciate you giving me clear examples on where exactly my mistakes were made. You've actually helped me understand a couple of things just a little better. Very helpful. ;)

If you'd like for me to read something of yours in exchange, don't be afraid to ask.

Oh. And, welcome to Simplyscripts! ;D

Posted by: Zack, July 23rd, 2019, 7:43pm; Reply: 27
The first segment of this anthology, "Scared Yet?", has been picked up for production. It was previously produced as an audio play, which turned out fantastic IMO.

I can't thank this wonderful community enough. You guys are all awesome. :)

Link to the audio play here - https://player.fm/series/simplyscripts-podcast-feed/scared-yet-short-script-review-available-for-production
Posted by: LC, July 23rd, 2019, 7:55pm; Reply: 28
Congrats, Zack! Terrific news.
Posted by: Kirsten, July 23rd, 2019, 8:28pm; Reply: 29
Yay Zack! Nice one! 😉
Posted by: Angry Bear, July 23rd, 2019, 10:05pm; Reply: 30
Hubba!!!!!  8)
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, July 24th, 2019, 3:37am; Reply: 31
noice! well done Zack  :)
Posted by: Zack, July 24th, 2019, 8:51am; Reply: 32
Thanks, guys. I'm super stoked to see how it turns out.
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