One Page Challenges

One of my favorite activities on the Script Hive Discord server is the One Page Challenge.

Every week, a new prompt is posted with a call for entries. Anyone can submit as long as their script is no longer than a page. The prizes are generally only the accolades of your peers, but there are occasional guest hosts and more significant prizes.

It’s a great way to keep my writing muscles limber and get immediate feedback. I think it’s helped me improve my writing craft significantly over the past year, and it’s also given me inspiration for a few ideas that I might turn into longer pieces.

My Favorite Submissions (So Far)

Prompt, Week #27
  • A bus ride
  • A character is daydreaming

Title: Where the Road Curves
Logline: A bus ride on a darkened rural road is all a young woman needs to find supernatural help.
Notes: This is easily my favorite of the OPCs I’ve written so far. It also got the most votes for the week.

Prompt, Week #64
  • The genre is ‘Horror’
  • A birth – could be the birth of a child, an invention, a group or organization etc.
  • No dialogue allowed

Title: The New Queen
Logline: When a king forces his queen to drink a potion to make her young again, there are bloody results.
Notes: I was really happy with how this one turned out and decided to rewrite it as a short story.

Prompt, Week #66
  • The scene takes place in a busy location.
  • A twisted or unlikely romance.

Title: A Storm of Wings
Logline: When military men corner a young woman, she calls for supernatural help.
Notes: I really enjoy the gothic fantasy tone I achieved here.

Prompt, Week #74
  • Bees.
  • A character’s life is changed forever.

Title: Outer Rim Café
Logline: Two friends catch up at a space station cafe, but things take a strange turn when one notices a bee.

Prompt, Week #77
  • The Genre is: Adventure
  • Your main character/s is under 16
  • A surprise!

Title: The Bone Forest
Logline: A scout and his talking squirrel friend journey through a forest made of bones.
Notes: This one received the most votes for the week.

Prompt, Week #81
  • Your page takes place in one location.
  • A place you would never expect to be haunted.
  • A gruesome death using only two action lines.

Title: Eidolon Vintage
Logline: When a young woman visits a strange vintage shop, the shopkeeper makes it difficult to browse in peace.
Notes: This received the most votes for the week and the guest host picked it as a runner-up.

Prompt, Week #87
  • The sub-genre is: Budget Horror
  • You must open the page on the image of a physical object
  • And close the page on an image of that same object

Title: FMK
Logline: Four girls hang out in an empty house, but their night takes a dark turn when they play a game.
Notes: This script placed as a quarter-finalist in the 2022 Killer Shorts contest. Pretty cool!

All Other Submissions

Prompt, Week #18
  • A setting with a pool
  • A voice-over narrator

Title: The Pool Car
Logline: A private detective searching for a missing girl takes a ride in a strange car.
Notes: This was my first attempt at a one page challenge, but I haven’t shared it until now.

Prompt, Week #19
  • This is page 75 of a feature film, all hope is lost for our main character
  • The main character must be John Goodman, playing himself
  • The page/main scene must take place in a moving vehicle

Title: Widdershins
Logline: Two versions of John Goodman, one young and one old, make last-minute plans as they ride in a fairy seed-ship.
Notes: This is the first OPC I actually posted on the server. I fully admit to making it as weird as possible!

Prompt, Week #20
  • Your page must focus on the inciting incident of a feature film
  • You must include the line “This can’t be accurate?” in dialogue
  • Choose one of the following as your setting:
    • Somewhere underground
    • Motel Room
    • Fast Food Restaurant
    • Mars

Title: Mister Lonestar
Logline: A mysterious trickster tries to convince an angry young man to become his apprentice.
Notes: This won second place in a guest-hosted challenge.

Prompt, Week #21
  • Your Protagonist is introduced in their identifying environment. Use whatever you want to get there.
  • Your MC is not aligned with that environment. Any way to accomplish this is fine. Some examples might be:
    • Highlighting the opposite ideals of your MC (as advertised by Craig Mazin)
    • Indicating your MC is trying to be something they are not (see K. M. Weiland)
    • Setting your MC up with a difficult decision that will impact their future lives wholly (R. McKee).
    • Or forge your own paradigm! There are literally no rules here, only subjective interpretations of emotional resonance.

Title: The Fire Remembered
Logline: A young farm girl tussles with a dragon.

Prompt, Week #22
  • Have a character do objectively morally good things
  • Make the audience increasingly hate/despise this character

Title: Coffee, Interrupted
Logline: A nervous man waits to speak to a woman but is overshadowed by a another, better man.

