View Full Version : A question about writing in general...

04-02-2003, 03:43 AM
Wow... I don't believe I've ever actually stepped foot in this forum before, in all this time. Probably becasue I never was much of a writer before recently... aside from some of the stories and the little two-page comics I did for Club Z! kids magazine when I was the illustrator (hey, you do what can to vary up your workload).

But lately I've been pushing myself to concentrate on this property I've been working on for a few years now, off and on... it's always been more of a pet project than anything, but I'd liketo push it a little farther.

So I started actually trying to write a viable story for this material I wanted to create, and wouldn't you know it just got more and more complicated... I knew what sort of aesthetic I wanted to create, but I felt that I wanted a world with solid reasons for the visual imagery I desired. That meant every time I came up with a reason for, say, people to wear modern-style clothing in a fantasy world, I had to think about the repercussions of that reason and the various impacts that it might have on the rest of the world... I mean, if a person has rubber soles on their shoes, wouldn't that mean they'd probably have rubber tires on their wheels? This leads to some very interesting aspects of the world emerging on their own and so on... it makes the world interesting, I think.

So I hauled out all the old stuff from school about creative writing that I had forgotten about inthe years since... I started brainstorming on paper, figuring out how to get a plot that twist and turns stisfyingly but still tells the basic story I want to tell, and says what I want to say.

So, now I have a copious amount of notes, both digital and scribbled, and I start outlining the story. It's a bit easier since I have all these elements that sort of sprouted, about the nature of commerce and government and life in general in this little fantasy world of mine... I begin to shape some characters, give them motives both open and secret, put them together and send them on their way...

But now I need to start wrting the details, the actual STORY that weaves all this together. And I'm kinda lost... I intend to write this out for comics, at least for now... but I'm not sure if I should try to write it in prose first, then break it down into a script, or jsut try to think of it as a script to begin with.

And as far as script formatting goes, is it better to describe things by panel. or just describe a scene and then be creative about the pacing as you go? I'll probably be drawing this as well as writing, so does it really matter if I have a real script, or is it feasible to work with a loose framework? Which is likely to cause me less grief as a writer and artist?

Sorry about the long-ass soliloquiy... I'm treading in unfamiliar waters, now...

04-02-2003, 08:21 AM
First of all, Welcome, Inkthinker to thewritersdesk!!!!! (even though Ive seen you post elsewhere)

Well, what I did was I wrote in prose first (hvng more experience in that area). That helped me get my ideas down and a general flow.

Then I broke that down in a script form, a longer form. Then again as a proper page by page detail.

I know it sounds convoluted but it did help me "think" in the way of the script!

Denny O Neill's book was a real help in clearing it all up for me. Maybe you shld check it out?

I hope that helped you some. Looking fwd to seeing more of your work here, always happy to crit when I can :)

Good luck!

04-02-2003, 11:26 AM
Hey IT,

Welcome to the world of writing.

For what it is worth, I live in Tampa too. Small world.

I write directly to script. The format took some getting used to, as you can see from each of the scripts I have posted. Banshee has had a similiar road, as far as the learning curve goes, but she is definately someone to pay attention to.

The most important advice I can offer is: just write. Too many of us get paralyzed trying to find the perfect format, or system, or whatever. Perfection is a road, not a destination (snatch the pebble from my hand, grasshopper). Your first script/story will be much worse than you tenth, and so on. The more you write, the better you become. Just sit down, and get started. Do not worry about how perfect it is. It gets easier and better with each finished piece... the kick is you actually have to finish the piece. And post your stuff in the hope of getting some good, hard crits. You do not have to agree with them, but take them in nonetheless.

I look forward to seeing your stuff.


04-02-2003, 12:00 PM
Wing it like hell

04-02-2003, 12:01 PM
From an artist's point of view, when I write, I have the panels in mind already. In fact, I'll get a synopsis, then flesh out some historical details needed for the story, then almost start right in with some panel thumbnails.

It's actually more to it than that, but let's just say since I'm more worried about the artistic side and how it will look rather than how it will read, I end up trying to mix in the pacing, the panel flow, the dialogue and the plot(s) all at the same time.

Plus I'm damned impatient. Once I have the idea, figuring out plot points, how many climaxes per page range, dialogue, it all goes out the window.

What I end up with is more like a clay pot than a story, if you can picture that. I have the whole lump of clay and I just keep adding water to it and shaping it en mass until it's where I want it, rather than building the story brick by brick.

To answer your question, if you're writing for an artist, then be an artist in your writing. Remember that visual queues are much more important that 10 pages of motivation or Herbert-esque internal turmoil. If you're writing for a specific artist, they should be involved in deciding how it's layed out. Some cats like having it spelled out for them, some like hearing the words "creative freedom." It all depends.

04-02-2003, 10:36 PM
thank u Chip :) that be real kind!

great advice for the most part given by all :) Go for it, Inkthinker! I'd be happy to read/crit whatever you post up, may not always be straight away but I will do so! Keep on practisiing!

why not surf around this board and see what's available, look at the reference materials quoted or whoever has written scripts and crit their work. Do some test runs of your own.

Well, good luck, Inkthinker! Looking fwd to seeing more of your stuff! write, write, write!

later days

04-03-2003, 05:04 AM
There are two basic schools of thought for script writing. The classic "Panel by panel" format or what is generally called the "Marvel style" where you give the description of what happens on the page and let the artist flesh it out. Each has its place.

