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gmartyt
12-23-2014, 03:16 AM
Here are the first few pages of a script I've been working on. Let me know if I have no idea what I'm doing.

Characters:

Audric: Standard fairytale prince. Wears plate armor. Carries a sword.

Katelyn: 19 years old. 5'4". Has long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. Her clothes are slightly out of the ordinary, almost like a costume. There are pockets somewhere on her outfit.


PAGE ONE (three panels)

Panel 1. Afternoon. Establishing shot of a medieval fort on a rocky cliff. The fort is old and is starting to fall apart. There is a tower in the back-left corner.

NO COPY


Panel 2. The castle courtyard. It is a large, open area. The ground is rocky and desolate. Audric into the wall at the edge of the courtyard, as if he was thrown.

SFX:
CRASH!


Panel 3. Audric props himself up with his sword, clearly still in pain.

SFX:
RAAA!


PAGE TWO (four panels)

Panel 1. From behind Audric. Audric gets back on his feet and looks up at the dragon towering over him.

NO COPY


Panel 2. Close-up of Audric clenching his teeth.

NO COPY


Panel 3. Close-up of Audric tightening his grip on his sword.

NO COPY


Panel 4. Audric charges towards the camera, ready to strike.

NO COPY


PAGE THREE (four panels)

Panel 1. Audric, facing the camera, sidesteps to the left, dodging the dragon's attempt to crush him.

SFX:
TOOM!


Panel 2. Audric, his back to the camera, dives off to the left as the dragon breathes fire down at him.

SFX:
FWISH!


Panel 3. Audric is low to the ground as he stands back up.

SFX:
Raaa


Panel 4. Looking over Audric's shoulder. Audric watches as one of the dragon's claws comes straight at him from the right.

NO COPY


PAGE FOUR (four panels)

Panel 1. Close-up of Audric's shoulder hitting the ground.

NO COPY


Panel 2. Audric rolls over onto his back as he swings his sword with both hands.

NO COPY


Panel 3. Audric, lying on his back, cuts the dragon's claw as it passes over him.

NO COPY


Panel 4. Close-up of the dragon. It reels back in pain.

SFX:
RAAA!


PAGE FIVE (five panels)

Panel 1. Audric gets back on his feet as the dragon reels back in pain.

SFX:
RAAA!


Panel 2. Audric lunges forward, prepared to deliver the finishing blow.

NO COPY


Panel 3. Audric is punched in the face by a fist coming from the right.

SFX:
WHAM!


Panel 4. Audric falls onto his back.

SFX:
CRASH!


Panel 5. Audric sits up and rubs his face with his arm. He looks like he's in pain.

NO COPY



PAGE SIX (two panel)

Panel 1. Audric gets into a crouching position. He looking up at Katelyn. Katelyn is looking down at Audric. Behind her, the dragon continues to writhe in pain as it backs away.

NO COPY


Panel 2. Close-up of Audric as he stands back up. He looks a little confused.

AUDRIC:
Who...?


PAGE SEVEN (five panels)

Panel 1. Audric looks a little surprised as he watches Katelyn walk away from him, her back to Audric.

KATELYN:
You should go.


Panel 2. Close-up of Katelyn as she walks to the top right of the panel.

AUDRIC(OP):
I cannot.


Panel 3. Katelyn glances over her shoulder. Audric is standing in a relaxed position in the background.

AUDRIC:
Not until my quest is complete.


Panel 4. From over Audric's shoulder. Audric looks a little surprised. Katelyn turns and faces Audric.

KATELYN:
I can't let you go any further.


Panel 5. Audric gets into a fighting stance. He has a somber expression.

AUDRIC:
So be it.

Kiyoko, Rin
12-23-2014, 07:30 PM
First off, you DO know what youre doing your panel descriptions were easy to understand, the fight had a choreography that was easy to follow, and you remembered your camera.

Second, as Im currently editing my work and going snow blind on my wordiness, I found your story a refreshing change of pace. Because of the simplicity of your panel / character descriptions (which on another day Id criticise for not having enough detail), the minimal dialogue, and the low panel count, I zipped through your script at record pace. Maybe too fast, but as youre describing a fight scene, the pacing may be apt.

Some things did jar, though:

The movement of the camera from panel 1 to 2 on page 1. Im picturing the fort from the rear, cliff-side in panel 1, then from the front, road-side in panel 2. I didnt feel wed passed over the back of the fort during the gutter, I felt wed approached from a completely different direction. And it jarred.

