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Old 12-27-2014, 02:32 AM   #1
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TPG Week 209: Year's End


Hello, all, and welcome back once more to The Proving Grounds! This week is our year’s last, and we have a new Brave One to see it: Amit Moshe Oren. We also have Samantha LeBas in purple, and I’m the guy in red, as always.



Before we begin, let’s recognize everyone who’s submitted this past year (as I like to do every year.) Also, if there’s a number beside a name, it means they’ve submitted multiple times.



Jeremy Jackson, Nyisha Haynes, Christopher Knox, John Heidt, Tommy Sigalov, Michael Hasset, Frank Martin (2), Cody Stewart (2), Schuyler Van Gunten (3), Dan Dayton, Curt Achberger, Talisha Harrison, Michael Mourounas, Veronica Massey, Michael Mullane, Chad Handley, James Sarandis (2), Micah Bryant, Alyssa Crow, Sam Roads, Jon Parrish (2), Ben Goldsmith, Justin Schepper, Jim Mello, Luke Pierce (2), Andrew Brinkley, Morgan Wellborn, Joshua Crowther, Chelsea Smith (2), Luke Noonan, JP Polewczak, Jason Bonine, Kyle Raios, Jose Pereira, Andrew Burgess, Toy Spears, Nanda Luazan, Paul Im, James Palmer, and Rin Kiyoko.



I’m also going to go ahead and fail this script on format right off the bat. Sam has done an admirable job in making this conform a bit more to what I usually see, but I did some work on it before she sent over her version. I had initial trouble with the opening, because the first lines (the Page 1 (4 panels) part) was right justified for some reason, and the cursor kept jumping over to the left after every space, for some reason. The punctuation would end up in the wrong place because of it. Frustrating. And with only the that naming element right justified, it no longer has internal consistency. So, no Flawless Victory for format.



I also had to change the font size from 11 to 12. You’re all welcome.



On with the show.

Click here to read more.
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:23 AM   #2
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"If we’re looking from North to South, then West is on the right, and that would make this panel wrong. Why is that, Rin?"

Unless it’s Manga, we read from left to right and as the eye moves, it’s implied that the things on the left take place earlier in time and space than things on the right because comics are both progressive and sequential. Amit’s panel description calls for “two horse riders {to} ride towards Ray (from the west)," and if they moved from right to left we’d infer them moving backwards in time, not forwards.

I have another question about this story: when is it set? People travel by horses and the only technology is Victorian era but, on the other hand, the swearing is pure 20th / 21st century.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
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The inspector comes a little closer. We can see him now clearly. (This is not a panel description. What’s missing, Schuyler?)
Quote:
(Why are you keeping things from the artist? I don’t even know what this panel looks like. What are we seeing? How is this person dressed? I have no idea, because you didn’t say. At least one part of the creative team is going to need to know this information.)
Quote:
You changed locations, and failed to mention the new location even once. There’s no indication at all as to where this new location is.
I feel that these two quotes, summon up the issues with this panel description. If we knew what the new setting looked like, what time of day it was, and what the inspector looked like, the panel could be drawn.

There was no angle, nor does the inspector have a facial expression, but I think that is okay.
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:47 PM   #4
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Thanks Steven and Sam. Great editing on what was a script full of writing holes.

"A Close-up on an offered handshake by Stan. His right hand is not like a usual hand. His right hand is a ProstheticHandfromVictorianEra. (Why are we even having a close-up of this? What purpose does it serve? I know what you think it serves, but why is that thought wrong, Felix?)"

Wow. Meta question.

I'm going to guess that Amit thinks that showing the prosthetic hand is important because I presume in about 16 pages time this character has a railway spike driven through his hand by the minions of the evil Doctor Desertification, but is able to escape by removing the prosthetic and defeating the eco-criminal with only one arm functioning!

And this thought is wrong because there's kookaburra all way you can show a prosthetic hand easily in this panel. Surely it looks like... a hand?

(Steven - this might be a lesson to you not to ask me to indulge in this level of speculation...)
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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Now, if you want to answer the question, Felix, I'm sure we'd all like to see your insights.
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Old 12-28-2014, 06:48 PM   #6
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The question:

" I know what you think it serves, but why is that thought wrong, Felix?"

So to get this right, I need to figure out what you think Amit means (assuming the you refers to him, not to me), and then criticise what you think he thinks.

Or, it means that the panel doesn't serve the outcome I think it serves, so I need to not think the thing I think and think something else. I feel slightly Winston Smith.

May I ask for the question to be clarified?
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:40 PM   #7
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Sure.

Amit believes that the panel serves a particular purpose. I believe I understand what purpose he believes it serves, but it's wrong.

I want you to read both of our minds: what purpose does he believe the panel serves, and why do I say that belief is incorrect?

Easy.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:50 AM   #8
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Was page 6 the last page of the script? I feel completely lost as to what the story's about.

I'm guessing that this story is supposed to be set in "old west" times? I recommend reading western stories (preferably ones that are critically acclaimed) to help influence your dialogue. I'm not American, and my knowledge of the old west is limited to a few classic movies and one novel, but I'm pretty sure there's no trace of old west dialects here.
For example, in the novel I read, folk didn't really resort to words like "f**k". I'm quickly flipping through it now, and the only curse I can find quickly is "dern" (aka "darn" for everyone else). Oh, wait, I just found "son of a b**ch". I don't think the f-word became frequently used until more modern times. Even when referring to having sex in a crude way, they didn't seem to use the f-word, it was, "I'll give her a poke" or something like that.

Just my 2 cents!

