PDA

View Full Version : First two pages


Robert_S
06-08-2014, 12:49 AM
First two pages of a story I have largely thought out and outlined. I originally wrote this as a feature length movie script, but decided to move it to GN to retain the rights to the story.

World setting: It is 2093. Corporations rule more than ever and maintain politics as a deflection. Oil is a diminishing resource and the price of it is thirty times what it is today, but the oil industry is still trying to squeeze every cent out of it, driving the cost of living to a point people have jobs and no homes. Those fortunate few non-wealthy working who can afford living space live in stackhouses or small apartments. Only the wealthy can afford to have cars and the majority of people take public transportation called magtrains. Those without homes live on the street or, if they are fortunate, homeless camps of tents, carboard and tin. Overshadowing this is the hostility between the US and Iran, who is now a nuclear power, and the growing threat of nuclear war between west and middle east.

Partial Character list. More to come as I work out subplots.

BES: BES is a cybernetic computer who was once an embodied person of an alien race known as Okahn. Through the implant in a Ro'shaan's brain, she manifests visually and auditorily as a female of the Ro’shaan’s species. In Dante’s case, she appears as a lovely red-head of early to mid 30s. She acts as bridge between races starting to come into their own in the galaxy by choosing a Ro'shaan of the race in question. While she has been stripped of her body, the process did not take away her emotions. She loved the first Ro'shaan and most Ro'shaan who came after. As the story progresses, she begins to fall in love with Dante.
DANTE: Dark hair, 6’ tall, in good physical condition. Thirty-nine year old former guitarist and gifted musician for a rock back approx 20 years earlier. His dream squashed, he now works as an IT analyst and crisis manager, but has never forgotten his love of music. He performs privately with his Iranian friend, Parvaneh, as escapism. He is a cynic and has a humor that can range from cutting to simply playful banter. He doesn’t maintain much contact with his father, the last of his living relatives.
RAWLINGS: Fiftyish man with short grey hair. Vice president of the US and main antagonist. A believer in unchecked capitalism, he has stock holdings in defense, media and energy industries. Approx 20 years earlier, he was the govener of Dante’s state and ordered a hard crackdown on a protest outside an industry which he had major investments. This lead to the death of Dante’s brother, Michael, to which Dante has never forgiven himself. He is the major obstacle to Dante trying to get US President Mitchel and Iran President Hassan to the table for peace talks.
ALLISON STEWART: A representative of New Mexico, Stewart is a buttoned up, highly groomed married professional who is still idealistic about what democracy means and works in her own way to restore it to the US. When the US demended someone be involved in what BES had planned, BES agreed, as long as she could choose and she chose Stewart.
MITCHEL: This Fiftyish year old president of the US is in debt to Rawlings for his election to president.
AYATOLLAH ABBAS: The second antagonist. He is a devote Muslim and openly hostile to the west for its “decedent and immoral” lifestyle. As first in command of Iran, his hands are in a lot of foreign affairs, including terrorism and espionoge.
HASSAN: President of Iran, 50ish years old, a good orator, charismatic and intelligent. While he is a good diplomat, he is hostile to the US for past interference of the US on Iranian affairs. As second in command of Iran, his area is domestic affairs, but is used by the Ayatollah as the “face of Iran.”
DECUGOSAN JULO: A Moanoc and aging officer in the CIF, he jumped at the chance to observe and serve the new Ro’shaan before his retirement. He is dutiful and mentoring, while seemingly apathetic.


Ro'shaan


PAGE 1
Progressively zoom in until we see his eyes.

PANEL 1
Full width, 1/4 height. The low lights give some shadowing to an
otherwise unadorned room. Straight shot on DANTE who looks
ahead. He sits in a chair in the middle of the shot, wearing a
wrap around off-white tunic with tie belt and slacks, barefoot
and his head shaved. BES leans in from a rear oblique, her right
hand resting on the head of the chair.

BES
What do you remember?

DANTE
What am I supposed to remember?

BES
Do you remember your name?

DANTE
I am Ro'shaan Kahl.

BES
No. That was a previous life. You are
Ro'shaan Dante now.
(cont)
Do you remember the name of your world?

PANEL 2
Full width, 1/4 height. Zoomed in closer. Dante looks down and
left, BES is now passing behind him.

DANTE
Ear...Eartah

BES
Earth. Do you remember your people?

PANEL 3
Half width, 1/4 height. Closer in on torso. Dante hangs his
head, not knowing the answer. BES is out of scene now.

PANEL 4
Half width, 1/4 height. Zoomed closer, upper torso. Dante still
hanging his head.

BES
Dante. Human male, 39 years old from the
planet Earth.

DANTE
Why don't I remember any of this?

BES
A common side effect of the implant.
It'll resolve itself in time, but we
can't wait.
(cont)
What's the last thing you remember?

PANEL 5
Full width, 1/4 height. Close up on Dante's severe and distant
eyes.

DANTE
Dying.

BES
I'll recount the events up to now. It
should help you remember.

PAGE 2
The Sagan is a 3 rpm rotating disk shaped off-world vessel, a
little more than 200 meters in diameter. Its mission, to drop
the initial material for a base on Calisto. These containers are
positioned radially about the hull of the Sagan proper.

PANEL 1
Establishing shot showing outer space. Stars dot the black veil,
one closer on the left in the place of Dante's eye radiates
brighter than all the others.

CAPTION
December 10th, 2093, three days earlier.

PANEL 2
Small panel. A shadow appears in the corona of the bright star.

CAPTION
"I was hibernating. Had been for seven
years prior."

PANEL 3
Small panel. The shadow is closer, almost eclipsing the star.

CAPTION
"I expected your world to be dead or
dying when I awoke."

PANEL 4
Large panel. It's passing by. The US flag and "NASA" printed on
it, a disk like object flying vertically. Boxes line it's outer edge.

CAPTION
"At the very least, I expected you to be
a hundred years dead..."

PANEL 5
Large panel. The ship approaches Calisto, pockmarked and gray.
Jupiter far in the distance in the background, its red spot
eyeing the approach.

CAPTION
"...and a change in world order having a
different nation find me."

Schuyler
06-08-2014, 03:01 PM
Hello Robert,

I find this story very intriguing. Here are some thoughts.

Page 1. Please correct me if I am wrong about this. Full width means the panel takes the entire horizontal page span. ¼ means that there will be four of those boxes going down. Then you have two panels that are half width, giving you a total of five panels. It only took me a minute to figure that out.

By putting this info in your script you have limited your artist. I don’t think anyone is going to tell you that it’s wrong but I would not do it.

At the top of the page you wrote “Progressively zoom in until you see his eyes”. This is a very loose direction for the page but then you got very particular about panel placement and size. I feel like the first panel needs more scene setting. I am left wondering where the room is. If the room is on a spaceship it will look different than a room in a building on Earth. What kind of chair? Why is it sitting in this otherwise unadorned room? It’s okay to leave the reader wondering but not your creative team.

In panel 1 you have six dialogue bubbles. The rule is that you are only allowed three. In panel 4 you have four. In panel 3 you have none. Why stuff every other panel and leave one empty?

Page 2. I am not sure what is happening in panel one. There is a star in your main character’s eye?

Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. I like your idea. Good luck!

-Schuyler Van Gunten

Robert_S
06-08-2014, 04:20 PM
The first two pages have direction for panel size, but I left them out on the pages that follow. I really want to set a hook on the first page, so it's necessary to fit as much in on the first page as possible.

As for page 2, panel 1, I need to describe it better. The star occupies the same position in the panel as Dante's left eye, but I may switch it the right (in the course of the story, he loses he right eye and it has to be replaced with a cybernetic prosthesis). I envision a scene fade over that gives it more context, but that's a bit hard to do with stills. I works in my mind, but I'm not sure if that is something an artist can do.

I certainly don't want to limit the artist, but I have a particular vision of the opening page/scene, which must be a hook but also be ambiguous as I interweave the backstory with the present telling. I would certainly be open to collaboration, but I like how the first page has fleshed out. I concede I need to work more on limiting the bubbles.

The first scene does in fact take place on a starship. While it wasn't stated in the pages, BES is also a cybernetic being who controls the starship, but more akin to a computer who can manifest an image of herself in a Ro'shaan's perceptions, so only Dante can see her and he sees her as a red headed human female.

I'll try to work on the dialog to reduce bubbles, but there is a lot of exchange as she queries what he knows of himself. I suppose it wouldn't be too bad if the opening scene stretched across two pages. There was a scene I imagined where Ro'shaan Dante looks in a mirror placed before him and the persona of Ro'shaan Kahl begins to realize what he once knew is no longer, helping Dante to recover, but I removed it to fit the scene on one page.

Alyssa
06-08-2014, 07:06 PM
Hey, Robert! Thanks for sharing. The concept sounds interesting so far.

I echo everything Schuyler mentioned. You establish your hook through your panel descriptions- not necessarily in the panel layout. Sometimes you might want to be very specific about how things are laid out, such as when you're trying to portray a very specific effect, but I don't think this page calls for it. Let the artist use their experience to determine the best composition. If they have to fit 5 panels on page one in order to establish your hook, they'll do it, no worries.

Your concept sounds interesting, but I can't help but feel you're starting this story off in the wrong place. These two pages are basically just bringing readers up to speed. The problem is that right now, the readers don't care. The way I see it, you gotta make the reader care about your characters and/or the main story conflict before they'll be willing to follow your exposition.

Y: The Last Man - First we get a punchy opening. All the men are dead. THEN we go to Yorick and his girlfriend. We learn that he didn't get the job, that his girlfriend is in Australia, etc etc. Readers are hooked. We know that this innocent banter happened just 29 minutes before the event we read on page one. We get introduced to the characters in a *natural* way, but only after we *care*.

Lost (TV series) - There's a whoooole lot of character backgrounds viewers need to catch up on before they can fully understand a character's "story". Their motivations, their conflicts. But the director didn't line up everyone's backstories right from episode one. We see the the catalyst event: a plane crashes on a strange island. We get introduced to the lead characters in a way that hints at the kind of people they are, but we don't need to know their backstory yet. We have to care for the characters before we'll care about their backgrounds or any other extraneous exposition.

I hope that helps! Keep workin on it dude, sounds interesting.

Steven Forbes
06-08-2014, 08:09 PM
You beat me to the punch, Alyssa, in that I was going to ask you to comment on this.

I can comment on all the scripts posted here, but then it just becomes my voice, and that can become boring. People don't get as much of an opportunity to learn if I make all the comments, because they don't get the chance to think for themselves.

So, good on ya!

Now, I would like both you and Schuyler to take a panel you find to be problematic, and go over it: explain the problem, and then suggest a fix.

Schuyler
06-08-2014, 09:25 PM
Now, I would like both you and Schuyler to take a panel you find to be problematic, and go over it: explain the problem, and then suggest a fix.

Thanks for the challenge, Steven. Now, I am afraid of saying something wrong, like I am back in school.

