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Beardywriterface
01-09-2016, 03:05 AM
I've submitted a part of this story to TPG twice now and it's gotten torn apart (not that I necessarily disagree with everything said or something). So now I'm trying to come at this slightly differently. I've backed up a bit. Just curious if anybody finds this more readable.



Page One (seven panels)

Panel 1, full wide, Tom gritting his teeth and clenching his hands on the spokes of the helm of FORTUNE. It's early morning, but it's storm-dark, as rain is coming in sheets, and the wind is whipping towards us. The (ref: waves) behind/around the ship should be huge, swelling things .

TOM (yelling):
Ashley, you had all the salted omens in the world, you storm facing idiot!

TOM (yelling):
I told you we'd be cutting it too close to the Passions!

Panel 2, Ashley is on the steep stairs leading from the quarter deck down to the main deck. Angle this so we can see Tom, too, still gritting his teeth. Give Ashley an uncomfortable smile, if you can. That might also just be him gritting his teeth. He should be clutching at the rail with both hands, maybe make him look off balance.

ASHLEY (yelling):
Nobody I'd rather have berating me at the helm when a god tries to kill us, Tom.

Panel 3, Ashley is further down the stairs, near the bottom, frowning. We can still see Tom up at the helm, depending on the angle it could be just his knees or all of him (if you see his face, he's still angry). At the foot of the stairs is Ben, squinting against the rain and pointing to the entrance to the cabins with one hand and holding onto the railing with the other. We should see Henrik, as blank-faced as he can be, rushing towards the right.

TOM (yelling):
There's too much slack to port. Haul those yards abeam or we're all drinking an awful lot tonight.

ASHLEY:
Where's Leyta?

Panel 4, zoom out on Fortune a little bit on the right side of it (though it's still generally pointed towards us), the waves have crashed up into the right side of it and tilted it rather precariously away from us, like a 60 degree angle. The rest of the sea has high swells too, though not as high as this.

SFX:
WHOOOSH

Panel 5, a shot of Tom almost falling, trying to keep his balance as he holds on to the helm. He should look pissed, yelling his head off.

TOM (yelling):
You haul those salted lines or I'm personally holding you all under!

Panel 6, a shot from in front of Bram, straining as he is (ref: hauling line) near the railing at the left side of the ship. In the top left corner of the panel we see a (ref: block) swinging into frame. Behind Bram is a shirtless Greco also straining and very angrily so, and behind him is Henrik, stoically helping. Several feet behind Henrik is the wall of the cabins, so Tom is right above that on the quarter deck.

TOM (OP, from above and behind, yelling):
Watch that--

Panel 7, the block has crashed heavily into Bram's chest, knocking him into Greco and Henrik. Bram is yelling in pain, Greco and Henrik are grimacing.

BRAM:
Agck!


Page Two (seven panels)

Panel 1, Ben is hurrying over, worried, hunched a little for balance. Bram, Greco and Henrik are all kind of in a pile, Greco struggling to his feet having not been knocked entirely off his feet but only off to the right. He should still have hold of the line with at least one hand, his eyes up and warily watching the block which is swinging back away.

BEN:
Bram! Bram, are you okay?

Panel 2, Ben is worriedly crouching next to Bram, steadying himself with one hand on the deck, the other on Bram's chest. Bram is dead. Henrik is holding the end of the line and using it to pull himself up. Greco is further up on the line, yelling at people in front of him (behind our view).

GRECO (yelling):
Somebody lash that damned block!

BEN:
Bram...

Panel 3, a view from the corner of the cot in the back of ASHLEY'S CABIN. Leyta is sitting, leaning back from his desk, perfectly dry and reading a wood-bound book by the light of the (ref: lantern) hung overhead. Ashley is standing just to the right of the door which isn't completely shut yet. He is dripping wet and unhappy. Leyta should be ignoring him, a peaceful neutral look on her face.

NO COPY

Panel 4, the same view, maybe show the lantern has swung, Leyta should still look unconcernedly at the book. Ashley just slammed a fist on the back of the door (show an impact floating in the air where it was in the last panel). The door is shut. Ashley should look very annoyed, a few small puddles beginning at his feet.

