Using a comic style script as outline

Bookmarked Using Comic Scripts to Outline Your Fiction by J.D. Harlock (The Dream Foundry)

Recently, by dabbling in both comic book and short story writing, I’ve stumbled upon a method to outlining that not only cuts down on the number of drafts I need but streamlines my entire writing process.

Panels > beats

Write actual dialogue, establish setting, break scene into beats

This brings us to the underlying benefit of outlining with comic scripts: its emphasis on the action and descriptive cues in your story as opposed to excessive info-dumps.

Each panel maps out every needed story beat with both dialogue and description in a way that other script formats tend to gloss over in favor of a dialogue-centric approach. That’s why this outlining method works best with action-heavy narratives.

Could be worth trying but I could also see it being a distraction if you aren’t super familiar with comic scripts.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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