Oh man... my comic, Whispers of the Past (shameless plug) has made me a better artist and writer as a whole.
1 . Scenes: I used to write stories kind of like fairytales. Except, they were novels. I would summarize things a lot, and I would tell rather than show what was happening. It was like reading old Grimm's tales. As an example, this is an excerpt from a novel I was writing 6 years ago:
Eli’s caretakers were a very average sort. They had three sons of their own who would eventually inherit Joriff’s shop and learn his clock making trade. The Roriksons cared little about anything besides their sons’ futures and themselves, and they uttered privately that they had no time for bastards who had been dumped on them from birth. Since there were no orphanages established in town, the lord of Sáffrodil had needed to find a home for the child, else leave it to die – an option which not even the Roriksons could accept. But someone had to take the unwanted child. This particular couple was the most unlikely candidate, yet as it was, and as luck would have it, Joriff and Selia were chosen from among the other merchant-class families to care for Eli. They had been extremely reluctant to accept, but would not be deemed to have black hearts by refusing.
Pretty boring, and basically a huge, whopping info-dump ready to make all the readers yawn and forget the entire ordeal of reading it. However, once I started writing comic scripts, I really started to envision scenes as opposed to summaries. Everything became about whether or not the scene gave the reader just enough info to get the gist of what's going on while still leaving enough blank for them to pick up on clues instead of being spoon-fed the story (AKA showing vs. telling). Here's an example of how I've improved, a scene from The Amulet's Curse, which I started for the 1st Writers Camp:
She always had to work to get the window open. For such a simple task, it somehow managed to become so frustratingly difficult with this particular window. For several minutes, she struggled with it, curling her fingers around the wooden frame, heaving, and pushing, and sighing when the window stalled on its way up. Finally, after a few seconds, she managed to thrust the window open with a stuttering screech.
The cool autumn air wafted in and gently brushed her face. It was a pleasant reprieve against the humid heat of the room and the earthy smell of boiling mash that any brewer was familiar with. For a moment, Eir watched the people pass on the street below her window, lulled into a state of contentedness by the faint sounds of commerce.
Behind her, boots clomped up the stairs and the door opened, breaking her from her silent meditation. When she turned around to face the source of the noise, she saw her father.
2 . Dialogue: Holy LORD has this improved since starting my comic. This relates to the above point as well. Basically, since I started thinking of the story in scenes, like a movie, I started to see how awkward the dialogue had been previously. You know that slightly unnerving and unnatural way of speaking that people have in Jr. High when they have to give a presentation in front of the class and they're reading from notecards? Well, that was my old dialogue writing! The grammar of the characters was too proper. Their sentences seemed only loosely related to the previous statement. Characters were completely BIPOLAR, and would go from calm to freaking the hell out in a matter of seconds. And yet it all seemed staged, like my characters went through life perpetually reading off of notecards their friend slipped them a few minutes before their speech. It was bad...
3 . Pacing: Honestly, this one is simple: Drawing takes a long time. Therefore, if I don't feel like a scene is absolutely necessary, I don't draw it. So yeah, I don't like wasting any time on scenes that don't contribute much to the story as a whole. Viola! Good pacing!
1 . Finishing the image: I used to draw a lot of floating heads and portraits, or I wouldn't color things based on specific lighting situations. This also has to do with backgrounds. Oooh man, I hated drawing backgrounds. I would avoid the task at all costs. I seriously hated it.
I did ↓THIS↓ a lot. Characters floating in space or sitting/standing against a non-descript wall.
After starting my comic, I started to think about the environment more, and the lighting situations. And the composition of my illustrations got a lot more interesting too:
2 . Anatomy and Poses: This is pretty obvious. I had to learn how to draw my characters actually doing stuff to let the audience know what was happening in the image. I couldn't draw a shitty pose, because if I did, there was no guarantee my readers would figure out what was going on. So I did/do a lot of studies. I look at reference. Sometimes, I even act things out myself, or look in a mirror for expressions, to figure out how to draw stuff. Or I'll drag my loved ones to do poses for me, heh.
3 . Speed: Drawing a comic means drawing a lot, so besides just getting general practice, I started to learn how to speed up the process. I learned a lot of shortcut keys, and I learned which layers were necessary and which ones were unnecessary. I also figured out how to get the base sketches done way quicker, because I started to learn the rhythm of the strokes, if that makes any sense at all. I also started to realize which details in an image made a drastic difference to the end result, and which I might be able to skip without hurting the image.
All in all, I've learned a lot, and continue to learn. Comics are challenging, but man do they make you a pro.