Characters named Calvin and Susan? What no Hobbes?
This week, James Fairlie is back, with a continuation of his script from Week 43.
I owe him a big, "Thank you!," because there was almost no update at all this week. I had nothing in the queue and he got me this submission just in time to save the day.
So, anyway... Let's see how James does this time.
PAGE 6 (6 PANELS)
WIDE SHOT OF THE STREET FROM PAGE 1. IT IS STILL MID-AFTERNOON AND OVERCAST. SIMON IS STANDING BACK TO LOOK AT A LARGE PATCH OF BLANK WALL OUTSIDE HARRY'S FLAT. HE IS HOLDING A CAN OF SPRAY PAINT IN EACH HAND, AND SEVERAL MORE ARE SCATTERED ON THE GROUND NEAR HIS FEET. IT MAY NOT BE TOTALLY CLEAR IN A WIDE SHOT, BUT THE DOOR NEAREST TO WHERE SIMON IS STANDING (HARRY'S) IS AJAR, AND SHOULD REMAIN SO FOR THE REST OF THE SCENE.
MONTAGE OF CLOSE SHOTS OF SIMON REACHING INTO HIS PAINTING WITH A SPRAY CAN TO MAKE A MARK ON THE WALL. WHAT HE'S PAINTING REMAINS AS HIDDEN AS POSSIBLE UNTIL ITS REVEAL ON PAGE 7 PANEL 4.
A montage seems like an odd choice for this. I don't have a problem with it, really, but I'm not sure it does anything that a normal panel wouldn't – the empty spray cans visible in the last panel and the painting itself should carry the idea that it's a work in progress. And, depending on how the montage was executed, it could make it seem like the actions are taking place extraordinarily quickly (which may well be your intention, for all I know). If you want it to seem like he's working on the painting over a period of time, a series of small, individual panels might work better. Just a thought.
MEDIUM SHOT OF SIMON STANDING BACK TO LOOK AT HIS WORK.
CALVIN(OP): HEY, YOU!
MEDIUM REVERSE SHOT LOOKING OUT TOWARDS THE ROAD. CONSTABLES CALVIN THATCHER AND SUSAN CLARKE ARE GETTING OUT OF A POLICE CAR THAT HAS PRESUMABLY JUST PULLED UP. THROUGHOUT THIS SCENE NO ONE MAKES ANY REFERENCE TO THE FACT THAT SUSAN APPEARS TO BE A GIANT HUMANOID CAT IN A POLICE UNIFORM.
CALVIN: YOU HAVE TO HAVE PLANNING PERMISSION TO DO THAT, EVEN IF YOU DO OWN THE PROPERTY.
I think I mentioned this line in my end comments for your earlier submission, as an example of logic problems. The line doesn't make sense to me. Why does a cop see someone spray painting a picture on a building and assume that he owns the property? I suppose it's possible that he might own it, but it doesn't seem like the logical default assumption. Of course it probably wouldn't hurt to have the cop hedge his bets and ask – so maybe something like...
CALVIN: YOU GOT PLANNING BOARD PERMISSION FOR THAT?
MEDIUM SHOT FROM THE ROAD LOOKING TOWARDS THE PAINTING WITH CALVIN SUSAN AND SIMON IN THE MIDDLE GROUND. CALVIN AND SUSAN HAVE MOVED ONTO THE PAVEMENT AND ARE NOW CONFRONTING SIMON, WHO FACES THEM CALMLY, NOT CARING THAT HE HAS BEEN CAUGHT IN THE ACT DOING SOMETHING SOMEWHAT ILLEGAL.
SIMON: NO NO NO CONSTABLE, YOU MISUNDERSTAND COMPLETELY. THIS ISN'T MY HOUSE AT ALL. I DON'T EVEN LIVE HERE.
Following up on my comments from the last panel, this line might change to something like...
SIMON: OH... NO, CONSTABLE. I DON'T LIVE HERE.
IT'S NOT EVEN MY HOUSE.
Also - with the viewpoint you've chosen for this panel, looking back toward the painting from the road, you may be hard pressed to keep the details of the painting hidden (you'd almost have to have a partial reveal). You may want to rethink your camera placement, or specify what parts of the painting you do and don't want visible at this time (as well as describe the painting, as a whole, so the artist knows what he's working with)
MEDIUM SHOT OF SIMON'S FACE BEING SMASHED A BIT TOO VIOLENTLY INTO THE BONNET OF THE POLICE CAR BY CALVIN. SUSAN CAN BE SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND LOOKING CONCERNED.