SFX:
SLAM

Panel 5, Leyta is now looking at the other page. You can swing the lantern again if you want. Otherwise, Ashley should still be standing looking just as angry as before, the puddle at his feet larger.

LEYTA:
I suggested we weigh anchor in asylum harbor to wait for the Eightstorm to pass.

ASHLEY:
The Jagans have been swarming that side of the channel. Our luck would have us picking one already occupied.

LEYTA:
I'd rather take some invaders with me than be drowned by the Seacaller's Passions.

Panel 6, finally Leyta looks at him. Ashley is irate, if you can see any of Leyta's face, it should still be neutral.

ASHLEY:
Only the barest edge of the storm is hitting us before we'll get to the Teeth of Salvatore. We were never in real danger--

LEYTA:
No need to explain yourself to me, Captain Grim. I don't--

ASHLEY:
Oh, don't even start with that--

Panel 7, we probably need to move the camera a bit (maybe just bring it higher) as Ashley is startled forward by the door opening. Leyta is still looking that way. Ashley should be stepping forward awkwardly, his arms coming up for balance, as if the door opened very suddenly. Ben should be peeking in.

BEN:
Sorry, sirs. We're safely into the Teeth.

BEN:
But I have bad news.


Page Three (seven panels)

Panel 1, a view from the back of the mainmast. The ship is inside the massive NORTHERN FLEETWAY by several ship lengths, so the lighting is coming from lamps hanging from the quarter deck and one or two somewhere on the mast. In the foreground is a meek looking Marques and frustrated Greco, and we can see Ben leaning into Ashley's cabin in the background. If you'd like, you can sprinkle some fireflies around.

MARQUES:
Are you sure, Greco?

GRECO:
Luck's the only reason Ben's not tending to my corpse instead of Bram's. And Ashley nearly killed us all trying to beat that storm.

MARQUES:
But he saved your life, once.

Panel 2, swing the camera around behind where Marques is so we can get a better idea where we are. Bio-luminescent plant and fungal life is on that far wall of the tunnel. Greco should be gritting his teeth angrily as he berates Marques. Marques' posture should say 'downtrodden'.

GRECO:
And I'm not the one who'll take his!

GRECO:
He was racing an Eightstorm with a sloppy crew, Marques. I'm done with this ship, and I'm not dying for his stupid cause.

Panel 3, frowning Marques is being led by his sleeve by Greco, who is looking over his shoulder conspiratorially. Behind them, we can see a saddened Ben walking towards the other side of the mast from where we are.

GRECO:
Find Yezst and tell him we'll meet at the usual spot when we dock in Perna.

GRECO:
I've been sitting on these plans too long. It's time we got out of this wreck.

Panel 4, establishing shot from inside the CAVERN HARBOR. I'd like us up higher so we can see how many ships can dock in a place like this at once, the ceiling vents casting curtains of light down, but still have wide braziers set up around the piers. No ships we see would have sails unfurled, and any you might have leaving or arriving would be doing so under oar power only, just to be clear. Place Fortune somewhere conspicuous (doesn't really matter, as long as its at dock). People should be too small to distinguish from one another. Ashley and Tom are talking on the gangplank.

ASHLEY (from the gangplank of Fortune):
It was worth it, Tom, because we didn't have to worry about Jagans. I mean, it sucks about the new guy, but it's not like he didn't know sailing is dangerous.

Panel 5, closer to Ashley and Tom, both annoyed as they walk up the pier, about to turn onto the main stretch of dock.

TOM:
I hope you know your new nickname's not a compliment.

ASHLEY:
Stormtaster sounds daring. I kinda like it.

ASHLEY:
Besides, maybe Hunter will give us a bonus for getting his ore a day sooner than expected.

Panel 6, small, rear view shot of them turning off the dock to enter the stairway leading Between Blues. Any folks around them would be carrying small barrels or boxes. Tom should be scowling at Ashley.

NO COPY

Panel 7, small, same view but the two of them are disappearing up the stairs, the ceiling of that passage hiding them from the chest up.

TOM (small):
Stormtaster. Jackass.


Page Four (six panels)

Panel 1, aerial establishing shot of PERNA. It's near dusk. It's overcast and a showering rainfall is upon, the town. We're in the market portion of the small city. There should be a lot of lights inside the low buildings. Any foot traffic will be a little heavier around the building that covers the stairway Between Blues. Ashley and Tom are still in that building.

