Lets start a tread for this. We should pick 10-20 stories for the anthology, maybe the winners of the writing contests for the first round? I am just spitballing but we need a baseline.
Originally Posted by Chris2.0
Great story this was exactly what I think of when I think dystopia. I enjoyed the story and would love to see more of this world. Great entry!
Originally Posted by Chris2.0
Some comments your way comes...
Cool shot. I like your descriptions of the inside of the ship, maybe use circle & line "call-outs" (like those used in PowerPoint?) to show the different areas in the ship? Then you can use your description to show the storage area dwarfing the living areas.
And like the diverse choice for the scientist! Maybe just break his speech bubbles up into shorter sentences? Same for the narration in Panel 1?
Do you want the offpage balloon to appear on the left or the right of the sparking conduits? Left would perhaps be better?
And yeah baby - no SFX in airless space!
Maybe describe Abner's surroundings a bit more - is the courtroom in the captain's chambers? Or a re-purposed office with the words "courtroom" over/next to the door?
Good call on the change to a more interesting backdrop!
Maybe chop Enid's dialogue into 2 bubbles, putting "I found out why I was sick." into its own balloon?
Maybe cut the "I’m a Stasis tech!" line, as this gives away the ending? Maybe bold part of "I’m only a Stasis tech." for a similar effect, without too much of a give-away?
Maybe replace Abner's dialogue with something a bit more upbeat & happy they made it?
Maybe give Enid a line here as well, where she answers Abner? Or maybe have her looking, but not standing next to Abner, as she knew what he did? She's relieved she and their kid made it, but not like this?
And think about de-clunky-fying the colonist's line? Something to the effect of "You're right. If that second stasis pod accident didn't take out most of the command crew..."
Maybe have Abner telling Enid he "had to do it?" And she replies she knows, but she "had hoped the second chance for humanity didn't have to start like this?" Anycase, just my 2c - use what you think works & ignore the rest.
Originally Posted by Zepster
@ Chris, Utopia/Dystopia,
The story didn’t totally track for me mainly because of unclear character motivation. Ria is set up as being angry by food waste and unfair treatment, so she seems to have a political motivation for her actions, which is reinforced when she says he torturing the man as payback for everything he has done. Then it’s revealed she was just doing it to grab power and be an overlord herself? That twist was hinted at in some dialogue about the view from the cloud tower, but made her character unsympathetic and unclear. If she was just doing it to seize power would she be motivated to torture the man? Torture, along with her enthusiasm for it, implies a passion. Or is part of her motivation to stop govt abuses because she believes she can do better and then her brother turns out to be the power grabber? If so some of her dialogue doesn't seem right. Also how does starting an uprising assure that her or her brother could become a leader? She was working as a nurse, we haven't gotten any evidence she was working with an underground resistance. Right now it’s all a bit muddy.
Great job on the mechanics, formatting, and good job on the links for visuals. At times I think pages and panels are a little over stuffed (specifics below). Overall this is an interesting concept, which needs some streamlining of characters and their intentions.
Cool idea with the backdrop panel. Nice visuals too. I would think about more economical wording though, for example “city of the future skyline” could be “futuristic skyline”. I’m a bit confused by your descriptions of smog in the story. Being from Los Angeles I know about smog and no one confuses it with clouds. It looks brown and toxic. I think you need to be more clear to your artist if you’re asking for smog, clouds, or clouds that look dirty like smog or some combination.
If you want to sell Ria’s panic in this scene I suggest using a different angle, high angles lack emotion. Also not sure who this is POV of? And if the man said a command I might believe Ria’s panic a little more. She’s swearing she told him everything and as soon as he says "bots", she caves? Makes her seem weak.
A small thing but it is odd that you refer to a character as manager and manageress in description but “the woman” in speech balloons. I would be consistent as matter of habit.
2.4 I would use italic on care instead of quotation marks.
2.6 This is a lot of balloons for one panel, on a page with six panels. The artist could probably make it work but not ideal.
3.1 Nice foreshadowing of Ria’s true intentions with her dialogue here (i think). But you could pull back on the ellipses, it reads like a Bill Shatner monologue.
3.4 If you want this as cctv feed i would suggest an angle to the artist that would indicate that.
3.6 Wording implies multiple action, Ria is shouting as bots move closer to her, not when.
4.1 Is her snap tied to the power going down? Was she so synchronized with the timing that she’d know the exact moment power goes down? I was a little confused by this.
