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I don’t have any experience with graphic novels. I would think there must be writers’ groups for this sort of thing. If you can find one, it would be of enormous help. Good luck!
Have you checked out books about writing graphic novels, maybe at the library or on Amazon. I don’t have experience with that, but it seems like a good place to start. Good luck :)
Far flung future
Old Gods coming back
A little girl who knows to much
Really, really, really big guns.
I have to like..write some of that down.
Copy & Paste, my friend. Copy & Paste.
I have the opposite problem that you do. I’m a fiction writer wannabe and I can come up with millions of ideas, I just can’t right them as fast as I can think them.
My latest story was about a customer service rep in hell. Next up is an AI messiah. Then, it’s back to the Zombie cycle. Sheesh!
Rock on, at least you have a bunch of ideas.
Maybe my imagination is just on the fritz..
I’m very critical of my ideas, maybe too critical.
Like if I ever had the mind to come up with anything random like that, I’d probably think “Nahh, I’m not gonna be able to write a story about that..”
I like to draw, and I have ideas in my head for how something should look or what kind of mood it should have.
But I just sit down and I’m like “Alright. Awesome picture. Wtf are they doing?”
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever come across for story ideas was in Stephen King’s “On Writing” (which is ruling, BTW, every story teller should read it) -
A story is never one idea. It’s two ideas that collide. When you have ideas write them down, let them stir around in your head. Then, from out of the blue, another idea will smack into one of the floating ones. Them you’ll have a story.
~ Customer Service + Hell
~ Spirituality + AI Research
You get the idea.
That’s pretty inspiring.
It seems to me that it doesn’t matter what kind of medium you want to write a story in if you don’t have a story yet. Are you saying you’re looking for ideas you can represent in a graphic novel form, or are you asking for specific help in starting a graphic novel for an idea you already have?
If you are asking for help with getting an idea, that’s a different thing altogether, and everyone has their own reasons for writing and ways of expressing themselves. I’ve always been more of the school of “I have this story, now I must write it” rather than “hmm, I wanna write something—what should I write about?” I’m a firm believer that a story, an aspect of a story, or a character should be pecking at you to write it rather than you searching for “something” to write about.
That said, you can sometimes get inspired by (of course) reading other graphic novels or even webcomics. I have been drawing a weekly webcomic for two years (search for the webcomic Negative One on the ‘net if you’re interested in seeing it), and I find it a very satisfying way of telling a little bit of a story a little bit at a time and making sure I do something creative at least once a week. I’m mainly a traditional novelist, though, and most of my work is just plain text.
If you’re here to ask someone to give you an idea, I think you might be barking up the wrong tree, because the story won’t be yours if someone gives it to you. But if you’ve got an idea and you want some advice on how to present it, let me know. I can tell you more about my process in drawing webcomics and you can ask any specific questions you have. I’m no expert, though.
I will definetely look up your comic online. And although I don’t have a clear idea yet, I’m not asking for entire plots..just a few phrases or thoughts that could be transformed into a story.
I hope you don’t think I’m a jerk or anything when I say these things, but that’s still something I think should come from you—but just so you know, every writer out there has influences, so take a look at what you’ve liked in fiction. Maybe make a list of books and graphic novels (and even movies and TV shows) you’ve liked and then try to isolate what you liked about each. Maybe narrow down a genre, and then figure out if you want it modern or old-timey, first-person or third, male perspective or female, blah blah blah. I’ve always thought the best stories focus around a strong character or two. Maybe you can build a person and doodle her a few times and see if she comes to life for you, if her details start filling themselves in for you . . . if she has a story for you to tell. That’s all I can suggest. :) And you’ll find that every character deepens as you write, and sometimes a character becomes the story.
Alright, that’s something I’ll try.
And, no, I don’t think you’re being a jerk.
I asked for advice, so I’ll take whatever I can get. :]
Other than the “graphic” part, a graphic novel is just a novel.
Read some good books on writing (I started with an Idiot’s Guide and went from there), and read a writing magazine or two.
Then start writing!
Write everyday, even if it’s just a journal entry. You will only get better if you keep writing.
Assuming you’re doing that….
A good idea I’ve found useful for starting a story is to start in the middle. Right in the middle of some action. You can catch the reader up later, if necessary.
Another tip: Have some conflict on every page, even if it’s something small. I don’t mean fighting, just one character wanting something and another wanting something else.
I hope that’s not more than you wanted to know. :-)
I like the idea of starting in the middle, I’m probably more apt to do that, and then piece it together from there.
And I like the idea of “constant conflict,” too.
