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Author Topic: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.  (Read 1557 times)

Steven Denton

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Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« on: 31 January, 2012, 10:26:18 pm »
OK, I have a problem, my scripts read better in script form than they do in comic form. It’s not that they turn out badly and it’s a problem with the writing not the art work but I’m loosing something in the transition from script to strip.

Any one else have this problem?

Simud

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #1 on: 31 January, 2012, 10:42:05 pm »
Can you be more specific? For example, could you post a sample page from your script and comic?

First thing that comes to my mind is 'visualisation'. Do you feel you're 'seeing' your comic while writing the script? That may be a common problem when 'literary' writers. But even being too 'cinematic' could be a problem as well. If you post some samples perhaps we could be more helpful.

Professor Bear

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #2 on: 31 January, 2012, 11:23:59 pm »
Whether good or bad, the artist will never draw it exactly like you think it should/will turn out.  It could be that which is the problem - otherwise you might be being too polite to admit that maybe the artist took a wrong turn.  Hard to say without examples of what you see as problematic.

Steven Denton

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #3 on: 01 February, 2012, 12:14:16 am »
Good point. I really do need to back this up with examples.

I’m certainly not unhappy with how my strips have turned out, far from it! But I’m about to start a new round of literary terrorism and I’m determined to improve.

I think my Bad Company story in the latest Zarjaz read better on the page. I wonder if I wrote the panel descriptions more entertainingly then I actually told the story. (The art is very nice and depicted pretty much exactly what I asked so I’m entirely sure the issue is my writing)

Jared Katooie

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #4 on: 01 February, 2012, 12:43:38 am »
Maybe the best way is to look at the finished product as if you're reading it for the first time. Think about the sort of stuff you like to see in a comic.

Remember that readers won't get to see any of the behind the scenes stuff, so everything should make sense just from reading the finished product.

locustsofdeath!

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #5 on: 01 February, 2012, 02:31:12 am »
Maybe the best way is to look at the finished product as if you're reading it for the first time. Think about the sort of stuff you like to see in a comic.

Remember that readers won't get to see any of the behind the scenes stuff, so everything should make sense just from reading the finished product.

This is good advice. I don't want to pretend that I know what I'm talking about, but what I've found really works for me is this: I spin through the rough draft, focusing on the panel descriptions and only making quick notes or summaries of what I want the dialogue or captions to say. Then I clean up the panel descriptions with my second draft, getting all the action down exactly the way I want; and finally, with my third draft I only concentrate on making the dialogue and captioning the best I can.

And finally finally, when the artist is all finished, I ask for a final polish - sometimes you can gain so much inspiration by looking at what the artist has done. That way, it's a real give and take!

The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #6 on: 01 February, 2012, 08:04:52 am »

And finally finally, when the artist is all finished, I ask for a final polish - sometimes you can gain so much inspiration by looking at what the artist has done. That way, it's a real give and take!

If I see the pencils for something, I nearly always change the script to suit. Not a lot - but maybe moving a line from one panel to another. If I see it inked, I say nothing.
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Steven Denton

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #7 on: 01 February, 2012, 11:32:21 am »

Remember that readers won't get to see any of the behind the scenes stuff, so everything should make sense just from reading the finished product.

I think this is closest to the mark. I try and keep my panel descriptions clear but evocative, and open enough that the artist has a fairly free hand with interpretation. Bad Company was the first time in years I have tried to write a script with a lot of captions and in the end my panel descriptions and captions may well have ended up merging in the script. This would have led to me becoming muddled about what the finished strip is intended to look like and consequently I lost sight of the pacing and storytelling. 

John Caliber

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #8 on: 01 February, 2012, 03:06:32 pm »
It's useful to have a good working partnership with the artist, letterer, colourist, etc. They can each - if they have the necessary talent - augment the script's intent, and keep you in the loop as they go about it. The artist critically can add or subtract panels or merge text balloons to make the pacing more effective.

I don't like the compartmentalised system whereby each person along the creative chain is unable - or unwilling - to communicate with those before or after him in the system.
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locustsofdeath!

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #9 on: 01 February, 2012, 05:24:58 pm »
I try and keep my panel descriptions clear but evocative, and open enough that the artist has a fairly free hand with interpretation.

Yeah, that's a good way to go. Your words have to inspire the artist (you've drawn enough scripts, so I'm sure you know), so I'd keep doing that. Could it be that a Bad Company script is just a tough go? There's such a distinctive poetic style to all the captioning/dialogue in those strips...

Steven Denton

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #10 on: 01 February, 2012, 09:12:50 pm »
When I'm breaking down a strip as an artist I often look at the story telling and think is this one frame or 2? Do I need to insert a close up here for clarity? That kind of thing, comics are collaborative unless you are a one man band.

If you PM me you e-mail address Locust I’ll shoot you over the script and you can see how I did.

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #11 on: 04 February, 2012, 04:51:06 pm »
I've seen at least one script from you and the finished product (and vice versa ;) ) but haven't noticed any issues.

A couple of thoughts:

  • As has been said, it is always handy to give a script a final polish once the art is in although that might not always be possible. However, if there is plenty of lead time you can always ask, if deadlines are looming...
  • You might just be too close to the process to be truly objective ;) I think a more worrying reaction to seeing your work in print would be thinking that you can't get any better (whether that is from raging optimism or pessimism).

However, unless you are the top of the comic writing game*, there is always room for improvement - the annoying thing is that early on we all come on in leaps and bounds as we learn from our silly mistakes and school boy errors, unfortunately it is the later fine-tuning that is both the most important part and often the trickiest. You'll know there are areas you want to improve on but pinning down what they are and how to go about the polishing just gets harder.

You've got my email address, if you want let me know if there is anything you specifically want feedback on comparing the script to the finished page and I'll sharpen up a scalpel.

* And even that is subjective, Alan Moore has his detractors...
if I went 'round saying I was an Emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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Steven Denton

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Re: Scripts reading better then the finished comic.
« Reply #12 on: 08 February, 2012, 09:26:12 pm »
I am always looking to improve. Writing a script to be drawn is very particular skill. First you have to write a good story then you have to work out how to express that not as a story but as a plan for some one else to tell your story. Writing for zarjaz (and being edited) has helped me. I will be sure to shoot my stuff over to you if I have any concerns Emperor (and I always do!)