pornolar porno seyret

TPG Week 120: Writing is Rewriting

| April 12, 2013

TPGFeatured_01

Hello, and welcome to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have someone who’s definitely no stranger to these parts: Liam Hayes, who actually does hail from the UK. We’ve got Steve Colle in blue, I’m in red, and let’s see if we can catch Liam in

The Glimpse

PAGE 1 (Five Panels)

PAGE 1, Panel 1

Early morning establishing shot of a nice modern house in an American suburb. (Meh. Not all suburbs are the same. Midwest suburbs are different from the east coast, which are different from the west coast, and both coasts are dependent upon if you’re in the north or south. So you have at least five different types of suburbs. I’m not much for photo reference, but I think you need some here.)

STEVEN (TOP FLOOR WINDOW): RACHEAL, PLEASE! (Well, slap my ass and call me excited! See what we have here? We have Liam, growing in his powers and daring once again. How many times have we seen this in TPG? I don’t know. It may be the first time. If it isn’t, it’s one of those rare times. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the character talking who’s in the scene, but inside the building, so it looks like the house is speaking. That’s exciting! That’s a minor mystery, right off the bat. Don’t you want to know what’s going on? Even a little bit curious? I know I am, and this is only panel 1. Nice work, Liam!)

PAGE 1, Panel 2

Interior establishing shot of the house’s master bedroom. Racheal’s body lies on its side at the edge of a large double bed in the foreground of the panel, facing the camera. The bed covers are up to its shoulders (The bed’s shoulders or hers?), so we can’t see we can’t the wrists. Beside the bed, atop of small table, is a nearly full ashtray, a packet of cigarettes and a lighter. Steven stands at a doorway on the other side of the room in the background, looking in at Racheal’s corpse with guilt. He is wearing jeans and a shirt. (Steven may not have an issue understanding the panel description, but I am. It’s the “facing the camera” part that’s confusing me, as you have Steven standing in the doorway in the background. Does this mean that we are seeing the bed from the side or from the headboard viewpoint? This could have been written clearer, such as “Steven, in the background standing in the bedroom doorway, looks at Rachael, who is lying on her side facing the camera in the foreground. Beside her is the nightstand with the yadda yadda yadda…” The other thing that isn’t clear is whether or not her eyes are open or closed as she has her dead body facing the camera.)(I had no real problem with it. My only problem is the same one Steve has about Racheal’s eyes being open or closed. And if she slit her wrists, where’s the blood?)

STEVEN: IF YOU WON’T TALK TO ME, CAN YOU AT LEAST LISTEN?

PAGE 1, Panel 3

Face shot of Steven as he pleads.

STEVEN: I KNOW WHAT I DID WAS WRONG… (A comma would have worked better here.) BUT WILL YOU ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN MYSELF?

PAGE 1, Panel 4

Steven is now sat on the end of the bed with his back to the corpse, looking down with sadness. Steven is in the foreground and Racheal’s corpse in the background, facing away from the camera.

STEVEN: I… I HAVE THIS SECRET. I NEVER TOLD YOU… (A comma would have worked better here.) BECAUSE… WELL…

STEVEN: *SIGH* (Separate balloon) YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT IS…

PAGE 1, Panel 5

Face shot of Steven as he looks over his shoulder, towards Racheal’s body (off-panel). His eyes wet with tears.

STEVEN: … KNOWING WHEN THE ONE YOU LOVE IS GOING TO DIE.

Save for the unclear Panel 1 description, this page is fine. Unremarkable, but fine. Could the dialogue have been stronger? Yes. Is it kind of wishy washy, for lack of a better term? Yes. Would I like more of it as an introduction to the story, more one-sided conversation? Yes. Right now, it’s very fast and doesn’t give me enough of a feeling that she might still be alive and just lying there, which is something you had mentioned wanting to be unclear to the reader in your character descriptions separate from the script. Does it do its job of hooking the reader to turn the page? Meh.

We’ve got P1 on the books, and the excitement I felt in panel 1 kinda fizzled out.