Page two, Panel one. You have asked your artist to make the star appear where Ro’shaan’s eye was in the last panel. This transition will not work because it happens on a page turn. Actually, I think it will only work if the panels are directly next to each other on a horizontal plane. I also believe the star cannot be the only thing that looks similar between the two panels.

Honestly, I am not sure why the reference is necessary. Why is it important that the star be in the same place as Roshaan’s eye?

There are two ways to fix this. One is, do what I said and put the panels right next to each other. Another is to forget about that reference.

You should include character descriptions before the script. That bit about BES being the ship is important to your artist.

I already mentioned this panel, so I am going to do two. They are connected as well.

Page One, Panel five. This is supposed to be a close up of his eyes, but there are two word bubbles on it. One of those bubbles might cover eye area. Here is what I would do.

I would move the last close up of the eyes to page two. This will allow for your comparison. You will have to write another panel on Page One. That will be easy though, because you could start outside the ship giving your reader an idea of where Ro’shaan is. Dialogue bubbles emerge from the ship itself.

Page two starts with eyes but I would take the dialogue from BES and move it to caption over the next panel. Thus the close-up of Roshaan’s eyes has only one word to get in the way. “Dying”. This will also fill up the next panel with some more words.

Page 2 is struggling because it will be mostly black panels and there are short captions over each panel. I would increase the panel count on page 2, anyway. You could easily do seven panels and we would still see the star get eclipsed.

I hope I passed my test.

-Schuyler Van Gunten

Robert_S
06-08-2014, 10:13 PM
Thanks for the challenge, Steven. Now, I am afraid of saying something wrong, like I am back in school.

Page two, Panel one. You have asked your artist to make the star appear where Ro’shaan’s eye was in the last panel. This transition will not work because it happens on a page turn. Actually, I think it will only work if the panels are directly next to each other on a horizontal plane. I also believe the star cannot be the only thing that looks similar between the two panels.

Honestly, I am not sure why the reference is necessary. Why is it important that the star be in the same place as Roshaan’s eye?


I guess it was just visual appeal. I'm still seeing the story unfold in my head as a movie, rather than a sequence of stills.


There are two ways to fix this. One is, do what I said and put the panels right next to each other. Another is to forget about that reference.


I'll consider both.



You should include character descriptions before the script. That bit about BES being the ship is important to your artist.


I probably shouldn't have left this out because of her importance to the story. BES is, well, not quite the ship but more of a system on the ship, but I've also considered making her a living ship. She and the Ro'shaan were created at about the same time (a year apart) and so Dante will gain memories and experiences that go back as far as hers, but across 15 different alien lives, all of whom have been a Ro'shaan.

I'm going to take notes on this because I want this story to take off. I can't draw worth a damn, but I can write. I just need to adapt it to the medium.

Robert_S
06-08-2014, 10:29 PM
Your concept sounds interesting, but I can't help but feel you're starting this story off in the wrong place. These two pages are basically just bringing readers up to speed. The problem is that right now, the readers don't care. The way I see it, you gotta make the reader care about your characters and/or the main story conflict before they'll be willing to follow your exposition.


I was going for getting them to care about the man who is no longer himself. That he remembers dying but is not dead. He's going to remember a lot of things he, Dante, didn't do but he now has the memories of those that did. The first seven chapters were going to interweave with past and present, with chapter 1 showing Dante struggling to remember who he is while BES brings him up to speed.

I'll think more on it, but the original story had the Sagan scene first without introducing Dante. Then realizing I was putting off the intro to the main too long, I decided to interweave his current state with his past and everything in the last three days that lead up to this point in time.

Actually, that is the second version. The absolute first had the main enemy across the series approaching Earth and BES picking up three people (one Asian woman, one African male and Dante) to make one of them the Ro'shaan and combat the approaching enemy. I scrubbed it in favor of focusing more on humans and their approach to alien sentient life.

I'll think more on this.

Also, I get Y on my kindle and read it.

Robert_S
06-08-2014, 10:35 PM
Hello Robert,

I find this story very intriguing. Here are some thoughts.

Page 1. Please correct me if I am wrong about this. Full width means the panel takes the entire horizontal page span. ¼ means that there will be four of those boxes going down. Then you have two panels that are half width, giving you a total of five panels. It only took me a minute to figure that out.


Would it be better to use phrases such as "establishing shot" or "major point."

I've seen some writers use "small panel," "large panel," but I feel so dang out of the loop if I don't do some directing. It is my story afterall. :D

Schuyler
06-09-2014, 12:00 AM
I guess it was just visual appeal. I'm still seeing the story unfold in my head as a movie, rather than a sequence of stills.

After I wrote my critique I thought about that. I imagined what the transition would look like on film. It is an awesome idea.

You would have to add panels in order to mimic that look I think. First we would see Ro'shaan's eyes. Then the right/left eye would start glowing like the star. Then the his face would start fading as more stars appear in the panel. Until finally we are in space without Ro'shaan.

This idea requires a lot of panels but I think it would look cool. The trick would be to keep your captions going over these panels.

However, you could potentially transition with this, and then go right to the shot of the ship with flags and such. This would probably be a more interesting second page then the slow eclipse. The eclipse is another idea that would have been cool on film but I do not think you have the room to put that in there.

Something that I have learned about writing comics is that you only get 22 pages per issue. Each issue must be interesting on its own.

I don't know about writing movies but I imagine that if you are the director/writer than you have complete creative control.

I would say that writing comics is more akin to being in a band. Yes, you wrote some great lyrics but you still have the bass player, the guitar player, the drummer, your new saxophone player (I think his name is Steven). These guys are all going to write parts and your lyrics will be what they let you sprinkle on at the end.

Yes, your lyrics drove the song and inspired them to create beautiful music but you have to let them create the music. The more you let them have a little fun the better the music is.

Alyssa, Steven. Please set me straight if you disagree.

-Schuyler

Schuyler
06-09-2014, 12:09 AM
Would it be better to use phrases such as "establishing shot" or "major point."

I've seen some writers use "small panel," "large panel," but I feel so dang out of the loop if I don't do some directing. It is my story afterall. :D

I think that your directions were clear. I only use large panel and small panel because I know my artist does not think about how many bubbles I need to fit in a panel.

I will say again that I think your artist will produce better work with some freedom.

Robert_S
06-09-2014, 12:25 AM
After I wrote my critique I thought about that. I imagined what the transition would look like on film. It is an awesome idea.

You would have to add panels in order to mimic that look I think. First we would see Ro'shaan's eyes. Then the right/left eye would start glowing like the star. Then the his face would start fading as more stars appear in the panel. Until finally we are in space without Ro'shaan.

Could it be done with just three? One on his eyes, one that has a superimposition of the two panels, then lastly the space scene. Otherwise, two extra supers transitions, one with the face/eyes shot heavier in appearance with the space scene lighter, then reverse the two (face/eyes lighter, heaver appearance of space).

Schuyler
06-09-2014, 12:10 PM
Could it be done with just three? One on his eyes, one that has a superimposition of the two panels, then lastly the space scene. Otherwise, two extra supers transitions, one with the face/eyes shot heavier in appearance with the space scene lighter, then reverse the two (face/eyes lighter, heaver appearance of space).

I am not an expert on script writing and I hope that someone comes along and gives a second opinion.

When I write scripts I often have to condense because I need more room for something or other. I would have to do it with as little panels as possible. I think the idea could still carry with just three panels. However, I think more panels would allow for the abstractness of the idea to take hold.

The only problem with the idea is that the reader may wonder why it is important. They may be trying to put meaning to something that was just a transition for you. The way it would work is if the story continues to have strange transitions that then become a stylistic choice.

Robert_S
06-09-2014, 01:37 PM
The only problem with the idea is that the reader may wonder why it is important. They may be trying to put meaning to something that was just a transition for you. The way it would work is if the story continues to have strange transitions that then become a stylistic choice.

One of the central themes is memories that are not Dante's, so I'm envisioning a lot of transitions between the past (memories not explicitly his) and the present. So this advice will help to make sure I stay on track, but I don't imagine a lot of dissolves. Just this one. I am planning some trigger to these transitions to flashback (an object, a sound, an event).

The problem with this scene is the trigger is BES and at this point she's simply telling/showing what happened before he got involved. He doesn't make an appearance as Dante until chapter two. Until then, we see him struggling to recover his own memories as the memories and experiences of past Ro'shaan manifest as personas in his consciousness.

Schuyler
06-09-2014, 02:21 PM
I have to say I really dig your idea.

I am trying to write something with some similar elements as my character also reincarnates and has strange memories that are often filtered through dreams.

Your story and my story are also vastly different and I think that is a good thing.

Have you plotted your first issue? If so, would you be willing to put it into this post so we can check that out as well?

Robert_S
06-09-2014, 05:13 PM
I have to say I really dig your idea.

I am trying to write something with some similar elements as my character also reincarnates and has strange memories that are often filtered through dreams.

Your story and my story are also vastly different and I think that is a good thing.

Have you plotted your first issue? If so, would you be willing to put it into this post so we can check that out as well?

As it stands, no. I may have to replot, but I have the major events down. I have the chapters laid out as stages of a casual affair leading to a pregnancy and birth:

A Chance Encounter - the US discovers BES hiding at Calisto.
A Look - BES begins to interview Dante via IMs and phone calls.
A Smile - Dante is kidnapped by Iranian agents. BES rescues him.
A Touch - Dante meets US leadership. BES asks him to come to her.
A Flirtation - BES makes the offer.
An Affair - Dante has second thoughts, but agrees when he finds out humans are approaching their self-inflicted extinction event.
The Conception - Dante undergoes the surgery. Begins to remember the lives of prior Ro'shaan.
First Trimester - Dante speaks with the US and Iranian president to bring them to the peace table.
Second Trimester - Rawlings causes a break down in talks.
Third Trimester - The war is on.
Re-Birth - BES unlocks the memories of Ro'shaan in Dante and he remembers what it's like to be the last of his kind. She and Dante cull the surviving corporate, political and religious leadership that lead to the war.
Coming Home - Dante fully accepts his new state and humans send the first ambassador to meet with the council of the Accord/Coalition (don't want to call them the Alliance for obvious reasons).

A total of 12 chapters in this one book. What you guys are reading above is the first two pages of "A Chance Encounter."

I'll try to make it a serialized book, but I see this as a complete story. I think the best I may be able to do is release chapter by chapter.

Re-birth has BES unlocking the memories of the very first Ro'shaan, The Ro'shaan. What was thought to be a title, was the name of the first that eventually became a title for those that accepted the implant and inherited the memories of those who wore the implant in the past. Dante is getting the memories of 15 others while his memories are getting recorded.

I have a very sad scene intended to show the final "days" of the Okahn as experienced through Ro'shaan.

I put in a partial character list above.

paul brian deberry
06-09-2014, 05:21 PM
Okay. Not bad. Did a decent enough job. My concern is that you're not taking into account a key element of your story. Your dialogue and how they fit on the page.

