Well, Steven, you're used to my beat-head-on-wall learning methods by now, so I'll just dive in without explanation or justification. Ignore what you please, but there are a couple questions, especially regarding setting apart descriptive elements, where answers would be really helpful. If you could take a stab at those, I'd appreciate it.
Another thing that may be a factor here, though, is that this description is establishing an entire scene. The description is providing information, not just for that single panel, but also for all the following panels that take place within this scene (and again, later in the story, for that matter). I loaded a lot of information in there because it's introducing a significant and recurring location. Would it maybe be better to provide a "setting description" separate from the panel descriptions, perhaps even outside the script?
When did I call for three pages of him drinking? That says three panels up there. And it's only the second page. By the beginning of the third page he's leaving. And I certainly didn't try to show two people getting drunk in one panel - that was your idea. Which I suppose would do the job, but... meh. There's also such a thing as too compressed.PANELS 4, 5 & 6
Various shots of Dag and the Posoti getting drunk and friendly at the bar. If possible, try and make it seem like Dag is getting a lot more drunk than the woman is.
(Again, there’s nothing interesting happening here. What's the reasoning behind three pages of showing a guy drinking? This could have been done in one simple panel, and still gotten across the effect you're looking for: Dag and the woman are sitting at the bar. Dag has a large pyramid of overturned shot glasses in front of him, and the woman has a much smaller one in front of her. See that? Simple, direct, and to the point. Otherwise, there are very few different ways to show two people getting drunk, but having one less so than the other. Not in a single panel, without the use of a caption.)
Sigh. We're never going to agree on this stuff, are we? As far as I'm concerned, it's a movement that can be frozen, so it's not a moving panel. It's as simple as that.PANEL 2
We're outside now, still night, but have left Lar's Bar behind. We're down by the docks now, where warehouses line the waterfront and piers stretch out into the sea, lined with steamships. The Posoti is pulling Dag by the hand while she's half-dancing along the wharf beside the warehouses. The only light now is from the gas-giant, there are no streetlights.(No. How are you going to show someone to be “half dancing” in a still image, especially as they’re pulling someone along? Know what it is? Say it with me: moving panel. This reminds me of one of the scripts submitted here, where they’re out in the desert looking at a crater. The writer had a character waving the smoky air with a flashlight in her hand. It sounded immensely strange in the script, and looked even stranger when the art came in.)
Just because you can't visualize it, doesn't mean it can't be drawn. Waving smoke away... yeah, that's hard to show, because it's not enough movement and appears meaningless when frozen. But this isn't like that at all. If I said she was walking and pulling him along, you wouldn't have said a word about a moving panel (at least I would hope not). "Half-dancing" just describes the way she's walking - she's not just strolling, she's being playful, dancing along as she walks. I can show "dancing" in a static image just as easily as I can show "walking", and I'm confident I can also show her performing a half-assed combination of the two.
Now, would an artist other than me need an explanation of what I meant by half-dancing? Maybe. But that's a different problem from a moving panel.
It'll work fine as a simple side view. I can show startled and confused well enough in profile. I can show glowing eyes and clawed fingers easily in profile. Effortless isn't going to be that hard either, since there's going to be a tiny slip of a girl pinning a guy, who has a foot & half and at least hundred pounds on her, to the wall with one hand - just a lack of visible strain in her body and expression should carry it completely.PANEL 4
Inside the alley. The Posoti is effortlessly shoving Dag up against the wall with one hand. Her other hand is held out to one side, her fingers held like claws. Her eyes are glowing. Dag looks startled and confused. (You’re not going to be able to show this to full effect. The chick’s back is going to be to us, for the most part, because Dag is up against the wall. There are few angles that will allow you to do this at all, let alone get in glowing eyes, clawed fingers, and a confused mark. Maybe if her head is turned toward the camera, but that’s not going to be something usually done. And the ‘effortless’ part? Not really seeing that, either.)
We've discussed this project enough that you did realize this story was about a murder, right? I could dance around it at this stage, but it's going to come up eventually. I figured, we're supposed to start with a bang, the story is about murder, so start with the murder. But I guess that's boring. Shrug.PANEL 2
A low view, looking up at the Posoti, as she is standing over Dag with her hands spread. Her legs are braced apart, her head thrown back, her body arched as if in pleasure, her eyes still glowing. Dag is sprawled on the ground, his body twisted with convulsions, his face a mask of agony and terror. Crackling tendrils of energy are crawling all over his body, and arcing from his eyes and chest through the air to the Posoti's hands. To get across the direction of movement, I figure some tendrils could have reached her and be coiling around her hands, while others are still reaching toward her.(I’m not interested. It was better when it was left at the end of P3. This is just needlessly drawing things out. Hopefully, this has meaning. Otherwise, it’s padding.)
Hmm... that brings up a thought. Maybe I should just skip the drinking and actually start with the murder. If a guy is dying on page one, will that get people to turn the page? Or just disappoint them when it's back to slower moving build-up on page 2?
Are you saying that this panel is padding too? Or that just the last panel was padding, and made redundant by this one? Because, if it's the second one, I can sort of see your point (though I'll have to think about whether I agree with it). If it's the former, it doesn't make any sense at all.PANEL 3
Ground-level view. Close up on Dag, lying on the ground, his cheek in the dirt. His eyes are now just burned out sockets. The skin of his body seems shriveled and dried out. His shirt is burned away over his chest, and there is only a blackened hole where his heart should be. We can see the high-heeled boots of the Posoti stepping over his body as she leaves. (Yup. Padding.
How do you know what I want?Posoti (off panel, sort of - I want the tail of the balloon cut off by the top of the panel, not just a tailless balloon):
Mmm... yummy. (No. Anything but this. This line right here turns your story into your last name. That’s not what you want.)
Some people actually happen to like camp. And I'm one of them. I'm not trying to write grim, unrelenting horror, here - nothing appeals to me less than sort of thing. You read my last script. This is supposed to be a continuation of the same setting, main character, and tone. And campy humor is intended to be a part of that tone. The last thing I want to do is write a story about an emotionally damaged, super powered, witch hunter tracking down a self-proclaimed god who eats people... and treat it seriously.
If you don't like campy, that's fine. If I fail to successfully pull off campy, then that's fine too (if unfortunate). But a certain level of campy is what I'm going for.
If you'd done more than skim this section, you might have realized that the insets are intended to dominate the page, and wrap the figure in the center, with the center scene bleeding off into the rest of the page behind the insets. Insets may not have been the best term, but I couldn't think of any better - and I tried my best to make my intentions clear.(And here I was, thinking that insets were supposed to be smallish panels. If you need this much description for a smallish panel, there’s something wrong. You’re not going to be able to get the bulk of this in here. I’d say, nothing past the first paragraph, because you want to pull the camera in close to the door for best dramatic effect. That means everything past the first paragraph is wasted effort. Good job.)
Also, this once again sets up, not a single panel, but the overall scene for two pages of panels. Not everything in the description is intended to be in one panel, and that was specifically stated. Again, maybe a setting or scene description, separate from the panel descriptions, would work better?
The description itself may need some work though, because the door should definitely not be the focus. There's no drama in a door. As for the stuff going on outside the door, that's the least important element, and the first place that things should be cut if necessary. The little girl is the primary focus for this panel, with her mother a close second. The door getting blasted open is (at this point) only there to explain why the girl is frightened and running. The Inquisitor beyond the door could be left out completely, until the next panel, if something had to go. Heck, if it came down to it, a line of dialogue from the mother, telling her daughter to hide, and an off-panel SFX would work almost as well as the exploding door.
I mean, I like explosions as much as anybody, but wasn't it you (alongside Lee) who fought tooth and nail to convince me that the story isn't about explosions, it's about people? So why would you ignore the people and focus on the door?
I hear this all the time. And I still think, from my perspective as a consumer, that it's a bunch of crap. It's a valid approach, but not an essential, or even necessarily preferable, one. To me, the good horror movies (and my list may be completely different than yours) are good because they build up the suspense (slowly) before things happen, not because they refrain from showing what happens - which most don't anymore, and haven't in a very long time.What was interesting about the first few pages? Nothing. Hopefully, the guy’s death is some sort of catalyst for something. Showing his death? Not my idea of a good time, but only because it’s better to let the reader’s imagination work than to take out all the mystery by showing it. Think of the better horror movies: they’re better because they leave things to the imagination, not because of the different ways they can do murder and mayhem. Same thing here. Leave something for the imagination.
Sometimes it makes sense to beat around the bush. Sometimes it doesn't. If I wanted you wondering what the Posoti did to Dag, you wouldn't know. If I wanted you to know exactly what she did to him... well, you've got a pretty good idea, don't you?
As for being a catalyst... yeah, his murder (and it's method) is pretty much the catalyst for everything that hits the fan.
Not based on what you told me last time. At this stage, I'll happily take "boring story" over "no story at all". Especially considering how subjective "boring" can be.Being boring is the worst thing of all.
I do think you're right about the compression. It could definitely be shorter than it is, and would be better for it. I'll be working on that. And yes, I did do an outline, but only a very general one. I didn't break it down page-by-page, because I wasn't concerned with controlling the page count. I hadn't really thought, at the time, about what other benefits a tight outline might have.
So... yeah. I'll take the "boring" report as a solid sign of progress. The description and moving panel complaints I expected. We're somewhat in agreement on pacing. Overall... I'm very happy with the outcome on this one.