|09-24-2008, 12:18 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Sci-fi script segment for critiques
Hello everyone. I'm new here, and I am a writer who hopes to get something going.
For a bit of context, this is a post apocalyptic story, and the main character, Giren, has found a lab that can grow plants, and Morris is the psycho meta-form that killed everyone on the lab. I wrote this a little while ago.
Panel 1: Giren is standing in the entrance to the meta-form lab. Everything is bathed in a dull, red light. He has his pistol out and his flashlight (not turned on) in his other hand. The whole facility should have a sterility that has been marred by years upon years of disuse and (as the reader will find out later) carnage and blood.
Giren: Anyone there?
Panel 2: Giren walks down the hall, turning on the flashlight. He is very tentative in his manner, as if he knows this is wrong, but cannot figure out why.
Giren: Is anyone around?
Panel 3: A body is slumped over a desk, looking like it is asleep. Giren tries to speak to it, not knowing it is dead.
Giren: Hey! Are you awake?
Panel 4: Giren moves closer to the body, a grim realization beginning to come across his face.
Giren: HeyÖare you okay? Do you know whatís going on here?
Panel 5: Giren gets close enough to see the truth, but is not fully aware of it yet.
Giren: Oh noÖthis canít be real.
Panel 6: The reader gets a clear look of the carnage as Giren moves the body, leaving a bloody streak on the desk.
Giren: NoÖthis isnít happening.
Panel 1: A noise shaking Giren even worse. It shakes the panel, lending a sense of urgent motion, drawing the reader in to the unknown horror that is threatening to appear.
SFX: WOOM WHUNK WOOM WHUNK
Panel 2: Giren turns wildly on the spot with his weapon poised. His aim is unsure, crippled with fear and the beginnings of nausea.
Giren Caption: Remember your training.
Giren Caption: Focus, Giren.
SFX: WOOM WHUNK WOOM WHUNK WOOM WHUNK
Panel 3: Giren walking back to the ship, with his back to the airlock of his ship.
SFX: WOOM WHUNK WOOM WHUNK WOOM WHUNK WOOM WHUNK
Panel 4: A figure bursts from the ceiling behind Giren, knocking him to the floor.
Panel 5: Giren fires into the pile, hoping he hits something.
SFX: BANG BANG
Panel 1: Giren getting up, gun still pointed at the pile, as a pair of glowing pale green eyes stares from the dust and debris at him. The meta-formís name is Morris, but the reader will not find that out until later in the story.
Morris: I would suggest running and saving a bullet for your head.
Panel 2: Giren takes off down the hall, shaken and scared out of his mind. Make the angle of the shot extreme, highlighting the sickening swath of death that Morris has cut through the lab.
Morris caption: I think Iíll let him realize whatís going on here. Let him hope before I kill him.
Panel 3: Giren running down a hall, seeing the blood and bodies strewn throughout the facility.
Giren: Just stay calm, Giren. Everything will be okay.
Panel 4: Giren ducks into a stray room, mercifully free of bodies. It is sparsely furnished and a single data tablet is sitting on the small table near the bed.
Panel 5: Giren sits down on the floor, shaken and scared, fighting back tears. The emergency lights are barely working in the room, with no light from the outside to brighten it.
Giren: Whatís going on here?!
Panel 1: Giren notices the tablet on the table with a surprised glance.
Panel 2: Giren picks up the tablet.
Panel 3: Giren sits over the tablet as a face appears and begins to speak.
Tablet speech balloon: I got to see Priscilla today. She was on leave from her Alliance post in Sector 8. I think itís the first time Iíve seen her since she left, and I couldnít have had a more perfect day.
Giren: Oh this is hopeless.
Panel 4: The tablet continues speaking, its expression beoming noticeably more grim.
Tablet speech balloon: Except for that experiment. The subject is acting out again, and the inhibitor collars can only do so much. We donít know how its powers are developing, but all we can see is that itís getting more agitated by the day.
Panel 1: The tablet goes off. Giren is again left in the dark.
