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Stewart Vernon
10-05-2014, 03:12 AM
While coming up with new ideas I have also been revisiting old ideas. This one in particular is something like 12 years old, but as far as I can tell nothing like it has been done so IF I could work out the kinks, I think it could work.

It was inspired by my love of comics like the Sandman and Constantine. I even had a TMNT-like way of tying my idea into the Sandman Wake.

I will post what I wrote of the first issue script in subsequent posts, but I wanted to set it up a little first.

"Seers" was intended to be somewhat of an anthology while also following several characters and revisiting their stories. It was all built around the concept of being able to see the future, but with some twists. Some of the variations were:

1. Traditional person-who-sees-the-future.
2. Person who sees the future, but only from the perspective of unknown people so the vision of the future is useless until he identifies whose future he is seeing.
3. For comic relief, person who only sees a couple of seconds into the future.
4. Person who believes he sees the future, tries to help others, only to fail each time... ultimately the reveal would be he actually sees alternate futures, specifically alternate futures in which he interferes... so he is creating the futures he sees and seeks to prevent.

And so forth... Some would cross paths, other stories would be self-contained. There seems to be a lot of possibility.

I setup a template in Word, and began my first script for a character I named Jeremy. I wrote 6 or so pages of script and stopped. I think the reason I stopped is because I was over-scripting.

I will post what I wrote here in this thread, and any feedback is welcomed. I would like to resurrect this idea if I can figure out why I wasn't happy with the script I was creating. The idea still seems good to me, but the execution at the time soured me to continuing.

Thanks in advance.

Stewart Vernon
10-05-2014, 03:21 AM
Page 1
Outside a bar on the dark end of a city street, lit primarily by a streetlamp on the corner where the bar is located. Not exactly a run-down area, but clearly not a part of town that is well visited. It is late evening (circa 10:30pm) with some fog and light rain. Two men are outside of the bar, inside the alleyway, and dressed to suit the occasion. Neither man is wearing the clothes of a beggar but clearly not the richest men either. (Proposed to have three upper panels evenly spaced with one large panel at the bottom)

Panel 1
Alleyway only partially visible since the area is not well lit, but two figures are standing just inside the alleyway. One leaning against the outside wall of the bar is shorter than the other (5’7” and 6’ respectively) and the gentlemen are huddling in their coats since the alleyway does not provide adequate shelter from the weather. Jeremy is the taller of the two gentlemen and clearly in command of the situation.

Accomplice : “One more time?”
Jeremy : “Take the money, bet on me to win when I signal.”

Panel 2
Closer shot of same figures in panel 1, with two men’s faces clearly shown and standing in the same positions. Jeremy is gesturing with his hands as he speaks.

Accomplice : “And if there’s no signal before betting closes?”
Jeremy : “Bet on me to lose.”

Panel 3
Both men side-by-side facing the reader and exiting the alleyway, still talking and clutching their coats shut as they are headed around to the front of the bar.

Accomplice : “You can’t place the bets yourself?”
Jeremy : “No. Too suspicious when I lose but win the bet.”

Panel 4
This is the big panel on the bottom, a clear full view of the front of the bar with both men standing in front facing the door. Jeremy has his hands upon the handle (perhaps a tarnished brass handle) and is opening the door as the two men exchange some final words. A sign in the window reads “180 Tournament Tonite!”

Jeremy : “Enter a few minutes behind me. I will meet later for the money, don’t even think of leaving town.”
Accomplice : “You can trust me. I am confused, but you can trust me.”


Page 2
Inside the bar, lots of smoke so the visibility is only marginally better than outside since the bar is not that well lit either. Some rough types sitting at the bar (but only about half of the bar is full). Tables are mostly full with some couples, some men only, some women only, maybe about 10 total tables with no more than 3 per table. The bar is to the left as you enter, tables to the right, billiards and dartboard on the far wall. Chalkboard hanging near the game area and a banner strewn across reading the same as the sign outside except “tournament” is misspelled in some way. (Proposed 6 panels evenly spread throughout the page.)