TOM (from the Threshold building):
Ugh. The only thing that smells worse than Perna is Perna soaking wet.

ASHLEY (from same building):
Just go help Ben, Tom. I'll be there when I'm done haggling.

Panel 2, small panel. A shot of the moon peeking out between clouds.

NO COPY

Panel 3, a shot across the street of a row of shops, alleys between each, in an alley on the left side of the panel we should see Marques, Yezst, and Greco coming towards us (they can be in too little light and/or too far to see who they are). A frowning Ashley is closing the door as he's coming out of a small one on the right side that's dim inside, like there's only a lantern or two lit. The other shops should be dark. On the wall next to the door of that shop is a wooden sign that reads EDRIC HUNTER and below that it should read PROSPECTOR. In the small window is shelves of chunks of rock and metals, though it might be too dim from the inside to tell what they are.

ASHLEY (small):
Prick.

Panel 4, Marques, Yezst, and Greco are coming out of that alley, turning the corner and almost running into Ashley. Everyone looks surprised.

ASHLEY:
Greco?

Panel 5, Marques and Yezst are looking at Greco wonderingly, Greco should look exasperatedly at them.

GRECO:
Well get him!

Panel 6, Greco is sneering as his henchmen advance menacingly on Ashley, who has his hands up, worry on his face.

ASHLEY:
We're not getting me a hug, are we?


Page Five (nine panels)

Panel 1, establishing shot of PERNA in the cloudless afternoon. Birds are flying around the merchant section. I'd like this shot more over the cranes that we saw earlier, see those huge rents in the ground that lead down into the Cavern Harbor.

LEYTA (OP, from the Harbor):
I told you something was wrong when Ashley didn't show up last night.

TOM (OP, from the Harbor):
I already asked Hunter about him, Leyta. He probably took his bonus and found some woman--

Panel 2, we're down on the quarterdeck of the FORTUNE, lighting is coming from a couple lanterns on the rear railings and the curtains of light from the ceiling of the cavern. Tom's body position should be him casually leaning forward on the helm but his face is surprised as he looks down his nose at Leyta's finger pushing into the end of it. Leyta is standing on the other side of the helm from him, annoyedly poking him, her other hand on her hip.

LEYTA:
I don't think you're taking this very seriously, Tom.

TOM:
You're right. I'm not. We're not scheduled to disembark until tonight.

Panel 3, Tom has stood up straight and Leyta has the formerly poking hand on her other hip. They look annoyed with each other.

TOM:
He said he'd help with Bram after he went to Hunter's. I bet he started blaming himself and detoured to a tavern instead.

Panel 4, same time of day, we're outside in a sparse bit of jungle with Marques, Ashley, Yezst and Greco. Ashley has his hands tied in front of him, Yezst should have a knife in his hand, and Greco should have a machete. Ashley should have bruises on his face, maybe a swollen eye. Nobody looks happy.

CAPTION TOM:
Didn't even have him aboard a week and Ashley's probably crying into his cup like he lost an old friend. You know how he gets.

Panel 5, Leyta is on the main deck walking towards the gangplank while looking over her shoulder at Tom, who is still at the top of the stairs going to the quarterdeck. Leyta is frowning, Tom looks exasperated.

LEYTA:
Well I'm going out to try and find him.

AERICK (OP):
Tom! Leyta! There was a letter left for Ashley at the Wandering Ram. Did you find him?

Panel 6, Leyta and Aerick are in the middle of the gangplank. She is grabbing the letter from him while he looks questioningly at her. She is looking down at the envelope.

LEYTA:
No, he hasn't shown up. Who was this from?

AERICK:
Yancy didn't know. He said some runner showed up with it a week ago. But don't you recognize the seal?

LEYTA:
This can't be right.

Panel 7, Leyta is unfolding the letter while looking at Aerick and looking as confused as he does. In the background, Tom is walking over from the stairs up to the quarterdeck.

LEYTA:
This looks like the sigil of the royal family.

AERICK:
That's what I thought.

Panel 8, Leyta is looking down at the letter, blank-faced.

NO COPY

Panel 9, Leyta is standing in a black void now, by herself, gripping the letter tightly.

