Feb 09 2008

Dforce’s Review Forum

Published by at 4:43 pm under Review Forums

See comments below.

113 responses so far

113 Responses to “Dforce’s Review Forum”

  1. dforceon 09 Feb 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Wow. I can’t really thank you guys enough for the help. But… thank you!

    Here’s the outline of what I have so far (unfortunately copy-&-paste here doesn’t allow for bullet points, oh well):

    JERICHO AND ABBAN START THEIR DAY
    At school, JERICHO (main character) meets his friend Oregon and they discuss the newest issue of their favorite comic, and is bullied for it. Jericho thinks for a second to talk back, but then decides not to; he’s a chicken against bigger folk. This leaves the conflict between Oregon and the bully.

    At work, ABBAN (monster of the week and future “serious problem”) is hard at it loading Pigment Chemicals’ cargo plane. AGENT LIV of the metropolitan police (Metropol) is there, overseeing the plane (villain 2).

    CATALYSTS
    While in school, Jericho all of a sudden falls unconscious (due to interstellar radiation specifically hitting his brain… bit of a stretch, but I’m OK with it) and scares friends.

    Abban spills one of the containers on himself accidentally. He is taken to the hospital.

    THINGS TAKE THEIR TOLL
    After waking up, Abban is told of his unusual condition and of his newfound abilities (he’s invulnerable and has diamond hard skin). After, he begins to think back on all that’s gone wrong in his life and considers this to make him a freak. He’s angry because of it. In turmoil. Etc.

    Jericho wakes up at the nurses’ office and has a major headache; he is told he’s fine and that he can go home despite his complaints.

    EVENTS OCCURING
    The doctors decide to keep Abban in CLOSE observation, much to his dislike. While in isolation he begins to warp his mind and think that this is in fact good; that now he has the power to right the wrongs in his life. He eventually decides to break out, out of madness (perhaps I may need help with a goal for him other than just to wreak havoc).

    Agent Liv is seen talking to his earpiece while walking down the street; about the cargo plane to an unknown voice. He detonates it over the city, spreadin the liquid-gas that was in the barrels over part of it.

    Jericho sees the plane explode on his way home, but he’s too far to be affected or worried by it. While on his way, he sees the mugging of a lady and struggles over it (he doesn’t go help until after the thugs are gone). He takes the lady into the hospital and pretends to be her son so as to get her admitted. (A stupid move not really thought through by a kid.)

    FRUITION CHAOS
    When Abban actually starts breaking out of the hospital room, he does so wrecklessly, damaging the structure of the building and the people trying to restrain him. This alarms the present Jericho who recognizes Abban; both to know that his dear friend (they’re neighbors; Jericho recognizes him/should I try to establish this earlier? if so, any ideas?) is seemingly evil and that the hospital may collapse.

    In a desperation move, Jericho confronts his former friend in a mock costume (to hide his identity) and asks him to stop. After the refusal, Jericho (going by the moniker “J” at the time) summons up all-and-then-some of his courage and takes on the stubborn Abban.

    With the progression of the fight, Jericho notices he can move objects at high speeds; and at one point lunges himself against Abban forcing them both through a window and onto the street.

    At the street, a multitude gathers to watch the struggle. They both hurt each other nearly senseless; that is until the police and SWAT teams arrive. With the use of the distraction, J knocks the lights out of Abban and leaves him for the police (J himself escapes into the air).

    J asks himself where this new persona came from and whether to continue, so as to make up for the lady he didn’t help earlier (which weighs heavy on his conscience).

    And that would be it. Please be kind… not my first attempt, but far from perfect. Although, all criticism is valued. And thanks again.

  2. B. Macon 10 Feb 2009 at 6:59 am

    Here are a few observations and suggestions.

    —Early on, readers may feel that the shift from Jericho to Abban is jarring. There doesn’t seem to be any logical connection between the two early on. (There probably will be later on, but I suspect readers won’t wait that long).

    —The interstellar radiation origin story isn’t quite working for me. One, it makes him a chosen one (because he passively receives his powers rather than doing anything to deserve them). Two, it might seem contrived that no one else in the school gets powers. You might be able to tie Jericho and Abban together more by using some of Abban’s chemicals as Jericho’s origin story.

    —“Jericho sees the plane explode on his way home, but he’s too far to be affected or worried by it. While on his way, he sees the mugging of a lady and struggles over it (he doesn’t go help until after the thugs are gone).” So he knows at this point that he has superpowers?

    —I think it’s kind of contrived that Jericho just happens to be in the hospital when his neighbor just happens to start breaking out. (Also, it’s kind of contrived that the two people in this city that just happen to develop superpowers just happened to be close friends, but it kind of worked for Peter Parker and Norman Osborne). One way you could reduce the contrivance of Jericho being in the room is to have the hospital call him as soon as Abban is brought into the hospital. If Abban has no family, it doesn’t seem implausible to me that they’d ask a neighbor to bring over his personal effects, etc. Particularly if Jericho is a close friend of Abban, it would make sense that he’d come to see his friend in the hospital.

    “With the progression of the fight, Jericho notices he can move objects at high speeds; and at one point lunges himself against Abban forcing them both through a window and onto the street.” This is the first mention of him discovering any superpowers, but by this point he’s already decided to be a superhero. Did he discover any powers before this?

    –Ok, I think that’s all. The main issues I’d recommend looking at are that the plot is a bit contrived (which you can fix by coming up with better reasons for why things happen… for example, the interstellar radiation strikes me as particularly problematic. Perhaps you could have him develop his powers in a similar accident to Abban’s. Or perhaps the same accident. The second thing I’d look at is plot cohesion. I’d recommend making the personal and plot connections between Jericho and Abban clearer from the start.

  3. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you very much for looking at it B. Mac. All good points to consider, and here is my rebuttal. A bit long, I’ll admit, but I tend to get wordy.

    – Originally, I had this planned to where Jericho and Abban left home at the same time in the morn, but one of your articles suggested it’d be better to introduce the hero in his element, so instead I put him already in school… I felt guilty about the change, but it wasn’t a big deal to me.

    The only logical change I can see is to put them in the “it all starts in the morning” routine, but I also remember someone on here suggesting against that. I meant for Abban to be a bit of a moral mentor, telling J to do good, etc., and having a talk with J on their way to their respective places of business; but I’m afraid this may take too long to explain.

    – I kinda half-expected you to dislike this idea, and understandably so. The deal is that this company is gonna be involved in a lot of superpower-giving via chemicals, gasses, engineering, etc. (all vile stuff), and I wanted Jericho to be “free” or “innocent” from this company and its dealings. I wanted him to be a sort of outsider with “clean hands” in regards to the mess they create.

    As for the “passively chosen one”: while he is young, he does choose to be a superhero; like how Abban chooses to be a villain (the sitatuions could’ve been reversed, I think). J didn’t have to go and decide to chase down baddies, as he is an introvert and could’ve just as easily decided to blend back into the fold. A weak argument, sure. But then again, I’m warming up to the chosen one category, despite better advice that says they are bland and unrelatable.

    Another thing I’m mulling over in my head is to expand the heroes gallery in his universe (just for the heck of it), and I’m looking into making him the prototype hero (admittedly a version of the chosen one, yes) for others to look up to (when in reality, J’s not really sure of his own power and character).

    As for the implausibility of others to get powers: one other friend present was also going to get powers, but it would be better, and manageable, to move the catalyst location elsewhere and to tie it to Abban. It does make sense to affiliate them like that.

    – No, J doesn’t realize that he has powers up until the fight with Abban. What I meant with “struggles” is that he hides behind a dumpster and has an argument with himself about stepping in and helping or not. He hesitates to go help the lady… because he’s still just human in his own perspective. Up until then, all he’d had was the headache and no other symptom’s of superpowerdom.

    – Hmm. I agree that it is a bit artificial and forced to have them coincidentally be at the same place. But wouldn’t it take a considerable amount of more pages to have Jericho bring the lady (who is his “moral guide” of sorts) to the hospital, admit her, then leave, then be called back? Also, Abban isn’t being allowed visitors due to his strange condition and because Pigment Chemicals is trying to do damage control; a sort of quarantine and observation, which is what makes him angry and makes him break out.

    I have Jericho there separately because he’s visiting the lady he brought in, who is Jericho’s main motivator for fighting at the time. He is trying to make a difference for the lady he’s trying to salvage. He’s trying to right the wrong he allowed to happen before and keep her from dying.

    Let us remember that J still doesn’t know he has powers; so basically a scrawny kid is trying to face a clearly superpowered being out of resolve and will alone. (Which is something regular people have access to; another, albeit weak, point against the “chosen one” theory).

    “’With the progression of the fight…’ Did he discover any powers before this?”
    He did not discover powers before this, nor did he necessarily decide to be a superhero by then. The mask and name were just answers to Abban. Jericho, as a shy person, could never dream to stand up to anybody, but with anonymity backing him up and releasing him from the consequences, he can now talk back and act brazenly. The name was just another way to hide his identity (when asked for a name he felt it rude not to answer). Not all intended by him to give him a superhero persona off the bat.

    He fought on while still being human, in a sense, just because it was the right thing to do. He couldn’t, in his own mind, just stand there and do nothing, much less run away again (although he didn’t actually run away from the thugs at the mugging, he didn’t try to stop them, which in his mindset is running away). Would doing the right thing make him a superhero or just a hero in this sense? I think it just makes him more courageous than the rest, and not an actual superhero just yet.

    – As for uniting Abban’s and Jericho’s actual origin: while I understand what you mean, I’d like to hear your thoughts after reading the second dash from the top.

    Hmm. I think I got a little carried away with the writing here. Sorry for the eyestrain.

  4. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 4:29 pm

    P.S. How do you leave so much space between your paragraphs? Do you hit enter three times?

  5. B. Macon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:10 pm

    HTML coding. When you’d like to insert a line, type in (without the spaces) < b r >

  6. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Does bold word and italics word work too?

    Hmm…

  7. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Oh… sweet…!

  8. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Wait, what happened to the space? let’s see…

  9. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Argh….

    must not be doing something right…

  10. B. Macon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Ehh, don’t worry about comment length. A finished novel manuscript is usually at least 60,000 words, and we’re working on a lot of novel manuscripts. In all, I probably read about 50,000-100,000 words per week. So your 1000 word comment is perfectly normal.

    –I agree that it’d probably be better to establish the hero at school than to show him walking out the door at the same time Abban is. Pacing-wise, having him get ready for school right at the beginning will probably be slow and boring. If you’d like to bring in Abban at school, you could have him do Career Day (as a stand-in for Jericho’s parents, who are unavailable for whatever reason) or some sort of Big Brothers program. Either one of those could show us that Abban is a close friend of Jericho’s.

