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JeremyB

Visual Novel Script

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I'm working on a script for a visual novel I'm hoping to get developed. I have a bit of trouble with various aspects of writing, but I still love it. I'm just wondering if I can get some pointers, and help on what I've got so far. My weak points are: Fleshing out ideas, and not having everything seem rushed.
 
I started defining Abel as a tougher character after the accident, so there's going to be some character incosistacnies part way through chapter 1. I need a lot of advice, so feel free to shoot me some.
 
INTRO FLASHBACK: FALSE MEMORY
 
YARD - DAY
 
FADE IN:
 
PAN IMAGE: Abel’s home, a beautiful property built on the salary of an accomplished accountant. 
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
ABEL’S ENTRY - DAY
 
[Abel] Honey, I’m home.
 
[Abel] Honey?
 
[Abel] Where is she off to?
 
[Abel] Honey?
 
[Wife] I’m in here…
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
ABEL’S LIVINGROOM - DAY
 
IMAGE: Abel’s wife is waiting for him dressed in sexy clothing.
 
[Wife] It’s about time you got home. Long day at work?
 
[Abel] It’s always a long day keeping books. The office was rushed, but luckily I was able to get out of there early.
 
[Abel] Just like I promised.
 
[Abel] You look beautiful by the way.
 
[Wife] I do, don’t I?
 
[Abel] Too beautiful.
 
[Wife] *Laughs*
 
[Wife] Thanks.
 
[Wife] I didn’t want to waste your only early day this month, so I prepared something special for us… I hope you like it.
 
PAN IMAGE: Coffee table set up with frills, flowers, and a bottle of whine.
 
[Abel] Wow, you really went out of your way this time, didn’t you?
 
[Wife] We deserve it, don’t we? How longs it been?
 
[Abel] Too long.
 
[Abel] Maybe later we could…
 
[Wife] Shh...
 
[Wife] Come.
 
Dissolve: Fade screen black.
 
SOUND: Bottle top popping. Giggling. 
 
SOUND: Pouring of wine.
 
CHAPTER 1: STRANGE NIGHT
 
TAVERN - NIGHT (Future)
 
TEXT: 10 years later.
 
PAN IMAGE:  A glass of whiskey sitting on the bar. Ashtray filled with butts.
 
IMAGE: Abel’s eyes looking tired… Lost.
 
IMAGE: Abel’s glass of whiskey on the bar.
 
ANIMATION:Screen flashes white, the glass cracks in front of Abel.
 
SOUND:  Glass crashing, as if a car accident.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
PAN IMAGE: Crashed car. A woman lying dead in the road. A baby carriage laid on its side.
 
SOUND: Sirens in the distance.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
ANIMATION: Glass un-cracks. 
 
[Abel] No! Not again… I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.
 
[Abel] Why can’t you just leave me the hell alone?
 
[Bartender] Are you alright?
 
IMAGE: Bartender wiping counter.
 
[Bartender] You look a little lost.
 
[Abel] I’m fine.
 
[Bartender] You sure, man?
 
[Abel] Yeah... 
 
[Abel] Get me another one. I’m not big on idle chat these days.
 
SOUND: Door opening.
 
[Bartender] You got it.
 
IMAGE: Rough looking men coming in off the street.
 
SOUND: Liquor pouring.
 
IMAGE: Leader of the ruffian pack.
 
[Leader] Did you see the way that chick looked at me?
 
[Ruffian] She was looking at me, dummy.
 
[Leader] You wish she was looking at you!
 
[Leader] A girl like that wouldn’t be interested in someone like you!
 
[Ruffian] How do you know?
 
[Leader] Real woman, like real men.
 
[Leader] You hardly fit the bill!
 
[Ruffian] Gee, thanks.
 
TRANSITION: FLASH.
 
PAN IMAGE: Abel’s eyes looking annoyed.
 
SOUND: Cup set down.
 
[Bartender] Here you go.
 
[Abel] Thanks.
 
TRANSITION: Flash.
 
SOUND: Leader of ruffians bumping into glass.
 
TRANSITION: Flash.
 
PAN IMAGE: Whiskey glass overturned. Ruffian standing beside Abel.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
IMAGE: Ruffian leader doesn’t look serious, smug look on face.
 
[Leader] Oh… Sorry, buddy *Laugh*
 
[Leader] Get me a drink, bartender. I could use a stiff one.
 
[Ruffian] Me too.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve
 
IMAGE: Bartender.
 
[bartender] You’re too drunk to be in here, boys!
 
[Bartender] Go on!
 