Panel one, you have six balloons (one connected.) the panel is going to be crowded. The page is only five panels, which is a good number, but the page, specially that panel is over crowded with balloons. Balloons that will be covering artwork.

Your conversation between Dante and BES is a back and forth, so the letterer is going to have to stagger the balloons. (BES) Left, (Dante) Right, (BES) Left, (Dante) Right, (BES) Left, (BES) Left... However, you tell the artist that the focus of the page is Dante, so, he is going to draw Dante as the focus and to the left of the panel with BES to his right. Meaning that whole left, right thing I just said is going to be all fucked up and a bitch for your letterer to letter. It's already difficult as is... because if he follows your instruction he has Dante sitting in the middle of the room.

The focus on this panel/page should be of BES because (s)he is doing all the talking.

Page one has 14 balloons (counting the two connected balloons as their own balloons) that's a ridiculous number. Manageable with a good letterer only because the page has five panels.

Good job and keep writing.

Alyssa
06-09-2014, 11:19 PM
Now, I would like both you and Schuyler to take a panel you find to be problematic, and go over it: explain the problem, and then suggest a fix.

I'll give it a go. :D

PANEL 1
Full width, 1/4 height. The low lights give some shadowing to an
otherwise unadorned room. Straight shot on DANTE who looks
ahead. He sits in a chair in the middle of the shot, wearing a
wrap around off-white tunic with tie belt and slacks, barefoot
and his head shaved. BES leans in from a rear oblique, her right
hand resting on the head of the chair.

If I were the artist, trying to figure out exactly what to put in this panel, I'd be kinda stumped. Low lights, unadorned room, a chair with a (presumably) high back. What kind of room is this, besides unadorned? You don't tell us in this panel. By "unadorned", I presume you don't mean "completely empty", so what else can we see? Are the walls brick, timber, plaster, metal? Sure, we might be able to deduce some details by reading through the whole script, but the artist shouldn't really need to do this.
Basically, put yourself in the shoes of the artist. They know nothing except for what you put in front of them. Make sure they've got enough to go from.

Also, what's "rear oblique" supposed to mean? I presume you're referring to the precise angle of her pose. You really are handcuffing your artist. It's one thing to want to make sure they get your story across, but it's another thing to treat them just like a tool. You state where exactly you want the characters positioned in a specific panel layout. Chances are though, unless you're an experienced artist yourself, the picture you've got in your head just won't look as good as you think it will once it's on the page. Trust the artist to create a composition that will strengthen your story.

Alyssa
06-09-2014, 11:55 PM
I guess it was just visual appeal. I'm still seeing the story unfold in my head as a movie, rather than a sequence of stills.


Although novels, movies, and comic books share elements, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Each has its own set of devices to achieve certain effects, playing to their strengths.

It's apparent that you aren't new to writing, so I imagine you read a fair bit too. But how many comics have you read? I ask, because it seems like at this point you're not completely familiar with the devices used in comic storytelling. Some of it can be learned from how-to books, but most of it is learned from reading lots of comics (kinda like how a novelist isn't usually very good unless they also read lots of novels).

Trying to shoehorn film devices into a comic script isn't doing the medium justice, in my opinion. I'm still a newbie, so I'm afraid I can't really get down to the nuts and bolts of it, but comics have a whole world of devices at your disposal that will work better than film techniques. I think if you put the eye-to-stars transition in, presuming you can get it to read visually, readers are going to be wondering what the significance is. Because space is a premium in comics, everything has a purpose. I hesitantly suggest that you can't write things into your script just because you think it'd look good, or because it works as a film device. And I say this in the most respectful way possible.

I know I promote this book wherever I go, but have you checked out The Story Solution by Eric Edson? (I recommend picking up the paperback, not the Kindle edition, it's just easier to flip to certain sections for quick reference). It's the best how-to book on writing I've read so far (Steven's got his own recommendations).
It is geared towards plotting and writing screenplays, but the structure itself can be applied to any full-length story (novel, comic, etc). While following the structure does ensure that you're focusing on the right things at the right time, it's loose enough that it doesn't feel like a paint-by-numbers when you get to the actual writing phase.
From what I'm reading so far, I think checking this book out will be a huge benefit to you.


You've got something really interesting here, you just gotta rejig things a bit. :har: Keep us updated!

Robert_S
06-10-2014, 12:12 AM
How wrong is it to provide references to an artist? I found this site: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/

That I've been using for getting planetary position data for launch dates and also for image ideas. I have a screenshot of Calisto, Jupiter and Sol that gives an idea of how large Jupiter and Sol would be if we were looking back from space near Calisto.

It would be a great reference for an artist.

Alyssa
06-10-2014, 12:19 AM
How wrong is it to provide references to an artist? I found this site: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/

That I've been using for getting planetary position data for launch dates and also for image ideas. I have a screenshot of Calisto, Jupiter and Sol that gives an idea of how large Jupiter and Sol would be if we were looking back from space near Calisto.

It would be a great reference for an artist.

Shoot, I think it's great to provide references for your artist. Makes their job easier, especially when you're asking them to draw something that isn't run-of-the-mill. That site's a cool find!

Robert_S
06-10-2014, 12:25 AM
It's apparent that you aren't new to writing, so I imagine you read a fair bit too. But how many comics have you read?

I've started reading comics a lot recently, but before that I hadn't read comics for, whew, 35 years or so.

I have read a bit of Moore (V, Watchmen, League (hollywood really botched this story), the Nemos, 1910, 1969, 2009, Batman and a few Swamp Things) and all of the Hellboys, quite a bit of B.P.R.D., Vol 1 of Lazerus, Vol 1 of Sex Criminals, Vol 1 -3 of Sandman (undecided about the storyline), Vol 1 and 2 of Locke and Key, 30 Days of Night and 300 and found I'm don't like Miller's narrative style. I'm reading Vol 1 of Y.

As far is hollywood versions, I like the movie Watchmen. I found they followed the main story very well and produced a great likeness of the original work. I like V, but even before I read the GN, I thought the ending a bit wonky. League was ok, but the GN was better.

The Hellboys I liked. Perlman did a good job as Hellboy. Pulled off the personality well.

I did buy vol 1 of Saga, but it came across as too, hokey, to use a word from my days. A guy with horns mates with a chick with wings. Ok. Getting the symbolism there. It's kind of hard to miss.

I'm a bit wary of getting any super hero type stories, but if it's recommended as a compelling story, I'll consider it.

I'd like to get my hands on Maus, but it has to be available for the Kindle. That is what I read on and Maus is not available for the kindle.


I know I promote this book wherever I go, but have you checked out The Story Solution by Eric Edson? (I recommend picking up the paperback, not the Kindle edition, it's just easier to flip to certain sections for quick reference). It's the best how-to book on writing I've read so far (Steven's got his own recommendations).

I've read Truby's "Anatomy of Story" but not Solution. I'll look into it, but I'll probably get the kindle version, if I do, and do a lot of bookmarking. Space in my place is a premium. A kindle is just too convenient. I only wish I could bookmark pages of GNs.

Schuyler
06-10-2014, 12:24 PM
I think if you put the eye-to-stars transition in, presuming you can get it to read visually, readers are going to be wondering what the significance is. Because space is a premium in comics, everything has a purpose. I hesitantly suggest that you can't write things into your script just because you think it'd look good, or because it works as a film device. And I say this in the most respectful way possible.

Alyssa, you truly have a way with words.

This is what I was trying to get at. It is actually why I asked you to post a plot for your script. I, personally, would run out of room for fancy transitions. It would be the first thing to go as I rewrote my script. I asked for the plot because I was wondering if you knew how issue one is going to end.

I don't know if you have read any of Steven's Nuts and Bolts articles but they can be helpful. There is an early one about plotting. He suggests that you plot the issue and determine how many pages you are going to give each idea. It is a rough outline really and it can be really helpful to keep your story on track.

You have your chapters plotted out and that sounds cool. Is each chapter a single issue? You said it could work that way but it seems like you're not sure. Plot out each issue and figure out what you can fit and where. Is this going to be released in 22 page issues or is going to be a graphic novel or series of graphic novels. If you can answer these questions you will know how much room you have. I would not script any more until you have determined this. That way you can know if an idea has exceeded its intended space. Then you can either change it or shrink another idea to make it all fit.

Robert_S
06-10-2014, 02:39 PM
You have your chapters plotted out and that sounds cool. Is each chapter a single issue? You said it could work that way but it seems like you're not sure. Plot out each issue and figure out what you can fit and where. Is this going to be released in 22 page issues or is going to be a graphic novel or series of graphic novels. If you can answer these questions you will know how much room you have. I would not script any more until you have determined this. That way you can know if an idea has exceeded its intended space. Then you can either change it or shrink another idea to make it all fit.

I'm intending it to be a series of graphic novels. I originally planned it as a trilogy, but as I work through and dream more, I'm envisioning more stories within and surrounding Dante's life as a Ro'shaan and his newly acquired memories.

First chapter ends with the Sagan crashing into BES' ship, triggering the death memory of Ro'shaan Kahl with Ro'shaan Dante acting it out.

I'll remove the transition, but keep the star placement as is. If people make a connection, fine. From that far out in space, the sun will be about the size of a pupil anyway. I had to change the approach scene a bit. Calisto won't be in between the sun and Jupiter on that date. It'll be to the side so a rear shot of the ship approaching Calisto won't have Jupiter in it.

http://i1186.photobucket.com/albums/z373/rjsprawls/Screenshot2014-06-09220718.png
http://i1186.photobucket.com/albums/z373/rjsprawls/Screenshot2014-06-10125206.png

Robert_S
06-10-2014, 07:54 PM
Okay. Not bad. Did a decent enough job. My concern is that you're not taking into account a key element of your story. Your dialogue and how they fit on the page.

Panel one, you have six balloons (one connected.) the panel is going to be crowded. The page is only five panels, which is a good number, but the page, specially that panel is over crowded with balloons. Balloons that will be covering artwork.


It is better to have 1-2 wordy balloons as opposed to 4-5 less less wordy? Watchmen and Hellboy have so lengthy dialogs on small panels, so it makes me pause when people tell me I have too many balloons when I have two small balloons on a largish panel.

Cmsmith4252
06-11-2014, 12:04 AM
I really really like this! It's exciting and maintains just enough mystery to keep me reading. The only think that stood out was Bes's last line on page one. She's saying she'll recount events, but it's actually Dante recounting the events on page 2. Plus, ending it on the line "Dying" would be a really powerful, turn-the-page hook.

Robert_S
06-11-2014, 01:15 AM
I really really like this! It's exciting and maintains just enough mystery to keep me reading. The only think that stood out was Bes's last line on page one. She's saying she'll recount events, but it's actually Dante recounting the events on page 2. Plus, ending it on the line "Dying" would be a really powerful, turn-the-page hook.