    –“involved in a lot of superpower-giving via… vile stuff, and I wanted Jericho to be free or innocent from this company and its dealings.” I appreciate your concern here. One situation you might consider is that Jericho could be a totally unwitting victim in a scientific accident, like Peter Parker and the spider-bite. He’d be totally innocent of any wrong-doing, I think. In contrast, if Abban were in the same accident, he’d be kind of guilty because he was partially responsible for the accident and should have known better than to have kids in a potentially dangerous lab. Abban will come off as especially guilty if his scientific methods are seriously sketchy, a la Norman Osborne. (Osborne jabs himself with the Green Goblin serum before doing any testing).

    –“I’m warming up to the chosen one category, despite better advice that says they are bland and unrelatable.” Hmm. Well, since you’re already familiar with some of the problems with chosen ones, so I can’t add much. It will probably be harder to sell a publisher and/or audience on a chosen one hero.

    –“I’m mulling over in my head [expanding] the heroes gallery in his universe (just for the heck of it).” I think there are a lot of good reasons to use more than one hero. However, if an editor asks you why you’d like to use more than one, it might help to have a clearer reason on hand than ‘just for the heck of it.’ I wouldn’t recommend bringing in other super-powered characters unless they’re going to play a major role in the plot.

    –If Abban isn’t being allowed visitors, you might have Jericho try sneaking in to see him. Or at least looking into why no one’s being allowed to see him. Maybe he shows up to see Abban, but the Pigment Chemicals people won’t let him in. Then he’d at least be nearby when Abban finally breaks out. That would probably be a stronger reason to have him on hand than the subplot about the lady Jericho brings to the hospital. Of all the hospitals in the city, he just happened to bring her to the hospital where Abban is being held? That strikes me as a bit contrived.

    It strikes me as a bit strange (and may confuse readers) that this kind of scrawny (and not particularly brave) kid decides to face a clearly superpowered being. If the kid is that brave, I’d recommend hinting at it sooner. For example, maybe he gets his powers running into Abban’s lab as something crazy is happening. He tries to save Abban, but he just gets doused with the same chemicals. (This goes back to your earlier point about trying to keep Jericho free of the taint of unscrupulous science… a kid that runs into a dangerous situation to save a friend is going to feel a lot more heroic than the friend that willingly subjected himself to dangerous work conditions).

    –Good luck!

  11. Dforceon 10 Feb 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you for your advice! Some hardened and learned suggestions are always good. I shall begin chewing over this. And maybe bring in another outline?

  12. B. Macon 10 Feb 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Sure.

  13. Ragged Boyon 11 Feb 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Just throwing it out there:

    You could have Abban have his pigment accident and it effect him positively at first giving him smooth perfect skin. Then in atwist of fate when the interstellar radiation comes in creates the diamond effect on his skin along with give J and a bunch of other people powers.

  14. Dforceon 12 Feb 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Ragged Boy! A true genius in the works. That’s something to look at; a good angle I must say. I guess I now have a choice to make… how to connect them in a meaningful, pleasant, and satisfying way…

    I may ultimately mash up the advice given here. I hope that’s OK. If not, please lemme know.

    I must give this origin story justice!

  15. Ragged Boyon 12 Feb 2009 at 9:29 pm

    There’s nothing that I see that’s just blatantly bad, so that’s good. Just a few too many coincidences is the only real problem, but that’s super easy to fix.

    What do you mean when you say mash up? Destroy it? Or put it all together?

    I think it could work to mix all the suggestions together with a little elmer’s glue and scissors.

  16. Dforceon 12 Feb 2009 at 9:44 pm

    By mashing up I meant with glue. I like to build, as opposed to destroying.

    As for the coincidences… I was sorta going for the “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” trope rule that seems to apply to most (if not all) superhero and manga epics. Isn’t it an uncanny coincidence that the hero always wins against villains? Even losing has become a tasty subversion of the trope, I believe. But hey, that doesn’t mean that these stories can’t be good.

    Have either you (Ragged Boy) or B. Mac visited tvtropes.org? Really quite insightful, I think.

  17. B. Macon 13 Feb 2009 at 1:38 am

    Quite frequently. It’s on our blogroll. Most recently, I think we linked to it in our article on The Scrappy.

  18. Dforceon 13 Feb 2009 at 8:23 am

    Ah. I wasn’t sure. But I’d figured you would.

  19. Dforceon 16 Feb 2009 at 1:14 am

    I’ve beein reading over the posts to help me brainstorm a little, and I found it odd that I can’t find a mention about Agent Liv in any of the replies… no comments or suggestions about him?

  20. Dforceon 16 Feb 2009 at 2:21 am

    Another thing,

    I was wondering what outline would be best for all intensive purposes. (I am aware of the correct form of the phrase, but refuse to use it).

    One with just the bare neccessary points that allow for the understanding of pacing? As in JUST what happens, with no extraneous explanations. I’m not sure about using this one because it may lead to questions about motives and such.

    Or one WITH the explanations (and the parenthesis), and the details? I don’t like this one because it makes it look like the pacing will be very slow (with all the extra explanation), when in fact it will be decent.

    Any thoughts?

  21. B. Macon 16 Feb 2009 at 6:27 am

    Here are some impressions about Liv.
    1. He doesn’t feel like a major character. It would be slightly unusual to have two major villains, but I think it could work if you fleshed out the relationship between them a bit.
    2. He seems to have some motivation other than money, but I can’t tell what.

    It’d probably be better to give a detailed outline. The pacing might seem artificially slow because a synopsis is essentially pure information, but I think we can mentally adjust for that.

  22. Dforceon 16 Feb 2009 at 7:58 pm

    B. Mac,

    – He is an important character. Not a major villain, but more of a psychopathic and immensly curious person (the curiosity will be his… achilles heel?); an enabler of the villains behind pulling the strings.

    Here’s the deal and background for him and his:

    Agent Liv works for an international policing force, but is in cahoots with the evil scientist Nial, who himself works for PigmentChems and their advanced biological weapons program, etc, etc. The policing force discovered, through investigation, the chemicals and ordered them to be destroyed. Under policing supervision (why Liv was there) the chemicals were going to be moved, but Liv and Nial (Nial not present; under orders from a higher villain, the Chairman/President of Pigment) sabotaged the plane which rained chemicals on a part of the city. Some of the rain injured/killed, others changed people. Liv’s subsequent job is to act as a double agent and observe the happenings. Nial’s job is to work on replicating and weaponizing the chemicals (those are his orders/his desire is just to tinker with genetics).

    The policing force will be involved, ultimately arresting bad guys and fighting inner corruption and supervillains.

    At the moment, down the road, there will be a few obstacle for J and his (superpowered?) allies to face. One was going to be a crazed scientist bent on figuring out how far man can evolve (perhaps a little used now a days, but I think its solid; this is a superhero story after all). Another will be Abban, who, maybe down (very down) the road will perhaps make a heel-face turn… maybe. Then there will be the big bad who can predict moves, figure out IDs, see weaknesses, etc. (not as a power but as superior intellect), and be the real source of anguish to J… but not just yet in the story. (This is just chapter one…).

    – As for the pacing, all right. Detailed it is!

  23. B. Macon 16 Feb 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Hmm. It seems like you have a lot of antagonists here. By my count, we have Abban, Agent Liv, Nial, and the Chairman/President of PC. What would you think about merging Nial and Abban?

    Also, I think curiosity is a really neat flaw, but it doesn’t seem to gel with Liv very much. If anything, I’d say that Abban’s downfall is curiosity. That could explain why he goes ahead with the experiments.

  24. Dforceon 16 Feb 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Allow me to air some laundry,

    – When I began, I envisioned a considerable number of antagonists. (I had the ultimate goal of a battle royal or two… but that would have come much, much later).

    – Liv was going to be a sort of “corrupt with curiousity” character, that was “dirty” in that killing, and torture wasn’t beyond him. (One of the alleged subsequent superheroes was going to be manipulated into a spy, or superhero-catcher by Liv via orders from the government/PC).

    – Originally Abban was going to be a dumb muscle/monster of the week. Then I became fond of him and changed his envisionment into someone from the same cloth as J (a good guy that has been beaten by bad luck too many times, but still tries to be good). Abban was supposed to snap, then go all evil; while during J’s moment of snapping, he’d decide to be a hero.

    The concept of merging Nial and Abban is something to look at. (Even though I’ll have to forget about my incredibly cryptic, and horribly inconsequential name pun– Agent Liv and Proffessor Nial are villains… Liv and Nial are sepparate anagrams of the word VILLAIN… but I digress).

    I’m looking into giving Abban a hobby. In one instance, the cargo bay (which now is a small clandestine airport outside the city) is also a sold Cold War missile silo that is used to cure chemical batches by PC. Abban (cargo mover), with an interest in science, has procured a small “lab” at the bottom of the complex, and has been tinkering with chemicals and machinery there… not a genius, which is perhaps what causes the “accident.”

    … Abban takes J down there to show him he’s figured out how to use X chemical (NOT chemical X, just a placeholder, hehe) to make termites metabolize their food (which they use to build their mound wall; which can witstand dynamite blasts) into a diamond-like substance… valuable perhaps… and he goes ahead and tries to “enhance” all his termites with little trial or understanding of the formula…

    … some explode (I hear if you feed pigeons rice or roaches something carbonated they, too, explode; not verified) and the chemical residue lands on Abban and some other non-descript hazardous/explosive tanks (oxygen and such)… the place goes up in flames… distraction allows for the perfect opportunity for Liv to place his bomb…

    … J heroically saves his friend and takes him to safety (J is doused with some chemicals, but not the ones Abban was contaminated with)… Abban is sick, and taken to a quarantine zone by PC (J hides from them when they come to investigate)… After angsting on how horrible his (Abban) life has actually been, he asks for one more chance to get even/make things better for himself/etc… One cosmic event later Abban is unstoppable, and J begins to act like an erratic magnet.

    That’s some of the braintornadoeing I’ve been up to…

    If I merge Abban and Nial I’d have the options of 1) having Jericho have a connection inside PC with the head scientist… not bad… or 2) having to force PC to have a faceless/nameless group of scientists with the face of the Chairman to blame (I thought that when the “outing” of the PC evils came, Nial was going to be thrown to the police to circumvent the charges that would’ve fallen on the Chairman)… also decent…

    B. Mac, which would you choose? I’m not against the idea, but which would make the most, not quite sense, but intrigue? “That… is the question…”

  25. Dforceon 16 Feb 2009 at 11:22 pm

    P.S. line break isn’t working… it just disappears… do you have to be in “editor mode” to put it in? I was trying to save you some work, but I seem to be failing at it… my bad.

  26. B. Macon 17 Feb 2009 at 12:07 am

    –Abban starts tinkering around with diamondizing termites because it’s his hobby? I think that it’d probably be most plausible if he were pretty deep into science. For example, he might be the head scientist for PC.

