I spend a lot of time harping on the script. I do this because I believe that the script is the base of the comic. Without a solid script, the rest of the book suffers. This is what I fervently believe.
So I’m still talking about the script. More specifically, I’m talking to the writers. There are a lot of you out there, and you make the same mistakes over and over again. Besides moving panels and terrible punctuation, the next biggest problem is that you aren’t thinking through your panel descriptions.
The easiest way to explain it is by describing objects.
If you’ve got a character doing something in one panel, and in the next they’re holding an ax, then that ax had to be mentioned at the earliest point possible.
The earliest point possible is very often one of two things: it is either when a character first enters a scene, or when we first change locations.
I’m talking about degrees, folks. If the first time you describe a character in a scene and it’s a close-up, then describe that object when you pull out enough for the reader to actually see it. This could be panel 3 or even the last panel of the page. Or it could be the second page of a scene. The earliest point possible.
When writers don’t do this, I call the objects that suddenly appear as being magically delicious. It’s my own term, and something you won’t find being used by any other pros out there. (If they are, you know where they got it from, and they owe me a nickel!)
What if you’re writing and suddenly thought of a great object to use, and you added it right then and there, in the middle of the page—what do you do then?
Simple. You go back as far as necessary in order to add that object at the earliest point possible. Unless your characters are magic based, you need to do this, because aside from bad writing, the next biggest thing that will take a reader out of a story is for objects to just suddenly appear.
Think through your scenes. You’ll save yourself a headache in the long run.