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B&N Week 2: Plotting

| January 4, 2011 | 23 Comments


Another Tuesday, another installment of Bolts & Nuts.

Last week we started off talking about storytelling within the format of a comic book script, and we left off talking about plotting, with a promise to go into it deeper this week.

This week, I’ll be keeping that promise.

Plotting is something that every successful comic writer should do, and sometime during this article, I’ll give you an example of how I plot over an issue. Then you just take that and extrapolate it over a limited series.

One thing. I’m not going to talk about ongoing series too much here. As a beginning writer, it’s doubtful you’ll get a gig writing an ongoing series. I’m not even talking about Spider-Man or Swamp Thing–I’m talking about an ongoing from a really small publisher, like 10th Muse. It’s basically not going to happen. [I was thinking about adding a title to my name, like Crusher of Dreams, or Realist Extraordinaire, but decided against it.] However, what will happen is that you can possibly get a limited series off the ground, and maybe translate that into an arc on an ongoing series. Either way, plotting is something you have to be good at in order to determine if you have enough story for your Great Idea.

I guess we should start with a definition, so that we’re all on the same page. From Dictionary.com: 2. Also called storyline. The plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story. So, we’re talking about the main story of your work. Right? Right.

Your plot should consist of every main thing that happens to your character(s). It’s the story, it’s what’s happening, it’s the reason you’re writing.

Your plot can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. For right now, it just has to make sense to you. Generally speaking, no one else is going to see your plot. Not your initial one, anyway. Editors may ask to see what you have planned, and that’s when you clean it up and make it nice and purty for them, but otherwise, it’s a roadmap for you.

Now, I don’t want anyone to confuse the Marvel/Plot-first style of writing with what I’m talking about here. In the Marvel/Plot-first style, you’re almost writing a prose story for the artist to then pick and choose their own panels, pages, and pacing. This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a basic outline for yourself to keep you on task when it comes to your writing.

A small tangent, while we’re on the subject: most writers use the full script style of writing over the Marvel style. They have more control over what gets put on the page that way, and everything is there for everyone–you don’t have to go back and write the dialogue for a comic you wrote two months ago, and then give it to an editor for their stamp of approval before it goes to a letterer. Everything is right there in front of you with the full script method, and the only thing you have to worry about are any editorial changes. [We’ll talk about editors and their job a LOT later. Nothing for you to worry about now.] The Marvel style was developed by Stan Lee because he was so busy he didn’t have time to write a full script. He wrote a plot and handed it off to the artist for them to make of it as they would. He’d come back later and write dialogue for it. There are pros and cons to both, and we’ll get into those later. We have a lot of material to cover before we get there.

Like I said before, the plot is a guide or roadmap for your story. It should also let you know if you have enough story for your page count. Like I said last week, most comics are twenty-two pages of story, so your plot should hit your page count very time. My plots look something like this.

Amazing Spider-Man #11439

Spidey fights the Frightful Four while trying to get across town for a very important date with Gwen Osborne!

-Peter is at the Bugle to drop off more Spidey pics, so he can get paid and get across town to meet Gwen. While there, he hears about the Frightful Four’s rampage downtown. 5 pgs

-Changes into Spidey after getting paid, and hears that the Wizard has collected three other baddies with him: the Lizard, Sandman, and the Gibbon. All they want is a place of their own inside the Vault. 2 pgs

-Gwen is talking to Norman, her husband who’s now in a criminal insane asylum, telling him she’s going to divorce him. Norman tells her that divorce isn’t in the cards for them. They have great things to do together, and he’ll re-kill her in order to see it done. 4 pgs

-Spidey tangles with the Lizard first. “My, Lizzy, what sharp teeth- waitaminnit! Are you stealing from the Big Bad Wolf? Bad Lizzy! Bad!” 2 pgs

-Spidey gets the Gibbon and Sandman to start fighting each other. 2 pgs

-Gwen leaves Norman, shaken but determined to find a way to leave him. She goes to meet her lawyer one more time before she meets Peter to ask him to marry her. 3 pgs

-Spidey is still watching the clock as he fights three of the four, only for the Wizard to come up behind him and place an anti-grav disk on Spidey’s back, sending him hurtling upward towards space! 4 pgs

Okay, let’s look at what I did here:

  • -I gave a title and issue number for the plot
  • -I gave the overall story for the issue
  • -I gave a scene by scene breakdown of the issue, with the number of pages each scene should take.
  • -I have a bit of dialogue as it came to me, to be used or discarded as needed, but will remind me of the joke made
  • -It adds up to twenty-two pages

Now, this is just an example of my plotting method, but as you can see, it does everything I need it to do. It gives me what I need in terms of scene space, pacing, and telling a complete story. Definitely not a “done in one,” but it does the job adequately.

