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Write Off 7: Altered Egos - pick a winner


#41

April Fools

LIKES
I thought the throughline about pranks a good way to tie the story together. I thought the “come to a head” line inspired. Loved the image of Britt looking stupid after the nunchaku reveal. Kato is a great straight man here.

QUIBBLES
I didn’t really understand how the Hornet went from being on his back in what felt like the middle of an altercation to being at the window with the kids now being accomplices. Unfortunately, I have exactly zero experience with the Green Hornet, having neither seen the movie nor read any of the comics, so I am assuming that maybe this interaction represents a strong break from character? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but it wasn’t clear to me that they were just roughousing, since that explanation makes the most sense to me.

The story seemed to progress kind of slowly for me, as though a lot of the panels might be combined. For instance, Pages 7 and 8 could probably be combined pretty easily. Might this be due to a lot of experience writing for the screen? The focus moving from character to character panel by panel reads like a shooting script to me. Additionally, there are a couple of dynamic actions indicated, like “Rolling down the window, he flips them the bird” and “Kato turns the BB around the corner and parks out front…” which, as an artist, would give me a hard time showing within the panels as indicated. Seems like rolling down the window is one drawing/panel and flipping the bird another? Maybe it’s just me having trouble visualising the way it should be depicted.

OVERALL
I really liked the way Kato and Britt interacted, it read very organically. I thought as a short, comedic piece it worked pretty well and wish that I had a deeper understanding of the source material by which to compare/contrast.


#42

Well, you don’t really need to be concerned with how your scripts look unless you end up with a job for a company that will be reviewing them before they go to the artist. Before that it really is all about making it as easy as possible for an artist to follow.

Of course, if your primary method for breaking in is submitting to contests, then you certainly should be concerned about how the script looks. You’ll find it’s less about making the script itself stand out and more about what you’re doing in it, whether it stands out as a story. You can’t really help whether or not it’s what they’re actually looking for (although too many participants apparently don’t care to follow directions, which for the purposes of the Write Offs isn’t as bad, but I’ve certainly been annoyed in the past, when I wasn’t hosting, when someone clearly didn’t follow them).

But if you present a clean script that follows standards, I suspect you will already have a leg up. It’s used by the professionals, and in turn makes you look professional (fake it til you make it).

The contents, again, are entirely up to you. You can take all the feedback, good and bad, that people give you (and of course, the feedback itself can be good and bad, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference), but if you don’t develop your style, your gift…even if you do break in, you will certainly want to be a writer you’d want to read. Do you want to be formulaic, or stand out?

These are all things a budding writer ought to consider.


#43

“…there are a couple of dynamic actions indicated, like “Rolling down the window, he flips them the bird” and “Kato turns the BB around the corner and parks out front which, as an artist, would give me a hard time showing within the panels as indicated…”

PAGE 5 (panel #5)
Just an idea, I’d place a smaller panel on the main one (somewhat in the top left corner). It would show Green Hornet’s hand pressing the window button. The main panel (maybe utilizing speed lines and wind?) would be a shot of him leaning into/kinda out of the window with the finger gesture. [He wants to make sure they see it/him.]


#44

“…I didn’t really understand how the Hornet went from being on his back in what felt like the middle of an altercation to being at the window with the kids now being accomplices.”

I know how that could be confusing. Simply put, the kids weren’t truly bad to begin with. They just lacked guidance. If I had a chance to “work the script” more, Hornet would have just offered them $100 each to help him😃

Question, how would you combine pg. 7 & 8?

Generally, I like to give the artist “room to work”. As a standard, I may be limited to four or five panels a page (idea of that is so page count doesn’t get away from ya?) IMHO, my job is to tell the artist what’s happening, not tell them how to depict it.

The artist I work with has a very cinematic visual style. As a result, he comes up with great action sequences - usually better than mine. Unless there’s something particular I want, I let him handle things and simply write…ACTION SEQUENCE or FIGHT SCENE, give him ample page space and any pertinent notes.


#45

I’m hesitant to suggest anything as I don’t know if it’s my place to edit your work, but i think you could combine the action in page 7, panels 1 & 2 and also panels 4 & 5. Then in the “new” panel 4 you combine panels 1, 2, and 3 and keep panels 4 & 5.

All of this is of course predicated on the fact that I don’t know exactly how you have it visualised and it’s certainly possible that the action is needed to be done as you have written.

I think the camera directions might be throwing me off as I am not sure I like them, personally.

So to run this process to its logical conclusion, I would say something like;

Page 7

Panel 1 Exterior - street
KATO and HORNET exit the vehicle. There are some Ne’er-do-well YOUTHS lounging on the grass across the street.

