You Can Do a Graphic Novel

Writing a graphic novel (GN) isn’t in my plans, but I was drawn to this book because I was curious about the process and how the process might be described to younger writers. The chapter devoted to plot is my favorite because it offers the clearest directions for plotting a story that I’ve come across in all of the writing how-tos I’ve read for young people. It describes how to layout language, including the use of balloons, and how the drawing indicates how the speech should be delivered. (e.g., If the balloon looks like a curvy cloud, the speech represents what the character is thinking.)

I didn’t know about splash pages until I read this book. A splash page is usually the first page in a GN, and it often includes the setting, narrative voice, and mood. You Can Do a Graphic Novel has a glossary, and the author shows the process of making a comic from layout and design to after it has gone to the penciler and inker. Finally, the author shares six student samples that will appeal to readers.