As stated above, this plot is nothing more than a roadmap, and the number of pages needed are guestimations at best. There is nothing hard and fast about needing to stay true to the plot, because there are a lot of times when one or the other of the following will happen: you will find that you’ve numbered wrong–either not enough pages for a scene, or too many pages for a scene.

A lot of times, I find that when I start writing and don’t have enough pages in one scene, I have more than enough in another, and it tends to balance out when it comes to page count. If I have just too many pages all over the place, then I need to start condensing pages [but in this day of decompressed storytelling, how many times are you really going to have this problem? That’s a joke, people.]. I’ve yet to encounter a time when I don’t have enough pages for my story once I’ve plotted it. If you find that this has happened to you, then you need to look at the story you want to tell. Your plot is telling you that you don’t have enough story to carry your page count, and you have to either find more story, or tell a different one.

I suggest you plot in this way because it forces you to think about the story instead of the Great Idea. The Great Idea is perfectly safe, but it gets told through the story, and for my money, the story is best served by plotting first.

Like I said before, this is the way I do it. That doesn’t mean this is the only way it can be done. There are some writers that write the script as a prose story first, embellishing it and expanding it until they have enough for a script, and then they write it. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but this is the way that works for them. If this method works for you, then go for it. It doesn’t hurt to at least try it. The real writing is rewriting, and if this is what you need to do in order to present the best story possible, then that’s what you do. If you’re writing just as an exercise, not doing any plotting is fine. Just don’t be surprised if your story isn’t tight and concise. However, if it’s something you’ll be trying to get published, I highly suggest you plot first. Quite simply, editors can tell.

I guess it’s time for some homework. This week I want you to go into your comic stash and work the comics you read. This time it’s about plotting. See if you can boil the plot down to a single sentence, and then break it down by scenes. You’re looking to see if you can tell what each scene is about, and if each scene supports the main plot of the issue. Try it my way, saying what each scene is about and giving a number of pages for each. I suggest doing this for a few comics so you can start to get a feel for the plotting method. You can try writing a prose story for these comics as well, just as an exercise, but I don’t really suggest it. Because you already know where it’s going, it makes it too easy to start from a kernel of an idea and explode it into a full issue.

And that’s it for this week. Next time, we talk about characters–what makes good ones, what makes bad ones [and not bad meaning villains, either], and we begin to touch on superheroes, which are just a little different. See you next week. Class dismissed.

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Category: Bolts & Nuts

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

Comments (23)

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  1. John Lees says:

    Great column, Steve. It’s interesting how different this reads now, when I’ve had a chance to try plotting a few scripts, than it did back when I first read it.

    I can now say with a small degree of experience that, no matter how many ideas you have floating around your head, a story doesn’t become real and tangible (for me, at least) until you’ve forced yourself to structure it out across its set number of issues, figuring out what scenes need to happen and how much space you’re going to have for each scene. That gives you a foundation to build everything else on top of, and gives you a clear sense of beginning, middle and end rather than a hazey idea of possiblys and maybes.

    I’ll be doing the homework exercise soon – just need to pick out a couple of comics to do it with.

    • So, here’s the question, then:

      Do you think this approach to plotting is worthwhile? Do you think it works? Or do you think it works now that you’ve got some scripts under your belt, and you see exactly what I’m talking about?

      • John Lees says:

        I definitely think this approach is worthwhile. Like I said above, it helps take an idea and and make it into a story. With “The Standard” I had a first issue, and a vaguest idea of where I wanted to go next. But actually planning it out – first as an 8 issue story, then tightening it up to a 6 issue story – gave me a direction, and a clear sense of where I was going with the story. This let me write subsequent issues with what lay ahead and what I could be foreshadowing always there readily available for me to refer to.

        It’s in that plotting stage that the story really takes place, when you figure out what the dominant beats of each issue will be and how much space can be given over to them. The very act of limiting yourself and confining your story to a restricted page count is a brilliant exercise in giving it shape and structure.

