An exhausting day today spent watching every NFL game televised (and that was all of ’em, folk!). God bless the NFL package provided by my local satellite provider. At one point, I was flipping between five different games in order to track the progress of my fantasy roster. Looks like week 9 was kind to my Snow Monkeys who are poised to notch their fourth victory of the season and put them within sniffing distance of a playoff spot. Provided their fifty-some point lead heading into tonight holds. I won’t jinx it by declaring the win but let’s just say I’m feeling confident. Still, I’d like to give credit where credit is due. Thanks to RB Arian Foster for yet another monster game. Thanks also go out to Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff, and the Ravens D (nice to have you back, Mr. Reed) who between ’em served up a little under 43 points. Thanks for nothing to Chargers RB Darren Sproles, a purported week 9 sleeper who ended up doing just that – sleepwalking through his game enroute to a 0.90 point outing. And thanks-in-progress to Green Bay RB Brandon Jackson, the latest addition to the Snow Monkey line-up via trade, who is well on his way to a killer game versus the hapless Dallas Cowboys.
I’m sorry. I don’t want to give the impression that all I did today was watch football. I did stop to eat and drink. And, this morning, I did spend about an hour revising those my scripts for the first two issues of my (coming soon!) comic book series. Damn, scripting for comics can be damn tricky. Some of the biggest challenges I keep coming up against:
1) Keeping the panel per page count down. Ideally, you want average about five panels a page. You’ve got to keep your story concise, but entertaining.
2) Saving the dramatic reveals for the next page. You time the beats so they build on one page, then deliver that visual or dialogue revelation on the following page. What you’re gunning for is, quite literally, a page-turner.
3) Knowing when to go big. Like I said, I’m trying to average about five panels per page. Some might have a little more, some a little less, but five feels about right. But the occasional page may just have one big glorious panel. I figure these are like Jagermeister shots. You want to go easy on ’em, so it’s a matter of being very selective about when you splash.
4) Given the limited amount of space available, another obvious challenge is to keep inform the reader without bogging down the narrative. The script guide my editor sent me warned writers to keep the word count down to 25 words per dialogue balloon, 50 words per panel and limit the per panel exchanges to, at most, a comment, a response, and a counter-response. ‘taint easy.
5) Do comic book writers still use thought balloons? They strike me as kind of old-fashioned, so I’ve avoided using them in my scripts. Of course, that just meant I had to find another way to convey what my characters are thinking. It forces you to be more subtle in your approach – and I prefer subtle (ie. check out the set up and final reveal in my short story, “Downfall”, appearing in the Lou Anders Masked anthology of superhero-themed fiction).
By the way, with regard to those creative head shots I displayed in a previous post. Yes, the Indy Volker was compliments of our very own Chevron7. Not to be outdone, actor Jamil Walker Smith (SGU’s Master Sergeant Ronald Greer) put his own photoshopping skills on display…
Looking ahead to a short week on the production side. Prep on Stargate: Universe’s second season ends as we head into production on the season finale, Gauntlet.