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Messages - The Legendary Shark

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Creative Common / Re: Judge Dredd Script
« on: 13 July, 2019, 12:35:48 am »
Hi Robin.

Before I offer my two penn'orth, a couple of caveats: first, one of my faults is that my scripts tend to be hard for readers to follow because I often leave too much out as I try to cut as much exposition as I can - often too much - in the hopes that reading between the lines will fill in the blanks. I have noticed, and am frustrated by, reviewers pointing out that my stories can be hard to follow. Second, contributing to this problem, I also boil things down too much. So, please take my comments with several pinches of salt and a few other condiments as well.

I like the basic idea of the story, which I think is strong.

Personally, I'd first ask myself whether the scenes with Hershey and McGruder are necessary. They are basically talking heads in an office providing exposition without action. Can these scenes be cut and the exposition introduced in another way? Cutting these scenes would offer an opportunity to focus on Dredd and Dane and their conflict with the Sons of Mean (and maybe even each other), and development of the Sons of Mean - which is, I think, an interesting idea.

Would it be better to cut Hershey and McGruder altogether and focus on the Dredd/Dane relationship? Could Dane be on assessment, under Dredd, following her reconstruction? Given Mean Machine Angel's fondness for head-butting, is an opportunity for one of the Sons of Mean knocking himself out butting Dane's metal skull being missed? That might be a nice set-up for Dredd deciding to use Dane's skull as a ricochet target of last resort, like a footballer booting the ball to a team-mate's head to score a last-minute winning goal. This would also allow Dredd to be Dredd - using Dane in a way she doesn't expect, or even approve of, to save the day. Something like this might also make for a better last word by Dredd; the 'paperwork' quip is okay but doesn't really follow smoothly and something about 'using her head' might fold into the overall narrative a little more satisfactorily.

If the Hershey/McGruder scenes are cut, that will open up the story (in my opinion) to be more action-oriented and allow room for the Sons of Mean idea (which I love) to breathe.

Using McGruder's sister is also a good idea but, I feel, not for this story - she needs a story more personal to her because in this context she feels "tacked on" or too much of a fan-wink - a waste of a character, if you will.

Don't get too hung up on panel layouts and angles. Most of your panel descriptions are short, strong and to the point - and that's all you need to do. Let the artist decide as much as possible and only include layouts and angles if they're absolutely necessary to the story.

To address your questions; I use bold text simply to emphasise important elements in a panel description, such as Chekhov's gun or on the first appearance of an important character. Reducing words is, to me, one of the most important elements in scripting. In his indispensable work, Story. Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, Robert McKee teaches that the essence of scriptwriting is brevity. Whilst a novelist can pour words onto a page, a scriptwriter must do the opposite and cut, cut, cut - saying as much as possible with as few words as possible. Reducing speech and text balloons leaves more room for the artwork and, as we all know, a picture's worth a thousand words. Don't be afraid to cut. Be an avid slasher. Zero in on the essence of what needs to be said as much as possible. One of the questions I always try to ask is, does this panel need any speech or text bubbles at all? Most do, of course, but some of my favourite panels contain no words at all because, quite simply, they don't need them. (Of all the panels I have written, my favourite is from Paragon's Jikan - a full page image of a drunken Samurai leader, Lord Ankoku, who has accidentally impaled Jikan's pregnant wife with his sword, after waving it about in a mindless fury. The artist, the wonderfully talented El Chivo, delivered an image so powerful and so descriptive that any words from me would be entirely superfluous - "Shimasu," Part Two - The Jikan Chronicles, Book Two - Shameless Plugging Dept!)

I hope you don't find my comments too harsh because this is one of those stories where I genuinely find myself thinking, damn, I wish I'd thought of that. Also, I'm not telling you how you should write your story but how I'd think about approaching it if it were mine - and the critics be damned! :-)

Finally, and honestly, I think you should write more and start submitting to Zarjaz because you certainly have a talent which needs to be built upon and developed.

Keep on scribblin'!

Film & TV / Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« on: 12 July, 2019, 10:05:19 pm »

I hope the dog's a present from Lwaxana Troi and is called Mr Woof.

Film & TV / Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« on: 11 July, 2019, 10:29:41 pm »
Looks interesting...

Off Topic / Re: The Dream Warriors
« on: 09 July, 2019, 09:22:05 pm »

I'm quitting (again) too - but the only thing the patches seem to be doing for me is keeping me awake.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 09 July, 2019, 10:13:04 am »

I love Razorback. Took me ages to realise that the old guy in it is the same Bill Kerr who starred with Tony Hancock for all those years.

Off Topic / Re: Squaxx Telling Jokes
« on: 04 July, 2019, 06:08:04 pm »

I've just won my first cage fight! Dumb ass budgie never knew what hit it!

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 02 July, 2019, 06:29:27 am »

If only...


FS, that's great - I love to see children reading!

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 01 July, 2019, 09:09:06 pm »

Funtella Soloette - Monster Mangler.

Misty beckons...

Off Topic / Re: Y'know what really grinds my gears?
« on: 01 July, 2019, 07:28:35 pm »

Oh God. I'm talking about hosepipes and finding myself excited at the prospect of a non-kink version.

I've finally become my Dad.

Books & Comics / Re: ZARJAZ ISSUE 34 REVIEW
« on: 01 July, 2019, 02:46:56 pm »

I also can look at my work subjectively, the problem I have is looking at it objectively, which is why I find reviews most helpful.

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 01 July, 2019, 12:25:11 pm »

...I've just untangled a hosepipe. There's something very satisfying about untangling a hosepipe, something very Zen.

Off Topic / Re: Y'know what really grinds my gears?
« on: 01 July, 2019, 12:21:12 pm »

I wanted to use three or four feet of the hosepipe but had to un-roll the entire thing because some drokker had rolled it back up all full of kinks and knots.

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 01 July, 2019, 09:56:55 am »

Uh-oh... It sounds like you may have slipped into a Neil Gaiman novel. You'd best avoid talking cats, sentient dust, and mysterious strangers for a bit...

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