Here's the thing about BES. She is a cybernetic computer. She has no embodied form. What the reader is seeing is what Dante sees: her manifestation on his perceptions through the implant.

Now, if she can project an image of herself, she can project anything into his mind. This will come up in the story as a potential compromise of Dante.

She's projecting what she intercepted after the Sagan crashed into her and she rescues the crew.

Also, Dante wasn't part of the crew of the Sagan. He'll get introduced pre-implant in chapter 2.

Anyway, I'm happy. The interest people are showing means the story is working. That it's dull, nonsensical or rehashed would be the worst thing someone could say about it. I need to reorganize to minimize excessive bubbles in panels, perhaps rethink the shots of some panels, but I'm getting happy and motivated. To which, I'm going to edit the OP to show a reorg and post the rest of chapter one as it stands.

Oops, can't edit the OP anymore, so I'll just post the whole chapter one as it stands presently.

Robert_S
06-11-2014, 01:34 AM
Character list is in the OP. After page 2, I started to not describe panel sizes or number of panels/page but rather, state if a scene has more importance than others or should get some emphasis.

NOTE: I'm treating, for the time being, page changes as scene changes. I think I would like to collaborate with a penciler/artist on layout since I'm too new to such details. I'm focusing on the story right now. Panel distribution and layout will come later.

Also, I should have marked it, but forgot. The dialog in the scenes with Dante are translated from an alien language. The aliens do not speaks English.

Ch 1: A Chance Encounter.

PAGE 1
Scene:
Progressively zoom in until his eyes fill the panel. The scene
takes place aboard a starship but this room is bland,
except for an armchair with a high back, to provide focus to all involved. DANTE has accepted an
implant that gives him the memories of 15 others people of alien origin,
but the stored memories and experiences
are overshadowing his sense of self by manifesting as the
personas of past Ro'shaan. BES is attempting to restore Dante's
self through query and exposition of the recent past. STEWART
watches from another room.

PANEL 1
Over the shoulder: The low lights give some shadowing to an
otherwise unadorned room. The walls are smooth, there is no
detail to distract from the task at hand. A mirror stands in
front of DANTE to give him a visual sense of self. DANTE sits
stolid and impassive staring at the mirror in front of him,
wearing a wrap around off-white tunic with tie belt and slacks,
barefoot and his head shaved. Comfortable as this chair is, it
is not for lounging. BES, manifests as a lovely read-head
leaning in to query him.

BES
What do you remember?

DANTE
What am I supposed to remember?

BES
Do you remember your name?

PANEL 2
Straight shot of Dante. His head is turned partially to his
left, toward BES, who has started passing behind him.

DANTE
I am Ro'shaan Kahl.

BES
No. That was a previous life. You are
Ro'shaan Dante now.
(cont)
Do you remember the name of your world?

PANEL 3
Dante looks right to BES as she comes around.

DANTE
Ear...Eartah

BES
Earth. Do you remember your people?

PANEL 4
Closer in on torso. Dante hangs his head, not knowing the
answer.

PANEL 5
Upper torso. Dante still hanging his head.

BES (OFF)
Dante. Human male, 39 years old from the
planet Earth.

DANTE
Why don't I remember any of this?

BES (OFF)
A common side effect of the implant.
It'll resolve itself in time, but we
can't wait.

PANEL 6
Close on his face.

BES (OFF)
What's the last thing you remember?

PANEL 7
Close up on his eyes. Dante's eyes look severe, longing without appeasement, lost without direction.

DANTE
Dying.

PAGE 2
The Sagan is a 3 rpm rotating ring shaped off-world vessel, a
little more than 200 meters in diameter. Its mission, to drop
the initial material for a base on Calisto. These containers are
positioned radially about cylindrical hub to conserve momentum.

PANEL 1
Establishing shot showing outer space. Stars dot the black veil,
one closer on the right radiates brighter than all the others.

CAPTION
December 10th, 2093, three days earlier.

CAPTION
"I'll recount the recent past. It should
help you to remember."

PANEL 2
A shadow appears in the corona of the bright star.

CAPTION
"I was hibernating. Had been for seven
years prior."

PANEL 3
The shadow is closer, almost eclipsing the star.

CAPTION
"I expected your world to be dead or
dying when I awoke."

PANEL 4
It's passing by. The US flag and "NASA" printed on it, the Sagan
passes silently. Jupiter is visible in the distant background.
CAPTION
"At the very least, I expected you to be
a hundred years dead..."

PANEL 5
Major point. The ship approaches Calisto, pockmarked, brown and
gray.

CAPTION
"...and a change in world order having a
different nation find me."

PAGE 3
Inside the Sagan: The vessel is brightly lit wherever there is
working people. Deck arrangement is along the longitude to the
main axis providing some gravity from the ship's rotation. This
means the crew walks on the inside of the outside hull and
stations are arranged as hanging or attached to walls. The main
sections of the vessel are the control center, payload prep room
and dormitory/entertain. It is crewed by five: a mission
commander, pilot, a navigator, mission specialist and payload
specialist. There are few windows to the outside as the rotation
of the vessel would/could cause dizziness.

PANEL 1
Angle down on MISSION SPECIALIST SUAREZ and PAYLOAD SPECIALIST
WILEY in the cargo prep section. The section has four
workstations. We are seeing them through a camera mounted on the
wall behind them. They work at two consoles next to each other.

CAPTION
"Such a bold move to send a mission
outward. So unorthodox."

PANEL 2
No longer in the camera, but a back shot Suarez turns his head
partially to Wiley.

CAPTION
"Most nations pour their excess
resources into defense this close to
their haseroch."

SUAREZ
Hear any news from home?

WILEY
Commander's not saying anything.

PANEL 3
Side shot, Suarez still looks at Wiley who is focuses on his
touchscreen.

SUAREZ
I hate his silence. I have family in
Chicago.

WILEY
Mine's in Boston. Another big target,
but still lower than DC.

PANEL 4
Close on Suarez face.

SUAREZ
Maybe...maybe it's happened already and
there's nothing to go back to.

PANEL 5
Side angle of Wiley's face from Suarez's POV. Wiley remains
silent staring at his console, but his look of tension and
despair tells all.

PANEL 6
Back shot. Suarez fully turned to receive an answer from Wiley
who stay focused.

WILEY
Run diagnostics on positioning systems.

PANEL 7
Back shot. Suarez turned back to his station.

SUAREZ
Getting it done.

PAGE 4
The crew begins the last of preps before entering Calisto's
orbit. This deck is layered like the others. The stations
arrangement has pilot and mission commander next to each other.

PANEL 1
MISSION COMMANDER MCDONALD presses a "button" on
his touch screen.

MCDONALD
Suarez, are you and Wiley done yet?

SUAREZ (JAGGED)
Just finished.

MCDONALD
Need you here. We're starting final.

PANEL 2
Suarez and Wiley walk in.

MCDONALD (OFF)
Slow us to 12K. Wiley, prep the
intervals.

WILEY
On it.

PANEL 3
Suarez taps some keys on his touchscreen.

MCDONALD (OFF)
It took two years to get here,
gentlemen. Let's get it done and go
home.

PANEL 4
Shot on McDonald. He is focused on his touchscreen monitor.

RUBIO (OFF)
Slowing to 12K.

MCDONALD
Wiley, you ready on the drops?

WILEY (OFF)
Ready.

PANEL 5
Shot of NAVIGATOR THOMAS' touchscreen showing a large circle
representing Calisto, a dashed line representing the Sagan's
path to orbit, a solid line representing Calisto's path and a
small circle/dot that is the Sagan. Data fields on the screen
show ship velocity, distance from ship to orbit as 150 km and
roll orientation.

THOMAS (OFF)
Forty-five seconds to orbital.

PANEL 6
Exterior shot of the Sagan, with Calisto large in the
background.

PANEL 7
Shot on Suarez. Thomas in the background.

THOMAS
Fifteen seconds to orbital.

PAGE 5
PANEL 1
Exterior shot of The Sagan sideswiping something invisible, but
we see space refracting around the point of impact. Pieces have
broken off the Sagan and are floating free.

PANEL 2
Inside the control center, shot of McDonald holding onto his
seat with all his strength. Suarez in the background hits the
wall, Thomas is in the air.

SUAREZ
Ugh!

MCDONALD
Back us up! Fast.

PANEL 3
Shot of Rubio tapping his touchscreen.

WILEY
Did we collide with the moon!?

THOMAS (OFF)
Negative. We were still 75 miles from
surface!

PANEL 4
A console explodes away from the crew.

PAGE 6
Ro'shaan Kah dies in Dante's body.

PANEL 1
Dante throws back in his chair, his body stiffened and his face
full of agony.

DANTE
AAAAAHHHHHHH!

PANEL 2
ALLISON STEWART sits in another room, watching the scene unfold
on multiple monitors.

STEWART
What's happening!?

BES (NO TAIL)
Ro'shaan Kaal died on the bridge in
combat when a power conduit ruptured
near him.

PANEL 3
Dante lays on the floor, his body stiff, face expressing the
agony. BES stands over him.

DANTE
Gak...It...it hurts.

BES
At peace, Ro'shaan. It will end soon.

PANEL 4
Stewart looks to the air.

STEWART
Can't you do anything for the pain? How
can you let him suffer?

BES (NO TAIL)
Mrs. Stewart, the pain was Kahl's, almost
5000 years ago. For Dante...

PANEL 5
Dante's breathing is rapid, strained. BES is kneeling next him.

CAPTION
"...there is no pain."

PANEL 6
His breathing slows.

CAPTION
"Only perfect..."

PANEL 7
Slower.

CAPTION
"...unchanging..."

PANEL 8
His breathing stops and he falls silent, still and limp, eyes open.

CAPTION
"...memory."

PANEL 9
Stewart, aghast at what she has just witnessed.

STEWART
He's not breathing.

[Probably going to move the remainder to the next chapter and leave chapter 1 hanging here.]

BES
But his heart beats, so he's not dead.
He only thinks he is.

PANEL 10
Back to the room with Dante and BES.

BES
Wake up, Ro'shaan. You're reborn.


---------------------
Looking back, I need to bring in Stewart more. She's important in the story but not a love interest. It might be in my best interest to expand on this chapter more, but this is first draft and focused on the core story.

Schuyler
06-16-2014, 12:16 PM
PANEL 4.2
Suarez and Wiley walk in.

PANEL 4.3
Suarez taps some keys on his touchscreen.


PANEL 5.3
Shot of Rubio tapping his touchscreen.

PANEL 5.4
A console explodes away from the crew.

PANEL 6.5
Dante's breathing is rapid, strained. BES is kneeling next him.

PANEL 6.6
His breathing slows.

PANEL 6.7
Slower.

PANEL 6.8
His breathing stops and he falls silent, still and limp, eyes open.

These are all moving panels and cannot be drawn. You will have to decide which moment is most important in these actions and describe a freeze frame.
The breathing panels will be much harder and you may have to do that with dialogue. i.e.

