TPG Week 103: Commas, Commas Everywhere!

| December 14, 2012

Hello, and welcome to another installment of The Proving Grounds! We’re still counting down to the end of the year, and part of that countdown is a new Brave One in Esther Alperin! As always, we have Steve Colle in blue, and me in red.

 

Let’s see what Esther brings us in

 

Mask

 

 

PAGE 1PANEL 1- ESTABLISHING SHOT. INTERIOR OF STUDIO APARTMENT- EVENING

WE SEE MOONLIGHT STREAMING INTO A BEDROOM FROM A WIDE-SCREEN DOOR. (This sounds like the screen door is the door to the bedroom. Is this the case? I’ve personally never seen a screen door on a bedroom. Or is that even the message you’re trying to convey and I’m just misinterpreting your use of the term “wide-screen door”? In other words, you aren’t being clear. You’re also just giving the bare minimum in panel description. I don’t live in a studio apartment nor have I ever seen pictures of one, meaning that your artist is going to have to research the hell out of the internet looking for visual reference. Not a good start. I also can’t picture where your camera is, what angle the shot is on, viewpoint, or any other major directions. Build this up with better visual specifics and provide links to examples. Right now I’m not getting anything but words on a page.)

CAPTION (KATIE): I had to beg Captain shane (You didn’t capitalize the first letter in the last name) to get us the night off. Just(Doesn’t need to be underlined) for Jo & I (Spell out “and”. NEVER use an ampersand in a written medium). No cases (Doesn’t need to be underlined), (Comma-fail) tonight. No dead bodies (Doesn’t need to be underlined), (Comma-fail) for her (Unnecessary) to examine…. (An ellipsis is three dots, not four.)

 

(I can tell you right off the bat that you aren’t using the underlining/bolding of dialogue properly. Where you’re placing it is haphazard and the nuances in speech don’t make sense. For example, one word I would have underlined is “beg”, as you’d be saying “I had to beg Captain Shane to get us the night off”, putting the emphasis on a proper nuance. Instead, they’re thrown around. I’m hoping this won’t be an indication of what follows.)

 

PANEL 2: THE DOOR OPENS, & THE LIGHT NOW HAS A SILHOUETTE OF A TALL WOMAN. THE PANEL CLOSES IN ON KATIE MALLORY, OUR NARRORATOR. A META-HUMAN DETECTIVE & A WOMAN OF COLOR, WITH AMBER-COLORED HAIR, & A SHOCKING MIX OF DARK RED EYES.SHE’S DRESSED UP IN A SLINKY RED DRESS, READY FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN. (I’m so confused right now. Where exactly is your light source coming from? Behind the character? Is she walking into the room that has the light source streaming in or is it coming from the hall leading into the bedroom, making the light come from behind her in what is called “backlighting”? Here’s where you’re also talking about what she looks like with details on her dress, her eyes, etc. However, you also said it was her silhouette. How can you tell this much from a silhouette? Finally, beyond the other confusion, you say it’s a silhouette of a tall woman, then say that the panel closes in, meaning that it’s no longer a long or full shot, but a close-up. What are you trying to convey, because you’re literally all over the place here?)

CAPTION (KATIE): Just us. (Again, you’re underlining something that doesn’t need to be bolded. Read it out loud and you’ll get what I mean.)

 

PANEL # 3: CLOSE UP OF A REFLECTION OF KATIE’S FACE, IN A MIRROR. SHE’S PUTTING ON SOME DANGLING EARRINGS, COULD BE GOLD, OR WHATEVER YOU PREFER. (Why is this panel important in and of itself? It’s not. It seems interjected into the scene instead of being used properly. Here’s what you could have done: Panel 1 establishes the interior of the apartment with the light coming from the bedroom, while panel 2 uses this image to show us what she’s doing in preparation for the evening. You didn’t need to introduce a shot of her standing in the doorway because that just adds a step to the pacing. Get to the point. Besides, her dialogue of “Just us” works better as she’s looking in the mirror, smiling at the prospects of the evening.)

 

PANEL #4: WE SEE A SHADOW PASS OVER KATIE’S DRESSED UP, V-SHAPED, BARE BACK. (Don’t need this panel. Get rid of it.)

 

JO (OP): You ready?


PANEL #5: CLOSE UP OF KATIE SMILING IN THE MIRROR. (Don’t need this panel, either. Get rid of it, too.)