Panel 1
Jeremy enters the bar and we see what he sees across the three top panels. Panel one shows what he sees to his left, the bar and barkeep tending behind it. The barkeep is in his mid-40s and is in good shape as he serves as the bouncer also. This is a “family” owned and operated bar and his wife works here also. The barkeep has noticeable stains on his shirt and is hard at work cleaning shot glasses. A group of guys at the bar are visible enjoying themselves, but no dialog in this panel.

Panel 2
This shows the middle area of the bar and the part of the far wall where the dartboard is hanging, also part of the chalkboard on the wall. Some of the tables are visible here and filled with a variety of patrons. Some dressed more upscale, but most dressed in torn clothing, leather, or other typical rough-stuff type clothing that you’d expect on this end of town. Cigarette butts on the floor and a few stains. No dialog here either.

Panel 3
The right side of the bar is shown here with most of the tables and bar patrons. A guy and his girlfriend are in the back playing pool and the remainder of the chalkboard can be seen here. All of the patrons are visibly enjoying themselves, some drinking and others just talking. Some are smoking also. No dialog in this panel either. FYI, a sign for the restroom (note SINGULAR) should be thrown in the background somewhere.

Panel 4
Finished surveying the place, Jeremy approaches the bar as seen now from the point of view of the bar (more of a side-view I guess mainly so the front door can be seen partially and the Accomplice can be seen entering and mingling into the patrons). The barkeep notices Jeremy and still washing glasses acknowledges him. The rough guys at the bar are noticeably having a dispute of some kind and are just to Jeremy’s left at the bar.

Barkeep : “What’ll it be?”
Jeremy : “Scotch and the bottle.”
Barkeep : “Comin’ right up.”

Panel 5
Sitting at the bar, Jeremy is waiting for his drink and is looking into the mirror behind the bar. A foggy reflection of the area behind him can be seen with a partial view of the gaming area of particular interest as that is where the Barkeep’s wife is sitting at a table by herself near the chalkboard. This is not clearly visible, but is noticeable if you really look. Jeremy is not paying attention to the rough guys at his left but we are. It is very important that Jeremy be shown to focus on the mirror somehow (his reflection perhaps).

Rough Guy 1 : “What did you say?”
Rough Guy 2 : “You heard me one-nut!”

Panel 6
The Barkeep returns with Jeremy’s drink and sits both it and the bottle in front of him. Things are escalating next to him but he still is oblivious and we only see incoherent dialog from them now as they are clearly agitated and about to get violent.

Barkeep : “Here for the tournament?”
Jeremy : “Thanks. What tournament?”


Page 3
Jeremy begins this page at the bar and moves to the entry area for the tournament by the end of the page. Somewhere in some of the panels the Accomplice should be shown in the background with a cigarette, it does not matter where. (Proposed 9 panel spread, with panels 7 and 8 being “zoom” panels of a scene in Panel 6. Perhaps this can be done as partial panels since they only need to show a specific part of the table. The other panels can be fit as necessary to make the page.)

Panel 1
Still sitting at the bar, Jeremy and the Barkeep are talking with Jeremy still looking into the mirror. Barkeep tilting head towards the back of the bar where the dartboard and banner are located. Jeremy holding his glass in his hand and tilting it slightly about half-way up to his mouth. Guys to left beginning to scuffle.

Barkeep : “Darts tonight. I think we need another player.”
Jeremy : “I’m not that good, only played a little and it’s been a while.”

Panel 2
Jeremy stands and moves to his right just far enough for one of the rough guys that just got decked by the other. Guy falls to the floor where Jeremy was just sitting, and Jeremy neither flinches nor notices though the Barkeep is looking over onto the floor. Barkeep scolds guys for fighting and talks to Jeremy at the same time.

Barkeep : “That’s enough of that now! Entry fee is $25 over there but you have to hurry we’re starting soon.”
Jeremy : “I suppose I’ve got nowhere else I need to be right now.”

