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Old 05-30-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
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TPG Week 179: Don't Bore The Reader Into Submission


Welcome back, one and all, to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a new Brave One in Micah Bryant. I'm by myself this week, as Sam is taking care of some personal stuff. So, it's just Micah and myself. Insert tones of doom here. Let's get started!



1000 Days



Page One - Four Panels (Hey, a panel count at the top of the page! I like it. The only thing about these is that you have to keep the panel count straight as you continue to write. Let's see if Micah can keep count as the story goes on.)



1. Panel 1 -

We open the comic with a man staring into his reflection in a bathroom mirror. Itís a slight over the shoulder shot that shows the back of his head. This is MARK YOUNG. He is a 30 year old computer programmer at a large corporation. He is a tall, somewhat slim man with dark black hair that is short but long enough to have a slight messed up style to it with a trimmed up beard that runs along his angular jaw. He is wearing a black business suit with a red shirt and tie. The tie is loosened but not all the way undone. He is a man who has reached the end of his rope. He has given up on life. He has no emotion on his face as he stares into the mirror. He looks more disappointed in himself than despondent. He also had a noticeable red mark on the right side of his face. (Needlessly wordy. Most of this ican be cut, and should either be in a character description document, or just not added since it isn't doing anything for the panel description except add words that don't need to be there.)

Click here to read more.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:07 AM   #2
Alyssa
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Quote:
2. Panel 2 –

Mark lets out a loud and graphic expletive. (This is not a panel description. Alyssa. Alyssa Crow. Please make this into a panel description.)

Mark – FUCK!!!!!!
Oh poop, Steven! Don't put me in the freakin spotlight, I'm no editor. :P

To Micah- I think what he's getting at is that you've done nothing here but provide dialogue.
"Mark lets out a loud and graphic expletive." Well, we can kinda already see that by the "Mark - FUCK!!!!!!" So you're not telling us anything new. Remove the repetition, and you've got nothing.

If you want this to be a panel description, you need to describe what the reader sees inside that panel. They see that he's cursing because of the balloon with FUCK!!!!!! in it, coming from Mark's mouth. But what else do they see?
Is Mark standing there, eyes scrunched closed, face turned up to the sky, hands balled into fists at his side? Are there other people on the sidewalk giving him a wide berth? Is he kicking a trashcan with gusto, face contorted with rage? Is he standing there with his chest and neck thrust forward, shouting at an innocent passer-by? How is the passer-by reacting? What do they look like? I dunno. Describe what you want people to see in this panel. The whole panel.


Steven, I hope you got a bloody good deal on Final Destination- the movies get steadily worse as far as storyline goes. At least the first one seems to have a touch of intrigue. The rest just seemed like an excuse for death porn.

One movie that did surprise me was Ghost Ship. Started off as death porn, turned into something more (just don't analyse things too much).

Thanks for another great TPG! And to Micah, for submitting!
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:09 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for taking the time to look at my script. I got a lot of work to do for sure. I'm so glad a website like this exists to help out aspiring writers. Now I know what I'm doing wrong and what I need to do to improve.

I also picked up the first issue of Epic at Dragon Quills comic store in Gadsden, Alabama and I just wanted to say it was very entertaining. I will definitely be picking up the next issue
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alyssa View Post
Oh poop, Steven! Don't put me in the freakin spotlight, I'm no editor. :P
I knew you were going to have a heart-stopper.

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Originally Posted by Alyssa View Post
To Micah- I think what he's getting at is that you've done nothing here but provide dialogue.
"Mark lets out a loud and graphic expletive." Well, we can kinda already see that by the "Mark - FUCK!!!!!!" So you're not telling us anything new. Remove the repetition, and you've got nothing.

If you want this to be a panel description, you need to describe what the reader sees inside that panel. They see that he's cursing because of the balloon with FUCK!!!!!! in it, coming from Mark's mouth. But what else do they see?
Is Mark standing there, eyes scrunched closed, face turned up to the sky, hands balled into fists at his side? Are there other people on the sidewalk giving him a wide berth? Is he kicking a trashcan with gusto, face contorted with rage? Is he standing there with his chest and neck thrust forward, shouting at an innocent passer-by? How is the passer-by reacting? What do they look like? I dunno. Describe what you want people to see in this panel. The whole panel.
And I knew you would come through. Good job.

You have one more on that page, if I'm not mistaken...

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Steven, I hope you got a bloody good deal on Final Destination- the movies get steadily worse as far as storyline goes. At least the first one seems to have a touch of intrigue. The rest just seemed like an excuse for death porn.