NO COPY


Page 6 (three panels)

Panel 1, splash, Leyta looks furious as she stalks towards us. She should be several steps down the gangplank from Aerick. Aerick is looking down at the letter now. Tom is in the background, frowning at Leyta as he leans on the railing. Insert panel (1a) in the top left of Leyta angrily stuffing the letter into a surprised Aerick's chest as she begins walking towards us. Insert panel (1b) in the bottom right of a closeup on Leyta's still angry face. Maybe have her gritting her teeth.

LEYTA (insert 1a):
They took him. I don't know who did, but they did.

LEYTA:
Tell the harbormaster we're leaving early, Tom.

TOM:
Where are you going? Where are we going?

LEYTA:
There's some fuckery afoot, and I'm gonna find out who's behind it. And then we're heading to Longshore.

LEYTA (insert 2b):
I have a traitor to murder.

Beardywriterface
01-09-2016, 03:48 AM
Crap. The hyperlinks don't work.

Well, I promise there were pictures.

jpgaltmiller
01-09-2016, 05:53 PM
Funny thing: On page 4, I think, when one of the characters said something like, "It sucks about the new guy," I felt like this was unfitting dialog for the story and the time period. However, "there's some fuckery afoot" on page 6 was great.

A ship caught in a storm seems like a great way to open the story.

Beardywriterface
01-10-2016, 03:52 AM
Fair enough. As an artistic choice I do want the current speech patterns most of the characters have to jar with what looks like a Golden Age of Piracy era setting. Part of this is laziness, I will admit, as I don't care to immerse myself in that much research to get the speech patterns, jokes, and slang correct. The other part is, well, this isn't earth or even our universe. So why the hell not?

Did I say laziness? I meant efficiency. Yeah. That's what we'll call that.

For those who've read the other scripts, did the storm scene at least grab you a little better than the conversation on top of the gallows? For those who hadn't read the previous scripts, were the stakes interesting enough to make you want to keep reading? I'm well aware that's harder to answer as there's no art to grab you, and my descriptions aren't exactly riveting.

gmartyt
01-10-2016, 05:26 AM
TOM (yelling):
There's too much slack to port. Haul those yards abeam or we're all drinking an awful lot tonight.

Isn't Ashley the captain? Isn't it usually the captain who gives the orders?

After the first couple of lines, none of the characters are yelling, despite being in the middle of a storm.

Panel 2, Ashley is on the steep stairs leading from the quarter deck down to the main deck. Angle this so we can see Tom, too, still gritting his teeth. Give Ashley an uncomfortable smile, if you can. That might also just be him gritting his teeth. He should be clutching at the rail with both hands, maybe make him look off balance.

Start with the camera angle, then go on to describe one person at a time. Here, you go from Ashley to the camera angle to Tom then back to Ashley.

Panel 3, Ashley is further down the stairs, near the bottom, frowning. We can still see Tom up at the helm, depending on the angle it could be just his knees or all of him (if you see his face, he's still angry). At the foot of the stairs is Ben, squinting against the rain and pointing to the entrance to the cabins with one hand and holding onto the railing with the other. We should see Henrik, as blank-faced as he can be, rushing towards the right.

Remember, describe everything from left to right. As it is written now, it would go Ashley, Tom's knees, then Ben. That's going to look a little awkward, if it's even possible.

Panel 6, a shot from in front of Bram, straining as he is (ref: hauling line) near the railing at the left side of the ship. In the top left corner of the panel we see a (ref: block) swinging into frame. Behind Bram is a shirtless Greco also straining and very angrily so, and behind him is Henrik, stoically helping. Several feet behind Henrik is the wall of the cabins, so Tom is right above that on the quarter deck.

Last time we saw Henrick, we was running to the right. Now he's on the left side of the ship.

This is basically just a bunch of stuff happening that doesn't really go anywhere. Sure, a ship in a storm is an interesting setting, but nothing very interesting actually happens. With what is here, you could probably cut the first three pages and not lose anything important. However, I think you're better off starting on the gallows, which makes this entire thing unnecessary.

Honestly, I think you went in the wrong direction. The main issue with what you had before was that it took too long for anything to happen. This just makes it take even longer.

Hope this helps.

