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Author Topic: Our World Inside The World  (Read 486 times)

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Offline Manimal

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Our World Inside The World
« on: March 21, 2021, 12:33:30 AM »
Every time she calls nothing seems to be normal. There are two worlds for 23-year-old college freshman Warren Crosby. Most days he’s going to class and hanging out with his friends. But some nights he gets a call from Tessa. When she appears, reality seems to distort itself and shape itself into something simpler and more comforting. Warren finds himself stuck between two different worlds and having to balance his relationships with his friends while scraping by in college to make something of himself.

This is a new story and idea I just came up with today! I intend on sharing everything as I write it, no matter how rough it is. I haven't been writing in some time, but I have recently felt a desire to make comics again.

I have written this as a script so I hope it's not too difficult to read and understand. This is the first draft and I just wanted to make a thread to show the development of this project. Maybe it will end up as nothing, or maybe not. This is the start anyway. I want to turn this into a comic so I wrote it like that.

I'm open to all input! This idea is bound to change and evolve as I write more.

I have written this as a chapter that is ahead a bit in the story. In the next chapters I want to dial it back so we can get introduced to everyone better and start at square one with the friendship of Warren, Kessy and Don. I was debating how to start this chapter so I thought I'd try this way of just throwing the reader in. 

Oh yes, this song I made a year and a half ago serves as the theme of sorts for it.


Warren is a 23-year-old who goes to college on campus in Lightning River, Ontario. He is a shy guy who loves to socialize but is very self conscious and scared to make big moves. He always lived a comfortable life without taking chances or doing anything to change the status quo. He decided to finally take a big step and leave home to go to college. He takes General Business and is in his first year during the story.

Kessy is a 29-year-old who been through many false starts in her young adult life. Now she has found herself living in a duplex rental house near the college. Kessy feels like a failure and all her friends are younger because she wants to be their age again and go back and fix her mistakes. Kessy is rough, aggressive and she talks without thinking often. She is crude and her house is usually a mess. She shows affection by making fun of people but when she’s drunk she’s an emotional softy.

Tessa is a 22-year-old who seems to exists in a different plane of reality. She is a sweet and compassionate person with a warm and caring energy. In the other world she is in the same dorm as Warren. She moved from the big city to take the forestry program at the college. She is an outdoors person and more of a free spirit with a sense of adventure. She gets bored staying inside and she always wants to be doing something. Tessa has a great curiosity, and she is an intense listener. She won’t let people pass over weird points and she often pries for information. She is not one to get caught up looking in the past, she lives life in the moment.

Don is a 26-year-old who made fast friends with Warren. He is a goof who is always trying to make it big online. He streams, makes videos and changes his hobbies every few months. In his past he was an indistinct kid who never talked in class. He did things other kids liked, such as playing video games and watching hockey but he could never find an interest of his own. Now at the age of 20 Don is looking for his thing and always trying to find his identity through new hobbies and interests. He likes being silly and goofing off.

CHAPTER 1 : She's In Another Program


Kessy, Warren and Don are sitting on a small couch together. Kessy is wearing a black sweater and pajama shorts. Her long black hair is in a loose bun. Warren is wearing a white and blue long sleeve with jeans. His brown hair is a medium length and shaggy. Don is wearing a plaid shirt unbuttoned with a white undershirt and black jeans. He has long black hair messily flowing down from under his hat that he wears inside. He has thick black glasses which sit crocked on his face. 

A guy unclogging storm drains is on the TV in front of them. Beer cans are all over the floor along with bags of garbage.

Kessy: Dude, pass that *censored* over.

Don: One second, I’m just going to blow some bubbles in my chocolate milk.

Don takes a rip from a green bong full of assorted cartoony stickers and passes it over to Kessy.

Warren sits between the two, expressionless as Don starts coughing. Kessy takes a rip and groans.

Kessy: *censored* dude!   

Warren grimaces as Kessy blows smoke across the table. A Gamecube and four controllers sit on the table with a takeout box on top of it. 