        • He gets it!

          Just don’t follow the outline so rigidly. Like I said, there may be times when you find more to say than your outline called for, or less.

          • John Lees says:

            Absolutely. An example of that was with issue #3. I followed the original plotted outline on that to the letter, but it didn’t work out because while I’d plotted it in 2009, by the time I’d actually written issue #2 in 2010 I’d developed as a writer and the story had evolved to a degree. So in the redraft I had to shift things around a bit to better reflect where the story was now going.

            It’s nothing concrete, or anything you have to absolutely abide by. But even if it’s ultimately not 100% accurate, just having that sense that the whole story is paved out – even roughly – before you makes the act of actually writing it that little bit less daunting.

          • Daunting? You find writing comics daunting? What’s your secret, because I’ve always found it to be damned hard!

          • Yeah. You were pretty unhappy with me when I strongly suggested you rewrite that issue. But didn’t I also give you some pointers for the plot, so everything would be tighter, as well?

          • John Lees says:

            Yeah, I wasn’t too pleased with you wanting me to go back to the drawing board on that script. I liked the script I had, and still like it. And I decided that I’d follow your advise in writing a redraft, but only go through with it if I could write a comic that I thought was better than my initial draft.

            And of course, you were right. With your plotting directions, the comic I ended up with was far superior to the one I had before. Which is why an editor is invaluable. It’s someone who can see the story with the advantage of not being too close to it to get a sense of the bigger picture.

  2. Mike King says:

    I actually use this type of Plotting for everything I write (Short stories, articles, etc) It’s refreshing to see I’m not too far off base with the way things are done.
    I would add that I number each scene as I type them.
    When I begin writing my script, I do so right on my outline.
    I find it’s nice to write the pages/panels below each bullet, because it makes it easy to pick up where I left off when I haven’t worked on something for a few days.

    Great Article. Look forward to the next one!

  3. John Lees says:

    To get back to the homework, here’s my breakdown of this month’s “Knight and Squire #3”, written by Paul Cornell:

    KNIGHT AND SQUIRE #3

    In which a resurrected King Richard III plots to conquer Britain through the use of social networking. No, really.

    – Scientist Professor Merryweather uses cloning technology to resurrect Richard III – one of the most hated monarchs in British history – hoping to restore what she feels is his unfairly damaged reputation. He is charming to the public, but once they are gone King Richard III gives an aside to the audience(much like one would in a Shakespeare play) telling us of his true wicked intentions. (5 pages)

    This scene has the job of integrating the historical figure of Richard III into the fictional realm of the DCU, as well as setting up the issue’s main plot.

    – We are shown Knight and Squire talking about their reaction to Richard’s return. During their conversation, we also touch on Squire’s love interest (introduced in issue #1) and Knight’s upcoming date with Cerys Tweed, which will be a plot point later in the issue. (1 page)

    This is a brief beat that is more about building character dynamics between Knight and Squire, and reminding us of some subplots from previous issues – adding to the sense of continuity within the series.

    – We see Professor Merryweather educating Richard III on the history of Britain – particularly of its royal family – since his death. Richard continues to plot in an aside to the audience, until Professor Merryweather asks why he’s muttering to himself and he has to stop. (1 page)

    Another small beat, which serves to tell us a little about Richard’s character, and foreshadow his evil plan.

    – Knight – in his civilian alias of Cyril Sheldrake – goes on a date with Cherys Tweed. She instantly figures out he’s actually Knight, as his disguise is rubbish, then warns Cyril that Richard is up to something rotten, telling him that Richard has built up a popular following amongst the people of Britain through his use of social networking site Twunter. (1 page)

    This page to me seems to be a bit of an exposition dump, telling us about how Richard has gone through the process of becoming a monarch of the people without having to show it in tedious detail. It also introduces what could be a recurring supporting character in Cerys Tweed.

    – One week later, Richard engages in a heated public debate with a representative of the royal family over the issue of him being Britain’s rightful king. They bring out a large book called “Unwritten Constitutional Law” and argue over what it states. (1 page)

    This is quite a series of 1 page scenes. I didn’t realise there were so many short scenes in this single issue until I started doing this page count. I think all these short scenes serve the purpose of groundwork and giving us the Cliff Notes version of Richard’s rise in influence, with this scene establishing his designs on the throne of England.