Panel 3
Already standing, Jeremy takes his bottle and drink and heads towards the Barkeep’s wife. She is sitting wearing a low-cut dress and is an attractive woman, surely the same age as her husband but clearly not showing her age. She is a fiery redhead and her attitude will match. Jeremy has had his eye on her from the minute he stepped into the bar. No dialog in this panel as Jeremy is making his way to the tournament area.

Panel 4
Standing before the table where the Barkeep’s wife is sitting Jeremy lowers his drink but is still holding it and the bottle is held at his side spilling some of its contents onto the floor. He is leering (but his back is to the reader) at the woman as he talks to her.

Mrs. Barkeep : “We been waitin’ for one more the last half hour. You in?”
Jeremy : “Got my bottle and my drink but I can spare a free hand for darts.”

Panel 5
Barkeep smiling at Jeremy and standing in front of him, she is checking him out too though it is more subtle and she is not quite as bold as he has been. His money is out on the table now and the drink glass is sitting on the table.

Mrs. Barkeep : “Is that all you have a free hand for?”
Jeremy : “I’ll show you some other uses after I win the tournament.”

Panel 6
Barkeep now blushing at Jeremy’s comment and has her back turned to him to write his name on the chalkboard at the bottom of the list of names. 15 other names are on the board but all are not visible from this scene. Jeremy is again with a drink in his hand, and there is a puddle on the floor next to him where he has been dribbling the scotch from the bottle. As she writes on the board, Jeremy is watching her “jiggle.”

Mrs. Barkeep : “You just worry yourself about yer throwin’ and don’t be passin’ on me! I need your name for the board…”
Jeremy : “The name’s Jim, remember it for later tonight.”

Panel 7 and Panel 8
Two closeups of the table where the entry fees are collected each one closer than the one before to reveal that underneath the money Jeremy has left on the table his room key for the inn. We haven’t seen the inn yet, but it is next door to the bar and Jeremy is staying there for the night. Not much detail here, but it needs to be clear that this is a room key and that it is with his money. No dialog here as it is just a closer look at the table as we see Mrs. Barkeep’s hand reaching for the money.

Panel 9
Subtle, but we see the Barkeep’s wife putting the entry fee into a cigar box on the table (this should have been there since the first panel by the way) and we see her other hand going into a pocket in front of her dress. She still has a blushed look and is looking around to see if anyone noticed. No dialog in this panel either.


Page 4
The tournament has begun and we don’t want to drag this out any more than we have to in order to get the point across. Essentially what I would like are some panels which show alternately the dartboard and the scoreboard where Jeremy is competing. Other scores can be altered in the background to show the passage of time as players are eliminated. At least two panels showing Jeremy signalling to the Accomplice for placing bids should be shown. I don't want to depict every match, but I will describe one match and we can simulate the rest. (Proposed 9 panel page with spacing as necessary.)

Panel 1
Jeremy signals to the Accomplice and we see him in the background. The Barkeep is still behind the bar and is now taking bets during the tournament. Bets can be placed at the beginning of each match, and payouts are handled this way too. All of this is handled in the background though and some activity should be shown occasionally to indicate this is going on. Various voices in the background may bark bets as desired without cluttering things up too much.

Barkeep : “Place your bets on the match between Jim and Gabe.”
Accomplice : “$50 on Jim”

Panel 2 and Panel 3
Jeremy scores a narrow victory over his first opponent, but his victories get more impressive each match. He always signals before the match except for the last one. The first panel should show the opponent’s score and last group of throws, and the second one should show Jeremy preparing to throw with someone in the background barking out what he needs to hit in order to win. This can all be determined as you see fit. The real numbers aren’t that important until the final round.

Voice : “Jim needs a bullseye to win, he’ll never make it the way he throws.”
Accomplice : “Another $50 says he hits it.”
Barkeep : “I’ll take that bet.”

Panel 4
The Barkeep’s wife is watching the tournament and shown in some panels. In this one she is clearly upset that the Barkeep is joining in the betting. She doesn’t like the way he runs the place anyway and he doesn’t pay much attention to her. She mutters to herself so no one can hear.

