How To Write Graphic Novels
If you are interested in
producing your own graphic novel or novel period, then you might find
some useful information and resources here.
Writing is hard enough.
Writing a novel is harder. Writing a graphic is the hardest! Well,
that is my warped logic anyways.
First, you have got to
ascertain your talent. We are all good at something, it could be that
you are very artistic and creative or that you have a knack for
numbers and facts. Do you want to be the writer AND the artist or do
you just want to draw? Maybe you would just like to write (like me)
because you have a fantastic story in you but you just cant draw to
save your life.
The best way in this case is to find a partner and pool your talents
together. Creating a graphic novel is rarely a one man show. Most
importantly, as a WRITER, you must start honing your writing skills
and let people critique your work. The more criticisms the better!
Look for criticisms and embrace them for they will always spur you
on and help you your skills. Do remember that you cannot please
There are several resources listed below that would do good to help
you find out more about writing your own graphic novel. As I am
typing this, I am currently working on an E-book where I introduce
some solid concepts on website monetization and income. It is nearly
It is totally unrelated to graphic novels but I
suppose it does involve an element of writing and creating here.
What I wanted to say was that I would have NEVER would have
completed it if my friend hadn't introduced me to a writing guide
Where do you submit your
work after you have completed your grand masterpiece? Fret not, I
have a list of places where you can
go publish your works after you are done. Another place to
go is this website. Here are some useful tips on
Formatting. In what type of
format must you submit your work? What if you have changes? How do you
submit cover art, author photos and other information? What about ISBN
numbers? You would have to decide on which platform you want to do
your work from the very start.
Editing. Are the books edited
or proofread and are there fees charged for editing or proofreading?
What experience do they have? You might consider using the editing
service or hiring a freelance editor to proof your work for you prior
to publication. Editing is a must if you want to make sure your first
graphic novel goes well
Promotional Benefits. Does the
publisher promote its authors? Does it contact the media for you? Does it have a media contact list or a mailing
list where you can announce your book?
How does the publisher feature its most recent releases? There is nothing wrong with this approach, but be
sure you know what the company's policies are so that you aren't
disappointed. You would probably want to take charge and do your own
marketing, whichever it is be sure to research your target market
carefully. I will include a 'promoting your graphic novel' below.
Book Covers. Book cover
graphics are a real draw at bricks-and-mortar bookstores; It is more
so for graphic novels! Very often, it is the cover art that draws the
reader and like them have an idea of how the artwork would look
inside. So do invest some time, effort and money to get a top drawer
cover for your graphic novel.
Accolades. Whom do you
want to find to write a introduction or synopsis for your graphic
novel? It is best if you can maintain a website for your book and link
up with other first time graphic novelists. Subscribe to
Novel Ideas Newsletter and
we can link you all up. You should then review each other's work and
give a honest assessment. Submit your works to some local newspaper in
your area. Have them appraise it for you. Accolades are a very good
Book Price. How
much will your GN cost? How much will readers have to pay for your GN?
Do all your calculations carefully beforehand. Do you want to sell it
online? Or sell it through bookstores? Or both? Look after and mull on
the price you want to sell your graphic novel, it is after all, where
your money comes in from.
Who do you want to partner with? If at all. Does the publisher have agreements with Amazon.com, BN.com and/or Borders.com? What price
do readers have to
pay for your GN at these retailers? Is there a discount or promotional
discounts available? What is the lead time to customers? You have to
take a lot of factors into consideration here. Establish a good
relationship, and you will find that they are more then willing to
help promote all your GNs, future and present.
Online Selling. If
you are promoting/selling your GN online you will have to answer a few
questions. How does the publisher promote its books? Does it have a
bookstore on its website? Is it highly visible or hard to find? Does
it get much traffic? Does it have a bestseller list? Does the
bookstore have secure online ordering? A great online bookstore is
essential, especially if you are sending people to the website to get
your Graphic Novel.
