So you want to write a graphic novel?

18 September 2019

So you want to write a graphic novel?

Graphic novels have a very good future. On the one hand, there are plenty of excellent writers who are covering themes and political issues of great complexity that are of contemporary relevance. While comics sales have gone stagnant, readers are discovering that graphic novels can provide a depth and maturity in tone and content that goes far beyond what traditional comics could provide. On the other hand, the medium is also incorporating itself into digital media that often blurs the lines between static images and animation.

In India, the primary challenge is to convince readers that the graphic novel is a serious and valid literary form. Readers still tend to associate graphic novels with comic books and wrongly view it as light reading that is full of violence and crude humour.

Becoming a graphic novelist is easy. First of all, you must have a story to tell, a story that is meaningful and that others may identify with. You have to be able to visualise the narrative. Writing a graphic novel is different from writing prose fiction. You need to sparse with details and focus on how the story progresses both through the narrative and also through the art. It helps if you can draw as well, but if you can’t, you can team up with an artist who will draw the illustrations for you.

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