Recently, I have been getting a lot of great questions and feedback about how to write comic scripts. Questions about how much description to put into panels, how much acting to describe, how much action do I choreograph in the script, what do I leave up to the artist. Since issue 1 of Toil and Trouble has been out for a few months now, I thought I would post the full script for that issue so everyone can see just what I write in my scripts and compare it to the artists’ final interpretation.
Now you may notice some small changes, a page I describe as 5 panels might get cut to 4 or expanded to 6 panels. A line of narration or dialogue might have been cut if we thought the art conveyed what we needed so the line became unnecessary. Rather than editing the script to match the final comic, I’ve presented the original script here as the artists received it so that you can see what they worked with to create the issue.
<One small note: I normally space my captions and dialogue over two tab spaces, I can’t remember why I didn’t do that here, but I do it on my other scripts and suggest you do too, because it will give you a better sense of how the dialogue will look in an actual bubble.>
One final note, there is a really cool writing exercise you can do here. Take issue 2 of Toil and Trouble or another comic you really love and using this script as a template see if you can reverse engineer the comic into the script. What do you need to write in the panel descriptions to get the artist to draw what you have seen in the final book? How would you describe those panels, scenes, and that action. This is a technique I first heard about from Matt Fraction years ago, and is a really helpful exercise.
Now without any further ado, I present the script, Toil_And_Trouble-Issue1-FINAL
I hope this spurs discussions and questions, feel free to reach out to me via Twitter or Tumblr with any followup questions.