I like the first panel. However, in context, I don’t know if it works. Do I have a suggestion in mind to replace it? No. I might have taken a tour of the house, but that would have ended with us behind Steve, looking at Racheal. This might have been better, because her back would be to us, instead of facing us. We then move into the room with him, and then we get to see or possibly intimate that she’s dead already. Actually, that might have been a better way to go. Tour the house, see the remnants of a life together, and then we get to see something of what’s going on. This means you get to keep most of the dialogue, and it will give it some punch, because we’re not seeing Steve until later. And then that last bit of dialogue would have more punch if it were pulled out, and we finally see Rachael. Is she dead? I don’t know! Let’s turn the page to find out!

I think that would have been more interesting.

The dialogue loses punch because we see Steve. It’s almost too much of him right now. You want to heighten the sense of mystery, of secrets, as much as you can, and you do that by not showing too much of him too soon. Take the tour, and then see how the dialogue works.

PAGE 2 (Five Panels)

PAGE 2, Panel 1

Flashback to 1986. Establishing shot of a park at afternoon. We see a young Steven and Racheal, both in their twenties, having a picnic on the grass. They’re lying on their sides on a blanket, beside a plastic cooler, kissing. Steven is wearing a stone-washed jeans, a shirt and leather shoes, and has full head of neat combed brown hair. His spectacles remain. Racheal is wearing a floral dress and has her hair tied back, and holds a lit cigarette in one hand.

CAPTION: 1987 (Why do you say 1986 in the panel description and 1987 in the caption? Was this a typo? Just curious.)

CAPTION (STEVEN): “RANDOM AS THEY WERE, I THOUGHT MY VISIONS WERE GIFTS…”

This time jump, expressed through the omniscient narrative caption, took me away from the flow of the story. I feel that it would have worked better if Steven had said in his dialogue something like “Back in the 80’s, I thought my visions were gifts, random as they were…”

PAGE 2, Panel 2

Zoom in so we have a medium shot of Steven and Racheal. They’ve stopped kissing. Racheal holds her cigarette to her mouth, about to take a drag, and smiles at Steven. Steven is looking disconcertingly at the cigarette in Racheal’s hand.

RACHEAL: SORRY. I KNOW YOU HATE THE TASTE OF SMOKE.

STEVEN: I’LL ABIDE IT, IF I GET TO KISS MY LOVELY WIFE.

PAGE 2, Panel 3

Face shot of Racheal, amused as she continues to hold the cigarette to her mouth.

RACHEAL: STEVEN… (A comma could have done the job better here.) IT’S BEEN THREE WEEKS. AREN’T YOU BORED OF CALLING ME THAT YET?

PAGE 2, Panel 4

Face shot of Steven looking shocked.

Getting to this point and looking back to what you have as captioned dialogue, I somewhat change my tune as to the use of the year as a time indication. With that said, you introduced the fact he has visions at the top of this page before he actually has one at the bottom. What I would suggest is leaving the “1987” as a time caption and moving the character caption to here, so it would read before his spoken dialogue, also explaining his sudden shocked look.

CAPTION (STEVEN): “RANDOM AS THEY WERE, I THOUGHT MY VISIONS WERE GIFTS…” (Change the wording so it reads “I thought my visions were gifts, random as they were…”, as this reads better.)

STEVEN: IT’LL NEVER GET BORING, MY–

PAGE 2, Panel 5

Vision. Give this panel an odd border to differentiate it. Face shot of Steven as old as he is in the present. Tears are streaming down his saddened expression. We can’t yet see where he’s stood, but it’s early evening and raining heavily.

STEVEN: MY LOVELY WIFE… I’M SO SORRY… (Is this meant to be captioned speech or spoken aloud at the time of the vision? I’m feeling it would have been better combined with the opening captioned dialogue on the next page.)

Pacing-wise, I find that the last panel of the actual vision could have been better served as the first panel of the next page, leaving this one with his shocked look as the hook, such as it is given the next page is a facing page.

