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Thread: Writing Contest #111 - Risk vs Reward

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    I wish you could. I guess I need to post more so they can count my vote next time! Who votes and how does it work?

    I just wanted feedback and hopefully in the future a shot to edit a comic. I have been published in Small Arms Review for a technical review of a firearm (March, 2007 issue), so I have writing experience as well as writing jokes (some of which i have sold) others I write for myself as I also do standup comedy. Keep up the good work!

  2. #22
    Just curious, how does posting here work? I submitted a reply with my script, but haven't seen it show up. Said something about waiting for moderator approval.

  3. #23
    Hey everyone, I'm Cole and new to Pencil Jack. I submitted this last night but it doesn't appear to have shown up, so I thought I'd try again. Apologies if ends up being double posted. Anyways, this is my second comic script I've written and this is just a first draft, but I hope you guys enjoy it. It was fun to write and good practice.

    A Mid-War Snack
    Cole Hedger
    @TheRailz on Twitter

    In a time of war a lone soldier spots salvation, a vending machine, amongst the war torn battlefield and sets off to retrieve his treasure.

    Page 1

    Panel 1
    Establishing Shot. A battlefield with debris, broken building, rubble, scattered fire/smoke, etc. Android soldiers can be seen traversing amongst the area. A human soldier is up above the battleground perched behind the remains of a wall/barrier and peering through binoculars scanning the area below. The human is in typical military get-up, fairly simple and slimmed down, bowl helmet. His gun and a bag of beef jerky are by his side.

    Panels 2-4
    Small quick cut panels framed as if looking through binoculars that show close ups of the battlefield and the androids patrolling it to establish the detail of it better.

    1. SFX – beep beeoop

    Panel 5
    Just beyond the battlefield and the androids lies a building with a wall missing. And sitting safely inside is a vending machine (snacks, not sodas), glowing as if sent from heaven.

    2. Man (off panel) – Hmm

    Panel 6
    Close-up of the soldier, a look of joy and determination on his face as he tears a bite from a piece of tough and dry jerky.

    3. SFX - Rip

    Page 2

    Panel 1
    The soldier grabs his gun and slides down the hill towards the battlefield.

    1. Man – Hup!
    2. SFX - sliiide

    Panel 2
    The soldier stops and hides behind rubble, peering around as an android walks by.

    3. SFX – Eer beep beep

    Panel 3
    Dashing from cover the soldier runs by to next spot.

    Panel 4
    An android hears a noise and turns to look, but doesn’t spot anything.

    4. SFX – EE? Err…

    Panel 5
    The Soldier, behind cover, wipes sweat from his head after the close call.

    5. Man – whew

    Page 3

    Panel 1
    A group of patrolling androids from the other side spots the Soldier, calling out in alarm.

    1. Androids – EEE BEEP
    2. Androids – ENEMY SPOTTED
    3. Man – Huh!?

    Panel 2
    The soldier dives from his spot as the androids open fire (laser beams?)

    4. Man – GAHH
    5. SFX – PEW PEW PEW

    Panel 3
    OTS of the androids fire away, one tossing a grenade (sci-fi orb) as the soldier fires back from behind new cover, a couple of the androids visibly shot/being blown backwards.

    6. SFX (grenade being activated) – beeoop
    7. SFX – PEW PEW PEW
    8. SFX (androids being shot) – BWAM BWAM
    9. SFX (man shooting) - ratatatata

    Panel 4
    The grenade lands in the building with a bounce.

    10. SFX – clink!

    Panel 5
    Slice panel? - CU of Soldier’s look of shock.

    Panel 6
    Slice panel? - Soldier snatches the grenade in its bounce.

    11. SFX - yoink

    Panel 7
    Soldier hurls the grenade back at the androids.

    12. Man – Huah!

    Page 4

    Panel 1
    The grenade whacks a confused android in the head.

    1. SFX – clank
    2. Android – beep

    Panel 2
    Explosion takes out the androids.


    Panel 3
    Soldier is in a duck and cover position as some dirt, rocks, and android parts land around the area.

    4. SFX – clang, bang

    Panel 4
    Getting up and dusting himself off the soldier cautiously looks around the area to see if he’s in the clear.

