Every once in a blue, folks dipping their feet in comics ask me stuff. One of the most common?
“How do I format a script?”
I’m familiar with it because I yanked my hair over it when *I* was starting out. My solution was to scour the internet for hours, read the backmatter in trade collections with script samples, and, eventually, take the pieces I liked most and cobble together my own format. The important thing to remember is that there is no standard. No Ninja-Nazi assassins are going to drop from the ceiling when you hit print or send on a script which (gasp!) doesn’t detail the number of panels in the page heading.
That said, the more scripts you read, the more comfortable you’ll be making your own format, or hell, just using one you’ve stumbled across. So, in order to help you on your quest (or even just for the curious and intrepid), below are two scripts of my own you can check out.
[2012 Update!] – These days much of my scripting is done via Scrivener, a miraculous program that I can’t imagine/remember living without. The process I use for writing with it was lovingly cribbed from comic scribe extrodinaire Antony Johnston (Wasteland, Dead Space, The Coldest City, and so many more). Read about how to use Scrivener for comics HERE and be sure to pick up one of Antony’s awesome comics while you’re there. When the new book is cleared and announced by the publisher I’ll post an excerpt from the script, with my new format, here.
Any questions? Drop me a line. Though it might take me a few days to respond, I’ll do my level best to help you out with any formatting questions (sorry kids, I can’t read your script or plot your outline – too many legal issues, not to mention having too many of my own to work on).