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Script Looking For Feedback/Critiques - Week 2


#1

This year I’ve taken a challenge for myself to write a short script each week in order to improve my writing skills. Here’s week 2 - “Man Lies, Magic Lives”. I’m looking to improve as a writer - please feel free to tell me what you think needs work, should stay, and could be edited to make a more compelling story - thanks so much!

*there was some trouble with accessing the doc last week, I changed it and it should work right off the bat this week, but let me know if it doesn’t work and I will rectify that ASAP


#2

Why don’t you just copy and paste the script here?


#3

Smart.


#4

“Man Lies, Magic Lives”

Page 1
1.1 - A young boy running through a crowded marketplace. He’s dressed in simple robes, clutching a piece of parchment in one hand and a glass bottle in another, a blue/purple potion glowing within. In the distant background there is a black unicorn with fire in its nostrils, covered in blue armor, charging through the marketplace after the boy, riding is is a tall being with flowing blue hair.

Caption (DART) - I always thought lots of danger was the kind of thing my mom included in bedtime stories to make people seem more courageous.

1.2 - DART in mid-jump to hide behind a stack of crates labelled “Blue Fairy Ale” - still clutching map and potion

Caption (DART) - But after this morning…

1.3 - CU on the DART pulling the cork in the potion.

Caption (DART) - …I think it was to tell me that anybody trying to do something heroic…

1.4 - DART chugging the potion down.

Caption (DART) - ….was a complete idiot.

1.5 - DART holds up his open hand and looks at it intently, but nervous; do I know what I’m doing?

1.6 - Ignited inches above his hand is a small flame. DART is surprised, smiling; I can’t believe it.


Page 2
2.1 - DART is kneeling at the bedside of a sick man, crying. The man is handsome and looks kind, smiling at DART. He’s holding one of DART’s hands, and handing DART a parchment with his other. In DART’s lap sits the potion.

Man - ….even so, I’m glad it lasted long enough to meet you.

DART - But why lie to me about this? We could have had so much time -

Man - Your mother cough had her reasons. I’m sure she didn’t want you ending up where I am now.

Man - But I’ll tell you something…

2.2 - Man and DART with eyes locked, savoring these last moments. Both their free hands are grappling the parchment - the father is handing DART the map.

Man - …use these, and I promise you…

2.3 - The DART standing in the middle of the marketplace - the crowd has split down the middle - ready for a fight. He’s screaming at his pursuer. A black unicorn in blue armor, flames coming out of it’s nostrils. Sitting atop him is a elf with pale complexion and flowing blue hair. Dressed in silver armor with blue trim, he’s wielding a sword with one hand and gripping the reigns with the other.

Caption (father) - “…a much better future awaits you.”

THRISTIEL - Please Dart, your mother is worried. Just forget about this and come home!

DART - Forget!? I never even knew, Thirstiel!

DART - I had to find my father myself and then watch him die alone! At least he wanted me to know about something outside my own room! I’d rather have the scary truth than some sweetly harmless unicrap!

DART - Go back and you tell my mother I don’t care about the cost of whatever it is she’s so desperate to hide!

2.4 - CU on THRISTIEL, somehow he’s begging but he’s also angry - this is a child he’s cared for his whole life, now rebelling - THRISTIEL is scared but covering it with anger.

THRISTIEL - I’ll tell you the truth! Your father’s a fool! Tales of human magic and delusions - you’re smarter than to believe his lies!

2.5 - DART hurling a fireball down the street towards THRISTIEL - THRISTIEL looks confused and frightened!

DART - Is THIS a lie?!


Page 3
3.1 - CU on THRISTIEL. Angry, yelling at DART.

THRISTIEL - You’re coming home Dart.

THRISTIEL - I’m taking you home.

3.2 - THRISTIEL charging with sword outstretched, aiming for DART. THRISTIEL is whispering to himself.

THRISTIEL - My maiden, forgive me.

3.3 - DART dodges the attack and has an arm outstretched, billowing flame at the unicorn.

3.4 - CU on THRISTIEL, terrified, and the unicorn - rearing its body, engulfed in flames.

SFX (horse) - Rrruuoohhhgguuu

SFX (THRISTIEL) - Aaahuhh

3.5 - Wide view. The unicorn is lying hoofs up in flames. THRISTIEL is passed out, crushed under the unicorn, his sword is laying on the ground. DART is in mid-run up to THRISTIEL, a bucket of water in hand.

SFX (THRISTIEL) - uhn

DART - Thristiel!

3.6 - DART is glassy-eyed, crouched and pouring a bucket of water on the back of the horse.

DART - Thirstiel!

DART (weakly) - it…I didn’t mean….it….I…I’m…


Page 4
The entire background of this page is the splash from panel 4.3, with the other panels overlaying it’s top part, the sky.

4.1 - CU -DART’s hand grabs the sword.

Caption (DART) - I’m sorry Thirstiel…

4.2 - CU - DART grabs the parchment - now it’s visible - it’s a map.

