Comics Writing 301: Scripting Your Mini-Series or OGN
Every comic book mini-series is a journey – for both the reader and the writer. You set out with a goal, a destination, and maybe even a map. But along the way you find detours, roadblocks, unexpected surprises both good and bad.
This unique course will guide you on your mini-series journey, and give you the skills you need to avoid getting lost along the way. One of our most ambitious courses yet, it takes place in three distinct sections over the course of five months, as you work with experienced comics writer Paul Allor through the process of developing, writing and revising an entire three or four-issue mini-series:
PART ONE: First, you will meet for five weeks to learn the craft of creating a compelling mini-series. Topics include: hooking your reader with the first issue, building characters that support your theme, balancing your initial outline with inspiration that strikes along the way, dealing with exposition, crafting subplots, constructing powerful turning points and cliffhangers, building relatable character arcs, ramping up your drama, using comedy to enhance reality and much more!
WRITING BREAK: Next, you will have three months to write your mini-series, with access to instructor Paul Allor (and your classmates) along the way, through a dedicated forum on the Comics Experience Creators Workshop.
PART TWO: Finally, you will meet again for an additional three weeks, to learn about the process of revising your mini-series and pitching it to the comics marketplace. Paul credits much of his success to his intensive rewriting process, and he will share with you the tips and tricks he uses to craft strong and compelling works. This section will also include an in-depth discussions on the current marketplace for comic series, advanced networking tips and publishing dos and don’ts.
Come prepared to work hard and build a complete and compelling story from the foundation up!
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- You will work with professional comic book writer and editor Paul Allor.
- You will develop fully formed mini-series scripts no more than 22-pages long each.
- You’ll learn tips and tricks to creating a great script and hooking readers fast.
- You’ll get Paul’s wealth of experience and training.
- Meets one night from 8:30 to 10:30 pm Eastern Time, for eight weeks, with a three-month “writing break” in between.
- You and your class will workshop your scripts in the Creators Workshop online community, throughout the class and during the three-month break.
- You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
- On the first night of class, bring your ideas—the rest we build together!
Paul Allor is a critically-acclaimed writer, editor and letterer who began as a Comics Experience student and workshop member, seven years ago. Since then, he has written for Marvel Comics, AfterShock Comics, IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Monkeybrain Comics, and the rap-metal band Hollywood Undead, which hired Paul to write a comic telling the band’s fictional superhero origins.
Paul’s comics writing is known for balancing intensely character-driven stories with bombastic ideas and dynamic plotting. His creator-owned books include Monstro Mechanica, from AfterShock Comics; Tet, from IDW Publishing and Comics Experience; Past the Last Mountain, from Gov’t Comics and Comics Experience; Strange Nation, from Monkeybrain Comics; and the self-published comics Orc Girl and Clockwork, the latter of which included Paul’s five-page story from his Comics Experience Introduction to Writing class!
On the work-for-hire side, Paul is perhaps best known for his extensive work in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for IDW Publishing, including the opening arc of TMNT: Universe; TMNT: Mutanimals; TMNT: Utrom Empire; Turtles in Time and TMNT: Microseries – Shredder, among others. He has also worked on GI Joe for IDW, including the Siren’s Song arc of the main GI Joe title, and the GI Joe: Deviations issue. More recently, he completed a six-issue mini-series based on the board game Clue and in 2019 he released GI Joe #1 through IDW.
Other work-for-hire comics include Secret Empire: Brave New World; Uncanny Inhumans: Monsters Unleashed; Year of Marvels: Iron Man and Nova; and Marvel Universe Presents, Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Comics; Pathfinder: Goblins, for Dynamite Entertainment; and Bravest Warriors for BOOM! Entertainment.
Paul’s editing work includes Sheltered, from Image Comics, created by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas, and Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit from IDW Publishing and Comics Experience, created by Rob Anderson.
Since January 2017, he has served in various capacities with Comics Experience and in 2019 became Managing Editor. He is teaching assistant for the Intro to Writing courses and the instructor of courses on Writing a Mini-Series, Creating Great Characters, Discovering Genre, Freelance Writing for Comics and Writing Creator-Owned and Indie Comics: Building Your Comics Library and Career! You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulAllor.
Why do I have to take the Introduction to Comic Book Writing course first?
This mini-series course has so much ground to cover that we need to ensure that all participants are starting with some of the same educational building blocks. The Intro course prerequisite guarantees that all incoming students share the same foundation of knowledge, a common vocabulary, and some experience with writing comic scripts. This enables us to provide you with the most value for your time and budget
How does this class differ from the Intro class?
The Intro class offers up a ton of foundational material, but this course offers brand new material and greatly expands on subjects that just get touched on in the Intro course. This is the deep dive, so come on in, the water’s fine!
What happens if I can’t make a class one night? Can I make it up?
Have no fear—each class session is recorded and you’ll have access to the recording for the duration of the entire course. If you miss one night, no problem! In fact, we have students from all over the world and it’s not uncommon for some to never attend a single session live—but they still get a great class experience through the recordings and interactions on the private class online forum!
Is there homework?
Yes and no. You will be writing—a lot—so we won’t be adding on top of the three or four issues you already have on your plate. That feels like enough and you’re going to learn a metric ton by doing that!
What do I learn here, that I can’t learn someplace else?
I’m glad you asked! With all of our courses, we pack as much information into every session as humanly possible. But we also do something that no other comics teaching institution does—we create our own methodology and approach to the creative experience and endeavor. In other words, the actual process that you’ll go through is not taught anywhere else and was specifically created for comics! Not movies or TV. Not novels or short stories—but for comics. And that’s why we are confident when we say that Comics Experience courses are simply the best courses about comics available today.
Prerequisite: You must have completed the Comics Writing 101: Introduction to Comic Book Writing course to enroll in the Advanced class.
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
“I have nothing but positive feedback for the advanced writing courses. It’s a step up from the beginner courses; it felt fairly intense and really raised the difficulty level, but was all great! I am greatly appreciative of the honest feedback on our pitches…if you develop another course, sign me up!”
Senior Creative Writer
“Since Paul has written for Marvel, IDW and AfterShock and has self-published several comic book limited series, he has a current and in-depth knowledge of what it takes to be a writer in comics today. He’s able to translate that into his critiques of your work in a way that’s easy to understand and doesn’t interfere with or alter your own creative vision. He was great to learn from and helped me take my writing to a higher level. I honestly can’t wait to take another course with him. “
Comic Book Writer
“Paul gets comic book writing craft. He understands the effects and the mechanisms involved in great storytelling and can articulate what’s not working in a story and why. More importantly, though, Paul possesses a natural ability to identify these things in his students’ scripts and to offer clear, actionable feedback that elevates those students’ storytelling abilities. Some people are great writers. Some people are great teachers. Paul is both.”
“The advanced class is non-stop learning about the craft of writing comics. Sure, it’s possible to pick up a few writing tips by reading online interviews with creators. But that’s nothing compared to the weekly classes crammed with advice, Andy’s expert instruction, unlimited Q&A, and instant feedback. If you’re serious about learning how to write comics, this class is a must.”