Yesterday, David Lapham (rather unexpectedly– I think to himself as well) launched into a multi-tweet breakdown of his comic writing process.
In an effort to preserve this valuable knowledge, the Comic Book Script Archive is proud to represent this series of tweets in chronological format:
A bit of weirdness this morning trying to comment on the functionality of a WP program, got a number of tweets about process.
I was not trying to comment on process at all. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG to process. Whatever works for you.
That said in all the confusion I started thinking about my process and feel the insane need to dump it out of my head and in your lap.
I write in Final Draft. For me it’s easy and sets everything up nicely. You do whatever you like.
I’ve written many different ways. The most logical to me has always been this:
Write 1-22 (or 20) down a piece of paper and plot out what goes on in the issue.
This way you see what kind of space you can give to each scene and cut or move things before you go too far down a bad road.
Do I write this way? No.
I have. It’s a good way, but I find it no fun and can’t get into the story that way.
Often I modify my process based on the work, but usually I like to do this:
I just start writing shit. Usually conversations. Sometimes action.
Take AoA. I’ll just start writing a conversation between Trask and Prophet. Not about nothing. A talk I know they’re going to have.
But I just write the whole thing no matter how long. Even if I know I’ll have to cut 90% of it later.
I find it hooks me in to the characters, the world, and the story. And often it suggests bits to come later, of solutions for later.
MY first run through of a script will often look like three long conversations and a bunch of writing of action or atmosphere.
The same as writing a long conversation, for action I’ll write lines of each panel and the action WITHOUT numbering them.
I write the ideal action or suspense sequence regardless of panel or page count.
Then I break it down into pages and panels and see what I have and then cut.
Key here is I have pretty good instincts on this and it usually works out to somewhere between 22-26 pages of shit that I edit down to 22.
If I come up under 22 pages I know I’ve done something horribly wrong.
Yes, you fall in love with stuff you cut, but what’s left is stronger. If the cuttings are THAT good you’ll use them somewhere else.
Mostly you only thing the cut shit is good because you had such a blast going into your imaginary world and living there a while.
Pitfalls of this method include, writing talking heads (never do this) and writing WAY too much.
But if you have an instinct for it and can think visually I find it fun.