SUSAN: CAREFUL, HE'S NOT JACK THE RIPPER.
I would move "SMACK!" to before "OOAF!" so that it gets placed "earlier" in the panel, and the cause and effect plays out in the right order.
PAGE 7 (7 PANELS)
CLOSE SHOT OF SIMON'S HANDS BEING HANDCUFFED BEHIND HIS BACK. (ONE OF HIS HANDS IS ALREADY CUFFED, AND THE OTHER CUFF IS AROUND HIS WRIST, BUT NOT YET CLICKED IN PLACE)
CALVIN(OP): THEN WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN PAINT THAT ALL OVER THE FRONT OF IT?
I'm going to be fussy here. I think you should have the cuffs locked on both wrists in this shot. That the cuffs are locked becomes significant later, when Simon gets out of them, and this shot may help reinforce the idea that he did something strange, rather than opening up the possibility that the cuff might not have been secured properly. To go along with that, I'd move the "CLICK" to before Calvin's question.
WIDE-ISH SHOT OF SIMON BEING PUSHED INTO THE BACK OF THE POLICE CAR BY CALVIN. TO THE SIDE OF THE PANEL WE CAN SEE SUSAN STARING AT SIMON'S PAINTING, BUT WE CAN'T SEE WHAT IT IS FROM THIS ANGLE.
SIMON: OH, IT LOOKS BETTER THAT WAY.
MEDIUM SHOT OF CALVIN AND SUSAN'S FACES AS THEY STAND LOOKING AT THE PAINTING. SUSAN LOOKS SLIGHTLY CONFUSED. CALVIN LOOKS COMPLETELY LOST.
SUSAN: AAH, I THINK I GET IT.
CALVIN: WHY IS HE... ? [As a personal preference, I don't think you need the question mark there. The phrasing implies that it's a question, so I'd probably just let it trail off]
WIDE SHOT OF CALVIN AND SUSAN GETTING INTO THE POLICE CAR. [period] CALVIN IS GETTING IN THE DRIVER'S SIDE (THE RIGHT, THIS IS BRITAIN). IN THE BACKGROUND SIMON'S PAINTING IS REVEALED TO BE A HIGHLY DETAILED DEPICTION OF A MAN WORSHIPPING A GIANT TIN OF BAKED BEANS.
SUSAN: WELL, [comma] HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU SEEN A TIN OF BEANS THAT SIZE?
MEDIUM SHOT OF SIMON SITTING IN THE BACK MIDDLE SEAT OF THE POLICE CAR FROM BETWEEN THE TWO FRONT SEATS. WE CAN SEE CALVIN AND SUSAN IN THE FOREGROUND ON EITHER SIDE OF THE PANEL. SIMON HAS HIS HANDS BEHIND HIS BACK, AS THEY ARE CUFFED, AND A SMALL TRICKLE OF BLOOD IS RUNNING OUT OF HIS NOSE. HE STILL LOOKS COMPLETELY CALM.
What are Calvin and Susan doing? Is there any body language you can use to spice this up? Calvin leaning forward to start the car? Susan staring out at the painting, or glancing at Calvin as he askes the question? The more stuff like that you can come up with, the less static your panels will be. A good artist will likely come up with this sort of thing on his own, but it won't hurt anything to help him out with some ideas.
CALVIN: DOESN'T [remove extra space] THE OLD MAN LIVE AROUND HERE?
SAME SHOT, BUT NOW SIMON HAS SOMEHOW REMOVED ONE HAND FROM BEHIND HIS BACK, AND IS USING IT TO WIPE THE BLOOD AWAY FROM HIS NOSE.
Going back to the body language... maybe, if Susan was looking elsewhere in the last panel, she could be looking over at Calvin now. Calvin could be sitting back up, one hand on the shifter, as he looks at Susan. Now you've got panels that react to each other, and more visual interest. Stuff like that can really help out a "talking heads" scene.
CALVIN: YOU KNOW, THE OLD MAN, TANNER. WAS A DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR OVER AT CID?
Just to polish things a little, and add some natural pauses, I might make that line something more like...
CALVIN: YOU KNOW... THE OLD MAN. TANNER.
WAS A DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR OVER AT CID.
