Done Deal Pro Forums

Done Deal Pro Forums (http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/index.php)
-   Writing Exercises (http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?f=22)
-   -   Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest (http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/showthread.php?t=84338)

dpaterso 02-16-2019 02:28 PM

Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Here are the results for the Feb 2019 Valentine's Day contest:

Code:

                            1st 2nd 3rd Total
Martin Is Nice - Lil Drowzy  1  1  1    6
Midnight Caller - dpaterso  2  3      12
First Time - Centos          1      1    4
Fallin' - StoryWriter        2  1  2  10
The Waiting Game - Concar        1  2    4

Congrats to... dammit, me... for Midnight Caller, and to StoryWriter for a close second with Fallin'. Well done all for writing something for the contest regardless of how many points you scored. It's all about practicing writing to theme and deadline.

Thanks also to Mark Somers for voting!

1st place vote = 3 points, 2nd = 2, 3rd = 1. Note that if I'd included bonus 3 points for everyone who voted, excluding myself because I did the admin, the results would be different!

You're welcome to post thoughts and comments in this thread.

For posterity's sake, the discussion thread is here and the entries thread is here.

Centos 02-16-2019 06:31 PM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Congratulations dpaterso, Storywriter and Lil Drowzy. And, finally, dpaterso, you didn't penalize yourself for doing the work of administrating. I'll try to post a few comments about who I voted for and why by tomorrow (or the next day).

Thanks again for the contest.

Centos 02-16-2019 07:22 PM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Comments on the entries.

My first place vote went to Fallin'. The idea intrigued me and it ended with a Valentine theme. There was a lot to take in here and it looked like the writer was condensing a longer story into the shorter space, so it came across as rushed.

My second place vote went to the winner, Midnight Caller. Until the end I thought the dialogue seemed unrealistic when considering the situation. But once I realized there was to be a twist I "got it." I wasn't quite sure how the ending played out, were these vampires or vampire killers (or both)?

My third place vote went to Martin is Nice. The writer was successful in creating an unlikable (constant chip on the shoulder) protagonist but I thought the ending mellowed her out a bit. The beginning, with the old Polish guy's bankruptcy scam, didn't come across as realistic and I couldn't place the room decor description, but I got the idea it translated to "sparse."

Unless I missed something, I couldn't quite figure out The Waiting Game. It seemed like the start of a longer script and then just ended. I kept thinking the car "not starting" had some deeper meaning. Maybe this was an endless loop?

First Time, mine, was just another one of my maudlin scripts. I liked it, but then I usually like what I write. But I think I'm about the only one who does. :) Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this.

Next writing exercise?

dpaterso 02-17-2019 12:51 AM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
My votes went like:

1st - Fallin'
2nd - Martin Is Nice
3rd - The Waiting Game

And my comments, for what they're worth:

Martin Is Nice

I smiled at the opening lines which delivered voice, and I liked the portrait of Eliza's life, and I liked the easy dialogue. Towards the end however I didn't quite get the uncomfortable number of youths thing, like what did Eliza do to gather these people (in their 20s... but children?), and that gave me a last moment wobble. Just missed my 1st place vote.

Midnight Caller

Mine! As I posted the entries, I re-read this for typos, and realized at that fateful point that as I edited the script from 11+ pages down to 8 pages, I'd pruned the low-key romance spark between Izzy and Willy that qualified the story as suitable for Valentine's Day. I wonder if anyone noticed? Why did it get so many votes? Which were unexpected. Maybe y'all just liked the idea of a family of vampire hunters and their unwitting visitors?

First Time

Nicely written all the way, good character interplay and dialogue, but Jeebus what a downer ending, even though I saw it coming from the beginning. Sorry for not voting for it!

Fallin'

This held my attention, I think I would have enjoyed watching the film or however it ended up, gets a vote.

The Waiting Game

A readable slice of life, glad it all ended well, good closing line, gets a vote.

StoryWriter 02-17-2019 11:46 AM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Congratulations to dpaterso!

My # 1 -- First Time: In my opinion this was the best written script, with characters you could really relate to. But I agree with dpaterso -- put Centos on suicide watch. I was hoping for a twist, happy ending.

My # 2 -- Midnight Caller: I'm a sucker for stories that are written with characters acting normal in really weird situations. Well done.

My # 3 -- The Waiting Game: It had a realistic feel to it, and in my opinion it went on a little too long in a couple of scenes. But the characters were believable, and I kept getting the feeling this is something that the writer may have really experienced.

Martin Is Nice: Although it got better as it went (in my opinion), I had a really hard time with this one out of the gate. About thirty years ago I went through a bankruptcy and my lawyer was exactly opposite from Eliza in this story. He was a devious b*st*rd who came up with scams I would have never dreamed of. Eliza, on the other hand, acted more like a prosecutor. (Maybe things have really changed in thirty years?)

