Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Writing Organization
FinleySharpe at 10:12AM, April 9, 2009
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posts: 16
joined: 1-16-2009
One of my big problems when writing a comic is being organized. I've actually quit writing a story several times because I had too much information and no good system to access it, and everything just started getting jumbled up together.

Please tell me, do any of you have any good tips for staying organized when writing a long, detailed story? Or any sort of organization system that has worked for any of you?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:29PM
Hyena H_ll at 11:27AM, April 9, 2009
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posts: 1,568
joined: 11-13-2008
Things got a lot easier for me when I started scripting on the computer. It's much easier to rearrange things or write up bits at a time, and fill in the other stuff later.

My suggestions (hope this isn't too long and/or dull for ya!):

1. Timeline; jot down the things you want to happen, and when they'll take place in the story.

2. Write up more detailed descriptions (or outlines) of each “episode” or major event. You can actually do this before you do the timeline; just save each write-up as a seperate document, (or a seperate notebook section/pile/whatever, if you do it by hand) and then order them chronologically later.

3. Once you know the order in which things happen, decide how you want to break up the story into chapters or issues. You don't have to make them a uniform page length (on the web at least) but I'd recommend it. It'll help you stay more concise if you know you've got to fit x amount of information into just 24 (or however many) pages.

4. Break it up even more- with each “episode”, decide how many pages you want to devote to a certain scene or event. This depends a lot on what kind of comic you have, and its pace. You might, for example, have an action scene that lasts for 6 pages, then 2 pages of “down time”, then 6 more pages of exciting stuff. or every scene might just get a couple pages each, if it moves particularly fast. Just an example.

5. Break it down into pages; try to have a “punch” in each one- a joke, or a bit of a cliff-hanger as to what'll come next- whatever the genre, you wanna make the reader want to turn the page (or come back for the next update). This part actually takes me the longest, but I think it's probably the most crucial.

6. Then divide each page into panels. Make sure if you're comic's dialogue-heavy, that you're not dumping too much information in a single panel; you don't want the words to overwealm the art.

For me, it's really just a process of increasing micromanagement of your information. That's how I do it, more or less.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM

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