Because it’s a short story, I’m going to read through the entire script, but so far, I’m not feeling it, Liam.

We’re now on P2, and it feels like the story has come to a screeching halt. Everything that was built on P1 has now been partially flushed on P2.

I’m bored. There’s five panels here, and they don’t move the story well. There’s absolutely nothing here that makes me want to go to the next page, which is a shame. The first page holds such potential. This page squanders it.

What could fix this page? First, I’d up the panel count by two , and then make these panels more relevant. You have to up the word count, because it’s low. When you do that, also make sure that it is interesting.

Married for 3 weeks in the 80s. Newlyweds, and she’s a smoker. He’s deeply in love. You could have done all of that in a single panel. Two at the most. What does the rest of the page do? Not one thing. Out of five panels, you have three that don’t move the story. If you up the panel count to seven, you’ll have to find more story to tell.

Right now, I’m smelling elderberries.

PAGE 3 (Three Panels)

PAGE 3, Panel 1

Vision. We zoom out to reveal Steven stood in a graveyard, still crying and looking sad, staring at a gravestone in front of him. We’re looking at him from over the gravestone. Steven wears a coat over jeans and a shirt. (Steven and I had presented something in a previous script edit that may apply here. The use of a third person subjective camera viewpoint during a dream sequence is something that doesn’t work because we don’t see ourselves in our dreams, but experience it as if it were real. With that said, we could go either way of objective or subjective camera in a vision. Which works better for this scenario in my opinion? Probably what you have here, as your past is looking at your future. Having not had visions, I don’t know what it’s like, but I do know how it’s presented in fiction. What do you folks think?)

STEVEN: I KNOW YOU MUST HATE ME FOR WHAT I DID.

PAGE 3, Panel 2

Vision. Side shot. Steven has fallen to his knees in front of the gravestone and is weeping into his hands.

STEVEN: I TRIED, RACHEAL. (Move the next sentence to Panel 3) I TRIED TO STOP IT.

STEVEN: I REALLY DID.

PAGE 3, Panel 3

Vision. We’re looking over Steven, as he continues to kneel and weep, and at the gravestone. It reads ‘RACHEAL BRODER’ above ‘1959 – 2012’. (Don’t have the dates in the shot as it gives away the suspense of when she died, which is pretty far away from the flashback dates. Leave it as a hook. Otherwise it seems like she lived for 53 years instead of maybe 33.)

STEVEN: I TRIED… I TRIED TO STOP IT.

Okay, we’re on P3, and I’m still unhappy. I have to say that this is the worst story I’ve ever seen you write, Liam. You’ve written stories I was uninterested in, but I could see the value of them. This, however, is just plain boring.

I’m still waiting on the point of the story.

What you could have done is cut the preceding page entirely, and just jump to this page. What have you lost, story-wise? Not a thing. You might not even have to change up the dialogue to fit. That means the entire second page is padding. This page would be padding, too, if it weren’t for the fact it’s a vision.

I’m bored, though. You can do better than this.

PAGE 4 (Five Panels)

PAGE 4, Panel 1

Flashback. Steven and Racheal in their early thirties in the kitchen of their house. Steven is holding a packet of cigarettes up and away from Racheal with one hand, looking stern. With the other he is holding her back. Racheal, annoyed, is trying to grab them. Steven wears a shirt and trousers. Racheal, a jumper and jeans.

CAPTION: 1996

CAPTION (STEVEN): “I KNOW YOU COULDN’T SEE MY INTENTIONS.”

STEVEN: I’VE TOLD YOU TO STOP!

RACHEAL: I’LL SMOKE IF I WANT TO FUCKING SMO–

PAGE 4, Panel 2

Side shot of Steven angrily backhanding Racheal in the face. She recoils in pain (You don’t need to explain the pain, just the action of her body as he hits her.) from the strike. (Is he striking her with the hand he was holding her back with or has he dropped the pack of cigarettes and is using the other hand? If it’s the first option, I’m seeing the necessity for a transitional image of him no longer holding her at bay. Try imitating the action, because as soon as he lets her go with his pushing hand, she’s going to move quickly forward, meaning that he isn’t going to have the time nor power for the strike. At least if it’s the second option, you can have the pack drop from his grip as he strikes her.)