Prompt, Week #23
  • The genre is Thriller
  • Important exposition must be delivered through the use of a smartphone (whether on a call, through a text or photo, or by using the smartphone in any other way)

Title: The Bird-Watchers
Logline: A furtive meeting on a secluded park bench takes a violent turn.

Prompt, Week #26
  • Two scenes, each 1 page long (so 2 pages total!)
  • Minimal action lines
  • Each scene involves the MC talking to a different single person
    • In one scene, the MC has authority over the other person
    • In the other scene, the other person has authority over the MC

Title: Elizabeth(s)
Logline: Two identical women plan a heist, but when one is caught, a secret about her nature is revealed.
Notes: This was the rare two-page challenge!

Prompt, Week #28
  • Your page must include exactly 2 speaking characters
  • One character portrays themselves as having lower social status in order to better achieve their goal
  • The whole page takes place during a Halloween party

Title: Plastic Fangs
Logline: Two college guys attend a Halloween party, but when one suggests a costume change, the other takes offense.

Prompt, Week #29
  • All of the characters have to be middle-schoolers
  • There has to be a fantasy/supernatural element
  • Your page takes place at one of these locations:
    • A junkyard
    • A water tower
    • An amusement park
    • A submarine

Title: The Case of the Upside-Down Ocean
Logline: A group of kids drive a submarine into an ocean in the sky to try and save their sick friend.

Prompt, Week #55
  • A sound effect.
  • An artifact from an unknown technology
  • The line “That’s just crazy enough to work”

Title: Comfort Zone
Logline: Two friends explore the universe hiding inside a puffy couch.

Prompt, Week #56
  • An egg.
  • A character who switches tactics to get what they want.
  • A Super or ‘Chyron’

Title: Scrambled
Logline: When a man finds himself trapped inside a mysterious white void, he tries to convince his captor to let him out.

Prompt, Week #67
  • The Genre is: Science Fiction
  • Your main characters must hate each-other
  • It ends with an explosion (of any size)
  • You must invent a new word that is:
    • Relevant to the plot or characters
    • Appears in dialogue
    • Can be understood from context clues only.

Title: Doggerel
Logline: A family dog takes issue with the robot dog he suspects is meant to replace him.

Prompt, Week #71
  • Your main character seems to have achieved everything they could possibly want.
  • Something makes them realize what they actually want.

Title: Puzzling
Logline: A puzzle-loving man is drawn out of his comfort zone when his neighbor shows him a mysterious artifact.

Prompt, Week #72
  • Your page takes place in one location.
  • We must never see ‘the monster’
  • But we should know what that monster is.

Title: Crust Punks
Logline: A scrappy punk band realizes that a former member may be taking revenge from beyond the grave.

Prompt, Week #82
  • Your characters are on holiday.
  • Tensions rise during an awkward moment.

Title: Out of Body
Logline: A hip young couple shares a relaxing out-of-body experience, but things go badly when the woman jokes around.

Prompt, Week #83
  • The Genre is Animation
  • A character who isn’t human that can talk.
  • A visual or special effect.

Title: The Deeper Cut
Logline: A gravely injured man confers with his bizarre, toothy familiar as they search for a dragon.

Prompt, Week #89
  • Your page must take place in space.
  • A heist.

Title: Haste, Spice
Logline: A woman on a date in a man’s luxury cabin reveals her ulterior motives when their spaceship’s gravity field abruptly shuts off.

Prompt, Week #94
  • The page must start on a dead body
  • The words “you’re not serious” included in dialogue
  • The page must end with us knowing what actions will be undertaken next in the story

Title: Inheritance
Logline: When a young woman inherits her late uncle’s mansion, she is disturbed to learn about his dying wish.
Notes: Voted favorite of the week by other members of the Discord.

Prompt, Week #100
  • 100
  • A locked door is involved in some way.
  • Only one character can have dialogue.

Title: Key Ring
Logline: A woman tries to open a mysterious door in the middle of a forest clearing.

Prompt, Week #109
  • A SINGLE action scene.
  • The line of dialog “I told you it wasn’t me”

Title: A Conversation Before Dinner
Logline: A woman interrupts her husband’s dinner prep with a nasty fight about a shady deal.

Prompt, Week
  • A tough, one-sided phone conversation.
  • A baboon.

Title: The Enforcer
Logline: A nervous man answers a phone call offered by an intimidating baboon wearing a suit.