The War Of The States
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The War Of The States

It is the story of the events of the Civil War told in the form of historical fiction.

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  1. susanv1 says
    September 13, 2014, 5:32 pm
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    I think that the civil war and a historical fiction angle have great potential. I would follow the advice of others and keep going. We are all working to improve and once you incorporate it, you may have something special here. Good luck.

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  2. john1988d says
    June 11, 2012, 11:51 am
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    Wow, where do I start?

    I can tell you really put your heart and soul into this, and you’re obviously a history buff. It’s evident that you have passion for the product. That being said……

    The format isn’t even close to industry standards. I had a horrible time trying to figure out how to just read the script. Several typos as well. You need to give a physical description of your characters when they enter the story, just to help the reader achieve a visual image.

    The dialogue is “on the nose”, there is zero subtext here.

    If you’re serious about screenwriting, there are several sources I think you should look into. Maybe start with downloading scripts from the web so you get a feel for the format. Then I would suggest reading some of the great books out there on screenplay theory, such as Robert McKee’s “Story”, or even one of those “How To Write A Screenplay In X Amount of Days”, etc., just to get you in the swing of things.

    The best advice I can give you is to know going in that rewriting several times isn’t a suggestion in a well written screenplay, it’s a mandatory requirement. If you can take your passion for the subject and roll it into the format and art of screenwriting storytelling, I mean really put the effort in, I think you will be surprised at how rewarding the result will be.

    Good luck!

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    • Profile photo of andrewlosecco
      June 17, 2012, 12:55 am

      Yes, This is my first screenplay I have ever written in my life. I spent more than six months writing it and editing it. And for your information I have looked at many sources on the web. It is not a bunch of hogwash trust me. For the most part it is accurate. Of course some of the events are skewed that’s why it is called historical fiction. And what is wrong with the format I’ve spent months researching the format put aside the typos. My cousin who has taken formal classes on screenwriting. she had no problem with the format. I’m sure you have more experience with this than I do. So I would like for you to point out a flaw in the format. I have read a few screenplay and looked at them so I honestly don’t understand what is wrong with the format in that it being my first time writing for a competition. I am not being rude I just don’t understand the format. Please point out the mistakes in the format and be specific and honest.

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      • Profile photo of jusork
        jusork says
        June 17, 2012, 10:16 am

        Hi, I’ll give you some more feedback since no one’s responded yet. I’m just looking at the first few pages, but I can tell you that you are indeed missing some important screenwriting details. Was your cousin a playwright by any chance, because it looks more like play formatting.

        First your slugline always goes like this: int. or ext. – Washington D.C. – Day then anything else after that: – 1860. Same with the one later that says nothing but the year. You need to state the setting and establish the basics of it. And be specific, not general. The setting of Indiana is very broad. Where exactly? Also I’d describe important details of your scene before describing accessory details like the leaves. Describe the city or the crowd.

        Even though everybody knows who Lincoln is, you still have to introduce him and describe him at least basically. The first time you see the character, his or her name is written in all caps. For prominent characters, an age is generally a good detail to add at least. The crowd would also be all caps. And describe them, who are these people? Also, even though it is clear what speech this is, describe it as if we don’t. I’d say try not to say ‘his speech’ or ‘the city’ unless you’ve already established it as such.

        It might be difficult without script software, but all dialogue is written with the character in all caps centered on the page, then the dialogue centered below it with wider margins. There is a point where you have only a line of dialogue without saying who is speaking it. Even if you may be able to surmise based on the action, it is always necessary to say who is speaking those words, whether it’s FAMILY or LINCOLN’S MOTHER.

        I must say I am especially confused by the lines following the mother’s death. The nurse yells ‘scream?’ The family literally says ‘huh?’ Where’s the emotion? That is an important detail and needs to be shown. What is there to suggest her sudden death, other than her stomach torn open (C-section?)? Does she seem out of breath or tired or pale? What happens to the baby? Does the family watch her leave or huddle together in tears?

        So far I get the impression that your scenes are very minimal, too much so I’d say. In the 1816 scene on page 6, you say nothing but that they are loading up their wagon. Does nothing else happen on this seemingly important scene. If not, why have it? Don’t include scenes that add no value as that one seems to. The father’s dialogue is equally sparse. Does he need to state the fact so flatly? Find a way to create a scene that states that they are going west instead of just having a character say it. Don’t be mistaken however, you do need it made clear in some way that they are indeed going west or we as viewers won’t know.

        As John said, you clearly have a passion for your material, but your writing does need more work. Keep reading to get more of an idea of what we mean by our feedback. You can start with this site even. Hope we helped.

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    nrojas says
    June 10, 2012, 2:16 am
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    You should probably go through a few more drafts, try to focus on a single event and watch for historical accuracy.

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  4. ssabatino says
    May 17, 2012, 11:55 pm
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    Aside from being an obvious first draft, this was not a screenplay, rather an all-inclusive unit in the 8th grade American History textbook. Every battle, every general, every famous event surrounding Lincoln – even Dr. Mudd – were in it! The grammatical and technical errors, along with the amateurish and historically inaccurate syntax of the dialogue, appeared to be the creation of a 13 year old. By the way, did they have zippered body bags in 1860? I’d check on that one. If I am to leave any constructive criticism whatsoever, the only thing I can strongly suggest is to focus in on ONE battle, or ONE general. Check out McClellan – he was quite the personality. Write about him, but don’t write about Lincoln – he’s too well known. NEVER consider your first, or second, or third draft to be competition ready. That’s commonly known. Write an essay, not a screenplay, because you do not understand the definition of historical fiction.

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    • Profile photo of andrewlosecco
      June 17, 2012, 1:35 am

      May you please tell me what your definition of historical fiction is. it is a given that some of the events are going to be skewed. I’m pretty sure zippered bags have existed for hundreds of years.

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