How to Write a Script for a Comic Book

A script is an outline for a comic strip or graphic novel. It includes panel descriptions, dialogue and special effects (SFX).

SFX are stylised lettering that represent sounds in a scene or can even serve to show characters’ thoughts (thought balloons).

Writers typically craft the story’s outline and dialogue, but sometimes the entire writing, pencilling, inking and coloring process is shared among multiple individuals.

Character Development

When developing characters for a comic, make sure that they are complete characters, complete with relatable motivations and flaws that readers can relate to on an emotional level. Also important when developing comic characters are distinguishable characteristics like unique powers or backstories which set yours apart from others.

When writing dialogue, be sure to clearly indicate who is speaking by prefixing their name with an “@”. Thought bubbles and captions should be marked by (THINK), while sound effects (SFX) can be indicated with (SFX). Thought bubbles should use smaller font sizes than regular dialogue so as to distinguish themselves from regular text; and floating letters or stylised effects like bomb sounds should also be included for sound effects (such as boom).

If you aren’t the artist of your comic, be sure to include important details in your script that can help the artist understand what’s expected on each page – such as time of day and whether or not a scene occurs outdoors or indoors; any significant visual elements integral to the plot; etc.


An engaging plot is essential to creating an effective comic. It lays the groundwork for how the story will be told to its target audience, whether through narration or character dialogue.

Consider how your characters will interact with one another and their environment, including any major set pieces you might use. Also think about what motivates each character as well as any obstacles they might face throughout their story arc.

Next step in the creative process should be outlining your project in some form or another, from bullet points to more comprehensive descriptions. Outlines can serve as guides to your artist about what you expect will occur but should never be used as a form of dictatorship – something which becomes especially crucial if working with one on this venture.


There are various methods for approaching the overall plot of a comic. Some writers utilize a plot script, similar to a screenplay and which describes panel by panel what occurs between panels – sometimes including dialogue that occurs afterward – this method has long been popular among Marvel writers as it provides an efficient means of getting out a detailed tale and onto paper without worrying about page layout or pacing issues.

Others writers prefer writing out an extensive script with everything that will be written and illustrated on each page of a comic, including captions, sound effects and display lettering. This method can also help when working with artists as it helps keep everyone on the same page and keep their ideas organized.

Story Structure

An essential step to writing a comic script is creating a rough outline. This allows you to outline all of your story’s major plot points – such as opening scene, central conflict and conclusion climax – as well as decide how they’re best presented to readers through narration or character dialogue.

Once your major plot points have been established, it’s time to dive into the smaller parts of your story. Here, it is essential that you consider each character’s wants, methods of attainment and obstacles they’ll face along their journey.

At this stage, most of your planning will come into play, as you need to figure out how each of your plotlines fits together into each panel of the comic. Furthermore, make sure your characters speak clearly within each panel so that readers can easily comprehend their dialogue via word balloons.