PANEL #6: MEDIUM OVER THE SHOULDER SHOT (Whose shoulder? Katie’s? Is the shot coming from in front of Katie as she looks into the mirror so we’re seeing Jo standing behind her, either in the doorway [there’s your doorway shot] or directly behind her, close enough to touch? Here’s where the “You ready?” question fits in.) OF JOSEPHINE “JO” SILVERS, IN HER MAINLY PURPLE & SILVER GETUP AS ULTIMATE-DAUGHTER OF TWO OF THE MOST POWERFUL SUPERHEROES ON THE PLANET. A HUMAN-LIKE ALIEN. CAUCASIAN. DARK HAIR, PURPLE EYES, GAZING LOVINGLY AT KATIE. (There’s information in here that has nothing to do with the points at hand, like the fact that Jo is the daughter of yadda yadda. Stick with the visual description that will allow the artist to do his/her job and get rid of any extraneous fluff.)

 

PANEL #7: WE SEE KATIE CLIP HER BADGE ONTO HER PURSE, & GRAB A SMALL, WRAPPED UP BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR JO.

PANEL #8:*TINY CARD READS: DEAR JO, I’M WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST ON YOUR 28TH. ALL I GOT FOR YOUR BIG DAY, WAS SOMETHING EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL, THAN THIS TINY BOX: YOU. LOVE, KATIE. (Why does this require a panel all its own? Is it important that we see what’s written on the card to know and understand that they are together? No. Do we need to know that the gift is for Jo? No. Let the story unfold naturally and introduce the gift as being for Jo further in, when she’s actually given it.)

KATIE: I am, (Comma-fail)Now. (Why is “Now” capitalized and why is it underlined? It isn’t a new sentence and it doesn’t have the nuance in speech to require bolding.)

PANEL 9: WE SEE KATIE WALK TO WHERE JO IS. (No. Combine the actions from your panel 7 and this one to make one image. Otherwise you’re dragging on your pace for no good reason.)

So, I’ve gotten through Page One and it’s not looking good. Your pacing is terrible with nine panels where four would do. Here’s the breakdown of how you could present it: Panel 1 needs an actual establishing shot, not one looking at moonlight in a bedroom, but an actual exterior shot looking at the building with focus on the window leading us to your story’s characters. Right now it isn’t working to establish setting. Panel 2 is where you have the reflection in the mirror, Panel 3 has the front facing over-Katie’s-shoulder shot looking at Jo’s figure in the doorway, and Panel 4 has Katie taking the gift in her hand as she walks out of the room. More than that and you’re dragging. Next up is the dialogue. It’s very basic, with the “No cases, no dead bodies” thing and the simple exchange of “You ready?” and “I am now.” You have so much opportunity to develop the relationship between the characters here through verbal banter and even set up the situation of them going out to celebrate Jo’s birthday, but you didn’t. You left us with nothing to make us want to turn the page. Finally, there’s your misuse of underlining and punctuation marks. This isn’t a good start, Esther, but I’m going to continue.

 

So, we have P1 in the books.

I’m just going to say it now: this is crap. There, now, don’t we all feel better with that out of the way? Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

We have the makings of a nine-panel grid. You know what? I like nine-panel grids. Generally, they’re more dense in their storytelling. In today’s world of “decompressed” storytelling, I don’t think you’re getting much bang for your buck. It takes too long to get a story told. That’s just my thought.

Now, let’s take a look at the formatting first. There are some interesting things going on here.

First, we have the underlined page and panel headings. Necessary? Nope. Something to ding her on? Absolutely not. As long as she’s consistent and as long as it doesn’t interfere with the understanding of the script, then I don’t care. But it isn’t as interesting as the next part.

The panel descriptions are in all caps. Again, this isn’t wrong. This is a writer’s choice. However, it isn’t something I agree with, and I’m going to tell you why.

No one cares about the panel descriptions. The readers aren’t going to see it, and really, it’s counterintuitive to what follows next (the dialogue). Also, it makes the script longer than it needs to be.

SEE HOW MUCH SPACE THIS SENTENCE TAKES UP?

See how much space this sentence takes up? The difference is unmistakable. You can get in more words by not using all caps in the panel descriptions.

Now, the dialogue (which we’ll revisit, but we’re still talking about format right now) is in sentence case. I’ll never understand why some writers do this: write the panel descriptions in all caps, but write the dialogue in sentence case. What use is that?