Panel 2: The intercom in the room goes off. Morris is speaking to him. Giren jumps a little, as if Morris voice makes his blood run cold. The worst part that you should show from his reaction is that the fear he feels comes from a voice that he recognized without ever hearing it. Showing his voice is more a job for the lettering, but you need to show that sort of ice cold, pit of your gut horror.
Morris intercom: How are you doing?
Panel 3: Giren goes to the intercom, moving tentatively, as if every step will be his last.
Panel 4: He presses the button and speaks into it.
Giren: Iím doing fine. What are you doing here?
Panel 5: Continuing to speak
Morris intercom: Iím getting ready to leave.
|09-24-2008, 01:01 PM||#2|
Join Date: Feb 2003
Hey! Welcome to the forums. Stick around, you'll learn a lot.
If you see any posts whatsoever by a guy named Lee Nordling, hone in on it like a missile and soak up every syllable. He hangs out here a lot, but I've also found him in Creator Community. (No, Lee, I'm not stalking you.)
If Rich Nelson, the moderator, comes in and gives advice, listen to it as well. Seriously. These two are gold.
As to your script, I had to go back and finish it. It's not my idea of a good time, and I'm going to tell you why.
You don't establish anything. That's first and foremost. The problem I have with new writers who go for pure sci-fi right out of the box is that they don't know what they're doing. This is not a dig at you, so please don't take it that way.
When writing, you have to answer three questions, at the minimum, in almost every panel: Who, Where, What. If you haven't answered these three questions, then you have more writing to do.
You have more writing to do.
I feel like I'm in a white void, with only a few things going on in the panel. That's not good.
I'm not talking about character descriptions. Unless it's a throwaway character, I don't really care about having their descriptions in the panel description. You're going to work that out with the artist beforehand so they can just drop the characters into place. Throwaway characters need to be described just enough to give the artist something to work with.
Your panel descriptions need to give the necessary info to the artist so they can draw the panel. I understand about trying to create a mood, and that's what you're trying to do here, but you're sacrificing clarity of storytelling for mood. That's a no-no.
You're also writing for the screen. You have moving actions, instead of describing the still scene in your head onto paper.
A perfect example of this is P1, panel 2. Your character walks down the hall, turning on the flashlight, his manner tentative, knowing something is wrong but can't figure out why.
Draw that. Don't say you can't draw. Everyone can. It doesn't have to be good, it just has to get your point across. So, draw a guy walking down the hall tentatively, turning on a flashlight. Draw a guy knowing something is wrong, but can't figure out why. Draw that.
Your job, as a writer, is to know what's useful info and what's not, and to put it in the script. Your job is to write still panel descriptions. Your job is to portray the illusion of motion.
I'm writing a column at Project Fanboy that's aimed at new writers. The link is in the sig. Why don't you stop by and see what I have to say?
Again, welcome. Stick around, soak up the knowledge that people will be giving you. Participate. Explain if necessary, but don't defend. Being defensive means that people are attacking, and I don't think that anyone will attack you here. (Even Richcapo only wants to tear out his own eyes.)
We have fun, we kid each other, and we provide valuable support to one another. Think of us as an extended writing family.
Oh, and poke around here. Read the stickies. It'll save you a lot of trouble.
Also, a bit of an unwritten rule: don't post more than about 10-11 pages at a time. Five is a great number, but the more you post up, the less people are likely to read it all.
Just some advice. Hope it helps.
|09-24-2008, 02:15 PM||#3|
Breakneck from 215 Ink.
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Another person to add to the list of people to listen:
Forby. He'll kick your ass, but he'll get the best work out of you.
|09-24-2008, 02:22 PM||#4|
Writer of 1,000 pitches
Join Date: Dec 2007
Yeah, and dont listen to that MarkLCBer...
Oh, hey Mark.
Welcome to the forums Yergman.
I see the beginning ingredients of something, but not enough to give a good enough visual. It's like fried chicken with no seasoning whatsoever. Add some more detail to your panel descriptions and you'd be surprised how many more people will read and respond.
|09-24-2008, 04:03 PM||#5|
Join Date: Aug 2008
I actually like it...has a bit of Resident Evil/Aliens vibe to it...I don't know why but that's what I see...