Go Back   Digital Webbing Forums > Hosted Forums > ComixTribe > The Proving Grounds

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-24-2015, 02:50 AM   #1
Steven Forbes
Freelance Editor
 
Steven Forbes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: In the moment
Posts: 3,886
Steven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud of

TPG Week 252: First Writing Challenge Failure



Welcome back, one and all, to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have someon who's no stranger here, Joshua Crowther! We also have Liam Hayes in blue, Ryan Kroboth with pencil assists, and I'm the guy dancing a jig in red. Together, we're all going to see how Josh handles a writing challenge about a food argument.

Here are the rules to the challenge:

-A hose must be an object (take that as you will)
-The argument must be over food (very broad subject)
-The word “famine” cannot be used; the word “udder” must be uttered
-There cannot be any physical violence between those involved in the argument

Let's see how he does!

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION

Both the man and woman are in their early twenties. Everything else is up to you!

(I am not a fan of your format at all. There's no way for the eye to quick distinguish between panel description and dialogue. It's all bunched together. This offends the visual cortex.)

PAGE ONE – SIX PANELS

1. We are outside a mid-sized diner looking through the window at a profile view of MAN and WOMAN sitting in a booth opposite from each other. We probably aren't close enough to see their faces, but body language wise, the man looks kind of pissed off, and the woman looks embarrassed. (None of those will come across without an expression.) I imagine it looking something like the diner from Pulp Fiction, and it's fairly busy inside. It's about afternoon outside. (Where is this? City? Small town? Space?)

MAN: Where the fuck is the waiter? She said she'd be back soon. (This gets across “pissed” so the body language is redundant anyway.)
WOMAN: Look around, it's busy she said she'd get to us soon. (Strange punctuation. The comma is used incorrectly and you're missing a stop between “busy” and “she”.)
MAN: I just think when you say you (Intention typo? I can't tell.) going to do something you should actually fucking do it.

Click here to read more.
__________________
Learn to make comics at ComixTribe! Be part of the Tribe!
E-Mail me for your editing needs. Twitter: @stevedforbes
"Criticism is an acknowledgment of your ability to produce results." David Gerrold
Steven Forbes is offline   Reply With Quote
Connect With Facebook to "Like" This Thread

Old 10-24-2015, 05:30 PM   #2
SamRoads
Also known as Felix
 
SamRoads's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 308
SamRoads has a spectacular aura aboutSamRoads has a spectacular aura about

Thanks for doing the edits fellas.

I rather enjoyed the subtle understory. I really like that it's left up to the reader to make their own mind up about, with enough clues that the woman has probably engineered the situation to break up with the father of her child. Or am I reading something not there?

Joshua - is this what you were aiming for? If so, in my view this is the first TPG for a long time that's had that a level of subtlety. Go you!
__________________
Editor
CreativeScreenwriting.com
"The best magazine for screenwriters" - The LA Times
SamRoads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 07:56 PM   #3
crognus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 422
crognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamRoads View Post
Thanks for doing the edits fellas.

I rather enjoyed the subtle understory. I really like that it's left up to the reader to make their own mind up about, with enough clues that the woman has probably engineered the situation to break up with the father of her child. Or am I reading something not there?

Joshua - is this what you were aiming for? If so, in my view this is the first TPG for a long time that's had that a level of subtlety. Go you!
Yes, I was going for something similar to Hills Like White Elephants. It's not typically the type of story that is told in this medium, and I wanted to try and translate that kind of story and see how it fared.
__________________
Aspiring writer.

Website: www.jaycrowcomics.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaycrowcomics
Twitter: @jaycrowcomics
crognus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 08:02 PM   #4
crognus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 422
crognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the rough

I do think there is a direct argument over food here though. There's a direct disagreement as to whether or not they should stay for the meal.
__________________
Aspiring writer.

Website: www.jaycrowcomics.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaycrowcomics
Twitter: @jaycrowcomics
crognus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
Steven Forbes
Freelance Editor
 
Steven Forbes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: In the moment
Posts: 3,886
Steven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud of

Quote:
Originally Posted by crognus View Post
I do think there is a direct argument over food here though. There's a direct disagreement as to whether or not they should stay for the meal.
Very, very weak, Josh.

Would you say that disagreement was the entire thrust of the piece?

If the answer to that is no (as it should be), then I'll stick with calling this a failure of the challenge. It's the only part where you fall down, which sucks since the point of the challenge is entitled "argument".
__________________
Learn to make comics at ComixTribe! Be part of the Tribe!
E-Mail me for your editing needs. Twitter: @stevedforbes
"Criticism is an acknowledgment of your ability to produce results." David Gerrold
Steven Forbes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 10:00 PM   #6
DarkHalf05
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 225
DarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura aboutDarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura about

Quote:
MAN jerks his hand away from WOMAN and is beginning to stand up (Oh, Josh… Mr. Kroboth, would you please visualize this with that wonderful pencil of yours?). WOMAN is finely starting to sit up a bit straighter and look a bit angry herself. (Finely? Or Finally? There’s a difference. And yeah, this panel is a couple of kinds of “can’t be drawn.”)
It would be my pleasure.

