You’re probably familiar with one of the 10 comic writing rules (#2 in the book), “A single moment in time, a single action per character.”
Don’t forget this also applies to character emotions. With perhaps very few exceptions, “A character can only express one emotion at any given moment.”
I recently edited a script where the writer has a character in one panel: explicitly pissed off, with a “flicker” of fear and a hint of familiar recollection in her eye. Say What?
Keep a mirror nearby when you write and anytime you call for more than one emotion in a panel express those emotions at one time in the mirror. If you can’t do it, don’t add it in the script.
By the way, if anyone takes a selfie expressing those three emotions above on your face at the same time, I’ll send you a prize!▪
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.