    5. SFX – pat pat

    Panel 5
    Taking his chance he runs towards the vending machine, which sits like a beacon of light.

    Panel 6
    Finally having reached his goal and wanting to hurry before more androids show the soldier pulls a wallet from his pouch, a look of anxious joy upon his face.

    6. SFX – shuffle

    Page 5

    Panel 1
    The soldier attempts to insert a bill into the machine.

    Panel 2
    The vending machine isn’t taking in the bill. The soldier tries in confusion.

    1. Man – Huh?

    Panel 3
    The frustrated soldier repeatedly attempts to insert the bill as the machine continues to not accept it.

    2. SFX – clank
    3. SFX – fwpfwpfwp

    Panel 4
    The soldier peers around the vending machine to discover there is nothing on the other side of the wall except rubble and exposed wires. The vending machine isn’t even functioning.

    4. Man – Hm?

    Panel 5
    Shot of the soldier’s face with a look of disbelief and suppressed anger. That kind of eye twitching calm someone gets before a blow out.

    Panel 6
    We see the soldier walking away from the vending machine, snacking on chips and trail of snack wrappers behind him. The vending machine is busted open and the snacks are visible strewn around, the soldier having broken the glass and grabbing an armful of snacks.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterPants View Post
    Crud.... I ran out of time on the rewrite. I guess my entry is going to have to stand.

    I do miss Spider-Girl from that Marvel 2 universe. They should bring her back.
    Mr P, sorry to hear... We can always give you a few more days if you need it?

    I never got around to reading the M2U's S-G, and I still have a few trades of Spider-Gwen, Arana and Silke to read as well - just need to find the time...

    Then my take on Spydr-Grrrl would've ended with her devolving & encasing the fan who outed her secret ID in webs and biting her with poison... So yeah, a real bad reward for the risk she took..!

    Then here's my entry... Trying something new - writing for a younger audience - so PG-13 all the way... If this works out, then I've got a few more stories with the same characters, and even have some interest from an artist too... But what a schlepp coming up with a name for a light-based super-powered individual that hasn't been taken... I've thrown some of the taken ones and my other attempts into the dialogue here and there... And speaking of dialogue - still need to work on what my characters say... And cut down on how much they say... Sigh... Should really take the time and create character grids as per advice from ComixTribe's Tyler James...

    LightPath - from darkness to first (f)light...
    Page 1 (5 panels):

    1. (Panels 1 & 2 are joined together by our heroine LightPath flying up from the bottom right of this panel, and into most of Panel 2.) Then, in the background, sitting on the ground, in front of the Second National bank that she was robbing - is a woman, bound by beams of light. The automatic rifle that she was armed with has been cut in two by LightPath & lying by the would-be robber’s feet. If possible, in the far background behind the bank it would be good to see a part of Table Mountain, to clue the reader in this story takes place in Cape Town, South Africa. (I see LightPath’s costume as gold, black & blue with huge stylized star emblems. Covers her body from neck to gloves and boots. Her mask is another star emblem, this time glowing and semi-translucent over her face & eyes.)

    1) Caption:

    2. (This panel continues from previous one, as our heroine LightPath flies up to the top right of this panel, mouth open - as she’s talking.) On the bottom right of the panel we should see a TV news reporter (African female), mike in her hand, and her other hand in the air, trying to get LightPath’s attention.

    2) TV news reporter:
    LightPath, wait!

    3. This panel has LightPath going down towards the ground, feet first. She’s flying down towards the docks near the sea, and the area looks a bit run-down. On the bottom right of the panel we should see 3 males – these are our 3 “wise men of the Cape” – armed robbers and pickpockets.

    3) LightPath (tail pointing to top of previous panel):
    Sorry, there’s somewhere I need to be…

    4) LightPath (Thought):
    There they are - best to go invisible…

    5) Wise man #1:
    It’s all risk vs reward, mon frère…

    4. Closer in on the three, they’re now sitting down in a darkened alley, to divide their takings for the day – so their hands & the ground on front of them is covered with cash, cellphones and jewels. To link them to the next few panels, they should have their night-vision goggles around their necks – these should be similar to this ref -$_35.JPG?set_id=2. In this panel we should have LightPath in her invisible form, so outline only & no coloring.

