Cut Your Entrances (and exits)

I’ve talked about page/scene weights. One of the most superfluous panel setups are CHARACTER ENTRANCES, usually walking in through a door.

GET RID OF THESE.

Showing a character opening a door doesn’t add to the story. It just wastes space. Just cut to the character in the room, doing whatever he was going to do after he walked in.

You CAN show the character making an entrance IF it supports some element of the story OR it’s part of the character’s shtick or personality.

EXAMPLES:
The cast of the comic is waiting in the guy’s apartment to throw a surprise birthday party. Clearly, having the guy open the door/enter the room is part of the story.

KRAMER from Seinfield. His repeated routine was opening the door and sliding into the room.
Same thing with LENNY and SQUIGGY, if you’re old enough to remember Laverne and Shirley… They always barged in with a high pitched nasal voice squealing, “HELLO”.

Generally the same applies to Character Exits as well. However, there is a little more wiggle room with exits, because the action of leaving more often adds to the story–giving the departing character a dash of subtext.▪

About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.

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