    –If you merge Abban and Nial, I think #1 would be pretty smooth.

    –As far as the line-breaks are concerned… the problem might be that the line-break has to be on a separate line from the paragraphs it separates. Also, it only works for me when I do the line-breaks as I’m writing… I can’t copy-paste them in at the end.

  27. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Hmm… here are some things that have been bothering me:

    – The older version of Abban was going to be a mentor, the one who originally told J to be a man and do good. Should the new version do the same; it seems a little odd to me that the unethical scientist is telling his “apprentice” to be righteous when he, himself, isn’t… thoughts?

    – Also, the older version, after the “snapping” point, wasn’t going to have much of a secret ID. This lead to potential break outs from prison without much intrigue. Should the newer one have one, so as to continue to work for PC even after arrested, or should he also be outed and fired?

    I suppose if he were found and interred by the PC people, they would obviously know that he had powers of sorts… and would want to keep him for “research,” that is until he goes AWOL.

    – Suppose he goes AWOL, what’s his new purpose? As the poor guy, he just wanted revenge for his life… but now what does he want?

    Maybe vengeance against a company that somehow is to blame for the transformation? Maybe he just wants to wreak havoc? Does he just want to be free from “heavy observation,” like a human being? (He tries to be low key, but has to fight to keep himself free from the PC agents). Whoa… I just realised that I might head in another direction…

    – If he doens’t break out, but rather stays in with PC to further his research, why does he go out and attack? Oooh! Maybe after J’s alter ego fights thugs Abban gets curious and goes to face him (wondering how this stranger got his powers) for some hands-on observations!… Maybe Abban is sent to get some ingredients or criminally implicating information via orders from the Chairman and is met by the hero?

    What if he’s coerced into continuing his work for PC and is told to bring in the city’s new hero so PC could examine him? (Kinda like earlier, but against his will).

    Argh! Too many scenarios! OK, help is needed here.

  28. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I’m leaning towards the breaking form observation. After he breaks free, they send PC agents after him; he fights them off. SWAT teams are called to the situation. J comes in and they have their chapter 1 epic fight. Unconscious Abban is taken into custody by the big International Policing Force (not actual name)…

    Anything I’m overlooking or forcing to happen? Any fresh spin on this, or do the other alternatives seem more promising?

  29. B. Macon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:38 pm

    “The older version of Abban was going to be a mentor, the one who originally told J to be a man and do good. Should the new version do the same; it seems a little odd to me that the unethical scientist is telling his “apprentice” to be righteous when he, himself, isn’t… thoughts?”

    Being hypocritical can be explained away. For example, perhaps there’s some compelling reason that he’s violating the same rules that he encourages J to follow. (His family needs the money badly… he believes that completing his experiments will save lives and can’t wait… etc).

    “Also, the older version, after the “snapping” point, wasn’t going to have much of a secret ID. This lead to potential break outs from prison without much intrigue. Should the newer one have one, so as to continue to work for PC even after arrested, or should he also be outed and fired?”

    I don’t think it matters very much. Supervillains rarely have much at stake if their identity becomes public knowledge. (It’s not like the hero is going to come in and murder their families).

    “Suppose he goes AWOL, what’s his new purpose? As the poor guy, he just wanted revenge for his life… but now what does he want?”

    It could be to left alone free from heavy observation (kind of like David Bourne), but I’d recommend going with something like proving himself or finishing the job. He’s already given up so much to the project. If he really feels like a freak, then this might be the way he wants to be remembered. Vengeance might also work, but it’s already been used a lot.

    If he doesn’t break out, I think that you probably have too many villains serving essentially the same role.

  30. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:46 pm

    “If he doesn’t break out, I think that you probably have too many villains serving essentially the same role.”

    Do you mean that I have too many villains waiting and seeing/hiding for the time being? And are you suggesting I need a reckless one? This comment confuses me a tad… could you elaborate?

  31. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 9:11 pm

    “It could be to left alone free from heavy observation (kind of like David Bourne), but I’d recommend going with something like proving himself or finishing the job. He’s already given up so much to the project. If he really feels like a freak, then this might be the way he wants to be remembered.”

    Say he wants to use the diamond substance to help humanity to create taller buildings (ease overpopulation, etc.) and he’s made a monster before successfully finishing his project… he’s quarantined… brakes out to… steal his research and finish it? (Which leads to battles against authority and eventually J).

  32. Holliequon 18 Feb 2009 at 5:45 pm

    “Do you mean that I have too many villains waiting and seeing/hiding for the time being? And are you suggesting I need a reckless one? This comment confuses me a tad… could you elaborate?”

    I think B. Mac means that if Abban didn’t break out (ergo he was no longer part of the story, I assume), you’d have to introduce and develop a new villain to serve in the same role . . . an antagonist to Jericho.

    I am, however, not B. Mac. 🙂 He may have meant something different.

    “Say he wants to use the diamond substance to help humanity to create taller buildings (ease overpopulation, etc.) and he’s made a monster before successfully finishing his project… he’s quarantined… brakes out to… steal his research and finish it? (Which leads to battles against authority and eventually J).”

    Well, the diamond substance could be useful for almost anything . . . safety features spring to my mind. A helmet made from diamond? I think that’d be pretty safe.

  33. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Ah, thank you Holliequ.

  34. Dforceon 21 Feb 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Hmm… after some researching, I’ve decided one of my top options is going to be Antartic Press. However, they are apparently only taking finished (print ready) work (something about economy, etc.).

    On their website, their guidelines said that it would be best to prepare a one shot or a miniseries as a sort of pilot to let the publisher see how the people would react to your work. Makes sense, mangaka usually start out with one-shots entered in contests held by Shonen Jump or other magazines.

    Is it OK to work on more than one story here?

  35. Ragged Boyon 21 Feb 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Yes, it’s your forum.

  36. Dforceon 21 Feb 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Ah, thank you RB. Will do.

  37. Dforceon 24 Feb 2009 at 10:35 pm

    For a pilot, how does this look?

    Rune (boy) and Líadan (girl) were best friends since kindergarten. And as they grew older, Rune grew fonder of Líadan, all the way up to middle school.

    In 9th grade, a new student joined the class and was welcomed by Líadan to the fold. The kid, Sigo (boy), was an avid fan of comics and superheroes and aspired to one day be one.
    Because of Líadan’s seeming interest in the new kid, Rune became ferociously jealous, to the point of devising a ploy to divide them.
    (Rune planned it so Sigo had to choose to save either a classroom which was set to explode in X minutes or Líadan, who was booby-trapped to die similarly.
    All the while Rune hid his own identity, to eventually “save” Líadan himself and take the glory.
    Rune had infered that the “hero” would choose the greater good of the people over his own interest, as the obvious choice would pit the champion to do such. Much to his own chagrin, Sigo manages to save both).

    After all was said and done, a teary-eyed Rune confronts and tells all to Sigo and Líadan.

    Sigo admits that he never actually felt anything more than friendship for Líadan, and that Líadan was the same. Sigo also recognizes Rune’s intellect and asks him if he ever thought of doing good with his brain, hinting that they’d make a good team.

    A repentant Rune and Líadan make a couple with issues to work out, and the plucky Sigo recruits them to fight crime on the city. The end.

    Thoughts?

  38. Dforceon 25 Feb 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my… This is going to be a little long.

    This is an unfinished, rough draft for how the pilot is going to open. After having reviewed it, I’m thinkin of redoing it a little because I feel Rune doesn’t have the evil prescence I want him to just yet, and Sigo doesn’t exude “heroness.” I also have yet to insert the Big Question that needs answering. It may be just me, though.

    The following is written a la script. (When modestly satisfied I’ll break it down to panels, after having heavily edited and cut out unnecessary chunks of prose). Please ignore the “PART ONE,” “START etc.,” and “END etc.,” (they’re just for me to separate the piece so I’ll know where to look for something).

    PART ONE

    START 1

    Opens in the school, an early morning, everyone in class. In the back sit Líadan and Rune, with an empty seat behind them.

    RUNE (to Líadan)
    Did you cut your hair?

    LÍADAN
    Yeah, I had it trimmed a little. You like it?

    RUNE
    I think it looks beautif–

    TEACHER (unreasonably happy)
    Good morning class! I’d like to start the day by introducing a new student in our chemistry class!

    Enter Sigo.

    TEACHER (cont’d)
    His name is Sigo Ulo– Ul– Ulyo– Umm…

    SIGO
    Its “U – YO – RI – ACK.” Spelled U-L-L-O-R-I-A-K–

    SIGO (RED-FACED)
    I mean “Q!” … It’s with a “Q.” …

    The class giggles. He shrinks.

    TEACHER
    Well, there you have it! A regular linguist! Ha ha!

    TEACHER
    Would you like to tell us a little something about yourself before class begins, Sigo?

    SIGO (shrugging, still a little red)
    Nothing much to tell… I like… rock music?

    TEACHER (still obliviously happy)
    Enlightening! Now go have a seat, young man! We’re about to begin class!

    Sigo stares at the small, cluttered classroom to find a seat. Líadan waves at him to sit nearby. Sigo goes to the empty chair and sits.

    LÍADAN (whispering/pointing)
    Hi! My name’s Líadan, and that’s Rune… Did you just transfer here?

    “Time-passing-by” panel sequence to after school.

    END 1

    START 2

    They’re walking down a sidewalk, strolling.

    RUNE (to Sigo)
    … Sure I’ll let ya borrow the whole comic series! Only problem is, I gotta find the issues first…

    LÍADAN (holding hand to cover her smile as she laughs)
    You should see his room! It’s a mess! Ha ha ha…!

    SIGO (starry-eyed to Rune)
    Oh, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    RUNE
    You just gotta remember to eventually give them back, you know.

    SIGO
    Of course!

    LÍADAN
    Now that I think of it, this is an odd time to transfer. I mean, the year just started, why didn’t you come sooner? Or finish the year where you were?

    RUNE (jokingly scolding)
    Líadan, rude!

    LÍADAN (sticking her tongue out)
    Mnnn!

    SIGO (avoiding the issue)
    Yeah… I guess it is a little odd. But what time is a good time to transfer anyway?

    RUNE (to himself)
    No time like the meantime…!

    LÍADAN
    Hey! I bet you don’t have a date for the Homecoming Dance, do you?

    Rune begins to pay attention.

    SIGO (off guard)
    Umm… no, not really…

    (thought)
    How could I? I just got here…!

    LÍADAN
    Ooh!! Why don’t you come with us!? It’ll be a blast!

    RUNE (surprised)
    I thought… we were–

    LÍADAN
    Come on, Rune! He’s a new kid… His freshman year! He can’t miss his first Homecoming! And it would be awkward for him to go alone…!

    RUNE (nervous laughter)
    He-he… I guess… he can come… with us….

    END 2

    START 3

    Straight cut to Rune in his room, looking through his stuff for the comics. He’s found a few.

