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Mal by FADEto_

mybabyshotmedwn in novel_graphics

Way off topic, but please help!!!

I know this isn't the purpose of this community, but you all seem to know alot about graphic novels, and I'm not sure where else to turn...

I wrote a short story a while back, and recently a friend of mine had the great idea that I turn it into a graphic novel.

Now, I've read a few graphic novels but I'm nowhere near an expert, and I know absolutely nothing of the writing process. Right now I'm just looking to write it out (not get anyone to illustrate it yet). Anyway, do any of you know anything that could help me, or know of some places you could direct me to? It'd be much appreciated.


honestly, I'd say go to your local public library. I know my system has TONS of books on writing comics and graphic novels. If they don't have them, Amazon will, I'd just say read reviews to see which ones sound like they are answering your question.

As far as I understand it, the writer does the script in a very similar way to a movie script, then teams up with an artists to create the finished product.
The basic format for writing a comic is this: write out what you want each panel to look like. Describe the picture. Tell us how everything looks, and how the character feels. Then tell us what you want them to say.

CHARLIE: I was going to go talk to her
But then I chickened out.

BOB: You suck.

That will get you two Charlie word balloons, connected. One for each "paragraph". Then Bob will say, "You suck," in a single balloon.

So, like, Page 1: Six panels, all equal size.

Page 1, Panel 1: Charlie walks in the room. Bob is sitting in a recliner, not looking at Charlie.


Page 1, panel 2: Same picture.

BOB: You're late with the rent check.

And so it goes.

That's the basic "comics-style" format, but no two writers do it the same way. Depending on the artist, you can do it as loosely as you want. P. Craig Russell can adapt a short story into a great comic. Some writers want layout and description, and as much as you can give them. It depends on how well you know them, if you know who's drawing your stuff, and how they understand what you've said.

Alan Moore over-describes each panel, and some artists love that.

Your best bet is to look at comics scripts. You'll find them at the backs of these TPB's:

Sandman: Dream Country
Arkham Asylum
Powers: book 1

You can also buy the Powers Scriptbook, or go to www.darkhorsecomics.com or www.2000adonline.com or probably any other comics publisher website, to find a sample script. If you can't find one, just ask again, and I can help you some more.

take a look at "dream country" by Neil Gaiman. It's a Sandman collection that contains his complete script for the story "Calliope". It's a very good example of how to do a scripted comic.

or if you'd like me to, I could send you a copy of a comic script I wrote. It's a similar layout.

November 2007

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