Realize this, folks: the overwhelming majority of the time, your dialogue is going to be in all caps when the book gets lettered. If you write your dialogue in all caps, then you’ll get a better idea of how it’s going to look when it gets lettered. (No, I don’t write my dialogue in all caps. This is a personal preference. I’m not saying that you should, either. I’m just saying that I don’t understand why the panel descriptions are all caps but the dialogue isn’t.)

This is also the reason why I don’t ding on capitalizing names. It’s a stupid mistake and Esther should be ashamed of herself, but because it’s going to be “fixed” in the lettering, I don’t ding on it.

Now, let’s take a look at the mess we have here.

Panel 1 is sparse. I mean, a monk could live in that panel description, that’s how sparse it is. Establishing shots can be a little more wordy because you’re setting the scene. Not overly so, but a little more. If a regular panel description can be done in about 50 words, then an establishing shot should be about 75 or so. Maybe. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, just a general guideline.

Panel 2 is nonsensical. Steve already covered that: a silhouette, but then giving details that aren’t going to be seen… Not good.

Basically, what we have here is someone who isn’t putting in the work to take the job seriously. There are some misspellings on this page, nonsensical panel descriptions, character descriptions in the wrong place, and dialogue that is stressed completely incorrectly.

This is a mess.

I’m trying not to lose my mind over the comma usage. Really, I’m trying not to. It’s difficult, though.

Steve’s right. This should have been a 5 panel page, tops. Properly thought out, that’s all that’s here.

 

PAGE 2

PANEL 1: MEDIUM SHOT OF JO’S FACE, FROM THE WAIST UP, TAKING KATIE’S HAND. A SOFT GLOW OF MOONLIGHT STREAMS ONTO KATIE. (Here’s another example of confusion in your panel description. You can’t have a medium shot of Jo’s face if you’re going from the waist up. Focusing on her face would make it a close-up. It also makes it seem like her face is taking Jo’s hand. Another problem is the “soft glow of moonlight” that is only streaming on one of the two bodies. Huh? Finally, where is the shot taking place? I can’t picture what you were trying to convey here and neither will your artist.)

JO: You look amazing, (Comma-fail) tonight.

KATIE: Back at ya, hero. (Would this read “hero” or “heroine”, as she’s female, right? Also, you shouldn’t have underlined “hero”.)(Heroine is somewhat antiquated, like comedienne. Just saying.)

(Again, very basic exchange. It’s fluff instead of substance. Give the relationship some form of connection.)


PANEL #2: WE SEE JO LIFT OFF, SILVER BOOTED FEET & PURPLE TIGHTS, FIRST, CRADLING KATIE, IN HER ARMS. (Lift off from where? You never established if they were inside or outside. And again, you give us nothing to work from in the panel description. Sure, you’ve stated that she’s taking off with Katie in her arms, but that’s it. Tell us about the skyline or the balcony or whatever she’s taking off from. Give us camera distance, angles, etc. Give us more.)(That red part there? That has nothing to do with anything.)

PANEL #3-4: CUT TO A MEDIUM LONG SHOT KATIE’S JOYFUL FACE. THE BACKGROUND TRANSITIONS FROM A COUPLE OF BUILDINGS IN THE BACKGROUND, TO JUST A SPARE FEW. THE MOON IS HANGING FROM THE UPPER RIGHT OF JO WITH KATIE IN HER ARMS. THEY LAND ON A SWANKY ROOFTOP RESTAURANT. (Slow to the point of almost stopping. Again, you have opportunity for character and relationship development, but didn’t take it, making this segment drag us along. Why should we care about these people? I don’t, and that’s poor writing. I’m getting a feeling of Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder flying through the night sky, but even that segment in the first Superman movie had Lois in her thoughts, an inner voice that we, the viewers, could hear. Not good.)(What’s worse is that this is a moving panel. You CANNOT transition anything in a single panel. It’s impossible. These are static images, and as such, cannot move. There’s no transitioning going on tonight.)

PANEL #5: MEDIUM SHOT OF SOME RESTAURANT-GOERS LOOKING SURPRISED TO SEE A HERO, CAMERA PHONES, A-FLUTTER, FROM THE 20-SOMETHINGS, THERE, MOST DON’T. (This is completely needless. You’re adding details to the scene for no reason and missing your chances to forward the story.)(WHAT IN THE NAME OF OVER-COMMA-ING ARE YOU DOING?! Do one of two things: learn to use a comma, or step away from the keyboard.)

