Monday, January 19, 2009

Teaser Tuesday All Week Long!

Tip of the Day: Thank you so much everyone for participating in my poll last week! Thanks to your votes, I'm going to start posting book reviews to my LiveJournal. Friend me at http://fallpeople.livejournal.com/.


This week at Author2Author, we're posting snippets of our works in progress. On LiveJournal, there's a tradition called Teaser Tuesday where authors post teaser clips of their manuscripts. We're doing Teaser Tuesday all week long. And some of it are a little nervous about it. Well, I'm a little nervous about it.


When I post a little piece of my work, I always feel like people read it and cringe. I want to say, "No, it's better in context!" And then I think, hey, that doesn't count. If a paragraph can't look good out of context, it must suck. So I've never been a Teaser Tuesday type of person.


However, right now I'm working on a graphic novel script and I really did want to show you all what I'm struggling with in terms of panelling and scripting. So ... Teaser Tuesday. On Monday.


Anyway, I'm using the Dark Horse Comics script submission guidelines. They call for 4-5 panels per page, which seems like too few to me based on what I see in print. But I can't draw myself and I have to start with panelling somewhere. My premise is alternative history. It's 1908 and my setting is Wardenclyffe, Long Island, where Nikola Tesla built an enormous tower to generate worldwide wireless electricity. As the outlets in your house prove, his idea didn't work (or get funded), but in my universe, it did work. Inventors are rushing electric devices to the market to take advantage of the free electricity. In this clip, my main character, Mark Macher, arrives in town with his father, who has been commissioned by Tesla from Thomas Edison for a secret project.

Panel 4:
SMITTY:
SMITTY FARRELSCHMIDT’S THE NAME. EVERYONE KNOWS, YOU NEED ANYTHING IN ELECTRIC CITY, YOU NEED A FARRELSCHMIDT. NOW WHY DON’T YOU LOAD UP MY AUTOMOBILE WITH THOSE SUITCASES, BOY?

Next page:
Panel 1.
Mark is loading the trunk of a Model T like car with his family’s suitcases while the adults watch. The car is pulled up alongside the concrete station platform and waits in the dirt. There is no road. The door of the car is emblazoned with FS in a circle (actually a tire) with lightning bolts emerging from either side of the tire. This is the Farrelschmidt logo.
MR. MACHER (THOUGHT BALLOON):
WHEN YOU NEED ANYTHING BUT A TIMELY RIDE FROM THE STATION. A LATE COACHMAN WHO DOESN’T CARRY BAGS. HAH!

Panel 2.
SMITTY:
EXCUSE ME, MA’AM, FOR NOT TIPPING THE HAT. IF I COULD HELP YOU INTO THE VEHICLE, YOU’LL FIND IT NICE AND COZY. I HEATED IT UP TOASTY FOR YOU.
MRS. MACHER:
OH, THANK YOU, SIR … UM, MISTER …

Panel 3.
SMITTY:
JUST SMITTY, MA’AM. SMITTY FARRELSCHMIDT OF THE ELECTRIC CITY FARRELSCHMIDTS, AND A PLEASURE TO MEET YA. TESLA HIMSELF TOLD US, YOU FARRELSCHMIDTS, YOU TREAT OUR VISITORS FROM MR. EDISON LIKE ROYALTY. YOU DONE THERE, BOY?

Panel 4:
Mark is on his knees peering under the car. A thick cable leads from the undercarriage into a small concrete gully built into the dirt. His eyes are wide.

Next page:
Panel 1:
Smitty has Mark by the collar. Smitty is standing straight and shaking Mark, whose feet dangle a couple inches off the ground. Mark is holding onto his hat so it doesn’t get shaken off.
SMITTY:
THAT’S MY PROPERTY, BOY, YOU DON’T GO CREEPING AROUND IT.
MR. MACHER:
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? PUT HIM DOWN.

Panel 2.
Unseen by the others, Mark is making a rude hand gesture to Smitty behind his back, or perhaps to his father, or perhaps to both.
SMITTY:
SORRY, UH, MACHER’S THE NAME, RIGHT? EVERY SNOTNOSE KID THINKS HE’S AN INVENTOR AROUND HERE. YOU’LL SEE. A MAN’S GOTTA PROTECT THE FRUITS OF HIS LABOR, RIGHT?
MR. MACHER:
IT’S MR. MACHER, AND I ASSURE YOU, THERE ARE NO THIEVES IN MY FAMILY.

Panel 3:
The family is in the car now—Mrs. Macher in the front passenger seat and Mark and Mr. Macher perched on the higher back bench seat—and Smitty is flipping a large switch on the dashboard from the driver’s seat.
SMITTY:
NO OFFENSE INTENDED, MACHER. ONLY YOU’RE ONE OF EDISON’S MINIONS FROM MENLO PARK, RIGHT?
MR. MACHER:
MR. EDISON, WHO DOES NOT HAVE MINIONS, IS MY EMPLOYER. I’M HERE ON SPECIAL REQUEST OF NIKOLA TESLA AND, BELIEVE ME, WE WON’T BE STAYING LONG. WE’RE CERTAINLY NOT HERE TO PIRATE PLANS FOR AUTOMOBILES.

As you can see, I am now an expert at working the caps lock button! That clip didn't have a captioned panel but at least I worked in a thought balloon for you.

Stay tuned all week for more Teasers and see what we're all cooking up in our secret word labs!

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

9 comments:

Emily Marshall said...

OMG Kate this is TOO COOL. I love the concept and idea of this graphic novel. Very awesome. My husband has really gotten me on a steampunk kick, and I'm all about it now. This definitely feels like that to me. I'm so excited to see where this goes for you.

And I give you mad props for being able to visualize a graphic novel. So fun.

Emily Marshall said...

Oh...and I'm incredibly scared to post mine tomorrow too. In fact, I might even make it one of my scary adventures on my adventureyear blog. That's how much it scares me.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Wow, it seems tedious to have to write out the pictures as you see them along with the dialogue.

The voice is GREAT though. I can hear it like an old b&w movie. :)

DeenaML said...

This is fantastic! You get major props for trying something totally new to you -- and Lisa's right -- the voice is great!!

Kristina Springer said...

So cool! Great job Kate!

Kate Fall said...

Thanks! And actually, writing the descriptions of the panels isn't all that tedious. We always have to write out setting description somehow, right? The tedium lies in typing in "New Panel" "New Panel" "New Panel" over and over again.

Christina Farley said...

This is so great! I love the humor and the names too. The character's voices really come through as well.

I love ya'lls blog. I awarded your blog for the Kreativ Blogger Award! You always cone up with fun things to read about.

Ghost Girl said...

Fascinating! I'm dying to know what comes next! Tesla's experiments are so interesting and leave lots of room for creepy fun!

And major props for laying this open for us to see!

Ghost Girl said...

Fascinating! I'm dying to know what comes next! Tesla's experiments are so interesting and leave lots of room for creepy fun!

And major props for laying this open for us to see!