STEVEN: NO!

SFX: THWAKK

PAGE 4, Panel 3

Racheal is bent over, holding her face with pain. Steven stands looking at her with shock.

STEVEN: RACHEAL! I DIDN’T MEAN TO — ! I–

PAGE 4, Panel 4

Face shot of Racheal looking contemptuous. She is now stood, but still holding the side of her face.

RACHEAL: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

RACHEAL: WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!

I’d suggest having these last two pieces of Racheal’s dialogue as her screaming in burst balloons. Also, instead of a contemptuous look on her face, give her more emotion as she screams at him, a full-blown rage of emotion. This will also leave the reader with the impression that this isn’t the first altercation they’ve and that the aggression has been building.

PAGE 4, Panel 5

Racheal walking away from Steven with anger in the foreground. Steven is in the background looking shocked.

STEVEN: RACHEAL, PLEASE! I… I DIDN’T MEAN…

This last panel drastically lessens the impact of the panel before it. Get rid of it.

Okay, so this is about her smoking. This means that P2 has some value, but not enough to warrant keeping it. You can still cut that page and have this one without any loss of story. Hell, if you wanted to, you could combine P2 with this page, showing her smoking and his problem with it, and just show the leapfrog through time. That would be more compelling than what you currently have.

And Steve is right about the last panel here. It’s completely sapping the energy of the page.

Know what I’m saying here? I’m saying that this story is terribly paced. Very much so. Way below your usual abilities. It isn’t enjoyable at all.

PAGE 5 (Six Panels)

PAGE 5, Panel 1

Face shot of Steven in his late thirties (Look at the date difference between the last scene and this one. Now consider that he went from early 30’s to late 30’s in the span of 11 years. Doesn’t make sense.) looking shocked. (You keep using the word “shocked” in this script. Give us something else.) He stands in the doorway to the bedroom. Tears flows down his face. (This could very well be a copy of the shot from Page 1, Panel 2. This would tie things together.)

CAPTION: 2007

CAPTION (STEVEN): “I COULDN’T SEE WHAT I WAS DOING TO YOU.”

STEVEN: RACHEAL… WHY?

PAGE 5, Panel 2

Big Panel. Over Steven’s shoulder, looking into the bedroom. We see Racheal in bed with another man, both naked. Let’s call this other man Dave. Dave looks at Steven with shock. (There’s that damned word again…) Racheal looks at him with contempt. (This is convenient. You could have just as well had her packing her bags ready to leave, but no, instead you introduce a lover to the mix.)

RACHEAL: WHY DO YOU THINK? I CAN’T LIVE WITH YOU ANY MORE. YOU STOP ME FROM LEAVING THE HOUSE. YOU HIDE MY CIGARETTES. (This is a rant, all the while her lover is in the bed naked along with her. Why isn’t she concentrating her dialogue on the way “Dave” makes her feel? It doesn’t work. Now if she were packing her bags …) (Hiding her cigarettes? Really? She loves her cigarettes SO much that she’s going to sleep with another man because her husband hides her cigarettes. Talk about nonsensical.)

RACHEAL: I WANT TO BE FREE OF YOU! (Do people really say this?)

PAGE 5, Panel 4

Face shot of Steven looking down in sadness.

STEVEN: BUT… I DID THOSE THINGS FOR YOU…

STEVEN: I DIDN’T WANT TO LOSE YOU… I… (This is needless as you have “I’m not going to lose you!” in the next panel.

PAGE 5, Panel 5

Steven, locked in a rage (Where is the build-up to his being in a rage? His dialogue prior to this doesn’t give an indication to his anger, not even showing he’s mildly pissed off that she’s just had sex with another man.), is now on the bed, on top of Dave, strangling him. Dave chokes in pain (Redundant use of additional words) as he tries to push Steven off. Racheal looks shocked (… and again…) as she attempts the loosen Steven’s grip by pulling at one of his arms.