    RUNE (thought)
    … that was awfully quick of Líadan to ask him to join us… I… I thought this was going to be the year…

    Continues to search near his bed.

    RUNE (cont’d)
    … he-he… I’m crazy… She was just being friendly… It’s not like she suddenly fell in love with the guy… we all barely met…

    He sits on the bed holding what he’s found.

    He begins to stare at the ceiling.

    RUNE (cont’d)
    That’s one of the things I like about her… ever since the first grade she’s been quick to make friends… the kindest girl on Earth…

    Shakes his head and himself out of the daze.

    RUNE (cont’d)
    Come on man! Focus! You can still have a shot. Just… bide your time…

    There’s no one in the way…

    “Time-passing-by” panel sequence to all three of them at lunch.

    END 3

    START 4

    Líadan and Rune are sitting at a table, talking.

    LÍADAN (to Rune)
    Is everything OK, Rune?

    RUNE (trying not to make eye-contact w/Líadan, blushing)
    … Well… I wanted to ask you… what you… think about m–

    Sigo arrives from the lunchline, but only with food, no drink.

    SIGO (sitting)
    Hi Rune! Hi Líadan! Did you ever find those comic books, Rune?

    RUNE (displeased at the lousy timing)
    [Sigh…] Yeah, I found the first few issues of Mucho Bueno. The ones were he gets his powers and meets El Alce Canadience*…

    CAPTION
    The Canadian Moose*

    Rune rummages through his backpack for the issues. SHUFFLE, SHUFFLE.

    He takes out the gems. GLEAM.

    RUNE (handing them over)
    Here you are!

    SIGO
    Awesome!

    Sigo flips through pages while eating. FLIP! FLIP! FLUTTER! munch. munch.

    SIGO (fixated)
    I’ve read these issues before online, but holding them is so much better!

    LÍADAN (lost)
    I just don’t get your fixations on those little magazines… I mean, sure they’re pretty, but–

    SIGO and RUNE (offended)
    They’re not just magazines! They’re illustrated masterpieces!!

    SIGO (cont’d)
    Do you know how much effort goes into gently polishing the story and the characters?!

    RUNE (cont’d)
    … Or how much work goes into gingerly inking every. Single. Line?!

    LÍADAN (regretful)
    … Sorry I asked…

    SIGO (overly dramatic, reaching for his drink on the table)
    These works are to be cherished! Revered even!

    Notices there is no drink.

    SIGO

    Do you guys happen to have some money I could borrow?

    RUNE
    Sorry. I’m flat broke right now.

    Sigo turns to Líadan.

    LÍADAN (looks at her drink on the table)
    I… have a coke I’m willing to share…

    This strikes Rune.

    RUNE (thought/dramatic inner monologue)
    What? She’s never offered to share a drink with me… Why would she…?

    No… I’m overthinking this… She’s just being nice… That’s just how she is…

    She’s nice to everyone…

    Sigo crosses his arms a lá “X.”

    SIGO
    No can do.

    I appreciate the kindness, but I’m wary of germs… That’s how people get sick you know…

    LÍADAN
    You too? Rune has a “thing” about germs too… Doesn’t share anything…

    Time-passing-by panel sequence.

    END 4

    Questions, comments, concerns, complaints? Anything to flesh this thing out.

  39. Holliequon 25 Feb 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Liadan is kind of a weird name. It sounds Irish (I don’t know if it actually is, they just use an accented i like that one).

    Sigo and Rune are odd kids’ names too. I think? I don’t know where you’re from.

    If you’re looking to publish wherever-you-live then these names probably wouldn’t be so odd. This is just in case you want to publish elsewhere.

    Anyway, the script seems a little boring at the moment. The characters seem fairly interesting (though I don’t like Rune’s inner monologues with lots of elipses) but nothing much happens. What do you think of them joining some sort of sport outside school, being on the same team, and getting to know each other that way? That might allow for more, um, dynamic panels.

    You might want to get the advice of RB and B. Mac, they’re the comics people here I think. 😉

  40. Dforceon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you Holliequ,

    My names are probably gonna be odd anywhere, but that’s on purpose.
    Liadan is Irish (or Iceladic, one of the Northern Eruopean languages). I hand picked all the names so people won’t get confused with other “normal” US names like John or Clark…

    I’m hispanic/latino/whatever the political correct term is… But that doesn’t really have much effect on my characters’ names.

    I know the script is a little boring (nothing’s really happened and the script isn’t finished yet; this is only half). Later on there’s bombs and scheming and such, but not just yet.

    If I were to put them in any sort of side activities then the plot would get a little more dragged out… which isn’t something I want for this miniseries. (It would be great if this was extended, which I’ll leave open for just in case).

    So the biggest quip about this so far has been “no inner monologues.” Hmm… But… how am I suppose to show his crazed affection for Liadan? If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to tell.

  41. Ragged Boyon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hmm, essentially it’s okay. The dialogue was realistic if not a little bland and loaded with unnecessry speech. Luckily, that’s the point of a rough draft. 🙂

    Concerns,

    Characterization: Liadan was easily the most interesting character. Sigo and Rune seemed way too similar. Even most friends that are alot alike have one major difference. If you want Rune to have more of an evil presence you could make his speech more apathetic, snarky, slick, etc (“I’d better get my comics back in mint conditon”). Fortunately, you’ll have the advantage of visuals on your side for his evil presence i.e dark clothes, mannerisms, etc.

    For Sigo being heroic, you could make his dialogue more just, optimistic, assuring, etc (“I’d never ruin a friends things, let alone his comics”).

    Dialogue: My main quip with the dialogue is that it doen’t do much to advance the story or develop the characters. And seeing as this script was dialogue heavy, I think it’s pretty important to do both. All I’ve learned is that Sigo is a new student and that Rune is slightly jealous of him. The only foreshadowing is that Sigo doesn’t want to talk about why he has moved, and I nearly missed that. I suspect this amount of progress and dialogue would fill about 5-7 pages, in that amount of time I should know something major about the plot or the charaacters.

    Plot Progression: There was very little advancement of the story, but I think this can be easily fixed. I suggest instead of having everyone go home, you have them all go to a setting why they can express traits of themselves, like the mall, which has something for everyone. Then have Rune and Liadan try to coax Sigo into telling more about his motives for moving (His motives are important, right?). Then have some sort of action scene, like a confrontation with some mall bully or something. Here you can show some of their virtues, Sigo wants to protect everyone, while Rune is hesitant.

    Time Progression: The time advancing is a little odd. I doubt the readers will like the “time passing by sequence.” This is why most writers have everything go wrong very early on. For example, (this isn’t referring to your story) after a failed audition the protaganist sees an odd blue figure out of the window, upon which he decides to investigate. That takes you from a character development scene to a plot advancement scene without having to skip time.

    What do you think?

    Also, what all do you have on happening in the first issue?

  42. Dforceon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you RB,

    Let’s see:

    CHARACTERIZATION
    You thought Liadan was the most interesting? I thought she was one of the most boring ones (I just gave her girly lines because I needed her to talk, lol). I do like your ideas about their speaking mannerisms, but I will also employ facial expression and hand gestures, and such.

    DIALOGUE
    Right. Right. I was afraid it was utterly dead. It seems rather tricky for me to advance the plot this way… ergh… I suppose if I twist your advice, I hear “What have you learned about the plot and characters after having read all that?” That questions seems like a good guide for me to check back to.

    Ah, the motives… In retrospect I now realize that this was a red herring. It actually has nothing to do with the story, at all… XD…

    On another note, when I “calculated” the page total, I figured it would make about 16 pages (counting all the panels with no dialogue, the ones where they sit, or run, etc.). Probably more…

    PLOT PROGRESSION
    Hmm… about the mall brawl. Rune isn’t really hesitant or cowardly. He’s really more a good guy, albeit slightly psychopathic, who got really jealous when his “territory” seemed threatened. My point is, in the fight, Rune would probably be the most violent and determined of the two.

    I do like the mall brawl idea… I may just fix it in, somehow, granted its OK w/you.

    TIME PROGRESSION
    While I could see that the advancement method is a little strange to read, I don’t think it’ll rattle too many cages. (It’s commonly used in manga and doesn’t really take that much space, as I imagine you’re thinking).

    In manga, after a lengthy fight, heated discussion, etc., several shrinking panels are placed right immediately after each other following the concluding panel that came before (doesn’t take more than an actual single panel to draw the shrinking panels)… Umm…

    There is the concluding panel, then comes the immediately shrinking panels (they look like blank receding rectangles that get smaller and smaller).

    Perhaps I just convoluted matters rather than build a bridge here. If I did, I’m sorry.

    Although, I do like your idea to quickly change focus to the more important/intriguing. Though, that may be hard since Rune is the Big Villain.

    FIRST ISSUE
    Well. That’s hard to say. The story could stretch to the four issues so I can’t decide just yet what question to put there to answer. I guess in this issue I could have Rune get jealous enough to begin to plan his booby-trap against Sigo. (The synopsis of the whole thing is just above the script in this forum).

    Well. Thank you for your comments. And if there’s more, keep ’em coming.

  43. Dforceon 12 Mar 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I just retconned my pilot – but only slightly.

    Simple synopsis

    Sigo is the energetic kid in school and Líadan is his protective sister. Rune is the new kid on campus with an unusual hobby of making pyrotechnics; so much so, that he’s been making bombs recently and taking out buildings for delight.

    After meeting Líadan and blossoming affection out of confusion, jealousy drives Rune into playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Sigo, whom he mistakes as his rival.

    Sigo must now unmask and stop the villain from hurting more people and killing his classmates, one of which is his sister. Will he uncover the truth in time? *dramatic drums*

    I was wondering when I should reveal to the reader that Rune is the “masked” villain and Líadan is Sigo’s sister as facts (of course, regardless, I’d leave hints and clues of these facts throughout the issue). At the begining? Middle? Or as splash pages near the end? (Of course, only one would be an actual splash page).

  44. Holliequon 12 Mar 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I think if Sigo is Liadan’s brother, you need to let the reader know that very early on (of course, you could also make it clear that Rune doesn’t know that, but wouldn’t their last names being the same give it away?). That would avoid potential ‘squick’ moments.

    How old are these characters, exactly? Is it realistic for Rune to be able to make bombs?

  45. Ragged Boyon 12 Mar 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I too find Rune’s motive questionable. I could understand an interest in pyrotechnics and maybe even making them at a young age. But using them to blow up buildings and kill people would need a good motive, especially for a high-school age kid. I don’t think jealousy is a strong enough reason to want to kill large groups of innocent people.

    I’m a bit confused, is Rune jealous of Sigo because of his relationship with Liadan? Because that would be a little weird seeing as Sigo is Liadan’s brother. I think it worked better when no one was related each other. Then that would make the “love triangle” sub-plot more interesting.

