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Old 12-06-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
Steven Forbes
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TPG Week 154: Writing Challenge Submision


Welcome again to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have Paul LaPorte, with a last name that sounds like he's from a Louisiana bayou somewhere... Just saying. Anyway, we have Steve Colle back in the calming blue, I'm forever in the fiery red, and let's see how well Paul handles a writing challenge script whose only parameters were that there had to be a monkey in it somewhere, and someone had to say “creamed corn” in the dialogue. That said, here's

Monkeys



Page One

Panel One: Wide, establishing shot of a high school lunch room. (If it’s the only panel on the page, the “wide” aspect of the panel description is off. That is, unless you plan on having black space on the top and bottom portions of the page. Cut the “wide” comment and you simply have an establishing splash page.) Round tables surrounded by plastic chairs. The lunch room is filled with monkeys dressed in modern clothing, sitting with each other according to their fashion, in their monkey-cliques. (What kinds of monkeys are there? Are they all of the same species, like chimpanzees exclusively, or are there baboons, spider monkeys, etc.? When you’re talking about monkey cliques, having the types staying amongst themselves is a perfect way of representing that.) Two monkeys are conversing at a table in the center of the room…

MONKEY ONE: SoHow do you think you did on your foraging test?

MONKEY TWO: Eh, (Use ellipsis instead of a comma. That would be my suggestion.) I probably bombed it. (I’d also change the word “Eh” to “Meh”, as Eh sounds more like a hard letter A as we Canadians pronounce it.)(There's something to be said for regional diction, but there is also something to be said for knowing that where you are or where you're from is not the center of the universe. Flexibility. That being said, I agree with the suggestion.)

MONKEY TWO: Whatever.

Very little text for such a large page, don’t you think? We’ll see on the next page if you could have combined Page One and Two together. Right now, it seems needless to have this panel by itself as a splash, especially as a first page intro to the story. There’s no hook to speak of.

This page is a waste of space, the way that it is. This needs more that a single panel, or dialogue that actually moved the story. This doesn't do any of that. It is barely a setup, and that's a shame.

Steve is also right when it comes to types of monkeys. Here's the thing: even though it's a writing challenge, the term “monkey” is extremely generic. It was that way on purpose. (I was the one who chose the topic/theme for the challenge, folks.) If you want to show cliques, it's very easy to do so within different types of monkeys. A movie that did this well was the original Planet of the Apes.

In the end, what does this page do? Nothing. Could it be cut and not be missed? Quite possibly. Let's see what P2 looks like.


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