I get a hit with questions about writing every day. I thought I’d post a recent Q/A session with one young person wanting to write graphic novels. This is not my field of expertise, but what follows are a few pointers that apply to writing in general. If comic professionals want to chime in, I’d appreciate it.
1) What’s the first step to getting in the world of writing graphic novels?
You might want to start by writing your own comic (and finding a partner to do the art (unless you’re an artist as well). There are several avenues for getting self-published, but in any event, this will serve as a calling card when you start talking to comic industry experts. If you approach them without such a sample, well, no one is going to take you seriously.
I got involved in a few comic projects because people approached me to write them after reading and enjoying my novels.
Regardless of the media, you need to show people you can write before you’re going to get a job as a writer.
SIDE NOTE: I believe artists are the real heavy lifters in the graphic novel world. They put in 10 times more work than writers. They have my respect. And “successful” ones tend to cripple their hands and burn out their eyes by the time they are 35.
2) What books should I read (if any) to help my writing?
Strunk and White, The Elements of Style
The 38 Most Common Writing Mistakes, James Bickhamm
3) What cities are best connected to the graphic novel scene; or is it not quite like screenwriting in Hollywood and New York?
Marvel is the only holdout, staying in New York City. DC is now in LA, Oni is in San Diego, Dark Horse and others are in Portland OR. All of them (ok maybe not Portland) are expensive places to live.
4. Do you know the process of how people interview/recruit/get connected for writing for comic books?
No. I’d hit up the comic cons and talk to the writers and artist for tips.
5) In your opinion who’s the best new Sci-fi writer?
I like Earnest Cline. His READY PLAYER ONE is wonderful. His ARMADA is not so wonderful. Lessons to be learned from both books.
6) What can I do to help prepare myself for a career in writing? I suspect it’s just writing, but I wanted to ask.
ha. “Just” write. Like that’s easy. 🙂
Write every day so you make it a habit. Write from an outline so you don’t waste time. Try to learn something new about the craft every day. Write your first novel (or whatever) first, and then worry about how to market and sell it. Stay off the internet.
7) Are there organizations that could help me get a foot in the door for screenwriting or graphic novel writing?
None that I know of. In fact there are many people and organizations that will happily take your money and don’t really help you.
8) How many pages a day do you write?
500-1000 words a day. If I’m lucky.
–EricShare on Facebook