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-   -   TPG Week 223: In Search Of A Real Ending (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174205)

Steven Forbes 04-04-2015 04:21 AM

TPG Week 223: In Search Of A Real Ending
 
Welcome back, one and all, to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a new Brave One in Amit Sharma. We also have Samantha LeBas in purple, I'm the one in red, and we'll see just how Amit gets along with

Wise

NOTE: 3 pages, 9 panels per page in a 3x3 grid. I envisage this being black & white, Clean lines with blank white background. The story is mostly talking heads from the chest up. (I've recently been re-reading Watchmen. I fear this could go very badly for Amit when compared to that.)

NOTE: Characters. There are 5 characters in total in this story.

WISE: Central character to the story. Male early 20s, white

PUNCHY: Male early 20s, white

OPPONENT: Male early 20s, East Asian

FRIEND: Female early 20s, black

CHARLOTTE: Female, early 20s, in a wheelchair. white

All five are gamers. Here for a collectable card game tournament. They are all from London. This is set in modern day 2015. All other details in terms of build, fashion etc, I leave to you.

PAGE 1

Panel 1) Medium shot. The panel has 2 characters. PUNCHY on the left, WISE on the right. PUNCHY is swinging a fist at WISEís face. The fist hasnít made contact yet, it is 2 to 3 fist lengths from connecting with WISEís face. WISE is just standing there with a blank expression on his face looking at PUNCHY. PUNCHY has an angry demeanour.

There is no background detail. Plain white background. (Where are they? Any setting info or props you to include? Camera angle? This is literally happening in a white void, but at least you seem to mean for it to.)

NOTE: PUNCHY will be in exactly this position for all of the panels on this page. He doesnít move.(Move this up to your description of Punchy.)

NO COPY

Panel 2) Medium shot. As page 1 panel 1, but now WISE has turned his head to look at the camera and address the reader. Has a wry grin.(Question: Is this going to be a repeat panel [9x?] with only Wise moving? Same set up as far as shot, just with Wise talking to us? Or does he move around frozen Punchy like heís a statue? I am not sure, but I think that might be more interesting.)

WISE: Hey.

WISE: Yeah, Iím about to get punched. Iíll come back to that.

Wise: But yeah, I can see you.(Keep your formatting consistent, character name in all caps throughout if you start that way.)

Click here to read more.

Morganza 04-04-2015 07:04 AM

9 panels per page of talking heads? I can imagine an elite pro could make this look visually stunning to a point, but 9 panels per page will make everything tiny especially when you have to take into account the word balloons which I imagine is quite a bit of real estate. I haven't even read this yet.

Also noted the formatting error on page one attributed to the writer, A while back Steven had similar mistakes on his entry but it was attributed to program/ software error, why is that? How do you know which errors are software and which are human? I know this is not the same editor but I'm assuming everyone saw and still said nothing.

Kiyoko, Rin 04-04-2015 07:08 AM

- I really liked this story up until the middle of the second page. That's when I felt that, if Wise can stop time and hold a 170 word monologue (yep. I counted.) whilst doing so, why doesn't he use that power to help his gaming and, at the very least, crack the top eight? Surely being able to see the next dealt card would be a huge advantage in planning your strategy?

If he refrains from using his time-stopping abilities for a moral reason / in the spirit of fair play, then he doesn't deserve to be punched.

Quote:

They are shaking hands. Both are smiling. The table has a table number on one edge. The table number is 6. Cards have been laid out in front of each player as well as their decks.
- Mr. Hayes' point in last week's TPG about, "Lots. Of. Short. Sentences. Make. For. A. Boring. Read," holds true here. Not because it was boring, but a compound sentence or two could have streamlined the narrative, and made it much more efficient.

- If the cards are going to be drawn large enough to be seen, I'd recommend using a club motif - billy clubs, war clubs, truncheons, batons, or plain old clubs from the hearts/diamonds/spades family. Why? Because, in a story where someone's about to be hit, there are lots of visual puns to be made from punching / clubbing, HANDS of cards, DECK of cards, having a SHOT at reaching the final... you could even work in the phrase "FISTful of dollars" or that Charlotte should "take it on the chin." Hell, you could even have them drinking punch. (Schuyler, stop rolling your eyes.)

Steven Forbes 04-04-2015 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morganza (Post 1844544)
9 panels per page of talking heads? I can imagine an elite pro could make this look visually stunning to a point, but 9 panels per page will make everything tiny especially when you have to take into account the word balloons which I imagine is quite a bit of real estate. I haven't even read this yet.

If you haven't done so, read Watchmen. You can get in a LOT of visual information in an 9-panel grid--as long as both the writer and the artist know what they're doing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morganza (Post 1844544)
Also noted the formatting error on page one attributed to the writer, A while back Steven had similar mistakes on his entry but it was attributed to program/ software error, why is that? How do you know which errors are software and which are human? I know this is not the same editor but I'm assuming everyone saw and still said nothing.