Mrs. Barkeep : “Why does he always throw our money away like this. I don’t know what I ever saw in him. Wasting away here on the dark side of town and never amount to anything.”

Panel 5
Jeremy makes the throw and the patrons cheer at his miraculous win. The Accomplice picks up his winnings and the tournament goes on. We only see a panel here and there and the amount the Accomplice bets gets a little higher each time and the shot Jeremy needs to make is always difficult.

Barkeep : “You sure know how to pick ‘em tonight.”
Accomplice : “I always bet on the new guys. It makes things interesting.”

Panel 6, Panel 7, and Panel 9
These should be virtual duplicates of the first three panels on this page with the exception that the background scores change and the bets get a little higher. In one of the panels the Barkeep’s wife should be shown with her head bowed in disgust at her husband continuing to bet. Dialog will be similar to the first three panels as well.


Page 5
Very similar to the previous page, and only two more rounds to cover. (Proposed 9 panel page.)

Panel 1, Panel 2, and Panel 3
Again duplicates of the first three to some extent on the previous page. Show passage of time with scores in the background, Jeremy makes some miracle shot to win and things march on. The Barkeep is losing a lot of money and the Accomplish is piling up so his pockets should be bulging.

Panel 4 and Panel 5
Similar but different. This time Jeremy does not signal so the Accomplice bets against him for the first time. Similarly the dialog should reflect this.

Panel 6
Jeremy has been impressive so people are betting for him now. This time his opponent has missed crucially and Jeremy basically just needs to mark in order to win. Voices are betting him to make certain skill shots so pick a few yells for the background. The Accomplice makes another final bet.

Accomplice : “Betcha he doesn’t even mark.”
Barkeep : “You have to be kidding. First you bail on him and now when he can’t possibly lose you bet more? I’d be a fool to miss this when I’ve been losing all night!”

Panel 7
Jeremy prepares to throw after the bets. No dialog here, just a shot of him aiming and his arm cocked ready to throw.

Panel 8 and Panel 9
Two zoom panels of the dartboard with Jeremy’s throws. The first panel shows his last dart clearly in the center of the bull's eye for a dramatic win, but the dart is tilted downwards just slightly so you can notice if you look. The crowd is cheering in the background. The last panel shows the dartboard empty and shows the dart in free-fall as he apparently didn’t throw it hard enough to stick and it falls to the floor. Silence in the last panel.


Page 6
Some time has passed and most of the patrons have cleared the bar. It is about 2:00am now and only Jeremy, the Barkeep & Wife, the Accomplice and maybe a few stragglers are around. (Proposed 6 panels.)

Panel 1
The Accomplice is at the end of the bar counting all of his winnings quietly. Jeremy is at the bar finishing off his bottle. The Barkeep’s wife is giving angry looks at the Barkeep as she is counting a drawer that is far emptier of cash than she would have liked with all his betting. The Barkeep is just shaking his head in disbelief still.

Barkeep : “I can’t believe after all that you lost.”
Jeremy : “I told you I wasn’t that good. Just got lucky at first. It happens sometimes.”

Panel 2
The Accomplice heads for the exit and says goodbye. Gloating a bit over his winnings he is walking happily as he leaves and the Barkeep just groans and has his head in his hands. Jeremy is nearly finished his bottle now.

Accomplice : “Thanks for making me a rich man by losing buddy! Hope you come here again!”
Barkeep : Some sort of depressing groan here would be appropriate.

Panel 3
Jeremy finished now is standing and ready to leave. The Barkeep is taking his bottle and Jeremy has left an extra tip on the counter for the Barkeep. Mrs. Barkeep is watching silently as Jeremy is ready to leave.

Jeremy : “Here’s something for your troubles and the best bottle I’ve had in a long time.”
Barkeep : “Thanks. Come back again, but next time don’t throw darts!”
Mrs. Barkeep : Sighs.

Panel 4
Jeremy at the door to the bar on his way out. Pauses to look back at the Barkeep’s wife. He looks at her with obvious interest and she is just off panel so we can’t see her expression.