HORNET dialogue
KATO dialogue
HORNET dialogue

Panel 2 Exterior - street
HORNET leans against the car, glaring at the youths as behind him, Kato approaches the warehouse.

Panel 3 Interior - Warehouse
KATO assumes a fighting stance in the doorway of the warehouse, silhouetted against the bright light of day outside.
DON GLIST (V.O.) dialogue

Panel 4 exterior -street
the HORNET, now in the middle of the street, glares at the hoodlums on the grass. They have their phones out and are snapping photos, pointing and laughing.

HORNET: dialogue

Panel 5 HORNET VISION!
Note; everything is now green, since we are in Hornet Time.
HORNET snaps the phone out of one of the youth’s hand.

Panel 6 HORNET VISION
as the kid bends over to pick up his phone, HORNET boots him right in the tuchus.

I’m not saying it’s any better per se, but just to give a visual on what I was talking about earlier. This is just a single pass-through, so there are probably typos in there


#46

@MarcElmo,
No worries. I asked the question and I don’t have “thin skin”. This is the place to talk about stuff like this. In addition, I thought you were saying page 7 & 8 could be condensed into one page. I was curious as things like that give me more room to tell story.

Besides, the artist I work with will change stuff around like he’s Jack Kirby. He gets the story right but doesn’t hesitate to go “off script”. As long as the end product is strong, I’m fine with it.


#47

Love the dialogue going on this round.


#48

I’m thinking to keep voting open until the end of the week. Currently there’s four votes, with two for one of the stories, and one for two others besides. It gives us a winner regardless of whether or not anyone else votes. Let me know if you just haven’t gotten around to reading entries yet, and what kind of time table you might need.


#49

Didn’t expect a boat load of reviews, but I’m kinda surprised at the lack of votes. People DO know they can just vote, right?


#50

Few people outside of direct participants read the scripts, and it’s not even a given for the participants themselves to read them. That’s part of why I’ve questioned continuing. Past Write Offs have benefited from the Millarworld annuals, frustrated entrants wanting another outlet. There are clearly a lot of past participants who just walked away, even though they still visit the forums.

It may be time to consider an alternate format, like we previously discussed.


#51

Hey, I wanted to thank everyone for the critiques and feedback. My story wasn’t supposed to be funny per se. I found the idea humorous so I went with it. I’m not good at writing comedy so I didn’t try to force myself. I just wrote the story as it came to me and I was pleased with how it turned out. On a longer timeline I would probably use the old TV tropes of the nagging wife and hen-pecked husband with the ring being the former and Sinestro the latter. Ultimately it was fun taking the basic trait of a well known character and flipping it on its head. I appreciate the opportunity, and again, the feedback you all have given me.


#52

I’ll try to answer your questions the best way I can.

As to whether or not it’s supposed to be comedy: the humor, to me, lies in the situation. I’m terrible at comedic dialogue so I didn’t try to force myself to do it. Therefore, my script, as it’s written, is not intended to be funny. I think Sinestro as a coward and the ring keying in on the wrong kind of fear are humorous.

Sinestro’s honesty is a byproduct of his fear. He’ll admit he’s afraid. He’s not ashamed of it. To him fear is as natural as breathing. It would never occur to him to lie about it. Perhaps that was a little more than I could convey in ten pages.

Lastly, my shot calling. I haven’t figured out a better way to concisely describe certain panel layouts. I don’t like writing 50 words when 20 will do. I try to be economical and sometimes I sacrifice clarity to that end. It’s something I need to work on in the future. I honestly appreciate you pointing that out.

I appreciate the complements and critiques. This story was a way for me to play around with certain things without anything on the line. I enjoy writing stories, but I’m not great at the technical stuff, especially regarding comic book scripts. Thank you for taking the time to read and reply.


#53

You’re the winner, by the way. Well-earned! If you’d like to pick a topic for an eighth round, feel free to.


#54

Congrats, Enders. Looking forward to the next write-off!


#55

Write Off #8?


#56

As I never got a response from the winner, do we want to throw out ideas for the next topic? Mine was an “unofficial Millarworld annual” deal (a shameless ploy to rope in unsuspecting new participants), possibly with his DC/Marvel material rather than the creator-owned stuff the real thing handles.


#57

I’m looking for a little chatter, here. I’d like to think there will be more participation next time.


#58

Not a sequel, but a short story set in that universe? Right? Opps just seeing the write off 8 post now. Please disregard


#59

Haha and i am reluctant to share the idea I had in case I won. Ignore this one too