Telling Stories Like a Comic Book

To help you visualize your story, think of how your story might look as a comic book. Doing this will force you to focus more on the visual aspects of your story and less on dialogue. In “The Art of Comic Book Writing,” you can learn how comic book writers visualize a story.

Look at any comic book and you’ll notice that if you just look at the pictures, you’ll be able to follow most of the story. Look at a comic book printed in another language and even though you won’t be able to read anything, you’ll be able to understand the main parts of the story. Study comic books and you’ll notice that every panel shows action of some kind and the combination of all the panels seen one after another tells a story.

The most important part about comic books is that each panel focuses on a single action. You’ll never see a comic book showing two people fighting and then in the background a man stealing a woman’s purse because that divides your reader’s attention. Every scene must stay focused on a single action and that action must move the story forward.

Another lesson to learn from comic book writing is how sparse dialogue must be. Text must be printed and take up space. It’s far more interesting to see action than to read it, so by studying comic books, you’ll learn how to keep dialogue sparse and to the point.

Even if you aren’t planning to write a comic book, study how they tell a story and use those same techniques to help you write better screenplays. That means each scene focuses on a single action and dialogue is kept to a minimum to provide better visual story telling. The more you learn from comic books as a visual medium, the more you’ll likely learn how to write more visually compelling screenplays as well.

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