Ro'shaan:
Huff, huff, huff, huff

Next panel:

Ro'shaan:
Huff...huff

Next panel:

Ro'shann (With dying breath marks):
Huff

I dig this story and I will buy it when you publish it. Keep on rocking!

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 01:03 PM
Good catch, Schuyler.

There are things that cannot be drawn. Breathing, a flickering light, blinking, flashing... These things will always cause you to write a moving panel, and as such, cannot be drawn.

Want to intimate heavy breathing, then you have to do it through dialogue. Panting often works. You can even have it trail off and end to show a person dying. Trailing off, ending with a breath mark, with the copy getting smaller. Possibly a wavy balloon.

Remember, panels are static images.

Schuyler
06-16-2014, 02:51 PM
https://www.google.com/search?q=daredevil+in+1602&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=rCifU7HTKsWoyASIyoHgCg&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=667#q=daredevil+1602&tbm=isch&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=CxvyRtdEudGWyM%253A%3BnXW-WtSniTt_sM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.nocreoqueseasr eal.pe%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F01%252FDaredevil. jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.nocreoqueseasreal.pe% 252F%253Ftag%253Dstephen-strange%3B910%3B675

I wanted to post this to demonstrate that in some cases moving panels are possible. Panel 2 on this set of panels which come from the book Marvel 1602.

Daredevil climbs the building and it is pretty clear how. It is a parkour move where he runs up one building side, leaps off of it to the other building and flips into the open window on the first building.

I am not saying that all artists are capable of making this happen. Nor is it applicable to any moving panel. The effect that the artist is using is like a very advanced motion line and thus we would never use it on a mundane motion like a person entering a room.

I would also like to add that using this effect with multiple characters on a single panel would be difficult. You could use it in two ways with multiple characters and both would lead the reader to believe your characters have powers. Technically Daredevil is actually using his power in the panel I am referencing.

However, I think this could be applied to single character panels and is perhaps a better way to show what happened than if they had the room to stretch it out across multiple panels.

Robert_S
06-16-2014, 02:54 PM
Good catch, Schuyler.

There are things that cannot be drawn. Breathing, a flickering light, blinking, flashing... These things will always cause you to write a moving panel, and as such, cannot be drawn.


Understood. I guess I just have to reword it. I intended the images to be static, the precise moment a finger taps a touchscreen, a few moment after a panel explodes (at it's greatest expansion), etc.

Might need to read some produced scripts to see how they go about showing someone coming through a door, etc.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 03:10 PM
Past tense. These are all things that have just happened.

Walking is an action, yes, but you can still make it past tense.

As long as you think in the past tense, a frozen moment in time, then it's hard to go wrong.

When you get a chance, read the B&N on Ghosting.

Schuyler
06-16-2014, 03:38 PM
When you get a chance, read the B&N on Ghosting.

I just went through and could not find it. Is the B&N called ghosting? Would you be so kind as to provide a link?

Schuyler
06-16-2014, 03:50 PM
Understood. I guess I just have to reword it. I intended the images to be static, the precise moment a finger taps a touchscreen, a few moment after a panel explodes (at it's greatest expansion), etc.

Might need to read some produced scripts to see how they go about showing someone coming through a door, etc.

Yeah I see exactly where you are coming from. It would be better if you just explained exactly which moment. What you said above is already better.

"The precise moment the finger touches the screen." I think that is pretty clear.

The door can be open showing us the very moment they are stepping through the threshold.

It is all extremely easy to fix but if it is not it will create a disparity in what you are seeing and your artist is producing.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 03:59 PM
I just went through and could not find it. Is the B&N called ghosting? Would you be so kind as to provide a link?

Hm. I wrote it. I'm looking for it.

Robert_S
06-16-2014, 05:31 PM
Past tense. These are all things that have just happened.

Walking is an action, yes, but you can still make it past tense.

As long as you think in the past tense, a frozen moment in time, then it's hard to go wrong.


Ok, got into a habit from putting this story down in screenplay format.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 06:15 PM
I wrote a B&N about ghosting. I know I did.

Basically, it's compacting more time into a single panel. Usually reserved for characters with powers. However, you still can't show things like blinking or flashing in a static image. Or breathing.

Anyway...

While comic scripting and screenplay writing are very similar in format, they are completely different beasts.

Still images. It's a learned skill, but I have faith that you'll get it down in no time.

Schuyler
06-16-2014, 06:23 PM
I wrote a B&N about ghosting. I know I did.

Basically, it's compacting more time into a single panel. Usually reserved for characters with powers. However, you still can't show things like blinking or flashing in a static image. Or breathing.

Anyway...

While comic scripting and screenplay writing are very similar in format, they are completely different beasts.

Still images. It's a learned skill, but I have faith that you'll get it down in no time.

I bet you gave it a different clever name. If I find it, I will post a link in this thread.

Yannick Morin
06-16-2014, 06:42 PM
I wrote a B&N about ghosting. I know I did.

If I recall correctly, I think you explained this concept in a TPG rather than in a B&N.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 06:51 PM
It started there, and then I wrote a B&N for it.

I'll have to check my personal archives and not the site.

Steven Forbes
06-18-2014, 01:12 AM
I wrote a B&N about ghosting. I know I did.

Basically, it's compacting more time into a single panel. Usually reserved for characters with powers. However, you still can't show things like blinking or flashing in a static image. Or breathing.

Anyway...

While comic scripting and screenplay writing are very similar in format, they are completely different beasts.

Still images. It's a learned skill, but I have faith that you'll get it down in no time.

Found it, and posted it (http://www.comixtribe.com/2014/06/17/bn-week-182-ghosting-panels/).

Schuyler
06-21-2014, 07:18 PM
Panel 1: Sayleen is lying prone on the ground, facing us, and rolling to the right, firing her gun several times as she seeks the safety of the brick wall to the side of her. A hail of bullets fall impact around her, but don’t hit her. Graeme, I want three views of Sayleen firing her gun as she rolls: one on her belly, one on her back, and the last on her belly. Ghost out the first two, and make the last shot where she is right now.

SFX: BANG

SFX: BANG

SFX: BANG

That is an example Steven gave in the article. I think there may be other ways but this example seems very clear to me.

Schuyler
06-21-2014, 07:20 PM
I've read about tricks of the trade too, of using lines in a panel normally drawn to depict objects to help the movement along, like say the reflection lines going straight along a car's body help give the eye the sense it's moving down the road without having to resort to wiggle lines at its tail.

Also, kinda corny like Archie comics, I love the double take face, a face drawn with two angles, usually with the character going 'whaaat??'

Once in a while I've used 'Shiva hands'. A character will suddenly sprout two or four extra arms when doing some quick activity.

There is also this, which I think is very helpful.

Lovecraft13
06-22-2014, 05:20 AM
PANEL 1
Open on Earth, but this Earth is dingier than the Earth of today. The land masses are all there and easily made out, but there seems less green, fewer clouds and more brown. The Atlas is above the Eastern Hemisphere in this segment of its orbit. We can see the moon in the background.

Open on Earth? You should mention right away that this is a shot from space. Do you want the entire planet cropped in the panel? A sliver? You want this to be the largest panel on the page? Better let the artist know. Earth is dingier? Is it dirty? You can do better than that, in terms of description. Land masses? You mean, continents? Which ones? There are a few. Less green, clouds, etc? You're just repeating the implied "dingier" part. What is "Atlas"? A satellite? I have no clue. Neither will an artist. If it's a ship, its name needs to be in italics. It needs a description.

PANEL 2
Intended for mental focus, this room is empty save for the chair Dante sits in and the mirror in front of him, and of course, BES. He is barefoot, his head is shaved and he wears a soft color (off-white, beige ) wrap around silk tunic with tie belt and trousers. His head is turned to his left, while keeping his hands on the arms of the chair. BES is walking behind him, going to his right.

Not even sure what "intended for mental focus" means? Do you mean, this is supposed to be the panel's focus? The room is empty? What kind of room? A bathroom? A sitting room? If it's on a spaceship, it should serve some kind of purpose. Who is Dante? White? Black? Alien? And what is BES? A person? You describe the shirt, not the tunic, belt or trousers.

PANEL 3
Stewart watches it all through a window as the audio is fed into the room.

Where did the window come from? Is it is one-way? Is this a different room entirely? Who is Stewart? What is he wearing? Are both Bes and the dude in the same panel? Is one speaker through the audio? You need to label the dialogue for the letterer.

As for dramatic. No, I wouldn't say so. What you have is an intro page of talking heads. There's no "b" before the bang here, and there's no hook for the second page. If anything, you could probably structure this page in reverse. Reveal Earth is in shambles in the last panel, establishing that things are dire. Why? Well, turn the page.

Charles
06-22-2014, 01:11 PM
I'm reworking page 1 for a more dramatic effect, to set the genre and environment, and to bring another main character out sooner (Stewart is a main character and I'm thinking on her sub-plot), but I'm afraid it may be too much hopping around so soon. I'd like some second opinions.

Since you're reworking page 1, there is no need for me to refer back to your original page 1, in order to chime in.

Forget "more dramatic" for a second, and think in terms of "dramatic," only.

You have four panels on one page to accomplish your stated goal of achieving dramatic effect. Except.....if all that one looks at is the four panel descriptions provided, the focal point of the drama at issue isn't entirely clear. At least, to me it isn't, anyway.

From whence does the element of drama originate?

The question isn't, is this reworked page more dramatic than its first incarnation. Rather, the question is, does this reworked page manifest itself as dramatic? If not, then it fails to achieve the core and underlying objective, even if it is more dramatic than the original incarnation (or any other iteration that has come about since the original, prior to this version).

You are either after dramatic effect, or you are not. The whole point of being dramatic is.....to be dramatic!

Back to the focal point from whence dramatic effect originates (and is achieved from), is it human drama, as in the drama brought on by interaction between characters or introspection? Or is it visual drama, as in the visual scene depicted with the dingier Earth?

Typically, vivid would yield dramatic more readily than dingy would. But, perhaps it is the shock, itself, that emanates from the world looking less vivid and full of life by virtue of the dinginess that you have injected into the scene.

Is the drama of an internal or external nature? Is the myriad of memories and experiences the source of the drama?

Let me ask you this, what is it that you want the drama envisioned to achieve? Is it drama for drama's sake? Or is there purpose and reason that underlies why you want to resort to it?

Beyond the mere fact that nothing in the four panel description really screams dramatic at me, you have set the bar even higher for this page. How? By specifying that the purpose of the dramatic effect is, and I quote, "to set the genre and environment."

Thus, the over-arching consideration for the dramatic effect that you seek to achieve.

I get that. I don't want to over-complicate things, but what in the reworked page creates the dramatic effect for setting the genre and the environment?"

By environment, do you mean the physical environment of the dingy Earth? Or, are you referring to the environment of the relationships of certain individuals?