Jeremy : “Both hands are free now, Miss.”
Barkeep : “What does that mean?”

Panel 5 and Panel 6
Solitary shots of the Barkeep’s wife standing in the corner, obviously thinking about something. Her husband is talking to her in both panels but she is not answering him. Instead she is thinking. In the first panel we see a full shot of her and she is patting her pocket where she had earlier put the room key from Jeremy. In the second panel we zoom in and can clearly see the bulge from the key and her hand is starting to reach into her pocket to feel it.

Barkeep : “Lost a lot of money tonight. Damn me for not staying out of things. Are you listening to me? I’ll make it up somehow, maybe later tonight…heh”

Steven Forbes
10-07-2014, 05:22 AM
C'mon, folks! There's enough wrong here that there should be people climbing the walls to comment on it.

Josh, Schuyler, Morganza, and Alyssa... I'd like to see your takes on this.

Josh, P1
Schuyler, P2
Morganza, P3
Alyssa, P4

(This way, you're not stumbling all over each other.)

Also, I'd like to see anyone else comment on this, but either P5 or P6. Let's give those I called on a chance.

Thanks!

Steven Forbes
10-07-2014, 06:56 AM
Oh, and by "page", I really mean only a panel or two on that page.

Schuyler
10-07-2014, 12:24 PM
I love your ideas about the Seers. Steven is right, though, that I read your script and saw problems. I fully intended to say something. I suppose I was just taking my time. Well, Steven is really good at giving people a kick in the butt when they need it. Thanks, Steven.


Page 2
Inside the bar, lots of smoke so the visibility is only marginally better than outside since the bar is not that well lit either. Some rough types sitting at the bar (but only about half of the bar is full). Tables are mostly full with some couples, some men only, some women only, maybe about 10 total tables with no more than 3 per table. The bar is to the left as you enter, tables to the right, billiards and dartboard on the far wall. Chalkboard hanging near the game area and a banner strewn across reading the same as the sign outside except “tournament” is misspelled in some way. (Proposed 6 panels evenly spread throughout the page.)

Panel 1
Jeremy enters the bar and we see what he sees across the three top panels. Panel one shows what he sees to his left, the bar and barkeep tending behind it. The barkeep is in his mid-40s and is in good shape as he serves as the bouncer also. This is a “family” owned and operated bar and his wife works here also. The barkeep has noticeable stains on his shirt and is hard at work cleaning shot glasses. A group of guys at the bar are visible enjoying themselves, but no dialog in this panel.

No one will know that the bar is owned by the barkeep and his wife unless it is stated in dialogue. Also, the bit about him being the bouncer.

It’s a POV panel right? Think about the order and way you describe the panels. It would be much more straightforward if you just put Jeremy POV at the start of each panel description it applies to. I would let your artist decide how to place the panels. If you are really attached to what you want, then include it in that top description of your scene.

He is seeing the bar with some patrons and the bartender is facing him cleaning shot glasses. Are these patrons that are enjoying themselves, the same as the ‘rough types’ described at the top of the page? Are they all together or enjoying themselves separately?

Use the panel description area to describe what goes on the panel. I know that sounds facetious but I have to think like this. When I write my panel descriptions I have to remind myself to only write what can be seen in that moment and nothing else. Imagine it is a photograph and describe it from left to right and then foreground to background.

If you want your reader to know that the bartender is the bouncer than it has to come up in dialogue. If you want them to know that the bar is owned by him… You get the point. Having multiple panels, that are silent, to set your scene, is a space killer. I am not telling you how to write, just telling you that I would not do that.

SamRoads
10-07-2014, 06:57 PM
I'm happy to comment on Page 5. If you're going to write a script, write a script. This is more of a guide document, but a micromanagey one at that.

If you want to give a general synopsis, then do that, explaining the key moments, maybe giving some detail on motivation, and do it as a piece of prose, or maybe in a jounalistic style.

Page 5, with its 'Similar, but different' is just words flapping in the breeze. It doesn't deliver the information required of a script, and it's far too wordy to be a structure or a synopsis.

