I don't know if this is the correct place to put this but here goes.

I'm just curious if scripting a cartoon is like scripting a movie or not. I've tried consulting google but I've really gotten nowhere. I've tried scripting as a wikihow article showed but I can't help but feel I'm doing something wrong. (EPISODE: SCENE: DESCRIPTION: DIALOGUE: )

I'd just like some tips if possible. Also, please don't suggest any books, I can't afford any right now.

Thanks everyone :)

  • Books can be read in a library. No money needed. – user5645 Jun 24 '15 at 6:27
  • No library close by. – CrazyWaffle Jun 24 '15 at 7:25

Cartoons tend to rely more heavily on visual gags which makes storyboarding more important. Also as you don't rely on the actor for visuals (although they are increasingly being used for this) storyboarding is more important. These are the only differences. In either media you can script then storyboard, storyboard then script, script and storyboard at the same time, or storyboard as script. Which method you use depends solely on what story you are trying to tell.

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Okay, you cannot spend any money on books and there is no library nearby. So how can you learn as much as possible about writing for animated movies?

Let's start with books, nevertheless. You'll see why.

Here is the Amazon page for a book about writing for Animation: http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Animation-Jeffrey-Scott/dp/1585672408 If you look at that page, you'll see a description of the book and a bunch of similar books. Follow all the links and create a list of books you would like to read.

Now use your favourite search engine to find websites, interviews and blogs of the authors of those books. If you are lucky, one or more of these authors have a blog where they post writing tips. Or you might find an interview with one of them on a website that is dedicated to writing for animated movies. Or similar stuff. The idea behind creating the list of books is that you now know some of the people who are probably experts and won't get lost in the endless idiocy of the internet. Try to "visit" those writers, follow the links that they post to other professionals, extend your list of names, and so find the websites that publish quality content on writing for animation.

You can also go through Wikipedia categories and look at the articles to find the homepages of animators. For example, on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Canadian_animators I found John Kricfalusi (creator of the Ren & Stimpy show), and here's two of the many blogs of John K., which contain lots on writing for animation:

Here's a quote for you from the book by Jeff Scott I linked to above, as it was posted on John K.'s blog:

The biggest difference between animation writing and other forms of TV and film writing is that in animation the writer has to practically direct the show. In live action you can say "the Indians take the town" and the director will spend five days shooting dozens of pieces of action. But animation, if you say "the Indians take the town," you'll see two Indians enter shot, pick up the town, and carry it away. It's very literal. So instead you call out every shot and describe everything you want to see on the final show. The reason for this is because there is no director, as in live action, who is working on the show from its start (script) to finsh. So it's up to the writer to do it.

This I understand to mean that even if you write a script and don't draw a storyboard, you write as if you were drawing a storyboard, essentially describing every shot (one shot = one storyboard panel) in detail. But I don't know, and you should learn from the pros.

And, if you find a writer whose book you would really like to have, I'm sure you have a birthday or christmas ahead of you, and if becoming an animation writer is really your aspiration, those books aren't so expensive and probably someone will make a present of that one book to you.

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