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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 845
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if I'm the person to go by, but I write out a script that looks like a play script -- dialog with a few stage directions. That gives me an idea of where the story is going, and what sort of dialog bubbles I'm looking at. Then I draw up the storyboards using that as my guide.

I have a pretty good idea of what the story is, and the scenes I want already before I start scripting, but I find that writing them down in script form makes me pay more attention to details and flow and pacing and that kind of stuff, than I do when I'm watching 'in-my-head theater'.

Personally I don't worry about paneling when I script, I worry about that in the storyboard stage -- that's what its for. Smile
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Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 2458
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I script panel by panel, page by page. For each panel, I start with the size and shape the panel will be, then describe what's in that panel in detail, sometimes also including information about some of the colours that appear in that panel. Then I put the text that's going to appear in that panel. So a page description might look like this:

Panel 1.
Half page establishing shot. Looking from above down into an underground steampunk settlement. There are bare pipes everywhere, and at least three levels with metal stairs between them and walkways between the left and right sections. A few people can be seen on the walkways, or working in the machinery. Gas lamps illuminate them and some parts of the walkways, while other areas are in shadow. The setting is mainly brown and grey. Some bits of metal shine yellowy in the lamplight, others are rusty - redish brown. The people are dressed more colourfully, in yellows and blues and greens and reds, but their clothes are pretty dirty, so those colours are faded, and their hands and the bottoms of their trousers are covered in soot.

Caption, top left corner: "I was born in New Harveton."

Panel 2.
Quarter page, bottom left. Fred Bloggs is turning a valve. He is about 13 here, and wearing only trousers and a waistcoat, no shoes. He is crouched on a pipe about a foot in diameter, his arm stretched out to reach the valve, which is fixed to another pipe which has a narrower pipe going up from it right before the valve.

Speech bubble, tail off panel pointing down. "Fred!"

Panel 3.

Quarter page panel. The pipe Fred is on from beneath, and slightly back a bit. Fred is looking down from above the pipe; you can see his face, with his ear-length hair falling past his face, looking at the camera. One hand can just be seen at the same edge of the pipe. There is moss on the bottom of the pipe, and a drip of water.

Text: Speech bubble, Fred. "Done, boss."

Not that the above is relating to anything, I just made it up on the spot. Ideally, I'd have a plot before I start writing the script, and probably a chapter-by-chapter outline too. Or, if it's a longform comic composed of shorter storylines, I'd have the storyline drafted and at least some idea of the progression of the whole comic in each storyline.
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Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the most part I script GB like a screenplay, with dialogue and some stage directions. I don't break it up into panels until I start doing the rough page, though, and if I'm stuck I write full-on prose because I think better that way.

For shorts, I just write out a quick outline of what happens and then jump into the roughs/thumbnails right away.
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Joined: 09 Jan 2009
Posts: 109
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like having a script before I begin any drawing. I use Word to work something up with the dialog and simple stage direction, print it out and use it to block out dialog areas in my template. Once I know where everything goes, then I can start drawing in figures. I use the blocking process to do some editing as well, either clearing up the dialog or cutting it down so it doesn't take up too much space.

Very rarely does the final strip match the original script, but the tone remains. Switching to using a handwriting font over my usual hand lettering adds another editing step to the process - which is nice in that it allows me to completely rewrite dialog if something better pops into my head. (With the trade-off being my propensity for typos. Grr.)
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Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 189
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For MIDTOON, I cut a sheet or paper into strips and start doing sketches. If I feel pretty inspired (have more than a couple ideas jumping at me) I fold the paper in four instead of cutting it (because the ideas will be in the right order.

Those strips of paper apropriately are my strips. I usually group them into chapters (called weeks, before, when Midtoon was meant to be a daily strip) and put them in some kind of order.

Please note that there is a peculiarity in my comic that doesn't let me plan it too far ahead (alhough I pretty much have season 1 already scripted) and is the following:

Midtoon is a democracy, meaning that there are polls where the readers can vote and those polls have bearing on the destiny of the storyline. Previous polls have determined what a character does (one chapter was about that) also one character changed her look based on polls (and again, her change takes one chapter) so if I plan too far ahead, and the polls don't go the way I expect, I can end up losing material.

It is a lot of fun, though, to see what the voters choose.
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Ich bin ein webcomicker

Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2635
Location: Sunny/wet/windy Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess if I were working with someone I'd produce a more formal-looking script they could understand. But since it's just me, I scribble a story outline with key beats (events/climaxes) and snippets of key dialogue:
4 pirate ships appear on screen, Gunner suspects Slasher sent the pirates a signal but Slasher convinces him otherwise, Gunner gives Slasher his gun back and tells him to think up a plan, fast!

...which translated into 6 panels for today's update.

I'm working on adding an About page for each of my comics, based on tidied-up story outlines.
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