Panel one opens the page with a reference to, "memories and experiences are manifesting as personas." So, is that, in a nutshell, both the source of the drama and the environment?

If so, then what makes that scene dramatic? Are these violent flashbacks? Is the person convulsing from the sheer magnitude of them? Is it the visual content in the memories that is the source of the drama? Or is it the character's reaction to those memories the actual drama? Or are the personas the core of the dramatic effect, rather than the individual who is recalling certain memories?

Steven Forbes
06-22-2014, 03:04 PM
"Submit it to TPG," Steven whispers hauntingly. "TPG does a script good..."

Lovecraft13
06-22-2014, 03:12 PM
I guess "dramatic" was the wrong word, but I needed to establish where the scene was taking place in comparison to the Earth as it is in the story. A separation of worlds: one in decay from lack of stewardship and the other lost in the past.

Well, it wasn't established, honestly.


A past that is not truly his, but became his when he accepted the MiM (Memroy inset Module). Both in their own disarray, but the world of the Ro'shaan has hope that Earth lacks by virtue of leadership that squabbles and wars over diminishing resources. Earth is self-destructing. Dante's is just beginning as he starts to become the human hosted Ro'shaan. The recovery in one world contrasted against the decline of another and the collision between the two that is coming.

That's swell and all, but who cares? If it ain't in the script, it doesn't matter. No one wants to read your notebook full of ideas. Convey all this in a script, and then they may care-- or not. And as nonsensical as that blurb was, it's teetering on cliched sci-fi gobbledygook. Why should we care? That's the point of it all.

Robert_S
06-22-2014, 03:19 PM
GTFO of my thread wankstain.

Steven Forbes
06-22-2014, 03:25 PM
No.

I'm only going to say it once.

Keep it civil, Robert, or I'm going to lock it.

He's trying to help. You don't want the help? Say you don't want the help. Calling him names isn't helpful.

That's the only time I'm going to say it.

Lovecraft13
06-22-2014, 03:29 PM
GTFO of my thread wankstain.

Did I hurt your feelings? I apologize. You should put this energy into your writing.

Robert_S
06-22-2014, 03:29 PM
I don't want his help, not the way he's going to give it. I don't mind honesty, but I sure as hell don't need his "lack of diplomacy" to put it more diplomatically.

Lovecraft13
06-22-2014, 03:31 PM
No.

I'm only going to say it once.

Keep it civil, Robert, or I'm going to lock it.

He's trying to help. You don't want the help? Say you don't want the help. Calling him names isn't helpful.

That's the only time I'm going to say it.

While his anger is misplaced, it is his thread, and the man is asking for help. I will honour his request to "GTFO" his thread, and allow him to receive the help he needs from others.

Lovecraft13
06-22-2014, 03:33 PM
I don't want his help, not the way he's going to give it. I don't mind honesty, but I sure as hell don't need his "lack of diplomacy" to put it more diplomatically.

I was frank. Perhaps, even harsh. In fact, your grievance was the very issue I had with Steven's approach not too long ago. I guess that makes me a hypocrite. On the plus side, I can offer help without the crass. However, Steven and the dude named Charles seem to be more than willing to help you. So I will take my leave, and wish you the best of luck. Cheers.

Steven Forbes
06-22-2014, 03:33 PM
I have a lack of diplomacy.

If I had gone through this script, it would have been brutal. You wouldn't have liked me. And I wouldn't have cared, because it's about the work.

Calling people names is not about the work.

Cut it out, or I'll lock it up. This is your only warning.

Steven Forbes
06-22-2014, 03:40 PM
I don't care. That isn't the point.

My point is your reaction.

(Personally, I had no problem with some of what he brought up, because I felt that it would be best in a separate document, anyway. I'm glad you're not cluttering the script with it. )

Do you understand where I'm coming from? Do you see where you went wrong, Robert?

Lovecraft13
06-22-2014, 03:48 PM
Yes, but also keep in mind, his greeting from the start was in poor taste. He was advising someone to develop bad writing habits and comparing me to a lower form of life for trying to emphasis an important aspect of writing. What was so wrong with what I was saying to this other wannabe that deserved such ridicule? Hmmm?

Just to clear your conscious and this strange grudge of yours, that "parrot" comment was a generalization based on no one and aimed at no one. You assumed it was you. I failed to correct you. So, retroactively, I apologize. Now, again, take this energy and write. You good, or will this never end?

Robert_S
06-22-2014, 03:54 PM
Well enough. First impressions can be overcome, in time.

Steven Forbes
06-22-2014, 04:06 PM
Yes, but also keep in mind, his greeting from the start was in poor taste. He was advising someone to develop bad writing habits and comparing me to a lower form of life for trying to emphasis an important aspect of writing. What was so wrong with what I was saying to this other wannabe that deserved such ridicule? Hmmm?

Must I be so subordinate as to be subject to derision from mods?

Poor taste? More than likely. Quite possibly. Totally out of bounds? Not at all. Your latest reaction was totally out of bounds.

Did you not read my rules? The new guidelines? They're right here. (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=167781) They are pretty simple.

You don't have to be subordinate to anyone. However, we try to keep it generally civil around here. That's all I'm asking for.

Schuyler
06-23-2014, 04:06 AM
"Submit it to TPG," Steven whispers hauntingly. "TPG does a script good..."

I thought TPG did not accept Graphic Novels due to length issues.

Steven Forbes
06-23-2014, 10:11 AM
Read the rules. The loophole is there to be exploited. I left it there specifically for graphic novel situations.

Robert_S
08-09-2014, 01:33 PM
PANEL 4.2
Suarez and Wiley walk in.

These are all moving panels and cannot be drawn. You will have to decide which moment is most important in these actions and describe a freeze frame.


I've been wanting to address this one specifically because it goes against what Steven said in one of his B&N articles.


Jack is running down the highway, a look of fear on his face.


From

http://www.comixtribe.com/2011/02/22/bn-week-9-panel-descriptions-camera-angles/

There seems little difference. Both are present tense. Both show pedestrian locomotion.

So, how is mine a moving panel, whereas Steven's example is not?

Steven Forbes
08-09-2014, 02:28 PM
My example, to be honest, is bad. Showing someone running is pretty easy.

A better example is this:

Jack is running down the highway, grabbing his phone out of his pocket and flipping it open, a look of fear on his face.

That's a better example of a moving panel.

Two people walking in (without any other context, because I'm not going back up to look and get the context) is bad and a moving panel because it is both vague and incomplete.

Whenever possible, you want to think in the past tense. As long as you do that, you lessen your chances of writing a moving panel.

But if you're going to say that two people walk in...well, what are they doing as they walk in? They walk into where? They walk into what? (Again, I don't have any context.) They walk in and do what?

Your panel moves, because all they're doing is an action. If a mother walks in on their teenaged son who's masturbating, where are you going to place the beats that you're going to show? How many panels are you going to place the action over?

Panel 1:
Jack is on the bed, under the covers, a smile on his face and his eyes squinted, the sheet tented up as he does his business. Use motion lines to show the up and down motion of his hand under the covers.

Panel 2:
Muriel walks in.

That's a moving panel, and it is vague and incomplete.

Where's the end of the action? The artist can't draw panel 2.

Now, this, the artist can draw:

Panel 2:
Muriel has mostly come through the door, one hand on the knob, and a small basked of neatly folded clothes under her other arm. She looks horrified.

Muriel:
Jack, here are your clothes, already pressed and--

Muriel (burst):
OHMYGODI'MSOSORRY!!

In the revised panel 2, Muriel has walked in, but there's a stoppage of the action, and it's very obvious that she's doing something. That isn't obvious before.

See the difference? Does that help explain it better?

Robert_S
08-09-2014, 02:40 PM
Yes and I had rewritten the walk-in scene to reflect some of that. In more time, I'll repost it, but not yet.

Schuyler
08-09-2014, 08:55 PM
I'm no genius. I think it is good to question my critiques. I am glad that Steven clarified this one for me.

Robert_S
08-09-2014, 09:00 PM
Jack is running down the highway, grabbing his phone out of his pocket and flipping it open, a look of fear on his face.


This I can understand without it being pointed out. That is multiple actions that have to take place over time.

However, hear me out.

When I say they walk in, I figure the artist would be imagine I mean they walked in, are still in the process of walking (so their legs/feet should look like they are still walking) and they would take a snapshot of one moment, because the action of and surrounding that particular moment is insignificant outside of the fact that they are gathering in preparation.

I could do a reverse angle and have the camera over the shoulder of the guy in the rear, so it shows both men in or entering the room and the other three in their places.

In fact, I'm thinking that might be a better angle.

Robert_S
10-29-2014, 09:40 PM
I'm trying to revise with the added detail needed to paint the picture for the penciler. So, I'm wanting to know if I'm still missing important details.

Also reworked dialog and trying to compose a methodology for each panel.

PAGE 1
The scene takes place aboard the Atlas (not yet named this) as it orbits Earth.

DANTE has undergone surgery to install a cybernetic implant that's given him the memories and experiences of those who also carried the implant. However, as a common side-effect, the these memories are manifesting as personas of past Ro'shaan. BES is trying to quell the personas through Q&A.

PANEL 1
Room: Space

Large panel, shot from medium orbit above Earth.

The Atlas passes over the sun lit South Pacific in a East to West equatorial orbit with Earth taking up the left half or so of the panel. Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia show through the dingy atmosphere of a polluted Earth.
NOTE: BES and Dante, the new Ro'shaan, speak in the Consortium's interchange language, so all dialog between the two is in <>.

BES (TAIL TO THE SHIP)
<What do you remember?>

DANTE (TAIL TO THE SHIP)
<What am I supposed to remember?>

BES (TAIL TO THE SHIP)
<Do you remember your name?>

PANEL 2
The Room: Inquisition Room. Rectangular with a sliding door to panel right and floor to ceiling one way mirror running the length of the wall in front of Dante, separating this room from the observation room. With the exception of the mirror and chair in the middle of the room, the area is bare of any distractions.

Straight on shot, medium panel.

DANTE rests his hands on the arms of the chair, leaning slightly forward and looking tense as if ready to jump to his feet and begin railing against the moment. His head and face are shaved clean and he's barefoot wearing silk lounge clothes with a tied wrap around tunic of a soothing, perhaps bland color, beige or off-white. BES traipses a circle around him, wearing similar clothes, her long red hair hanging thick and wavy to the middle of her back.
He looks to his left where she was, but has since started to pass behind him going to his right.

DANTE
<I am Ro'shaan Kahl.>

BES
<No. That was a previous life. You are Ro'shaan Dante now.>
(new bubble)
<Do you remember the name of your world?>

PANEL 3
Room: Observation room. An observation room, long and narrow with one side entirely made of glass (or some similar transparent material used for the one-way mirror). Angled panels near the ceiling on the glass wall show vitals for Dante (heart rate, blood pressure, neural signals, etc). A sliding pneumatic door in the background (Stewart's right) allows entry.

