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Writing Contest #122 The Western

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  • #16
    THE CAVE


    Page 1.

    Panel 1.
    Hop and an old man are dismounting their horses . The old man’s wrists are bound and he is stumbling trying to get off the horse.
    Hop is in his late 20’s. He has a hard face from years labor on a chain gang and a hard life of fighting, stealing and cheating before that. The old man is a gold prospector and wears worn out rags of clothes.

    Panel 2.

    Hop is checking his pistol, he wears all black, dirty and worn.

    Hop: You just keep your mouth shut until I say…got it?


    Panel 3

    Close up on Hop.

    Hop: I didn’t survive prison to starve back here in my home county. People don’t like me much in these parts and money is hard to come by. I can’t let you just be sitting on this buried treasure.


    Panel 4

    Close up of the prospector.

    OLD MAN: No one dared go looking for it Hop. Don’t be a fool, the Indians say that cave is cursed.

    Panel 5.
    Hop whacks the old man across the base of his skull with his pistol butt.
    Hop: I said shut up! You think I don’t know the legends?



    Panel 6.
    They enter the pitch back cavern.
    Hop: Don’t think I won’t kill you old man.

    Panel 7. Hop strikes a match against the cave wall.

    Page 2.

    Panel 1. He lights his hand rolled cig.

    Panel 2. Hop is lighting a torch.

    Panel 3. He shoves the lit torch into the old man’s bound hands.
    Hop: Here hold this, you piece of shit, before I really lose my temper.

    Panel 4.
    The prospector takes the handle of the torch even with bound hands.
    OLD MAN: you never were right Hop, even as a kid.


    Panel 5.
    A long expanse of darkness looms before the two men.
    HOP: Come on. You best hope to God you remember where it is.

    Panel 6.
    Hop and the old prospector stood at the fork of two different tunnels.
    Hop: ok, which way old timer?

    Panel 7.
    The prospector starts to speak.

    OLD MAN:its…

    Page 3.

    Panel 1.
    The side of the old man’s face is gone replaced with shear gore.
    Sfx: Blam!

    Panel 2.
    The old man’s body falls and with the torch still in his hands. Hop is standing there stunned his mouth agape and his face splattered with blood.

    Panel 3.
    Behind Hop and the body stands a hooker from the tavern Louise and a young mixed-race kid. Louise is older and blonde haggard looking. The boy is only about nine dressed in a tan jacket and hat. They both hold pistols at Hop.

    LOUISE: Don’t move a god durn muscle!


    LOUISE: I'll blow your squirrelly head clean off too!


    Panel 4.
    Close up of Louise she grins slightly.
    LOUISE: It ain’t nothing personal, Hop. The old man already told me where to look last night.

    Panel 5.
    Hop groans.

    Panel 6.
    Close up on Hop looking fearful.
    Hop: Fine Louise, I’ll go…I ain’t gonna give you no trouble.

    Panel 7.

    Shot of Louise and her boy.

    Louise: You know I can’t do that… This gold will give my boy here a good life. He can go back to the East coast and get him a good education. You know the West ain't no place for no negro child.


    Page 4.

    Panel 1.

    Hop’s hands are in the air but he still holds his revolver.

    HOP: Alright..I surrender.

    Panel 2.
    Hop squeezes off a quick wild shot as he dives to the ground.

    Panel 3.
    The boy is struck in the stomach.



    Panel 4.
    The kid’s doubled-over form sinks to the ground.
    Louise is screaming.

    Louise: No!

    Panel 5.
    Louise close up, she has lost her cotton-picking mind.

    Panel 6.
    She starts blasting her gun wildly as she screams.

    Panel 7.
    Close up of the miner’s body. His coat rode up his back as he fell. A bundle of dynamite is visible tucked under his belt.

    PAGE 5.

    Panel 1.
    A bullet streams into the bundled explosive.

    Panel 2.

