Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

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  • Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

    I received a suggestion from a forum member for a kinda unique exercise, inviting submission of the last 3 or so pages of a script (this number may change).

    In other words (I think), the climax and/or the denouement.

    As the suggestee said: Knock us dead. Get a giggle. Whatever.

    Might anyone be interested in this? Throw your thoughts into the hat.
    Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

  • #2
    Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

    Hmm. Sounds interesting. This would be off a prompt, I presume? I'm (obviously) really new to the DD community.

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    • #3
      Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

      Would it be from a currently existing screenplay?

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      • #4
        Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

        Originally posted by lacomedienne View Post
        Hmm. Sounds interesting. This would be off a prompt, I presume? I'm (obviously) really new to the DD community.
        It's possible a theme or prompt/topic could be provided, if this proves a popular choice, but then again, perhaps writers should be free to submit sample pages from their preferred genres instead of being constrained? Something to ponder and vote on.

        Originally posted by carcar View Post
        Would it be from a currently existing screenplay?
        I think this would be up to the individual. We're always seeing opening pages in Script Pages forum, never the ending. Might seeing feedback on their ending benefit writers? Or would most folks prefer to write something new rather than risk airing their "real" script ending.

        My thoughts: I'm wondering whether submissions might benefit from a logline or mini synopsis description up front to give readers a clue what they're about to get into.
        Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

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        • #5
          Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

          I think a trailer writing contest like the one of long ago is useful.

          I thought it was a great logline excersize in and of itself.


          Just my two cents.


          Mark


          Hey! You might do it in your house, but in this house we don't lick our butts. -- Mother Teresa

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          • #6
            Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

            Oh, it was, but that probably belongs in another thread, he hinted.
            Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

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            • #7
              Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

              Sounds great, but what's a denouement?

              My only thinking would be that it should be the ending of a script that we've already completed. I don't really see how else it could be done and still provide some benefit to us as writers.

              And since it would be from an existing script, I would steer away from genres/themes.

              A logline would probably be a good idea, too.
              On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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              • #8
                Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                The denouement is the bit where John McClean and Holly get together, and she biffs the annoying reporter dude -- the wrap-up and smiles after the movie's big climax.
                Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

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                • #9
                  Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                  Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
                  Oh, it was, but that probably belongs in another thread, he hinted.
                  Ok, that was a freaking awesome read, and I seriously hope that contest gets a sequel.

                  WRT this one, though, I do think that some rule(s) or guideline(s) would help, if only because I think it's hard to identify an effective ending if you have no clue how well it ends the story. JMO...I mean, I guess a good ending is a good ending, but if it doesn't suit the story, how good is it, really?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                    Originally posted by lacomedienne View Post
                    ...I think it's hard to identify an effective ending if you have no clue how well it ends the story. JMO...I mean, I guess a good ending is a good ending, but if it doesn't suit the story, how good is it, really?
                    That's why a logline or mini synopsis paragraph would be needed, to let readers see what it's all about, the characters, the theme, the tone. Otherwise the end pages won't even make sense.
                    Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                      I'm stuck on time, unfortunately, but interesting idea, Dpat, wonder how this will go?



                      Saving myself for Halloween....
                      Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                        People can use whatever criteria they want to judge and most certainly will, but to me, if you do this kind of contest, my "winner" would be whoever makes me want to know what happened leading up to that ending....which is different from our other writing exercises where we are mostly judging skill and story.

                        I think if we just said submit the last 5-8 pages of a script you've finished and its logline and it will be judged primarily on the writer's skill and interest that it creates for the story that comes before it, we could have some very interesting reads.
                        On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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                        • #13
                          Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                          It sounds like you'll be judging something where the various strands in the ending will be - as they always are - the tying up of all the various plot/sub-plot elements...

                          the girl gets the guy,
                          the hero overcomes his internal struggle,
                          a minor character surprises himself and us, with an act of heroism
                          the villain gets fed into the crusher machine, and comes out like a smoothy

                          and so on...

                          I can see that a few tweaks might get poeple thinking, how did we get here, but can also envisage a few problems, if the script's executed in a way that confounds readers, confuses. A 'no idea where this begain' so wonder if a few tweaks may have to be done to the end of an existing script, to rachet up the interest, and mystery.
                          Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                            Originally posted by The Road Warrior View Post
                            It sounds like you'll be judging something where the various strands in the ending will be - as they always are - the tying up of all the various plot/sub-plot elements...

                            the girl gets the guy,
                            the hero overcomes his internal struggle,
                            a minor character surprises himself and us, with an act of heroism
                            the villain gets fed into the crusher machine, and comes out like a smoothy

                            and so on...

                            I can see that a few tweaks might get poeple thinking, how did we get here, but can also envisage a few problems, if the script's executed in a way that confounds readers, confuses. A 'no idea where this begain' so wonder if a few tweaks may have to be done to the end of an existing script, to rachet up the interest, and mystery.
                            Just spitballing, but don't you think if we read an ending that seems pretty ordinary and been-there, done-that, that it "probably" means that the stuff leading up to that point aren't all that great?

                            I'm not sure what I think the answer is to that yet. I need to think about it some more.
                            On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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                            • #15
                              Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                              Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
                              Just spitballing, but don't you think if we read an ending that seems pretty ordinary and been-there, done-that, that it "probably" means that the stuff leading up to that point aren't all that great?

                              I'm not sure what I think the answer is to that yet. I need to think about it some more.
                              I think you may be right there Mr Earth. You know how we hear all of these cliches, or pieces of writers' adivce, that most of us have heard if we've been in this game for a while, well...
                              one of these is that "if you turn to a page in a script, or even come into a room and see a film, however far in, you can pick up the thread, or at least get into the action/story at that point!

                              I sometimes, and perhaps it's a bit paranoid, do this, come in on a film and think, how much can I get from these characters on screen, what can I pick up from the scene in question?
                              More often than not, I more or less get where it's been and where it's going, that could be a sign of watching too many movies, or it could be evidence of a good script, or a film that was good enough to get made etc.

                              But you know, I still don't know.

                              So this compet could be a good tester of that, and make people read back and guess at what has happened up to that point.

                              ??
                              Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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