4.2 This dialogue would feel less stiff if you didn’t break it into two sentences. Right now it feels like he’s repeating power plant purely for our benefit. Revealing diegetic information from one side of a phone call is always tricky and easily feels like a writer's cheat.
4.6 Does “top to bottom” mean you want the panel horizontal?
5.2 This is a lot of words to fit in one panel (over 80?). I'm not sure this would look good on the page. Does it matter where she is or the fact there are other person’s of interest there? Can you lose that? (again, I'm not sure if she's politically motivated because she's not trying to help other resistance people). Since you have the computer lettering inserted it's not too much of a stretch to give her location that way, if it is even relevant?
5.4 I think you need to introduce Ric earlier for this to have any kind of pay-off. For her to be screwed over by someone we just met doesn’t feel very satisfying. I was hoping that Obhu would be involved somehow, a fair amount of time was spent introducing him without much payoff. I think if you streamlined the dialogue on page five you’d have room for one more panel to show Ria’s expression and Ric's reaction just as the bots are coming to life behind her.
Wow - great work on making such a condensed script - I really have some lessons to learn here!
Great establishing shot. Some traces of moving panel-itis where the men are running away from the sentinel, but could be done if using ghosting?
Looks like there could be some missing SFX on this page - no sound as the plasma rifle fires and Marcus is semi-incinerated?
This page reads a bit compressed, maybe think about moving Panel 1 to the previous page?
Could be construed as a moving panel, maybe just have the sentinel aiming at Conner?
Good idea to indicate the grenade is armed (& possibly counting down) already. But maybe include a small inset panel where he throws it?
Maybe include a caption where Conner is thinking to himself if he has to risk going down to their hide-out? Or mention that he's sure that he's lost them?
Some great emotional scenes & dialogue on this page!
Barker's dialogue sounds like he's now deferring to Conner, but previously he seemed to be the commanding officer? Maybe replace with just "OK"?
Might be missing SFX for the bullet slamming through his brain and skull?
I'm thinking the word "slaughter" could have some emotion behind it, so maybe replace with "end"? And maybe replace "Those" with "These"?
Last note - if this is taking place in France, and the characters are speaking in French, maybe just have an editorial caption on Page 1 explaining that all dialogue is translated from French? Then you don't have to have angle brackets around all the dialogue?
Originally Posted by MisterPants
I made a few changes, changed the name most importantly. It's a reference to the story from Plato about soulmates. I added some narration. The story going forward would be from the perspective of one of the Sentinels as she discovers the world isn't what she thinks. I was going to use a different location too, but felt it would be a lateral move. Oh and @Chris2.0 I selected "slaughter" specifically to point out the cold heartlessness of the current regime. Other sentinels later on will not be so harsh. But also lots of thanks for the points.
Panel 1. Wide view of Paris. The city is in ruins. Rubble and smoldering ashes everywhere. In the background we can see the Eifel tower crumbling. In the foreground we see CONNER and MARKUS, two men in their 30s, thin, wearing tattered rags, running. Conner has a satchel draped over his shoulder that hangs at his hip. He is looking back at Markus who is struggling to keep up. Markus is noticably thinner than Conner and struggles to keep up. In the background we see a SENTINAL in a bulky power suit covered head to toe in armor and tech while brandishing a plasma rifle. The Sentinal has just emerged from the crumbling Arc De Triumph.
Narration: No one knows when it started. Every piece of recorded history we have is nothing more than a fabrication designed to authenticate a world that was a lie. Our past is uncertain. Without even knowing it, the human race lived in subjugation for hundreds, possibly thousands of years, to depraved creatures that are almost human, save for one small genetic anomaly. Mutants.
Conner: Hurry! We're almost there!
Markus: I... I can't make it... Conner... tell the boy--
Panel 2. Small insert of the Sentinal's plasma rifle firing.
SFX: GAT GAT GAT
Panel 3. Small insert of the projectiles ripping though Marcus' chest from the back.
Panel 4. Conner looks down at Markus' bloody lifeless body in shock.
Conner: Marcus? Oh God...
Panel 1. View over Conner's shoulder, the Sentinal is pointing it's rifle at him.
Panel 2. Conner pulls a grenade out of his satchel. Lights glow indicating it is armed.
Conner: I will tell him, old friend.
Panel 3. Insert of the grenade leaving Conner's hand having just been thrown.
Panel 4. Big explosion as Conner dives behind a pile of rubble.
Panel 5. Conner in a seated position on the ground looks over at the entrance to an old subway tunnel.