STEVEN: I’M NOT GOING TO LOSE YOU! (Cliché.)

PAGE 5, Panel 6

Face shot of Racheal looking shocked (… and again.) as tears flow.

STEVEN (OFF-PANEL): I’M NEVER GOING TO LOSE YOU!! (Over-the-top cliché. ‘Nuff said.)

This page is terrible. Did you really write this, Liam? Everyone has their weak points, I know. This…this is terrible.

I’m not going to remark overmuch about her sleeping with another man. I don’t care about the action. I’m going to remark about the reason behind it.

Cigarettes.

Here’s the thing: foregoing the fact that we’re dealing in comics and this guy has visions… People have visions all the time. I firmly believe that everyone is mildly psychic, but that’s just me. Foregoing the fact that this is a story, none of it is grounded in reality.

They’ve been married for 20 years. That’s a long time. He married her, knowing she was a smoker. Not once did you show them having a conversation about it. Not once did you show anything rational about his response to her smoking. Here’s what you’ve shown:

Acceptance, then playing keep-away, then her sleeping with another guy. That’s an extremely fast downward spiral, with no conversation at all being shown.

It’s nonsensical. And really, what it’s showing is that he’s going back on his word (acceptance), and to make matters worse, they’re both showing a lack of respect for the other.

I’m not seeing any point to this story, mainly because I’m not seeing any sense in it. I’m thinking this one has to go back to the drawing board. This is nonsense, trying hard to be dramatic, and failing miserably.

PAGE 6 (Five Panels)

PAGE 6, Panel 1

We’re now out of the flashback and in the present, back in the bedroom of Steven and Racheal’s house. Steven is still sat on the end of the bed, looking down with sadness.(See what I wrote for Panel 3.) Steven has moved Racheal’s corpse, and it now lies sat up in bed, leaning against the pillow, staring emptily at Steven. He has also placed a lit (Let’s come back to this fact in a minute.) cigarette in its mouth.

CAPTION: PRESENT

STEVEN: CAN YOU SEE WHY I DID IT? WHY I DID ALL THOSE THINGS?

STEVEN: I CHANGED YOUR FATE. YOU STAYED WITH ME. YOU STAYED ALIVE.

PAGE 6, Panel 2 (Get rid of this panel altogether. It just slows things down and has dialogue that is extraneous.)

We’re looking over the corpse’s shoulder and at Steven. Steven is looking back over his and at Racheal’s body with a small smile.

STEVEN: WE CAN’T LET THIS TEAR US APART, RACHEAL.

STEVEN: YOU ARE MY LOVE AND YOU’RE GOING TO STAY MY LOVE.

PAGE 6, Panel 3

Side shot. Steven is climbing across the bed, towards Racheal’s body with a large smile. (Okay, so I’m left wondering how he put the cigarette in her mouth if he didn’t crawl or walk over to put it there in the first place. This action, without the large smile, should be your first panel, then have him sitting next to her or on his knees reaching for her hand with the large smile.)

STEVEN: WE’RE GOING TO BE HAPPY TOGETHER.

STEVEN: NOTHING WILL TEAR US APART.

PAGE 6, Panel 4

Steven is now on all fours on the bed, just above Racheal’s corpse, smiling at it with a wide grin. He is holding one of her hands to his face, and so we see one of her slashed open but sewn up wrists. The cigarette has fallen from her mouth and is now on the bed. (Burning the bed, no less, right? Why have it lit in the first place unless you intend on making this the scene where he lets the bedroom burn, killing him so he can join her in death? In other words, follow through.)

STEVEN: NOTHING.

Stop the story here. You don’t need what comes next. Get rid of it like a bad habit.

PAGE 6, Panel 5

We’re now in the doorway leading to the bedroom. By the side of the doorway, leaning against the wall, is a shovel. The head is dirtied with mud. Beside that, crumpled on the floor, is the coat Steven was wearing in the vision on page 3, only muddied. In the background, beyond the door frame, Steven is still on the bed with Racheal’s corpse. He is cuddling up to it and smiling widely.