NOTE ON PANEL #5: (Don’t note separately what’s in a panel when it should be in the panel description itself to begin with.) PUT 20-50 AGED FOLKS RANDOMLY SEATED THROUGHOUT THIS PLACE. IT’S HIP, NOT SO NEW, BUT, ROMANTICALLY LIT. IT’S THE PERFECT PLACE FOR A DATE NIGHT. (I’m confused. Are you wanting about 20-50 people in the panel, or is that the age range you’re talking about? If it’s people, it’s too many (especially the 50), and if it’s the age range, then you forgot to add how many people are supposed to be on that rooftop.)

How you got from point A to point B, the apartment to the restaurant, could have definitely been done more effectively. I feel like I’m a young child being forced to follow their parent who’s dragging me by the arm. “Let go, Mommy! There’s more fun to be had elsewhere!”

PANEL #6: LONG SHOT OF JO SIGNALING A WAITER AND THEY GO (Moving panel of two actions: Signaling the waiter and then walking over to the table. You can’t have it both ways.) TO A TABLE A FEW FEET OVER FROM AN ELDERLY COUPLE. THIS CAN BE AN OPTIONAL SILENT PANEL, I GUESS. (This part bothers me as YOU’RE the one who decides whether or not there’s going to be dialogue. There’s no “I guess” about it. Make the decision and go with it. In other words, get rid of this statement.)

PANEL #7: MEDIUM SHOT OF KATIE GAZING TO WHERE JO IS, WE CAN TELL, SHE’S IN LOVE.

KATIE: Tough days or not, Jo’s the one who’s kept me sane, (Comma-fail) for years. Ever since she found out that her step-dad passed on, from that crime scene a few months ago, (Needless information) she’s been slowly accepting her destiny from her birth parents (Too much information is spoon feeding us) as the sole survivor of their society. And I love her, super-powers or not. (You don’t need to underline this last bit.)

Wow. 57 words in one caption, which is a caption, right? It hasn’t been designated as such, but I don’t imagine Katie needs to say this out loud. Do you need to write all of this text? No. Can it be separated? Definitely.

I have to stop here. It’s only a six page story, but the way it’s written is making me frustrated. I love my job as an editor and teacher, but sometimes the job becomes a “JOB” and it loses all passion. I can honestly say I’ve lost my passion, and that says something on a major level. In all fairness, I’m going to explain the outline of the story to all of you.

 

Jo is a powerful super-heroine who is going to dinner with her lover, Katie. (I’m assuming it’s Jo’s birthday, but I didn’t see any reference to the gift beyond this point.) They arrive at the restaurant where they are seated next to an elderly couple. During the course of the dinner, Katie notices the elderly patrons gawking at her and Jo in disgust due to the obvious intense affection these two women have for one another. Jo sees Katie’s reaction and decides to deal with the situation herself. She confronts the man, who says that the women’s relationship is an abomination in the eyes of God. Jo, aggravated, explains impatiently that their love is the same as the man has for his wife and that they should accept their lesbian relationship as they would any bond between two people. Katie goes to Jo, planting a very passionate kiss on her lips and, when they turn around, the elderly couple have left. End of story.

 

A few things that bothered me about the story, none of which had to do with the actual homosexual relationship, but rather how it was presented in the story. First up was the needless inclusion of the fact that Jo was a super-powered alien. So what? It didn’t forward the story and didn’t make their love any more “normal”. The story was about two women in love, not a woman and an alien woman. The point was made without that being introduced. Second was the nature of the story, which, in my opinion, was “designed” as a public service announcement on gay rights and public acceptance. That doesn’t make a comic script. It makes a commercial. I honestly feel the need to say, “Move along, folks. There’s no story here.”

 

Esther, I’m sorry, but this isn’t well written at all. The premise, they way the story is laid out, the pacing, and, most notably, the punctuation errors all make it unreadable. Take the steps to learn the following: A- How to tell a story through every aspect of storytelling, with special concentration on character development; B- how to format your script properly as we’ve had an exchange through numerous drafts of this script and you still need to capture the basics of scriptwriting; C- proper use of punctuation through purchasing and READING The Elements of Style and The Elements of Grammar. You need to get a better grasp of proper comma usage, as you’ve got them everywhere like machine gun fire; and D- saying your dialogue out loud and possibly even recording it to capture where your nuances are, so that in your next scripts, you aren’t underlining the wrong words. Another option on this topic is to avoid underlining altogether until you’ve got a better understanding of proper usage. As a closing comment, I strongly suggest you write an outline before going straight into your story. Here’s how I’m describing the writing process to one of my students: Flesh out your premise or basic idea of the story first (including the theme you’re writing towards), then write out your scenes, followed by dividing the scenes into a series of actions through thumbnails or basic panel descriptions like storyboarding, then find your hooks and page turns to divide your story into comic pages. This is the best way I can think of that will get you to visualize the pace of your story before you hit the scripting stage. That’s for pacing and story structure. For dialogue, do the old Marvel way of writing your text separate from your panel descriptions to figure out what you want to say before dividing it into their proper panels. Once you get it all out of your head, particularly through brainstorming, you’ll be able to combine and edit.

