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Old 03-14-2017, 12:31 PM   #1
sabba
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writing first cmic book script

i am trying to make a comic again but this time i am actually writing the story not just concept and characters. i am mainly a prose writer with dyslexic symptoms. funny thing i can see the story like mini movie in my head but cant write down directly. i have to write as prose first otherwise i get a mental block, it annoying but it how it has to be done. i realize there are variety in ways to write a script. any advise how would break down prose to comic script and where i can sample scripts from to help determine right way for me. taking this one a slower pace and right steps. Still have diamond rep contact that was interested in first comic. hopefully will retry that one eventually.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:27 PM   #2
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Have you considered the "Bechdel Method" a.k.a. visual scripting. I'm in almost the same boat as you--trying to "do it right" and create a good script before I start drawing. I made it through a first draft, and it was terribly frustrating turning the pictures in my head into words that will just need to be turned into pictures later. When I start the second draft I am probably going to use the visual scripting method this time.

For my traditional first draft what I did was make an outline in index cards. Then knowing how long I wanted the comic to be, I inserted extra cards for each page needed. Then you take those cards and break the synopsis into discrete actions that happen during that scene. That's basically the method described here: http://antonyjohnston.com/forwriters...ningcomics.php

The big problems I ran into were:

1.) It's easy to write certain things in an outline, that you can "see" in your head, but translating that one sentence into actual panels can be hard. Sometimes we think we see it in our head but if we look close it's not actually in focus. Example from my story--people acting strange.

2.) You can end up with a story that seems complete but there's no dialogue at all yet. And I struggled with coming up with that dialogue.

3.) Breaking the story down and then filling in the blanks can kind of lead to a lot of just moving the characters for point A to B for plot to happen. Or maybe that's just me.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:42 AM   #3
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I'm experimenting with "drawing the script" myself too, storyboarding it, each panel on a separate snippets of paper. I can then move these around, add or remove panels to see if the pacing works.

I have worked with scripts before, but I tend to change the script as I start thumb-nailing the first visual version. So maybe this visual approach is better for me, sketching the panels immediately, and then moving them around, adding and removing panels to get the story to work.

You might be interested in the book "Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice" by Ivan Brunetti. In it, he describes that same process, bypassing the text scripting stage and drawing the comic directly.

And an excellent online course I just followed that teaches you this method was over at the Sequential Artists Workshop:

http://sequentialartistsworkshop.thi...rytelling-flow

If the price of that course is too steep, he also wrote a book that generally goes over the same method:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/tom-hart/ho...-22818505.html

The book is partially finished, but buying and reading it was very much worth my money and time.

I understood important cartoonists like Chris Ware also use this method and they draw the comic directly without scripting it first.

There's an advantage to this approach: some ideas really are visual, you only discover them while doodling in your sketchbook. You see that with single-panel gag cartoons often also: you see the joke, and the only way the cartoonist could have come up with that joke was by noodling in his sketchbook because it is a visual joke.

And lastly, if you get a chance, you can read up on Commedia dell'Arte, a seventeenth-century theater form that had stock characters, and the actors would come up with the story while acting, improvising, without a script. It was always kind of the same story though: a man wants to marry a woman but her father is against it. Hilarity ensues.

This may not be for everyone, and a "regular" editor may not know what to do with this, and I am still experimenting with it, but the process of telling the story immediately in the final medium, bypassing a script, feels like it may work for me.

Anyway, my ignorant ill-informed two cents...
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:23 PM   #4
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Based on the old Stan Lee method:
Divide the main action on introduction, conflict, and resolution.
Write down what happen on each page panel by panel. Counting each three continuous panels as one sequence. Therefore, you will have two sequences of action for each page of 6 panels. For a 22-24 pages story you can have 6/8 scenes with no more than 3 pages per scene.
When having all the action set page by page you can introduce dialogue for each panel as needed. Dialogue would be the last thing to do in a comics script.
Stan Lee would work the dialogue after the artwork was done, actually.

Making the script in a more visual way:
Take an A4 copy paper sheet. Trace a line dividing the sheet on two halves and trace two horizontal lines for make three tiers .Now you have a grid with 6 panels in this page. Write describing the action on each panel. Rewrite and adjust as needed. Do this along your 22 pages. When this step is done, start writing dialogue for each panel as needed. Use a quarter of each panel for write dialogue and text captions on it.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribbly View Post
Based on the old Stan Lee method:
Divide the main action on introduction, conflict, and resolution.
Write down what happen on each page panel by panel. Counting each three continuous panels as one sequence. Therefore, you will have two sequences of action for each page of 6 panels. For a 22-24 pages story you can have 6/8 scenes with no more than 3 pages per scene.
When having all the action set page by page you can introduce dialogue for each panel as needed. Dialogue would be the last thing to do in a comics script.
Stan Lee would work the dialogue after the artwork was done, actually.

Making the script in a more visual way:
Take an A4 copy paper sheet. Trace a line dividing the sheet on two halves and trace two horizontal lines for make three tiers .Now you have a grid with 6 panels in this page. Write describing the action on each panel. Rewrite and adjust as needed. Do this along your 22 pages. When this step is done, start writing dialogue for each panel as needed. Use a quarter of each panel for write dialogue and text captions on it.
Cheers.
Good post. Lot of people shit on the way Stan wrote (including a lot of his artist) but it is really the easiest way to script out a full comicbook.

Just remember. A panel is a single moment in time and a full page is normally just a few minutes. Keep your dialogue count down to around 140 words a page.

You will be fine.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:11 PM   #6
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There are so many variables in comics (how many pages, how many panels per page, how much text in a panel, etc) that its almost impossible to impose one universal template for all comic scripts.

The closest thing we have to a universal template is the method of literally just describing each panel and writing out the dialogue in script form. Its very similar to screenwriting. This method works best for writer/artists who already know what the page is going to look like because they're going to draw it. A writer who can't draw, but at least understands comic storytelling and can effectively lay out pages, will also be able to work this way. But a writer who just knows prose and has no idea how to adapt a story into a comic is going to have the roughest time. Basically what you'll need is a very patient artist who will adapt your prose to comics the way a screenwriter adapts a novel.

People often compare comics to movies, but they're more like slideshows of movies. Having a movie in your head is only the first step. To make a comic you need to boil that movie down to a handful of images and present them in a way that creates the illusion of a fluid story. That's a skill all its own.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:13 PM   #7
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I found the sources:
Stan Lee's original full script method:

(Published in year 1947)



And here's John Buscema's visual script method:


Stan Lee would add the dialogue after the artwork at the right was done.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribbly View Post
I found the sources:
Stan Lee's original full script method:

(Published in year 1947)



And here's John Buscema's visual script method:


Stan Lee would add the dialogue after the artwork at the right was done.
You rawk!! I believe I saw this in one of the Marvel Bullpen thing they used to do!
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