There's almost no point making decisions such as 'it should be a nine panel page' if you haven't decided what the dialogue should be. I don't think dialogue is just icing you spread over the cake, it's the most important thing, and when you say 'some dialogue here', it leads me to think you need to practise a lot as a writer until you reach the point where writing 'some dialogue here' would make your head 'splode.

Keep practising. Keep sharing. And listen to everything Steven says. :)

Stewart Vernon
10-07-2014, 07:12 PM
Thanks... this (and hopefully more to come) is the kind of feedback I need.

Where I *think* I am tripping up is in over-detailing some parts which leads me to under-detail some parts. So it ends up with a lot of extraneous detail and missing some more important bits.

I was also trying to give a page-design bit at the start of each page, but that didn't really help me keep my panel descriptions any shorter.. so I was rethinking that notion too.

I could tell you the idea more easily than I have thus far been able to condense it to a proper script.

I do have an eye for these things, so I look at the script and I know it isn't right but it's hard to get my brain to see what is wrong with what my brain generated!

I also struggled with pacing... I feel like maybe I'm trying to get too much story on too few pages sometimes and that leads to leaving some bits out.

This is roughly 1/3 of what would be the first issue. In many ways the real story starts next (unscripted at the moment) when we find out about his ability to see the future... that the first 6 pages was really all about getting the Barkeep's wife away from her husband before something bad happened, and that the money gambled was for her to be able to afford to get away.

So in some ways I was getting bogged down with the least interesting part of the first issue storyline... and that's how I knew I needed help/guidance.

Stewart Vernon
10-10-2014, 03:15 AM
I made a mistake in a way, in looking online for sample scripts for either writers I like or titles I like... and I stumbled into scripts that were way more verbose than mine!

But those guys have earned their stripes and were writing for some very specific reasons.

So I think I'm back to ignoring what other people have written for now... and instead working on what I know was wrong + comments in this thread so far and hopefully I'll be able to post a revised version that is significantly better soon.

Stewart Vernon
10-10-2014, 05:12 AM
Ok... here's a rewrite of pages 1-3 to see if I have moved enough in the right direction. I have removed a lot of less-important art direction that can be left up to the artist.

Let me know what you think...


Page 1
Four panels, three similar size and one half-page at bottom.

Panel 1
Outside nighttime, fog + light rain, Dive Bar on outskirts of city. Jeremy + accomplice huddled in the shadows on the side of the building, accomplice is ~5” shorter than Jeremy.

Accomplice: One more time?
Jeremy: Use the seed money, bet on me to win when I signal.

Panel 2
Closer shot of Jeremy + accomplice, still talking.

Accomplice: And if there’s no signal?
Jeremy: Bet on me to lose.

Panel 3
Both men now walking from shadows on the side of the building heading towards the front.

Accomplice: Why can’t you place the bets?
Jeremy: Too suspicious if I bet against myself.

Panel 4
Large full view of the front outside the Dive Bar, both men now standing facing the door about to go inside. Sign in window (see text below).

Jeremy: Wait a few minutes before you come inside. Come to my room later for the money.
Accomplice: I’m still a little confused, but you can trust me.
Jeremy: I know.

SIGN IN WINDOW (intentional misspelling): 180 Tournament Tonite!

Page 2
Four panels. One large at top, three similar size across bottom.

Panel 1
View of inside bar from Jeremy’s POV, dimly lit smoke-filled room, bar to the left, pool table and dartboard in game area, customer tables everywhere else. Banner hanging over game area (see text below). Tables are full with customers, bar only half-full.

Barkeep mid-40s in good shape behind the bar working. Mrs Barkeep slightly younger red-head waits tables. A couple of rough guys at the bar seated together.

BANNER TEXT (intentional misspelling): 180 Turnament Tonite!

Panel 2
Jeremy approaches the bar, Accomplice can be seen in the background mingling with customers. Barkeep acknowledges Jeremy, rough guys are having a dispute of some kind off to the side.

Barkeep: What’ll it be stranger?
Jeremy: Scotch and the bottle.
Barkeep: Comin’ right up.