Beardywriterface
01-10-2016, 06:09 AM
Isn't Ashley the captain? Isn't it usually the captain who gives the orders?

I promise this is something I DID do a lot of research on. A boatswain (Tom) is in charge of the actual sailing procedures of a ship, especially during a storm or chase. They would get direction from a captain, but otherwise are the ones calling the shots. This is why I have Ashley saying he's glad Tom is at the helm. They aren't necessarily the helmsman, but I like him there for simplicity.

After the first couple of lines, none of the characters are yelling, despite being in the middle of a storm.

This is a good point, however I didn't want these huge balloons hogging up all the space for the first page and a half, which is why if people are talking relatively near each other, I didn't add the (yelling) letterer direction and just stuck with exclamation points.

Start with the camera angle, then go on to describe one person at a time. Here, you go from Ashley to the camera angle to Tom then back to Ashley.

Remember, describe everything from left to right. As it is written now, it would go Ashley, Tom's knees, then Ben. That's going to look a little awkward, if it's even possible.

This WAS awkward to write. They're on two different levels of the ship and I wasn't sure how to do this in a way that made sense. I see I failed here. I'm guessing I should have Ashley and Ben at the bottom and then describe Tom in the background. (But then I was also trying to leave the artist room to pick the angle, whether he wanted it more focused on Ashley/Ben or be able to see Tom yelling his head off still) Bleh. Sometimes, I tell ya.

Last time we saw Henrick, we was running to the right. Now he's on the left side of the ship.

I knew I was damned either way. I can't say port (the left side of the ship) because that's too jargony and annoying or so I hear. It's the right side of the frame--I suppose I should have said that--but it's the left side of the ship.

This is basically just a bunch of stuff happening that doesn't really go anywhere. Sure, a ship in a storm is an interesting setting, but nothing very interesting actually happens. With what is here, you could probably cut the first three pages and not lose anything important. However, I think you're better off starting on the gallows, which makes this entire thing unnecessary.

Honestly, I think you went in the wrong direction. The main issue with what you had before was that it took too long for anything to happen. This just makes it take even longer.

Hope this helps.

I appreciate this, and the fact that you read through stuff you weren't necessarily that interested in. And I promise I'm not trying to be defensive, I'm trying to explain it as if YOU were my editor.

The reason I brought it back to here is to give setting context (we're in a world that has crazy huge storms, seems to be at pre-industrial era tech levels, and has weird cave systems) at a better pace and with much less dialogue pounding that into people's faces. I wanted to give more plot context (Greco has been wanting to act for a while and this was the last straw, and it seems to have royal implications). And I wanted to introduce the major cast members in more easily digestible chunks, which is why I didn't start right with a rescue where I had the 15 or so main players in this first arc all on screen at once. That's also why this complete thing is only 6 pages and not 22, like the first script.

I'm always open to changing things. By all means, I've retried this damn thing multiple ways and this was the most recent. I tend to plot for, as the folks at Writing Excuses call them, Stand Up and Cheer moments. If people don't give a crap about why all these explosions and superpowers are flying around, I feel like it's just going to be about explosions and superpowers. And I feel like that's not actually interesting. It can grab attention, I suppose, but a guy who can fart concrete-melting laser beams isn't that interesting without a stage to set him on... er... probably.

So I plotted it as
page 1--a crazy situation to get you interested.
page 2--bad stuff happening and introducing the relationship that will drive the main plot of that gallows portion of the story.
page 3--repercussions of the action on page 1 and a conspiracy revelation.
page 4--follow-through of conspiracy.
page 5--plot questions and more confirmation of what kind of relationship Ashley and Leyta have.
page 6--to war! Sort of.

gmartyt
01-12-2016, 03:29 AM
I promise this is something I DID do a lot of research on. A boatswain (Tom) is in charge of the actual sailing procedures of a ship, especially during a storm or chase. They would get direction from a captain, but otherwise are the ones calling the shots. This is why I have Ashley saying he's glad Tom is at the helm. They aren't necessarily the helmsman, but I like him there for simplicity.

Sometimes it's more important to do what the reader thinks is right rather than what is actually right. In every pirate movie I've ever seen (which, admittedly, isn't very many) the captain is the one who gives the orders. I saw what you wrote and called you out on it because it didn't match with what I've seen before, even though what you've written is accurate. (I assume. I'm not going to fact-check you.) I'm not saying either one is wrong. Just something to think about.