Sales. Will you
have access to sales information? How often is it updated? This is
especially crucial if you decide to do your own marketing. You need to
get those statistics and find out which is the most effective form of
advertising for you.
many other Writers do your know? What about artists? Freelance or
otherwise? How many bookstore owners do you know? Get opinions
from friends, newsgroups, writer's groups and professional
organizations. Their point of views can throw some light into many
things. Establish useful contacts in the industry and community, start
making little inroads. Subscribe to our Novel Ideas Newsletter and
build your network. If you are an independent Graphic Novelist and
have a website, I can do a feature on you for free on the newsletter.
One of the most important
things to get right in a graphic novel is its dialogue. It is
through dialogue that you give life to your characters and through
dialogue that your tell your story.
This article I found from the web describes what you can do to
1. Find a comic book or collection of comic strips in which the
visuals appeal to you. Choose work that has at least one character
you would like to write about (but you are going to make this
character your own, so select by visuals only; you may want to pick
a character that looks like a character you have already created).
Also consider using work you are unfamiliar with; this will make the
exercise a little easier. You'll need a comic in which more than one
2. Photocopy the comic or strips (you'll want at least a few pages
-- a whole comic's worth would be useful) and blank out all the
text, captions as well as speech bubbles.
3. Re-write the dialogue as if the characters were your own
creations. Don't try to use the characters as created by the writer,
but pretend they are entirely different people. Try to give each
character his or her own way of speaking -- given enough dialogue
you should be able to tell which character is which just by what
they say. You may have to be careful about exaggerating the
differences between characters' speech at first; the differences
should mostly be subtle.
4. If needed, re-write or add any supplemental text such as
captions, monologues, or whatever else the work may call for.
5. Notice how the visuals of the comic effect any possible
interpretations of what is happening. Did you find it difficult to
make up new text? Think about what this means for text without
pictures (short stories and novels). How can you create visuals
using text only? What might gestures and actions interspersed with
dialogue add to the meaning of the dialogue and/or to the
progression of the story?
6. Using your re-written comic as a guide, re-write the scene/story
again, this time in short story format (in other words, as text
only). Keep in mind the things you discovered about the effect of
visuals, of gesture and action and facial expression (and whatever
else), on dialogue and meaning. Add some of these things in as you
Notes: It can be difficult to write new dialogue for existing
characters in an attempt to turn them into different characters,
especially if the existing characters are ones you are already quite
familiar with. However, this exercise can hopefully illustrate two
things: first that every character -- every person -- has their own
way of speaking, even if the differences are extremely subtle.
Changing the way a character speaks changes the character. Second,
this exercise should show you that the things happening at the same
time as dialogue -- action, gesture, expression and so on -- affect
the interpretation of the scene. They may change the meaning of the
dialogue, or the understanding of the character, or any number of
other things. Experiment to see how small changes affect stories.
Promoting Your Graphic Novel
There are some ways in
which you can promote your GN. They need not be costly. One of the
best and cheapest ways of advertising is via your local newspaper.
Start from your community. Ring up the reporters and see if you can
work something out. Get them to review your GN. Look at the
classifieds section. It is also a cheap and relatively effective
form of advertising.
Explore Adwords. You can choose the locations which you want to
target and also set your daily budget. The beauty of this is that
the visitors would be highly targeted. Meaning they are the visitors
that you want! These visitors are much more likely to buy and read
your GN then anyone else. This has to do with keyword bidding, as
you bid on specific keywords that users will search on
Google. Say 'buy graphic novels online', and your ads appears
whenever someone searches for that term.
A much cheaper prospect at honing your writing
skills. Learn from a professional editor and writer how to avoid the
most common mistakes that will brand you as an amateur. Costs Just
A book that I bought myself from clickbank. If you
are serious about writing a proper novel (or graphic novel for that
matter) AND if you have some money to spare you could get this. The
Submit your novels for publishing
10 things you can learn
from Harry Potter
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating A Graphic
Novel. This is the definitive guide.
Creative writing for teens
Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel :
Everything You Need to Know to Create Great Graphic Works
Email me your own resources if you