Friday, February 12, 2010


So this is my twentieth post of the new year. Woo! I think twenty posts in less than a month and a half is about as productive as you're going to see me be with this blog. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep it up. Didn't get around to doing a DWPFF Journey entry this week, or this would have been my twenty-first post, but I promise to have that done early next week.

The word for my fifth week doing this exercise was glance. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I had two immediate ideas about this one. The first was a Spider-Man story. I'd planned to take a long look at how Spidey survives taking all those harrowing punches from superhuman menaces. The idea was that basically he turns them all into glancing blows. The reason that idea came to mind is that while I'm striving to be a comic book writer, I haven't written any scripts to this point featuring comic book-style heroes. Not to say that I need to do that, or that that's what comic books are all about, because I don't believe that for a second. But it was just something that came to mind while I was considering the word I'd received. My second idea is the one I ultimately wrote about, and is directly below for your reading pleasure. I tried something a little different with this one, as there's no dialogue at all. I've told the story entirely within the confines of the panel descriptions. Did it work? I have no clue. But this was the easiest one word installment to date, so I'm either getting better at this or I just need to start cutting the dialogue from ALL my stories.


Panel 1. A teenage boy is sitting at the end of a long table in a crowded lunchroom. He has a tray of food in front of him with an apple, a pint of milk and an open bag of chips with a few spilling out. He’s holding a sandwich in his hands and eyeing it hungrily. There’s a lot of traffic in the lunchroom as other teenagers march to other tables holding their own trays of food, eat and chat amongst themselves and cause other types of lunchroom ruckus. The teenage boy holding the sandwich is at the center of it all, and there are only a few people sitting at his table. Nobody is sitting very close to him.

Panel 2. The teenage boy takes a large, glorious bite out of his sandwich.

Panel 3. The teenage boy has his mouth packed with food, with crumbs of it dropping from his lips and chin, and is looking over in the direction of a girl that is walking past his table. We are looking at the boy as he does this, so we should only be able to see the portion of the girl that is level with the boy’s head – basically the area of her torso and hips. She’s holding her own tray of food and making her way past the boy to some other table.

Panel 4. The girl is glancing back at the boy with a slightly flirty smile on her face as he looks up at her. His mouth has parted somewhat in astonishment that this attractive girl is paying him any notice at all.


Panel 1. We see the girl preparing to sit down at her own table one or two tables beyond the table the boy is sitting at. He is staring at her from his spot in the background, his mouth still partially agape. There are a number of girls sitting at the table the girl has chosen, and she seems pleased to see them.

Panel 2. The boy has his hand on his chin now and has a slightly slumped posture. His face has a dreamy expression, and his sandwich has been completely forgotten as he stares into space and begins to daydream.

Panel 3. The boy is sitting in a classroom at his high school. The girl is sitting beside him in the classroom and is passing him a very obvious love note (frilly paper folded into a heart or something like that). She is passing it to him with an underhand motion, in the standard high school technique. Other students are oblivious to what the couple is doing, and the teacher is writing something on the blackboard or going over a lesson and not paying a lick of attention. We are in the boy’s daydream now, so perhaps there’s a foggy quality to this panel and the others to follow.

Panel 4. The boy and the girl are walking home from school, and they’re holding hands kind of awkwardly. This is an entirely different period of time, not necessarily the same day as the passing of the notes, so giving them a different set of clothes or something of that nature would be fine. We’re basically just establishing the development of their relationship as it continues to be processed in the boy’s imagination.

Panel 5. The boy is in the living room of the girl’s house. She’s sitting next to him on the couch as the boy meets her parents for the first time. The girl seems very happy to be showing her boyfriend off to her parents. The father of the girl is sitting in a comfortable recliner glaring somewhat menacingly at the boy. The boy is extremely uncomfortable, and his expression should emphasize that. He might even be squirming a bit or pulling at the collar of his shirt or something like that. The mother of the girl is entering the living room with some snacks and seems very chipper.


Panel 1. The boy and the girl are dressed in formal attire at their final dance of high school (prom). They are gazing lovingly at one another as they dance together. Other couples are dancing around them, but they’re the primary focus of the scene. The theme of the dance can be anything that suits your fancy, but there should be some sort of banner explaining that this is prom. A band is playing music on a stage near the dance floor, and a few teachers are observing the action so it doesn’t get too hot or heavy.

Panel 2. The boy is nervously placing money on the desk of an employee in the lobby of a hotel. He has one hand placing bills on the counter, and the other is in his pocket. There should be some kind of sign on the desk or other indications (like people entering an elevator with baggage, a bellhop carrying luggage, something like that) that this is a hotel. The employee behind the desk is looking at the boy with narrowed eyes and a bit of a sneer. The boy is grinning sheepishly, obviously embarrassed. The girl is standing a bit away from the desk looking around absently at the scenery of the lobby of the hotel, obviously trying to avoid any eye contact whatsoever with the employee behind the desk.