    6) Wise man #1:
    The good people of this fairest Cape has the audacity to venture forth from their abodes with legal tender and all forms of portable electronics - and we take it as our reward…

    7) Wise man #2:
    Let us see what the fruit of our hard-earned work has delivered… Verily, a virtual cornucopia of lootage…

    8) Wise man #3:
    C’mon, enough with the yappin’… Haven’t youse heard of the super hero chick called LightRay? LightWave? Phototonix? And that she’s after free market entrepreneurs like us?

    5. LightPath goes from invisible to visible, and we should see the surprise on the three bad guys’ faces. (Also going to re-use this panel for Page 5 panel 1, where they have pulled their weapons out…)

    9) LightPath:
    Hey guys, miss me?

    10) LightPath (Thought):
    They don’t look as confident and in control as last time… And also – last time, I was the one that they were after.

    Page 2 (5 panels):
    1. Irene, a young woman of around 16, is running away from 3 bad guys, the same from last page. She’s got tears in her eyes, makeup smudged – her prom-type dress dirty and torn. It’s very dark outside – as the power in the city is off.

    1) Caption:
    3 weeks ago.

    2) Caption:
    During an extended power failure…

    3) Irene (Thought):
    Have to hide! But where?!

    2. Close-up on the 3 bad guys, their night vision goggles (same model as the previous page, now just lit up green) are clearly visible. All of them are talking in this panel.

    4) Wise man #1:
    The lights are off, girlie - and no one’s coming to rescue you…

    5) Wise man #2:
    And with night-vision, here in the kingdom of the blind - we are kings!

    6) Wise man #3:
    Just where’d she wander off to?

    3. Irene is hiding behind some wooden crates/debris, and we see at least one pair of night vision goggles coming her way in the dark!

    7) Wise man #3:
    Don’t be so shy… Come here darlin’.

    8) Irene (Thought):
    Slow your breathing, Irene!

    4. Close-up on Irene’s face, tears still streaming down her face, eyes wide open. If space allows, have a path of a shooting star reflect in her eye(s).

    9) Irene (Thought):
    Wait, what’s that light? Is that a shooting star?

    5. The one gang member is looking over the crate where Irene was just hiding behind – but she’s gone!

    10) Wise man #1 (burst):

    11) Wise man #2 (off-panel):
    Did you get her?

    12) Wise man #1 (linked):

    13) Wise man #3 (off-panel):
    Y’know, could’ve sworn I saw a flash of light…

    Page 3 (5 panels):
    1. A ray of light is blasting off from the darkened docks area of Cape Town, and the whole dark city is set against Table Mountain & star background. This is Irene of course, flying towards the “shooting star” - but in the next panels we’ll see it’s actually something else… Show her zooming over a buoy in the sea, but this has no lights. Ref for city -

    1) Irene (burst):

    2. Irene is blasting towards us, glowing bright, with speed lines all around her!

    2) Irene (Thought):
    What’s happening to meeeee?

    3) Irene (Thought):
    And that’s no shooting star!

    3. Big panel showing Irene floating in front of a very huge satellite – actually the International Space Station! She is pretty tiny against the huge station! Sunlight is reflecting off the solar panels - this is what she saw earlier. There is someone watching her again, invisible again - so outline only & no coloring… The ISS has a Dragon supply capsule docked to it, and 3 inflatable habitats as well, making it a tad bigger than the one currently up there. Ref -

    4) Caption:
    The International Space Station.

    5) Caption:
    330 km above the Earth.

    4. Close-up on Irene, as she’s just realized she can’t breathe…

    6) Irene (Thought):
    How on--

    7) Irene (Thought):
    I can’t breathe!

    5. Panel showing Irene, floating in space in her dirty and torn prom dress, looking down on a darkened Earth, with Africa in sight, with lights concentrated in/around the big cities – ref -

    8) Caption (bottom right of panel):
    Yes, you can thank light pollution for helping you get back to Earth.