PAGE 7 (CONTINUED)
CLOSE UP OF HARRY'S MUG WITH “40 YEARS OF SERVICE” WRITTEN ON IT, STILL LYING BY THE CURB WHERE HE DROPPED IT ON PAGE 1.
CAP(SUSAN): “BEFORE MY TIME, [COMMA] I THINK.”
PAGE 8 (6 PANELS)
WIDE ESTABLISHING SHOT OF A POLICE STATION. IT IS NOW LATE AFTERNOON, AND STILL OVERCAST. THE POLICE STATION IS SITUATED ON THE CORNER OF A BUSY ROAD AND A SIDE STREET. IT IS 1960S BUILDING MADE OF PEBBLE-DASHED CONCRETE. THE DOOR AND WINDOW FRAMES ARE PAINTED BLUE. THERE IS A SIGN DECLARING “POLICE” OVER THE DOOR. A POLICE CAR IS PARKED OUTSIDE. CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT GARY DUNLOP'S VOICE COMES FROM A GROUND FLOOR WINDOW.
DUNLOP: NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF MY SIGHT!
Wide shot of Diana coming out of a door with “Chief Inspector Dunlop” written across it into a corridor. She looks worn out. Daniel sits beside the door reading a newspaper, the Daily Herald, which has the headline “Canivan Pledges to Halve Crime Within a Year” written across the front page.
DANIEL: DUNLOP CHEWING YOU OUT NEVER GETS OLD.
To get, once again, into the subject of livening up your panels... How about giving some more body language and expressions? You've got Diana looking "worn out," which is a good start, but a little vague. Does she look worn out and defeated – shoulders slumped, head tilted down with her eyes on the floor. Does she look work out but determined – head up, shoulders straight, frowning? Then we get to Daniel – just an arrogant smirk on his face would make his line sound even more like he's gloating. Don't miss those opportunities to let the visuals carry the story. If you just assume the artist will know what to do, you might get back something you like. But if you tell him what you want to see, then you're much more likely to get something you like.
DANIEL HAS STOOD UP, AND FOLDED HIS PAPER IN HALF. DIANA IS WALKING DOWN THE CORRIDOR, (FROM THE LEFT TO THE RIGHT OF THE PANEL) TOWARDS A PAIR OF DOUBLE DOORS.
Expressions? Body language? Is Diana looking pissed, her fists clenched, because of Daniel's comment, or is she laughing it off, not bothered at all (or pretending to not be bothered)? Is Daniel grinning as he gloats over her discomfort? Take those opportunities.
DIANA: GO ON THEN. [period] GET IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM. I CAN'T WORK WITH A PARTNER WHO'S ANGRY WITH ME.
I'd consider breaking that line into two balloons.
DIANA IS NOW AT THE POINT OF STEPPING THROUGH THE DOUBLE DOORS, HOLDING ONE OF THEM OPEN TO DO SO. DANIEL IS A FEW STEPS BEHIND HER, WALKING WITH HIS PAPER TUCKED UNDER HIS ARM,
DANIEL: I'M NOT ANGRY AT ALL. MAYBE IF YOU GET YOURSELF KILLED THEY'LL PAIR ME UP WITH SOMEBODY COMPETENT.
I'd break that line up too.
And you should get some more expression into this shot, as well. I'm not going to keep badgering you panel by panel, but it's something to always keep in mind. Don't just talk about what the characters are doing, talk about how they're acting, what emotions they're projecting and what body language clues they're giving.
MEDIUM SHOT OF DIANA FROM DANIEL'S POV. SHE HAS STEPPED THROUGH THE DOORS COMPLETELY AND TURNED AROUND TO FACE HIM, STILL HOLDING THE DOOR OPEN WITH ONE HAND. HER OTHER HAND IS ON HER HIP. SHE LOOKS VERY CROSS INDEED.
DIANA: YEAH, LIKE YOU WERE A WHOLE PILE OF USEFULNESS TODAY.
This may just be a pet peeve of mine (because it seems like a lot of other people don't care about it at all), but I feel strongly enough about it that I'm going to keep bring it up.
I really like to be able to see (at least a part of) both characters in a panel, when they're interacting directly with one another. For that dramatic close-up, it's okay to break the rule, but I still think it should be a rule. Even if all we can see of one of the people is the back of their head, or even a hand in the corner of the panel, it still keeps a visible connection between the characters, making it feel like they're talking to each other rather than just talking to a camera.