CAPTION: END.

I’m hoping this is an older story, because you’ve done sooooo much better than this, Liam. You’ve jumped all around from present to 1987 to a vision of the “future” to 1996 to 2007 to the present again. My biggest question is: What does the vision have to do with the story? It serves no purpose but to show a foreshadowing of her death, which is imminent for all of us if you really consider it. When she dies has no importance to the story. It’s the how and why that really matters. If you had gone from the present to the distant past and brought the story forward from there, that would have made more sense, but introducing his powers of foresight (especially given you never delve further into them) is just a simple throw in for the sake of taking up space. Also on this point, you have the need for different designs for both the panel shapes for the vision and the flashbacks instead of just going for the flashback itself.

Next up, your limited description of emotional range. Terrible, man. I’m “shocked”. Whether using the word “contempt” or “contemptuous”, “saddened” or “sadness”, your lack of imagination in describing these emotions is not you. This is beginner writing.

This is, plainly speaking, a very bad story. From premise to delivery, it had faults from the get-go and got worse as it moved forward. I’m seriously hoping this isn’t a current script.

I’ll let Steven have his say.

 

Let’s just run this down.

 

Format: Flawless Victory.

 

Panel Descriptions: Okay. I didn’t have much of a problem with them. I could see them fine.

 

Pacing: Horrible. There’s no other way to put it. Well, there are other ways, but none of them would look good.

 

From the pacing that we actually have here, this is terrible. You start in the present, and then jump to the past, and bring us back to the present with successive jumps in time. All of that could be fine, if the story were compelling. It isn’t.

 

You have a case of the dropsies. You start a voice-over dialogue, and then you go in and out with it. There’s a lot that could have been said, a lot that could have been cleared up, but because you didn’t, it was a very fast, nonsensical read.

 

Slow the pace down. Add words (that make sense) to force the reader to slow down and see what’s happening on the page. It doesn’t much matter, though, because this story needs to be scrapped and rewritten from the ground up, anyway.

 

Dialogue: There are a few rough patches where I’m not quite sure people would actually say some things. The first word that jumps out at me is “abide.” It may be a cultural thing. I just don’t hear it outside of b/w movies. You might hear it all the time, though. It threw me. Something you’ll want to think about.

 

Now, there’s a couple of things going on with the dialogue. First, Steve sounds sappy most of the time. Plaintive. It’s a turn-off. It isn’t pleasant to read at all.

 

Then, there’s the crazy. We don’t see the descent into it, it just kinda comes up outta nowhere and is really disconcerting. Not good. Sure, there’s supposed to be a twist, and I get that, but I like seeing the possibility coming.

 

The Sixth Sense. Everyone kept talking about the twist. They didn’t want to spoil it, but they kept talking about the twist. They didn’t see it coming! It was great! Well, when I finally saw the movie, I saw the “twist” coming within five minutes of the credits. Not saying that I’m smarter than the average bear, but I like having the chance. There’s no chance here.

 

There isn’t enough dialogue here, and what’s here isn’t credible. Not to carry the story, and that’s the problem. That needs to be fixed.

 

Scrapped. All of the dialogue needs to be scrapped in order to get to the heart of the story.

 

Content: As a reader, I’d be upset in reading this. Wading through this entire story, and none of it making real sense. I’d be extremely upset.

 

Editorially, this needs to be scrapped and a rewrite done. Cut the vision, because it doesn’t need to be there. It’s just taking up space. Dial up the crazy on his part. As for the dialogue for both of them…you have to show how they got there. Without showing their descent—or more accurately, his descent—the story doesn’t work.

 

Rewrite it. Make sure it works.

 

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

 

Click here to make comments in the forums.

Related Posts:

Tags: ,

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.

Comments are closed.

pornolar brazzers sex hikayeleri porno filmleri mobil porno mobil porno hd porno porno video antalya escort sikis
zzz