Don: You can have a rip anytime bud you know that right?

Warren: Come on man, you know I don't do that!

Don: Fair enough bud, it's an open invite though. Hey, Kessy wanna order some pizzas? I’m not paying though so you gotta e-transfer me first.

Kessy: I’m broke Donny, but maybe Warren could pass me a few pieces of his pizza if he gets one.

Kessy elbows Warren in the side and grins before she takes another rip of the bong.

Don: You know he doesn’t order food a second time in the night Kessy.

Kessy starts to talk but she begins coughing and then drops the bong on the carpeted floor. The water splashes all over.

Kessy: Oh *censored*.

Warren moves his feet off the floor and sits crossed legged on the couch.

Kessy lazily dries the floor with her socks and then she shrugs.

Kessy: It’ll dry. 

Warren: Ya I'm not hungry. That Chinese food killed me earlier. I should get going now also.

Warren starts to get up when Kessy suddenly pulls him back down.

Kessy: Whoa buddy, where do you think you’re going! The night’s just getting started!

Don: It’s 11:24 Kessy! If he doesn’t leave now then how’s he going to wake up at 5:30 or whatever! 

Warren: 6:30 Don, get it right.

Kessy: Come on Warren it’s a Friday! You can be tired for one day!

Warren: Sorry guys I got something to do tomorrow. I want to get a good sleep you know! So I’ll see you later! Enjoy your night.

Kessy: Fine then, goodbye Warren. Anyway how about getting an extra large and giving me a couple pieces Donny. This is my place we've been spending every Friday at after all. I let you use my hydro and my water…

Warren walks out the door and approaches his car. He spins his keys in his hand and after unlocking the door he falls into the driver’s seat, closes the door and puts the key in the ignition in one fluid motion. Warren looks back at the front window of Kessy’s place and sighs.   

Warren: I don't want to get in their way.

Warren drives off and within a few minutes he arrives at the dorms of the nearby college. Warren walks across the small bridge by the creek and then enters the building. He goes up a few flights of stairs and approaches his room. 

After washing up Warren sits at his desk and turns the lamp on. He glances down at a partial assembled mecha model kit below him. He turns on the TV to a random channel and gets to work when suddenly his phone rings.

Warren: A phone call? It’s not Kessy or Don…who is this?

Warren debates answering the call and before he can swipe it goes to voicemail.

Warren: If they don’t leave a message then I’m sure it’s nothing.

Warren works on his model kit a little longer and then he gets up to the fridge.

Warren: Nothing.

He kicks on his shoes and leaves the room, going down the hall to the vending machines. On his way there he notices a girl standing in front of the pop machine.

By the time Warren reaches the vending machine he keeps walking and then he goes up a flight of stairs. The girl looks back and tilts her head. 

Warren runs up the stairs, speed walks to the end of the hall and then goes down the opposite set of steps.

Warren: That was a close one! I was going to look like such a freak just standing there! 

As he reached the end of the stairwell he saw the girl standing there with her arms crossed. She had thick medium length brown hair which went down to her shoulders and neat bangs that swooped across her forehead. Her green eyes seemed to radiate an intense energy.

Tessa: Out for a walk around the dorms?

Warren stood frozen, unsure how to reply.

Warren: Oh I um, I had to drop something off.

Tessa: Sure you did. Hey, you doing anything right now?

Warren: Well I was working on something, but I guess I can do it later. 

Tessa: Great! I’m dying to get out. Why don't you come with me and see the fireworks.

Warren: Fireworks?

Tessa motioned Warren over and started going down the steps. Warren hesitated until Tessa looked back up.

Tessa: You coming?

Warren: Wha…ya!

Warren followed Tessa down the steps and out the door. When they made it outside there was a few groups of students huddled around firepits and riding their bikes around campus.

Warren: I didn’t see all this earlier…

Tessa: You ever had Mango’s before?

Warren: No what’s that?

Tessa: You don’t know! Haha, come on this way!

