STEP 1) Are you sure?
Be it a comic book, novel, short story or any other written word medium, writing is a time sucking, perfection obsessing, never ending labor of love. So consider just how much time, effort and money you are willing to put in to being successful, because you’ll need to double that just to keep your head above water.
What’s that? You still want to be a writer? Well OK then, you crazy bastard. Moving on!
STEP 2) It’s time to figure out what to write about.
I myself am a fan of the Superhero and Zombie genres so I decided to mash those potatoes up and drizzle it with some of my brain gravy. Maybe you want to write a story about you and your friends coming of age. Maybe you want to write science fiction and have characters exploring the stars and odd planets with giant sentient xenophobic potatoes for them to meet. It doesn’t really matter. A good rule of thumb for your idea is to tell a story you would want to read. With nearly 8 billion people on this planet, Chances are there will be other people just as weird as you who will be into it too.
Things to consider: Learn all about this universe bubbling to existence within your head. What is this place like and what kinds of things do people in this universe of yours have to encounter day to day? You’ll probably have characters too, so what are they all about? The more familiar you are with your characters’ history and their surroundings, the easier it will be to come up with realistic behaviors and character development events within your story. After you have the Time/Place/People figured out, it’s time for the fun stuff. What kind of journey will your characters go on? Who will they meet? What events happen to push them and the story to it’s inevitable end? I like to figure out a general timeline of events before I start writing, but there’s an upside to writing as you go. Especially for your 1st rough draft. Turn your inner critic off and let your fingers fly. You can always fine tune it later.
STEP 3) Alright, So you’ve come up with the perfect story to tell.
Heroic characters battling personal (perhaps even real) demons and whatnot. You’ve even sat your butt in a chair long enough to bang out a beginning middle and end for your 1st rough draft, albeit at the expense of your butt cheeks going numb. It’s now time to wake that critic up and put it to work. For your 2nd draft, ignore punctuation and grammar (if you can) and focus on the story. Does it flow well? Are there slow spots that could use some excitement? Maybe you notice a character acting in a way that is, well… out of character. Check for story continuity and possible improvements and changes to make your story shine. It’s the second draft that you should start handing out to those you trust to give you honest feed back. Think of it like having a team of beta testers. Letting people read your story for the first time can be nerve-racking, but it’s important to let people who are unfamiliar with your story take a look. Most likely they’ll notice something you didn’t and you can incorporate their advice into the 3rd draft.
The 3rd draft is usually the last. Find those spelling errors and fill in those plot holes pointed out by your beta testers (or have a professional editor do it for you) and BOOM! Congratulations! You have yourself a finished story.
Now, depending on what you are writing, the next step can vary wildly. I’ll try to bust my potatoes to get some more articles up to cover the subsequent steps for your perusal, but if I haven’t covered something you are curious about, let me know. I’m here to feed your need to dive head first into the challenge of becoming a writer.
- Still have questions regarding the writing process? Reach out to me! I’ll share any insight I can, so find me on twitter @m0nkeyfire
- Future topics will include marketing, publishing, finding an artist and more! Have an idea for a “How To Comic” blog topic? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll research the crap out of it.