Mine -- Fallin': About a hundred pounds of crap stuffed into a fifty pound sack. Centos was right -- I needed more room. At least ten pages would have been great. I also broke a rule I normally set for myself in these short competitions. This is a story I'm playing with for a full length screenplay. Kind of it's own "alternate time line". Missing is any sense of peril. In the real story people murdered Danny's parents and since he has no idea who, he goes after scumbags, more or less randomly, then escapes. Silvia's group, aren't exactly the greatest people on earth, and could be responsible for the murders of Danny's parents. They despise "Stringers" and in the full length version so did Silvia (who is kind of brainwashed), at first. It takes her thirty or forty pages to change her mind and fall for Danny and help go after his parents killers. I tried to hint at some of this stuff, but in eight pages that's a lost cause and only causes confusion.

General Comments
I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I wish more people would use these contests. It's a great -- no cost -- way to play with new things and find out what might work and what's a disaster. I played around with a lot things, in this contest, that I've never tried before. A couple of things I'm kind of happy with and will work on -- a couple of things -- not so much. What's great about more people and more comments is if fifteen out of twenty have the same criticism, that's probably something you ought to look at.

In my opinion this is the most valuable forum on Done Deal.

Thanks again, dpaterso, for putting this together.

dpaterso 02-18-2019 02:01 PM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Thanks for the comments, appreciated!

Eyeballs on your writing and free feedback, what's not to like.

Yep more people would be nice, alas we've lost too many over the years and/or they just don't visit as frequently any more, what can ya do.

Centos 02-19-2019 12:05 AM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dpaterso (Post 959482)
First Time

Nicely written all the way, good character interplay and dialogue, but Jeebus what a downer ending, even though I saw it coming from the beginning. Sorry for not voting for it!

Quote:

Originally Posted by StoryWriter (Post 959484)

My # 1 -- First Time:
In my opinion this was the best written script, with characters you could really relate to. But I agree with dpaterso -- put Centos on suicide watch. I was hoping for a twist, happy ending.

What's funny is that I didn't consider this script a "downer" at all. I looked at it as a successful life, well lived. (Maybe I'm insane?)

dpaterso 02-19-2019 02:44 AM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Centos (Post 959499)
What's funny is that I didn't consider this script a "downer" at all. I looked at it as a successful life, well lived. (Maybe I'm insane?)

Heh I wouldn't go that far. So maybe I used the wrong word, maybe the story was "touching" rather than a downer, although downer is the feeling it left me with. Like I said, nicely written.

Centos 02-19-2019 12:22 PM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dpaterso (Post 959500)
Heh I wouldn't go that far. So maybe I used the wrong word, maybe the story was "touching" rather than a downer, although downer is the feeling it left me with. Like I said, nicely written.

No, "downer" is fine. I was just saying that the story effected me differently then it did you or Storywriter. I think I'm the one who is "out of the loop" here, not you. Besides, honest criticism is the best feedback you can get, and I think you told me honestly how this story effected you. I thank both you and Storywriter for your comments.

Centos 02-19-2019 05:48 PM

Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest
 
Same basic mood, happier ending. (I wrote this one eleven years ago, still on the newsgroup archived by Goodle. I was already wordy. Should probably look into writing novels.)

I didn't proofread it or anything. So any mistake I made back then is still there.

Code:


    CLAWS

    FADE IN:

    INT. KITCHEN -- NIGHT

    A slight breeze ruffles the lace curtain, which is tangled
    in the stems of a potted ivy plant sitting on the window
    sill -- its leaves flow down toward the sink.

    The sound of the dripping faucet competes with the gurgling
    of a stream outside, and with the buzz of flies, who circle
    lazily beneath a dim light bulb, occasionally landing on its
    pull string -- which trails down toward a 50s style, chrome
    edged, red Formica table.

    Beneath the light, VERNON WAGSTAFF, stubbled chin, thin and
    wrinkled, wearing a well-worn bathrobe, sits motionless, an
    old-fashioned fountain pen in his hand, while he stares down
    at the blank pad of paper in front of him.

    He squints and leans close to the pad.  He moves the pen
    over the paper, but it leaves no mark, so he shakes it until
    droplets of ink appear on the table.

    He writes.

                          VERNON (V.O.)
              Dearest Ellenor...  It's with a heavy
              heart that I...

    He impatiently scratches out the words, and rips the page
    off the pad, crinkling it into a ball.

                          VERNON
              Sounds like a damn business letter.

    Vernon starts again.

                          VERNON (V.O.)
              My Beautiful Ellenor... I'm wishing
              now that I hadn't sent you away to
              see James.  As you now know, he and
              Lily are fine and so are the kids.

    I just didn't want you to be here when it happened.  But...
    maybe...

    He stops again and rips the sheet from the pad and wads it
    into a ball.  Then he puts the pen down, gets up and paces
    the floor.

    He stops in front of the sink.  Beside it, on a set of
    knickknack shelves nailed to the cupboard sits a "50th
    Anniversary" plate, with a picture of he and Ellenor (thin
    and wrinkly like him) taken at the anniversary party, screen
    printed on it.

    On the upper shelf sits a cracked picture frame with a black
    and white photo of much younger versions of himself and
    Ellenor.  A small, black child is sitting on Ellenor's lap.

    They all smile broadly.