Tessa grabs Warren’s arm and leads him off down the trail. They come across a food truck situated in the dorm parking lot.  The man behind the counter has his shirt pulled over his nose and a big pair of black sunglasses on.

Mango: What’ll it be pal?

Tessa: One Agent Orange Gyro with everything in it for me, and what about you?

Warren: I’m not really hungry I mean…

Tessa: He’ll have the same!

Mango: Mission accepted. Operation engaged.

Mango draws duel blades from his sleeves and starts craving off chunks of donair from the rotisserie.  Warren watches confused, looking at all the strange people around him.

Craig: I'm going to find buried treasure!

A guy with a metal detector runs pass Warren and off into the trees.

Warren: Is this, the night life?

Warren and Tessa sit at a picnic table and eat their gyros.

Tessa: So you’re taking General Business?

Warren: Ya, it was kind of like my back up plan in case I couldn’t think of anything else to take. It’s been 6 years and I didn’t know what else to do so, business it was.

Tessa: You graduated high school 6 years ago?

Warren: Don’t make me feel old now!

Tessa: No no! I’m just a year younger than you and this is my first time in college as well so don’t feel bad.

Warren: What are you taking?

Tessa: Forestry. I’ve always loved nature and where I’m from we don’t have much of it. So I thought coming up North would be a good idea.

Warren: Are you from Southern Ontario?

Tessa: Yup, Kitchener.

Warren: Huh, some of my family lives near there. I’d hate living there myself though. Even Lighting River is too big for me. I’m from a real small town.

Tessa: Are you bragging?

Warren: What do you mean?

Tessa: “I’m from a small town”. You’re saying that like it’s a badge of honor! Everyone wants to be from a small town don’t they!

Warren: Oh did that sound stupid?

Tessa: No, I’m just messing with ya buddy.

A firework explodes in the sky above Tessa. She looks up wide eyed in the middle of a bite of her gyro.

Tessa: We’re going to miss the fireworks dude! Come on I know a good place to see them!

Warren: Fireworks? Since when did the school do that!

Tessa drags Warren through the forest and up a hill. They come across a clearing with a view of the city below them. Fireworks go off across the sky.

Warren: Jeez, I never thought to come up here. I didn’t know there was a view like this.

Tessa: It pays to explore eh!

Warren: Ya…

Tessa: My name’s Tessa by the way.

Warren: Oh hey, I’m Warren. Do…um…

Warren tried to extend his hand but he hesitated. 

Tessa: Hhhm? You don’t think you can shake hands with a girl or something? 

Warren: No…no! Not at all! No way I mean. I just. I didn’t know if you like...well...

Tessa: You’re goofy! Let’s try this again. My name’s Tessa.

Tessa extends her hand to Warren.

Warren: I’m Warren, nice to meet you.

The two shake hands as fireworks go off in the sky around them.

Suddenly Warren wakes up in his bed. His lamp and the TV are still on. He looks at the time, 6:30.

Warren: Oh I gotta…well, it’s Saturday. I guess I can sleep it another hour.

Warren sets his alarm to 7:30 and rolls back into bed.

We see a few texts from Kessy on his phone as the scream fades.


« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 01:06:49 AM by Manimal »

Offline Coryn

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Re: Our World Inside The World
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2021, 08:17:53 PM »
Glad to see you writing again Manimal! Let's dive into it!

1. I like the blurb! I avoid them usually, but since you're looking for big picture critique it's an exception.

2. Lighting River definitely isn't a thin stand-in for a certain real life city. No sir.  :sure:

3. You've got a discrepancy over Don's age in his character bio.

4. I get strong Canadian vibes from the description of the sitting on the couch for some reason.

5. Isn't weed legal in Canada? Just a point to think about is how strong the weed is. If Warren is sitting in a basement full of powerful smoke, there's a non-zero chance of a contact high.

6. I'm thinking he must be 23 if he thinks 6.5 hours is enough sleep  :unsure:

7. "Fine then, goodbye Warren" Does anyone actually say a full "goodbye" in person these days? Seems so formal.