Medium panel, left side shot.

Stewart stands in front of the window looking in. Her hair is tied up in a rear bun.

STEWART
What are you two saying? I don't understand the language.

BES (NO TAIL)
He believes he is a past Ro'shaan.

STEWART
Is this normal?

PAGE 2
All panels take place in the inquisition room.

PANEL 1
Inquisition room. Straight shot, medium panel. Zoom in a bit. Dante watches BES as she comes around on his right.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
Quite normal. All Ro'shaan have gone through this.

DANTE
<Ear...Eartah.>

PANEL 2
Medium panel. Straight shot. Zoom in a bit. BES has rounded the turn and continues the circling in front while Dante maintain his focus on her.

BES
<Earth. Do you remember your people?>

PANEL 3
Medium panel. Straight shot. Zoom in closer in on torso. Dante slumps forward in frustration and despair. BES is out of the picture until further notice.

PANEL 4
Medium panel. More zoom.

BES (OFF)
<Dante. Human male, 39 years old from the planet Earth.>

DANTE
<Why don't I remember any of this?>

BES (OFF)
<The memories are manifesting as personalities before your time. It'll pass.>
(new bubble)
<What's the last thing you remember?>

PANEL 5
Large panel, close in on Dante's eyes looking full of despair.

DANTE
<Dying.>

PAGE 3
We're going to show the disparity of tech advancement between humans and BES' ship. There are similarities, such as the use of touch screens, though human touch screens are specialized to their functions and the Atlas' are highly configurable (one size fits all), but humans still use rotating rings to simulate gravity whereas the Atlas has artificial gravity and inertial negation through the use of magnetic particle fields.
The Sagan is a ring shaped off-world vessel with a long tube hub extending behind it (a donut with a stick through the hole) to which six large containers attach radially by detachable grid works of steel tubing. It rotates at 3rpm to maintain an artificial gravity within its 200m diameter hull (See reference picture 1A). Its mission, to drop the initial material for a base on Calisto, the most viable of Jupiter's moons. It's an expensive feel good mission, a US show of tech achievement to the world and its Middle East antagonist.

PANEL 1
Room: Space for all panels on this page.

Panel/shot: Wide panel, looking back at the sun. The camera is fixed in position, following the ship as it approaches Calisto.
Stars dot the black background, the sun on the right, radiates brighter than all the others. (see reference picture 1B and 1C for position and size references.) NOTE TO PENCILER: I'd like to see the sun in the place of Dante's eye, but I leave it to your discretion.

CAPTION
December 10th, 2093, three days earlier.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"I'll recount the recent past. It should help you to remember.">

PANEL 2
Small panel.

A shadow appears in the light of the bright star.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"I was hibernating. Had been for seven years prior.">

PANEL 3
Small panel.

The object is closer, obscuring the sun, but bathed in its light.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"I expected your world to be dead or dying when I awoke.">

PANEL 4
Large panel.

The Sagan passes before us and we see the US flag and "NASA" printed on it and several corporate logos: TDI (most prominent), BOEING, GRUMMAN, etc. Jupiter is in the background. The half facing away from the sun in darkness.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"At the very least, I expected you to be a hundred years dead...">

PANEL 5

Large panel. The ship has passed and a brown and gray Calisto hangs in the near background amid a star dotted void.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"...and a change in world order having a different nation find me.">

PAGE 4
Inside the Sagan: The vessel is brightly lit wherever there is people working but darkened all others to save power. Deck arrangement is along the longitude to the main axis providing some gravity from the ship's rotation. Supply storage takes up most of the ship so working and living space is at a premium. Ceiling heights are but a foot over the head and working areas are small. The main sections of the vessel are the control center, payload prep room and dormitory/entertain. It is crewed by five: a mission commander, pilot, a navigator, mission specialist and payload specialist. There are few windows to the outside as the rotation of the vessel would/could cause dizziness.
MISSION COMMANDER MCDONALD is Caucasian, mid 40s his hair is about an inch long.
PILOT RUBIO is of Italian descent, late 30s to early 40s, dark hair about 1/2" long.
NAVIGATOR THOMAS is Caucasian, early 40s, dirty blond hair about 1/2" long.
MISSION SPECIALIST SAUREZ is a Hispanic male, in his 30s with dark hair buzz cut.
PAYLOAD SPECIALIST WILEY is an African-American, also 30s, hair buzz cut.
All the astronauts are lean from the two years of living on a strict diet and wear blue jumpers with white converse like sneakers.

PANEL 1
Room: Cargo Prep. Little more than an 8x6 cell when all equipment is taken into account. There are two workstations, each with two touchscreen panels: one vertical at head height and another angled at about 30 degrees waist height. Piping for fluid transfer and cable collectors run along the walls. All panels on this page take place in this room.

Shot/Panel: Medium panel. Shot from behind and slightly above, through the lens of a camera.

MISSION SPECIALIST SUAREZ and PAYLOAD SPECIALIST WILEY work nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with Suarez on the left and Wiley right

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"Such a bold move to send a mission outward at this time. So unorthodox.">

PANEL 2
Medium panel. Back shot. Slightly elevated as before, but no longer seen from the ship's camera.
Suarez's head turned partially to Wiley.

CAPTION (VOICE OVER)
<"Most nations pour*their excess resources into defense this close to their haseroch.">

SUAREZ
Hear any news from Earth?

WILEY
Commander's not saying anything.

PANEL 3
Small panel.
Shot: Left side shot, slightly forward of the two, putting Suarez in the background while Wiley is forward.
The two of them keep their attention locked on their respective panels as they speak.

SUAREZ
I hate his silence. We need to hear from home.

WILEY
We need to complete this mission and go home.

PANEL 4
Small panel.

Shot: Left side shot.

Suarez has turned toward Wiley with a look of utter concern mixed with fear.

SUAREZ
Maybe it's already happened. Maybe some nutjob finally pushed the button.

PANEL 5
Small panel.

Side angle of Wiley's strained face from Suarez's POV.

WILEY
No, man...No. I can't think like that. I need something to go back to.

PANEL 6
Medium panel.

Back shot. We are leaving as we came in.

Suarez fully turned to Wiley who stays focused.

WILEY
Run diagnostics on positioning systems.

PANEL 7
Medium panel.

Shot: Back shot, slightly elevated.

Suarez has turned back to his station and the two are shoulder-to-shoulder once again.

SUAREZ
Getting it done.

JohnLynch
11-05-2014, 04:52 AM
Hi Robert,

You got me to register with this script. I haven't read any of your other scripts, I've only read this last page. So my feedback is independent of the prior versions. That said my only qualification is as a comic reader, so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt.

As an Australian the thing that stood out to me and prompted me to post is your description from Panel 1:
The Atlas passes over the sun lit South Pacific in a East to West equatorial orbit with Earth taking up the left half or so of the panel. Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia show through the dingy atmosphere of a polluted Earth.My question for this is: Is there meant to be vegetation in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia? If the answer is no then I'd ask why you're specifically showing these countries and whether or not the story would be better served by showing a different set of countries?

The reason I suggest a different set of countries is Australia is largely comprised of desert. As a local I know this so if I saw a "barren world" being depicted by Australia being all desert, I'd be inclined to put it down to the colourer simply not putting in enough detail to depict much like an artist might depict all of Africa as green despite the fact it's northern top is desert. (A reference picture of Australia is here (https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-21.389597,132.6745017,12721607m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en")). Now as a reader I SHOULD notice Papau New Guinea and Indonesia as desert being odd, but if I don't know my Australasian geography that well I might not notice.

If those countries have no significance to the story I'd suggest South America (keeps it in the southern hemisphere still) as that's much more fertile. If you need to focus on Australia for the story, then it might be worthwhile to depict large pockets of it as ashen to show that even for a desert it's barren.

As for the script itself, I like the first two pages you just posted (the only one I've read so far). I finished page 1 and found myself saying "is that it!?" I wanted to know more about what Dante remembers. Although here's

Page 1, Panel 2: BES traipsing a circle around Dante. When I hear traipsing I think whimsical, however the dialogue of BES seems interrogatory (backed up by the fact it's the interrogation room). I'd suggest maybe changing it to "pacing". I'd also suggest having her be behind Dante as pacing isn't easy to show in one panel, but walking behind someone when you're talking to them (and they're facing forward) isn't normal so it should be enough clue that she's circling him.

ALSO out of interest I saw in a previous post you mentioned that BES isn't actually there but is projected directly into Dante's eye so he thinks he see's her. Therefore when she's behind him BES has simple stopped projecting anything into his field of vision. Can she also track exactly where this eye is? Because if he were to turn his head BEs would have to know this in order to know when in her "pacing" to make her form reappear. Also in panel 3 we have someone looking into the room. Can he see BES? Or does he only hear her?

Interesting sidenote: If BES is simply projecting herself into Dante's cybernetic eye does that mean the sound of her voice is coming from speakers in the wall? If so, should all the speech bubbles have no sound? Does Dante (who doesn't even know his own name) know that BES isn't really there? If not, does he notice the lack of directional sound?

Page 2, Panel 1: His mispronunciation of Earth might make more sense as "Erf". Written down Earath looks more similar to Earth but when spoken outloud I'm more likely to say "Erf" then "Earath".

As for Page 2, Panel 3: Maybe add a quiet "No."?

Page 3, Panel 1: Maybe add: "I'll recount the recent past for you, Dante. It should help you remember." That way it's clear that it's BES speaking (it should be obvious, but that just reaffirms it).

Page 4, Panel 7: If there isn't anymore dialogue then maybe change "getting it done" to "it's done." It's it's own panel so time has passed. If everyone is being quiet and concentrating on work you could have however much time needs to pass between Panel 6 and Panel 7. Just a thought from me, it might not be good advice ;)

All in all the idea is quite interesting. I'll let others talk about the more technical details though.

Robert_S
11-09-2014, 02:42 PM
The reason I suggest a different set of countries is Australia is largely comprised of desert. As a local I know this so if I saw a "barren world" being depicted by Australia being all desert, I'd be inclined to put it down to the colourer simply not putting in enough detail to depict much like an artist might depict all of Africa as green despite the fact it's northern top is desert. (A reference picture of Australia is here (https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-21.389597,132.6745017,12721607m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en")). Now as a reader I SHOULD notice Papau New Guinea and Indonesia as desert being odd, but if I don't know my Australasian geography that well I might not notice.


One of the themes I'm going for is a sense of Ro'shaan Dante representing the human race universally. I suppose I chose the South Pacific, mainly Australia because I rather like the Aussie accent. My garmin GPS has the Australian female voice and I'm rather midwest US.


If those countries have no significance to the story I'd suggest South America (keeps it in the southern hemisphere still) as that's much more fertile. If you need to focus on Australia for the story, then it might be worthwhile to depict large pockets of it as ashen to show that even for a desert it's barren.


They may play a peripheral role. Dante will need to bring the US in line and he may need to under mind its world power by getting nations to drop support for the US.