 

If you want to be a writer, do the work to prepare, do the work to properly present it, and do the work once you’ve gotten feedback. It’s all about the work. Looking forward to seeing what you bring to the table next time.

 

This is crap.

 

Let’s run it down.

 

Format: Flawless victory. The format is the absolute only good thing about this travesty. Remember that I keep saying that formatting is the easiest part to learn about scripting? This is a perfect example of it right here.

 

Panel Descriptions: Hoo-BOY do these need a lot of work!

 

We’ve got a bit of everything in here: extremely sparse descriptions, no camera angles, moving panels, unnecessary information, and just plainly bad writing.

 

Let’s talk about that last part for a moment.

 

I beat people up a lot here for various things. Some of it is wince-worthy, and some of it is clearly deserved. For the past few months, you can see something of a “good cop/bad cop” between Steve Colle and I. We have different styles, yes, but Steve is also genuinely a nice guy. Personally, I wouldn’t have gone through the multiple drafts that he described…you send it in, you’re going to get comments on what was sent, good or bad. It isn’t that I’m an asshole (although some would say that that’s debatable), it’s just that I cut through the fluff and point fingers.

 

Pointing fingers isn’t easy to do, and it is even harder to accept. No one wants to be told that they’re bad at what they’re doing. And, truly, that isn’t the purpose of this column (although some might call that debatable, too).

 

A couple of weeks ago, I gave my stance: I respect writers who give respect to their craft. There’s more to that, and regular readers of Bolts & Nuts are aware of it: every writer needs an editor. Not only do they need an editor, they need to be receptive to editing.

 

Regular readers have heard me say time again that there is bad storytelling in the script, but this is the first time anyone has heard me say that there is bad writing.

 

This isn’t just bad writing. This is a terrible abuse of the written language. There is a combination of things going on to make it that way. The first is the fact that there’s little sense in what’s written. The panel descriptions zig and zag all over the place without rhyme or reason. Look at it from the standpoint of reciting the alphabet. We all know the alphabet song from grade school. First or second grade, if not earlier, right? It goes in a rhyming sequence. It is “established.” Now, if someone were to recite it out of order, it wouldn’t make very much sense to us, would it? Couple that recitation with the bulk of the alphabet missing as well, and that’s what you have in these “panel descriptions.”

 

Now, compound that with a total lack of understanding of proper punctuation.

 

Terrifying.

 

Esther, panel descriptions should be written describing things from left to right. Do yourself a favor: go read the first twelve or so installments of Bolts & Nuts. Those will give you a great foundation on how to write a comic script. If you want to be a writer, then you also need to pay attention to how to use punctuation. It’s important. If you want to be an accountant, you have to know basic math, right? Well, writers need to know basic English. Anyone looking at this will see you don’t know it.

 

Pacing: There is no pacing here. That first page has nine panels that don’t do much of anything to move the story forward. The second page? I still have no idea what’s going on. Not only do I not have any idea, one also doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.

 

Someone’s in love with someone else. Got it. Someone’s giving someone else a present. Got it. What’s the interest in that? What’s going on that’s going to get the reader to turn the page? What’s happening at the end of P1 that gets the reader to P2? Nothing. How do we inject that interest? By having something interesting happen.

 

David Mamet, director, playwright, and screenplay writer, wrote a book called On Directing Film that I urge everyone to buy. It’s a slim volume that will teach a LOT about writing comics. In it, he talks about telling the story in the cut. For us, the cut comes in two flavors: each individual panel, as well as each scene. Compressed storytelling does this well. It tells the story in the cut. The origin of Spider-Man was told in about 16 pages or so. Ultimate Spider-Man? About three issues. (And Bendis says the Mamet book changed the way he wrote! Imagine if it didn’t!)

 

Something of interest has to happen on every page, and that page has to end with a reason to go to the next page. I’ve written a B&N on pacing, which you’ll be reading if you take the advice to go and read the first dozen or so articles. If there’s a pace here, it can be summed up in one word: slow. Slow is not good.