    9) Caption (bottom right of panel):
    Consider it your new BFF… After me, that is!

    Page 4 (4 panels):
    1. A biggish panel showing a building like the CPUT science building, with Table Mountain in the background -

    1) Caption:
    A few days ago.

    2) Caption:
    The Free University of Cape Town

    3) Scientist (tail towards building):
    Still can’t quite believe that you just turned up here, in my lab, out of the blue - after finding me on Facebook?

    4) Scientist (linked):
    And you could be glad you did not look “up” at the stars or the Moon… Although the Van Allen radiation belt should’ve--

    5) Scientist (linked):
    Never mind, where did you finally touch down?

    6) Irene (tail towards building):
    I woke up in Kenya – and it was a real learning curve getting back to Cape Town!

    2. Inside a lab, we should see Irene and a scientist – Irene is wearing bulky white clothing – a radiation/hazmat suit hybrid - and is floating, glowing brightly. The scientist is sitting in front of a PC, behind portable screens (dark plastic sheets in a frame with wheels on the bottom) in between them to block out the light coming from Irene.

    7) Irene:
    BTW, thanks for all the books you lent me – really gave me a few ideas just what light and energy can do. Invisibility cloak here we co--

    8) Scientist:
    You’ve finished them already? Do you also read at lightspeed--

    9) Scientist (linked):
    Never mind – you can power down – I’m done with the scans.

    3. Irene and Lauren (the scientist) are now behind the computer, looking at a color inverted image of Irene from the previous panel… Irene is still wearing the bulky white clothing.

    10) Scientist:
    Whoah – your energy readings are almost off the chart…

    4. Another biggish panel showing Lauren (the scientist) and Irene standing around a second version of her suit – mostly gold and black – a non-blinged version of the suit we saw on Page 1). Irene is pointing with her right hand with thumb extended back at another suit in the background – but this is a red one - of course a cameo of Flash’s TV show suit.

    11) Scientist:
    So, I still have no real theory on how you got your powers. Any clues from your side? Your parents aren’t super-heroes by any chance?

    12) Irene:
    No, I’m ado--

    13) Irene (linked):
    No – none that I know of.

    14) Scientist (linked):
    Strange… This is going to bug me until I figure it out… In any case – here’s the new and improved version of your suit - try it out and let me know what you think?

    15) Irene (linked):
    Cool… Anything is better than El Flasho over there.

    16) Off-page speech (burst, to the bottom right of the panel):
    Hey, Star-Lite, we’re right here…

    Page 5 (5 panels):
    1. She snaps out of the flashback – as the gang pulls their weapons, spouting their lines yet again… Similar panel layout as P1, Pn 5, they’ve just got their weapons out… From the left to the right they have a sparking electric stun gun, a knife and a pistol.

    1) Wise man #1:
    Miss ye?

    2) Wise man #2:
    Do we even know ye?

    3) LightPath:
    It’s OK… Just whatever you do…

    2. Irene powers up and glows like a sun at them & also blasts/melts their weapons at the same time!

    4) LightPath:
    …don’t go into the light!

    5) Wise man #1-3 (balloon tails to each):
    Aaargh! Can’t see!

    3. LightPath flies down towards a police station, with the gang in tow, a la classic Green Lantern-style. She’s dropping them off at the station - with 2 cops (male & female) watching.

    6) LightPath:
    Hey guys, have some more “guests” for you – the night-vision gang… And also all the stuff they stole today.

    7) Cop:
    No friggin’ way!

    4. As she flies off, the gang has now been handcuffed by the police, and they’re trying to get her to stay put. And someone is watching her… And reports in…

    8) Cop 1:

    9) Cop 2:
    What about all the paperwork!

    10) Off-page balloon:
    Interesting… Will need to report this.

