“The Literary Script”
Best regards and congratulations to all the users who visit our blog about comics. Honestly, we are very happy to see your interest in learning more about this topic, since we do it with great pleasure so that you can learn many things more related to the process of making a comic book from its initial stage to its end.
And if you have come this far it is because you would like to make your own comic and you don’t know how to start, or you have doubts about it. But I want to tell you that no matter what the reason is, I’m going to help you solve this dilemma through this class, which aims to clarify all your doubts so you can also start to give life to your comic or illustrated story from this very moment.
From different points of view, it may seem that the process of making a comic the marvel way might be a bit tedious or it might not be so tedious – based on my personal experience, I can say that it all depends on the order of the procedures -.
Either way, whether it’s a difficult or simple job, I will try to summarize each step, in a structured and summarized way, so that you don’t feel tired during the process and use my guide to keep a steady and orderly pace until you turn your idea into an outstanding artwork.
And without forgetting to mention that the most important thing about all this work is that you must enjoy it because that’s what it’s all about: “enjoy every moment of the creation of your comic as if you were watching a movie that you really love to watch”.
For this first class, we will talk about the literary script. Yes, it is very important to clarify this topic since if you don’t have a written structure well coordinated with your idea and aligned with the projection you want to transmit to the public, the moment you start drawing, you will get lost and feel frustrated, unfortunately.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to worry because this is a quite common problem that occurs among the authors of this current time as many of the masters of illustration have the ideal skills and tools to make really awesome art pieces. Yet without a clear idea of what you want to capture on your blank page, your artwork will not be as successful as you expect it to be.
In fact, I recommend you to take some time and pay attention to the biographies, interviews, and works of the great authors recognized in the comic industry throughout its history.
Although it is true that they are recognized worldwide as the greatest illustrators of the present century, they always emphasized the great importance of writing your script correctly before illustrating.
Masters of the Creative Art such as Stan Lee, and even the creators of Batman, held the idea that it is not enough to be the best illustrator in the world or to be as talented as Leonardo Da Vinci, but to know how to develop the plot of your story in a concise and entertaining way, from its starting point to its end, including the development of each character in it.
If you ask me, I tell you honestly that I suffered a lot when I did my first works as a scriptwriter and illustrator. And the reason why is that I did not know or did not give enough relevance to the mastery of the most basic elements of developing a comic, which play an essential role in the process, although they may seem very simple.
I had to focus on learning them correctly and perfecting them until I was able to create high-quality comics. Yet you don’t need to go through that tedious process because I will be helping you through each of these short steps that I will be explaining below. So…
Step I – write down your idea:
As I mentioned to you in the opening paragraphs of this class post, you need to take some time alone with yourself, so that you can broadly clarify your ideas and write about the particular one you want to project through your picture book.
I mean one generates more interest to you and which one doesn’t, and which one could generate more entertainment and appreciation to your future readers and fans of your comic.
It does not matter if it’s a superhero story or a fictional drama, horror or historical fiction, all successful projects are born from an idea. And based on this observation – and also as a first step -, you should consider writing your idea first as a mandatory task, starting from the initial facts, reasons, causes, purposes, and final scenarios of your story, along with the development of each character and their function within the story’s plot.
Step II – Structure your idea correctly:
The process of structuring a comic book starts from your personal perspective – I’m referring to the number of pages, chapters, characters, scenes, etc. Alternatively, it is the same to say that you are the one who knows how the panels of each of these chapters and scenes are going to be segmented, counting the dialogues and the internal narration of each page.
The structuring of a comic plays a fundamental role in its elaboration because this way you can also determine the number of pages, how many participations a character has in relation to another, and the number of possible panels within a single page.
Not only determine an exact number, but also specify their shapes or sizes (if they are rectangular, circular, or cloud-shaped).
It is very important for any illustrator to have knowledge of this, for the artist can determine exactly how many drawings should or can be made on each page in this way.
Step III – Write your literary script before you start drawing:
Determining – with some approximation -, the number of pages, scenes, and panels, then you can already start writing your literary script, which is separate from the structuring process.
The literary script not only allows you to know how many participations a character has and how each scene develops, but you can use it as an instructional guide or manual to rewrite the plot of your story, at the moment you feel you have reached a blank spot or don’t know what to do.
Hundreds of comic projects with wonderful ideas are thrown in the trash daily because of persistent disorganization in the drafting procedures.
For me, making a comic book is like filming a movie or theater show. Therefore, to prevent my project from stagnating and me feeling frustrated because I don’t know the outcomes and scenarios of my own story, I need to write my literary script carefully, highlighting every detail of both the plot and/or storyline and the characters individually – personalities, physical characteristics, their roles within the story, powers and weaknesses.
Step IV – Your storyboard is ready to be illustrated:
Once you’ve completed the first three steps, your literary script should now have all the storytelling and structuring details of your comic book, and ready to be illustrated. Nevertheless, I recommend you do one last check beforehand so that you can make sure that everything is in its respective order. And if so, then let’s move to ILLUSTRATE!