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Old 03-22-2014, 02:15 AM   #1
Steven Forbes
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TPG Week 169: Write For The Gap


Hello, one and all, and welcome back to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a returning Brave One in Schuyler Van Gunten! We also have Samantha LeBas in purple, and I'm in the fiery red. Sam is a bit under the weather, so she did what she could. Let's see what we have when Schuyler tells a tale of

Mystiker—David and Goliath

(Just a quick note: Schuyler added a list of characters and their descriptions to the beginning of the document. I stripped that out.)

PAGE ONE (five panels)

Panel 1. Front shot. Daytime. Two Aztec warriors stab their spears through a third warrior in the center. The spears cross through his chest. The center warrior has purple eyes and maybe some purple decoration. They are on the top of an Aztec temple and it appears as though it could be a ceremony. (1300 A.D.) (Where is the camera here? )

CAP (David): (Consider adding the word ‘I’ here) DREAM A DREAM…(Should the word ‘of’ be here?)

CAP (David):

…OF ONE THOUSAND DEATHS. (Suggest changing this period to a comma) Okay, I have found the word ‘of.’ You have tabbed instead of hitting return, I think. For some reason, the first word of each line of dialogue is right aligned in the document I received. I am correcting it as I go as best I can, but be aware that your keyboarding choices made this a tough read, and made some of your work get lost.)

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Old 03-22-2014, 10:46 AM   #2
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Thanks Sam! Thanks Steven!

I think it was a year ago that I sent in my first TPG. At that time Sam had pointed out that I was not formatting correctly. I.E. Page Break, and the Enter key. I think I mostly fixed that problem. Like Steven says I should at least get the formatting right.

ME:
Sam? How do I put the dialogue right under the character's name? I am guilty of using the tab key...I somehow thought it would be okay because it was the only thing I was "tabbing".

ME:
Right here I used the enter key and it looks right but in my word program it always ends up one space further than I would like. Should I just get over that? Or is there a way to fix it?

Steven. You are right. You and I did work on my panel descriptions.

I have an artist now (I know I don't deserve him). I changed the panel descriptions in this story to suit more of what I thought he wants to see. He doesn't like camera angles. He is much better at deciding a camera angle than I anyway. Too much background description bogs him down so I try to keep that to a minimum. That is also why I have the parentheses. I want the story to move along but still have information there if he needs it. Right now, he is also my letterer.

I presented this to you this way because I wanted to see if it was acceptable to you. I see that it is not. Goal accomplished.

Steven, I get the feeling you want me to get rid of the poem. Unfortunately it is part of my gimmick and I would be hard pressed to edit it out. However, I appreciate your suggestion on how to start my story better and ideas for the dream panels.

You are also right about my eyes and Freak Angels. I came up with this idea 15 years ago. I am not saying that I came up with it before Warren just pointing out how long I have sat with it. I picked up a Freak Angels trade because I love Warren Ellis. I don't like Freak Angels. Perhaps it is because I see my idea in it. It could also be the fact that it is four panels per page with no deviation. I don't know...it just does not have the flavor I have come to expect from him.

Sam, Steven, thanks again! And thanks to the other Steve as well! He has never edited my work but I read TPG and try to learn so…Thank You!
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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Also, I am not sure what you mean by NO COPY. Will you explain that please Sam?
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:33 PM   #4
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Hey Schuyler,

First to answer your question about formatting, check your margins in your word processing program, and make sure you are using left alignment.

I am also a huge fan of the program Scrivener, which is available in the app store if you use a Mac. They offer a free trial. The program allows you to format your work more like a movie script, sets your margins and recognizes various elements. There are also elements which allow you storyboard, keep notes, log visual references, and build folders on characters and locations. At $30, it is a great value, and a very useful tool, at least for me.

'No Copy,' lets your letterer know that there is no text in the panel, that's all.

I don't mind a heavy voiceover to start, and I actually didn't mind the 'poem.' It might be more effective if you use a different lettering style, or give it a direct connection to your main character. The first issue of "Revival" by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton starts with a poem, and does so in a really effective way. You might want to check that out.

If you are writing to suit the needs of a creative partner, and your style suits his or hers, then your script is essentially serving its purpose. My best advice to you remains show the moments that actually carry the story, make sure that readers have access to the elements of your story that make it different and will retain importance as the narrative continues. Consider how the elements actually work in the absence of the information that you have in your mind. Are you getting your point across?

Thanks again for submitting.

-Sam
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #5
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Thank you for your prompt response, Sam. And thank you for your suggestion I will definitely read that story.

I see that the real problem with my story is at it's core and not with my poem. Your advice about my imagery was very helpful. In retrospect I see where I am going wrong with those images.

I am not writing for my artist yet. I am learning how though. I also want my editor to understand the script, so I am searching for a happy medium. I am lucky because my artist lives close by and we are good friends. We can discuss the work at any time and he is forgiving. The story he is working on was also edited by Steven and that helps.

I may take Steven's advice and start with the sleeping soldiers. This could work to ground my place and time before I go off on a tangent through the Mystikers.

Thank You both, again

-Schuyler
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