Talking Slick, Hip and Breaking the 4th Wall in Panel Descriptions

I talk about keeping your panel descriptions on point the Writer’s Guide, but to bring the point home, let’s take a look at an excerpt from the screenplay of Big Trouble in Little China.

“Wang Chi swings! WHAMMO! The bottle flies off the table like a rocket! Right at Jack! His arm comes up in a reflexive blur … and he catches the damn thing in his fist! A great save! The bottle unbroken. And even Jack’s amazed he’s not picking glass out of his teeth.”

A little of this kind of casual, colorful narrative description can really bring a script to life. But the key is a little. It has to remain in the background, supporting the informational context of the descriptions, not becoming the focal point of the descriptions.

Used too often, it’s like giving a writer enough rope to hang themselves. The script can quickly come across unwieldy, prosey, amateurish and do more to hide the details  than convey them clearly to the artist.

Approach this in your work like you’d add Carolina Reaper hot sauce to your tacos…

In extremely limited supply.

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 for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.