Here’s the word file I use for writing comic scripts.
At face value this would be considered a “tight” or “full” comic book script template as it includes placement for camera direction. I personally don’t make a distinction between tight and loose scripts. I simply write the script. Tight when it needs to be tight. Loose, when loose is enough. CAUTION: Don’t be the slacker writer who writes loose because it’s fast and dirty. If you want to write effective loose scripts, read my Story to Script article on doing it right.
New Comic Writers!
Read this article on comictography before using the template:
Not required for using the template, but newer comic writers may also be interested in these particular articles;
does comic script format matter and why reading famous writer scripts won’t teach you anything.
How to Use:
1) I typically start with a two page document then cut and paste to whatever page count I need.
2) More specifically; I’ll usually duplicate the “blank” template page for the number of pages I estimate the current scene will be.
3) I’ll always keep at least one “blank” template page at the end of my script for when I’m wrong on #2, or when I need to start the next scene.
4) Normally in my document, I just use “xxxxx” as place holders to type over. So my template would actually look like this;
EXT. XXXX – XXX – XXXXX
1 xxxxx xxxxxxx.
1 xxxxx xxxxxxx.
Seeing as a document filled with a bunch of x’s would be boring and possibly confusing, I’ve gone ahead and thrown some tips in the panel descriptions and left some character names in position for clarity.
5) Note on the first page it states; if the word Camera is hanging alone, above a panel description, then the writer is not specifying any specific camera shot or angle.
If you prefer writing a loose script, simply reduce the first panel slugline to “Camera” and ignore the camera declarations all together… or even better, just delete all the slugline placement holders completely before you get going.
6) All dialogue, captions and sound effects should be numbered as they appear on the page. I thought it clearer to use a bunch of ones instead of a bunch of number signs. Trying to label them consecutively as a default would just make things more confusing for you once you start writing and cutting and pasting.
UPDATE: The need for numbering dialogues/captions/sound effects seems to be depreciating over time. I tend to do it just out of habit, but unless an editor specifically requests it, you can get by without it.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
Someone requested a sample page of actual script.
There are a number of sample pages in the Working Writer’s Guide to Comics and Graphic Novels, but I’ll drop a page of a recent project below.
You’ll note the only camera declaration comes in the first panel. A perfect example of how you can use this template regardless if you’re writing tight or loose. ▪
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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