I'm guessing I should have Ashley and Ben at the bottom and then describe Tom in the background.

Aside from left to right, panels are also described from foreground to background. Probably should have mentioned that. It also would have helped if I remembered correctly where the ship's wheel goes. If I had, then this entire conversation wouldn't have happened, because the panel is fine. My bad.

I knew I was damned either way. I can't say port (the left side of the ship) because that's too jargony and annoying or so I hear. It's the right side of the frame--I suppose I should have said that--but it's the left side of the ship.

What side of the ship it is doesn't really matter at all (you'd probably be better off not even mentioning it). The real issue is the fact the you completely flipped the camera around. Since Henrick was coming from the left, you'd expect him to the the one furthest to the left. It's a little disorienting.

As for the rest of the stuff, the main problem is that your interesting situation, the storm, isn't a situation at all. It's a setting. An interesting one, perhaps, but a setting all the same. You can put two guys on the Moon, but if all they're doing is their taxes then nobody's going to care. What actually happens here? A guy nobody cares about dies, and another guy nobody cares about gets kidnapped. Because, unfortunately, nobody cares about any of the characters yet. It's your job to make people care by making your characters do things. Right now, they aren't.

Hope this helps.

SamRoads
01-12-2016, 08:32 AM
Dialogue is as important as any aspect of the writing, and you'll fail to deliver the story you want if the dialogue is, ahem, loosely written. Every writer has things that they're better at, or more interested in. And we need to get better at the other stuff! :)

I liked this story starting with a stormy sea. But I don't see the right kind of conflict. There should be people arguing about something which could happen, not complaining about a decision already taken. "Turn this ship around!" "Never!" "A man died for you!" "A man will die if we turn around!"

In a somewhat similar vein, the next scene has us told about shennanigans. But we want to be shown, not told. The dialogue is fun, but it's still an exposition dump of sorts.

I don't like the panel counts being 777693. On the first page, you want at least one of the panels to be big and stormy, otherwise the reader won't feel the power of the storm. I also like to mix up the panel count to make the comic more interesting, and 777 is the opposite. (I know Alan Moore can win at life with 99999-recurring)

gmartyt
01-13-2016, 04:05 AM
Sam, I just want to say that you are clearly much, much better at this than I am. I don't know why I even bother.

Beardywriterface
01-13-2016, 06:02 AM
Dialogue is as important as any aspect of the writing, and you'll fail to deliver the story you want if the dialogue is, ahem, loosely written. Every writer has things that they're better at, or more interested in. And we need to get better at the other stuff! :)

When you say loosely, do you mean it bugs you that they talk with modern day (generally younger people) vernacular? Just curious.

I liked this story starting with a stormy sea. But I don't see the right kind of conflict. There should be people arguing about something which could happen, not complaining about a decision already taken. "Turn this ship around!" "Never!" "A man died for you!" "A man will die if we turn around!"

One idea to fix this would be to have a near physical scuffle between Greco and Ashley on page one concerning the sailing into a storm of such magnitude and page two being the reveal of just what they got into. This would also let me quietly teach about the layman's assumptions Greg brought up at the same time, as Ashley would be seen giving orders and such to Tom and others... Hmm...

In a somewhat similar vein, the next scene has us told about shennanigans. But we want to be shown, not told. The dialogue is fun, but it's still an exposition dump of sorts.

I am wondering how much wiggle room I have. I thought I played that decently, as far as Tom talking about Ashley's feelings. I excused myself because of the panel showing him being led off into the jungle, clearly being kidnapped. So that dialogue sure didn't move the plot, but I thought the art would be indicative enough to be alright.

I don't like the panel counts being 777693. On the first page, you want at least one of the panels to be big and stormy, otherwise the reader won't feel the power of the storm. I also like to mix up the panel count to make the comic more interesting, and 777 is the opposite. (I know Alan Moore can win at life with 99999-recurring)

This one, man. I really didn't like the 777 thing myself, but I wanted this to be 5 pages (and ended up going over, at that.) What is right now the first page should definitely be more about the storm, though. I think you're right. Originally this was a 4 panel page. I crammed some of the other pages' stuff into that first one and it did it a disservice.

