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TPG Week 197: Another Resubmission That Didn’t Learn

| October 3, 2014

TPGFeatured_08

Welcome back, one and all, to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a returning Brave One in James Sarandis. It’s becoming a trend, it looks like, because we have another resubmission! We also have Samantha LeBas in purple, I’m in red, and we’ll see if James learned anything from the last time he submitted

SANGUINE

PAGE 1(I like a panel count here, but I’m spoiled)(Insert “Rich Girl” lyrics here… [Hall & Oates, folks.])

PANEL 1: On an alien planet with multiple moons a large clunky and worn transport starship with the name ‘Sanguine’ written on the side sits in a impound lot inside a junkyard. Paga, Aira, and Shifterscanner 27 are climbing down a huge pile of junk approaching the fence that separates the junkyard from the impound lot. (Time of day? What is the terrain like? What kind of things are in the junk yard/impound lot? What are the characters doing, are they facing camera? Are they addressing each other? What are their expressions like?)(Looks like much wasn’t learned at all. Shame.)

AIRA: I DON’T GET IT.

CAP: AIRA: THE MUSCLE.

PAGA: SO(comma) HERE’S THE PLAN… AGAIN. KRIMZON’S IN THE CLINK, SO(comma) WE’RE GONNA GRAB HIS UPSCALE RIDE AND ANY CARGO LEFT ONBOARD(on-board). BESIDES,(delete this word) HE STILL OWES US FOR THE HELIOS VII INCIDENT.

CAP: PAGA: THE BRAINS.

PANEL 2: Upward Shot. Paga and Aira are climbing over the chain link fence separating the impound lot from the main junkyard Shifterscanner due to his gelatinous nature is able to walk right through.(Are Paga and Aria facing away from camera? Visually, how do we know that Shifterscanner has oozed through? What does that look like?)

AIRA: HOW?

PAGA: REMEMBER HOW WE KNOCKED OVER THAT MEDICAL FACILITY?

AIRA: NO.(Why not?)

PAGA: WELL(comma) WHILE YOU WERE STEALING DRUGS(comma) I STOLE KRIMZON’S BODYSCANS.

PANEL 3: As they approach the entrance to the ship, a large cargo door with a small panel next to it Shifterscanner 27 is in the process of changing into Krimzon, his head and shoulders have changed completely into the man his lower torso his molding itself into his shape but is still green with the chips still visible, below that his body is still in it’s original form. Paga has settled himself on Aira’s shoulder.(What is Paga, and why does he fit on Aira’s shoulder?)(It’s called punctuation! GAH! I mean, I’m only on panel 3, and already, this is degenerating into mush. Punctuation isn’t hard, folks! You learned this in grammar school! You had to learn it to graduate! And if you’re a writer, it should be something you’re better at than most. If you don’t know punctuation, learn. Why is it important? Because it helps you to write more clearly. It helps you to be better understood. It means your artist won’t have to spend more time than necessary trying to understand what the hell you just said. I know artists who say if they can’t understand what the writer is saying/trying to convey, they won’t work with them. I wish more artists were that way. Then again, I wish more writers gave a crap about what they send out into the world.

PAGA: SO(comma) SS 27 WILL FOOL THE SHIP(comma) AND THAT RIDE WILL BE OURS.(question mark instead of period. You might have her say something like, ‘will pose as Krimzon,’ just so the audience is sure.)

CAP: SHIFTERSCANNER 27: THE FACE

PANEL 4: Shifterscanner 27 now fully Krimzon places his hand on the palm scanner. The scanners screen confirms that Shifterscanner 27 is Dev Zur-Ent Krimzon.

PAGA: YES!

PANEL 5: In the background the three of them enter through the now open cargo bay door. In the forefront one of each of the Zhur’s hands rise from the earth wreathed in otherworldly energy. (How much of the ship do we see here? How far away are the hands? Are they in the junkyard? How many Zhur are rising from the earth? What does the energy look like?)