    A plume of fire
    Sfx: Kru..phh



    Panel 3. Extreme long shot. The rock monster has risen up from its cavernous den, its massive head lifted and roaring into the sky.


    Panel 4. It settles back into to the hole yawning.

    Panel 5. The giant creature is still again looking as it did before like a cave mouth in a rock face.

    Comment


    • #17
      Cool! Looking forward to reading this. Does anyone need more time for their entry?
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      • #18
        -J5, "The Cave"

        This one felt a little rushed to me. Some of the descriptions felt clipped and the idea overall felt like it was lacking a real hook or twist. Maybe spend a little less time on Hop and more time on the legend. As it's written now the rock monster feels a bit out of nowhere. I think you have a good knack for writing believable characters (Hop and the woman both felt three dimensional for how little time we spend with them). I would've baked this one a little longer to see if you could find ways of milking more from these cool characters. Some tweaky notes below...

        1.2 I would mention hop’s outfit in the first panel where he's introduced.

        1.3 this dialogue feels stiff. it’s info the reader needs to know but not really organic to the scene

        1.5 a whack across the head with a pistol butt would do some real damage. Not sure the old man would stay standing. Maybe choose a less violent attack to believably keep the old man on his feet?

        3.3 the description here is a little sloppy or rushed.

        5.3 I was a little thrown off by the rock monster introduction, you mention it as if we’ve seen it before. As I mentioned earlier if we have a little more set up on the legend surrounding the cave the rock monster's introduction might not seem so jarring.
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        • #19
          This one is a little late and hurried. not sure how to work this in, but it is a sequel to another 5-page comic I wrote called "Buffalo Soldier" set in the same place.

          Pitch: Some people learn from their mistakes. Some people don’t. Out here, on the Stellar Frontier, you need to learn from your mistakes.



          ANDIRA VAO-MARTINEZ: a Genetically-Modified child who, ten years ago, when ARIEL JONES was here, captured as a hostage and badly crippled by the prior bunch of raiders; since that time, she has been dedicated to upholding the law in the town, despite her disability.

          NINE-CROCODILE TERRORISTS: An outlaw band of raiders, who are a bunch of motley Cibolan (S. American descent) yahoos who are determined to return to the old Aztec ways, in their twisted view of it, including rape, torture, and murder.
          They are each wearing dirty patchwork armor decorated with jade and obsidian Aztec jewelry and several shrunken humanoid and alien heads.

          TITLE: Tin Star

          PAGE ONE5 Panels)
          PANEL 1: (Large) A desert badlands region, looking down from atop a mesa on a classic near-western/futuristic town in the far distance. There are perhaps 5-6 buildings in a simple single-road layout. Subtle clues tell us that the desert and the mesa are on a different planet--the off-color sky, the odd bits of flora and fauna, the ring plane that spans the sky above. On this mesa, a lone woman stands in the close foreground, so that we can’t see her lower body (This is IMPORTANT!!) obviously looking down on the small sleepy town, with binoculars in her hand. (NOTE: very much echoing Buffalo Soldier first panel)

          ANDIRA
          Merde. Three damn days…
          CAPTION: This is the DeltaBison RanchTown Project-or DeBison Town, as we locals call it. Used to have less people than it does now.

          PANEL 2: (Inset in Panel 1): A computerized image zoom from the same angle as Page 1, Panel 1 on the roof of one of the few 2-story buildings in the town. There are compact air-handlers on the roof, all damaged and burned (laser hits from earlier) Four or five bodies of townspeople dead on the roof, shot; one townsperson was brutally crucified on a radar dish.

          ANDIRA
          I’m gone for three days to turn that food bank robber over to the planetary jail…

          CAPTION: The last time this town had a problem, it was ten years ago.

          PANEL 3: Head and shoulders view of ANDIRA, cocking a futuristic rifle with her right hand, (like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2) Determination and anger are evident on her dusty, travel-worn face.
          CAPTION: A bunch of terroristas came in and took the town. Lawmen-well, we’re Gennies. Nobody bothered to help.
          CAPTION: But we got lucky. The Protectorate-space cops came in and kicked their asses. Well, one space cop.

