People often think that writing a story and drawing a comic are two very different things, but when you think about it, they are extremely similar. In both, you are using a specific medium to describe what is happening and tell a story. They also both take a very long time to do. Even choosing what angle to present the scene in a comic is similar to which perspective you choose to show the story from in writing. Because of this, I think that looking at your story, or the scene you are writing as a comic can have a very positive effect on your writing.
When two characters are talking to each other in a comic, it can be really difficult to make that look interesting to the viewer. No one wants to see two faces simply staring at each other, speaking line by line for several pages, so artists need to get creative to make them visually appealing. I think the same holds true for writing. It can be easy to tag each dialogue with a: ‘he said,’ she said,’ and you can even use more colorful words to make that more interesting, but it isn’t enough. Always think of each scene you are writing as a picture and ask these questions. Where are they standing? What is around them? When they move, where is it in relation to the other characters? What might change around them? Think about all these things and more and use that in your scenes.
With any piece of advice I write about, I always have to emphasize that this is all to be used in moderation. Descriptions are wonderful. They paint a picture for your reader that you may not be able to paint yourself. But too many, and the reader will get lost in them. Where it is important to really think about where your characters are and what they’re doing while they talk, it’s equally important to really choose which of those descriptions you will tell the reader. I always believe that the writer should know everything about what’s going on. I love to plan and plot, but if I told all of those things to my reader, they would get bored. There might be some mice crawling across the cave floor while the two warriors meet to talk, but are those mice interesting? Not really. Not if they don’t matter to my warriors when they start to fight. Focus on what actions they are doing, or what things in the scenery affect them, and you won’t get lost in description.
For every comic I write, I do it in four parts. I write a vague event list of what I want to happen. I detail those events into something of a play script. I draw everything out in sketches for where I want pictures to go with my words, and then I draw it all for real. It is the same as the drafts and revisions needed for a story, and just as art may seem harder to some and more time consuming, I think writing takes just as much skill and time to create the perfect picture you want others to see. So as you write, don’t just see the words on your screen, or in your notebook. Visualize everything as a picture and a moving story, so that anyone who reads it will be able to do the same.
All pictures provided were drawn by me, Marlena Money
xakriuth.deviantart.com for more art
@ultimasheep on Twitter
We're all writers, we're all moms, writing our way through the "brambles" of life and our stories.