Thank you for your input. :]
The best way to go about writing a graphic novel is the same way to go about writing a text-based novel; to come up with an intriguing idea or set of characters, then create what’s known as a “three-act structure” of story around it, then edit and edit and edit some more. There are plenty of online guides to the three-act structure, if you’re not already familiar with it; simply Google the term or look it up at Wikipedia.
As far as coming up with ideas, since you mentioned being good at endings but not beginnings, have you thought of maybe taking on the storyline of a much older book (one that has passed into the public domain, that is, so that you don’t get into any legal trouble), but updating it for modern or even science-fiction times? This is a great way for a beginning writer to get a well-designed start for a story made for them; and since it’s a re-telling of something in the public domain, you’re free to change the ending in any way you want, taking advantage of what you say is your best aspect as a writer.
Hope this has been of some help. To learn of lots of books that are now in the public domain, by the way, simply visit Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org), a non-profit group trying to release as many of these books as possible in free electronic form.
Don’t have to write anything complex or even formulaic to be good. Consider some of the best graphic novels – Ghost World, Blankets, Contract with God, Persepolis. These are essentially slice of life stories or even stories lifted directly from personal experiences. The drama is in the telling.
And as always – if you want to write, then you also need to read.
Try to find the book by Jerry Cleaver, Immediate Fiction. It talks about how to build a story.
There’s an interesting podcast here:
about writing comic books, and some of the considerations for writing in that genre. I’m sure a lot of the ideas there will help you.
Hmm…with your mode of thinking…I have a great idea for you… try this: since you say you can visualize and draw what something looks and feels and whatnot… visualize something, anything that includes at least one character. Could be anything… Now draw it…complete with background and everything. Now take the character and visualize another picture and place the character in it. Draw that… Take the background of the first picture, draw it from and different angle and add anything else that comes to mind. Do a series of pictures like this taking characters from pictures into new ones or other background and placing new things in them… When you have about 5 or 6 of those, line them up. Being that each one has new elements coming straight from your mind, look at the similarities. Just study them…does anything come to mind? Maybe character one is standing in front of trees in one picture and then submerged in water in another… maybe he got thrown by the two characters you drew in another pick by the same water…do enough of this and you’ll have a good starting point for a story!
Remember, as Picasso said, “Immature artists imitate; mature artists steal.” (He, of course, stole the quote from Lionel Trilling) Untested creatives often misunderstand this quote. The greats called what they did “stealing” because to them, drawing their ideas out of life experience, friends, family and fellow artists had become, through practice, altogether natural – so natural, in fact, that they didn’t even feel involved in the process anymore.
If you’re not an artist signed to dark horse or another big publisher, then chances are you’re in the learning process; early comichood. Here the trick is, create all you can: write and draw and make stories. The world is full of ideas and empty of initiative – but initiative feeds on itself, and, like any muscle, grows with use. Infinitely more important than the question of “what” is the question of “when”. And “when” is now.
Our subconscious has already learned fifty times more than we have, and if the desire to create is stronger than a wan conviction, then there’s plenty of story already within us. Take a cue from those already established, and don’t clutter your creative process with too much worry about the craft. Before we can fret over what to make, before we deserve to fret, we have to be able to make something – so start, and just do: fly by the seat of your pants and let the story flow out of you. The reason the average novelist is 50 years old is because it takes a lot of life to build up a story really worth telling – but you have to be able to tell it first.
Be bold – if you can finish what you start you’re already further along than 90% of your fellow creatives. If you like one of these ideas, run with it – but please, run! Don’t waste another second expecting the idea to mature with thought alone – that’s not how ideas work. People mature, and if we’ve done enough creating, then we can do some stealing of our own and produce work worth being proud of.
Think of what you want to base it on?
In terms of a story:
A happy memorable experience, think of a character you would like to see. Perhaps you might want to base it on an alter-ego you have. Maybe you have courage but never actually displayed it yet ~ this might be a forum for you to explore it in.
You can base it on yourself and then change the name of the character to get some separation so you can REALLY role-play.
I would get an idiots guide to manga cartoon drawings. Also buy a couple of X Men comics to see what detail you want in your cartoon. I’ve found the artists in action comic books are quit brilliant.
I’m not refering you to thi to raise the bar, but if you study these drawings it will help you create your own pictures.
I know u wrote this article a while ago but ill repsond anywayz… you should start by learning how to draw manga… im going to have a page telling you how on my site www.everything-alwayz-xox.piczo.com. You should always start with somthing simple and not too difficult. start by writing a story on line piece of paper, then start tranforming it into a comic/graphic novel. When doing the story i’d start with somthing your intrested in (for me its supernatural creatures) then when u make your pictures try to make them simple. Start by doing the main things and then work on the details in it later. if you keep practicing you should have a great graphic novel. I got some of these tips by a famous author in manga that came to my school and some are just common sense… Hope i helped!
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