    – Richard III murders Professor Merryweather, then uses her technology to created a superpowered clones of the most rubbish kings in English history. He plans to use them as an army to usurp the current monarchy and parliament and become Britain’s new ruler. (3 pages)

    This slightly longer scene, taking us through the halfway point of the issue, marks the end of the setup and launch of the main action of the issue.

    – The climactic battle begins, with news footage showing us the various superpowered kings attacking different regions of the United Kingdom, and a later news report showing Britain’s superheroes rising to stop them. Knight, meanwhile, launches into battle with Richard’s henchmen. (4 pages)

    Here, we get to the main action of the book, with lots of fighting and action shots. Cornell also takes the chance to introduce both the rogues gallery of evil former kings and a selection of oddball British superheroes.

    – Elsewhere, Squire discovers that the British public is divided between supporting Knight and the heroes, and Richard and his king club. Richard and the other kings still have more Twunter followers than Knight. So, she turns the tide of public opinion against the other cloned kings by posting incriminating videos of them engaging in wicked deeds (Edward’s “a bit homophobic”, apparently) on video upload site OohTube. (2 pages)

    This little scene gives Squire a role in the story, as well as reminding readers of our superpower of interfacing with communications systems.

    – Squire joins the main battle, finally exposing Richard for the crook that he is by recording on camera one of his scheming asides (“My hunch paid off… unlike yours!). Desperate, Richard attacks Knight, and the two engage in a motorcycle joust, which Knight wins. (3 pages)

    This sequence wraps up the main plot of the story, giving both Knight and Squire a role in its conclusion.

    – Squire meets up with her boyfriend – reformed supervillain The Shrike – and Knight invites them to come round to his castle to have dinner together next week. (1 page)

    This wraps up the issue by returning to the character dynamics, as well as setting up the apparent basis for next issue’s story.

    So to sum up the issue as a whole, it follows the trend “Knight and Squire” as a whole has had thus far of telling largely self-contained, done-in-one stories, with only fleeting references to ongoing subplots that connect the issues. The first half was dominated by brief snippets of scenes that gave a real sense of jumping all over the place, though this was done largely to unload a barrel of information that set the stage for the wild, nonsensical and very fun battle that dominated the comic’s second half.

    I think this was admirably plotted by Cornell, as in the age of decompression and multi-part epics catered to trade-waiters, this is a story with its own beginning, middle and end, introducing several new characters and giving us enough information and narrative to make this single comic a complete, satisfying reading experience in its own right.

    • Good work, John!

      Now, do you think he went through all that trouble when he wrote his outline, or do you think he simplified it more than you have here? In that 1-pg series, I’m seeing how that could have been clumped together into an overarching thing for ease of thoughts.

      I also like how you broke down what each scene did for the issue.

      Nice work!

  4. John Lees says:

    I have to give a quick note of thanks to Steve and ComixTribe. I just reposted that Paul Cornell analysis I wrote above on my own blog, and it got me more than double the hits of anything else I’ve ever posted on it!

  5. Johnny Vinson says:

    And for my second set of homework, I’m going to be doing the outline for Ronin 5 #2 (Hulk) by Peter Milligan.

    A village prepares for an onslaught from a band of ex-samurai who’ve turned to bandits. They try to seek help from a reclusive monk.

    – The village elder and his nephew visit the monk and explain what’s happening to their village. The elder tries and enlist the monk’s help through sympathy, and then payment. The monk turns down their offer, not wanting to get involved in battle again. (3 Pages)

    – Upon the monk’s denial of help, the village council tries to decide what to do about the impending attack. The nephew from the first scene leaves the village to try and find help, leaving behind his wife. (2 Pages)

    – Two weeks pass since the events of the previous scene. While meditating, the monk is visited by a wandering traveler. He tells the monk how he was commissioned to fight and protect the village, but ran away instead. The monk goes to meditate, but can’t focus and becomes enrages (5 Pages)

    – The monk comes down to the village, and helps them to set up defense for the marauding bandits. While helping them set up, he becomes closer to all the inhabitants. (3 Pages)