Thanks so much for another year of the Proving Grounds! Steven, you're epic. And thanks to all the other editors who chipped in, too!
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alyssa View Post
I'm guessing that this story is supposed to be set in "old west" times? I recommend reading western stories (preferably ones that are critically acclaimed) to help influence your dialogue. I'm not American, and my knowledge of the old west is limited to a few classic movies and one novel, but I'm pretty sure there's no trace of old west dialects here.
For example, in the novel I read, folk didn't really resort to words like "f**k". I'm quickly flipping through it now, and the only curse I can find quickly is "dern" (aka "darn" for everyone else). Oh, wait, I just found "son of a b**ch". I don't think the f-word became frequently used until more modern times. Even when referring to having sex in a crude way, they didn't seem to use the f-word, it was, "I'll give her a poke" or something like that.
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/11/the_...rds_come_from/

Here's the most f***ing relevant bit:

Quote:
And though they provide no examples in their slang dictionary, Farmer and Henley describe both the adjective and adverb forms of fucking as “common.” The adjective, they note, is “a qualification of extreme contumely” (“fucking bitch” is a pretty good example of that), while the adverb (“I am fucking furious!”) is “intensitive and expletive; a more violent form of bloody.” If fucking was “common” in 1893, when the volume containing F was published, it was probably in pretty wide use for some years before that, as the 1857 example implies.
So by the mid- to late 19th century, we have many forms of fuck being used just as they are today — “he fucked me over,” “go fuck yourself,” “you fucking bitch,” “I don’t give a fuck,” et cetera.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:39 PM   #10
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I think Amit thinks that this is delivering some exposition: "The dude has a prosthetic hand" whereas it isn't because it's very hard to show that a hand is prosthetic.

Another weakness is that it is a moving panel, assuming the hand is meant to shake. We can see their hands clasped, but it may not be clear that it is a handshake.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Luke Noonan View Post
Kudos for the link to corroborating and contrary research, but I’m still sticking to my original point: the dialogue (and, as other people have noted, the dialect, too) doesn’t FEEL authentic to me. It might actually BE historically accurate, but if that “accuracy” rubs the readers’ expectations up the wrong way and means they can’t fully settle into a story, how effective can it be?

Besides, the whole issue may be moot if the story’s set in modern times. (Though the dialect would be off, in any era.) Just don’t do a “The Village” and combine old customs in a contemporary setting.

(On a separate point, I greatly admire Amit’s priorities – English may not be his first language, but he swears like a native. Telling people they can f off should be the first phrase learnt in any new language.)
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kiyoko, Rin View Post
Kudos for the link to corroborating and contrary research, but I’m still sticking to my original point: the dialogue (and, as other people have noted, the dialect, too) doesn’t FEEL authentic to me. It might actually BE historically accurate, but if that “accuracy” rubs the readers’ expectations up the wrong way and means they can’t fully settle into a story, how effective can it be?
This.

The vast majority of old west literature and movies were made in the 1900s, which means that the lanuage used was pretty censored. Given that folk are more likely to base their views of authenticity on literature and movies than the info provided in a single Oxford University Press release (which got its info from even more obscure sources), probably best to follow the style laid out in the literature and movies.

There are plenty of other swear words to use that do a better job of placing the reader into the time and place of the story. Why would you want to use a word that does an inferior job?

I'm also concerned when newer writers shoehorn words like "f**k" into their scripts, whether it's the best choice or not. This is often the result of a writer trying to make their story more gritty, edgy, or "adult". But without understanding of what makes a story truly gritty, edgy, and adult, the introduction of swear words rings false.


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Besides, the whole issue may be moot if the story’s set in modern times. (Though the dialect would be off, in any era.)
Yup!

Luke, you did good. Even though my gripes still stand, kudos for bringing in informative research material. This is what writers should always do.
I'd probably recommend steering away from the Salon website, though. The whole article was a direct quote from a reputable book, but it's pretty rare for them to do that. More often than not, Salon butchers source material in order to fabricate an article that matches the agenda of the writer. They're responsible for the spread of a lot of untruths. I almost dismissed the info you posted as false, simply because of the site you got it from.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SamRoads View Post
I think Amit thinks that this is delivering some exposition: "The dude has a prosthetic hand" whereas it isn't because it's very hard to show that a hand is prosthetic.

Another weakness is that it is a moving panel, assuming the hand is meant to shake. We can see their hands clasped, but it may not be clear that it is a handshake.
There’s also a problem of identity – to whom does the hand belong? If the hand’s in close up, we can’t see the face. Amit’s assuming we’ll know the hand belongs to the inspector (it does belong to the inspector, right?) but when that character was introduced, he’s in silhouette. We couldn’t see his hands. In the very next panel, we “can see him now clearly,” but a prosthetic hand wasn’t mentioned. When we DO see the hand, it basically comes out of nowhere and could be attached to anyone. (One of Billy / Nelson used both hands to search Ray when he was collapsed in the desert… but we’re not told who. One of them rubbed their throat after being strangled… but I’m not sure whom.) Amit could do a better job here, either by:

anchoring the (inspector?) to a specific side (if he stands at panel left in one panel, then when we see a prosthetic hand being extended from panel left in the next, we can spatially attribute it to him).

describing the clothing. We don’t need to see the face if the clothes in the background are distinctive. As Ray wears a blouse, I’m guessing the owner of the prosthetic wears a spiky Wonderbra, with nipple tassels.

saying who has a prosthetic hand.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #14
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And that's what I was looking for!

Thanks, Rin.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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You quite sure it had nothing to do with Doctor Desertification?

Isn't that exactly what he'd want you to think?
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