Panel 3
Jeremy now sitting at bar waiting for his drink, staring into the mirror in front of him. We should see the rough guys dispute escalating.

Rough Guy 1: What did you say?
Rough Guy 2: You heard me one nut!

Panel 4
Barkeep returns to Jeremy with his drink and bottle, rough-guy argument close to physical eruption now.

Barkeep: You here for the tournament?
Jeremy: Thanks... What tournament?

Page 3
Nine panels.

Panel 1
Jeremy still at the bar, talking to Barkeep ignoring the rough guy scuffle.

Barkeep: Darts. I think we still need one more player.
Jeremy: I’m not that good and it’s been a while.

Panel 2
Jeremy stands and moves to the side just enough for one of the rough guys to fall after being decked by the other while continuing to talk. Barkeep scolds rough guys and talks to Jeremy in the same beat.

Barkeep: That’s enough of that! Entry fee is $25, hurry we’re about to start.
Jeremy: I suppose I have nowhere else to be for a while.

Panel 3
Jeremy takes his bottle and drink and begins moving towards the game area where Mrs Barkeep is now sitting by herself. No dialog.

Panel 4
Jeremy now in front of the game area table, back to reader still holding bottle and drink while leering at Mrs Barkeep.

Mrs Barkeep: Well, what have you been waiting for?
Jeremy: My hands are full, but I guess I can free one for darts.

Panel 5
Mrs Barkeep checks out Jeremy as well, his drink now on the table with his entry fee money.

Mrs Barkeep: That’s all you have a free hand for?
Jeremy: There may be other uses… after the tournament.

Panel 6
Mrs Barkeep now standing with her back to Jeremy as she adds his name to the chalkboard list.

Mrs Barkeep: You just keep your mind on darts and off me! I need your name for the board.
Jeremy: Name’s Jim, you’ll want to remember that later.

Panels 7 and 8
Each panel is a closer zoom of where Jeremy put his entry fee so you can see that he has also put his room key there for Mrs Barkeep. No dialog.

Panel 9
We see Mrs Barkeep slyly pocket the key as she blushes wondering if anyone saw. No dialog.

SamRoads
10-11-2014, 07:33 AM
Hi HDMe,

Looking at the first page, there's plenty still to learn. One immediate thing is that you tend not to give us any idea where 'the camera' is compared to the thing you are describing.

The key advice I can give you is to go to www.comixtribe.com and read all 100+ Bolts and Nuts articles. That's a lot of stuff to read, so I'd do 5 a day for a month.

Next, read through The Proving Ground submissions.

You have plenty to learn about the way to format a script for comics, and it's all there in those two free resources.

You need to learn the grammar of comics to be a comics writer.

Stewart Vernon
10-11-2014, 04:55 PM
Hi HDMe,

Looking at the first page, there's plenty still to learn. One immediate thing is that you tend not to give us any idea where 'the camera' is compared to the thing you are describing.

The key advice I can give you is to go to www.comixtribe.com and read all 100+ Bolts and Nuts articles. That's a lot of stuff to read, so I'd do 5 a day for a month.

Next, read through The Proving Ground submissions.

You have plenty to learn about the way to format a script for comics, and it's all there in those two free resources.

You need to learn the grammar of comics to be a comics writer.

I absolutely have a lot to learn... but I am getting confused a bit by some of what I read online in terms of "how to."

I believe I was micromanaging too much and not leaving the artist room to experiment, especially where things were not as important to be any specific way. So in my rewrite I pulled back most of the micromanaging and tried to only include direction that I thought was important.

For example, camera angle. Unless I have a specific element of the story where the camera angle matters... that seems like an artist decision to me.

In my micromanaged script I wrote as if I were doing the art, so it was like my script also was my notes of how to draw it later packed with everything I thought about.

In my revised script, I tried to only include things that I thought were important to the story. Sometimes it mattered whether the view was POV or from behind a particular character... but I don't think any part of the story thus far has had any specific camera angle requirement that would change the story.

Am I not supposed to leave that kind of thing up to the artist in most cases?

