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Doria Adoukè

How to create a comic book story

How to Create a Comic Book or a Graphic Novel Step 1: Writing a Story

While Comic books are attracting a large audience each year, many artists and writers plan to embark on the adventure. 

It true that this format gives them a great freedom to express themselves but also and above all to make the audience discover their universe. 

However, everyone should know that designing a comic book is a long-term job that will involve many skills. 

Here is the first step to create a comic book that is writing a story. 

Writing a story is the most important step of your project, in many comic books projects, script writing is delegated to professional authors. 

Finding a story idea 

A useful way to spark off ideas for a story can be listing : 

  • List of people/things from childhood 
  • 5 foods from childhood 
  • 5 family members who you know/knew really well 
  • 5 family members you never knew 
  • 5 activities you loved doing as a child 
  • 5 activities you loved doing in your teens 
  • 5 things you love doing now 
  • 5 summer or temporary jobs you had when you were in schoo/college 
  • 10 things I talked to my friends about last week 
  • 10 things that made you angry this week, 10 things that pleased you 
  • 5 people from history who you admire/feel a creative affinity for 
  • 10 moments in your life that change you 

After listing choose one word that resonates with you and make a mind-map or spider diagram, free-associating other words or memories that the first word makes you think of. 

Creating your main Character 

Write a list of the main characteristic of your main character. At least 8, he/she could be shy, aggressive, intellectual, suspicious .. It could be physical characteristics that could have an important impact on the character’s live (for example an unusual shape/size, superpower, disability) 

Pick the characteristics that is the most dominant, important, interesting to you and draw a short sequence illustrating it. 

The story structure 

Creating the structure of the story is a baseline to write your scenario. The following diagram will help create it. 

The story is divided into three acts: 

  • Act 1: The thesis or philosophy of life the most important thing is 
  • Act 2: The antithesis or what it the opposite of that idea (the ordinary world), what form might it take in the story, what is the most uncomfortable place, alien or nightmare world the character could be 
  • Act 3: How the thesis and antithesis can reconcile 

Once the outline of your future comic strip has been defined, take care to detail as much as possible your world and your characters so that the artists can create what you imagined. 

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