NO COPY

INSERT PAGE BREAK

(Well, so far we know very little about the setting, the characters, or how they are going about this heist. Are there no guards? I really hope you find a dose of logic on the next page.)

P1 is down!

The good news is that this is better than the first time through. The bad news is that there was no studying done on anyone else’s script to see what could be important. Also, the stuff that was pointed out the first time? Still not in this version. No camera angle, so things can be confusing. Panel 1? Where should the camera go? Person who’s name rhymes with “Melissa”…?

There are other things here that tells me that James is either lazy, selfish, or thinks things like “rules” don’t apply to him. Last time, he missed the page breaks. This time around? Page breaks. They were mentioned. They’re always mentioned. It’s the single thing writers get hit on most. That, and punctuation. I don’t get it. It’s like people don’t read. Either that, or they want to get hit on things. Make my blood pressure go up. You know I’m a black man, right? Aside from other black men, high blood pressure is the number one killer of black men. You’re trying to kill me? That it?

We’ll set that aside for now, and talk about things that are better.

What’s better? The dialogue. It isn’t terrible. It catches the reader up somewhat while still leaving some stuff open for later. It wasn’t awkward. I can get behind it.

Labels. There are some captions here that are just labeling characters and giving a bit of information on them. This is the omniscient narrator. As soon as the role of the character was given along with their name, it became an omniscient narrator. I don’t have anything against them at all. When it comes to a team, labels can be a great shortcut to getting names and some personality quirks across to a reader. You don’t expect someone who’s described as “the brains” to be overly physical, or someone described as “the muscle” to be overly intelligent. I think it was used well.

I’m not going to call this a wash. It’s better, but not as good as it could be. That’s what happens when you don’t listen.

PAGE 2:

Panel 1: Three Zhur are pulling themselves from the earth like ghosts rising from their graves. The Zhur wear identical armor of black insectoid plate, but they are distinguishable due to a white Greek letter etched into their chest plate and very different builds. Zhur Beta has the lithe body of a gymnast and is male, Zhur Gamma also has a gymnast’s build but is female, Zhur Delta has a male body builder’s physique. (How much of the Zhur can we see here? Where are they in relationship to the ship?)

ZHUR: (TELEPATHICALLY) HE HAS ARRIVED. PREPARE TO INTERCEPT.(All Zhur? If not, which one? It doesn’t say share balloon.)

Panel 2: The Zhur are no longer glowing and are surrounding the entrance. They each are holding their respective weapons, which are swords.

CAP: ZHUR: SILENTLY THEY KILL AS ONE.(Might need to label editorial captions, since you are including character’s names in them. It reads as if this is the Zhur’s caption, same for the other characters on page 1.)(Clunk City, USA!)

ZHUR: (TELEPATHICALLY SHARE BALOON) THREE SENTIENTS INSIDE…SMALL DURRIS, HIGHLY INTELLIGENT,(delete comma) AND UNSTABLE. CAUTION ADVISED. SECOND PRIMITIVE, A GENETIC PRECURSOR AND MILITARY TRAINED. TARGET SEEMS DISTANT, VAGUE, TELEPATHIC SHIELDING POSSIBLE. INFILTRATE, ERADICATE, & EXTRICATE ALPHA.(What about the third? Is Alpha the third? Not clear. Also what in tarnation is that ampersand doing in dialogue?)(Head ‘splode!!!)

Panel 3: The Zhur press a panel on their armor respectively phasing them thought the hull. The Zhur are glowing. Delta is two thirds of the way phased through the wall, Gamma is one third and Beta is still outside pressing a panel on his chestplate.(Ugh… I think this needs to be two panels? I can’t tell… I’m confused. From what I can glean from your description, I believe we need to see them push buttons on one panel and teleport in the next? Maybe I am missing something.) (You’re not missing anything. It’s a moving panel.)

SFX: Tik

Panel 4: A futuristic courtroom. Three judges sit. Two of them are alien, one of them is the same species as Paga, the other is a bear-like creature with tusks. The third is human.(You could just give them names and cut down on some of this confusion) They are looking down on the prisoner from their lofty perch. The prisoner is Dev Zur-Ent Krimson(spell your character’s names consistently.). He’s in prison garb, his head is hairless, and a barcode is tattooed on his forehead. He is in a cage similar to the one that holds the Master in the beginning of the Doctor Who TV movie without the headpeice (https://sp2.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608036755134549674&pid=15.1&P=0 ), or some other really cool containment device. Have fun with it. (What? Why is this happening in the middle of a page? Is this a flashback, who is remembering it? What?)

BEAR ALIEN JUDGE: YOU ARE CHARGED WITH 200 CASES OF THEFT, 87 COUNTS OF ASSAULT, 23 COUNTS OF MURDER AND OVER 2000 OTHER CRIMES. HOW DO YOU PLEAD?(HURK!)

Panel 5: The hologram of Krimzon is fading away at the edges and he is becoming filled with static. (ooooh … there are so many logical failings here, I cannot even… ohhhh)

KRIMZON (HOLOGRAM): KRIMZON ISN’T HERE RIGHT NOW. PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE. (Why? Why is he an answering machine?)

THREE JUDGES (OFF PANEL): FIND HIM NOW!(Why all three judges?)

INSERT PAGE BREAK

(This aside makes no sense here. I mean, not a lot makes sense here. This choice is definitely wrong though. It’s not a flashback, as far as I can tell. It has no immediate impact on the events taking place. It happens in the middle of a page. Why have you stuck this here?)(Simple answer to that question: bad storytelling.)

P2, and we’ve finalized the journey that begun on P1. The destination? Crap. And we’ve arrived safely.

P1 sets up the protagonists. It also foreshadows the antagonists. P2? This is just a mass of confusion.

Three panels of these characters talking malarkey, trying to sound both threatening and mechanical, but ending up only confusing the reader with what they’re trying to say. One of those panels is a moving panel.

And then…we change locations. Why? Dunno. What does it do to push the story forward? Dunno. Can’t yet tell. Does it actually push the story forward? I don’t believe so. It’s really nothing more than an interlude to tell us what kind of scum this guy is. And it does it with bad dialogue.

You have pantsed clowns, punched grandmothers with rabbits (rabbit punched!), scared infants, and have performed over two thousand other despicable acts against the Imperium! How do you plead?”

Terrible. Luckily, I hadn’t eaten yet.

Show vs tell. You’re trying to do both: tell us he’s a badass as well as being able to perform an Houdini. The bad news is that it isn’t coming across well. A better use of space, a better way to get across the threat of the character, is to have one of the protagonists question if they should be doing this, and then talk about the terrible wrath of the antagonist. (I’m not going to use your names. I like the way my mouth tastes just the way it is, and refuse to sully myself by saying some of these. It’s bad enough to read them.)

I hope I don’t get overblown dialogue later. I think you managed to escape that last time. Let’s make sure we can escape it this time, although I’m feeling the cold, soul-destroying breath of possibility. I’m sincerely hoping I’m wrong.

The interlude doesn’t belong here. It’s just an abrupt change that adds little to what’s going on.

PAGE 3:

PANEL 1: Int. Establishing Shot. Sanguine corridor, the lighting is dim, the floor is simple grating. The cargo bay is stacked full is stocked full of crates and starship parts. Paga is surveying his loot, hopping from box to box. Aira is looking at a cryogenic suspension tube containing Zhur Alpha, who has the physique of a female body builder, it is set up so she is lying down. SS27 is milling about with a blank expression on Krimzon’s face. (You are not starting your descriptions in a logical place. Where is the light coming from? Are they in the corridor or the cargo bay? Why is Zhur Alpha in the tube? Oh, jeesh. I just realized that you really did only describe two out of three characters in the Zhur rundown. AND that flashback makes less sense… I thought Krimzon was Alpha and the Zhur were bounty hunters, how silly of me. Nope that flashback was even less related to the story than I originally thought… Where is the tube in relationship to everything else? Where is everything else? There is no detail here.) (And this is a moving panel. Anyone else feel like singing the Twelve Days of Christmas, or is that just me?)

PAGA: WHAT A PAYDAY FROM THE CARGO ALONE! DO YOU SEE THIS SWAG?!

AIRA: IT’S CREEPY. (What’s creepy about it?)

PAGA: PEOPLE WILL STILL BUY IT!

PANEL 2: Paga & Aira are talking to one another. SS27 is in the background, he’s been hit with two Kunai and collapses. (Moving panel? Steven, do we have a moving panel here?)(Aye. That we do! I’m deprived. I’ve never read Moby Dick. I think I should. Free ebook, here I come!)

PAGA: WE’VE GOT IT MADE!

SFX: THUD!

PANEL 3: Aira & Paga turn to see the Zhur Beta & Delta are atop the crates, crouching with swords in one hand, Kunai in the other. Gamma is standing over SS27 she is holding the blade in both hands with the sword facing downward ready to deliver the finishing blow. (I’ve got an Aretha Franklin song in my head. Too bad “punctuation” doesn’t rhyme with “respect”, because all I want is “just a little bit”.)

PAGA: OH(comma) DISCO. (Why?)

Panel 4: Page & Aira are ducking cover behind Alpha’s tube while firing back at the Zhur. (Who’s “Page”?)

SFX: ZAT! ZAT! ZAT!

One Kunai thrown at Paga ricochets off the floor, narrowly missing him.(no)

SFX: KSHING!

Aira gets one lodged in his shoulder.(no… Are these meant to be separate panels? Why isn’t all of this information at the top in the panel description? Why? Steven’s head is going to ‘splode. Mine almost did.)(‘SPLOOOOOODE!!!!)

SFX: TUNK!

PAGA: CODEWORD: INFERNO!

Panel 5: SS27 explodes like a block of C4 nestled in a napalm JELL-O mold. Gamma is reduced to a skeleton, Delta & Beta duck for cover. Beta does get his by some of the shrapnel & burned. (What are they ducking behind? Explain what a Zhur skeleton looks like. There is not enough information here.) (Spelling is your friend. Here, the “t” is nowhere near the “s”. That last sentence. See what I’m talking about? Spellcheck isn’t infallible. Would this have been flagged by a grammar check? Even then, reading is fundamental.)

NO COPY

INSERT PAGE BREAK

(No one is going to pick up on the fact that the Zhur are here to get the dude in the tube. There is no discussion of it. They don’t come in and go directly toward the tube. If that is what they are there for, wouldn’t one Zhur go to the tube while the others cover him? Instead they just start throwing knives and acting like thugs. With the added confusion of the Krimzon backstory, this will never come across visually. It barely comes across in your writing. If Zhur Alpha is a plot point, you have to show us that. This is just bad storytelling.)(See? I’m not the only one who thinks this is bad storytelling.)

P3, and we’re firmly ensconced in crap. We are in its vile clutches!

We’ve got moving panels, and then we have the mystery that is “panel” 4, but is really three panels by itself. :insert blasphemous religious metaphor here: I have no idea what that is, or why there was any thought as to how this would be okay… I just don’t get it.

When I was a kid, there were two malls that I could go to in order to hang out: Roosevelt Field, or Sunrise Mall. I’m from Roosevelt, so my mother would always take me to Roosevelt Field because it was closest. Sunrise Mall is a good 30 minutes out of the way. (I’m making myself homesick and nostalgic with this story. Just an FYI.)

Sunrise Mall has a piece of art outside of the mall itself. It’s a large black cube, balanced on one point. It’s always a point of reference for me.

I have a large family: my mother is one of eleven, my father one of eighteen. Lots of aunts and uncles, lots of cousins. The two sides of my family don’t mix all that well, though. There would be parties at my house and the cousins from both sides would come, but we never went out of our way to mix.

My slightly older cousin on my father’s side was like my slightly older brother as I grew up. We got along really well, and I looked up to him. Handsome, athletic—women were falling all over him. He had a confidence and a comfort level that I didn’t have at the time. I was quiet and shy. (As opposed to now, when I’m just quiet until I have something to say…then you have a hard time shutting me up.)

My slightly younger cousin on my mother’s side—I couldn’t stand him. Annoying as hell, tried too hard, wasn’t that smart—he just bothered the hell out of me. I honestly didn’t learn to appreciate him until I was an adult. Now, these two knew each other. My younger cousin and his mother lived with us for a while. That pissed me off, because I’d come home and he’d be there…and I wouldn’t be able to escape him at all during the weekend.

Anyway, my older cousin asked me to come along to the movies with him and his girlfriend. I was 12 or 13, which put him at 13 or 14. My younger cousin was spending the weekend with me, though, and my mother made me take him along. He was 11 or 12. (11 months separates us, and it pissed me off when we were the same age for that month and 3 days.) Of course, I didn’t want to, but had no choice.

We walk to my older cousin’s house, then take the bus to his girlfriend’s house. Before we get there, my older cousin tells me to keep my younger one in check. I said I got it. We get to the girlfriend’s house, and she has to drag her three younger cousins along with her. I don’t think any of them were hitting their double digits.

We take the bus. We’re a gang of seven. We go to Sunrise Mall, and I don’t feel like like a 3rd wheel at all. (Honestly.) I was just happy to be out of the house and at the mall. I’ve had to tell my younger cousin to calm down a couple of times, but nothing major.

We arrived at the mall, and the kids run out, my slightly younger cousin included. They run to the cube, and it does something I didn’t know it could do: it spins. They start spinning the cube, putting their hands on it and running around in circles, spinning it. It was a nice piece of information for me to have. The other three of us (myself, my cousin and his girlfriend) walk up and past. The kids then hold hands and cross the “street”, but my younger cousin? He’s still spinning the cube by himself, yelling and laughing. I called him, and he didn’t respond. Again, and again I’m ignored. I have to go back to get him, and he finally comes along.

I didn’t get it.

Before anyone tries to defend him, no, he’s not slow. No autism, no nothing. He’s just annoying. And I didn’t get it.

Just like I’m not getting this. Three pages, and just like when Jimmy cracked his corn, I don’t care.

PAGE 4:

PANEL 1: Paga & Aira are hiding behind Alpha’s tube holding their weapons. (What weapons? What are they doing as they hide? Steven, have you had an aneurysm yet?) (The weapons, hopefully, are part of their designs. Benefit of the doubt. I’m okay with that.)

AIRA: WHAT DO WE DO NOW(comma) BOSS?

PAGA: YOU GO LEFT(comma) I’LL GO RIGHT, AND WE’LL FRY THESE BASTARDS TOGETHER.(But… but… they’re separating?)

PANEL 2: Aira is firing at the Zhur. Zhur Beta is hit in the chest. Zhur Delta leaps between the energy bolts and stabs Aira in the chest. This could be Skroce influenced ghosting.(This, ghosting or no, is a moving panel.) (I could see it, until I saw that it made no sense. Where’s the beat of the separation? Three went in, one went down, why is this guy taking on two? Ah! That’s right. This is crap. I forgot for a moment, and started to take it seriously. My fault.)

PANEL 3: Aira grips the Zhur Delta’s arms holding it in place, blood runs from the corners of his mouth.(Can we see Delta in this panel? What is Aira’s expression like?)

AIRA: GET HIM, BOSS.

PANEL 4: From between the faces of Aira and the Zhur Paga can be seen running away.(Running where? Is his back to camera here?) (Interesting camera angle. You’re going to cause the artist all kinds of headaches if this isn’t set up correctly in the beginning.)

PAGA: SORRY!

PANEL 5: Close Shot. Aira roaring with rage and pain grabs the Zhur by the throat snapping it’s neck.

AIRA: RAAAH!

SFX: CRACK!

PANEL 6: Overhead shot. Aira is collapsed to the ground, in fetal position, with a look of horror on his face. A blood like fluid is welling up from the floor filling the Cargo Hold. (Where is the blood like fluid coming from?)

DEV: (WEAKLY) I CAN’T SAVE YOU FROM THE BOSS. (Who the hell is Dev? Where is he?)

INSERT PAGE BREAK

(This is nonsense. Literally, it makes no sense. The dialogue doesn’t fit, the descriptions are vague, and I think panel 2 might be undrawable. Then you have a character speaking who is not on panel, whom we haven’t met yet, whose words don’t pair up with anything that is happening. You’ve given us no idea of where he might be, or who he is speaking to, or what in the hell he is talking about. Aira first pulls the knife further into his chest before snapping the Zhur’s neck? The ship is bleeding? I just… what is happening here?)

I wanna stop, but since Sam is a trooper…

P4. It’s bad.

We have things going on, and we don’t really care about them.

The protagonists are there to steal. Why are the antagonists there? What do they want? What’s their objective? If they’re supposed to be ghostly ninjas, why didn’t they wait in hiding to get their guy back? Why didn’t they divide and conquer? Why wait until there were other people there before they went to get their guy? It doesn’t make any sense.

What you’re doing is not something I recommend. People take offense to it. What you’re doing is insulting people, and hoping they don’t stop to think about what they’re reading.

Not good. This is not a good tactic for you to employ, since everything you’ve done so far will do nothing but have the reader stop and think about what they’re reading.

This just isn’t good.

PAGE 5:

PANEL 1: Paga is running toward the exit.

NO COPY

PANEL 2: Downward shot. A human shaped shadow falls over Paga who has a look of shock on his face. (Downward shot? Is this from someone’s POV? The shadow-caster, maybe? And to be honest, it would be better if there were some foreshadowing by showing the shadow in panel 1.)

NO COPY

PANEL 3: Upward Shot almost from Paga’s point of view. In the doorway is the real Dev Zur-Ent Krimzon. He’s in prison garb, his head shaved save some stubble on his head and face, a bar code tattooed onto his forehead, and blood splattered on his face and clothes.(Why do you call him Krimzon until now? This switch makes no sense.)

DEV: I HOPED YOU’D BE HERE. AFTER.(why is this word here?) I STILL OWE YOU FOR TURNING ME IN ON HELIOS VII . DID YOU SHARE THAT BOUNTY(comma) OR KEEP IT ALL FOR YOURSELF?

PANEL 4: Paga points his small blaster at Dev. (Facial expression?)

PAGA: YOU BETRAYED US TOO(comma) DON‘T FORGET. WHY DON’T WE CALL IT EVEN AND GO OUR SEPARATE WAYS?

DEV: NO, LET’S GO TOGETHER.

PANEL 5: A flood of red fluid pours upwards from the floor encapsulating Paga. Paga’s flesh dissolves leaving bone. (Moving panel.)

NO COPY

PANEL 6: On the bridge of the Sanguine Dev sits in the Captain’s chair cleaned up in his own clothes his hair is a bit longer and he has shaved. The skeletal remains of Aira and the Zhur are encapsulated in the red goop similar to Shifterscanner’s makeup. One of the Zhur’s skeleton’s head slumps to the side from the broken neck Aira gave it, . They are working various consoles, Aira’s skeleton with a hole in the ribs is working the wheel. Paga’s goop encapsulated skeleton rests on Dev’s shoulder.(Goop zombie crew. Of course. When did his hair grow?) (That’s what I was going to ask if you missed it.)

SOMETIMES THE ONLY CREW YOU CAN TRUST IS THE ONE YOU MAKE.(Who says this?)(Besides him? Absolutely no one.)

(Oh my stars and garters. James, this is bad. In 5 pages you have managed to start three stories, and drop all of them. 1. The heist 2. The extraction of Zhur Alpha 3. Krimzon as a fugitive. These are all fine places to start, but the thing about stories is, they have to go somewhere once they start. Let’s take it one at a time.

The Heist: You kill every character introduced on page 1 by the time we are 5 pages into the story. What are the stakes, why do we care? We can’t react to their deaths because we have no time to get to know them. The introduction of the conflict is clumsy at best, and from what I can tell the bad guys show up coincidentally?

The Zhur: Bad execution throughout. They are there to get Alpha. They don’t really make much headway on that front. We don’t know why Alpha matters. They only describe 2 of 3 sentients on board. They are interrupted by an unrelated flashback. They don’t communicate telepathically during the scuffle. They have no plan. They have no personality. This comes to nothing.

Krimzon: It’s his ship. I get that. He’s an escaped felon, and seemingly a bad dude. In another brilliant stroke of coincidence, he shows up at the same time as everyone else. Where did he come from? And the reanimation goo? We are going to need more info on that. It makes zero sense right now. This is not a story about Krimzon, but the ending indicates that you want it to be. He just shows up and goops the dead back into animation and drives off. This is not a story.

I think that may be the best I can do to sum up the entire thing, actually. This is not a story. It’s idea soup.)

The end! Let’s run it down!

Format: Just like last time, there’s no Flawless Victory here. Page breaks. If you don’t know how to do it, learn. You’ve had nearly 6 months. Inexcusable.

Panel Descriptions: You didn’t learn anything from last time. That’s as plain to see as the sun rising in the east.

Punctuation. Oh. Em. Gee. I shouldn’t need a machete to hack through what you’re trying to say. I could hurt myself! Learn it. ‘Nuff said.

Pacing: You’re still trying to do too much for a short story. Because you’re trying to do so much, you’ve effectively done nothing. Not one element is explored long enough in any way to give a totally satisfying story. Characters are introduced and then killed, or introduced and then out of sight until the end, and there’s no time for connection. The pace is too fast, because there’s too much going on.

Nothing is explained.

Why are they there to raid the ship? How long has the ship been there? How long have they been tracking the ship? Why doesn’t the treachery of one come up until the last page?

The ninjas: how did they track the ship to the location? How long were they there before deciding to enter the ship? Why did they have to wait if they could just ghost through the hull? If they’re telepathically linked, why didn’t they work better in concert?

The jailbird: Why is he not on the scene for most of the “story”? How long was he in jail? Why did he decide until now to escape?

Too many disparate pieces.

You lowered the panel count a bit, but you tried to keep everything, totally ignoring the fact that I previously said this is an 8-10 page story. That still stands. Strip the ninjas, and you’d do better They aren’t adding anything at all to this. Give reasons for why the ship is being boarded, and for why the jailbird escapes just then, and you should have a better paced story.

Dialogue: It starts off well. And then it descends into malarkey. At one point, really, it just isn’t worth reading.

You get information across well to start, but it isn’t all the information necessary to tell us what’s going on. Some of the questions asked in the pacing? Those could be answered here. That’s what the dialogue is for.

Content: This is crap. That’s already been said.

Editorially, you need an editor. First, you need to read through a good portion of my Bolts & Nuts articles, but after that? You need an editor. Someone to help teach you how to write for comics. This is about the same as the previous entry, when it gets down to it, and maybe a little worse.

And that’s it for this week! Check the calendar to see who’s next!

 

Like what you see? Sam, Liam and I are available for your editing needs. You can email Sam here and Liam here. My info is below.

 

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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 stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

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