If you’re considering writing a comic book, then it is important to keep in mind every literary element that is vital to a novel, short story, or screenplays, such as a gripping plot, character development, vivid worldbuilding, and more, as they all also apply to comic books.
No doubt you are familiar with the incredibly wide range of comic books available, even if you haven’t read all 27,000 different Marvel comic titles, and if you’re inspired to write your own, then we have some key tips to help you get started and master your first comic book.
Find a brilliant team
Writing comics is very much a collaborative affair, and when putting together your comic book, graphic novel, webcomic or other forms of graphic sequential art, you will need a team of editors, comic artists and illustrators, letterers, and colourists.
Have faith in your collaborators
With such a collaborative effort, it will mean there will be a lot of different opinions and time schedules involved. It is important to meet with your team regularly, and listen to and respect their input which may make your final product even better,
Understand story structure
Your readers will be expecting the same elements from your comic book as they do from a novel, film, or TV series.
It will need a clear beginning, middle and end, and should include a central narrative supplemented by optional subplots, character development, carefully considered dialogue and/or narration, and thematic messaging, which will be particularly important fr superhero genre comics.
Ensure you use the form to its fullest potential
Comic books are unique in that they make use of stylistic elements that are not present in many other forms of fiction, such as a script, panels, gutters, splashes, spreads, narrative captions, and speech bubbles. These can be used to dramatic effect and can help create drama, horror, or comedy, for instance.
Rely on key archetypes
While you may want to create something unique that stands apart from its peers, when it comes to writing the outline and script for your comic book, it is a good idea to consider what has led to the success of past comic book titles.
For example, in the popular superhero genre, there is a focus on the protagonists, and often the antagonists, to have superhuman powers. This may mean there is a dramatic origin story, such as Spider-Man’s radioactive spider bite, or that Superman came from a different planet, or there could be secret identities, such as Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Of course, you should never neglect to have an arch supervillain, for example, Lex Luthor, or The Joker, and don’t forget your hero’s plucky sidekick, from Batman’s young assistant Robin, or Captain America’s brother-in-arms Bucky Barnes. These archetypes work for a reason, and they are wise to keep in mind.
Play with genre
Many comic books straddle genres. There has been a strong theme for superhero fiction with a large dose of comedy, such as Deadpool. Whether you’re combining horror, comedy, superheroes, sci-fi, or more, you will need to ensure you incorporate elements of both formats.
This can be tricky to get right, but it can usually lead to a very impressive final product.
If you’ve got your comic book planned, or even ready to be published, and you’re looking for comic book printing services, talk to us today.
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