    – The bandits come, and the monk along with the villagers engage in battle. The monk develops some personal epiphanies about being a part of the world instead of hiding from it. One of the villages defenses was to set fire to the perimeter, but the winds blow the fire inward and set the houses on fire. The monk sees this battle as one prior that was a massacre, as his opponent used guns to mow down his allies. This enrages the monk, and he goes on a killing spree taking out all of the bandits. (6 Pages)

    – The aftermath of the battle shows the monk and the original nephew talking about the monk’s future plans. The monk talks about finding a temple to align himself with. It is then revealed by the nephew that the cowardly samurai from prior in the story was sent to the monk’s place to bring him down to help. (3 Pages)

    Like the first homework assignment, it was interesting breaking this issue down to its bare plotline. It’s funny cause I actually found it less interesting than when I originally read the story.

    • Isn’t it interesting how you can look at something a different way, and it no longer seems as interesting as it once did?

      But, we break down so we can build back up.

      Nice work, Johnny. It read a little like a book report, but I think you got all the key elements in there. It read like a full story.

      Nicely done. Thank you.

  6. Ok, here is my homework for week two!!

    As I only did one example for week one I chose three different issues for week two and studied the structure break down at the same time.

    I purposely picked one issue that was the first in a series, one that was in the middle of an arc and one that was a stand-alone issue between arcs to see if that made any difference to the structure.

    I did find the issue in the middle of an arc a little harder to determine where the beginning, middle and end were (especially the beginning and middle) as the action and plot was all continuous from the previous issue, but it definitely still had those elements.

    ULTIMATE AVENGERS ISSUE #1 by Mark Miller

    “Nick Fury is called upon by S.H.I.E.L.D when Captain America goes rogue, having discovered the terrorist, Red Skull, is in fact his son.”

    BEGINNING (5 PAGES)

    Hawkeye meets with Fury at the Triskellion and informs him that Cap has discovered the truth about the Red Skull. (5 PAGES)

    MIDDLE (12 PAGES)

    [The rest of this issue takes place one day earlier showing the events that lead to Fury being called in.]

    Hawkeye & Cap lead a highflying assault to recover a piece of tech that some A.I.M terrorists just stole from the Baxter Building. (4 PAGES)

    Colonel Danvers, back at S.H.I.E.L.D, radios Iron Man to find out why he has gone AWOL from this mission. She gets hold of him drunk in a strip club and it’s obvious he will be of no use today. (2 PAGES)

    Back to the recovery mission, Cap jumps from the helicopter him and Hawkeye secured, across to another still filled with A.I.M terrorists.
    Here, he comes up against the Red Skull for the first time and gets his ass handed to him. (5 PAGES)

    The Red Skull whispers something to Cap before throwing him out of the helicopter. (1 PAGE)

    ENDING (7 PAGES)

    Hawkeye jumps out after him with no parachute of his own. He grabs hold of cap as they hurl toward the ground and uses his parachute to save the pair of them landing safely on the ground. (6 PAGES)

    Hawkeye asks Cap who he was fighting up there and Cap replies, “He said he was my son?”

    FRANKENSTIEN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E ISSUE #3 by Jeff Lemire

    “Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos rise against the odds to wipe out the spider monsters that surround them, before discovering there are another two races of monsters on this planet they must eradicate, to save the earth from becoming infested by them through the Bone Lake portal!”

    BEGINNING (6 PAGES)

    Surrounded by thousands of Spider Monsters, things look hopeless until The Mummy, Khalis, speaks his first words since the team recently formed, performing a spell that disintegrates every monster on the continent. (6 PAGES)

    MIDDLE (9 PAGES)

    Via a Mind Portal from back at S.H.A.D.E Headquarters, Father Time & Dr Palmer explain this was only one of three areas of the planet infested with monsters and that they must also eradicate the Ogre continent as well as the Sea Monsters before the planet reaches the portal to Earth. (2 PAGES)

    Dr Palmer picks up some seismic activity and the ground beneath Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos begins to quake. A nearby mountain erupts and out of it a Titan Spider Monster emerges angry. (4 PAGES) (INCUDES TWO PAGE SPREAD OF THE MONSTER)

    Lead by Frankenstein, the Creature Commandos reluctantly engage the monster in battle. (1 PAGE)

    The monster chomps on Frankenstein and swallows him whole! The Creature Commandos run and the monster gives chase. (1 PAGE)

    The monster suddenly stops and from inside it Frankenstein bursts out holding its heart. He pierces is with his blade killing the monster.(1 PAGE)

    ENDING (5 PAGES)

    Frankenstein regroups with the Creature Commandos and Dr Palmer informs them they have three hours to clear the other continents before the planet reaches the portal to earth.

