Archive for December 6th, 2007

Dec 06 2007

Script Blurb

Published by under Comedy

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Hello, these are the first four pages of our script.

PAGE ONE (five panels)

Panel 1. The morning sun is rising over a cheerful-looking suburban house. It’s summer.

CAP: 7:35 Monday at the home of IRS Agent Gary Williams.

Panel 2. The front door is now open, showing a mundane-looking man around 25 years old, dressed for work in a drab suit and carrying a briefcase.

Panel 3. He is closer to his car. He reaches into his pocket.

Panel 4. He pulls out his keys and starts the engine remotely. He’s several feet away from the car.

SFX: Click.

Panel 5. The car explodes (because starting the engine set off a car-bomb). Agent Williams is within 5-10 feet of the car when it explodes.

PAGE TWO (four panels)

Panel 1. Williams wakes up in a hospital. He should have some bandages but generally look uninjured. A police officer with a US Marshal’s badge is staring out the window at a generic US cityscape.

WILLIAMS:
What happened?

US MARSHAL:
A car bomb. Someone wants you dead.

Panel 2. Williams looks shocked and scandalized.

WILLIAMS:
But who would want to kill an IRS agent?

US MARSHAL, with a grim smile:
300 million people, easy. But mainly we’re considering the criminals you investigated. Do any cases stick out to you?

Panel 3. Williams is counting on his fingers, recounting the criminals he’s investigated this year. He should look innocent and oblivious to the fact that many people have an incentive to kill him.

WILLIAMS:
Well, uhh… this year I had a money laundering case against a drug gang, a fraud case against the KKK, a few mob indictments, seven or eight hundred individual charges of tax evasion…

Panel 4: Williams cuts himself off after seeing a clock over the Marshal’s shoulder.

WILLIAMS:
–it’s 9:20. I’m late for work!

MARSHAL:
You are not going to work, Mr. Williams.

PAGE THREE (five panels)

Panel 1: Williams tries to get out of his bed, but the Marshal presses his hands down on Williams’ shoulders.

WILLIAMS:
But I can still make my 10 o’clock appoint—

MARSHAL:
We told the IRS that you’re dead. You can’t go back there.

Panel 2. Williams looks puzzled.

MARSHALL:
We don’t know who tried to murder you or how they got your address.

Panel 3.

MARSHALL:
We have to assume that someone at the IRS helped them. If you returned to your workplace or home, word would get out that you survived and the killers would finish the job.

WILLIAMS:
Those are my friends! You can’t ask me to give my life away.

Panel 4.

MARSHALL:
I wasn’t asking. The alternative is being taken into Witness Protection until the investigation is complete. Probably a year. I hope you like Anchorage.

Panel 5. Williams slumps against the bed’s backboard, melancholy.

WILLIAMS:
A year…

MARSHAL:
We’ll put you on paid administrative leave and you can even get a new job if you’d like. It’s not that bad.

PAGE FOUR (five panels)

Panel 1. scrawny government agent in a business suit is having a telephone conversation with Williams from his bland office. In the back, we see an American flag and the FBI seal painted onto a window.

FBI HUMAN RESOURCES AGENT:
I’m sorry, Mr. Williams, but…

Panel 2. A very similarly dressed agent is having a similar phone conversation with Williams. This time, it’s a Drug Enforcement Agency seal painted either on a window or the back wall. To help differentiate this speaker from the previous one, please vary the character’s race and/or gender.

DEA HUMAN RESOURCES AGENT:
…our agents require at least a year of training, so…

Panel 3. Yet another government agent is speaking on the phone with Williams. This time the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau seal is somewhere in the office.

ATF HUMAN RESOURCES AGENT:
… I must inform you that, regretfully…

Panel 4. Another government agent is on the phone. This time, please use a seal from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. (Readers won’t recognize the seal, but they should be able to pick up the message that Williams is exhausting every option).

OCC HUMAN RESOURCES AGENT:
…we cannot hire you at this time.

Panel 5. Williams is slumped over at a mostly vacant bar, with a few empty mugs near him. On the edge of the paper, we see a muscular and hard-looking man approaching Williams, but the main visual here is Williams taking his job rejections hard.

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