Scriptwriting for comics is tricky. The last script I wrote for a comic was Fault Lines, my Honours year final piece. At only 12,000 words it was already a clunky, unwieldy clump of words. I found that when it came time to draw the comic I made changes as things didn’t work on the comic page the way I envisioned it. Also, while drawing I would also come up with new ideas and go completely off script. This time around I’m plotting straight dialogue with minimal stage directions. The script serves as a way to get a feel for the characters, establishing status and relationships and as a way of structuring the story.
The process of figuring out the best pipelines and processes for putting this all together has been a time-consuming one, but I’m close to something that should work.
April– After getting Confirmation out of the way, I began work compiling a dot-point list of all the events contained within my diary entries from 2005-2007. These serve as my reference of chronology, basis for narration and go-to resource for checking facts.
May– After consultation with my primary supervisor I began thinking about deeper issues such as themes and motifs/symbols, as well as mulling over what this final thing would look like in terms of story structure and format.
July– After speaking with my secondary supervisor I began writing stream of consciousness style, going through the bullet-point list and picking out scenes to pad with dialogue. This enabled me to create smaller vignettes without being paralysed by worrying about creating an overall story structure at this early stage.
September– After writing 20,000 words of dialogue and a range of vignettes, I realised I didn’t know where this story was going or how I would get there. I consulted with scriptwriting guru Hugh Burton and he suggested meditating on deeper issues, such as the feeling I’m trying to conjure.
October– The month of October is largely swallowed by end of semester teaching/marking duties. At this point I’ve written 28,000 words of script, with no idea how best to structure it.
November– In an effort to put the script into some semblance of order, I endeavour to brush up on my scriptwriting fundamentals. A visit to the library nets me a copy of Alternative Scriptwriting: Successfully Breaking the Rules, written by Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush. I consider the three act structure, and how I might apply it to this script. Although I’m not convinced that the Three-Act-Structure is right for this story, I gained a better idea for how to proceed.
This all takes us up to the last few weeks, which I’ll address in coming entries.