Visual Scripting is a method for natively writing comics and other visual narrative media in physical space, envisioning layout, and better utilizing physical elements of books (such as page turns)…without drawing. It can be done by hand, but the most useful version of it uses page layout software like Adobe InDesign, because you can easily move, insert, delete, resize all elements in a way that’s really not possible on paper. (The analog version of this is pretty close to the exercise I posted last week, the Comics Window.)
I wrote all of Out on the Wire as a Visual Script (based on an outline and prep work I did in Scrivener), and I’m currently working on the last chapter of Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars that way. It’s a really effective approach. Integrating the visual into the script along with the flexiblilty of rewriting has revolutionized how I write comics, and the method would be adaptable to many other kinds of visual narrative as well (picture books, video…)
I put together a tutorial about Visual Scripting a few years ago. It’s a pretty complete post, recently tweaked to more accurately reflect how I’m working, now that I’ve had this system up and running for years. But it’s a complicated, so I made a screencast training walking through building a template.
I’ve also made template I built in the video available for download. Just sign up to receive my newsletter below, and the link will be sent to you.
I plan future videos in this series (with better sound quality) on using Visual Scripting to draft, edit and prep for drawing, and another on cleaning up final artwork dropped into a Visual Script. News on that will be forthcoming.
Visual Scripting is a method for natively writing comics and other visual narrative media in physical space, envisioning layout, and better utilizing physical elements of books (such as page turns)…without drawing.
Find a full (written) tutorial on using Visual Scripting here.
Also included, in case you’re using an old version of InDesign: an .IDML version for CS4 and up. You’ll also be signing up to receive email from me about making our creative work happen.