Panel 1. Conner walking down the stairs to the subway platform. 2 or 3 men and a dozen young boys age 10 - 12 all in tattered rags are huddled in the shadows. BARKER, a well built man in his 40s wearing an old torn soldier's uniform angrily greets Conner.
Barker: You goddamn fool. Is that your idea of stealth? You led them right to us.
Conner: These boys won't survive another day. I had no choice.
Panel 2. AUSTIN, a 12-year-old boy, dirty and raggy clothing, steps forward with a troubled look on his face.
Austin: Where is he? Where is Mister Markus?
Panel 3. Conner hands a loaf of bread to Austin with a somber expression.
Conner: No. Not Mister Markus, son. He was your father. He loved you very much.
Panel 4. Austin holds the bread looking sad. Barker stands next to him, erupting in anger at Conner.
Barker: Love!? How dare you tell the boy of such things!
Panel 5. Barker pointing a stern finger at Austin with intensity in his face.
Barker: We are stronger than those things up there. But it was our hearts and foolish compassion that proved to be our downfall.
Barker: Bury your love, boy. It is a weakness our enemy excels at exploiting.
Panel 1. Close in on Conner as he is filled with sorrow.
Conner: We cannot change what we are. If we did, we would be no different than the ones who are hunting us to extinction.
Panel 2. Conner speaking to Barker.
Conner: Take the men to Normandy. I will... buy you time.
Conner: Take care of the boy.
Panel 3. Conner emerging from the stairway and curiously looking around.
Panel 4. Low angle of Conner walking toward the Sentinal lying on the ground, face up. The armor suit is clearly damaged and still smoking from the grenade impact.
Sentinal: Help... please... I was only following orders...
Panel 5. Angle from the top, Conner looking down at the Sentinal. The helmet is removed and we see a beautiful woman's face with long dark hair looking up in desperation.
Sentinal: I... I can't feel my legs... help me... I don't want to die...
Panel 6. Close in on Conner's face looking very sympathetic.
Conner: It's okay. I won't hurt you. I--
Narration: The Revelation happened before I was born. It was the moment when every human in unison realized the truth of our existence. We will not live and act as they programmed us to. We will not feel their emotions. We will never let this happen again.
Panel 1. Conner's head jerked back as a bullet has pierced straight through his skull.
Narration: These mutants.... These things that call themselves men.... must be exterminated.
Panel 2. The Sentinal sits up. Her facial expression has shifted to a cold distain. Another FEMALE SOLDIER, 20s long blond hair in a ponytail, clean uniform equipped with high tech gear, stands over Conner's dead body with an equally cold expression on her face.
Female Soldier: Filthy mutant.
Sential: There's more. I detected at least seven heat signatures before this abomination threw a blast charge at me and damaged my sensors.
Female Soldier: Understood. I will send a team to sweep the area for survivors.
Panel 3. Close in on the Sentinal's face.
Sentinal: There will be no survivors. If you find any, slaughter them. Those creatures deserve no less.
Rewritten just in time. Tweaked it a little so it made more sense.
PAGE ONE (THREE PANELS)
SINGLE ROW WIDE - A Lone Man stands on a cliff over looking a western looking town. He is wearing a cowboy hat and duster coat. The area looks like Utah or Nevada with red rock mountains and canyons in the background. Smoke is rising from the chimneys of some of the buildings.
WIDE - The area is in fact a giant carter and the lone man is on the edge of the crater looking down.
CAPTION: THE WASTELANDS, 2075
The Lone Man holds a WANTED poster in his hand. The names reads VIPER TRIPLETS: WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
The VIPER TRIPLETS are ugly rednecks (think inbred). Each are missing teeth and all look very similar.
PAGE TWO (FIVE PANELS)
WIDE - The Lone Man is riding into the town on a motorcycle with off road tires and and horns on the handle bars.His jacket is flapping in the wind. A futuristic rifle is slung across his back. The street is a mix of old time western and junkyard style architecture.
Wooden sign entering town:
WELCOME IRRADIATED SPRINGS
LOW ANGLE - The LONE MAN enters an old style saloon through swinging doors. The sun from behind him shadows him.
WIDE - The saloon is full of people gambling, drinking, and carrying on. The people are various colors shapes and sizes however all of them look deformed in one way or another. Some even have ration burned faces and enlarged heads.
The LONE MAN sits at the bar. The Bartender is also mutated and burned. He is heavy set and looks more like a pig than an man. A mirrored wall with bottles are behind the bartender.
