Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writing Novels Graphically

I remember the first time I told my mom I had bought a graphic novel. She didn't hear the term "graphic novel" as a singular noun. She instead heard the adjective graphic being applied to the noun novel. She got real pale and asked what the content of the book was and, "do you . . . you know . . . have any questions?"

After assuring her that the novel was not actually graphic, it was just filled with graphics, she calmed down a bit and then muttered, "they need to call it something else."

I love the graphic novel. I love comic books in general, but the graphic novel specifically speaks to me. As I get older, I find myself slowly growing away from the tights and the fights of superheroes and find myself gravitating towards the quiet introspection of graphic novels. I didn't understand the appeal of cozying up to a book until I discovered books like Craig Thompson's Blankets (or his Habibi, for that matter).

I can read a graphic novel as quickly or as slowly as I want. I can speed through the sparsely-worded pages and claim (too proudly) that "I read an entire book in an afternoon," or I can take my time and let the words and art work in tandem to take me places I've never been before and give me ideas I've never pondered before.

I have received so much from the time I've spent with my comic books and graphic novels that I have decided that it's time I give something back. It's time for me to write my comic book -- or my graphic novel.

There is, however, a problem. Two problems, actually.
  1. I cannot draw.
  2. I do not know how to write a comic book script.
Problem 1 is more insurmountable than 2. Problem 2 can be fixed by applying what I know about writing a film script with what I will learn from reading a few books. Problem 1, though, requires finding someone that (A) I like (B) I get along with (C) I trust (D) trusts me (E) is willing to take this leap of faith with me.

So I'm going to get to reading and writing and . . . seeing to Problem 1.

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