More to think about. Thank you all, as usual, for your critiques.

Beardywriterface
01-13-2016, 09:11 AM
Rewrote the first few pages. Not sure what I'm doing with the other half yet. Not super happy with all the new dialogue, but I usually rewrite that a few times before I post this stuff. This is just a first draft. Curious if that first page is any improvement or if it, as Greg has noted previously, just makes it longer before anything happens.


Page One (seven panels)

Panel 1, early morning, darkly cloudy, on the main deck of FORTUNE between the main- and foremast, Ashley and a shirtless Greco are nearly chest to chest very angrily scowling at each other. In the background are Tom, Leyta, Gideon in full wrappings, and Ben. The first three should be frowning at Ashley and Greco, Ben should be looking away with his hand on the back of his head in embarrassment.

GRECO:
You saw the storm gulls flying. That was two nights ago.

ASHLEY:
Greco, we're getting across that channel. The Passions are at least half a day out.

Panel 2, closer on Ben, still looking abashedly away.

GRECO (OP):
You're going to get us all killed, Captain.

ASHLEY (OP):
We need to get to Perna, and we need to do it today. We can't wait for the Eightstorm to pass.

Panel 3, back out to between Ashley still frowning and Greco with a smirk. Greco now has his arms crossed over his chest. Tom hasn't moved, Leyta has stepped closer. Ben is walking away with his head down, Gideon is now also crossing his arms.

LEYTA:
Ashley, there are plenty of asylum harbors on this side of the channel.

GRECO:
She's speaking for all of us, Captain.

Panel 4, rotate towards Greco a little bit so we can see Ashley's yelling face better. He's pointing at Tom without him or Greco taking their eyes from each other. Leyta is looking over her shoulder at Tom.

ASHLEY:
Which way is that wind going to blow, Tom?

TOM:
Dead east.

ASHLEY:
And in your estimation we will...

TOM:
Make it safely to the Teeth before the Passions sink us.

Panel 5, zoom out a little and from above. Ashley is turning around, a hand pointing up in the air as he yells. There is crew clumped around this scene and they are all turning as if getting to work. The only people who are staying still are Leyta, Greco, and Gideon.

ASHLEY (yelling):
Set sail for the Teeth of Salvatore, Tom. All hands on deck, weigh anchor immediately.

Panel 6, we're back down with Leyta and a glaring Greco (he should be glaring at Ashley, so his gaze is directed off panel). Leyta has an eyebrow arched and a thumb pointed over her shoulder at Gideon in the background, still with his arms crossed.

GRECO:
I can't take this any longer.

LEYTA:
Are you refusing the Captain's order? 'Cause I know Gideon would love to convince you not to.

Panel 7, Greco is storming off, still glaring ahead. Leyta is watching Greco and frowning. Gideon is walking up behind her, also looking at Greco, but blank-faced.

GRECO (small):
I'll make you pay too, you jumped-up whore.

GIDEON:
Not worried, then?

LEYTA:
Ashley's probably right. If anyone can get us there safely, it's Tom.


Page Two (four panels)

Panel 1, full wide, Tom gritting his teeth and clenching his hands on the spokes of the helm. It's storm-dark as rain is coming in sheets and the wind is whipping towards us. The (ref: waves) behind/around the ship should be huge, swelling things .

TOM (yelling):
Ashley, you had all the salted omens in the world, you storm facing idiot!

TOM (yelling):
I told you we'd be cutting it too close to the Passions!

Panel 2, Ashley is on the steep stairs leading from the quarter deck down to the main deck. Angle this so we can see Tom, too, still gritting his teeth. Give Ashley an uncomfortable smile, if you can. That might also just be him gritting his teeth. He should be clutching at the rail with both hands, maybe make him look off balance.

ASHLEY (yelling):
Nobody I'd rather have berating me at the helm when a god tries to kill us, Tom.

Panel 3, Ashley is further down the stairs, near the bottom, frowning at Ben. Ben is squinting against the rain and pointing to the entrance to the cabins with one hand and holding onto the railing with the other. We should see Henrik, as blank-faced as he can be, rushing towards the right. We can still see Tom up at the helm, depending on the angle it could be just his knees or all of him (if you see his face, he's still angry).

