A Glimpse Behind the Curtain

When I write a Mary script, I set up a scene with as much description as I can for Joe.

Here’s an example of a Sunday script:

SUNDAY SCRIPT

1. New clothes.  It’s two days after they tried the wider course of antibiotics.  Mary has fallen asleep while sitting in a chair next to Jeff’s bed.  He’s sleeping too.

(BOX):            IT’S BEEN 48 HOURS SINCE A WIDER COURSE OF ANTIBIOTICS WAS ADMINISTERED TO JEFF.

2. Mary asleep sitting in a chair next to a sleeping Jeff who lies in bed.

(MARY):                    ZZZ…

3. As she sleeps sitting in a chair, Mary dreams of Jeff in open water again.  As in previous dreams he calls out to her for help.

(JEFF IN DREAM):   MARY, HELP ME!

4. Except this time, Mary dreams that she reaches out her hand to him from a boat she’s in.

(MARY IN DREAM):            TAKE MY HAND, JEFF!

5. In Mary’s dream, they strain and stretch their hands to each other, him to be saved , and her to save him from drowning.  Their hands are so close!  Will she be able to save him?

6. In Mary’s dream, she finally is able to grasp his hand in a life-saving move before pulling him out of deep water.  Perhaps a close-up of her hands grasping his hand to save him.

7/8.  Before the dream is completed, before she pulls him out, the dream is interrupted by real time Jeff waking up, much improved and looking at her from his hospital bed.  She is startled awake to find Him weakly smiling at her, clearly recognizing her, weakly grasping her hand.

(JEFF):            HEY…BEAUTIFUL…YOU’RE A…SIGHT FOR SORE EYES…MARY…

(MARY):        THANK GOODNESS, JEFF!  YOU’RE BACK.

Here’s the finished Sunday page that Joe created from my script:

MWSun2407 

Writing Mary Worth

Hi.  This is Karen Moy, writer of Mary Worth.  Welcome to the Mary Worth site.

When I tell people that I write Mary Worth, sometimes I’m asked how I do it. The answer, to quote Edison is, “One per cent inspiration, and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.”  The truth is it’s hard work.  It’s gratifying and wonderful, but it’s also time-sensitive, deadline- oriented, and 50% dependent on the artist I’m working with. Thankfully, I’m working with a great artist, the legendary Joe Giella.  It also helps that I love reading and telling a good story.

I read as much as I can to keep the strip fresh, and for new story ideas. Books, newspapers, magazines, the internet, television, personal conversations, casual observations…are some places I go to for inspiration. It’s been said that real life is stranger than fiction. So there’s plenty of fodder for a good story. Art mirrors life, and vice versa.

I try to give my stories happy endings, because that’s what I want to read. And if the story is meant to have a different kind of ending, I try to write one that imparts a soft blow and not a sharp pain in the gut.

SPOILER ALERT: Take, for example, one of the more popular stories that I’ve written: “Aldo Kelrast” (which is currently featured in the book, “Love and Other Stories of Mary Worth.”). The ending may not have been the happily ever after that comics readers are used to, but there was a deep reflection afterwards on the part of the characters involved. Sometimes that’s what’s needed. An inner meditation by the characters that makes them grow after a catalyzing event. Art mirrors life indeed.

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