If you are in pursuit of creating a comic book of your own, you may not be short of inspirations. The comic book world is ginormous and awe-inspiring. Rich in fun art and stories of adventure, heroism, comedy and romance, these books were the launch pads of our childhood fantasies.
As wondrous as the tales they regaled us with, even more extraordinary are the minds that told them. Writing experts from WriteMyPaper4me.org advise that in order to get started in the path of a successful comic book writer, you need a little passion, a few encouraging words and most of all, a sterling guide on how to write a comic book
The good news is that your comic book does not have to fit into the common genres covered thus far. It can be genre-busting or genre conforming, whichever you like. Contemporary comic books spotlight topics and subjects ranging from funny to stirring, macabre to poignant, dark to light and more. So, there is no particular genre you owe it to when writing a comic book. That’s the understanding one needs to get started- your playground is pretty vast.
The First Draft
Like all creative writing projects, a comic book too starts with an idea. A writer’s job is to add flesh to the bone of this idea until a story shapes out. This may be more difficult said than done, but you can get there with persistence.
Start by toying with the ideas in your mind. Don’t fear the wrong ideas, because no idea is a wrong idea. Select one or club two ideas to create one. Now turn it over in your head until you have a visual story. This may take days, even months. So, don’t get impatient.
Your next job is to translate that visual story from your mind into a script. Good news is you can use imageries to narrate the events. At all times, stay focused on keeping the story as visual as possible.
The first draft is never the best version of the story. It may miss the spit and polish you’d like to see in the finished story, but that’s okay. This is only the first half of the job. The cutting and smoothing happens at the later stages. So sit tight.
Put Together a Team
Writing a comic book is not a one-man job. It takes a whole crew to finish a comic book in all its aspects.
So, to write it, you need by your side an experienced artist who can create all the illustrations following your instructions, a colourist who can bring the black and white drawings to life, a letterer to set the typeface, the font size and the calligraphy and a good editor to critique your work.
Work on the Elements
Next come the elements. These are the key constituents of a comic book and you need to make sure that each of them is in perfect order and that they are working together.
First is the panel. A panel of a comic book is the illustrations you see in the boxes. Each scene is a panel. The function of these panels is to create a continuum, keeping the story moving, page by page. Start by working on the contents of these panels, arranging and rearranging them, changing and tweaking the narrative as you see fit to tell the story most lucidly.
Mind the gutters because they may not seem important, but these thin spaces impact the readability of the pages. Make them thinner or thicker as required.
Work the hardest on the splash. The splash is the full-page illustration you see in a comic book. It normally appears at the front or end, establishing the setting or illustrating the climax.
The speech bubbles and the art are the most important parts of a comic book. Assuming that you are not doing the art yourself, dedicate all your time getting the dialogues right. Making them straightforward and impactful is the goal.
Lastly, do the captions. These are the boxes that appear separate from the rest of the layout bearing the context.
Structure It Up
When you have the story and the elements in a passable form, now work on the structure. The continuity of the story balances on the structure, which, in the case of comic books, is a three-act format.
In the first act, introduce your characters, the primary ones. Also in the same act, establish the setting, the mood and the key conflict in the story.
Dedicate the second act wholly to more critical things like character development, story arcs, conflicts, possible resolutions, failures, takeaways and then the climax.
There is a third act in comic books where post-climactic resolutions are presented. This is also the act where the characters change for good in the light of the lesson learned.
Some Books to Turn to for Inspiration
No matter what the subject of your comic book is, you need to borrow inspiration from previous works. This can be from books from any genre. In comic books, there are some great examples to follow. If you are not finding enough material to dive into before starting your own book, then here are some great ones to start with. Action Comics #1 from DC Comics, Maus by Art Spiegelman, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Watchmen by Alan Moore.
Getting Your Book Out
Your first initiative may not establish you as a prolific writer and send Marvel and DC at your door with lucrative contract offers, but not getting an easy recognition is not the end of the world. Instead, focus on getting it out through the right channels.
If you have no interested party at the time willing to publish your book, build your own platform. Webcomic is a new trend that is giving tons of greenhorn writers the opportunity to publish their own comics free of cost and build a buzz instantly.
If the old style of paper publishing appeals to you, make a long list of publishers who are in the business of graphic novels and comic books. Aim the smaller presses at first. Contact them individually and wait for their response.