TOM (yelling):
There's too much slack to port. Haul those yards abeam or we're all drinking an awful lot tonight.

ASHLEY (yelling):
Where's Leyta?

Panel 4, zoom out on Fortune a little bit on the right side of it (though it's still generally pointed towards us), the waves have crashed up into the right side of it and tilted it rather precariously away from us, like a 60 degree angle. The rest of the sea has high swells too, though not as high as this. The Only sails up should be (ref:main- and fore-course, and flying jib)

SFX:
WHOOOSH


Page Three (five panels)

Panel 1, a shot of Tom almost falling, trying to keep his balance as he holds on to the helm. He should look pissed, yelling his head off.

TOM (yelling):
You haul those salted lines or I'm personally holding you all under!

Panel 2, a shot from in front of Henrik, Greco, and Bram, straining as they (ref: haul line) near the railing--Bram is actually closest to our view, then an angry Greco, then a stoic Henrik. In the top left corner of the panel we see a (ref: block) swinging into frame. Several feet behind Henrik is the wall of the cabins, so Tom is right above that on the quarter deck.

TOM (OP, from above and behind, yelling):
Watch that--

Panel 3, the block has crashed heavily into Bram's chest, knocking him into Greco and Henrik. Bram is yelling in pain, Greco and Henrik are grimacing.

BRAM:
Agck!

Panel 4, Ben is hurrying over, worried, hunched a little for balance. Bram, Greco and Henrik are all kind of in a pile, Greco struggling to his feet having not been knocked entirely off his feet but only off to the right. He should still have hold of the line with at least one hand, his eyes up and warily watching the block which is swinging back away.

BEN (yelling):
Bram! Bram, are you okay?

Panel 5, Ben is worriedly crouching next to Bram, steadying himself with one hand on the deck, the other on Bram's chest. Bram is dead. Henrik is holding the end of the line and using it to pull himself up. Greco is further up on the line, yelling at people in front of him (behind our view).

GRECO (yelling):
Somebody lash that damned block!

BEN:
Bram...


Page Four (six panels)

Panel 1, a view from the corner of the cot in the back of ASHLEY'S CABIN. Leyta is sitting, leaning back from his desk, perfectly dry and reading a wood-bound book by the light of the (ref: lantern) hung overhead. Ashley is standing just to the right of the door which isn't completely shut yet. He is dripping wet and unhappy. Leyta should be ignoring him, a peaceful neutral look on her face.

NO COPY

Panel 2, the same view, maybe show the lantern has swung, Leyta should still look unconcernedly at the book. Ashley just slammed a fist on the back of the door (show an impact floating in the air where it was in the last panel). The door is shut. Ashley should look very annoyed, a few small puddles beginning at his feet.

SFX:
SLAM

Panel 3, Leyta is now looking at the other page. You can swing the lantern again if you want. Otherwise, Ashley should still be standing looking just as angry as before, the puddle at his feet larger.

LEYTA:
I'm not gonna say it, but...

ASHLEY:
The Jagans have been swarming that side of the channel.

LEYTA:
I'd rather take some invaders with me than be drowned by the Seacaller's Passions.

Panel 4, finally Leyta looks at him. Ashley is irate, if you can see any of Leyta's face, it should still be neutral.

ASHLEY:
Only the barest edge of the storm is hitting us before we'll get to the Teeth. We were never in real danger--

LEYTA:
No need to explain yourself to me, Captain Grim. I'm only first mate, voice of the--

ASHLEY:
Oh, don't even start with that--

Panel 5, we probably need to move the camera a bit (maybe just bring it higher) as Ashley is startled forward by the door opening. Leyta is still looking that way. Ashley should be stepping forward awkwardly, his arms coming up for balance, as if the door opened very suddenly. Ben should be peeking in.

BEN:
Sorry, sirs. We're safely into the Teeth.

Panel 6, full wide shot of the ship sailing into the Teeth of Salvatore. The waves would still be choppy and the wind high. Above the cliff we can see the sparse trees bending and to the right of the cave mouth are 40 foot figures carved into the rock wall, worn to featureless bodies.

BEN (OP):
But I have bad news. There was a fatality.