This was the panel I came up with.



The way I saw the description, MAN (who now has a slight resemblance to Josh's avatar picture from his website) is right in-between the two actions. Using the context of the story/dialog, I figured he is reacting on full emotion, moving right from jerking his hand away into the next action. I added some motion lines in for the sudden movement because motion lines are fun!

While setting up MAN was fairly easy, figuring out WOMAN was a bit more difficult. Using the previous panel, she should have been leaning across the table. So my idea was to have her pushing herself to the straight up position using the table. I felt that that would have taken approximately the same amount of time as MAN's action of spinning in his seat to get out.

This was an interesting story, as it was written very different than most stories that come through here. I'm not very good at catching subtext, and missed a few of the things until they were pointed out! But that guy's a jerk. She's better off without him.
DarkHalf05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 06:12 AM   #7
crognus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 422
crognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Forbes View Post

Would you say that disagreement was the entire thrust of the piece?
Well, yes and no. The primary disagreement does eventually boil down to whether or not they should stay at the restaurant, but they are really arguing about whether or not they should stay together.

Let me ask this question, if you were in a diner and saw a couple next to you throwing this fit (with this dialogue), wouldn't you describe their discourse as an argument? As in, "Do you see those people arguing at table 5?"

My idea was that when situations get very serious people have a tendency to argue about something else instead of what's really on their mind. I imagine, directly before going into the diner they argued about the abortion until they both got so ****ing tired of it they decided to grab a bite and not talk about it. However, with it still being on their mind they found a way to continue their argument while talking about something else (food).

So yes, that argument was the thrust of the piece, while disguising another argument going on through the subtext. Like I said, that subtle style of the dialogue was something I saw in short stories rather than in comics, but I just wanted to try something...different.

I have a tendency to experiment on TPG with kind of out there scripts that I know have a chance of flopping...Maybe I'll write something more straight forward one of these days, haha.
__________________
Aspiring writer.

Website: www.jaycrowcomics.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaycrowcomics
Twitter: @jaycrowcomics
crognus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 08:26 AM   #8
Steven Forbes
Freelance Editor
 
Steven Forbes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: In the moment
Posts: 3,886
Steven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud of

Quote:
Originally Posted by crognus View Post
Well, yes and no. The primary disagreement does eventually boil down to whether or not they should stay at the restaurant, but they are really arguing about whether or not they should stay together.

Let me ask this question, if you were in a diner and saw a couple next to you throwing this fit (with this dialogue), wouldn't you describe their discourse as an argument? As in, "Do you see those people arguing at table 5?"
No, I wouldn't.

I'd describe him as I did, and I'd wonder why she was putting up with it.

But no, I wouldn't describe it as an argument.
__________________
Learn to make comics at ComixTribe! Be part of the Tribe!
E-Mail me for your editing needs. Twitter: @stevedforbes
"Criticism is an acknowledgment of your ability to produce results." David Gerrold
Steven Forbes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 08:27 AM   #9
Steven Forbes
Freelance Editor
 
Steven Forbes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: In the moment
Posts: 3,886
Steven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud of

And thank you, Ryan. I appreciate it, as always.
__________________
Learn to make comics at ComixTribe! Be part of the Tribe!
E-Mail me for your editing needs. Twitter: @stevedforbes
"Criticism is an acknowledgment of your ability to produce results." David Gerrold
Steven Forbes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 11:21 AM   #10
SamRoads
Also known as Felix
 
SamRoads's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 308
SamRoads has a spectacular aura aboutSamRoads has a spectacular aura about

Maybe it's a British thing, but the phrase 'an argument over food' has two meanings for me.

a.) That's a sausage! No, you fool! It's an artichoke!

b.) Let's argue over who is the sexier of Steven and Liam, over a four course meal.

In either case, if I were Josh, I'd be very happy to have failed in this task. It's a good bit of writing.

I do recommend, Josh, that you remove the word 'aspiring' from your signature. You're a writer. You have writ. You're a writer.

Ryan: outstanding artsing. That said, I must object strenuously to the third speech bubble which emanates from the MAN's crotch. Speech bubbles should (classically) aim at the mouth, or in some looser lettering, emanate from the head.

The solution would generally be a third balloon in the top right corner, though that will certainly look tight. It's possible the panel even needs more room above the protagonists' heads.

