Tips How To Write A Comic Story
Writing, like any other art, involves proper planning and adequate preparation, which means you have to count your cost before you put pen to paper. How effective your preparation is will determine if your write up will be worth reading or not. Writing a comic book involves planning and lots of intentional preparation. This article is aimed at bringing to light, cogent steps to be taken before writing a comic story and hints to writing a great comic story. Using this article as a guide, you will also be enlightened on how to write a good story, be it comic or not.
What is a comic story?
A comic story is a form of creative writing where the story is displayed by images, drawings and cartoons. The dialogues exchanged between the characters form the written part of the story. The images which are arranged sequentially are interrelated and together cohesive form a narrative. This narrative is usually rich in humor and very comical.
The use of pictures to represent or tell a story started a long time ago, the earliest form of writing can be traced to the use of hieroglyphs by the Egyptians but Comic story writing started basically in the early 18th century. It was at first an endearing way of reaching the young audience but as it became renown, it cut across audience of different age grade. The authors of comic stories are called cartoonist or comic artist. As comic story writing grew, so did the themes grow; for it was centered on mythology and ancient beliefs in its earliest history.
How to Write a Comic Book
The step by step guideline is divided into three parts which are; before writing, while writing and after writing.
There are few things you need to have in mind and be aware of before embarking on a comic story writing journey. You need to know what you are getting into so as not to get stuck on the way. This stage is the preparation stage where you get to count your cost and see if you have enough to start to the journey or if you will need more than you have now. Below are few steps.
- Create an outline:Before you start writing any kind of story, it is expedient that you have an outline. This is what will serve as a guide for your story. You need to outline some questions like; what will the whole story be about? What genre is the story? What is the temporary and permanent setting? What is the aim of the story? What will be the beginning? What will be the conflict that will build up to cause climax? How will the resolution happen? What are the major and minor characters? All these questions, when answered will form your story. Getting an outline is very important and useful, before doing any form of creative writing; this should be the first step.
- A sense of arrangement wouldn’t hurt: Arranging in chronological order the appearance of your characters and the sequence of the plot gives you a sense of direction and helps your readers follow the story as you write. This arrangement is subjected to change as you write of course but having arranged the order of the story, you can just expand each chapter without much stress. Many at times, some authors make a poor judgement in arranging their story; this leads to lack of cohesiveness of the plot and themes.
The best way to do this is to write out each of the beginning, middle and end of the story when writing and then go back to the beginning and start breaking the down each section into pages. Make sure you have suspense at the end of each page; this will make the readers continue turning the pages.
- Create your characters:outlining their names might not be to enough, you need to create each character both the major and minor character but more focus on the major ones. Create them with flaws, attitude, strengths, wants, pain and joy. Make your characters real so your readers can relate with them.
Writing the story – the process
After a very good outline, writing the story is not as stressful as it could have been. It now depends on the way you follow the flow of your muse and writing instructions that will determine how the story will turn out. Below are basic things that should be observed as you write.
- Expand your broken down plot: you have broken down the plot into pages, so at this point just expand those pages. Decide the best way to structure the dialogue to show the uniqueness of each character.
- Remember you are writing in images:it is expedient that you keep the story visual. Make the dialogues short and the words concise. Writing too many words makes your story look like a short story with illustrations. Replace any word or sentences that can be represented in images with the images.
- Be dynamic with your story: don’t just go one way with your characters, be dynamic. Let them make wrong decisions, let them fail, let them get hurt and cure them in an unexpected way that leaves the reader breathing ‘aaah’ after the story. Let your hero fail, let him fall and make wrong decisions before he or she makes the right one.
- Let your characters lead:when you get to a point in writing, your character should be in charge and not you. Let them make their decisions and win as they want. Don’t impose yourself on your characters.
I know you are confused at this point, so I will explain.
Before writing the story, you have outlined the plot and defined your characters. You know intimately what and who each character is, right? Now, as you place them in the story they must reflect who they really are and not who you are. When faced with life difficult situations, you’d rather pray than act. Is your character that kind of person? Can you understand me now? The basic thing is to just be careful as not to start writing about you.
- Edit as you write: there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a terrible first draft. It happens all the time even to the best writers you know. Your first draft, no doubt can’t be publishable. While you write, you’ want to change some things, crop out lines, characters and so on. Edit without fear, weed out the not-so-good part until you have a good story.
- Make your dialogue realistic: as you write, weed out the unrealistic part. You might need others to do with you.
- Characters must have a defined role: Make sure you don’t deviate from the initial role you’ve outlined for your characters. This will confuse your readers and make them loose interest in the story.
- Construct your panel according to the scenes: you need to construct your panel according to the actions in the scene. For instance, if you are creating a scene where the major action is happening on the top of a tall building, you must enlarge your panel applying the eagles’ eyes approach or method so that the readers can get a clearer picture of the action.
- In case you aren’t doing the illustration yourself, hire an artist and ask for samples of his or her work so you can check the professionalism of such artist and see if his or her style fits your kind of writing.
This include the after works and publishing. The basic thing is, as much as you get satisfaction from creating a story and bringing your characters to life, you need to share the story with the world.
Publishing your story involves some steps and conscious decisions but few that apply to a comic book publishing will be discussed here. There are few steps to take before publishing and they are:
- Get a professional editor: whatever kind of publishing you want to do, your work needs to be error free. Most publishing houses accept won’t works that are at least ninety percent accurate. Editing a work yourself might not really be the best option so it’s either you gets a neutral person to edit the work or you have an error filled work.
- What kind of publishing do you want? This will determine how to approach your publishing processes. You might want to start submitting the stories to different publishing houses or in case you want to publish and market the story yourself, you might want to start counting your cost. Publishing your story yourself is usually very stressful and the marketing also slow and tedious but the bright side is; you can’t cheat yourself, get cheated by publishers and you have total control over the work.
Though getting a reputable publishing house might be the easy way out but it also involves lots of strategizing and patience. The action feared by most writers is rejection because it undermines the spirit of some writers and sometimes even blocks their muse. Stories can be rejected for any mundane or minute reason so this shouldn’t bring you down or make you disappointed. Just scout around for another one until the story gets accepted.
Writing a comic book is quite an easy task when the right instruction is followed. You might also want to download books and check out some comic books samples that suit the kind of story you have in mind. Don’t forget to have fun as you write, after all it is comic!