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How Long Does It Take to Make a Graphic Novel?

July 14, 2020

How Long Does It Take to Make a Graphic Novel?

How Long Does It Take to Make a Graphic Novel?

July 14, 2020

The question of how long it takes to make a graphic novel is entirely subjective. Every writer or artist works at their own speed, and they often have other jobs, relationships, and kids vying for their time.

Some comic book writers can complete a graphic novel in one year, including coloring or lettering. Other projects may take years to finish, mainly because graphic novels are collaborative, so it takes many people to finish one.

While the time frame is subjective, there are ways to manage your work more effectively so you can start and eventually finish your project as quickly as possible. By taking it seriously, breaking up your workload, and finding an experienced and skilled publisher, you can speed up the process.

Treat it Like Your Job

Often the most challenging aspect in creating a graphic novel is finding the time to do it.Sometimes you can make room in a busy schedule by changing your perspective. Create a writing and working schedule, and try to stick to it. Remember to schedule yourself off-days; everyone needs to recharge their creative batteries.

Some writers and artists work well with a timeframe, like two hours, that they set aside daily. Others work better by gauging their output. You can create an expectation for a specific amount of work to be done each day, and then try and hit your mark.

It’s vital to make this endeavor relevant in your life so you prioritize it, no matter what kind of stories you’re writing. 

Break Up Your Workload

There are specific steps in the process of making a graphic novel or comic book. Each requires a unique set of skills. The first step in writing a graphic novel is to come up with an idea. This is often the most challenging.

Every creative person finds these kernels of ideas in unique manners, and, frankly, there is no wrong way to get a good idea.

Then you need to write an outline encompassing all the plot points in your story arc. Make this outline as detailed as you can, even including pages of backstories or character breakdowns. An overview can take up to a week to complete, as it should be thorough. Think of it as the blueprint, even if you stray from it later.

Once you have an outline, you need to flesh it out. Comic books are written in script format, like screenplays.

Using a page of script for a page of your comic book, go through and supply panel descriptions and characters’ dialogue. Writing a script for your graphic novel can take one to three months, depending on the complexity of your plot.

After this step, it’s time for the artists to get to work. Sketching, coloring and inking, and lettering your comic book should take six to eight months, but if you’re outsourcing the artwork, you will have to adhere to the artists’ schedules.

The cover is another part of the artists’ job, and it’s one of the most important. Covers draw potential readers in and make them want to read your comic book. Great covers can have their own timeframe.

If all of this goes smoothly, you may be able to produce a graphic novel within a year, but it could take longer. 

Picking the Right Comic Book Publisher

Once you have a polished product, you need a publisher. The actual publishing process takes only a few weeks, but spend time investigating potential publishers to see which one is the best fit.

Professional publishers offer you an array of printing choices, including sizes, style choices, and the number of copies. If the publisher has an online presence, check their reviews, both on their own website and on others. 

Comic Book Publisher

The Bottom Line

Everybody’s creative journey is going to look differently, and the process of creating a graphic novel from idea to finished product varies. Especially because graphic novels are collaborative, it might take anywhere from one to three years.

The creative process is transformative and enlightening, and it helps to have a guide through your journey.

Comix Well Spring is a professional, experienced publishing service that can help you in the final leg of your journey. With a wide range of style choices and technical details, we can help you finalize your creative venture. 

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