  46. Dforceon 12 Mar 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Holliequ, I see your point and was aware of my options. Thank you for replying!

    Hmm… I know that I should let the reader know ahead of schedule of these things, but I sorta wanted to string the reader along and leave them with a “Ah! I didn’t know that!” scenario with both Líadan’s relation and Rune’s villainous secret ID (less so with Rune because of the stronger clues, but I thought that I could still make a decent splash page with him).

    The last names wouldn’t necessarily be mentioned either. (I sleight of the hand on my part, lol).

    What I wanted to do with the relation angle was give Rune more credibility… usually when that scenario shows up (the person not knowing, but the audience does), it makes me a little less interested and makes the person who doesn’t konw (to me) seem stupid and less relatable. But that may just be me…

    As for squick moments… well, that would be left out to the reader. (Wouldn’t it be funny, though… he he. Of course the characters wouldn’t, and when suggested in the comic, they would deny it with repulsive looks in their faces… This potential is just there for laughs, really… then again, my sense of humor may be lost on some. I draw inspiration from manga, which has this sort of thing frequently btw).

    As for age: I decided they’re in 9th grade – ~15 yrs of age. And Rune is a villain, you know. (He’s heavily interested in pyrotechnics, and when there’s a will, there’s the internet [proxy routing of orders for supplies and materials from “networks” and such; I don’t see it too farfetched in fiction; and yes, the police will be involved])…

    So… at the begining or the end?

  47. Dforceon 12 Mar 2009 at 6:38 pm

    RB, I replied before I saw your comment, sorry. And thank you, too!

    Rune isn’t specifically making them to hurt people (its all ultimately a bluff and a few “unfortunate accidents,” but the hero or police don’t know that).

    As for motive – he is in high school (immature) and jealous. (Haven’t you ever done anything irrational out of jealousy or hate, or are you that mature? [Which, from posts, I buy] Please note that the question isn’t a personal attack, I’m just trying to give perspective to the motive).

    Yeah, the motive is driven by misunderstandings: Rune, who doesn’t know that Sigo and Líadan are related, is jealous of Sigo and Líadan’s friendly demeanors towards each other. While Sigo’s motive is to just to protect the innocent from a madman… I suppose it is a bit confusing when convolutedly explained… drat. I think the confusion arises from the fact that you all know all the facts before they’re put into play.

    As for the “love triangle,” I’ve thought about it, considerably, but for it to work I’d have to make Líadan like Sigo… which as of now ultimately chose against… Hmm…

  48. Holliequon 12 Mar 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I think you still have a gaping hole in “how would Rune NOT know the two are related?” You can not write any last names into your work, but it’s not realistic that Rune wouldn’t find out Liadan and Sigo had the same last name, just through a casual school day, or somebody mentioning it, etc. The only way I can see him not finding out is if pretty much everyone is in on a joke to not tell him.

    I agree with RB, I think it worked better as a love triangle.

  49. Dforceon 12 Mar 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Hmm… Well, my excuse was that Rune was a sort of loner, so he wouldn’t ask and would stay away from people in general (and they from him), so he wouldn’t overhear… He’s a reclusive scientist that way.

    (While in school, when I had to find out someone’s last name I found it rude to just ask and that it took a considerable while to hear it come up in conversation).

    I suppose as its creator, I’m a little attached to my work and thusly reluctant to change it, counterproductive perhaps. But I can’t help myself. Would an editor or publisher (if they had to look at the work, too) really find it that hard to buy? It is a miniseries (2-4 issues long) and things stretch a little since I won’t really have space to flesh every detail down. (How is this high school kid able to take down a megalomaniac bomber without forensic experience or martial arts? My answer: luck, sheer will, and he’s the hero. Superman had every power he needed and Batman had everything he needed in his utility belt… of course, I see these are terrible excuses).

    I guess another fleshing out would be needed. … Help…?

  50. B. Macon 12 Mar 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I think that the idea (he doesn’t know they’re related) is fine for a one-time gag but might be a bit too flimsy to have a major impact on the plot. I think many editors will want to grab him by the shoulders and scream something like “Stop! You’re part of an Idiot Plot.”

  51. Dforceon 13 Mar 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Lol. Ok, ok…. the community hath spoken… I’ll dwell on this and see if I can figure it out. Thank you all for taking time to reply.

    On a different tangent: Any ideas for plausible motives to make a high school supervillain (one preferably chaotic)?

  52. B. Macon 13 Mar 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Plausible motives for a high school supervillain…

    1. Extremely cliche: he was a jockish bully. Now he has superpowers and is essentially a superpowered bully. Ick. The only way you could make this more cliche is if he’s a rich bully.

    2. Also extremely cliche: something like a stereotypical school shooter. He was creepy and severely picked on. Now he has superpowers and wants vengeance. This will probably get very angsty.

    3. Mostly cliche: he was very smart and kind of nerdy. Probably picked on. Now he has earned superpowers and demands respect.

    4. He thinks he’s doing something virtuous, but his morals are skewed. He’s probably severely disillusioned with the status quo but is attempting to fix it in a wholly inappropriate way. For example, he might think that students are too concerned about superficial stuff like physical appearance, so he’s going to physically disfigure everyone with a poison gas. For moral depth, ideally some readers will agree somewhat with his diagnosis of the problem. But his solution should reveal that he is missing the humanity/perspective/empathy that make the heroes so special and likable.

    5. Cliche: The villain is trying to get revenge because he’s a scorned lover. This is particularly cliche if the villain thinks he’s been passed over because he’s geeky, or if he is entitled to the girl because he’s very popular (especially a jock or rich kid). I think this plot works best when the main hero is the object of the villain’s charms, not the romantic rival. That’s fresher and will help you develop the romantic triangle.

    6. His relationship with his parents is notably complicated. At the most cliche, he’s dealing with abusive or negligent parents. Alternately, maybe his parents need the money and put him up to a series of robberies to “do his part” to help the family. Maybe his parents are heroes and he’s rebelling against them. Etc.

    As you might have noticed, the concept of a high-school villain is vulnerable to awfulness. Even if the heroes are high-schoolers, I’d recommend setting them against a more impressive villain because they will come off as more competent and heroic. (Alternately, you could use the high-schooler as a pawn in a larger scheme orchestrated by a true villain).

  53. Dforceon 13 Mar 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Hmmm… I sort of wanted to stay away from superpowers (being my first *hopefully published* miniseries, because then I’d have to give them both origin stories, a set of fellows and friends, an expanded playground, etc).

    I figured this way, I could try to make it as simple as possible (both hero and villain have no real superpowers per se, but just act heroic and diabolical– albeit misguided).

    Also of note: I was sort of laying seeds to bring them back for my main event (a different comic). They were going to join by the end of this series and then be… exported(?) to the other comic… maybe…

    I’ll try to start from scratch again and give them a more serious arc to see if it’s more interesting (and plot hole free hopefully, he he). Thank you.


    ☻♪♫♪♫ lol, sorry…

  54. Jacobon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Emoticons are new here. I thought they would be lively.

  55. Dforceon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Ah. Very nice.

  56. Jacobon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I agree. They look very friendly and inviting. Now I just have to convince BM to stop using them. They compromise his writing authority!

  57. B. Macon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:38 pm

    😉

  58. Dforceon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:42 pm

    lol

    Think of B. Mac as that one cool teacher that bent the rules and still taught (teached? can never get this word right) better than most of ’em.

    Obviously not any of my English teachers…

  59. Dforceon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Ah! Must be that time-zone dissonance. (At 2:42, my actual clock is 4:42).

  60. B. Macon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Yes… for reasons not clear to me, our site’s clock seems to be set on Nova Scotia time. It’s 4:50 here, not 2:50! (Then again, “here” is Chicago and SN is actually set to Indiana time).

  61. Dforceon 13 Mar 2009 at 2:54 pm

    He he. It must be Agent Black trying to undo his fate of being published aside Agent Orange. The poor man.

    Looking at the motives. How jarring would it be to have just a person obsessed with burning things– thinking they’re beautiful ablaze, as his drive?

  62. B. Macon 13 Mar 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Pyromania is a real disease, but I don’t think it lends itself well to interesting fiction.

  63. Dforceon 18 Mar 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Retcon number 2 is here, and here’s what I’ve got.

    Rune’s Background
    At a Fourth of July event when he was four, Rune became fascinated by the notion of being able to create grand displays with the simple manipulation of chemicals. This lead to his heavy interest in the field of pyrotechnics and the like; what is neede and how to make them. His parents saw nothing dangerous of this and fed his hunger for the theatrics.

    By the time he became a teen, Rune had acquired enough knowledge and materials to begin experimenting on his own. The internet and a strong basic knowledge of it helped him acquire all he needed, without attracting unwanted attention.

    Once he became able to successfully create and control-detonate fireworks, and consequently bombs, near a landfill, he became exceedingly proud of his work; enough for him to videotape and post what he would later begin to call his “events.” In the year leading up to the story’s events, he had acquired a new persona that would show-off his abilities to the public with free, and illegal, fireworks displays. He called himself “The Lightman.”

    After Rune’s father decided to leave his Weather job in Jhonnen City, where they lived, the family moved to Liz City, where a similar position was available with better pay.

    Habits and Vices

    He has a habit of covering his tracks, so as to not get in trouble with his parents at first, supplemented by a “respect” for the police, and of making sure he counted for everything he could. Another tic of his is to tap his index finger when he became impatient, as when he awaited the detoantion, and splendous fruit of his labors.

    Also of note, he likes candy canes. They remind him of Christmas and the happier times of his youth.

    Event

    While in his younger years, and up to his last days in Jhonnen City, Rune used to visit an old building called “The Hang-Out” where he, amongst others, would go and dance, play videogames, and stay off from the street.

    A bitter legal fight ensued between “corporates” who wanted to tear it down for a new hotel and the city’s youth and their parents, who wanted to keep the building theirs. After many legal proceedings, the youth was check-mated by the corporates when they demolished the building before the youth could ask for a cease-and-desist judge order to protect the building. This didn’t sit well with Rune, who was involved in the struggle.

    After moving to Liz City, he kept in touch with friends who told him of the other horrors the empresarios are doing to “modernize” their city, parks replaced with malls, mom-and-pop shops outdone by supermarkets, etc. Rune then and there decided to get to know this city and keep it from being changed– for the sake of all the other youths who lived there.

    Motive

    Rune’s motive is to keep the status quo and defend the little people, and to lash out against Big Business.

    Modus Operandi

    His method is to scout his location and targets. Then prepare a plan in which to demolish to intimidate Big Business, on a grand scale. He prefers large explosions to draw attention, but will avoid actually hurting people. Videotaping is still required, so as to send credible threats and warnings. Remote detonators are quite handy to him, but time-bombs are useful, too. Of note, since his previous “Hang Out” was in the southern end of the Jhonnen, all of his detonations happen in the south side of his targets.