    Frankenstein splits the team into two groups and warns that both the Ogres and Sea Monster will likely have their own Titans too. (3 PAGES)

    ENDING (5 PAGES)

    Back at S.H.A.D.E, Father Time is alerted to a unique energy signature they have discovered in South-East Asia. She is worried that Frankenstein has to make it back from the Monster Planet mission safely as he is the only one who can avert this new crisis. (1 PAGE)

    Suddenly the psychics begin to scream “help me” in agony. Dr Palmer discovers they are channelling a distress call, coming from Monster Planet. The planet itself is ALIVE!! (1 PAGE)

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9 ISSUE #5 by Andrew Chambliss

    “With the help of Willow and a mysterious fairy, Buffy deciphers the cryptic meaning of her prophetic slayer dreams to discover there may be a way to undo the damage she did by destroying the seed and with it the world’s magic.”

    BEGINNING (5 PAGES)

    Buffy, Dawn & Xander are chased through an apartment complex by a horde of Zompires. They escape to a room but when Buffy turns round, Dawn and Xander are Zompires too. Suddenly The First Slayer appears and steaks them both before telling Buffy “You are not The Slayer”.
    Buffy realises it’s a dream and attacks the First Slayer but gets punched in the gut, waking up in her bedroom in pain. She then runs to the bathroom and throws up. (5 PAGES)

    MIDDLE (14 PAGES)

    Buffy discussed the dream with Willow and wonders if it is a warning that she will lose her powers now the seed has gone. Willow does not think so and suggests Buffy reads the Vampyr book Giles left her in his will. (2 PAGES)

    Buffy gets the book out and begins to study it whilst thinking about how much she misses Giles. (1 PAGE)

    The First Slayer appears in her room, “I knew I should have over-caffeinated!” (1 PAGE)

    She leads Buffy to a mountain of garbage with the broken Scythe on top, surrounded by Zompires. “Only the Slayer can pull the blade from the ground. You are not the Slayer!”
    Buffy realises The First Slayer does not normally talk. She attacks her, pinning her down and she turns into a fairy. Buffy wakes up realising someone has been hijacking her dreams. (1 PAGE)

    Willow and Buffy discuss the “grand theft dream” and decide she is still having a prophetic slayer dream, but that this fairy is hijacking it and trying to tell her she is not the slayer. (1 PAGE)

    Willow prepares to watch over Buffy whilst she “gets her sleep on” to try and figure this all out. (1 PAGE)

    The fairy, no longer trying to trick Buffy confesses to hijacking her dream as she thought Buffy was an imposter having seen her die fighting in The Underworld. Buffy explains this was one of her doubles (a plot point from an issue a couple years back). (2 PAGES)

    The fairy helps Buffy decipher the real First Slayers message, which is, she needs to give Willow, who has now appeared in the dream, the scythe to try and restore magic to the world. Willow tells Buffy this is a long quest she must go on and they both agree saying their goodbyes. (2 PAGES)

    The fairy gives Buffy some more cryptic advice “Like I said, you are not the slayer. The slayer is a part of you, but you are not a girl anymore.” She also tells Buffy that that really was Willow she said goodbye to as she had fallen asleep too. (2 PAGES)

    ENDING (3 PAGES)

    Buffy wakes up to find the scythe gone and a note from Willow saying she has to leave to restore magic in the world and that there was no point in saying goodbye twice. Buffy runs outside after her but then suddenly feels sick again. (1 PAGE)

    Buffy returns to her apartment, ignoring her roommate’s concerns for their safety having last issue learned that they are living with a slayer. She makes a beeline for the bathroom with a pregnancy test… IT’S POSITIVE! (2 PAGES)

    One thing I have noticed by doing these three is that Buffy, which is the only indie comic out of the three, seems to be packed with a lot more plot points and subplots and acts very much like the TV series used to. A monster of the week episode each week, but with lots of character sub-plots and an overall series arc building.

  7. Sarah says:

    I tried the method you were talking about with making sure your first issue carries 22 pages. I think I may have overshot it a couple.:p

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