Kill Your Continuity Panels

As I’ve said before, comics are all about showcasing KEY scenes that express fundamental elements of the story (I refer to this as having weight, the more relevant the scene the more weight it has) AND drive the story forward.

Many times writers get bogged down including scenes that don’t really have any weight—that don’t progress or develop the story, but instead merely move a character from point A to point B. Getting the character in position for things to come.

I’m calling these continuity panels here.

Here’s an example.
1 * Detective Joe is at the docks (POINT A) looking for clues.
2 * His partner shows up and they spend a few panels discussing how Joe hasn’t found anything.
3 * With a few more panels, the partner suggests they go to the warehouse (POINT B) and retrace the murder scene.
— The next scene Joe and his partner find clues in the warehouse, realize who the killer is and his next target.

2 and 3 are the continuity panels.

Panels that aren’t adding anything to the story, but merely there to provide continuity of Joe getting from the docks to the warehouse.

Let’s assume, the clues Joe is looking for in #1 are important to the story. A more effective breakdown would be as follows;
1 * Detective Joe is at the docks looking for clues.
2 — The next scene Joe arrives at the warehouse with his partner. Joe complains about the case being cold as the two uncover clues that reveal the killer’s identity and his next target.

We’ve cut out the scene that doesn’t really add anything to the story, giving us more comic real estate to focus on the scenes that do! ▪

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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