The prince seems awfully spry for someone in plate mail armour. Im picturing full plate mail here, helmet included with a full visor down (which is why youve given him almost no physical description).

Katelyn seems to just appear.

The dragon then seems to just disappear.

Steven Forbes
12-23-2014, 07:59 PM
Moving panels.

I've just taken the most cursory of looks, and see them all over the place. You can't draw movement. These have to be static panels. That's something you (both) have to learn. (I say "both" because Rin didn't mention it once, and he should have.)

As soon as you have a character doing two different actions, it's a moving panel.

The best way to stop that from happening is to write panel descriptions in the past tense. That will stop the overwhelming bulk of moving panels from happening.

Also, stop putting two actions in one panel. It doesn't work. "Sit up and rubs his face." That's two actions, and can't be drawn. Pick one. "Turns and faces." That's two actions. "Rolls over on his back as he swings." Two actions. None of these can be drawn.

There are extremely few instances where you can have a character doing multiple things in a single panel. Learn how to write still images first, and then you can start to think about multi-action panels.

SamRoads
12-23-2014, 08:02 PM
Hi Gmartyt,

* Nothing is said for 5 pages. Just about acceptable if you're writing Lone Wolf and Cub, but likely to annoy me if I'm a customer. With no dialogue, 5 pages goes at laser speed. I'm thinking 20 seconds. At this rate the story is going to seem cheap.

* SFX generally don't have exclamation marks. They work in prose, but you don't see them in pro SFX, usually.

* The descriptions are terse, but probably too terse. Medieval is a pretty big term. Do you mean a Norman castle (Leeds, London) or something huge like Caernarvon or Caerphilly (I'm citing some Welsh castles I know well). Is the Dragon the size of a small car, or a small stadium?

* There are no 'camera angles'. This puts all the work on your artist, which is good if you're working with J.H.Williams III, but I suspect you'll be working with someone less experienced. Help them out by being precise.

In general this reads more like a film script than a comic script

But it also has plenty right with it.

gmartyt
12-24-2014, 02:07 AM
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Kiyoko, Rin - I can see where you're coming from on page 1. That's my fault for not describing the layout of the fort. I know what it looks like, but didn't put it in. Even then, it could still be a problem. Katelyn is supposed to seemingly appear out of nowhere, although probably not as suddenly as she does right now. The dragon is just me being lazy.

Steven Forbes - Some of your examples are my poor attempts to describe the character's position. Would changing the wording fix some of the panels? For instance, if it said "He rubs his face from a sitting position," would that fix the problem?

SamRoads - The opening is supposed to be somewhat fast. It slows down eventually. Even so, would you recommend starting slower and picking up the pace later?

Thanks again.

Steven Forbes
12-24-2014, 03:03 AM
Here's my answer to your question:

Is that sentence you describe in the past tense?

gmartyt
12-24-2014, 03:22 AM
Touche.

"He rubbed his face from a sitting position." Better? Worse? The same?

Sorry for asking so many questions. I'm just trying to see if the moving panels are created because of my poor descriptions.

Steven Forbes
12-24-2014, 05:24 AM
That's a whole lot better. Much closer.

So, you have him positioned. Great! That's the first part. Now, for the still action. That needs to be described a bit better. Not much, just a bit.

What is the position of his hand/arm in order to perform the action?

Remember, you have to describe an action that has JUST happened. The immediate past. Imagine describing a Polaroid, or an image in a paused movie.

So, let's try it again.

gmartyt
12-26-2014, 02:43 AM
"He is now in a sitting position. His right arm is pressed up against his cheek, as if he is wiping something off." Like that? Or should I stick to past tense? "From a sitting position he has rubbed his cheek with his right arm."

Steven Forbes
12-26-2014, 02:45 AM
The first one. It's almost perfect. Just need a facial expression, and it's golden.

Good work!

gmartyt
12-27-2014, 05:18 AM
I think I've got it now. Thanks for the help. Best Christmas present ever.

Steven Forbes
12-27-2014, 11:32 PM
You've got it?

Then rewrite P5, panel 1. Let's see what you've learned. :)

gmartyt
12-29-2014, 03:58 AM
"Audric is now in a crouching position, his back to the camera. His left arm is extended out beside him, as if he has just pushed himself up. The dragon has backed away from Audric. It has turned slightly to the right, as if it is shielding it's injured left claw, but roars at Audric. The left claw is being held above the ground."

Not exactly what I'd call eloquent, but hopefully it's at least functional. After re-reading this panel, I realized that I actually had no idea what I wanted it to look like, which usually means it has no purpose. So it's very likely that this entire panel will be cut.