1. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    Writing a comic script

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Anders Backlund, Mar 17, 2010.

    Good news, everybody! I'm not blocked anymore.

    Or, well, I am, but not entirely. Instead of working on my novel project I have this new idea I want to write on. But that's still serious improvement compared to a few weeks ago, so I'm not complaining.

    Thing is, my idea turned out to be a comic book/manga type thing. While I'm not much of a graphical artist myself, I figure that if I write it I can always find someone else to draw it for me. Now, I know the basics of writing scripts -your interiors and exteriors and so on- but I've never really been good at it.

    So I was basically wondering if anyone here has had experience with this sort of thing and has any advice that might be useful.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    comic book mss are not written in the same format as either prose, or screenplay/tv/stage scripts...

    you should google for sample format or actual mss...

    find writing sites for comics and graphic novel writers and ask for advice there, from those who write them...

    as for finding an artist, i doubt anyone worth using would do it for free, since there's no guarantee you'll ever sell it...

    good luck with the project!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Guidelines for writing comics and graphic novels aren't as strict as for other forms. The most important thing really is the quality of your writing rather than adhering to an arbitrary structure. Alan Moore, for instance, writes intensely detailed scripts almost in prose form (the script for Watchmen was longer than a typical novel), whereas writers like Grant Morrison write more along the lines of a film script (even going as far as to appropriate some film jargon in his writing). So really, as long as it is clear, understandable and inventive, don't worry too much about format.
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If you do a search for comic script examples, there are a few sites out there with pro examples. The first thing you will notice is that they are all pretty different. There is no clear structure, sort of like how screenplays started out.

    Many don't do the interior exterior thing. They just describe what is happening and where. One thing you will find that is common among them is that they don't spend much time setting up the scene. A paragraph is all that is needed, and only at the beginning of the scene. From that point on, a page or two, they refer back to the objects in the scene they already described. What is important is that your artist can draw panels based on your writing.

    Another commonality is that they write in pages and panels. I think the 4-5-6 panel pages work best. 8 panel pages are harder to work with in my opinion. I'm speaking as the artist.

    So you write a brief description of what is happening in each panel. Be sure to capitalize all narration and dialog, so the artist can just copy and paste from the manuscript.

    Good luck with your project. :)
     
  5. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the advice so far. I'll try finding some script examples and see if anything fits my style.

    That's the chief thing I'm worried about right now - how much direction I'm supposed to give the artist. I do tend to think the whole thing in pictures, so I usually get a pretty clear idea of what each panel should look like.

    On the other hand, I have a brother who's in training to become a comic book artist (alas, not interested in drawing my work at this time) and talking to him about the subject has given me the impression that composing a comic page is kind of an artform in itself.
     

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