          PANEL 4: Same view of the mesa as Page 1, Panel 1, but ADIRA is gone; a cloud of dust over the edge of the mesa.
          CAPTION: One very memorable woman. She saved us all.

          PANEL 5: (Large) Head and shoulders view of ADIRA hurtling dramatically off the mesa from over her shoulder, leave enough room to get in the title.
          TITLE: Tin Star: A tale of the OutRim (A sequel to Buffalo Soldier)
          CAPTION: I guess this time, it’s my turn.

          PAGE TWO: (5 Panels)
          PANEL 1Large) At the outskirts of town, one of the TERRORISTS is beating up a CITIZEN, who’s already bloody and on her knees. The TERRORIST is obviously high/drunk on something. We can see in the distance, a cloud of dust coming up.
          TERRORIST
          …Get up, maggot!*
          CITIZEN
          No-please!?!*
          CAPTION: * Spoken in Low Cibolan
          CAPTION: Dammit. Can’t make it to save Cleve on time! Have to take the shot!

          PANEL 2: (Small) close up on the head and shoulders of the TERRORIST from Page 2, Panel 1, bullying angry expression.
          TERRORIST
          Please?!? Seriously?!? I ought to-*
          CAPTION: * Spoken in Low Cibolan
          CAPTION: Line it up, and…
          PANEL 3: (Small) same closeup from Page 2, Panel 2 above, except the TERRORIST looks surprised, fatally so. (may be a splatter of blood from having his chest blown out from a distance getting into the bottom of this panel…) SFX: Shkkktt!
          TERRORIST
          Hkkk!
          CAPTION: Got him.

          PANEL 4: head and shoulders view of ANDIRA hustling forward, smoking laser rifle in her hands; note that you can’t see her hips and lower body.

          PANEL 5: ANDIRA reaching to help CITIZEN from Page 2, Panel 1 to his feet; pick an angle that does NOT allow you to see ANDIRA’s lower body…
          CITIZEN(Shaky)
          Th-thanks, Sheriff…
          ANDIRA
          No problem, Cleve.
          ANDIRA
          Now, get off of the street-

          PAGE THREE: (5 Panels)
          PANEL 1: (Large) Wide/panorama view of the street as four TERRORISTS rush out of various storefronts onto the dusty street. We look over ANDIRA’s shoulder as they do so. They are equipped with near-future pistols and submachine guns to the point of over-load, as well as neo=barbarian swag of various Aztec-appropriate gear. IMPORTANT NOTE: at the other end of the street in this tiny town, we can see a dusty metallic statue of the BUFFALO SOLDIER from the earlier comic in a heroic pose, with a recon drone(sleek, dart-like machine) poised in her right hand, a futuristic rifle slung over her shoulder.
          TERRORIST 2
          Where’s Seven-Jaguar?!?
          TERRORIST 3
          Who in Xibalba’s bloody pit are you?
          PANEL 2: (Large) We finally get a full view of ANDIRA; she’s an invalid in a hovering, technological (though improvised and clunky) flying wheelchair, covering her legs entirely. In the side saddlebags on both sides, there can be seen a collection of weapons, well within her reach. She’s snarling, grim and defiant, hands fanned over her gun bags.

          ANDIRA
          I’m the law around here.
          TERRORIST 2(Off Panel)
          Really? A gimp like you?
          ANDIRA
          If you know what’s good for you, you’ll give up now.
          CAPTION: The last time this happened, I was…

          PANEL 3: (Flashback) ANDIRA, much younger, on the ground, being brutally kicked and beaten by similar TERRORISTS, bloody and obviously horribly damaged.
          CAPTION: …involved in the altercation.

