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Old 10-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #1
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TPG Week 148: Silent Opening Pages

Hello, one and all, and welcome to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a new Brave One in Fred Duran. Fred hails from the east coast (somewhere around NY if I'm not mistaken), and has been waiting with bated breath for today. We have Steve Colle in blue, I'm forever in red, and let's see what Fred does when he tries to head in

Different Directions

Page One


Weíre in the lobby of Union Station in New Haven, CT (reference), looking towards the departure board (reference) from a low angle. There are people milling around, some drinking coffee, and there are people sitting on the benches in the middle of the lobby, holding tight to their luggage. Everyone looks tired, and the people with coffee all look like businesspeople. (Why is it only business people drink coffee? Why assume that itís coffee?) (Nit...)Itís early in the morning on a Monday. (Why specify a day of the week?) (Nit...)In the foreground, Alex (our protagonist)ís legs and shoes are visible, such that heís standing facing the departure board. (Just how low is your camera? I ask because Iím having trouble visualizing anything short of a floor level shot. Is that what you were going for?) Heís wearing functional dark shoes, not overly dressy or flashy. Think Rockports (reference). (Why do you have this as a splash page? Thereís nothing of major interest nor is there a hook to encourage the reader to turn the page. This doesnít work as a first page as it stands now.)

CAPTION: (no box, military-ish) (Right now, with your format of this caption being stacked vs. the following captions and text being side by side, itís showing a lack of consistency in formatting. Use one or the other.)

Union Station

New Haven, CT

0750 (Is this a time? Shouldnít this read ď0750 HoursĒ?)

So, we have P1 down, and I'm already unimpressed.

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Old 10-26-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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First, Fred, I'd like to apologize for my nit-pickiness. I felt it was things that didn't need to be in the panel descriptions (ex. information such as the day of the week) and I ran with it. That said, just try to stick to the facts and take out anything extraneous.

What made me want to pull out my hair (if it were longer) wasn't so much the story, but the way it was formatted, the mistakes in punctuation, and things like that that were just stopping me in my tracks as I tried to read your script. I felt like, just when I was getting into focusing on the story, another roadblock would come in my way. Again, roadblocks like these kill your chances of getting taken seriously by an editor, so work on those areas.

Where you're talking about LEO's made me think of an episode of BLACKLIST that I had just finished watching that evening. In it, the characters are talking about the culprit heading off to Montreal from New York. In the dialogue, they didn't call our federal police force the RCMP, which would have been easier, but actually went out of their way to spell it all out with calling it the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Now that's a mouthful. In your case, I felt that LEO's could very well have been spelled out so as not to lengthen the dialogue overly while making it very clear what you were talking about. I'll be honest, in my 45 years on this earth, I've never heard anyone call them LEO's. How many of your readers do you think have heard of them referred to in that way? That's the thing. Stick with acronyms when it comes to names of agencies such as the FBI or CIA or PETA and spell out those that aren't common knowledge. Here's where I disagree with Steven on the editor caption explaining it.

I look forward to reading your next submission and promise, if it's my week to edit, that I'll go past that third page.

Every good story must accomplish two goals: Convey information effectively and incite an emotional response. If one or both of these are lacking, the story won't keep the attention of your audience.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #3
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Make the first page visuals our hero chuntering around the station, at the same time as the captions being from the cops talking about taking him down. This would create a tension between what you see and what you hear. Then on page 2, have a splash on whatever action moment happens next.
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