I know balloon placement is a letterer job, but I think it's one where the letterer often needs to collaborate with the artist, if possible, during the sketching phase, to ask for more room for balloons if the panel is tight.
__________________
Editor
CreativeScreenwriting.com
"The best magazine for screenwriters" - The LA Times
SamRoads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2015, 01:47 AM   #11
crognus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 422
crognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamRoads View Post

I do recommend, Josh, that you remove the word 'aspiring' from your signature. You're a writer. You have writ. You're a writer.
Well, I'm always aspiring to get better, haha.
__________________
Aspiring writer.

Website: www.jaycrowcomics.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaycrowcomics
Twitter: @jaycrowcomics
crognus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2015, 01:49 AM   #12
gmartyt
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 158
gmartyt is on a distinguished road

Quote:
Would you say that disagreement was the entire thrust of the piece?

If the answer to that is no (as it should be), then I'll stick with calling this a failure of the challenge. It's the only part where you fall down, which sucks since the point of the challenge is entitled "argument".
Nowhere in the rules does it say that the argument needs to be the main point of the story. It may be heavily implied, considering that the title of the challenge is "argument", but it never is explicitly stated. Of course, you made the rules, which makes you judge, jury, and executioner. If you still think that he failed, then let him hang.

As for the story, I had a strong case of not getting it (subtext isn't really my strong suit). Everything came together (sort of) in the last two panels, but until that point the story didn't seem to be going anywhere.

I was not a fan of the cursing. I can't quite put my finger on why, but it might be because you used the same fucking curse word every fucking time the man said a fucking curse. It gets a little fucking repetitive, at least in my fucking opinion.
gmartyt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2015, 10:54 AM   #13
DarkHalf05
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 225
DarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura aboutDarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura about

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamRoads View Post
Ryan: outstanding artsing. That said, I must object strenuously to the third speech bubble which emanates from the MAN's crotch. Speech bubbles should (classically) aim at the mouth, or in some looser lettering, emanate from the head.

The solution would generally be a third balloon in the top right corner, though that will certainly look tight. It's possible the panel even needs more room above the protagonists' heads.

I know balloon placement is a letterer job, but I think it's one where the letterer often needs to collaborate with the artist, if possible, during the sketching phase, to ask for more room for balloons if the panel is tight.
Thanks, Sam. Good call on that. I was assuming that the letterer would put the tail over the MAN's body, but I didn't even realize what I did there. I definitely shouldn't assume anything, as that always leads to a bad place!

Since the last bubble has little dialog in it, I'm sure adding some negative space above the characters would let it fit neatly between them. As always, I appreciate the critiques! I'm still trying to grow, myself.
DarkHalf05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 04:30 AM   #14
crognus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 422
crognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartyt View Post
I was not a fan of the cursing. I can't quite put my finger on why, but it might be because you used the same fucking curse word every fucking time the man said a fucking curse. It gets a little fucking repetitive, at least in my fucking opinion.
The point is repetition makes you hate somebody, and I really wanted people to hate this guy.
__________________
Aspiring writer.

Website: www.jaycrowcomics.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaycrowcomics
Twitter: @jaycrowcomics
crognus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 04:42 AM   #15
crognus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 422
crognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the roughcrognus is a jewel in the rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartyt View Post
As for the story, I had a strong case of not getting it (subtext isn't really my strong suit). Everything came together (sort of) in the last two panels, but until that point the story didn't seem to be going anywhere.
Yep, there is a lot of subtext. On the first two pages I wanted to show clearly that the woman is struggling with indecision, and the man is offensive and controlling about situations (his lines of dialogue about ketchup with the waitress). That way when you get to the end you can imagine the argument that must have happened just moments prior to entering the diner, when the woman refused to go through with the abortion that day and wanted more time to think about it. (Hence they decide to eat a meal and "not talk about it." They still find a way to talk about it by disguising it as a conversation about their meal.)

The final page is meant to close a character arc where we see the woman mature and decide not to be controlled anymore and become more decisive. Those lines about high school prom hint that she hasn't had a chance to really have more adult romantic relationships and may explain her timid behavior near the beginning of the piece. If they have been together since high school too, that explains her codependency and why she hasn't already broken up with someone who is clearly and asshole. Plus, she probably wants her kid to have a father.

There's other little hints about pregnancy and children before the end as well. Halibut (fish) contains mercury and which is discouraged during pregnancy, while prime rib contains iron which is encouraged during pregnancy. The family entering is meant to show the man's immaturity and his disgust for children. I think there's more stuff I tried to include in every line, but if you re-read the lines from the beginning you can really see how every single thing said really isn't about food at all.
__________________
Aspiring writer.

Website: www.jaycrowcomics.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaycrowcomics
Twitter: @jaycrowcomics
crognus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
© 1997-2015 Digital Webbing, LLC