It depends on how/where it happens.

Mine only happened in the dialogue headings, not throughout the script. Also, I know it was a translation error because I wrote the script in Final Draft and then converted it to a format that could be read by another word processing program.

Here, everything is capitalized except for that one spot, meaning he typed everything and forgot to put on the caps lock in that instance. It's pretty easy to spot once you've seen different kinds of errors a few times. I've noticed it in a few scripts here myself, and have given the writers the benefit of the doubt when it happens. That particular type of error doesn't happen often, though.

Amitverse 04-07-2015 06:53 AM

Hi, this was my script. Sorry for the delay in posting here but I've been taking advantage of the Bank holiday week-end here in the UK.

I’d like to thank Steven and Samantha for taking the time to go through my the script

Now to get the most embarrassing part out of the way...
English IS in fact my first language (I almost died when I read that comment). I was trying to give the character a voice, a pattern of speech that would give the dialogue a conversational tone.

Steven, I think I made your head explode due to the capital letters, my mistake. Originally I was going to have the character say GG, a thing that some gamers' do, short for Good game. I decided in the end to put in the words but missed the capital letter change.

I’ll take on board what has been said about the layout. I did my best to limit what was happening in each panel; I never had more than 3 characters in a panel. I would appreciate if you could tell me which panels you would have me rethink in terms of layout.

A comment was made that coming out of a flashback half way through a page is bad. Could you explain this a bit more please?

I will do a rewrite and resubmit to the proving grounds. I am capable of better.

One question, scripts have to be sent in .Doc or .Docx formats. I predominantly use open office, would sending .odt files be okay?

DarkHalf05 04-07-2015 08:07 AM

Hey, Amit,

This seems like it can be a fun story with a little more work. I'm looking forward to that rewrite.

Now, this is just my personal opinion and there isn't anything wrong with the script, but I found it a little disorienting to read. When I was a kid, I used to love the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Have you ever read them? If not, you would read a few pages and be given a choice, and have to turn to another part of the book to continue the story.

To me, this script sorta reads like that. Perhaps more on the lines of reading page 300 of a novel, and a line reads "Punchy enters the same room from page 102..." To get the full effect of the panel description, one has to constantly be jumping all over the script. Some panel descriptions reference the previous panel, which references yet another panel (Inception!).

While there is nothing at all wrong with this, you rely on it so much that I can't easily get a visual of the scene. In this instance, the characters aren't moving around a whole lot so it wasn't horrible, but, like I said, it was a bit disorienting.

For example, you have Punchy placed on page 1, panel 1. Every panel after you reference this panel. I think it would be easier to say in panel 1 Punchy will be in this shot in every panel for the remainder of the page and describe where Wise is in relation to him after.

Just some food for thought. Like I said, it's not wrong. But it could read a bit easier in my opinion.

Good luck on your next submission!

Steven Forbes 04-07-2015 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amitverse (Post 1844632)
Hi, this was my script. Sorry for the delay in posting here but I've been taking advantage of the Bank holiday week-end here in the UK.

Iíd like to thank Steven and Samantha for taking the time to go through my the script

Now to get the most embarrassing part out of the way...
English IS in fact my first language (I almost died when I read that comment). I was trying to give the character a voice, a pattern of speech that would give the dialogue a conversational tone.

Steven, I think I made your head explode due to the capital letters, my mistake. Originally I was going to have the character say GG, a thing that some gamers' do, short for Good game. I decided in the end to put in the words but missed the capital letter change.

Iíll take on board what has been said about the layout. I did my best to limit what was happening in each panel; I never had more than 3 characters in a panel. I would appreciate if you could tell me which panels you would have me rethink in terms of layout.

A comment was made that coming out of a flashback half way through a page is bad. Could you explain this a bit more please?

I will do a rewrite and resubmit to the proving grounds. I am capable of better.

One question, scripts have to be sent in .Doc or .Docx formats. I predominantly use open office, would sending .odt files be okay?

Explanations without sounding defensive. I love it.

I'm a bit pressed for time (but I'll be back), but I wanted to say that while I personally like OpenOffice, not everyone on my team has it (although it's free). I want to say "yes" to the request, but I'm going to have to say "no."

But this is the way to do it, folks. If you want something special done, all you have to do is ask. Sometimes, you get what you want. (Especially from me. I'm a pushover in most cases. I do what I can, when I can.)

SamRoads 04-07-2015 12:26 PM

Thanks for the edits Steven and Sam, great job.

I work in Open Office. I always 'Save As' Word97 Doc, which puts it into a format which most folk can read. But not all.

Amit and I met many years ago, playing this kind of game at a high level! :) So I think it's fair to make the criticism that everyone at the tournament would be expecting people to play to win. And thus the punch is very unreasonable.