    5. Panel of her flying past Table Mountain, with the city in lights around it, and multi-colored lights shining up onto the mountain itself, as she enjoys herself flying… She should just be flying in a line, or straight lines with sharp turns as she rides different reflected rays of light. Ref of landscape here -

    11) LightPath:

    12) Caption (Bottom right):
    Enjoy it while you can, LightPath – we’ll be coming for you once we find out who you are…

    13) Caption (Bottom right):
    The End… For now…
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 02-27-2017 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Final edits...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries
    Hiya Cole,

    Welcome to the PJ forum! And glad you made it! Looking forward to reading your entry - just need to get some shuteye - it's almost the new day already where I stay!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRailz View Post
    Hey everyone, I'm Cole and new to Pencil Jack. I submitted this last night but it doesn't appear to have shown up, so I thought I'd try again. Apologies if ends up being double posted. Anyways, this is my second comic script I've written and this is just a first draft, but I hope you guys enjoy it. It was fun to write and good practice.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries
    Hiya jamesdcreviston,

    I believe the forum is set up to only allow voting once you've posted 50 times... Pretty sure it was instituted to prevent friend(ly) voting or somesuch... So you have just less than 40 votes to go... Advice to bump up your vote count has been to comment on art entries, or participate in the break room discussions?

    For anyone that can't vote yet, we'll count your vote - you just need to post it in the official voting thread, which we'll put up tomorrow or so... Or just send a PM if you want.

    The PJ forums is a great place to up your comic book writing game - and I'm sure your experience outside comics also helps...

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdcreviston View Post
    I wish you could. I guess I need to post more so they can count my vote next time! Who votes and how does it work?

    I just wanted feedback and hopefully in the future a shot to edit a comic. I have been published in Small Arms Review for a technical review of a firearm (March, 2007 issue), so I have writing experience as well as writing jokes (some of which i have sold) others I write for myself as I also do standup comedy. Keep up the good work!

  7. #27
    @ Cole, “A Mid-War Snack”

    Welcome to PJ. Thanks for submitting.

    On page 1, panel 1, I wouldn’t mind a little more description of the androids. Are these Terminator style war machines? Or built to look more humanoid like I Robot? Clarfying this in the script may prevent your artist from establishing the wrong tone or, at the very least, resolve a question before it’s asked.

    2.1, multiple action here, grabbing his gun and sliding down the hill are two separate motions.

    2.3 wording on the description is a little clunky here. Also do you envision the robot in the background of the panel? Might add some tension and give things more spacial relation.

    2.4, again, multiple action. Would be more clear to say “An android, having heard a noise, turns to find the source”. Or something like that.

    3.1, some of the androids communicate in beeps while others speak. Maybe streamline that? Also on the dialogue portion clarify if you want all the androids speaking or if you meant android, singular.

    On page five I would consider some noise SFX from the machine to indicate it’s not accepting the bill. Not sure it will translate without the descriptions.

    I would consider removing page 2, as you don’t really need this close call beat in such a short story, and give page 5, panel 6 a splash page. It will really help the joke land with more oomph. I was half hoping the snacks turned out to be rotted or infested with bugs, just to add a little more twist to the end (since I know the machine not accepting a dollar wouldn’t stop him) but this is a kinder resolution.

    All in all it’s a fun story. I like that you kept the story simple and didn’t overcomplicate with too much back story on the solider or his enemies. With so little space it’s important to be focused and you managed that. I would polish some of the formatting and, like I said, pay off the ending better.

  8. #28
    @Shaun, Thanks for the input, I greatly appreciate it! I'll take your comments into consideration and see what I can do with the second draft.

    I agree about removing page 2 in favor of the splash page for page 5, panel 6. I had initially wanted the close call in order to have a bit of build up before the confrontation with the other androids, but it's tough to do in only 5 pages, haha. The idea of the extra twist at the end is great as well! As for the description of the androids, and my writing in general, I still not used to translating what I see in my head into words because I just assume I'll be drawing it myself. I'll work on being more clear with my wording and visual descriptions.

    I'm glad you like it, and thanks again! Was fun to do.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    North Carolina
    I'm going to have to bow out of this one... life, am I right? Plus I see some serious competition here. I'm going to have to really think about which one to vote for. Not going to be easy. You guys are monsters!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Everyone here is amazing. @MisterPants don’t bow out. You only get better by working with those who push you to be better. Take what you learn this round and apply it to the next round. Everyone here is amazing. Thank you all for the feedback and pushing me to do better.


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