5 Indispensable Tricks for Writing Comic Books
January 24, 2023
Comic books have been a beloved form of entertainment for decades, captivating audiences with their unique blend of visual storytelling and compelling characters.
Whether you’re an aspiring comic book writer or an experienced creator looking to brush up on your skills, certain tricks can help take your writing to the next level. Check out these five indispensable tricks to help you level up your comics.
Understand Basic Story Structure
A well-structured story is essential for keeping your readers engaged and invested in your characters and their journey. The basic structure of a story typically includes a beginning, middle, and end, with a straightforward setup, rising action, climax, and resolution.
The beginning of your story should introduce your characters and the world they inhabit while setting up the central conflict or problem they will face.
The middle of your story should build tension and introduce complications as your characters work to overcome obstacles.
The climax is the pivotal point in the story where the conflict reaches its height and is resolved, and the resolution is the aftermath of the climax.
By understanding and using basic story structure, you can make a compelling and cohesive story for your comic book that will keep your readers engaged from start to finish.
Plan a Story That Can be Serialized & End Each Issue on a Cliff Hanger
Comic books are typically released on a regular schedule, such as monthly or bi-monthly, and it’s essential to structure your story in a way that can be broken up into manageable chunks for each issue.
When planning a serialized story, consider how each issue will end with a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger is a dramatic moment or revelation that leaves the reader wanting more and eager to return for the next issue. This can be a physical cliffhanger, like a character falling off a building, or an emotional cliffhanger, like a character revealing a shocking secret.
Ending each issue on a cliffhanger keeps your readers engaged and encourages them to return for the next installment.
Ensure each issue has a satisfying resolution, even though the story is not yet complete. This way, readers will feel that they have completed a chapter and will be more eager to read the next one.
When planning a serialized story, have a clear idea of the overall arc of the story. This helps you maintain a consistent tone and pacing throughout the series and ensures each issue builds toward a satisfying conclusion.
Play with Genre
Comic books come in various genres, from superhero stories to horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Each genre has its own set of conventions and expectations, and by understanding and playing with these conventions, you can create unique and compelling stories.
For example, if you start writing a comic script for a superhero story, you can play with the genre’s conventions by subverting expectations or introducing new elements. You can create a story that explores the darker side of heroism or focuses on the personal lives of superheroes rather than their heroic deeds.
Similarly, if you’re writing a horror story, you can introduce new and unexpected elements. Instead of the usual jump scares, you can explore the psychological horror of the characters.
By playing with genres, you can create familiar and fresh stories, keeping your readers engaged and invested in your characters and their journey. It’s also important to remember that comics can combine different genres. It can be an excellent opportunity to create something unique and interesting, such as a superhero with a comedic side, like Deadpool or Spider-Man.
Rely on Archetypes
Archetypes are universal patterns and themes found in stories across cultures and throughout history. They are a way to create characters that are instantly relatable and understandable to readers, regardless of their background or experience.
Some of the most commonly used archetypes in comics include the hero, the villain, the mentor, and the damsel in distress. The hero is the character who goes on the journey and overcomes the obstacles, the villain is the character who creates the obstacles, the mentor is the character who guides the hero and provides wisdom, and the damsel in distress is the character who needs saving.
Relying on archetypes can help you create relatable and memorable characters. By understanding the archetypes you’re working with, you can create deeper, more nuanced characters that are more than just one-dimensional stereotypes.
Archetypes are not stereotypes, so it’s important to avoid creating characters that are too similar to each other. Play with archetypes and subvert them to create unique and interesting characters.
Trust Your Collaborators
If you are only doing the writing for the comic, you need to trust your team. Comics are a visual medium and often require a team of individuals to bring the story to life. The team usually includes the writer, the artist, the letterer, and the colorist. Each of these individuals plays a critical role in the final product, and their contributions are essential to the success of the comic.
As a writer, it’s essential to trust your collaborators to bring your story to life in their unique way. The comic book artist interprets your script and brings the characters and world to life with their style and vision.
The letterer adds sound effects and dialog to the story, adding another layer of depth to the comic. The colorist adds mood and atmosphere to the comic, creating a visual language that helps convey the story.
Trusting your collaborators means allowing them to interpret your script and add their creativity and expertise to the final product. It also means being open to feedback and suggestions and willing to change the story if they improve the final product.
Print Your Project with Comix Well Spring
Once you have written your comic book, the next step is to print it. Comix Well Spring is a print-on-demand service that specializes in printing comics and graphic novels. To help pay for your comics to be published, ask us about our crowdfunding option.
We can help you self-publish your comic book, and with our low minimum of 25 and fast turnaround times, your readers will enjoy your creation in no time!
For staple stitch binding, for example, we have a standard production turnaround time (excluding shipping) of 14 business days, a rush turnaround time of 7-13 days, and a lightning-fast turnaround time of 2-6 days, so you get your comic book even quicker.
Start putting these tricks into practice today and bring your comic book vision to life. If you have any questions or need help, reach out to us so you can get your comic book printed and share it with the world.