    Sigo’s Background

    Sigo Ulloriaq has lived all his life in Liz City, along with his childhood friend Líadan. Growing up, he’s been fascinated by superhero comics and heroes in general. One recurring fantasy of his is to save the day. He’s a dreamer.

    Of note, he is naturally hyperactive and his uncle also got Sigo interested in martial arts and weaponry. Sigo’s weapon of choice was the flash bangs and bo staff.

    Habits and Vices

    One of Sigo’s habits is to emulate his favorite heroes and their mannerisms, which are usually loud, making him want to take the initiative and be loud himself– so as to be announced and paid attention to. He enjoys playing the hero.

    Event

    When he walked Líadan back to her apartments after school one day, the empty building next to them exploded, causing a large fire that began to spread.

    By the time this happened, Sigo was already on the street and had to rush back in to get people out. The first person he went after was Líadan, whose apartment was at the top floor, adjacent to the empty building next door. She was bloody and unconscious.

    After he took her and led people out of there, he began to mope around wondering why that had happened. Soon, he learned from police reporst and the news that the explosion was a warning against Big Business in the city that had coercively bought out a mom-and-pop shop, and had warned that he would act again unless it was given back. The threat of more people getting hurt and the feelin of revenge drove Sigo to raise a vendetta against the criminal.

    Motive

    Sigo wants to keep other people from getting hurt and to get vengeance for the critical hospitalization of his best friend, Líadan.

    Modus Operandi

    After Sigo decided to chase down the guy, he knew that the police may also want to arrest him for his vigilantism and therefore created a second persona, so as to keep Sigo Ulloriaq clean.

    He researches his opponent and tries to think of where he would act next. Once a confontation was near, he would suit up with mask and weapons, and trail opponent for the final battle.

    Whew… that was quite a bit of info. Questions, comments, concerns, complaints How does this look so far?

  64. Marissaon 18 Mar 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Dforce, I’ve not read everything here yet, but I did read over your last post, so if I say something that was earlier made clear, feel free to brick me.

    First of all, I love his name. I had a good friend named Rune when I was younger, and I’ve always thought that name was so cool. Just my opinion, though. (Though “The Lightman” is a little iffy for me, to be honest. =/)

    The back-story is pretty solid, and I wouldn’t trust my opinion on this, as I’m not a super-avid reader of comic books, but it seems fairly original, too. My question is, if your kid is suddenly obsessed with making explosives, even if it seems under control, would you just turn them loose with it? I’d think the parents would at least try to discourage it. And also, if his events are so illegal, how does he avoid getting caught by the authorities? Sure, he might be really smart, but smart people get busted every day. Even if he does cover his tracks, respect the police, and avoid parental trouble… I don’t know, something about that feels a little off, but it’ll probably be fine when you write it out.

    I like his finger-tapping habit, especially when you associate it with the detonation. It’s a common habit, but that one habit kind of gives me an idea as to his personality/disposition. It’s one of those show-not-tell things people always push for. 😀

    His motive and the reason why he has this motive is very realistic, especially for his age. It’ll turn “blow things up to stick it to the Man” into something close to heroic.

    His modus operandi is well thought out as well, and the degree of specific that it is leaves him open for mistakes and possibly plans not going as they should, which kicks the intensity/conflict up a notch. For example, what happens if the south side of the target is full of people? Does he still blow it up from the south? Will he blow it up from a different side then, or will he break plan and blow it up later? What if blowing it up later means he can’t videotape it? Or even better… What if he set the time bomb for the south side, and totally opposite to what he had planned, it filled up with people? That would be a huge conflict, because now he’d have to race against time and planning to save people from his own bomb.

    Sorry, I tend to ramble. =/

    As for Sigo.

    Hyperactive, but a martial artist? He’d be walking a very fine line, and I bet his family would know it. That’s almost a source of internal conflict in itself, since most if not all martial arts require for one to be fully under control.

    Also, I’d avoid accent marks, in names especially, such as in “Líadan.” While it makes total sense to you, a reader might look at that and be turned off by the accent mark. I was, just a little bit.

    Hahah, oh no, please, don’t imitate Deadpool. You have more dignity, Sigo. (Love Deadpool, but he’s such a pain in the butt. xD;)

    Okay, that was all as-I-go opinions, so that I didn’t forget what I was saying as I went. Right now, though, I’d like to say that you’ve earned a lot of respect in my eyes, for pulling off so seamlessly a story where both sides are the hero, but the villain to one another, in a way that the reader will agree with. I doubt any reader could look at either of them as ‘in the wrong’ in a villainous sense. I really, really like that.

    Also, as an afterthought, something that seems a little off is how both of your made-up cities end in “City”. Very few actual cities do that, and I know they do in comic books, but… Dunno, that was just a thought.

  65. Dforceon 18 Mar 2009 at 4:27 pm

    The last post was the only thing worth reading right now, and thank you for reading it. (I shan’t brick).
    |
    So, the things you had trouble with was the Letting Son Play with Fire, Hyperactive Martial Artist, and Accents… Hmm… Lemme see if I can successfully defend myself.

    I don’t really have any justifiable reason for using accents, other than it makes my characters stand out from the rest. I suppose if they have such a negative effect on people I’ll need to reconsider using them. (Was it the shady/iffy pronounciation that drove you off?).
    |
    Here’s my explanation for the Hyperactive Martial Artist: I needed to give him some sense of power or abilities for him to use to make him a superhero, but I didn’t want to give him a tragic lab accident or a genetic mutation. In its place I gave him heightened human abilities, and sorta modeled him after a ninja (on a slightly different tangent, why did Sigo remind you of Deadpool? he’s not going to be dark and gritty, nor a smartaleck, nor is he going to use black comedy… I don’t know much about him, but isn’t that what sums him up? was it the way he followed the villains?).

    Anyway, since “being a ninja” is his power, I needed to give him some kryptonite– a way to keep him from being a perfect assassin– and gave him hyperactivity as his weakness. The way I see it, if you have to focus and be in control while, uh, martial artsing, then someone who had very little of it could come off as someone who is trying to overcome a personal challenge. Since he has to focus to strike just right, land just right, or defend just right, then someone who has a hard time focusing will have to give it a little extra effort (and could fail sometimes too). That’s how I saw it.
    |
    As for the Letting Son Play with Fire, he didn’t really start showing any signs of being a threat up until after he moved cities, where he begins to blow things up. Upon re-reading my post, I realize I needed to fix that whole mess… More on that later.

    Ah, and as for the cities ending in “City,” that was just for here. Jhonnen is going to be called just that, Jhonnen, and Liz City is going to be called… well, that, Liz City.
    |
    Thanks for taking some time on this. Much abliged.

    Also, I just went around trying to find your review forum but you don’t have one, and, apparently, you’re not a user in LiveJournal… Very confusing…

  66. Dforceon 18 Mar 2009 at 4:28 pm

    ergh… apparently, Line Break is still beyond my reach… 🙁

  67. Marissaon 18 Mar 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Well, the accents weren’t super super crucial, I just mean… People will butcher it aloud, and in text (most people, when writing your character’s name, would use a regular I, which would change the pronunciation. Even I used copy/paste with it so I wouldn’t have to bother. Hahah…), and do you really want to deal with that?

    And I’m sorry for the confusion, the Deadpool thing… You said he ‘imitates superheroes’ or something along those lines. I was warning him more than you, that imitating Deadpool wouldn’t be the best plan. I was joking a little bit. Bad idea for a critical review?

    Anyway, I had no real problem with it, I just… Well, it seemed to me that the two elements clashed, and I wanted to make sure you were going to address the fact that it’d be a struggle for him at times, and that others who know he’s hyperactive might not have wanted him hyper and destructive, both.

    And ah, the city thing, now I’m clear.

    WAIT WHAT? NOT A USE-…

    Wow. I had it typed wrong this entire time.

    No, no review forum, but the LJ link is correct now. You would also be able to reach me over AIM or G-Talk, if you’d like. Just ask.

  68. Marissaon 18 Mar 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Oh, and the livejournal ads are right in the middle of the header, unless you’re logged in. I should change that, sometime. I’d login, if you have LJ.

  69. Dforceon 18 Mar 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Nah, I wouldn’t want to hassle with accents either… I may leave ’em off.

    Oh no! Now I feel terrible, since both the site and I welcome friendliness, jokes, and such… Please don’t avoid that on my stupidity.

    Good call on checking the personal conflict on Sigo. I had it in mind, but I guess I didn’t make it clear (or mention it really) on my post.

    Sweet. Perhaps I shall your site sometimes. I’d really like to look at your writing (I assume your a novelist).

  70. Marissaon 18 Mar 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I am a novelist indeed, very much so. But I like to get advice from people I can talk to directly, via an instant messaging program or occasionally e-mail (like I am with Cadet Davis, since I would be like adkasdhkalad-grade freaked to even consider asking if he has anything quicker), since my story is so widespread and huge that giving it in snippets like this wouldn’t be effective.

    Yeah, feel free to check out my LJ. Most of it is private, since I keep things like Character Questionnaires on there, things that might have superspoilers.

  71. B. Macon 18 Mar 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Yeah, Cadet Davis can be a bit hard to reach. If I leave a note for him, it usually takes a week or so for him to get around to it.

  72. B. Macon 18 Mar 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Hey, Dforce, that’s an interesting way to jury-rig some linebreaks.
    |
    I approve!

    If you’d like to use real line-breaks, apply to be a volunteer moderator. 🙂

  73. Holliequon 19 Mar 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Ack, I meant to get to this sooner. Sorry. Anyway, my opinion:

    At some point, you refer to “the happier times in Rune’s youth”, but he does not strike me as a character with a reason for being unhappy. His parents seem pretty indulgent, actually (they let him play with fire).

    I also don’t like the accented name. Well, it’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s distracting. I know the accent means you pronounced things differently so every time I see it I’m trying to work out exactly how I say it. (Of course, I’m picky about things like that, but especially because it’s Irish).

    The only other thing is that Ulloriaq is an odd name. Other than that, it seems fine.

  74. Marissaon 21 Mar 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Hey, Dforce, how are you doing? It’s been a couple of days, so I just wanted to check up. =D

  75. Dforceon 21 Mar 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Oh, well, hello there!

    I’ve tried and look at your writing on LJ, but I couldn’t figure my way through anywhere… I’d ask if you had yahoo messenger or the like, but I don’t think it’d be easy (or safe) to share that over a public forum like this one…

    At the moment I’ve been frustrated by my inability to come up with a script of my own. It’s a mess. But the weather’s been nice, lol.