    Beside the picture, sits an empty bottle of wine.  Its label
    is faded -- yellowed Scotch tape keeps a ripped corner from
    falling off.  Vernon smiles slightly as he lifts the bottle
    and wipes the cobwebs off of it.  He also picks up the picture
    and places both items on the table by the pad.

    He sits down and starts writing again.

                          VERNON (V.O.)
              In front of me sits the bottle and
              the picture of James, taken the day
              the adoption was final.  I remember
              how excited and happy we all were,
              and our first "night picnic."

    INT. KITCHEN (WHEN NEW) -- NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

    A young Vernon, late 20s, black hair, thin, in dress clothes,
    dries dishes at the sink and places them in the cupboard.

    A young Ellenor, late 20s, red hair, pretty, walks into the
    kitchen.  Her eyes are bright.  She smiles wide as she tries
    to untie apron strings behind her back.

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              Finally.  Asleep.

    Vernon puts down his dish towel and reaches out to help.

                          YOUNG VERNON
              Here, turn around.

    He fumbles with the knot but gives up and, instead, slides
    his hands around her slender stomach and pulls her close as
    kisses the nape of her neck.

    Ellenor twists her head around so their lips can meet for a
    long kiss.

                          YOUNG VERNON
              I'm thinking this might be a good
              night to get the bottle down.

    They both look up at the empty wine bottle sitting on the
    shelf.  Its label is new and brightly colored.

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              It's James' first night and...

    But she finds it hard to concentrate with Vernon nibbling on
    her ear.

                          YOUNG VERNON
              Let's grab a blanket and head down
              to the stream.

    Ellenor giggles.

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              Vernon!

    Vernon releases her, so he can twirl her around and kiss her
    again.  When they stop they're both a bit flushed.

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              Okay, I'll get the blanket.

                          YOUNG VERNON
              I'll get the bottle.

    Ellenor exits the kitchen.

    A small gust of wind bows in the lace curtain and Vernon
    reaches over the sink to pull the window shut.  The sound of
    the gurgling stream is silenced as the window closes.  He
    grabs the bottle.

    Ellenor returns with the blanket and, as Vernon opens the
    door, it squeaks.

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
                    (whispering)
              James is a little restless, so--

    James, 5 years old, bleary-eyed, is standing in the doorway.

                          JAMES
              --Mama?

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              Yes, little one.

                          JAMES
              You gonna' leave?

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              No, son, we're just--

                          YOUNG VERNON
                    (grabbing a picnic
                    basket and shoving
                    the bottle in it)
              --Going on a night picnic, son.

    Ellenor hands the blanket to Vernon and picks up James.

                          YOUNG ELLENOR
              Why don't you get the picnic set up.

    I'll rock James to sleep again and be out in a bit.

    She shoves a lock of hair off Vernon's forehead.

                          YOUNG VERNON
              Okay, but hurry.  I'm really... 
              hungry.
                    (END FLASHBACK)

    INT. KITCHEN -- LATER

    There are now more than ten crumpled sheets of paper on the
    table.  Vernon is still writing on the pad.

                          VERNON (V.O.)
              I'm not good with words.  But I love
              you.  I always will.  And...

    The back of his hand splits open and a chunk of dry skin
    falls off with a thump.  A thick, milky liquid drips out on
    to the table.

                          VERNON
              Already?

    A white claw slides out of the opening.

    INT. KITCHEN -- LATER

    Ellenor, her eyes puffy and moist, enters the kitchen.  She
    unbuttons her sweater.  Her voice is raspy with emotion when
    she calls out.

                          ELLENOR
              Vernon?  I couldn't go... I...

    She sees the picture and bottle on the table and slumps to
    the chair to read the note.

    Her expression changes, and she quickly grabs the other notes
    and reads them.

    She sees the dried skin and milky goo and her face brightens.

    INT. BATHROOM -- CONTINUOUS

    The lights are out.  The moon silhouettes a claw foot bathtub,
    where a man sits quiet, his hands covering his eyes as his
    shoulders slump.

    The door opens.  Ellenor steps in and turns on the light.

    A young (early 20s) version of Vernon sits up quickly, water
    and soap suds splashing over the edge of the tub.

                          VERNON
              Ellenor?  I--

    But Ellenor is smiling.

    ELLENOR

    OH MY.  I HAD FORGOTTEN HOW HANDSOME

    you were.

    She gently touches his chest with her fingertips.  Her
    brittle, blotched skin contrasts sharply with Vernon's fresh,
    flexible new skin.

                          VERNON
              I wanted to tell you.  I--

    She presses her fingers his lips.

                          ELLENOR
              Shhhh.

    The back of her hand cracks open.

    Vernon lights up.

                          VERNON
              Ellenor!

    She turns back to the door and picks up an object she left
    outside the door.  It's the battered old picnic basket, with
    the empty wine bottle poking out one side.

                          ELLENOR
              I think we'll be needing this a little
              later.

    Claws glide out of openings in the back of her hands.

                          ELLENOR
              But first, let me slip out of this
              old thing and into something more
              comfortable.

                                                        FADE OUT:



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro