Page 1 of 3
1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: TPG: Week 31- Barri Lang

  1. StevenForbes Guest

    TPG: Week 31- Barri Lang

    Welcome back to The Proving Grounds, everyone. This week, our Brave One is Barri Lang, who's been improving with every script. Let's see if he keeps that up.

    Issue 1

    The reason people can sleep soundly in their beds at night is because rough men stand in the dark ready to visit violence on those who wish us harm (How about some punctuation, and telling where the quote came from? And, where it’s placed, it’s not going to make it in the comic. It’s there for the editor and the rest of the creative team. If the audience was supposed to read this quote, it should be placed in a caption somewhere on the first page, not underneath the “Issue 1” heading.)

    Page 1
    Panel 1
    Wide shot. It’s a cold winter’s night; strong downward pointing street lights and a low, supernaturally large full moon light the scene. In the B/G (with the LARGE moon) St Peters Cathedral can be seen, the domed spire obvious against the bright face of the moon. We’re in an affluent London suburb. Expensive cars line the street and a young man walks briskly along the pavement. A thick overcoat on and a long scarf wrapped tightly round his neck, breath visible in the cold. (Is the Walkin’ Dude coming toward us, or away from us? And where is the camera? There are several ways to place it: up high, looking down at an angle, or straight on, but pulled back. I’m more of a top-down person, myself, but that’s just me. The real question, though, is which way is the guy walking?)

    Panel 2
    The killers POV, looking at the young man from behind. Houses on the left cars on the right and the man in the centre (punctuation. Now, how can we tell this is from someone else’s pov? Depending on the first panel and how it’s laid out, you’re going to have to decide where the Killer is. Will he be able to be seen in the first panel? Will we be placed slightly behind him in this panel, so that we can see someone’s watching the Walkin’ Dude? Decisions, decisions.)

    Panel 3
    Still from the POV of the killer. The man looks behind himself, at the killer. His face a mix of shock and fear. (I’m not seeing this. This would look better broken up into two panels: one where the guy looks back, and the other where he looks fearful. That second panel would be a closeup. Your artist would probably break that up into two for pacing purposes.)

    Panel 4
    Medium shot high angle (45 degrees perhaps), the man is running. He looks back over his shoulder to the killer chasing him. The killer is just off panel so we can’t see him. (Hm. Depending on how this is depicted, it’s going to look like he’s running from nothing. Now, while that may work in the movies, it won’t work here unless an antagonist is at least partially seen, or unless there’s some sort of noise coming from OP that prompts the look back and the running.)

    Panel 5
    Close shot of the young man hands up across his face trying to protect himself from his attacker. (Hm, again. I’m going to call this too fast. Your artist may break this up, as well. Now, we’re talking about a seven panel page. Just letting you know. However, I’m EXTREMELY PROUD OF YOU!!!!! You have NO idea! Barri, do you know what you just did? No? Forget it. I’ll tell you later. Make you wait for it.)

    Page 2
    Whole page panel (credits page)
    It’s morning. A cold bright morning. The young man from page 1 lies on the floor in the f/g. Just off the pavement at the edge of small pathway that separates 2 terraced houses. His clothes are torn at the chest and blood covers the floor. Leaves and litter has is pushed into the corner, a newspaper is suspended in the air, a sharp gust wind having put it there. We can read the headline on the paper, Another victim for the Mauler it reads in black bold letters. The papers name The Sun in white bold on a red background. Rhys Dalgleish, a young Lieutenant in the SAS, stands looking at the corpse. He’s out of uniform and wearing a dark suit. His hands in his pocket as he watches the forensics team work. A man in white overalls is kneeling by the corpse. (No. “Floor” is inside a structure. “Ground” is outside. The guy’s laying on the ground, not the floor. Watch your words. You could confuse your artist, making them ask questions that would seem obvious to you. Okay, you’ve done more to describe the setting than you have the scene. What’s happening here? How many people from forensics? What are they doing? By answering those questions, you’ll be fine.)


    Page 3
    Panel 1
    Medium shot. Dalgleish has crouched next to the man in white overalls. The man in overalls is reaching for something with a pair of tweezers.

    Another dead one; he’s not going to be of much use. (Punctuation. And, please don’t tell me he’s going to be Captain Obvious throughout this.)

    Overall man
    It’ll save you some bullets; in the long run. (Punctuation.)

    Panel 2
    Close up of a hand holding tweezers and pulling a small clump of hair/fur from a wound on the body (Punctuation. And this could be a nice panel. I suggest having someone say something here, so it’s not bald.)

    Panel 3
    Close shot. Dalgleish’s POV. The Fur in the F/G held up by the Overall man (B/G). (You’re forcing them to be Captain Obvious and I’ve-Something-Important-To-Tell-You Lad. This panel doesn’t do anything to push the story forward. It needs to be cut.)

    Overall man
    Look sir. (Comma. Maybe coma. Whichever works.)

    Panel 4
    Medium shot of Dalgleish and the Overall man. Overall man is still holding up the sample. In the B/G a black land rover has pulled up to the curb.

    Bag it; send it for examination and classification. (Like they’re not going to do that already? Do they really need to be told their job? Capt O. strikes again!)

    Panel 5
    As above except that Dalgleish is standing with his back to the reader. He looks down at the Overall man. (Why have his back to the reader? What does that accomplish. This, I really want an answer to.)

    I want the evidence gathered and then this place sterilised within the next 2 hours.

    Overall man
    Yes Sir. (Comma.)

    Page 4
    Panel 1
    Close shot. Looking towards the land rover as Dalgleish leans against it.

    Panel 2
    As above except the rear window has been lowered most of the way. We cannot see the mystery person inside (Period.)

    It’s like the rest; it seems that whoever attacked the boy was a carrier. (Punctuation. I have NO idea what’s up with all the semicolons.)

    Panel 3
    As above

    Mystery Person
    Any chance its spread to the victim?

    Panel 4
    As above. Dalgleish looks left checking the surrounding (Period.)

    No Sir, the victim bled out after the attack. (Finally, a comma! Too bad it would be better served as a period.)

    Panel 5
    As above. Dalgleish now looks up the street (to the right), still scanning the surroundings.

    Mystery Woman (Nope. How are we supposed to tell this is a woman if we can’t see into the car? See how it changed from Mystery Person to Mystery Woman?)
    Good, good. At least the infection isn’t spreading.

    Panel 6
    As above but Dalgleish now has both hands on the body of the car and is looking right into the car.

    I’m afraid that’s not the case; the infected get up and walking away. All we find are leftovers. (More semicolons!)

    Panel 7
    As above. Dalgleish stands away from the car allowing it to leave.

    Mystery Woman
    Very well lieutenant Dalgleish, you may continue your investigation. (Finally! It took you four pages to get to a name. And I’ll tell you what, I like Capt. O. better than the name you gave. Finally, you need a comma, and Lt need to be capitalized. [Actually, writers, you can get away with not capitalizing. Most fonts used for comics are all capitalized, anyway. Few comics use sentence case. However, you still need to be cognizant of the more simple rules for writing.])

    Panel 8
    As above but the window is up higher (As it closes) and Dalgleish is saluting where the Mystery Woman was.

    Sir (Period. And calling the Mystery Person ‘sir’ when she’s really a woman is going to be something of a ‘huh’ reveal later. Not big, not little, just ‘huh.’ I’m just saying.)

    Panel 9
    Wide shot along the bottom. Looking from behind Dalgleish and up the road we watch the car leaving the scene. (Why? What does this do to push the story forward? This panel would be better combined with the previous panel. And, as a page turn, it’s adequate. Not great, but definitely not terrible. Just a good, somewhat expected way to end the page. That is, as a combined panel, not standing alone as it is now.)

    Page 5 (Page break. I know, I know. You forgot. It happens.)
    Panel 1
    Medium shot, Dalgleish from behind He looks across the road seeing a man, stood behind a set of railings, watching him. Dressed in a dark coat and jeans and wearing a hooded top with the hood pulled up over his head the stranger stares back. (Punctuation. Railings? Where did they come from? You need to set your stage better. I’m lost now.)

    Panel 2
    Tighter view of the stranger, showing pallid skin and dark eyes. (Better! Good job!)

    Panel 3
    Close up of the strangers face. Straight faced with no emotion. (Now it’s overkill.)

    Panel 4
    As above but the face is now smiling a sickly smile. (I’d combine this with panel 2. I know you’re going for something fearsome, but it’s not coming off that way. You’d need to do this in two panels, not three. I’d cut panel 2, and go straight to panels 3 & 4. That would work better.)

    Panel 5
    Medium shot looking towards Dalgleish, his suit jacket pushed to the side as he reaches for a firearm, the investigation team in the alley all look up form their work.

    Hey you; STOP! (More semicolons!)

    And that’s where I’m going to stop.

    You caught something of my interest, causing me to read a little further (actually got to P7!), but didn’t see anything there to make me want to continue.

    Barri, with each script, you get better. I see the work you’re putting in. I’m very pleased with the progress you’re making. You keep working like this, and you’re going to be ready to start submitting to companies!

    Anyway, let’s run this down:

    Your panel descriptions have gotten a LOT better from where you’ve started. This time around, you switched it up on me, and delved a little into cinema with what you were and weren’t showing. That can be good and bad. Know the strengths of the medium you’re working in. Horror is HARD to do on paper, because you don’t have a soundtrack to work with. All you have are words, and you have to put the sounds in yourself. This could work if you put in some sound effects. Just know the strengths of your medium.

    Now, you’ve got a semicolon problem. I have no idea where you developed it, but I think you need a vaccination to get rid of it. Punctuation is part of our bread and butter. The better off you are in utilizing it, the better your editor will think of you, and your letterer will love you.

    Now, there are a few Captain Obvious moments in the first few pages. I know it, you know it, we all know it. You can fix it easily with some rewording.

    As a matter of fact, besides the semicolons and the Capt O. moments, your dialogue has also improved. I’d do some light rewording here and there, but nothing too deep. Good job! You were able to get across the story, without being verbose and covering art. Nice.

    Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m SO damned proud of you.

    You wrote a silent opening page that works.

    Honestly, I don’t think you were capable of doing that a few months ago. A LOT of new writers are unable to do that. I’m VERY proud that you pulled this off in an engaging way. Sure, there are a few problems, but fundamentally, this works.

    It hasn’t happened too much here in TPG (as a matter of fact, this is the first one in my memory), but I’m a notorious hater of silent opening pages. Most of the time, new writers don’t know how to move through that opening page, moving the story forward in an engaging way. Good job on this. Again, I’m VERY proud. (Like I did it, right?)

    Overall, this is another improvement. Except for the name and the semicolons and a quick polish on the dialogue, this is very strong.

    Congratulations on a good job!

    That's it for this week. Go to the list to see who's next, and let's discuss this.
    Last edited by StevenForbes; Friday, August 21, 2009 at 06:37 PM.

  2. BarriLang Guest

    The quote is in there for me... I should have taken it out. It's Churchill. I want this to have that kinda feel to it. People who have their "smooth edges" chipped awayas they safeguard the UK/Humanity.

    I can see why Editors are vital in the writing process. I went over that time and time again looking for errors I'd missed and thought "Nope, that's got them all" and WHAM! "floor" used outside.

    Onto the dreaded semi colon. I recentley attended a letter writing refresher course in work and they explained that the semi colon can be used to show a longer pause in a scentence. So I tried to give longer "beats" to the dialogue but I guess I went a bit mental with it.

    For the first page you were spot on. I was going for the horror stable (the camera is the monster and the victim walks on oblivious to the danger) I think I'll get a growl thrown in there to alert the victim and let us know something's up.

    The idea behind panel 3 of page 3 in there to hint at the monster but to not give the whole gig away. I refer to the fur sample later on in the script too. I was trying to set up some clues (but like captain obvious perhaps I lack subtlety)

    And once again to the essential team member -the editor - for my final point. THE NAME!!! It's a doosie. Might not be so hard for a brit to get behind (quite a famous footballer of the the same name) but I have had a LOT of people ask how the hell it's pronounced... It's a friends sirname and I got attached to it as I wrote it. Needed an "outsider" to just say WTF? I'll get something else in there.

    Oh and the mystery woman/confusion. I was toying with using Gordon Brown and I thought.. Nah Brown wouldn't pop to a murder scene and then I thought of an M type woman.. but now I'm not sure

  3. AdamH Guest

    Adam, do you know what you just did? No? Forget it. I’ll tell you later. Make you wait for it.
    Did you mean to say, "Adam, do you know what Barri just did?".

    I'm going assume (because assuming never gets anyone in trouble) that you were talking about the wordless opening Barri ran in contrast to my rather wordy opening on the first script i sent in.

    Page 1 didn't tell me anything important 1) the killer sneaks up on his victims 2) the victim sees the killer and freaks out. I would suggest putting something interesting on the first page or chopping it and starting on page 2.

    If you have a good artist, page 2 is good to hit your audience with.

    Page 3 was (like you pointed out Steven) people playing captain obvious.

    Page 4, with 9 panels, is going to be pretty cramped if you can manage to fit it all in one page.

    Page 5, this page piqued my interest, who is that mysterious man?

    It's a good start, the framework is there Barri. You just need to add your own touches:dialogue, plot twists, something that makes this murderer unique.

  4. StevenForbes Guest

    Here's what I want you to do, Barri:

    Go pick up five random comics. Old or new, I don't care. I'd say fifty to a hundred, but that's a LOT of looking. Now, I want you to count the amount of times you see a semicolon used. Let me know what you come up with. Semicolon usage in letter writing and prose is fine. I don't recall seeing it once in a comic. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm saying it's not used often in comics. Good luck in your search.

    And you didn't answer my question. Why is it important to have Capt. O's back to us in that panel? P3, panel 5.

  5. StevenForbes Guest

    Sorry about that, Adam. I got "Adam-Crazy", and put your name instead of Barri's. I meant to say "Barri, do you know what you just did?"

    My apologies. I'll go fix it presently. (And I caught another one before I put it up!)

  6. BarriLang Guest

    Oh I was trying to show he'd turned around and was looking at the car that pulled up.

  7. StevenForbes Guest

    No, you didn't. You specifically state he's looking at Overall Man.

    What I'm getting at is this: watch what you have your characters do. You don't want to have your man character's back to the reader for no good reason. Unless it's for a dramatic purpose, there are few good reasons to have your character's back to the reader.

  8. tylerjames Guest

    Nice job Barri. And agreed on the silent opening page. One thing to remember though...if you're going to open silent, your artist needs to be VERY STRONG.

    Churning away at my graphic novel, I've recently come upon a sequence with very little to no dialogue for several pages in a row. Now, I'm the writer/artist on this one, but I recognized that I really needed to step up the art chops on the silent pages, because here the artist has to carry the entire story telling load. (That's a lot of pressure!)

    Nice job though, and way to keep at it.

  9. AdamH Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post
    Sorry about that, Adam. I got "Adam-Crazy", and put your name instead of Barri's. I meant to say "Barri, do you know what you just did?"

    My apologies. I'll go fix it presently. (And I caught another one before I put it up!)
    As long as it good things you can go as Adam-Crazy as you want.

  10. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post
    Semicolon usage in letter writing and prose is fine. I don't recall seeing it once in a comic.
    That was way too many semi-colons for prose writing too. There wasn't a semicolon in that entire script that shouldn't have been either a period or a comma (both of which can indicate a pause on their own). There are other options too (like ellipses or breaking dialogue into seperate balloons) that can show even longer pauses. There's very seldom a need for a semicolon.

    In general...

    I like the story (what there was of it, so far), but that was a lot of pages to show very little. If Steven isn't going to call it out as padded, I'll go ahead and do it. Page one was pretty good. What was shown on page two wasn't really deserving of a splash page (but it was a credits page, so I guess there's at least some traditional justification for it). Page three wastes five panels on stuff that could have been done in two (three if you want to throw in the establishing shot from page two). Page four is loaded up with nine panels that could have been three or four. Page five, again, was not too bad. Overall, I think this probably could have been done in three pages, maybe three and a half, and been better off for it.

    I like the name "Dalgleish". It's not just another boring name you see everywhere. It's original. And I think that's a good thing. (But then, I'm also the guy who had to add a pronunciation note for the main character's last name in one of my scripts, so you probably don't want to rely too much on what I like in names.)

    And, Barri... I don't think you really mean overalls when you say "overalls" - I think you mean coveralls (the one-piece protective clothing jobs). "Overalls" brings up a very different image (at least for me), of jeans with built-in suspenders and a bib-like area with pockets that covers the stomach. So every time I saw the words "Overall man", I got a vivid image of a chunky hillbilly superhero dressed in bib overalls, a plaid flannel cape, and a John Deere cap - and if I can't get that image out my head, then I'm holding you personally responsible.

Page 1 of 3
1 2 3 LastLast

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Archive Forums (For Archive Purposes only): General Comics Discussion, Original Works, It's Clobberin' Time, Respect Threads, P'wned, General Chat, Beat Down, The Champagne Room (Mature), Marvel News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Archie News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here), Comics Are For People (See the latest columns here), Comics & Cinema (See the latest columns here), Comics Pro Prep (See the latest columns here), Bolts & Nuts (See the latest columns here), Seb-Standard (See the latest columns here), Webcomics You Should Be Reading (See the latest columns here), Development Hell (See the latest columns here), The Proving Grounds (See the latest columns here), Pixels Per Inch (See the latest columns here), Bargain Bin Gold (See the latest columns here), Dead Tuesday (See the latest columns here), Have You Considered... (See the latest columns here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here)
Project Fanboy is now Fanboy Buzz.
Fanboy Buzz is home to Comic Book News, Comic Book Reviews, Comic Book Columns, Comic Book Forums and Comic Book Podcast
Check out some of our past podcast hosts doing podcasts at Sci-Fi, Tech, Gaming, Comics and More!