Hi there, welcome to my series on how write comics!
In part 1 of how to write comics we are going to start with the most important thing – that is the ‘why’ (in fact this isn’t limited to comics this goes from writing and any creative process in general).
Before you get into all the cool characters you have, the crazy scenes, the bold use of colour that you want to use – you have to first start with the ‘why’.
If you can’t answer the ‘why do I want to do this’ then you’re not ready yet.
There are lots of reasons that people get into writing and drawing comics – and believe me, it’s not for the money. If you think you’re going to get rich of writing and drawing comics you need a re-think.
There is a real important reason that writers write – lots of us do it, because in some way
- we want to make the world a better place,
- we want to express a feeling, thought or emotion that we think either through the use of humour or drama may make a difference to someone’s life.
So what is that thing you are trying to do that will make a difference?
You need to find this, because in your story, hidden below all those wonderful gags, lurking below all the crazy action sequences you have, there is a point. There is a reason you are putting yourself through all this – you need to bring it out.
For me, in my graphic novel Digitopia, the reason is that I want to stand up for all those displaced people across the world, the oppressed, the refugees. As much as I’d like to jack in my job and go and work for free for a charity, I know that’s not viable. Through my comic book I hope to help change people’s perceptions around the plight these poor people face.
Currently here in the UK and across Europe there is a terrible swing to far right parties, who paint refugees as the bad guys, through the comic book I am trying to show that refugees actually just need help not more abuse
believe me, they ain’t doing this out of choice.
That’s the why, behind me pushing myself everyday, to overcome all the hurdles, to make compromises where I have to, to make sacrifices – you too have a ‘why’ behind your comic book.
Why is it important to find a ‘Why’ when you write comics?
When you find the ‘why’ then you can overcome any ‘how’.
That is to say when you know why you’re doing this, you can overcome all the obstacles, the roadblocks, the flaming hoops of fire that you need to jump through. Believe me there are going to be lots of things that get in your way, but when you know why you’re doing this, you can overcome all the blockers, you can stay up late, you can sacrifice nights out partying, you can get through anything.
But if you don’t know the why, then you are going to give up at the first sign of difficulty.
Your confidence will suffer, and you’ll likely never try this or any other creative endeavour again – it’s not because you’re not any good, it’s just that you haven’t taken time to really understand the ‘why’ to this.
Once you’ve figured it out then write it down and pin it to somewhere where you can see it everyday.
Use it to remind yourself, because as you start writing as you start working with artists, publishers and marketers you are going to be in so deep, things will fly at you so fast, there will be hundreds of unforeseen problems coming your way and you’ll want to give up so much – that’s when you need to look up and see the ‘why’ – the one that you wrote down at the start, the one the real you wrote down, before you were tired, before you were disheartened, before you wanted to give up – use that to keep going.
In fact, put your ‘why’ down in the comments section below, state it here publicly, it’ll hold you accountable and it will inspire others to do it too.
Good luck with it, I wish you all the best – do check out the rest of the series and have a look around the blog, I’ve got a mailing list here too if you want to keep in touch and all my social sites are here too (on the right side if you’re on a desktop/laptop/tablet or below if you’re on mobile).
Thanks so much and be sure to hit these social share buttons 🙂
Come over and check out our progress with the graphic novel at www.comic.digitopiafilm.com