I'm currently working on a fanfiction/ comic, and a more recent scene I've been working on is a specific character re-awaking in the middle of the night to an Owl's call, and, unrelatedly, describing it as it flees.

I popped open an eye, raising my head as the rest of my body stayed suspended to the ground, as if everything else was already asleep.

I scanned the pale, orange-shaded trees, as my eyes fell on a form perched on a thin line-- a branch-- of the tallest of the many trees. It’s head was bathed in the moonlight, as it ruffled it’s feathers and stared down at me with it’s fierce, golden eyes. I squinted at the creature, as it waddled into the spotlight-- an owl.

I'm not looking to improve the descriptions, specifically because of this fic being based off of cartoons, I wasn't aiming for it to appear too 'realistic', I should say.

I'm mainly having trouble with describing the transition between the leaving of the bird, and her falling back into sleep, and even possibly describing her state of exhaustion without repeating used material.

Does anyone have any tips?

1 Answer 1


Use the form of the comic to tell your story.

This is a comic. A good artist will be able to show the transition back into sleep without a single word. Direct your artist (if it's not you) to draw a panel showing the character extremely exhausted as the bird either leaves the frame or fades into the background. The next panel shows her sleeping (if her position is the same as it is when she plopped back down to the mattress that will indicate how tired she is; too tired to rearrange herself).

The description of seeing the bird is also one that doesn't need any words at all. Use at least a couple panels, maybe even 3-4 to show everything you want to show.

For example:

  • Panel 1: The orange trees
  • Panel 2: A form on the thin line.
  • Panel 3: A closeup of the bird showing it bathed in moonlight.
  • Panel 4: The character squinting.
  • Panel 5: The bird in the spotlight revealing itself to be an owl.
  • Panel 6: The exhausted character as the bird fades away.
  • Panel 7: The character deep asleep in the same position that she fell into.

Note: I did not flesh these out in to full artist's instructions. That's your job!

You can do this over 2 pages or squeeze it into 1, depending on how important it is and how much space you have to work with. Some panels will be bigger than others and they do not have to be neat or even, just rectangular. You can add panels or combine panels. It's your story.

Maybe the character will mutter something or maybe there will be sound effects from the character (or the bird or elsewhere) but otherwise, I'd do this with no words at all.

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