I think the Marvel style works best when an artist and a writer have a good working relationship or knowledge of each other's work. You get a feel for the other guys work and have an idea of what to expect. The Panel by Panel is a great tool to be sure that everthing you want is actually there. If its in the panel description, then you can feel comfortably sure the artist will put in in the panel (though, that doesnt always happen... but thats a whole different topic)

Personally, I think the style that you choose is really up to you and how you feel the story needs to be told. How important are the visual details like "Where so and so stands in a panel" and so on. It sounds, from your description, that some panel by panel would suit the ideas you have as you have done such a nice job paying attention to some of the little details which tend to get lost in a full page description, which is much better for giving a "feel" for the page rather than details.

as to how you go about actually writing a script...
I can only tell you how I started. I would write descriptions and piles of dialogue then more descriptions where needed... almost like pros, a sort of psuedo-script. Fromt there, I went back in and broke things up into panels then finally, looked at the panels and began deciding where the page breaks needed to be. This is a poor way to design a page as there are a lot more things to consider for a page but it was how I learned to write and feel comfortable writing in a comic script style.

04-03-2003, 09:59 AM
That's funny, V (I mean the way you build a script). Funny in an interesting way, not a sarcastic way. It still amazes me how many different ways there are to do this biz.

I build an idea in my head. I get to know my characters, and let them write the story. I don't normally use any notes. I am way too impatient to take notes. I love to dive into the story with wild abandon. Heck, I do not even read the script until AFTER I have finished typing the WHOLE thing, and even then, the revisions tend to be minimal.

Of course, I would recommend your way of doing it, V, not mine. Your way creates a better foundation for the story. And a better foundation usually not only makes the writer's job easier, but usually makes the story better as well.


04-03-2003, 10:27 AM
well... that is what I do after building all of the characters and such. Characters basically write my story for me, also. But he has already done all of that research and development, so I figured I would skip all of that stuff.

that is not how I do it now. Now I am much more conscious of page layout and design. I am now visualizing pages at a time and writing from that. What I described was when I very first was trying to write in the comic book format and didn't understand it as well as I do now. So, my process is quite a bit different now.

04-20-2003, 06:42 PM
If you're doing both the script and the art, you don't need a script--unless you have an editor that insists on it. And, even then, a plot would probably be sufficient for an editor.

I would suggest first writing a plot. Remember, a plot is the series of events that make up the narrative. Disrupt a status quo to create a story situation, then have characters deal with obstacles and complications until they reach some sort of conclusive resolution to the situation.

After writing the plot, I like to act the story out in my mind and write down the bare minimum of dialogue and captions needed to convey the story. As for panel descriptions, I'm not worrying about that at this point. Indeed, if you're doing the artwork yourself, you can just keep that stuff in your head.

Then, I break the dialogue and captions (which I've written in sequence) into pages, then into panels. If necessary, I do a little rewriting to get the right fit and the right pace.

At that point, I use the dialogue and captions as my script. If I had to provide a written script for someone else to illustrate, I could easily add in panel descriptions and type it up in script format.

Not necessarily the best way to do it, but that's what works for me.

05-04-2003, 02:08 AM
it seems to me your going through what every writer does as they evolve, your getting side tracted. it happens to us all. i get side tracted every time i sit down to write. your focusing to hard on the little details that will probably never come to light in your comic, and if for some reason you do need to explain it, then cross that bridge when you come to it. yeah if you were writing a novel then yes all these details are important, however you have an advantage that novelist don't, your writing for a comic and as such your imagery can iron out some of those details for you. this isn't always the case but it does work out more times than not. i hope my little diatribe has helped more than confused but i tend to ramble at points and i can't help that.

Dinnin Do'Urden
05-20-2003, 01:43 AM
-come up with a general plot

-think of ways to make the plot more interesting, plot twist, etc. Brain storm.

-on a new sheet of paper, layout 22 pages and write down generally what is on each page.

-have in mind the ending, from the begining of the writing process so you know which direction you are heading.

-I try and come up with three arcs to my stories and have each arc have a climax, this is one way of knowing where the story is heading during each phase of the story.

-pick a character to tell the story, to see what is happening through this characters point of veiw.

-try to keep the story moving foreward and don't allow the supporting cast or subplot to get in the way of the main plot.

-each and every scene cannot be a shoot em' up bang job, but each and every scene should be there for a reason. If there is no reason for a scene to be there then cut it and throw it away.

-try and pace the action, give the readers a chance to breath in between action scenes by not having every scene a fist fight or chase, throw in a low key meeting or a slow paced subplot for instance.

-read the kind of stories you want to write and read them some more.

-Write, write, write, write and then write some more.

-Friggen wing it.

Hope this helps a little. Hope I didn't confuse anyone. I'm still learning myself. If I come up with anything else I'll post it.

Here are some of the books I keep handy and read every so often:

-Elements of Fiction Writing: PLOT by Ansen Dibell

-Making a good script great by Linda Seger

-The Writers partner by Martin Roth

-50 ways to beat the hollywood script reader by Jennifer Lerch.

-Playbo... Oh, whoops.

Anyways, I have a few more but I'll have to search through my messy room. sooo... I'll leave you with a good luck and good night.