 

Dialogue: I don’t care overmuch about what was said. There wasn’t anything memorable going on in the dialogue. Not in what was said. All one-note, bland “I love you’s.” Uninspired and uninteresting. What was said was unremarkable.

 

How it was said is a different matter.

 

Steve touched upon this, but I’m going to go a little deeper.

 

So, we all know that we underline words in order to add stress to them. When the letterer gets it, they’ll put that word in italics so that the reader reads what the writer wrote, how the writer wanted it.

 

The problem lies in when the writer is “wrong.” They can be “wrong” by over-stressing, or by stressing a word that a reader wouldn’t stress. The reader would stress another word instead. Take a look back and see what Steve wrote. It’s a perfect example of how the writer is “wrong,” because the reader “heard” the stress that the writer wanted, but the reader thought the stress should be in a different place.

 

There are two ways to overcome this. The first is that you only stress a word when absolutely necessary. If it isn’t necessary to stress the word, then don’t. Go read through your comics, and see how many words you find that are stressed, either by italics or by actual yelling/screaming (a larger font used for the word). I’ll even make it easy on you and say you can use superhero comics for this test. Add the amount of stressed words you have here to get a total, then I want you to read comics until you reach the same amount of stressed words. I’m willing to bet you’ll more than double the amount of comics read in order to reach the amount of words you stressed here. Let that sink in: two pages of a single script, versus more than double the amount of scripts it took to write the comics you read.

 

The second way is a trick I learned way back when: don’t put stressors in your scripts. Let the reader put the stress where they want it. This will stop you from being “wrong,” and will stop the reader from being kicked out of the story. (This is why you’ll more than likely double the amount of comics you’ve read to the amount of stressed words you have here. The writers are only stressing what needs to be stressed, or not stressing at all, leaving it up to the reader.)

 

Content: Steve is a better man than I. When I stop reading, I stop reading. If you haven’t grabbed me in the first few pages, I don’t care how the rest turned out. As a reader, I don’t care about this. You haven’t done anything to make me care, and this is only the first two pages. For short stories, you have to get in and out extremely fast. This isn’t cutting it.

 

Editorially, this is a piece of crap. Steve and I love to teach. This is why we do what we do. But when a “writer” sends something to edit that is this bad, we look and we want to raise our rates, because we’re either going to have to teach the storyteller how to be a writer, or we’ll end up writing the script ourselves. Neither is a fun proposition.

 

Right now, Esther, you’re a storyteller, not a writer. A storyteller has a story to tell, and they aren’t used to the written language, so they just write things down and hope for the best. Writers are used to expressing themselves in a written form, and as such, they just need editorial nudging here and there.

 

The problem with storytellers is that they think writing is easy. Go out and draw up the plans for a house, so that a group of builders can go out and do their thing. Go ahead. I’ll wait. What’s that? You’re not an architect, you say? Writing is the same thing. You’re building with words.

 

When I started writing, I wrote prose. Short stories that I imagined would be turned into collections. I started a novel while in my teens about vampires. (I was reading a lot of Brian Lumley at the time.) When I moved to comic scripting, I had to learn how to get my thoughts across in the medium. Comic scripting is a learned trait. It is very unique.

 

If you want to be a writer, I suggest writing prosaic shorts. Buy a collection of short stories, read them once or twice, and then imitate. Learn the structure. Learn to move within it. You want to be a comic scripter, get a few scripts, and then literally copy them word for word. As you’re doing that, ask yourself why the writer chose this way or that to express themselves. Notice how they are moving through the script. (I suggest doing this after reading B&N. Noticing a trend here?)

 

This is just bad, all the way around. If you gave this to me as an editor, I’d give it back to you, telling you to learn how to write, and then see me again in six months with an updated, rewritten script.

 

Whew!

 

Okay, some housekeeping before we head out!

 

We’re in the home stretch, folks. Two more weeks, and we’re at the end of the year! After that, there are only two more weeks worth of scripts. Basically, there’s only a month worth of scripts in the queue before we run dry. We’re here for you, we do this for you, and we literally cannot do this without you. I know the last few weeks have been rough, but don’t be shy. We’re a tribe. Do it for the good of the tribe. Become a Brave One.

 

And that’s all there is for this week. Check the calendar to see who’s next!

 

Click here to make comments in the forum.

 

 

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Category: Columns, The Proving Grounds

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at [email protected] for rate inquiries.

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