Afflicted | Skillshare Projects

Kieran J. M.

Musician and Writer





A young hypochondriac's worst fears are realised - but who will listen to the boy who cried wolf?

You can read my final draft here:

If you enojy the story please click the 'like' button above and if you have any feedback I'd love to hear it!

Text Selection

I'm working from 'Zenas Witt' in the Spoon River Anthology. The poem describes a young man who is ill and experiencing 'terrible dreams'. He sees an advertisement from a Doctor in the newspaper which describes the symptons he has. Upon seeing this he knows he is going to die. I chose this text as there are several different directions I could take it and it will be fun to explore those.

Initially I kept to the time period the poem was written in and the disease it was most likely referring to (Spanish Influenza). It didn't give me much room to be creative though as it stuck quite tightly to the story told in the poem. Setting it in the modern age and drawing on some of my own experiences of getting sucked in to diagnosing medical issues via the internet I feel I was able to create a much more compelling story. My aim was to make the first half of the story almost light-hearted and funny but to completely flip that in the second half of the story and almost shock the readers/viewers. If I can make people laugh and cry within 8-10 minutes I'll consider it a success!


Update: 18th July - Revised Final Draft

I have made some minor revisions to my final draft. If you have already read the final draft their are no story changes here. I have made the actions blocks more concise and fixed a few spelling and grammar errors. I also removed the few camera directions I had from the script as I read these aren't typically included in a spec script such as this. The revised final draft is available here:

Update: 15th July - Final Draft

I now have what I believe to be my final draft. I will probably have to go back and fix grammer/spelling errors but the story is complete. Changes from the previous draft aren't major but they should help the story flow better. I've added a lot more description of scenes, particuarly in the first act. I also improved the formatting and made some of the dialogue more realistic and less forced. 

You can read it here:

Update: 9th July

I have prepared my first full draft. It falls a little short of the 10 pages but there is still a lot I can do to flesh it out. A lot of the final scenes will also be very visual with little dialogue. I'm really interested in what people think of the final act as it wasn't in the first draft I uploaded. The final act has been very hard to get right and I'm still not sure I've got it quite right so feedback will be really useful.

You can read it here:

Update: 15th June

I've drafted the first 4 or 5 pages of my screenplay. It still needs a lot of work but it gives a good idea of what I'm going for. This section of the script is meant to be darkly comedic. It ends just before we go into the dark/sad section of the screenplay (Zenas in hospital). For now I've just chosen random diseases but I'll be doing a bt more research to make sure they fit the story correctly.

You can read it here:

Update: 14th June

I'm a big fan of dark/black comedies, particuarly stuff by the McDonagh brothers. I've decided to that this in that direction. I've also decided to set it in the modern age. Zenas will be a hypochondriac researching a potential disease online. He will obsess over a rash coming to some dire conclusions. His father will mock him for it and his mother will gently disuade him and tell him he's alright. I feel I can make this part of the script comedic. The ending will be set in a hospital. Zenas will be in intensive care, dying and unable to see his parents as his disease is contagious. His parents will be in the hallway, devestated and battling feelings of guilt. Zenas will of course be contending with his own emotions. Understanding why his parents ignored him but angry that their negligence has led to his death.

I feel like I can do a good job of this although I'm worried I've deviated from the source material too much. Although the source isn't very specific so I feel it can be open to quite a lot of interpretation.

What do you think? I've already written a first draft of the first few scenes. I will probably upload that soon.


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