On the wall is a WANTED POSTER:
WANTED VIPER TRIPLETS
Bartender: WHAT WILL IT BE MARSHAL?
We see the Marshals face dark from the hat shading. His badge is a five point star and reads LAW.
Marshal Law: WATER, PURE. NOT THE CHEAP STUFF YOU SELL THE WASTERS.
PAGE THREE (SIX PANELS)
Three men are sitting a a table. They are deformed and dressed in dark clothing.
SUPERIMPOSED OVER THE PREVIOUS PANEL - Gloved Hand of one of the men at the table with a PISTOL.
WIDE - Marshal Law sitting at the bar with his back to the group. His trench coat is dark and dirty. The Bartender is cleaning a glass with a rag.
THREE SHOT - The head of the one holding the gun explodes. The other two are shocked.
WIDE - Marshal Law holding a smoking pistol in his right hand shot around his left side all while still sitting at the bar.
TWO SHOT - The other two mean from the table are standing. Blood is spattered across them and they have drawn pistols as well.
PAGE FOUR (FOUR PANELS)
WIDE - Marshal Law is standing across from the two men, his pistol is hanging in his right hand. The two men have guns drawn on him.
Marshal Law 1: LUKE AND DUKE YOU DON'T HAVE TO END UP LIKE YOUR BROTHER.
Marshal Law 2(connected): I RATHER TAKE YOU IN THAN KILL YA.
Luke and Duke look at each other. Both have looks of anger and revenge on their faces.
Luke: YOU KILLED OUR KIN, MARSHALL.
Duke: CAN'T LET THAT GO.
Small Black panel
SFX: BANG! BANG!
Marshal Law is standing over all three of the bodies. One is missing a head and has gloved hands. The other tow have smoke rising from their chests.
Marshal Law: DAMN, SHAME.
PAGE 5 (FIVE PANELS)
WIDE - Marshal Law is talking to a holo-screen from his wrist watch. The holo-screen displays a droid.
Marshal Law 1: I NEED A CLEAN UP CREW SENT TO IRRADIATED SPRINGS.
Marshal Law 2 (connected): THE VIPER TRIPLETS HAVE BEEN HANDLED.
DROID: AFFIRMATIVE MARSHALL, CLEAN TEAM HAS BEEN DEPLOYED.
WIDE - The other people in the Saloon go back to what they were doing. They are gambling, drinking, and one is passed out on a table.
CLOSE UP - Bartender's face.
Bartender: ANOTHER ONE FOR THE ROAD, MARSHAL?
Marshal Law is walking out the saloon doors. He is again shadowed due to the light from the sun.
Marshal Law 1: NO THANKS, SORRY FOR THE MESS.
Marshal Law 2 (not connected): YOU'LL BE REIMBURSED FOR THE DAMAGE.
Marshall Law is riding out of town. The WANTED POSTER is laying in the road.
Wooden sign entering town:
LEAVING IRRADIATED SPRINGS, COME BACK SOON!
Hiya Jaycy, great to see more people doing the writing thing!
Originally Posted by Jaycy
Overall I think we're missing some backstory about how the world changed up to 2037? And how Barrett aged in just a few hours/days? And just what's the blue fairy's motivation to do what she did?
Then there's a few "moving panels" - where more than one thing happens. One quick(ish) way to check if you have any moving panels, is to do a rough (even stick figures) sketch of the panels and pages, and see what will fit, and what not?
Then some formatting-related pointers - begin each panel description on a new line as well, just like your speech descriptions.
Did you want to add more to the caption? As it ends with a comma? As this would be the ideal place to do some world-building in this establishing shot?
Change "Run Barrett!" into "Run, Barrett!"
Think the artist would need a description of what the teen and goons were wearing, as well as general character description on their looks?
Maybe change "We're getting closer to the edge of town Barrett." to "You're getting close to the forest" or "Ha, you think you stand a better chance in the forest?" Don't think you need to mention Barrett's name again?
Maybe have Barrett rubbing the back of his head in this panel, to link it to the last panel?
Is Barrett hearing the voice of the lady in the captions? If so, have him reacting, or asking who's there?
This could be seen as a moving panel, maybe split into two? One way is to just have a samll inset panel before this, showing his foot getting caught on the vine?
I'd be freaking out at this stage if it was me, so maybe give Barrett a line of dialogue here? And what's the blue angel wearing?
Maybe show it's dark, so that the reader assumes it's the same night, just a few minutes/hours later? Then is the town square being lit by streetlights, gas lamps or fires?