Making this an over-the-shoulder shot from slightly behind Daniel would keep him in the panel, to maintain that visual connection between the characters, and would also make his position more clear to the reader (that he's still approaching the doorway, and not yet in the doorway).
MEDIUM SIDE SHOT OF DANIEL LEANING BACKWARDS WITH A SURPRISED LOOK ON HIS FACE. THE DOORS ARE NOW SHUT, HAVING BEEN SLAMMED BY DIANA.
Ideally, your artist should provide some impact lines, to help visually carry the slamming of the door. Even better, would be if you asked for them.
PAGE 9 (6 PANELS)
HIGH, [comma] WIDE SHOT OF THE ENTRANCE HALL OF THE POLICE STATION, WHICH IS A WIDE SPACE WITH A KIOSK STYLE DESK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAR WALL. THERE ARE A SET OF DOUBLE DOORS ON EITHER SIDE ON THE DESK. THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE STATION IS A SET OF AUTOMATIC DOORS ON THE OTHER WALL WE CAN SEE FROM THIS ANGLE. THERE ARE A FEW PIN BOARDS WITH POSTERS WITH “PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM THIEVES” AND “COCAINE CAN SEVERELY DAMAGE YOUR NASAL PASSAGES” SLOGANS PINNED TO THEM. CLARE IS SITTING BEHIND THE DESK AS SHE IS ON DUTY AS DESK SERGEANT. DIANA IS BY ONE OF THE SETS OF DOUBLE DOORS, HAVING JUST WALKED THROUGH THEM. SIMON IS BEING LED IN THROUGH THE MAIN ENTRANCE BY CALVIN AND SUSAN.
CALVIN: GOT ONE FOR THE CELLS TONIGHT.
Something you may want to consider...
There are two ways to deal with the poster slogans you've got going (the same consideration applies to street & building signage, etc). One is to have the artist provide the lettering for them, and the other is to have the letterer provide it. I think the ideal approach, if feasible, is to try and get the artist to do it, because it will blend in better with the artwork and is easier to put in proper perspective that way (it's tricky to get computer lettering to follow perspective properly), so I'd advise to go that way, if the artist is up to it (I should also note that some letterers dislike doing it, feeling that it's not their job – I'm not sure I agree with them, since many pro letterers seem to do it on a fairly regular basis, but it may have an impact on who you get to do your lettering and how much they charge). However, if the artist is no good at drawing lettering, you may need to have the letterer do it.
If you do choose to have the letterer do it, then you'll need to make sure they don't miss it. One method that was suggested to me was to highlight the required text within the description. Another was to repeat the sign/poster text below the description along with the dialogue. I think either one would work, so long as the letterer is advised to look for it, but I think I prefer the latter, just to make it really obvious (I don't know how carefully letterers read the panel descriptions, if they read them at all – one letterer has told me he barely skims the descriptions, and sometimes not even that) and so that they can easily grab them and paste them into the comic without having to pick them out of the description.
So, if you went that way, you'd end up with something like...
POSTER SLOGAN: PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM THIEVES
POSTER SLOGAN: COCAINE CAN SEVERELY DAMAGE YOUR NASAL PASSAGES
But, again, this should only be an issue if your artist is not providing the signage and poster slogans. I'm just bringing it up as something to be aware of.
TIGHTER SHOT OF CALVIN, SUSAN AND SIMON STANDING AT THE DESK. CALVIN AND SUSAN ARE FACING CLARE, WHO IS BEHIND THE DESK MAKING NOTES ON A PIECE OF PAPER. SIMON IS ABSENT MINDEDLY [absentmindedly – one word] READING ONE OF THE “COCAINE CAN SEVERELY DAMAGE YOUR NASAL PASSAGES” POSTERS.
CLARE: REASON FOR ARREST?
SUSAN: WE CAUGHT HIM VANDALISING A BUILDING DOWN OFF CLAREMONT ST.
MEDIUM SHOT OF CALVIN, WHO IS HOLDING HIS HANDS OUT WIDE. DIANA IS WALKING BEHIND HIM TOWARDS THE SET OF DOUBLE DOORS SHE DIDN'T COME THROUGH, LOOKING AT CALVIN WITH MILD INTEREST.
Is Diana walking toward the exit doors, to go outside, or is she walking toward the other set of interior doors on the opposite side of the desk/kiosk?
CALVIN: THE FREAK PAINTED A FOUR FOOT MURAL OF A GUY WORSHIPPING A GIANT TIN OF SOUP OR SOMETHING.