[Bartender] Get out of here!
 
[Leader] G-Get me a damn drink, old man!
 
[Leader] Now!
 
[Bartender] Get out!
 
TRANSITION: Flash white.
 
IMAGE: Abel stands, knocking aside the leader.
 
[Abel] I’m not your buddy, kid.
 
IMAGE: Leader knocked back. Face looks startled.
 
ANIMATION: Leaders face turns into a begrudging look.
 
[Leader] - Oh-Ho! A tough guy?
 
[Ruffian] - You’re gonna regret that, dude.
 
IMAGE: Ruffians preparing for fight. Two ruffians beside leader rubbing their knuckles.
 
TRANSITION: Battle start transition.
 
[Battle with ruffians. Player loses.]
 
ALLEY - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: Abel getting tossed out of the bar, into a trash heap.
 
PAN IMAGE: Abel lying in trash heap, rubbing his head.
 
IMAGE: Abel laying in the rubbish.
 
[Abel] Ugh… My head.
 
[Abel] My damn head.
 
IMAGE: Abel standing by the garbage.
 
[Abel] Punks…
 
[Abel] Who do they think they?
 
IMAGE: Abel looking around.
 
[Abel] Maybe I better get home.
 
[Abel] It’s been a long night.
 
IMAGE: Abel staggering down the alley. 
 
[Abel] This should cut down the walk.
 
IMAGE: Farther down the alley. Fire glowing in the distance. Two homeless guys are standing near a fire.
 
[Homeless1]  Damn, it’s pretty chilly out here, man.
 
IMAGE: Homeless2 breaths into his hands.
 
[Homeless2] Yea’ and I haven’t ate all day, either.
 
[Homeless2] Missed the kitchen to do some paperwork for the shelter payment support system.
 
[Homeless1] I got a leftover sandwich. 
 
[Homeless2] Want it?
 
IMAGE: Homeless2’s eyes light up.
 
[Homeless2]  Sure, man. 
 
[Homeless2] Thanks.
 
IMAGE: Abel nears the garbage can.
 
IMAGE: Homeless2 starts to look sick.
 
[Homeless2] I don’t…
 
[Homeless2]  Ugh...Feel so good.
 
[Homeless1] You alright?
 
[Homeless1]  Buddy?
 
IMAGE: Change comes over homeless2. His eyes glow dark neon purple.
 
[Homeless1] Ben?
 
[Homeless1] Ugh.. Arg! 
 
IMAGE: Change comes over homeless1 and his eyes glow purple as well.
 
[Abel] - What the hell is going on?
 
[Homeless1]  Time to die.
 
[Abel] H- hold on. 
 
[Abel] What do think you’re getting at?
 
TRANSITION: Battle transition.
 
[During this fight Abel is able to pick up a pipe for his first weapon]
 
IMAGE: The homeless men are lying dead on the ground. 
 
IMAGE: Abel looks puzzled. 
 
[Abel] Oh God, what did I do?
 
[Abel] I killed them...
 
IMAGE: Homeless2 with strange fluid leaking out of his mouth.
 
[User clicks fluid to advance.]
 
IMAGE: Abel has fluid on his fingertips. 
 
ANIMATION: Crosshairs circle the fluid. A readout on the screen shows this is oil.
 
[Abel] Oil… HY-280.
 
[Abel] How do I know this?
 
SOUND: Commotion at the end of the alley.
 
IMAGE: Abel looks startled.
 
IMAGE: More glowing neon purple eyes at the end of the alley.
 
TRANSITION: Flash… Screen white.
 
VOID - UNKNOWN
 
TEXT: You’re all alone…
 
[Abel] Wha- Who are you?!
 
TEXT: They’re all alone inside…
 
[Abel] What are you talking about!?
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
ALLEY - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: Abel looking around.
 
IMAGE: Doorway.
 
[Voice] Go in…
 
IMAGE: Glowing eyes getting closer.
 
[Abel]  I gotta get out of here.
 
SOUND: Door opening. 
 
ABANDONED APARTMENTS ENTRANCE - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: By door.
 
[Abel] What the hell’s going on out there?
 
[Abel] This can’t be happening.
 
[Abel] I got to get this door blocked.
 
[Abel can click a piece of bent medal to put it in the door handle]
 
IMAGE: Medal bar in the door.
 
SOUND: Banging on the door.
 
ANIMATION: Door moving with pounding.
 
[Abel] Great.
 
[Abel] I gotta get out of here.
 
IMAGE: Hallway.
 