Schuyler
10-11-2014, 09:06 PM
Am I not supposed to leave that kind of thing up to the artist in most cases?

It is good to leave things up to the artist but too much can leave them with a blank. Some of your panels still sound like moving panels because you are not adequately describing what you want. If you do not know what you want, then that is a problem. I like to give my artist freedom but if I give him too much, he just feels lost.

My advice is to describe each panel as if it was a photograph. Start on the left and go right, then go from foreground to background. The angle can be implied in your description. If you want to leave stuff up to the artist, then you can say that in a letter addressed to him or her, but the artist is not the only one that reads your script.

The story is driven by the moments that you choose, and if those moments are really loose all the time, the story suffers. The panel does not belong to the artist alone. You have to choose the right moment and show it the best possible way. That means you have to describe what is in the panel. This does not mean you have to be verbose it just means that you are probably going to need to know what angle you prefer. If the angle is not important than think about what you are seeing in your head when the character speaks or acts in that panel. You are probably already seeing an angle. Use that one.

Stewart Vernon
10-11-2014, 10:32 PM
So what I'm hearing here is... that I need more detail on the panel descriptions. I pared them down too much?

I do have a vision of the story in my head, some parts matter more than others, but I was thinking if I was micromanaging before that I should leave more of it up to the artist unless I particularly cared about it for the story.

It sounds like I should put more of the detail of the panel descriptions back in?

Schuyler
10-12-2014, 12:59 PM
So what I'm hearing here is... that I need more detail on the panel descriptions. I pared them down too much?

I do have a vision of the story in my head, some parts matter more than others, but I was thinking if I was micromanaging before that I should leave more of it up to the artist unless I particularly cared about it for the story.

It sounds like I should put more of the detail of the panel descriptions back in?

The simple answer is yes, with a but...

Panel 1
Jeremy signals to the Accomplice and we see him in the background. The Barkeep is still behind the bar and is now taking bets during the tournament. Bets can be placed at the beginning of each match, and payouts are handled this way too. All of this is handled in the background though and some activity should be shown occasionally to indicate this is going on. Various voices in the background may bark bets as desired without cluttering things up too much.

Let's look at this description from your first post of the script. There is a lot going on in this one panel. Jeremy, the accomplice, and the barkeep are all in it. I am not saying this is impossible, but if I were an artist I would not know how to fit it all, and even if I liked the freedom you were giving me, I would be mad about how much is in this panel.

You say that various voices can bark bets from the background without cluttering it. Does that mean that the letterer gets to decide if and when to put these voices in?

You can add details back into your panel description, but it might just look like the panel above. This is why you should write using angles. Please don't get me wrong, I love the idea of sharing the writing, but I think it is not something we can do in the beginning. When we learn our craft we will learn the essentials of what an artist needs to work and we can pare it down.

My advice is to try and be as specific as possible in the least amount of words.

SamRoads
10-12-2014, 04:38 PM
HDMe, I faced exactly the same query at one time. I looked at John Wagner's scripts. And I looked at Alan Moore's scripts.

Once you're an established writer, you'll know what your style is, and you may well be as pithy as Wagner or as loquacious as Moore. But while you're learning, I recommend following the guidance of the Bolts and Nuts ComixTribe pages, and writing a 'standard' amount.

Stewart Vernon
10-12-2014, 05:58 PM
I hope I don't sound ungrateful for the feedback... because I do appreciate it.

I'm internally wrestling with how much and how little to put on the page.

Some of the overkill stuff is easy to omit and leave to the artist, I think I have a grip on that. But the rest of it is what I'm wrestling with.

The next group (pages 4-6) probably had more problems than the first 3 so I wanted to wrestle with the first 3 before I went to a rewrite of those. I'm also thinking how I might be able to reconstruct the story so that some of those panels aren't as complicated. I admit as I wrote descriptions I wondered if it was possible to do what I was writing in single panels.

I'm mostly back to the "drawing" (writing?) board on this... but I'll keep taking whacks at it and post again when I think I have a better version ready to look at.