Caption (DART) - It’s not your fault…

4.4 - Zoom out further to see the whole city - taverns, towers, markets, houses, all leading up to a collection of giant houses, a giant castle, and at the very edge of the city we see the DART running towards a mountainous region that towers over the marketplace - the wild.

Caption (DART) - ….it’s just my fate…



#5

Wumbo,

First and foremost, you are a brave guy for doing this outside of a competition. Something I could never bring myself to do.kudos to you.

You have a good sense of character, dialouge and pacing. Good instincts. However, it’s your descriptions that leave me grasping at straws.This is going to get very nitpicky, and I hope it’s helpful.

Is there some reason you don’t name anyone within your descriptions?

1.1. A young boy running through a crowd…
CAPTION (DART).

I found this incredibly confusing. I thought it was a third person. By the time I hit the bottom of page one, I figured it out. But I see this happens throughout the script.

“In the distant background there is a black unicorn with fire in its nostrils, covered in blue armor, charging through the marketplace after the boy, riding is is a tall being with flowing blue hair.”

Ok a breathless run-on sentence. You are cramming a lot into a small space. Need to chop that up into two sentences. One about the unicorm. One about the rider.

I think you need to decide what is important and what is not. Also think about what you could actually see if something were in the distance. You could probably make out blue armor…but the fire emitting from the nostrils? It’s a cool image, but, I would save it for a closer shot of the black unicorn.

2.3. Again, the character appears and we learn his name is THRISTIEL in the captions. If you could name them, give a brief description of them, that would clear up a lot of confusion. As far as he goes, he could name him as early as page one, panel one.

This one instruction to the artist broke my brain:

4.1 “the entire background of this page is the splash from 4.3 with the other panels overlaying the top point, the sky.”

I feel like I get the gist of what you want to convey, but I had to work really hard to get there.

“The entire background of this page is the splash from 4.3…”

There is no splash page. There is no panel 3.
I THINK panel three is a close up of the map, and we are blowing up that image and using it as our background. Nothing wrong with that, but I personally don’t see an upside. We already see the map in panel 3. Does it give us any new info when used as the background? A you are here arrow ? A compass? Potential dangers marked in red ink? I would not do this unless there’s something that cannot be gleaned from panel 3.

“…with the other panels overlaying the top point, the sky.”"

So confusing. You need to tell me where the map is and where the panels are. I THINK the map occupies the bottom half of the page and the panels occupy the top of the page…but I’m not sure.

I will tell you what someone told me once. Slow down. Take a breath. Close your eyes, describe what you see and lay it out in a logical order. From left to right. Large details to small details. There is a youthful exuberance going on here. Feels like you’re in a hurry to type these out, and post them boom boom boom.
I would take a little more time with your descriptions and page layout ideas. Strive for clarity.

Again, it feels like the start of an epic fantasy story. I’m on your side. I’m rooting for Dart. BUT If I have to re-read things, and worse yet, try to interpret meaning…the quest is over before it’s begun.

I would love to see more work. I think you are pushing yourself too hard to put something out every week. Think about revising that schedule. Something you have revised, and re-written posted every two weeks?

Thanks for posting. I hope to see more of your work.
-Jason AKA HAZARDPAY


#6

Please don’t take his criticisms as an attack. Clarity is always better. Even in a comic published by a major company, it loses my interest if there’s no clarity in the storytelling, if things are just happening with no attempt at control. This is a visual medium. That doesn’t mean the visuals will just explain themselves. The storytelling explains the visuals, and the visuals explain the storytelling. And knowing what, and who, the character we’re supposed to be following is, that’s hugely essential, not just at the script stage but in the finished product. If it’s not clear to the artist, you’ll need a really good artist to figure it out. And even really good artists can screw that up. Make it easy for them. Make it easy for the reader.


#7

Thanks Duke. I’m not taking them as an attack, haha I asked for them! I’m willing to take any criticisms - I know that I have a long way to go, so I appreciate any criticisms that aim to help me write better for the scripts themselves AND for the artist or editors reading the scripts.

Jason, first off, thank you so much for being nitpicky - it means you really poured over and read every line in the script, and I appreciate that so much - truly. Your criticism makes sense, I’ve been told by a couple other readers of the script that I’m long winded and need to cut away crap to focus on the important stuff - as well as basically just introducing characters and remembering that what I’m writing is not what people would be reading - i.e. if I want to reveal the elf’s name to the reader on page 3, it doesn’t matter that the artists knows it in page 1 panel 1 - because they’re supposed to have the inside track on what’s going on. I will definitely work on laying it out more logically - having a messy draft of ideas and then forming it into a more succinct version of what I really want visible and communicated. I’m glad you enjoyed it and were interested in what was happening there - means I’m at least doing something right! If you want to see some more work you can check out the first week script I put up - “The Demons Fraud” - I’ll put a link to it right here.

Thanks again for looking at this and I’ll gladly post a second draft after taking the criticisms and sitting with it a bit!

Wumbo


#8

Draft 1


#9

Was I being a dick? Map thing really threw me.


#10

No. I just have experience with people taking criticism not so well here. Your reviews are similar to what I used to do, although I think you’ve managed to keep them sounding more positive.