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Old 02-27-2015, 10:22 AM   #1
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TPG Week 218: Writing Challenge Entry 3


Welcome back, one and all, to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have Brave One Paul DeBerry! We also have Liam Hayes in blue, and I'm the bald-pated one in red.

Again, I ran a writng challenge a few weeks ago over at Digital Webbing. The rules were simple:

The story cannot be longer than 5 pages

The story cannot be a tragedy

There must be an artificial intelligence involved

There must be at least 50 words of spoken dialogue

The word “enlightenment” must be in the dialogue

String cheese must be an object, not just mentioned

Pretty simple, no?

Well, let's see what Paul does with

ENLIGHTENMENT

One point of order before I start: this was in a font size of 10. You're all welcome.

Page One

Three teenagers two boys (brothers) one girl are standing in front of Double Dragon. An old school stand up arcade console. (A reference would be helpful here.) (Have we really reached the point where we don't know what a stand-up video game looks like anymore? Am I that old?) The boy to the left is the tallest, the middle kid is the smallest and the kid to the left (You mean right, right?) (she's the main character). (What's the angle here? Are we looking at them from the perspective of the machine, or over them and at the machine? And what're these kids doing? You've placed them but forgot to act them. Are they staring at the machine, for instance? Wait. I just realized this isn't a panel description. What is it? Why is it here?)

(Where is this? In an arcade? A mall? A sauna?)

Leave room for balloons. (That kind of goes without saying. Unless your artist has never worked on a comic before.)

THE KIDS: TO THE LEFT IS #1 MIDDLE IS #2 AND RIGHT IS #3 (HOPE) (That, with the panel description numbering, makes this an incredibly unclear and obnoxious naming system. Name them instead. It'll make your script easier to follow.)

1.1 Pulled back a little on a trio of kids. They are standing in front of a classic stand up arcade game from the 90's Double Dragon. (Isn't this the same as panel one? Your lack of calling out angles is hurting you here.)

Click here to read more.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:23 AM   #2
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hey, hey! my turn in the wood chipper!
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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Thanks to everyone involved. You guys are awesome.

I will offer no excuses for my script. But will offer a word of (nonsensical word of wisdom.)

Like my Old Man (RIP Pops) would say; "Take your licks, boy and go have a beer."
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for doing the editing Steven and The Liamey.

Paul: aside from Bolts and Nuts, I recommend Brian Michael Bendis' 'Words For Pictures'. Learn the systems that hundreds of writers have figured out works for writing comics. Being free and expressive works once you're John Wagner or Alan Moore, but until one is at that level, you can communicate much more effectively by speaking the same language as the majority of the comics world.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:07 AM   #5
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Thanks, Felix!

I will keep that in mind.
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Old 02-28-2015, 05:42 PM
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Old 02-28-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
I have a co-worker. I hate hearing this co-worker speak, because they don’t make statements, they ask questions. Everything they say sounds like they’re asking a question, and it drives me up a friggin wall. I want to side-kick them in the throat, or get my friend Blunt Force Trauma to operate on their vocal cords.
Um, far be it from me to stir up trouble, but would you like to comment on this, Alyssa, on behalf of your fine nation, bearing in mind this?

Yeah, Paul, there were problems with your script, but I cut you a lot of slack. Your entry was done to be part of the writing challenge and to be posted in the DW forum - a venue that is much less formal and comes under far more forgiving scrutiny than TPG. You may even have only submitted it to TPG to get Mr. Forbes to submit his, idk.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:59 PM   #7
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Um, far be it from me to stir up trouble, but would you like to comment on this, Alyssa, on behalf of your fine nation, bearing in mind this?
When I spoke with Steven on Skype, I could hear him punch a dolphin every time I finished a sentence. True story.


I'm pretty sure I end most of my sentences with a downwards inflection, unless I'm taking the piss outta my own accent and really start bunging it on.

In any case, I think using incorrect punctuation in a script (like ending a statement with a question mark) is just inviting confusion on the part of the reader. How annoying would it be if every time I wrote a Aussie dialogue, I ended the sentence with a bloody question mark?

Oh, I just wrote a question that doesn't need an answer. Another Aussie trait.

I fired a question at Steven. When I say:
"Hey, dude!" or,
"Seriously, man, you're a poop."
Or WHATEVER...
The way I SAY those lines in real life is:
"Heydude!" or,
"Seriouslyman, you're a poop."
No comma. So, does that mean I can skip that extra comma in order to sound more authentic? The answer was a big, fat NO. Therefore, I throw those commas into my dialogue, now.


Directing things at Paul, now. Based on your posts in the past regarding how you feel a script should be written, a lot of the "mistakes" in this script were deliberate, because you feel that doing things differently is unnecessary or actually insulting the intelligence of your artist (please correct me if I'm completely wrong). So, my question, will you be doing things differently after this TPG entry?
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:05 PM   #8
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When I spoke with Steven on Skype, I could hear him punch a dolphin every time I finished a sentence. True story.
And here I was, thinking I was being circumspect. I didn't think you heard the splashing!
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyssa View Post
Directing things at Paul, now. Based on your posts in the past regarding how you feel a script should be written, a lot of the "mistakes" in this script were deliberate, because you feel that doing things differently is unnecessary or actually insulting the intelligence of your artist (please correct me if I'm completely wrong). So, my question, will you be doing things differently after this TPG entry?
To be a good writer you need stuff like this to grow. There was a lot of obvious mistakes I made that were just stupid. Yes, I will make every effort to clean that up.

Honestly, however, stuff like this writing (activity) is writers thinking about writing for writers, not writing for your collaborator. As long as they get it, I am doing my job.

Which I am happy to say they get.

In fact.... I sent this to a collaborator,


and I got this....



Beautiful right?
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:07 AM   #10
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When Schuyler, on his recent Radio Man thread, said his artist wanted the panel description written inside the panel layout, I thought that was just a one-off eccentricity. Now Paul's sent a script in that very same manner.

Either Paul and Schuyler are both using the same artist, they've both found the only two artists in the world asking for this format, or this format is more prevalent than I thought (meaning I need to change my modus operandi).
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiyoko, Rin View Post
When Schuyler, on his recent Radio Man thread, said his artist wanted the panel description written inside the panel layout, I thought that was just a one-off eccentricity. Now Paul's sent a script in that very same manner.

Either Paul and Schuyler are both using the same artist, they've both found the only two artists in the world asking for this format, or this format is more prevalent than I thought (meaning I need to change my modus operandi).
We are not using the same artist. I think it varies greatly, depending on who you are dealing with.

I believe that my artist only wants this temporarily. Once he really comes into his own, I think it will annoy him.

I sent him only one page at a time for a long time. Not because that's all I had, but because I was experimenting with different ways of presenting the script. I didn't know what he really wanted the script to look like, but I knew it wasn't right yet.

I have known my artist for fifteen years and we have played in bands together, but I still don't know exactly what he wants. My advice is to become close with your artist. Find out what they really want and think about how they are changing. Nothing is static, and artists are like writers, they grow and change.

I respect you, Paul, because you are unafraid to show us your style. I often see your panel descriptions and wonder what is really happening. In my mind they are always a little too short. Yet, we can see that you produce work, and the artist does not have a problem producing the images. I might be wrong but I think that it is due to the relationship you have with your artist or artists.

Steven tells us that clarity and consistency are what make a good script. I think that is true. After you write your script you have to build a relationship with the guy or gal that is drawing it. Not just being their buddy and bringing them donuts, though I don't think that hurts. I think you really have to get inside their head. I am not even talking about writing to their strengths. I am talking about knowing what they want to see when they pick up your script. Knowing what they imagine when you describe a certain scene. It sounds really hard, but it is what makes great teams, in my opinion.

Oh, and I do think that page looks great. Good work, Paul.
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:38 PM   #12
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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The description inside a layout sounds like Alison Bechdel's visual scripting which gets a write up in Mastering Comics, so it might gain some traction from that exposure.
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