Add commas to your dialogue where there should be natural pauses.
Could be seen as a moving panel again, but you can maybe have one goon knock the apple crate, and another one grabbing her from behind, to keep it one panel?
How did Barrett get there so quickly? And without making a noise? Magic or teleportation? Maybe describe the armour in a bit more detail? And mention that if he's wearing a helmet, then it should be open so we can see his face?
Could be another moving panel - split it to show the lunge and then, in the new panel the impalement? But then you're up to 7 panels, so might be too many?
Might also work if you replace the tomato with say, an apple? To show that even the apple seller he "rescued" has turned against him?
Maybe have them throw rocks as well, as his armour should protect him from food? So he should be able to withstand it without going to his knees?
Maybe another moving panel. Keep where he slams his sword into the ground, and the energy coming out, leave the "wiping out the crowd" for the next page?
Move this to the next page as well, so to keep the reader unsure of the damages.
Think "failed" might read better than "broken" in this context? And maybe add to his dialogue that the lady told him he'd be the champion of the sword, that he will rid the earth of all the vile creatures? And of course in Panel 2 she changes creatures to humans!
Break the lady's dialogue into linked speech bubbles to reflect more natural speech patterns? Something like:
No, child - my sweet Barrett. You have not failed me.
This is the destiny of humanity.
You will destroy all of the vile humans that cast a shadow over this beautiful world.
And I will build a new one. Just for you.
Wow, really ended darkly... Think the story might work better if the Lady has been feeding Barrett lies that's he's the chosen champion, and he believed this meant he will do good? And maybe have her tell him what to do (so in effect controlling his actions) at the end of Page 4, telling him to slam the sword down? And maybe hint that the Lady has a bit of a passive aggressiveness to her, sweet talking to him about his destiny, then going off on him when he's sniffling that he's killed people?
And maybe have him play a more active role to unearth the sword? So that he was the one that freed the lady, and she's rewarding him in turning him into her herald? And maybe have her true form reveal itself at the end? Either a imprisoned witch from centuries ago, now free to extract her revenge? Or a blue-fire demon?
And maybe end with Barrett walking along with her, but with tears in his eyes?
So yeah, take from the crits what you think can work & keep on writing!
And some crits for jamesdcreviston on MARSHAL LAW:
Originally Posted by jamesdcreviston
I don't really go for western/post-apocalyptic tales, but this was well written, so a thumbs up from me! Perhaps just think about changing the character's name - otherwise Pat Mills might just send you a legal letter...
Might be a good idea to also include something to the effect that the triplets are armed and dangerous, with a rap sheet of the murders/crime they're wanted for, to assert their bad-ass status? Or have the holo-watch droid narrate this?
Irradiated Springs - cool name, but was just expecting Sheriff Lightning McQueen to race out in a panel? And maybe "WELCOME TO IRRADIATED SPRINGS" instead of "WELCOME IRRADIATED SPRINGS"?
Maybe include the description and seating position of the Triplets in this panel, so the reader should be able to recognize them a bit later?
Also maybe show the triplets in the mirror, to show that the Marshall can see them? Maybe make this on the opposite of the panel from where you want the artist to show the wanted poster?
Although you don't see his face in this panel, include what you want him to look like in one of the earlier panels?
Maybe have the triplets whisper/mutter between themselves, nothing you have to write dialogue for, but just to show they're planning something?
I'm used to the term "inset panel", but this works as well. Maybe insert SFX of the one triplet pulling of the gun's safety/chambering a round (if it's a pistol/gun)? Just to show that they're going to shoot him in the back?
I take it that the gun holder was standing in the middle, between his brothers? Maybe add some exploding-head SFX?
In my head I had the bar at the far end of the room, so the triplets should be seated on the left of the panel, but maybe you had this differently? Why I'm asking - if Marshall is on the right of the panel, looking to the left, then his right hand would be on the far side of his body, away from the reader, so the gun should be at an angle to show it?
I take it the Marshall needs the bodies, that is why he sent for a crew? Nitpicking, I know - but maybe call them something else than a "clean-up crew"?
Should the barkeep not be thanking the Marshall? Or did he call in the tip that the triplets where there, and he doesn't want to have this known? As he should've surely recognized the triplets coming in, with the wanted poster up and all?
In my eyes, the Marshall's dialogue (Mess/Reimbursed) takes his badd-ass-ness down a notch? Maybe give him a gruff one-liner to part with? "No, your water tastes like $#!7?"
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