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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Dramedy Scripts  ›  Whispers of Dreams: A Journey to Heavenly
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  Author    Whispers of Dreams: A Journey to Heavenly  (currently 268 views)
Posted: July 8th, 2023, 6:48am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Whispers of Dreams: A Journey to Heavenly by Morena Moahloli - Short, Dramedy - A young ambitious writer, haunted by regret and burdened by his father's death, receives a long-waited acceptance letter to a prestigious School of arts. With the support of his estranged uncle, he embarks on a journey that will change his life. 15 pages - pdf format

New writer interested in feedback on this work, please be nice

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Posted: July 16th, 2023, 10:55am Report to Moderator

Northeast, kind of.
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This was an interesting story. It goes dark at the end and it felt like there was more story coming. I was left with the feeling that the story was about to get really exciting. The secret between Tsie and Sweetness is a little vague, but I think I figured it out. It made for a great setting as is Tsie’s embarking on the next chapter of his life.

As a short story, this was enlightening and delightful. As a script, there are a fair number of issues.

Regarding format:

You need a title page. It is an un-numbered page with the title and your name as the writer in the middle,
and contact information at the bottom.

As a formality, your first words are: FADE IN. You story ends with THE END or FADE OUT.  Without that, it’s like not wearing a tie to an interview. You and your script loses a great deal of credibility without it.

You need page numbers. The title page does not count. Page one counts but is not numbered. The numbering begins on page 2. Any comments I give that reference page numbers are derived from the sheet count in my PDF reader.

PLEASE DON’T USE MICROSOFT WORD. If you want to seriously get into writing scripts, you need script writing software. There are many software packages available and some of them are free. It will make a world of difference. They are ridiculously easy to learn and it will make writing scripts much easier.

If you insist on using Word to write with, you need to set your margins correctly. The left margin is set at 1.5” Characters  are indented 2” from the left margin. Dialog text has margins set at 2.5” from the left side of the page and right margins set at 4.5”. Don’t hold me to this. The actual margin setting are available on this site (I don’t remember the exact link) and on the web.

The font needs to be Courier 12 pt. I think another font is also acceptable but most readers will only take you seriously if you use Courier 12.

Regarding style:

In many ways you violate the number one rule in script writing: SHOW, DON’T TELL. As a script you are writing what to put on screen. If you can’t point to it or an audience can’t see it, don’t put it in your script. There are some exceptions in that you can add notations for commentary. If a character looks sad, you can add a quick comment as to why they look sad. For example, you could write, “Tsie looks at the floor. Sadness fills his eyes. The situation weighs heavily on him.” In that case you are showing us something and giving some motivation for an actor.

On page 2 you have the words “They chat for a while”. Don’t be lazy. Tell us what they say. If it is a montage, tell us that and describe what we see as an audience. Keep in mind what a director is supposed to do. Ask yourself what a director is supposed to do with, “They chat for a while.”

On page 3 is another example.  It’s been years since she has spoken with Aron. Is a director supposed to invent a series of shots to show that time has passed since they have spoken?

The same thing with scents. You can have a burning smell in your script but you need to describe it with actions. Use wording like “Their eyes water from the acrid smell.”

There are other issues but I have talked too much already. I think that if you read the other scripts that are posted here, you will catch on and improve your style.

This story is a nice beginning to an interesting drama. More can be done with this beyond being a short. I get the feeling from the way the story ended that you know this. My advice is to re-write and re-format this, and build on it.

Revision History (1 edits)
D.A.Banaszak  -  July 16th, 2023, 11:09am
I hate typos.
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Posted: July 16th, 2023, 7:23pm Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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Terrific feedback already given by D.A.

With the correct formatting this script would be much less than the 15 pages it appears to be and I feel your script/story would be much more effective for it.

This below is description. It's too long to be a parenthetical (wrylie).

(yawning, his voice tinged with exhaustion)
(yawning) would say it all, if it is needed.

It also should be formatted under the character name, centred, not left justified, no line break.

        Wake me up when we're
        ready for...

Some links below re Parenthetical use.,Can%20I%20talk%20to%20you%3F

Parentheticals are specifically needed, if for example, it's a group scene and we're unsure who the dialogue is directed to but otherwise you want to use them sparingly.

You are also over describing things:

Tsie and Uncle Aron stand before a vintage Chevrolet Corvette the 'Old Barkie', the weathered vehicle that will be their steadfast companion on this journey. . The sun shines brightly overhead, causing the faded paint (paintwork) on the Barkie's exteriorto glisten with a hint of nostalgia. Tsie runs his fingers along the dents and scratches, feeling the rough texture beneath his touch. It's a testament to the many miles and stories this car holds.

All this sentiment is lovely but too much and it's more befitting a novel.

Put inverted commas around the name given affectionately to the car, and Cap it as you would a character name. Give us the make of the car so we can picture it. I put one in there as an example.

You can condense the description, but still retain the nostalgic feel.

I blocked out a few words as an example of what you don't really need. You do your own editing but these are suggestions.

Take heed of D.A.s advice re formatting.
You use parenthesis [ and ] around some description passages and it's not standard, not needed. And brackets ( ) elsewhere. Writing Action and Description lines stand alone without those.

Example of unwanted parenthesis:

[As they approach the border, a sudden loud noise startles them, breaking the rhythm of their conversation. The sound reverberates through the car, a jarring interruption in the harmony of their journey.]

As D.A. pointed out, you're taking too many shortcuts.

After the call, Tsie decides to take a nap while Aron contemplates his plan, grinning at the comical turn
of events.

What would we see on film here? If we see Tsie napping you need to show that - complete with scene heading. What are we looking at in that description of Aron? I suspect you're used to writing novels or short stories. You need to write what we're seeing on screen at any given moment.

Free Screenwriting software.
I'd start with Trelby. It's free and easy to use.

Get the nuts and bolts of screenwriting down pat.
That said, some beautiful writing on display and I hope to see more of your work.

The hot, dry wind whistles through the barren landscape, carrying with it an eerie silence that hangs
heavy in the air. The distant sound of cawing crows echoes ominously.

Maybe replace 'eerie silence' with eerie foreboding, or similar.

Anyway, enough from me.

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