Also, something I started thinking about, Dante believes himself to not be racist. For the most part, he is not. He always strives to treat people fairly, but since the implant gives him the memories and experience of 15 people, all alien to the human race, it may reveal within him some hidden racist tendencies, maybe. I'm not completely sure how to approach this.



As for the script itself, I like the first two pages you just posted (the only one I've read so far). I finished page 1 and found myself saying "is that it!?" I wanted to know more about what Dante remembers. Although here's

Page 1, Panel 2: BES traipsing a circle around Dante. When I hear traipsing I think whimsical, however the dialogue of BES seems interrogatory (backed up by the fact it's the interrogation room). I'd suggest maybe changing it to "pacing". I'd also suggest having her be behind Dante as pacing isn't easy to show in one panel, but walking behind someone when you're talking to them (and they're facing forward) isn't normal so it should be enough clue that she's circling him.



Got it. I was probably trying to not use pace for stylistic reasons, but pace seems a better choice.


ALSO out of interest I saw in a previous post you mentioned that BES isn't actually there but is projected directly into Dante's eye so he thinks he see's her.


Actually, she's able to project herself into almost all his senses. With the exception of taste, smell and touch. So, while he can't see her while she is behind him, he knows she is there from sound and an extension of proprioception.

We'll find out later in the story that the two or rather the technology that is them was intended to craft machines of war. She was to be the controller and he the soldier.


Interesting sidenote: If BES is simply projecting herself into Dante's cybernetic eye does that mean the sound of her voice is coming from speakers in the wall? If so, should all the speech bubbles have no sound? Does Dante (who doesn't even know his own name) know that BES isn't really there? If not, does he notice the lack of directional sound?


His eye is not cybernetic, yet. That will change when militants, using a car bomb, attempt to kill him and undermine the peace process he's been working on. BES will have to replace his heart and right eye with cybernetic prosthetic versions.

This is going to bring about the theme that it isn't so much his acceptance of becoming a cyborg that is eroding his humanity, rather it's the dealing with violent humans.


Page 2, Panel 1: His mispronunciation of Earth might make more sense as "Erf". Written down Earath looks more similar to Earth but when spoken outloud I'm more likely to say "Erf" then "Earath".


I'll keep that in mind. I'm not sold on the mispronunciation.


As for Page 2, Panel 3: Maybe add a quiet "No."?


You mean a spoken no? I wanted his silence and despair to be his no.

Your response on this part shows I need to be more descriptive.



Page 4, Panel 7: If there isn't anymore dialogue then maybe change "getting it done" to "it's done." It's it's own panel so time has passed. If everyone is being quiet and concentrating on work you could have however much time needs to pass between Panel 6 and Panel 7. Just a thought from me, it might not be good advice ;)


There needs to be a pause of Saurez feeling a sense of futility. The change from the request in one panel and carrying it out in another is supposed to relay that, but perhaps it's not doing it well enough.

Thanks for the feedback. This is second draft, but I haven't started commissioning artwork yet, so I can revise all I want.

I'm thinking of commissioning cover art though. So I can start to see Dante and BES and present a picture of the two to page pencilers. I would also like to get someone to collaborate on the appearance of the alien races. Some I already have in mind.

Robert_S
12-31-2014, 01:26 AM
Last bit writing I did on chapter 2. It took me about three days to get the dialog to a point I wasn't completely unhappy with.

This is first pass. I write the dialog and rough the scenes. Second pass, I'll go over and add more detail to the scenes.

BES has saved Dante and brought him aboard her ship. She is grooming him for the role of Ro'shaan, they've met and she showed him and Stewart the process. He's taking a walk around the ship and querying her to know the kind of "person" he's dealing with. Stewart has stayed behind with BES to pose her own questions.

Since he doesn't have the implant yet, BES does not appear. She is a voice out of the ship's sound system.

PAGE <$n>
Dante walks the corridors and sees other parts of the ship while he asks BES questions of a personal nature, to get to know her. He grows more comfortable with it. Stewart is questioning more of intent with the human race and politics.
At one point, he will come across a section that is closed off for reconfiguration. I asks BES to let him see and it opens onto a platform that overlooks a huge space busy with machines laying flooring and setting up walls, laying cable and wires and panels. It's a very busy scene as she gets the ship ready for human habitation.
Stewart remains in BES' chamber, questioning her on the politics of the Consortium. I'll interweave her discussions with this scene.

PANEL <$sn>
Small/tiny Overhead shot of Dante at the bottom of the panels, walking toward the top through a corridor. He is alone and there is nothing else moving.

PANEL <$sn>
Forward shot of Dante looking lost and distant.

BES
Do you wish to ask me any questions?

DANTE
Maybe. I don't know. This is all so...

PANEL <$sn>
From inside a room off the corridor, Dante is looking in and checking out the area.

BES
New? It's new for me as well. Despite having done it before, each species is a new experience and has to be treated as such.

DANTE
How many times have you done this?

PANEL <$sn>
Front shot of Dante, back in the corridor. He is looking up/speaking/listening to the air.

BES
There are fourteen races in the Consortium and each has hosted a Ro'shaan.

DANTE
So not really a lot of times.

BES
I always get it right the first time. No one has died or regretted the decision.

PANEL <$sn>
Side shot. Dante has stopped and has his finger on a small touchscreen panel embedded in the wall of the corridor.

DANTE
Do I become your pet? Your human specimen scurrying around in this box?

BES
No. You'll have the freedom and resources to come and go as you please.

DANTE
So I could leave and never come back?

PANEL <$sn>
Long shot from behind and elevated. Dante stands in the middle of the corridor, looking to the air.

BES
That would not be wise. The technology would make you a target. There are some among the Consortium's races who would kill you for the implants and I suspect it would be worse among your own people.

DANTE
Why? This Consortium doesn't have the tech?

PANEL <$sn>
Forward shot. Dante continues to look to the air, but his face has a worried, fearful expression on it.

BES
No. I keep it guarded. They attempted it for themselves and were successful in recreating it, but failed to contain it. The resulting being couldn't come to terms with its existence and went insane, causing a war that killed millions. Research into the technology has since become forbidden.

PANEL <$sn>
Another long, lone shot of Dante. I want to see Dante standing in isolation. Nothing else around but the corridor.

DANTE
How did you come to terms with your existence?

BES
I just am. Just are you are with no real explanation other than a set of circumstances came together in the right time and place.

DANTE
Who made you?

PANEL <$sn>
Zoom back in on Dante looking quizzically about.

BES
I don't know. It was a long time ago and I never knew my creator but I know it wasn't one of the Consortium races. I came here from another part of the universe and have called this galaxy home ever since.

DANTE
How old are you?

PANEL <$sn>
Dante is looking up with a smirk.

BES
Would you believe me?

DANTE
Do you feel a need to lie now?

BES
I'm 12,000 years old.

PANEL <$sn>
Dante is wide eyed at the revelation.

DANTE
That's...uh...a long time.

PANEL <$sn>
His eye brows raised in wonder.

BES
You'll also gain that benefit. The memories you'll receive go back 12,000 years and another implant would preserve your body's cellular integrity over time.

DANTE
What does that last part mean?

BES
You'll stop aging.

PANEL <$sn>
Dante is looking down and away in an annoyed manner.

DANTE
And I get to stay as I am?

BES
You're already a different person, from the moment we first...

DANTE
Don't play that fucked up game with semantics. Not now.

PANEL <$sn>
Side shot, Dante deep in though as he listens.

BES
I'm sorry. I thought it would humor you. You will continue to be Dante Ericsson, but you'll remember being Ro'shaan Ikala and Ro'shaan Orec. You'll remember being a doctor, a diplomat, an astrophysicist, a philosopher, a linguist, a lawyer, a potter...

PANEL <$sn>
Forehead furrowed, eye brows raised. Surprise.

DANTE
A potter? Seriously?

PANEL <$sn>
We see the corridor ends at a sealed door not too far ahead of Dante. He's walking toward it.

BES
While Ro'shaan Jamakal was an economist by profession, he was an avid and skilled potter. He loved the craft. An original Jamakal vase, bowl or dish set is priceless today.

PANEL <$sn>
Dante has reached the door.

DANTE
You know, under different circumstances, it would have been funny. I'm sorry I snapped.

BES
I'm not easily hurt.

PANEL <$sn>
Dante has his hand on the door as he examines it.

DANTE
What's behind this?

BES
The space beyond is being reconfigured.

DANTE
I want to see it.

PANEL <$sn>, <$SN>
Front shot of Dante. The door is half open.
Over head. Dante walks past. We can see the floor drops away to his right.

PANEL <$sn>
Medium panel over the shoulder. Dante steps to the edge. We can see an open space and a grid work of support beams.

PAGE <$n>
PANEL <$sn>
Full page splash.
Reverse angle and zoom out. Dante stands before a vast open space. Robots work tirelessly to assemble floors and walls, lay wire, cable and power conduits.
A machine on a rail above the space carries stacks of paneling. Mechanical arms on rails move panels into place while smaller robots rivet and pound. It's a very busy scene.
Dante looks very small in this scene. It needs to convey the ship's great size.

BES
This ship would be your home. It's almost completely self-sustaining with manufacturing facilities, waste recovery and disposal, water recycling, food production, defense capabilities and you'll have access to over 20,000 years of accumulated knowledge spanning fifteen civilizations.

PAGE <$n>
PANEL <$sn>
Zoom in on Dante. He's turned around, his back to the open space, he speaks to the air again, this time a look of realization comes over him.

DANTE
You sell it well.

BES
I have a personal interest in you, Dante. I like music.

PANEL <$sn>
Annoyed at his reduction to jukebox, Dante looks to the air.

DANTE
There were no musicians among the previous Ro'shaan?

BES
One, long ago and I miss it. He mastered a wind instrument. Are you interested in wind instruments?

PANEL <$sn>
Looking at the fingertips of his left hand, proud of his callouses.

DANTE
Not really. I like the strings.

BES
That's fine. It's something new. You like new experiences, don't you, Dante?

PANEL <$sn>
Side shot. Dante looks toward the floor off in the distance. He's facing the wall away from the open space. We see a wheeled robot coming in the background.

DANTE
It's been so long since I've felt safe to experience anything new. Most times, I just sat in my hiding hole and looked out, waiting for missiles to start hitting. I thought I was ready to die, but when Jahangir pointed that gun at me, I...hadn't been that scared in decades.

PANEL <$sn>
Dante follows the robot.

BES
You are safe here. There is much more we need to discuss, but you need sleep before we do.

DANTE
Deal.

Bishop
12-31-2014, 08:33 AM
If a mother walks in on their teenaged son who's masturbating, where are you going to place the beats that you're going to show?


I'm immature, so this made me laugh.

Steven Forbes
01-02-2015, 09:34 PM
I'm immature, so this made me laugh.

Yeah, well, I do what I can for the children.