However, Steven is right on the money about this not being a story. One technique I use to try and work out if something is a story is to condense it into as few a words as possible. In this case:

A man competes in a tournament. He refuses to throw a game and gets punched.

This isn't a story. But it very nearly could have been. What if you start the story after the punch. Then the first explanation is why Wise got punched. Then, the story could peel back another layer to show why Wise didn't throw the game. And then peel back another layer to show some machination which shows the real (perhaps heroic) reason Wise didn't throw the game.

This kind of storytelling is key to a variety of films and shows about boxers throwing games, and why they did, or didn't. (Pulp Fiction)

Lastly, why use the 9 box structure? Alan Moore can do what he likes 'cos he's Alan Moore, but I'd want a really good reason before I did this. Maybe if I was writing something about someone in prison, and I wanted to give everything a contricted feeling. But this is a gaming tournament, so I feel there are loads of interesting things you could do with layout.

Morganza 04-07-2015 12:45 PM

Using Open Office would be a game changer for me, since that's all I use. If you guys could use that format for submissions I would submit, only because it would be less of a hassle for me, I want to start writing again too.

SamRoads 04-07-2015 09:02 PM

Morganza, use the Save As function to save as a Word 97 .doc file.

Job done. :)

Amitverse 04-08-2015 06:06 AM

My concept for Wise is he is a ‘smart loser’ he will usually end up getting the short end of the stick. There will nearly always be a downside to his upside side. As such I want unreasonable things to happen to him. That is only the concept however and I will look at making a story with it for the rewrite.

I have to say I am surprised by the reaction to the 3x3 grid layout. The suggestion seems to be that only Alan Moore is allowed to use it. My reasons for the layout are in no particular order:

Story real estate. The end goal is to have a comic, not just a well written script. To do that I will need to pay an artist. Realistically I can only afford to pay for 1 to 3 pages. I mean to put these short strips up on a tumblr page. It’s not an original plan, it may not even be a good plan, but it is a plan.
[I actually have an artist working on another 3 page script of mine at the moment. This was before I was told about comixtribe. Not sure what the etiquette is regarding getting script edited after I’ve given it to an artist.]
I felt that 9 panels maximised the space available. The fact there is padding/bloating in the script to me means I should look at more story and/or one less page.

I was playing around with a number of 4th wall ideas, such as Wise swinging from gutters into panels below the 3x3 grid made most of those ideas possible. In the end I put most of those ideas to one side.

I like the 3x3 grid it is very adaptable.
I am going for a certain ‘look’ and the 3x3 grid is part of the ‘look’.
I am willing to accept that the 3x3 is a mistake, but it is a mistake I am not willing to give up on just yet.

DarkHalf05 – Yes I read those books a lot in my youth, I wasn’t thinking about them when writing, but subconsciously? Who knows?

I wanted to ask more about the flashback. Must flashbacks have voiceovers? My thought was that by having Wise tell the reader the flashback is starting and at the end to say it was finished (is book-ending a phrase in the visual language of comics?) it would be clear that these were events that had already occurred, with Wise at the end explaining the meaning.

I can see now that by having the voice over I wouldn’t need Wise to explain the flashback, which would free up a panel.

(I was even playing around with the idea of a flashback in a flashback at one point)

Thanks to everyone for taking part in this conversation/review of my script.

Morganza 04-08-2015 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamRoads (Post 1844656)
Morganza, use the Save As function to save as a Word 97 .doc file.

Job done. :)

That didn't work, I submitted my script 3 times and each time the formatting was changed in some way, which is why I brought it up. I know it's a simple thing to do, but the results were inconsistent.

SamRoads 04-08-2015 09:22 AM

Have you read Scott McCloud? The thing about the 3x3 is that it's like writing for a string quartet when you could write for an orchestra.

If you don't do the 3x3, you have a near infinite set of possibilities for your layout. I like the work of J.H.Williams III. Here's a particular favourite page:

http://schulzeandwebb.com/blog/wordp...esjonesbig.jpg

This uses the layout as part of the narrative.

Amitverse 04-08-2015 10:23 AM

Yep read Scott McCloud. I understand what you are saying and that is a great page.

In all cases I would never mention page layout. I think that is the artists job, and one they're better able to do. I would just say how many panels and panel descriptions, and trust my artist to come up with the best layout. The 3x3 is the exception. This is the first script where I wanted to use the 3x3 grid. It has a sense of pacing and rhythm to it want to to explore.

SamRoads 04-09-2015 08:26 PM

I don't agree that page layout is the artists job. In my view it's their final responsibility, but a writer can contribute if they have good ideas about it.

If, as a writer, I'm willing to take some responsibility for camera angles and panel composition (even though I accept that the artist may very well have better ideas which we will use), then I'm also OK to take responsibility for suggesting layout choices (even though the artist may well have better ideas which we will use).


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