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Old 06-20-2014, 12:39 PM   #1
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TPG Week 182: Reaching For The Funny


Welcome back, one and all, to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a Brave One who is no stranger around these parts: Jon Parrish! We have the irritable Yannick Morin in green, I'm in the soothing red (HA!), and let's see what Jon has to say about

Professionalism

[Page 1][4 Panels]

Panel 1: An establishing shot of a two story beach house on the coast, something like this. It is night time with a full moon. All of the lights in the house are off.

CAP (SAM): “I don’t understand. Is this about money because I can get you—”

CAP (PATRICK): “Mr. Murphy, haven’t you been paying attention?”

LINGUISTIC – Grammar error: “Two-story” instead of “two story.”

LINGUISTIC – Grammar error: “Nighttime” instead of “night time.”

LINGUISTIC – Punctuation error: Missing interrogation mark after “Is this about money.” Start the next sentence with a capital letter: “Because I can get you--“

TECHNICAL – Comic punctuation error: Double-dash before an interruption instead of an em dash. Make sure you deactivate the autocorrect option that changes double-dashes into em dashes.
(There's a way around that. Put a space after the double-dash, and then backspace once and put in the quotation mark. The program turns a double-dash into an em-dash as soon as you put in another character immediately after it. It doesn't read a space as a character, so putting the space in after the second dash breaks the chain. You can then backspace and put in the quotation mark, and you won't have an em-dash but a double-dash. Kinda—like this kinda--like this. You could also put the quotation mark after the space and then go back and delete the space. The important thing is breaking the chain. And that is your word processing tip of the day!)

Click here to read more!
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:12 PM
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
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It actually depends where you live.

In these you-knighted states, it's story.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:15 PM   #3
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Yeah, caught that. I'm currently entrenched in British English.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #4
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No worries, mate!

Cheers!
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:17 PM   #5
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(Next, you're going to call them "full stops" instead of "periods".
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:57 PM   #6
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I always do!
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:58 PM   #7
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I can't lie. My heart sank a bit reading through some parts, but I can admit that I was probably trying too hard to make it funny without making it funny.

The ending was a bit of a letdown, I know. The story was originally a scene to a longer one-shot (though I'm not sure that would fix the pacing issues). I cut it down because I thought the scene would be funnier on its own. I was wrong. Originally, it ended up that they killed the wrong guy and that he was just visiting his son.

I remember you saying that people rarely turned in stories after the first go around. Well, I'll definitely bring the second draft back to TPG after I work on what you and Yannick pointed out. I think I can fix it with a once over, but I'll keep turning it in as many times as it takes.

As someone who has been to The Proving Ground before, it can be rough seeing your mistakes being shown openly but it is a learning process and hopefully it can help others as well.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:32 PM   #8
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Thanks, Jon. Looking forward to the next iteration.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:27 PM   #9
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Anyone else have questions or thoughts?

Schuyler! Alyssa!

Charles...!

Come on down!
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:54 PM   #10
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Mmmm...okay. Since you said my name.

Jon, I think you are more experienced than I at writing comic book scripts, so I feel a little strange trying to make any critique or suggestion.

I think Steven was right that there was no laugh out loud moment. I still found it funny and I think that is worth something. Oscar is funny. Perhaps, he could be funnier. I don't know.

I think you are writing sparse panel descriptions because you want your artist to be able to breathe and I really respect that. My only suggestion is to lose your reference photos. Make those scene setting panels a little more wordy. Describe what is important from your reference photo. Once you have set your scene, you can go back to the sparse format because your artist already knows what's there. What I am suggesting may be a stylistic choice but I feel it suits your style. A description of a place is a lot more open ended than a photo. You will always have the photo and can send it to your artist in a pinch.

Last edited by Schuyler; 06-21-2014 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:22 PM   #11
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Interesting bit of advice there, Schuyler.

Lose the reference photo?

It isn't advice that I would give, simply for the fact that very often, the reference photo is a photo of exactly what you're looking for (or pretty damned close). If it's exactly what you're looking for, why use words that may not get you what you're looking for?

Interesting. I wouldn't say bad, but interesting.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Forbes View Post
Lose the reference photo?

It isn't advice that I would give, simply for the fact that very often, the reference photo is a photo of exactly what you're looking for (or pretty damned close). If it's exactly what you're looking for, why use words that may not get you what you're looking for?
My reference photos are never exactly what I am looking for. Maybe, I am the only one who is like that.

If I describe the reference photo it helps me realize what was important about the photo to begin with. Once I know what is important I can get rid of anything that's not.

It also lets my artist imagine what I am describing. No matter what I do my artist is going to draw it a little different than I pictured it. In my opinion it is in those slight variations that the magic happens. A reference picture is going to kill the imagination because it is already a creation. A photograph, which is already a piece of art.

Please, don't get me wrong. I use reference photos. I just think you are better off if you don't need it.

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Old 06-21-2014, 06:12 PM   #13
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I don't know, Steven. I think I have a lot to learn and I am trying.

I am going to stick to my guns on this one but I think it depends on your artist.

If my artist was begging for more intricate background to draw, I would fill his inbox with reference photos.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Jon, I think you are more experienced than I at writing comic book scripts, so I feel a little strange trying to make any critique or suggestion.
Critique away. By all means. I have been writing scripts and learning for some time, but I've also picked up habits that make me struggle in areas you don't. I'm open to suggestions.

Quote:
I think you are writing sparse panel descriptions because you want your artist to be able to breathe and I really respect that.
Most times I try to give the artist space because I fear being one of those super controlling writers that wants everything to be a very specific way. But it is also because I have a hard time describing things as I see them in my head, especially buildings. Like I can figure out what I want to happen, but describing a building or how a room is set up takes forever. And that's just to get the sparse panels.

Quote:
It isn't advice that I would give, simply for the fact that very often, the reference photo is a photo of exactly what you're looking for (or pretty damned close). If it's exactly what you're looking for, why use words that may not get you what you're looking for?
I have to agree with Steven. I rarely use reference photos. If I have something specific, I try to find the closest picture I can find because my descriptions probably won't be as good as the picture. I guess I have more faith in my artist's ability to glean what I want from a photograph than I do of my ability to describe architecture.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:48 PM   #15
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Anyone else have questions or thoughts?

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Me?? Surely, you jest. I haven't even read it, yet.

If the object is to comment on the script, itself, though, rather than the feedback being provided by others, it would probably be helpful to have the script (minus the feedback) accessible via a handy link at the beginning of The Proving Ground article. Otherwise, I would need to copy and paste the script portions, to provide myself a clean copy to work from.

But, that's not a criticism of the script, itself, just an observation about the way that the script is presented via The Proving Ground.

That aside, I am very apprehensive about being sucked into a time sink, which is exactly what I suspect that critiquing comic book scripts holds considerable potential to become. But, even if I were to set aside that likelihood, the fact remains undisturbed that comic book scripts remain largely uncharted territory for myself. I'm not persuaded that the blind leading the blind will lead to better scripts.
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