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Old October 25 2008, 09:53 PM   #29
Keith R.A. DeCandido
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Re: Graphic Novelizations of Trek Novels

Ferd Burfel wrote: View Post
But to try and say it is completely different from writing a novel is kinda weird to me. Obviously both are unique with unique challenges, but writing a story or a story outline doesn't change radically from a novel to a comic.
Out of curiosity, how many novels have you written? I ask that not to be a smartass, but legitimately, because I can't imagine that you'd believe that if you've ever written both.

Speaking as someone writing both at the same time right now (Farscape, StarCraft, and Star Trek comics in addition to my prose work, which averages four novels per year), they're completely different in terms of story and story outline. For starters, the storytelling space in a comic book is much much much smaller than it is for a novel. Even the 160-page StarCraft manga I'm working on for TokyoPop has much less room to tell the story than a novel does. By the same token, the method of storytelling is also completely different because you don't have narration (or if you do, it's considerably less than it is in prose -- unless you're Don McGregor in the 1970s, anyhow... ), and you do have visuals. Plus having artwork completely changes the way you construct and pace your story.

There's a bit in Farscape #1 that's an amusing joke, an exchange between Crichton and Jothee, but the sequential artwork method of telling the joke makes it considerably funnier than it would've been had I done it in prose. For that matter, there's an exchange between two characters in #3 that would be boring talking heads in prose, but by doing it as a traditional nine-panel page (three rows of three identically sized panels) it becomes a more effective back and forth (especially since one character is constantly changing facial expression and the other stays the same the entire time). It's the words and the pictures that are telling the story together.

In prose, you're completely on your own, and you've generally got more room in terms of word count.

Yes, you're still telling a story, but the two methods are much much different.
Keith R.A. DeCandido
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