How to Write Comic Books: Getting Your Start
Have you always fantasized about how to write comic books, but you don’t know where to start? The good news is that, despite distinctive elements to the craft, it’s not more difficult than other forms of creative writing. The bad news is it’s not easier either. Whether you’re writing comic books, a novel or a script, you’ll need a strong plot, compelling characters and dialogue that’s actually engaging.
The main difference from a novel is that you have to write “visually,” that is to say, you have to write as if every scene you create were projected on a screen at the back of your mind, adjusting your focus or your pace whenever you feel you could make that inner “film” more engaging. Bear in mind that, unless you are one of the gifted artists who can do both, your writing should guide the visual artist in his/her own creative process.
Here are the main steps in how to write comic books and to comic book printing and writing, assuming you are writing with an aim to self-publish it and you’ve already found a visual artist to team up with.
The most important step in how to write comic books (or any other piece of writing) is coming up with the idea and developing it into a first sketch/ draft. For comic books, this traditionally involves two stages. In the first stage, plotting, you develop your idea into a summary of the story you wish to tell. Once you’ve got the plot, the visual artist draws the comic book based on the plot alone and sends it back to you.
In the second stage of how to write comic books, scripting, you will write the captions and dialogue based on the artwork you received from the visual artist. Nowadays, it’s more common for the writer to produce the script directly, providing the visual artist with a detailed description of general layout and panels and inserting captions and dialogue before any visual content is created.
3. Adding Narration and Dialogue
Whether jump into how to write comics with the dialogue first or in a more traditional way, the last step in the process is usually guiding the letterer. The writer will do this by explicitly distinguishing between narration and dialogue and specifying the type of dialogue (conversation, whispering, argument or internal dialogue), because each requires its own kind of speech bubble.
Once you have your final comic book draft, you can focus on the next step, which is finding the ideal place for comic book publishing. For other useful tips on writing and impeccable self-publishing, be sure to visit our blog.