          PANEL 4: (Flashback) An older, determined ANDIRA, building her present flying chair, while strapped into a primitive medical bed, obviously paraplegic and doing the work with remote operated arms and robotic assistance.
          CAPTION: Might be what got me into law enforcement in the first place.

          PANEL 5: A distant view of ANDIRA, hands poised over her guns, and all the TERRORISTS, ready for action, along the street; we are seeing this through a high-tech viewfinder POV and the TERRORISTS are traced in RED, while ANDIRA is traced in green. NOTE: The angle of this view is similar to the view in Page 1, Panel 1

          ANDIRA
          Drop your guns.
          ANDIRA
          Last chance.
          TERRORIST 1
          Verdad?
          TERRORIST 2
          On three, then.

          PAGE FOUR (5 Panels)
          PANEL 1: (Small) Super zoom in on ANDIRA’s eyes, under her hat, in the classic gunslinger squint.

          TERRORIST 2(Off Panel)
          One.

          PANEL 2: (Small) Zoom in on TERRORIST 1’s lower back, where she is sneaking out a high-tech grenade/bomb from a pouch.

          TERRORIST 2(Off Panel)
          Two.

          PANEL 3: (Large) Action all at once as all of the TERRORISTS dodge, drawing their weapons as TERRORIST 2 hauls back her hand to throw the grenade; we see this from the point of view of ANDIRA

          TERRORIST 2(explosive)
          Three-!

          PANEL 4: (Large, near copy of Page 4, Panel 3) TERRORISTS 1-3 falling simultaneously, having been blasted through by something leaving a bloody path through their bodies and heads, coming in from overhead.

          CAPTION: They never learn-
          CAPTION: -but I do.

          PANEL 5: TERRORIST 2, looking alarmed as her hand, still holding the grenade, falls, bloody, in front of her.

          TERRORIST 2(Explosive)
          What the-!
          CAPTION: Unlike the lone woman who saved us all last time-
          CAPTION: -whose fellow soldier died on landing here-

          PAGE FIVE (4 Panels)
          PANEL 1: ANDIRA calmly drawing a futuristic, but worn, pistol from her pack on her ‘chair.
          ANDIRA
          Nice try.
          PANEL 2: TERRORIST 2 bloody stump of one arm being held in the other, gun dropped; she’s obviously losing blood and in shock as she falls to a knee.

          TERRORIST 2(Shaky)
          How-how did you…
          PANEL 3: ANDIRA nodding to the distance, toward the statue at the far end of town, of the BUFFALO SOLDIER. It looks different, as if it’s missing something. A small thread of smoke is rising from it around her right hand.

          ANDIRA
          It was her.
          CAPTION: You see, she didn’t have back-up.

          PANEL 4: Closeup on the BUFFALO SOLDIER statue. The recon drone in her hand is real and working, and has obviously flown off of the statue, through all of the TERRORISTS, and is returning to its place on the statue.

          CAPTION: But I do.
          CAPTION: She left us a little help, and with a little time and repair, I got my back-up working again.
          FIN
          7/20/2018

          Comment


          • #20
            Looking forward to reading it, Centaur!

            If no one else has one to submit I'm calling writing contest #122 closed!

            UPDATE: Poll is up!
            Last edited by Shaun; 07-24-2018, 12:52 PM. Reason: updated
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            • #21
              Centaur - Tin Star,

              Really good story! I liked the pacing and how you drew out tension in places and withheld some twists. The hero and villains were fleshed out really well. I think I remember the story that proceeds this one - did you get an artist to draw it? For some reason I feel like I saw it. Or maybe I just pictured it really well. The only critiques I have were a few panels that almost felt like multiple action and that I had a hard time picturing Andira - you reference her as a child but talk about the abuse that left her paralyzed as happening ten years ago. Also when the terrorist sees her he doesn't make any comment on her being so young. And her dialogue felt like she was an adult. So in the character description I could've used a better idea of her age.

              So many good entries, gonna take a minute to think on this one.

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