  76. B. Macon 21 Mar 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Ok. For search-engine reasons, I can’t actually type out the words in question. However, I’ll just leave an asterisk and you can figure out what the word is. Heh heh.

    p*rn
    c*ck
    a*al
    p*ssy
    f*ck
    p*escription (this word isn’t actually inappropriate in any way, but I don’t want us to get targeted by spambots looking to sell m*dications)

    Note that the letter chain can be included within a word. For example, if you included “shuttlecock,” or “pussycat” or “analytical,” those would trip our spam filters. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but we get several hundred spam messages a day and we have to work hard to keep them out.

  77. Dforceon 21 Mar 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Oh no, it’s fine. You have plenty of work in your hands as it is. I understand why’d you have to try and maneuver around these things. Note: If I were to need to type the letter chain in an otherwise appropriate word, would it be fine if I typed the asterisk in the place of a letter? Or should I avoid the word altogether?

  78. B. Macon 21 Mar 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I think it’d be easier to understand if you just avoided the word altogether.

  79. Ragged Boyon 21 Mar 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I think I may be able to help.

    What are you having the most trouble on with your script?

  80. Dforceon 21 Mar 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Finishing it, lol.

    Augh! Ultimately, I want to write it myself. The biggest help I’d need is getting it looked at and given opinions on. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I seem to write “tv” scripts better than comics– I have this mindset that tells me to ignore the page separations and just type it up (of course, that gives me waaaay more dialogue than can fit into a comic). Thanks for offering to help, RB.

    B. Mac,

    I’ll be sure to avoid those words then. Thanks.

  81. Ragged Boyon 21 Mar 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Ok, I can understand that. I’m pretty adamant about the way I want things to go down in my story. I want to show that I can be a good writer on my own.

  82. Marissaon 21 Mar 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I do have messenger (AIM, Y!M, G-Talk, and MSN), and I’d love to tell you, but… hmm.

    Here, I’ve got a side E-Mail. If you E-Mail “xnihility at gmail dot com” I can send it to you from there.

  83. Dforceon 21 Mar 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Good luck to us both then!

  84. Marissaon 21 Mar 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Oh, so this one’s going to be a script? I was under the impression that it was a novel of some sort. =/ Maybe I jumped to conclusions.

    And on a side note, added contact info to my LJ, because I had meant to have it there anyway.

  85. Dforceon 21 Mar 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Yeah, it’s a comic book (which is a sort of script in its raw format). Your reviewing is still helpful, though!

  86. Dforceon 24 Mar 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Quick question:
    |
    If someone were to hire thugs to attack, and eventually drive out small businesses– what would that be called (in legalese)?
    |
    I have a businessman doing that in the bottom-most story and I need to know what to hypothetically charge him with.

  87. Dforceon 27 Mar 2009 at 7:24 pm

    First of all, to reply to Holliequ (albeit just a tad late, lol): By “the happier times in Rune’s youth, ” I think I meant the days in which he was in the hangout (where he was happy and belonged). After it was “taken” from under him, he got this cynical view of the world (thusly, no longer happy).
    |
    Well. I believe I have the background set up in a pleaseant manner (at least for now) and have decided to give the actual story structure another try. I divided a single issue into three parts (for the benefit of my own confusion), and here’s the first:

    Part 1
    Rune, who is now living in Liz City and about to join this school’s 9th grade, has just heard about the tragic tearing down of “The Hangout” back in Jhonnen. By now, he has been broken by the former struggle and has decided to take on this city’s villainy as “January,” the bringer the new age of righteousness (that’s how he justifies his alias– Since January begins a new year, he’ll begin a new “age.”
    |
    Sigo is introduced in his element, running acrobatically on the street trying to make his way to school, messy hair, a piece of toast in his mouth, his backpack clenched in his hand as he ran and jumped. He is seen running down a street, jumping a chainlink fence, sliding over a car in traffic, then onto a railing that led to a descention, landing atop a wall, jumping from said wall through a nearby window (some stuff may need be cut). He made it to school, but class has ended. He is promplty given detention for it.
    |
    Sigo and Liadan are now walking home. They discuss as to how Sigo missed school, to which he replies that he didn’t set his alarm. When they discuss why he’s not in detention, he answers that he can’t be confined by a waste of time like that. (I’m hoping this’ll build their personalities when fully fleshed out).
    |
    They arrive at a large, two-story house (Liadan’s) that is within a crowded neighborhood and part ways. After Sigo takes a few steps away, the house explodes. Sigo goes to check on her and finds her unconscious within some of the rubble. A crowd gathers, an ambulance arrives, and an angry and worried Sigo rides with her to the hospital.
    |
    There’s a conference on a TV between the police, the mayor, one Mr. Ian Marian (Liadan’s dad) of the Grandmeal Corporation, and reporters. They have a heated discussion about how the riffraff of Liz City have done the unimaginable by resorting to violence just to prevent the city council from tearing down indebted businesses to make way for the future City Highway. They discuss a note left behind that expressed contempt by a person named “January” at Mr. Marian’s business action of attempting to buy out the competition and of other questionable business practices. Mr. Marian is angered by the accusations and at the fact that not only was his house destroyed (not consequential since its one of many, and one in which he doesn’t live in), but more so that his daughter was caught in the turmoil. (His anger may be a ruse, but it’s not evident from his performance). He demands that those responsible be caught. The police swear to catch the culprit. The Mayor promises that building will go as planned.
    |
    It is now revealed that it was Sigo watching the TV in the hospital, next to a sleeping Liadan. He turns it off and goes on about making sure that the cretin is caught. He wants revenge for Liadan.
    |
    The next day in school, Sigo is present, and is not all that polished up, with hair a mess, clothes somewhat askew (as if he’d just gotten up). A new student is introduced, Rune, who moved there from Jhonnen, a nearby city. Sigo tries to be welcoming and shouts to greet the newcomer. However, he is shut down by snide comments by the new kid. They immediately dislike each other (cue the eye-lightning perhaps…). They make sure to sit far apart.

    I’m really just looking to see if this has cohesion. Does it fit together, or flow? Of course, any other thoughts, comments, or questions are welcomed.

  88. Dforceon 30 Mar 2009 at 1:26 pm

    The following are six pages I have typed up for this comic. Copy and paste was necessary, so hopefully nothing got cut-off and I got everything properly formatted… How does it look?

    PAGE ONE (four panels)

    Panel 1. Establishing shot of Liz City in all her grandeur. It’s bustling in the daylight. Cars pack the street. Sunny day with a few clouds.

    CAP:
    Liz City

    Panel 2. A low-angled close-up of SIGO’s face, which is biting on a piece of toast as he runs down a street.

    SIGO:
    *Muff* *Muff*

    Panel 3. He climbs up a chain-link fence, with his backpack clenched in one hand dragging behind him. Another low angle.

    SFX:
    cling cling

    Panel 4. He jumps over a car’s hood in moving traffic. Of note, the toast is half-eaten. The driver is disgruntled.

    DRIVER:
    Hey kid! What the @#!$%’s wrong with you?!

    SFX:
    BEEP! BEEEEEEP! Sli——-de!

    PAGE TWO (three panels)

    Panel 1. Sigo leaps forward and scales a brick wall running in one go. The toast is gone, and the backpack is on.

    SIGO:
    *Huff* *Huff*

    SFX:
    TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP!

    Panel 2. He leaps off of the wall and lunges forward. The camera is at a low angle in front of him, and the backdrop is the sky. The backpack is back to one hand.

    SIGO:
    Waaahoooooo!

    Panel 3. He lands through an open window inside a building, firm-footed.

    SFX:
    CLASP

    PAGE THREE (five panels)

    Panel 1. He stands up, bag over the shoulder, triumphantly, grinning. The teacher talks off-panel.

    SIGO:
    So? Did I make it on time, teach?

    TEACHER (OP):
    Actually, class just ended, Sigo. But you’re right on time to sign your detention.

    Panel 2. The teacher and Sigo discuss matters. The teacher hands Sigo his detention slip as she walks by in front of him, while not actually looking at him. Camera is waist-up.

    SIGO:
    But…!

    TEACHER:
    … And that’s not the first time you’ve missed my class. You better be careful.

    Panel 3. Sigo now protests as the teacher heads for her desk.

    SIGO:
    But…! I can’t be held hostage like this! Its a bright, sunshiny day! There’s too much to do…!

    TEACHER:
    I highly recommend not skipping detention… again…
    (small)
    And please stop coming in through the window- Next time I’ll lock it.

    Panel 4. Sigo, unhappy, walks to the doorway with the rest of the class, throwing away his, now crumpled, detention slip. LIADAN meets him at the doorway. The classroom is noisy.

    SFX:
    CHATTER! CHATTER! chatter! CHATTER! chatter! chatter!

    SIGO:
    (whisper)
    Dan! Can you believe this?

    LIADAN:
    (whisper)
    Te-he! That’s, what? Your second time getting here past hours…?

    Panel 5. They continue. Camera is outside the doorway looking into the classroom.

    LIADAN:
    You better be careful, mister!

    SIGO:
    Yeah, yeah! *mumble* *mumble*

    PAGE FOUR (three panels)

    Panel 1. Sigo and Liadan are now in the school’s courtyard, where buses and cars are picking up people. Liadan cocks her head to the side as she speaks. Sigo’s arms are raised and crossed behind his head. The sun is somewhat low in the sky. The camera is at a distance, showing full body.

    LIADAN:
    Why’re you not in detention?

    SIGO:
    Psh! They can’t keep me here for that! I’ve got things to do! People to see!

    Panel 2. They continue to walk. Camera is now showing waist-up. Sigo shuts his eyes, as if thinking hard. Liadan has raised him one eyebrow.

    LIADAN:
    What things? What people?

    SIGO:
    (shuts his eyes, as if thinking)

    Panel 3. They continue to walk. Camera is now showing shoulders-up. Sigo is flailing about, arms in the air.

    LIADAN:
    Well————-?

    SIGO:
    That’s of no importance!

    PAGE FIVE (five panels)

    Panel 1. A shot of the sun, covered by a cloud.

    LIADAN (OP):
    Why can’t you just be on time? All you’re doing is causing trouble for yourself later on. You can’t keep getting by on pure luck…! You need focus…
    (small)
    You need a girlfriend.

    SIGO (OP):
    Don’t worry about that. I’m sure I can lie myself out of any trouble… And I have focus…
    (small)
    I just choose not to use it. And– wait, what?

    Panel 2. They’re walking on a residential street now. It’s full of two-story houses with moderate, smallish front yards. The camera follows them from behind, low angle, full body. Liadan on the left, closer to the houses, and Sigo on the right.

    LIADAN:
    I’m just saying… If you had one, she’d surely keep you on time.

    SIGO:
    Yeah! He-he! And where would I find one of these girls whose standards have hit the floor?
    (small)
    Though, I’m not sure if those kinds of girls would be that attractive…

    Panel 3. Close-up on Liadan’s withdrawn face, chin in, forehead forward, as she tries to hide hurt feelings.