MEDIUM SHOT OF DIANA AND SUSAN. SUSAN HAS TURNED TO FACE DIANA. IF SIMON CALVIN OR CLARE ARE VISIBLE FROM THIS ANGLE THEY HAVEN'T MOVED, EXCEPT CALVIN, WHO HAS PUT HIS ARMS DOWN AND TURNED HIS HEAD TO SEE WHO SUSAN IS TALKING TO.
SUSAN: HEY, DIANA. ARE YOU UP FOR DRINKS LATER?
I'd break that line into two balloons, to get more of a pause between the "Hello" part and the question. I think it would "sound" more natural that way.
SAME ANGLE. DIANA IS NOW LOOKING AT HER WATCH.
DIANA: SORRY, SUE. I'M SUPPOSED TO BE MEETING SOMEONE, WELL, NOWISH. I'D BETTER HURRY ACTUALLY...
This line should be broken up too. And I'd adjust things slightly, to polish it a little.
DIANA: SORRY, SUE. I'M SUPPOSED TO BE MEETING
SOMEONE... WELL, NOWISH.
I'D BETTER HURRY, ACTUALLY.
MEDIUM SHOT OF HARRY SITTING IN A DARK CELL, ALTHOUGH THE BACKGROUND IS BLACK, SO WE CAN'T REALLY SEE WHERE HE IS. HE HAS BEEN STRIPPED OF ALL CLOTHES EXCEPT HIS UNDERWEAR. AGAIN, THE ONLY SOURCE OF ILLUMINATION IS A SMALL FLAME IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND. HE HAS A CHAIN AROUND ONE ANKLE, WHICH TRAILS OFF INTO THE DARKNESS.
CAP(DIANA): “...HE'S PROBABLY WAITING FOR ME”
I'd skip the ... in that line, because it's really a separate sentence from the last. And add a period at the end.
PAGE 10 (6 PANELS)
WIDE SHOT FROM A QUIET SIDE ROAD LOOKING INTO THE TYPE OF CAFÉ YOU WOULD EXPECT TO HOST WEEKLY POETRY NIGHTS. IT IS IN A RUN-DOWN-TURNED-ARTY AREA NOT TOO FAR FROM THE TENEMENT WHERE HARRY LIVES. IT IS NOW LATE AFTERNOON, AND THE SUN IS GOING DOWN. IT HAS STARTED TO RAIN. THE FRONT OF THE CAFÉ IS A LARGE WINDOW, THROUGH WHICH WE CAN SEE DIANA SITTING HUNCHED OVER AN EMPTY MUG OF COFFEE. SHE HAS CHANGED FROM HER UNIFORM, AND IS NOW WEARING A SMART BLOUSE AND LONGISH (BELOW THE KNEE) SKIRT, THOUGH NOT ALL OF HER OUTFIT HAS TO BE SEEN IN THIS PANEL. THE SEAT ACROSS FROM HER IS EMPTY, BUT A FULL MUG OF COFFEE SITS THERE. THERE ARE A FEW POSTERS ADVERTISING JAZZ AND POETRY NIGHTS STUCK IN THE WINDOW, AS WELL AS ONE STATING “CANIVAN/STRANG, MEH, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?”. [you don't need a period after the question mark]
WIDE SHOT OF THE INSIDE OF THE CAFÉ. DIANA IS [SKIP THE IS] HAS NOT MOVED. A MAN IN A BERET IS SITTING AT A TABLE NEARBY, READING A BOOK WHICH HE IS HOLDING IN ONE HAND. WITH HIS OTHER HAND HE STROKES A CAT WHICH IS SITTING ON THE TABLE NEXT TO HIM. A CASUALLY DRESSED WAITRESS IS REFILLING HIS MUG WITH COFFEE FROM A CAFETIERE. A JAZZ DUO ARE PLAYING DOUBLE BASS AND SAXOPHONE IN THE CORNER.
Medium shot of Diana looking at her watch, with the window in the background.
Medium shot looking up from the POV of a hypothetical person sitting in the seat opposite Diana, looking at the waitress, who has now come to Diana's table. She is still carrying the cafetiere. Diana is to the side of the shot.
WAITRESS: WOULD YOU LIKE SOME MORE COFFEE?
DIANA: SURE, YEAH.
Medium shot from Diana's POV of the waitress pouring her some more coffee.
