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Old 04-24-2015, 12:26 PM   #1
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TPG Week 226: Lots Of Firsts (And None Of Them Good)



Hello, one and all, and welcome back to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a new Brave One in Jason Duke! We also have Liam Hayes in blue, I'm the ogre in red, and we're all going to go on the journey Jason takes us on in

Adonai

PAGE 1

BLANK PAGE WITH TEXT.

PREMISE: THERE IS A GALAXY IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE (AND OTHER GALAXIES) THAT FORMED 380 MILLION YEARS AFTER THE BIG-BANG. THE UNIVERSE IS 13.8 BILLION YEARS OLD. THEREFORE, EVERYTHING IN THAT GALAXY HAS BEEN EVOLVING FOR 13.42 BILLION YEARS. TO PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE: THE EARLIEST BEGINNINGS OF THE MILKY WAY GALAXY ARE ESTIMATED AT 13.2 BILLION YEARS. BUT THE GALACTIC DISK OF THE MILKY WAY, UPON WHICH OUR SOLAR SYSTEM SITS, IS ONLY ABOUT TEN BILLION YEARS OLD. AND THE EARTH IS ONLY 4.54 BILLION YEARS OLD. THAT'S 4.54 BILLION YEARS TO GET TO CARS, COMPUTERS, CELL PHONES, INTERNET, ROCKETS TO THE MOON (AND SOON, THE FIRST COLONIZERS TO MARS), AND NUCLEAR BOMBS. ASSUMING WE DON'T GO THE WAY OF THE DINOSAURS, IMAGINE WHERE THE HUMAN RACE WILL BE 100 MILLION YEARS FROM NOW? ONE BILLION YEARS FROM NOW? THE DIFFERENCE IN EVOLUTIONARY YEARS OF THAT ANCIENT GALAXY AND OUR MILKY WAY = 220 MILLION YEARS. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT ANCIENT GALAXY AND OUR GALACTIC DISK = 3.42 BILLION YEARS. HYPOTHETICALLY, IF INTELLIGENT LIFE WERE TO EXIST IN THAT 13.42 BILLION YEAR OLD GALAXY, THEY WOULD HAVE AN EVOLUTIONARY ADVANTAGE OF BETWEEN 220 MILLION YEARS AND 3.42 BILLION YEARS...

This is an incredibly dull way of starting a story. Not to mention extremely convoluted. We have no reason to care about this info dump. Can't you get it in with actual dialogue and/or story progression?


Click here to read more.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:33 PM   #2
Morganza
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He's got the spelling, punctuation and format down!
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:03 PM   #3
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I'm at a loss for words.

Well, I'm having trouble finding words that aren't mean. In the interest of trying to help a new comic writer, let's see how I go...

Jason, you obviously didn't do any research, and that's terrible. If you'd read previous TPG entries, you would have seen that your script wasn't ready for submission. Submitting your script without the research isn't just a waste of the editors's time, it's a waste of your time too. How can you expect to receive actionable advice on how to improve your script-writing if you didn't even submit anything resembling a script? That's disrespectful to yourself and the editors. Especially the editors, on account of the fact they give up their own time to give free advice to new writers, only to have people abuse that time.

If you want to take up comic writing, then you need to learn how to write a comic. Here's what you'll want to do:

> Read comics. Lots of them. Preferably only comics that sell well (i.e. avoid self-published comics, as they'll probably teach you bad habits).

> Read through the previous TPG entries. All of them. Seriously. When I first checked out writing for comics, I pasted all the TPG entries into Word docs and put them on my Kindle, so I could read them anywhere. Do the same. You'll learn something from every entry.

> Read through Steven's Bolts & Nuts column (whether you hate him now or not): http://www.comixtribe.com/columns/bo...pouch-of-nuts/

> Jim Zub also have a good collection of writing tutorials: http://jimzub.tumblr.com/tutorials

> Pick up these books on writing and comics:
On Writing: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-10th-A...dp/1439156816/
Elements of Style: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style...dp/020530902X/
The Story Solution: http://www.amazon.com/Story-Solution.../dp/1615930841
Understanding Comics: http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-...dp/006097625X/

> Write lots and lots of comic scripts. Compare them against what you've learned about good comic writing. Edit them. Rewrite them. Make the scripts as good as you possibly can. Only then are they ready to share with the public for critique. That's how you get the most benefit.


You're an indie writer, and from what I can see, the books aren't selling well. If you go back to the drawing board (as such, heh), do your research, read lots of great books, and try again, you may just see improvement (and therefore sales). You've got a long way to go, but everyone has to start somewhere. So start.

My previous TPG feedback might also be of help to you:
http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...3&postcount=21
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:46 PM   #4
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Okay.

Again, this has been the worst submission I've ever accepted. Ever. That's easy to see.

Jason did submit another version of this script after doing a little bit more research. Only a little bit more. I didn't use that version. I completely disregarded it, because it didn't conform to the very simple rules I have. It wasn't any better than this, though, so there's no loss there.

This is just, simply, extremely bad writing. It isn't any good, in any fashion. I can't give it any kind of credit outside of format. Format is easy, though.

(See, Robert, this is how you know you got off extremely easy. I didn't say nearly anything as bad to you as I have here. As a matter of fact, you could almost call my remarks to your script almost loving compared to this.)

Oh, like Morganza, I can say that he got spelling and punctuation right, too. Under normal circumstances, I couldn't call that a win, because that's what you're supposed to do as a writer. Here? Well...still no credit, because he calls himself a published writer. Spelling and punctuation are supposed to be correct.

I just don't have the words. Well, I do, but I think I said most of them already, and I don't want to repeat myself too much.

Anyone else?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:09 AM   #5
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What you have here, Jason, is not a script, but rather your story bible. Your story bible doesn't belong in front of your readers, peers, and especially your editors. For now, it should only have a place on your bookshelf, so you, the writer, can reference it while making the actual story.

Love it or hate it, think of Star Wars. There are probably fans who can tell you the lowest recorded temperature on Hoth, or how many bolts (and what manufacturer) are found on the Milenium Falcon. The story bible to Star Wars is no doubt massive. How much of that comes through in the movies?

Absolutely nothing that doesn't have to do with the story.

You have been given valuable resources to help develope your craft. Utilize them. It's going to take effort, as nothing worthwhile comes easy. Good luck, Jason.
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
ADONAI LEAPS OFF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN LEDGE, HIGH INTO THE SKY. (Moving panel.) (I can see this.)

PANEL 2

SHE FALLS BACK TO EARTH, THROUGH THE CLOUDS. (Moving panel.) (I can see this, too.)

PANEL 3

PLUMMETS TOWARD THE TINY SPECKS OF THE GREEK SOLDIERS FAR BELOW LIKE AN ARMORED GIANT ABOUT TO CRUSH SO MANY ANTS.

PANEL 4

THRUSTERS IGNITE IN THE SOLES OF HER ARMORED BOOTS, SLOWING HER DESCENT. (Moving panel.) (No, I can see this.)
Fair call. In retrospect, I can see them too. I must have been so psychologically perturbed by this script that I knew not right from wrong. Ryan watched me edit the script and can attest to my torment.

Cheers
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockworm View Post
Fair call. In retrospect, I can see them too. I must have been so psychologically perturbed by this script that I knew not right from wrong. Ryan watched me edit the script and can attest to my torment.

Cheers
Liam
Liam actually composed himself quite well, don't let him kid you. However, there is no denying that I got to watch him age before my eyes. I thought my monitor was going haywire as his beard greyed and the hair fell from his head.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #8
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I wanted to say that I really like this idea. I could not read the script, but I gleaned enough from what I read to understand the idea.

Jason, remember that your script is a letter to your artist. No one else gets to see it. Page 3 panel 3 is where I stop every time I try to read the script. Don't get me wrong, I read everything Liam and Steven said, just have not been able to read the actual script.

Sit down with your script and draw out the panels. It does not matter if they are the crudest stick figures ever seen. Draw what is happening, then look at your panel descriptions and try to reconcile the two. If you cannot draw it, even crudely, then you never figured out what you really wanted. If you can draw it what you wanted, you will see how much extra information there is in the panel descriptions. Basically, the panel descriptions read like a narration.

Just some thoughts.

-Sky

Last edited by Schuyler; 04-25-2015 at 05:49 PM. Reason: extra stuff
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:04 PM   #9
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I enjoyed this. Bit of a naughty pleasure.

"THERE IS NO DESCRIPTION I CAN PROVIDE THAT WILL COME CLOSE TO EXPLAINING WHAT THIS ARMOR LOOKS LIKE."

Then stop trying to be a comics writer. You have one job. And that job is explaining what the armor looks like.

Big thanks to Steven and Liam for trawling through this.

One thing, however. I just checked a few comics and John Wagner (Judge Dredd), Dan Abnett (Warhammer) and Ben Edlund (The Tick) occasionally use pages with 8 panels. Robert Kirkland (Walking Dead), Grant Morrison don't seem to ever do 8 page panels. Bill Willingham (Fables) rarely tops 5 panels, so he's no use.

I don't think 8 panels on a page is a style thing, no?
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:28 PM   #10
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It's mainly a style thing, because anything can be done in a script, but it isn't done often for a reason.

With 8 panels, it can come out looking like a square, and that can interfere with the reading experience, because the reader could conceivably not know which panel to read next. Even though we read from left to right and top to bottom, or top left to bottom right, seeing a square on the page can be off-putting.

That's the main reason why I discourage 8 panel pages. Either go seven, or go nine (or more).

______

On a totally different note, I can say that I'm shocked. Flabbergasted, almost. No one has said, in public or in private, that I was too harsh. It's been a few days, and I still stand by everything I've said, but it's surprising to me that I've had no outrage or even mild disappointment from anyone about what I said.

That means one of three things:

1. I'm irrelevant and no one cares. This is quite the possibility.

2. I'm very right and everyone who's read this agrees with me. (Still waiting for Jason's reaction, if we get one.)

3. People disagree with me, but aren't saying so for some reason. (Which I can't believe one iota. Well, one iota I can believe, but not two. So I don't believe that two iota's.)

I'm just surprised. Not that I'm looking for it, I'm just surprised no one has called me out on it.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:46 PM   #11
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Are you looking to change your image Steven, or double down?
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Are you looking to change your image Steven, or double down?
Neither. Just surprised, is all.

Like I said, I stand by every word said. I'm just surprised no one has said anything about how I said what I said.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:00 PM   #13
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Now I'm wondering if you're holding back.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:02 PM   #14
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Well, I didn't say he should never touch a keyboard again, even though it's how I felt.

Does that mean I'm growing as a person?
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:07 PM   #15
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I would say yes.
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