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Old 10-19-2013, 12:21 AM   #1
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TPG Week 147: When Scripts & Logic Take Differing Paths


Welcome back, one and all, to The Proving Grounds! This week's Brave One is no stranger here: we have Justin Martin! We have Samantha LeBas turning heads in purple, I'm in the blushing red, and let's see how Justin does with an untitled piece (A word of warning: it is not good.).





Page Outline & Script



Page 1



Panel 1



Full shot of their homeland. (Full shot of their homeland is a little wonky, consider: wide shot of landscape? Tech note: Make sure you activate your hyperlinks, as they are now the have to be copied and pasted, from the notes. Not a bad idea to just make the word itself a link instead of placing the link in notes.) (There are links here that are out to the side of the document. I'm not going to put them in for people to follow. Just be aware of Sam's note. I'll rain fire on it soon, though.)



Caption: Ten years ago.



Caption (Lucas): As children, we didn’t have a care in the world…



Caption (Lucas): …and neither did anyone else in our homeland.



Panel 2



Medium wide shot of their castle.



Caption (Lucas): Now(comma) don’t get me wrong…



Caption (Lucas): …we had our share of troubles(comma) from time to time.(change period to comma, lowercase on ‘but’) But thanks to our parents…

Click here to read more.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Samantha and Steven,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the script and to provide this useful feedback. I really appreciate it, and you two are awesome. If there are any other suggestions/critique anyone else would like to add, I'm all ears.

Best,

Justin Martin
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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Writing action

I suggest omitting all references to the "shot"--camera angles and aspect ratios are things a writer should avoid unless it is immediately necessary for the narrative.

What you should be writing about is the action in the panel. Remember, the panel is an action frozen in time. And an action is how you, the writer, are showing the narrative.

"Panel 1: Full shot of their Homeland" has no action, and consequently contributes nothing to the narrative.

By describing the actions in the panel, you give the artist the information they need to sell the story.

Panel 1: Their Homeland is a happy place. It's verdant and sunny.

This is a step in the right direction. But what is it lacking? Action.

Panel 1: Their Homeland is a happy place. Children ride Unicorns and drink from rivers of root beer.

The actions are "riding unicorns" and "drinking from rivers of root beer". Artists need verbs, and verbs are how you communicate what's important to the story to the artist.

Personally, I find describing camera angles tedious. I focus all of my energy on organizing actions on the page that tell the story for the reader.

Resist the urge to direct on the page, and write with verbs.

This is a common growing pain for comic book writers.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Cooper View Post
I suggest omitting all references to the "shot"--camera angles and aspect ratios are things a writer should avoid unless it is immediately necessary for the narrative.
I haven't read this script yet, but from what everyone has told me about comic script writing, they have said the exact opposite. Screenplay writing is a different story, but when it comes to comic scripting, everyone I know says to include the "camera" location in the panel description the vast majority of the time.
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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Hello Mark,

This is extremely helpful, thanks!
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Hey, Scrappy.

Hopefully, you've read the script by now.

And Coop (hey, Coop!) isn't wrong. You need to write with verbs. You need to write what the action is. Just remember that it's a still image. That's all. Remembering that it's a still image is a difficult thing to learn. Novels, plays, and screenplays all write moving action. For comics, still images rule the day.

Justin knows this. Unfortunately, as you can see in the script, he was lazy about a lot of things with this story. It isn't often that I have to go back and put a warning in the introduction. However, I figure that it's better to warn people than have them get a bad shock.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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Well he isn't wrong in saying you have to write with verbs. That is what's most important. After reading the script I can understand why he brings it up. But I disagree with him saying all references to "shots" be removed. I thought(and believe) giving perspective to the verbs is a key part of the image.

Oh and I suggest watching Avatar (the show not the movie) on Netflix. The three seasons combined might be some of the best storytelling I have seen in anything....ever.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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It really depends on what you're going for, and your level of craftsmanship. I tend not to use "shot" or "view" overmuch unless I have a perspective I'm going for in that particular panel. But that's me.

As for Avatar... I've seen an episode or two. Not my cup of tea. I'm not really that much into anime. I've seen too many Goku imitations for my liking. I'm more of a feature-length movie kinda guy, or old school anime. Vampire Hunter D, Voltron, Battletech, and the like.

The Avatar movie I didn't want to go see overmuch. I wanted to see it for the martial arts in it, not really for the story. My wife thought it looked interesting, though, and wanted to see it. She was ready to walk out about halfway through, and said I get to choose the movies from now on. (I usually choose the movies, anyway, but she had really wanted to see that one.)

To drag this back: any thoughts on the script?
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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The more problems with the script, the better Steven's stories. I enjoyed this TPG about as much as any so far.

I've heard it said that a really good comic tells the story with or without dialogue. I suppose it's in part because such a thing is possible in comics. If you wanted to write something which relied on the dialogue, you could write prose.

Anyway, I sometimes take a script, remove all the dialogue, and see what it looks like. If you'd done that technique with this, you'd have found it hard to miss the under-described panels.

If you want to make the 'Super Powers only work when there is familial love', then the mother should have died after having a row with the father, leading to her powers not working right.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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Shots

Great discussion!

Steve-I've never seen an editor with a bloodier pen!

I do want to respond to Scrappy's defense of shot descriptions. No artist in the history of comics ever thought: I sure wish the writer would tell me how to draw this.

Including shot descriptions is a part of the learning curve. I'm pretty sure most modern comics writers do it (I did it) while we're learning to script, but you'll learn to write without it.

Include shot descriptions if that's how you need to communicate your vision. At some point in your process you'll learn to write better than that.

Keep at it!
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #11
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Thanks a lot fellas, this is really helping! Should've done it the first time around, but I'm going to consolidate the (1) feedback I've received from both of my TPG script reviews and (2) information from the writing-focused B & Ns into a checklist I'll use when writing scripts. I figure this should help, along with getting into a habit of more frequently having my scripts (in part or in whole) looked at by others while I'm working on them.

You guys rock!
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #12
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I come from a screenwriting background, which is supposed to have nothing in the action descriptions but what's going on. No camera angles, character backstory, notes, nothing but actions. I began writing comics like that and the people who gave me feedback all told me to include how the panel will be viewed (including you Steven ). So I began to alter my technique to include that info. And I have to say, for comic writing, I actually prefer it that way.
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