    LIADAN:
    He-he…!
    (thought)
    Yeah. I guess…

    Panel 4. Sigo does some introspection. His face hurts with brain processes. Liadan just looks on as they walk.

    SIGO:
    Though– I suppose I shouldn’t be picky and take what I can get… seeing as how I’m no stud and all…
    (small)
    This is quite the conundrum…

    Panel 5. Liadan is at the door of her house, and walks in. She waves at Sigo with a smile on her face.
    liadan
    Bye!

    PAGE SIX (Splash page)

    Panel 1. From Sigo’s POV. The house explodes. The door is ripped from its hinges. Large and small wooden planks and splinters are mid-air and on fire. Sigo is knocked off of his feet, well into the air. A fireball protrudes from the blazing house.

    SFX:
    BOO——————-M!

  89. Dforceon 30 Mar 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you, B. Mac. It was length, wasn’t it? Though I don’t know why. I’ve posted lengthy things here before, without any problems…

  90. Ragged Boyon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I doubt it was the length. Length-wise, this is nothing. You should have seen Brett when he was a regular here.

  91. B. Macon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I suspect it was that Liadan cocks her head.

  92. B. Macon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Here are some thoughts and suggestions. It generally looks pretty good.

    –When the driver swears at Sigo, I’d recommend either using a profanity or using a really watered-down profanity like heck.

    –What is CLASP? The sound of the landing?

    –Sunshiny sounds kind of goofy. Could I recommend sunny for a slightly more serious feel?

    –I don’t have a good feel for the school. Is this a school for superhumans? When the teacher gets annoyed that Sigo jumps through the window, is he just annoyed that Sigo didn’t use the door or is he annoyed that Sigo is using superpowers?

    –Does everyone have superpowers or is Sigo the only one?

    –When Sigo talks with the teachers, there’s a lot of random punctuation. For example, “But…! I can’t be held hostage like this! Its a bright, sunshiny day! There’s too much to do…!” That uses two ellipses and four exclamation marks in four sentences. I recommend reducing the number of exclamations and ellipses across the board.

    “Its a bright…” –> “It’s” needs an apostrophe here.

    How would you work *mumble mumble* onto the page?

    “Why’re you not in detention” could be a bit smoother as “Why aren’t you in detention?”

    Umm, if Sigo is that much of a space-case, why does he bother coming to school?

    “Psh! They can’t keep me here for that! I’ve got things to do! People to see!” I’d recommend cutting out at least two of these exclamations. Maybe three.

    “You can’t keep getting by on pure luck…! You need focus…” I don’t think that the ellipsis followed by an exclamation works here. I’d just recommend replacing it with a period.

    When she says “getting by on pure luck,” what does she mean? In what ways is he actually successful? In which ways has he been lucky? (He was sort of unlucky that he came into class after it had ended. I suppose that was partially caused by getting caught up in traffic).

    “I just choose not to use it.” This feels too self-conscious for this character.

    “I’m sure I can lie myself out of any trouble.” I think you could probably remove “I’m sure” here.

    I’d kind of prefer if Sigo were a bit less self-pitying. “I suppose I shouldn’t be picky and take what I can get… seeing as how I’m no stud and all…”

    Page six seems kind of out of the blue. We haven’t been set up for danger and the explosion doesn’t seem to advance anything we learned in the first five pages.

  93. Dforceon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:24 pm

    *Sigh* Really? Alright… I’ll flip through a thesaurus when posting here then.

  94. Ragged Boyon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:51 pm

    This is looking pretty good, besides the stuff the B. Mac pointed out. I like it.

    Looks like someone else finally hopped on the comic script train with me and B. Mac.
    However, now I’m off the fun writing train and am now walking the glass covered road of editing, barefoot. Haha.

  95. Dforceon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Ooh, story comments. Sweet.

    –I’m not really feeling the use of strong profanities- and I don’t really want to “water down” my work by using mild swear words. Heck I could use, but I can’t think of others that would go along with this intermediate level.

    –Yes, anything under SFX are sound effects. Onomatopoeia is weird. CLASP are his feet as they land (I’d draw this word, stylistically, around his feet- hopefully between his feet and the floor; its hard to explain without overtly going into detail…).

    –Sigo is somewhat goofy himself. He has somewhat of a simplistic view, almost childlike (though, he’s a teen, 9th grade). That was probably the manga influence talking. Sunny could work though.

    –Hmm. That is a regular school for normal people. Sigo is a bad-a normal (on the first few pages I had him do what he did to show that he has the qualities or virtues of a hero, not that he had superpowers (I could scale a wall- though with difficulty as I’m not as athletic as he is). The teacher (ahem. female) was annoyed that the kid was late for school. (The school isn’t in the most pristine of neighborhoods so seemingly violent acts- fights, gangs, jumping through windows, etc. isn’t necessarily odd; I planned to show this with the drawing of the school…).

    –Again- no one has superpowers, only weapons… but that comes later.

    –The punctuation was supposed to show that Sigo is a teen. Did it not quite work that way?

    “It’s a bright…” duly noted.

    As for “mumble mumble,” I’d have the original sentence trail off in the balloon… (like so), and then draw the words “mumble mumble” as small as visually possible around the outside of the word balloon and as close to it (maybe even replace some of the word balloon bubble’s outline, too).

    “Why’re you…” duly noted (and it could).

    Sigo goes to school because a) the law demands it, b) Liadan, a friend, is there (that accounts for 90% of why I went there, lol), and c) he is actually responsible (if he wasn’t, then he would disregard school and any other responsibility that he might have had).

    “Psh!…” duly noted (though, Sigo yells a lot).

    “You can’t keep…” This was a “change of scenery with dialogue” page (why it focuses on the Sun). Since they’re far off, the words are trailing off in the distance (why the elipsis) but they are talking fairly loudly (why the delayed exclamation point). Liadan’s a girl and Sigo is overtly confident. That’s my excuse, anyway.

    “When she says…” She means that Sigo is lucky that he hasn’t been charged with truancy yet. I thought I had established that he’s been late and/or absent from school before. Maybe I wasn’t clear or needed to explicitly stress that?

    “I just choose…” I was going for smart-aleck feel. I guess I could delete that.

    “I’m sure…” duly noted. Probably will.

    “I’d kinda prefer…” Well, again, I was going for a smart-aleck/sarcastic/funny feel for his dialogue. Hmm…

    The last comment is quite helpful. I wasn’t aware that it was that bizzare. In the first few pages, I was trying to just establish my protagonists. Then I was going to get the real story going. After that page I was going to have her dad, the reason why the bombing happened explain things a bit, while Sigo watches on from the hospital room. I suppose I could tweak it to introduce Liadan’s prominent father earlier (within those six pages). Question: Would it have seemed that jarring if I had given five more pages showing her unscrupulous dad pretending to be offended at what had happened (the falling action to the explosion) or would that still seem odd?

  96. Dforceon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:18 pm

    RB, I’d wear sandals at least. Lol. Did I mention I liked your script? ‘Tis true.

  97. Ragged Boyon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks, positive feedback makes me feel like I didn’t write all that for nothing. I’m especially happy that it was my first work as a teenager and it’s actually good. Most of us teen writers suck. And I’m not saying that I don’t, but at least I’ve made a start.

  98. Dforceon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Eragon is NO reason to generalize, RB… it’s only a matter of effort.

  99. B. Macon 30 Mar 2009 at 8:02 pm

    I think it’s more an issue of experience than age. A thirty-year-old will probably suck if he starts writing seriously for the first time. However, in a year or two, he will get sharper. I mean, I consider myself a pretty good nonfiction author and my work was painfully bad two years ago.

    Another problem that is not innate to teens is that teens tend to be surrounded by people with much lower expectations than a professional would have. For example, if a one-page paper in a high school has three typos, that’s completely acceptable. If the first page of a novel manuscript has three typos, the manuscript is dead on arrival. It would be hard for anyone to make that tremendous leap. Professional publishers have almost impossibly high standards, and sometimes it’s not even clear what those are. For example, it’s horribly cheesy if a POV character describes how he looks by gazing at himself in a mirror. But unless you know someone that’s into writing, you probably wouldn’t know that.

  100. Ragged Boyon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:25 am

    Dforce, how’s your work been going? I haven’t heard much about your story in a while.

  101. Frostbytteon 18 Apr 2009 at 1:06 am

    Hey, Dforce! It’s Adam. I decided I’d get some constructive criticism and offer it to those in need. But I’m too tired to type anything else so I’m going to bed. Heh. But what I’ve read so far of your scripts is spot on. We really need to get together and brainstorm.

    -Frost

  102. Frostbytteon 18 Apr 2009 at 1:08 am

    Heh. Apparently I can’t do English today. “Constructed” is supposed to be constructive and “He” is supposed to be We. Sorry, I’m a grammar-whore. 😉

  103. Marissaon 18 Apr 2009 at 1:20 am

    Somehow, that last post didn’t require mod approval. Did you turn off the censors, B. Mac? Because usually, they freak out at anything even remotely inappropriate.

  104. B. Macon 18 Apr 2009 at 7:13 am

    I’ve loosened the vulgarity controls, particularly when it comes to words that are not usually vulgar in context. However, I don’t think we ever restricted the use of the word whore.

  105. B. Macon 18 Apr 2009 at 7:16 am

    “Sorry, I’m a grammar-whore.” Me too. I’m a freelance proofreader and I spend at least 20-30 hours a week proofreading around 800 comments a week. Fun.

  106. Holliequon 18 Apr 2009 at 7:19 am

    And he doesn’t even get paid! 😉

  107. B. Macon 18 Apr 2009 at 7:24 am

    I do get paid to proofread, just usually not by readers here.

  108. Dforceon 20 Apr 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Hello people.

    Ragged Boy, right now, I’ve been working on my pilot’s script and on two other works. I suppose everything’s going OK.

    I’ve been sorta re-working the pages to have them make sense. I’ve come to thinking the explosion is kinda out of the blue, so I’ve been trying to tie it up into the rest of the story. Though, it’s proving more difficult than previously expected…

    Soon I hope to have the edited pages from the pilot script up on here. Here’s to hope!

  109. Dforceon 24 Apr 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Question: Can you buy flashbangs in stores? (Specialty or otherwise).

  110. Dforceon 24 Apr 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Never mind.

  111. Dforceon 21 May 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Argh! I’m back– I had some billing problems and the internet went away. This should all be straightened out soon enough.

    I’m still working on these comics– it’s just that I aim to polish the muck into presentable and understandable grime before posting it here; hence the lengthy delays and infrequent postings about them.

    B. Mac– please don’t erase this review forum, unless, of course, I take more than six months to check back.

  112. Marissaon 21 May 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Welcome back. 😀

  113. B. Macon 21 May 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I don’t delete forums.

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