[Voice] Through…
 
SOUND: Static glitch
 
[Voice] Through here, Dennis.
 
[Abel] De- Who’s Dennis?
 
[Abel] I’m not Dennis!
 
SOUND: Static glitch.
 
[Voice] Come on Dr. Bower. Down the hall.
 
IMAGE: Hall.
 
ANIMATION: Overlay a hospital like hallway.
 
SOUND: Crack noise.
 
IMAGE OVERLAY ANIMATION: Overlay opaque slow pulsing red cracks.
 
[Abel] Argh!
 
IMAGE: Abel on his knees.
 
[Abel] God, my head hurts.
 
[Voice] Hurry. There isn’t much time.
 
HALLWAY - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: In hallway.
 
[Voice] Keep going…
 
IMAGE: hallway walking by apartment rooms.
 
IMAGE OVERLAY: Apartments of hallway turns into wards, with glass windows.
 
IMAGE: Looking in one of the windows. Patient is sitting on floor rocking back and forth.
 
[Voice] Dr. Bowen, the patient is showing signs of neurological unrest.
 
[Abel] Who is this guy?
 
Sound: Abel knocking on the window.
 
[Abel] Hello?
 
IMAGE: Patient is alerted.
 
SOUND: Siren.
 
[Voice] Dr. Bowen, there’s a level yellow situation in genetical containment.
 
[Abel] What?
 
IMAGE: Abel walks the hallway. Hallway looks normal again.
 
IMAGE: Glowing neon purple eyes at the end of the hallway. 
 
IMAGE: Rats emerge from the darkness with glowing eyes.
 
[Abel] Not again.
 
TRANSITION: Battle transition.
 
[Commence battle with transanimal rats.]
 
[Abel] What the hell were those things?!
 
[Abel] Those rats weren’t normal.
 
[Abel] How can this happen?
 
ANIMATION: Electronic particles.
 
IMAGE: A young boy.
 
[Abel] - W- Who the hell are you?
 
[Boy] - Through here...
 
IMAGE: Boy points towards second hallway.
 
[Abel] Wait.
 
ANIMATION: The boy vanishes.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
[Abel] - Ugh!
 
[Abel] - Whatever. I’m getting out of here.
 
ABANDONED APARTMENT SECOND HALLWAY - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: SECOND HALLWAY
 
[Abel] - Where too now?
 
IMAGE: Farther down the hall there’s a door with a metal box beside it.
 
[Abel] - An exit!
 
IMAGE: Abel walks to the door.
 
[Mouse click the door to find out it’s locked.]
 
[Sound] - Door rattles
 
[Abel] - Damn!
 
[Voice] - Use the computer panel.
 
[Mouse click the panel to open computer lock]
 
ANIMATION: Panel opened.
 
[Click panel to place hand on computer.]
 
IMAGE: Abel’s hand on the computer.
 
Abel - I can feel it.
 
Abel - It’s alive.
 
Abel - I can feel its vibrations, like a heart beating under my palm.
 
[Lock game - Match Game]
 
SOUND: Lock opening.
 
Abel - Got it.
 
[Click door to open it.]
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
LEINSTER ST - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: Abel stands on the street at night.
 
PAN IMAGE: Empty Street.
 
[Abel] I’m going home before I get killed out here. 
 
[Abel] Whatever those things are, I’ve had enough of them.
 
[Abel] I’m not about to be stomped to death by some steroid junkies on a new drug.
 
[Map icon flashes in upper corner - Abel is able to travel home.]
 
HOME ENTRANCE - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: Abel standing in doorway.
 
[Abel] I’ve had as much of this day as I can take. 
 
[Abel] I’m ready for bed.
 
IMAGE: Abel hangs his coat on a hanger by the door.
 
[Abel] Lock the door!
 
IMAGE: Abel puts the deadbolt in place.
 
[Abel] Now bed.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve.
 
HOME BEDROOM - NIGHT
 
IMAGE: Abel is in his room.
 
[Abel] - Sleep.
 
[Abel] now...
 
IMAGE: Abel lying in bed.
 
[Abel] - Hopefully I won’t wake up tomorrow.
 
[Abel] - Or ever.
 
TRANSITION: Dissolve Black.

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It's important to keep in mind that every line (or any two lines, when spoken by two characters in rapid
succession) is a visual frame. You need to consider whether each line can make a visually compelling frame,
that keeps the reader wanting to continue reading.
You should certainly think about what each frame depicts (whether or not it needs to be described in your
script).
Have you read Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud? He also wrote a sequel, Reinventing Comics.

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