Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel

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Graphic novels are often defined as full-length stories told in pictures. So both the story and the pictures come together, and writing has to be tight and disciplined. The story has to be told in dialogue fitting into speech balloons each no more than around fifteen words. Any narrative is limited to a few flashes of text such as ‘five hours later’ or ‘meanwhile in Cairo’.

The dialogue also helps with characterisation, although the illustrations are an important part of that process, creating characters from super-heroes to evil villains.

Creating your own illustrations is not difficult if you follow Daniel Cooney’s advice, and you also learn how to fit them, plus the dialogue balloons, into panels of varying size and shape – and how to use those shapes to vary the pace and heighten the tension.All these skills are brought together before finally Daniel Cooney advises on pitching you graphic novel at a publisher, or self-publishing it, or even publishing it online.


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