One movie that did surprise me was Ghost Ship. Started off as death porn, turned into something more (just don't analyse things too much).
I own Ghost Ship. Pretty decent flick. I enjoyed it. If I weren't watching tennis right now (French Open--Serena's OUT! BOO!!!!), I'd be watching some horror movies.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MicahBryant View Post
Thank you very much for taking the time to look at my script. I got a lot of work to do for sure. I'm so glad a website like this exists to help out aspiring writers. Now I know what I'm doing wrong and what I need to do to improve.

I also picked up the first issue of Epic at Dragon Quills comic store in Gadsden, Alabama and I just wanted to say it was very entertaining. I will definitely be picking up the next issue
Okay, Micah, not to pick on you...

But you left off the ending period AGAIN. You just caused an angel to drop-kick another puppy.

That's something you need to really get a handle on. Seriously. Editors need very little reason to round-file your script.

And I'm glad you liked Epic! Tyler has put a lot of love into that book. Believe me, it only gets better from here.

Any questions you want to ask about the script, now would be the time to ask them.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:22 AM   #6
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Actually, I was wrong, Alyssa.

I had to do this one twice. I called on you twice in the original, but then I lost it, and gave it to Yannick on the redo.

So... I'm an idiot.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:30 AM   #7
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I knew you were going to have a heart-stopper.
You're a meanie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Forbes View Post
And I knew you would come through. Good job.

You have one more on that page, if I'm not mistaken...
You addressed Yannick. YANNICK. As in, the other professional?

ETA: Lol, you caught it!


Quote:
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I own Ghost Ship. Pretty decent flick. I enjoyed it. If I weren't watching tennis right now (French Open--Serena's OUT! BOO!!!!), I'd be watching some horror movies.
Did she grunt too many times?

I think a lot of folk (movie makers, comic people, whoever) use death porn in an attempt to make their work more edgy and/or memorable. I'm all for a good fight scene, but gore just for shock value is kinda boring to me. Implication trumping directness, the visual equivalent of "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" vs "I'll kill him if he doesn't do what I say".

Something to keep in mind, Micah. Sometimes doing the opposite of the direct and obvious can be better. Use undertones to ramp up the drama, not how much red covers a page.

Just my 2 cents. ;D
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:53 AM   #8
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Meanie? I'm no meanie. (Just expect to be called on more often...)

And no, Serena didn't grunt too many times. (And you call ME a meanie...)

Yes, Micah: as I said Michael doesn't always kill on camera. The bodies are found.

(I'll make him an offer he can't refuse... Luckily, I've gotten a good fill on The Godfather.)
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
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I think the suicide pages actually massively reduce the interest in the story. Cut out P2 and P3 and we're left wondering whether our hero is about to commit suicide during the flashback. That's much more tense than reading whydunnit.

"Mark makes his way to his bossí office. The door is open and Mark is walking through. His boss, MR. SIMMONS, is sitting at his desk with his hand locked together in front of him on his desk. He is a big bad boss man type with a balding head and strong jaw. (Sam. Sam Read. Please tell me everything thatís wrong with this panel. Then explain why clarity is important.)"

Is this addressed to me? My name is nearly Sam Read, so I'll assume it is and hope for the best. I'm already on a roll after getting another Steven life-story in this week's edition.

* It's a moving panel, involving 'making his way' as well as 'walking through'.
* There's no camera angle. I can kinda imply that it must be an over the shoulder past Mark, through the doorway looking at the boss.
* You lock hands, not lock hand.
* Your artist may well not know what a 'big bad boss man type' is. I think of Boss Hogg from the dukes of hazard and also Sir Ben Kingsley from one of his roles as an East End psycho. Two very different 'big bad boss man types with a balding head and strong jaw'.
* The office and desk are not described. Modern IKEA office? Wood panelled Victorian affair?
* We don't have any emotions. Mark may well not have any, but if the boss is about to fire a favourite worker, you can bet he'd have something showing. I've had to do it. One of the least pleasant experiences of my life. I hope I looked sad and sympathetic.
* Mr Simmons is never actually named in any dialogue, and I have a vague recollection that in those circumstances it's normal to just call the character 'The Boss' or similar, just as we did with 'the co-worker' earlier.

Clarity is important because there may be no second chance to tell the artist(s) and letterers what you intend. I read a story somewhere about a writer who, when writing a fantasy story, asked for a helicopter shot of a scene, and was then jaw-dropped by the appearance of a meticulously drawn chopper in the Wastes of Zorgazz.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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Yes, Sam, that was for you. (We have three Sam's in the CT gallery: you, LeBas, and Read.)

Thanks for stepping to the plate! Nicely done in explaining everything I was looking for.
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