8. What the heck is a "hydro" if not "water"?

9. I'm a little confused about the whole vending machine situation. Why would he be "just standing there"? Why would that even be a particular problem? Seeing a college student in a dorm staring at a vending machine half drunk at 12am on a Friday night is one of the more common college memories for me.

10. Is Warren of those freaks who doesn't take his shoes off until he goes to bed? This MF just running into the night barefoot?! Answer me damn you! (But seriously, continuity of clothing is important. If you would personally kick off your shoes in a situation, you expect a character to also do the same. I can tell you that my dormmates and I tended to have a no-shoe policy inside of the rooms. Granted, we kept ours clean and had carpet, so it was worth the trouble. But even inside the dorm itself there were a lot of bare feet or at most flip-flops.

11. Oh god! He's been sucked into the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Universe! And Mango is there!

12.  "“I’m from a small town”. You’re saying that like it’s a badge of honor! Everyone wants to be from a small town don’t they!" This is a true to life observation, so good job there! Nothing in college was as intense as the need kids had to be from the smallest town or whatever have you. It's a weird pride.

13. Warren seems too at ease with the sudden end of his wild night. Even if he wakes up thinking it was a dream, I'd expect some sort of introspection about it, even if it's just your classic "Oh, so I was just dreaming" moment.

All in all, I'd say it's a valiant dive back into the world of writing! There's some rust on you, but I'm betting you'll shake it off as you go along. The main thing at this point is that the characters feel a bit too much like characters, and not enough like real people. That's a tricky thing to work out though, so I won't bust your chops for it. Keep going and I look forward to what you write next!

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc:

Offline Manimal

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Re: Our World Inside The World
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2021, 08:36:30 PM »
Thanks for reading and making these points!

I wrote this before I thought out the characters and set-up fully. I'm so rusty! I was reading my older stories and wondering where that energy went. Now that I'm thinking about it I don't like the concept for this story. I really just want to make something about a dude and his friends being idiots. That's it.

So I'm just thinking of this as me trying to get the wheels rolling again and hoping I come up with a better idea as I go. Thanks again for pointing these things out!

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Our World Inside The World
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2021, 03:42:52 PM »
I gave it a read, I'll try and give a critique although I'm not great at it :P

I felt that the first chapter needed a bit more action or pop, whatever that is, to make the story more gripping. It sort of felt like a self-contained story just in the first chapter, and I didn't feel any sort of pull to read any more.

Also this might just be me skim reading but is this actually "sci-fi she's on another plane of existence", or just she's got such a different personality she'll change the room by being in it, sort of bright personality? It didn't really feel like anything out of the ordinary happened, except he randomly woke up at the end, which I took to be just a jump cut instead of a sci-fi element.

I really just want to make something about a dude and his friends being idiots. That's it.
Definitely got that from the first half :D

As far as manga/comic script writing goes I think you had a good style/format. Good simple explanations of the actions and details, but perhaps add more actions in the dialogue sections, such as facial expressions or movements. This is especially helpful in indicating sarcasm and other states where the speech doesn't naturally indicate the characters mood.

Good job on cranking out a chapter in a single day from having the idea, a nice turnaround for productivity!

I'll also be sharing my super rough stories soon, not looking forward to it ehehe 0_0;
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 03:56:24 PM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Manimal

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Re: Our World Inside The World
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2021, 07:26:08 PM »
Thanks for commenting! I will keep all this in mind. I'm stuck on what to do with this story now, maybe I just gotta draw some character designs. I want to stick with the first half but I feel it needs something else to be interesting.

As for the plane of existence it's just like...another world, or something. My friend said something that could turn into a good idea, what if someone was getting phone calls but they were coming from the 80's. I thought, wait that is so dumb it could actually work in a different way. So I thought, what if someone gets phone calls and they take him to a familiar but different world.

and share 'em! I find it a bit embarrassing to post stories but ultimately it helps me.