Get a 4-week intensive master class in all the vital elements of writing a publishable graphic novel.
Your Instructor: Bree Ogden (literary agent at D4EO Literary Agency)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
“Simply put, a graphic novel is a fictional story (novel) told in comic-strip (graphic) format. The first time I read a graphic novel, I felt like I was playing God with the television remote. We all know those types of people. The ones that hit pause all the time. Fast-forward, rewind, rewind some more, fast-forward some more. A graphic novel often feels like watching a film with subtitles—in which someone inevitably does have to rewind and pause. Except with a graphic novel, the subtitles aren’t changing too quickly while the reader is trying to take in all of the sensory elements of the film; the reader chooses the pace.
As the author/illustrator of a graphic novel, your responsibility is to help the reader unconsciously find a comfortable pace that makes the reading process feel as if they are reading a prose novel, and makes looking at the illustrations feel as if they are watching a film. Your responsibility encompasses everything from the obvious to the absolutely unobvious…like the shape of a speech bubble. Seriously.
There are roughly one thousand and two elements that make up the perfect graphic novel. And yes, you ambitious masochists (I could also use the words “geeks who spend all their money on Batman and Swamp Thing comics” if that works better for you) we will cover just about all those elements during this course. While simultaneously studying the format of graphic novels and creating graphic novellas, we will be discussing the best of the best and learning from some of the greats: Stan Lee, Jeph Loeb, Frank Miller, Geoff Johns, Alison Bechdel, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Art Spiegelman.” –Bree Ogden
What This Class Covers
First Lecture and Assignment – Deconstructing the Graphic Novel:
In order to competently accomplish any task, you must first understand the personality and character of said task. We’ll discuss every detail of the graphic novel and dissect the graphic novel by converting script to prose.
Bonus Lecture – Writing for an Artist:
As a graphic novelist, knowing how to convey your ideas to an artist is beyond crucial. We’ll learn terminology and explore useful tactics to speak artists’ language.
Second Lecture and Assignment – Page One, Panel One: Scripting Your Graphic Novel:
There are many rules for writing a graphic novel script. Just as a contractor must follow blueprints to build a sturdy house, a graphic novelist must follow very specific guidelines while scripting out their story. We will learn these rules then play around with scripting out a short story—turning prose to script.
Bonus Lecture – Speech Bubbles:
Let’s just say, they’re more convoluted than you might think. You’ll find yourself using every type of speech bubble under the sun, each one conveying a different type of dialogue to the reader.
Third Lecture and Assignment – Steps to Creating an Original Graphic Novel:
The time is now. You’ve learned how to script out a graphic novel and how to convey your ideas to an artist; it’s time to start writing a graphic novel of your own. But first you’ll want to take one baby step at a time, and I’ll be there to hold your hand. We’ll discuss plots, story structures, characters and more—all specific to graphic novels. If you work hard, you’ll walk away with a 22-page graphic novel script.
Fourth Lecture and Assignment – Publication:
Publication in the world of graphic novels is slightly different than publication in the world of novels. As a literary agent, I’ll walk you through the proper steps to finding the right agent, deciding what path is best for your graphic novel, and which publishing houses and imprints are right for you.
Goals Of This Class
- Become an expert on the graphic novel art form.
- Learn the basics of scripting a graphic novel like a pro.
- Learn how to implement correct speech bubbles, sound effects, dialogue, etc.
- Understand and define your graphic novel’s genre.
- Discover how to convey your vision to an illustrator... even though it seems like a foreign language when starting out.
- Learn how to script a graphic novel with the help of lectures and feedback from your peers and myself.
- Walk away with a 22-page graphic novel script and knowledge of the publication process.
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.