Grr(aphic) Mondays: Writing A Comic Book Step Two: Turning An Idea Into A Plot

Last week’s Grr(aphic) Mondays seemed to go down incredibly well so I’m going to keep chugging on with this idea, thanks to everyone that reached out to me via email and WordPress to discuss their ideas for comic books. If you have no idea what I am talking about you can read last week’s article right here. This week we are taking that idea like lump of ore and smelting it into a plot for this I’ve created a pretty helpful little exercise that I like to run through when I’m writing any form of creative piece.

Exercise Three: Profiling


MATTHEW GRAY GUBLER, PAGET BREWSTER, SHEMAR MOORE, THOMAS GIBSON, JOE MANTEGNA, AJ COOK, KIRSTEN VANGSNESS

Picture source: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Criminal-Minds-criminal-minds-1154622_1920_1281.jpg

This is really simple, answer the following questions about your idea and it should lead you to building up your idea into a plot:

  • What is the idea of your story in twenty five words or less (if you created a log line last week this should be easy)?
  • Who is the protagonist of your piece (the character with which the reader supports and identifies)?
  • Who is the main antagonist of the piece (the character that most actively stands between the protagonist and his goals)?
  • Do you see your idea as part of a series (possibly a series of issues) or a standalone piece (such as a graphic novel?
  • In twenty words or less, what is the beginning of your story (what is the first event that leads your protagonist towards their goals)?
  • In a list form, what are five events that happen to your protagonist?
  • What is the final conflict of the idea?
  • How does the final conflict resolve?
  • Are there any other character in your plot (if so describe each the three most important in twenty words or less)?

The answers to your questions here will give you around two A4 sized pieces of paper full of plot and even more ideas. This should give you a really good idea about your characters and your story so that you are ready to decide upon the sort of piece you are looking to write.

 

Comic books and graphic novels


20130212_150548

Picture Source: http://www.lawrence.edu/mfhe/styles/breakpoint_base/mfhe/www_core_sub_library/Everyone/20130212_150548.jpg

The collected editions that you find in your local bookstores at look like large hard or soft back books are known as graphic novels in the medium whilst the magazine-style issues that you may have scene in American TV shows are known as comic books. At this point in the project you need to decide which is a better format for the story you are trying to tell. If the story is a large ongoing quest that is made up of many smaller stories, like a TV series, it is probably best in comic book format. However if your plot is one very tight standalone story, like a film, then it is more suited to become a graphic novel. For next week decide on what form your plot is going to take.

….That’s this week’s Grr(aphic) Mondays, check back on Wednesday for another BearSleuth Opinion Piece!

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