Waitress: ARE YOU WAITING ON YOUR FRIEND? THE OLDER GUY? I'VE NEVER SEEN HIM BE LATE FOR ANYONE, AND HE'S IN HERE ALMOST EVERY DAY.
This line should be broken up. It's also a little clunky, as written, and doesn't play as well into the following line as it could. I would suggest changing it to something like...
WAITRESS: ARE YOU WAITING ON YOUR FRIEND? THE OLDER GUY?
YOU TWO ARE IN HERE ALMOST EVERY DAY, BUT I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM KEEP YOU WAITING BEFORE.
I changed it from "He" to "You two" to suggest a reason the waitress would think she's waiting for Tanner. Probably not really necessary, but just a thought.
Close up of Diana's now full coffee mug. We can see the reflection of her staring into it on the surface on the coffee.
DIANA(op) NEITHER HAVE I...
Well, I'm going to stop there.
Many of the things I said before are still true. Your pacing is working. Your story is still solid (both the parts I'd seen before and the newer parts I hadn't). I see you went back and implemented some of the critiques I gave you on your earlier submission, and that's nice to see. Those pages work better now, I think.
Your descriptions are still serviceable. As before, I could generally tell what you wanted. I do think that, in many cases, you could add a little more "acting direction" to bring them to a higher level. You might want to go back over things, from the beginning, with that in mind – I think it would pay off for you, in the long run.
Your dialogue is also serviceable. It could use some polish here and there, but it's not bad.
Overall, I'd say it's another solid job. Work on the extra expression and body language clues in your descriptions and work on smoothing out the flow of your dialogue, and I think you should be in pretty good shape.
What do the rest of you think?
Last edited by CalvinCamp; Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 02:37 PM.
Characters named Calvin and Susan? What no Hobbes?
"Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"
Thank you Calvin, as always that was extremely useful. I think pretty much everything you said was spot on.
I'll defiantly go back and put more body language in. One of the biggest things I was worried about when I started writing this was that as I was coming from an art background I would end up putting in far too much visual description and stomping all over the artist's part of telling the story, so I've been deliberately sparse with it. Obviously I haven't got the balance right yet though.
I'm glad you think the story and pacing are working, especially in the later parts, which are still pretty rough at the moment.
Thank you again.
That's OK. Calvin and Hobbes touched us all!
Besides, I know you REALLY named the character Calvin in an attempt to butter up Calvin Camp!
I kid. I kid.
"Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"
The approach I'm taking, here, is to treat it as a "blind" script, assuming that the artist is undetermined. So I'll make suggestions that will (hopefully) help you provide a script with enough spelled out that it could be handed off to pretty much any competent artist, and you'd get back pretty much exactly what you were looking for. For some artists it may be overkill, but I'd prefer to give an artist a bit more guidance than he really needs as opposed to not enough.
In terms of the "Is that your property?" assumption made by the police officers, I simply assumed this was Jamie Fairlie employing a bit of farce. Like, why would someone be spraypainting graffitti on their own property? The fact that the police might think this made for a funny little beat, for me. Reminded me a little bit of this joke:
It's only a day until the next Proving Grounds (where some talentless hack is getting their script reviewed) so I figured I better hurry up and get round to commenting on this in more depth!
This second instalment of Augmented continues to build on the promising opening from an earlier edition of The Proving Grounds. I just love how BRITISH it is. Under the surface, you have bubbling what is in fact a very competently structured mystery building up, but you almost don't notice it thanks to the quirk and farce going on with some of the character exchanges. I didn't even notice that Susan is in fact a giant anthropomorphic cat on first reading. Which makes her straight-faced line delivery oddly hilarious.
Also, note the giant mural of a man worshipping a tin of baked beans. At this stage in the story at least, it is utterly irrelevant to the wider plot. But look at how the reveal is held off, and how suspense is built up to see what Simon has drawn so we're expecting it to be something really important. It's clever touches like this that I think could actually make what at a glance seems like a pretty straight police story be really funny in the hands of the right artist.
All true, John. And you've given an excellent review of some of the reasons I told James, when he submitted before, that he had a nice balance of the serious and the absurd (he also included this part in the first submission).
And speaking of absurd... that guy that's up tomorrow... whoo boy! :eek:
Thank you for your perhaps overly kind post John I'll be sure to keep you up to date as I go on writing, & I'm looking forward to seeing what Calvin makes of your script this week
I've just been going back and making some changes and I can't believe some of the stuff I missed, especially this one: