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Old October 26 2008, 02:53 AM   #31
Ferd Burfel
Lieutenant Commander
Location: Augusta, GA.
Re: Graphic Novelizations of Trek Novels

KRAD wrote: View Post
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.
The most honest answer is nothing published. A very wise teacher once told me if we were all professional authors nothing would ever get done. Unfortunately for me all my work is my own. And I take no offense to that at all and can understand why you asked it. But I don't believe that makes me unqualified to comment on my experiences with the two. They may be different than yours or Mr. Harris' or Mr. Bennett's, but that doesn't mean that because they differ I'm wrong.

I think (to no one's fault but my own) that I was pretty misunderstood with my original post. I will admit openly and loudly that the mediums are very, very different. Again, I am no professional so this is all from an amateur's perspective. But the work (however limited it's been) I've done has included both mediums. And it can very much be apples and oranges. Outlining/storyboarding (however one plans) a comic and a novel are incredibly different. When Mr. Harris pointed out the difference between visual storytelling and telling a story visually the semantics were not lost on me at all. I was merely saying that my experience (again limited) has shown me that framing a story is very similar with both. Laying it out so that it fits all the criteria can be a big challenge as well, but so can things like description and dialogue in a novel. I understand the difference but don't see it as extreme as Mr. Harris appears to. I will point out I am not saying Mr. Harris is wrong, but I don't believe I am either. All in all I never meant to step on anyone's toes or offend anyone, I was merely offering up my opinion. I enjoy all three of the men's work I am currently discussing this with, so you can imagine how surreal this is for me (getting conversationally backhanded by KRAD, Chris Bennett and Mr. Harris is crazy!). But I think after this I should just sit back and let you guys discuss it, professionally. Amateur hour is over.
Everything stated above (unless otherwise noted) is my opinion and should be treated as such. You'll automatically fail in your response if you choose to ignore this message. That is all.

Don't just challenge what they think, challenge how they think.
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