Panel 3. The boy is standing by an idling car parked next to the curb near the girl’s house. The car is loaded with luggage. The boy is wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the large initials SCU (some college university) on the front. The father of the girl and the boy are shaking hands, and the father seems to have warmed up to the boy somewhat. The girl and her mother are hugging one another furiously as they say their goodbyes. The car has a sign on it that reads Good Luck or Off To College or something like that.

Panel 4. The boy and the girl are at some sort of sports game. They’re sitting together cheering their hearts out. The boy is shirtless, but his face and chest are painted with the school colors and SCU. The girl is wearing the hooded sweatshirt the boy had on in the previous panel and is also wearing gloves, a wooly hat and other articles of clothing to battle the cold. Both of them are breathing visible vapors as they cheer into the cold air.

Panel 5. College has ended, and we’re looking at a moving truck parked in the street outside of an apartment complex. The boy is moving a couch out of the truck and into the apartment complex with the help of one of his buddies. They’re both straining mightily with it. The girl and one of her own friends are holding small boxes and bringing up the rear. They’re chatting with one another happily as the guys struggle.


Panel 1. The boy and the girl are in a beautiful, dimly lit restaurant. The girl is sitting at the table, but the boy is bent down on one knee in the traditional “marriage proposal” pose. He’s looking up at the girl as he opens a small box with an engagement ring inside. The girl is reacting with surprise and happiness at the sudden proposal. If there’s room for it, there might be a couple or two observing the action from their own tables, or perhaps a band or a violinist nearby complimenting the moment with a song.

Panel 2. The boy and the girl are getting married. They’re standing in the foreground with the guests attending the wedding stretching out behind them in the background. It is an outdoor wedding on a bright, sunlit day. The parents of the boy and the girl are sitting in the front row. All of them are watching happily, as are the rest of the guests, but the father of the girl (who was initially a hardcase) is holding a hanky and weeping a bit.

Panel 3. The boy is about to leave home for another day of work. He’s dressed in a suit and holding a briefcase. The girl, his wife, is standing near the door and giving him a kiss on the cheek as he prepares to depart. The girl is visibly pregnant, and holding a thermos of coffee for the boy to take before he leaves.

Panel 4. The boy and the girl are in the midst of childbirth in a hospital room. The girl is on the bed, soaked with sweat and straining mightily as a doctor barks orders at her from his position. The boy and the girl are holding hands, and the boy is bent down close to his wife trying his best to support and reassure her with his words.


Panel 1. The boy and the girl are sitting in the front row of an auditorium watching their young daughter play the violin. We are looking up at the young child from directly behind the boy and the girl, who are now certainly a man and a woman, as they watch their child perform. The boy and the girl are shoulder to shoulder, and they are leaning their heads toward one another.

Panel 2. The boy, even older now, is standing outside near a stage as the girl hugs her daughter. The child is a teenager now, and is dressed in the cap and gown of a high school graduate. She’s clutching a diploma in her hand. The boy is holding a bouquet of flowers to give to his daughter.

Panel 3. The girl, now an even older woman, is smiling warmly and standing amongst a throng of people all shouting happily in the direction of the boy, now a much older man, as he enters the large living room they’re all gathered in. A banner that reads “Happy Retirement” is strung over the heads of the people gathered in the room. The boy’s daughter, now a grown woman herself, is standing next to her mother and yelling along with everybody else. The boy running a hand through his hair, blown away by the warm reception he’s receiving.

Panel 4. The boy and the girl are sitting up together in bed with their legs under the covers. They are even older now – an old man and woman in the twilight years of their life together. There is a bit of knitted fabric and knitting needles on the bed draped over the girl’s legs. The boy is holding a book, but he’s not reading it. The boy and the girl are looking warmly at one another and chatting about pleasant memories.


Panel 1. The boy, back in the lunchroom and sitting at his table, is jarred out of his daydream as he is bumped into by an arm, elbow or hip (whatever) attached to a person we cannot completely see. It is another young girl though, so whatever we can see of her clothing should be somewhat feminine.

Panel 2. Another attractive teenage girl is sitting down at the lunch table the boy is sitting at. She has decided to sit a little ways down the table from him, and she accidentally bumped into him as she was getting situated with her own tray of food. She is smiling sheepishly at the boy in an apologetic manner. The boy is looking at the girl with a dumbfounded expression.

Panel 3. The boy is grinning openly at the girl as she has turned to her food and is taking a bite of her own sandwich. She seems oblivious to his newfound affection for her.

Panel 4. The boy has his hand on his chin again and his eyes have the same dreamy quality they had when he started daydreaming previously. He’s succumbed to the power of the glance, and he’s looking at the new girl as he starts to daydream about their life together.


  1. Hey Mike,

    I'm really digging these one word exercises you're doing. Very cool.

  2. Thanks, Mike! I appreciate the kind words. I've been enjoying the work over at your blog as well. Had a few comments for your swank Indiana Jones script.