Introduction to Comic Book & Graphic Novel Scriptwriting

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Eagle Award winning comic book writer and screenwriter Tony Lee (Doctor Who, Starship Troopers, Midnight Kiss, Hope Falls) takes you through the steps to turn your idea into a comic book or graphic novel and the steps you need to take to get yourself published.

Introduction to Comic Book & Graphic Novel Scriptwriting
March 2, 2013
10:00am to 6:00pm
£145.00 + VAT = £174.00
Tony Lee
10:00 - 18:00
Raindance Film Centre
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10 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5PE, United Kingdom

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Do you have an idea for a Comic Book or Graphic Novel?

Do you think your novel or film screenplay could be adapted into a graphic novel?

Does your project have a Transmedia element that could include a digital or webcomic?

Eagle Award winning comic book writer and screenwriter Tony Lee (Doctor Who, Starship Troopers, Midnight Kiss, Hope Falls) takes you through the steps to turn your idea into a comic book or graphic novel and what you need to do to get yourself published.

10:00    Introduction

10:15    It’s Not The Easier Option

What stumbling blocks a writer can find in their way when moving from screen to sequential art storytelling.

Why scripting comics isn’t ‘easy’ – why a comic of your screenplay won’t sell your screenplay
Comparison: Screenplay / Novel / Script
Comparison: Anthology / One-shot / Mini Series / Ongoing / Graphic Novel / Web Series
The High Concept / Elevator Pitch
The restraints of a comic script (length, page turn etc)
Why ‘working backwards’ helps you move forwards
The importance of the full synopsis

11:45    Writing The Story

From the initial idea to the set up, the characters, their flaws and their motivations.

The ‘Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda’ moment
Who? What? Why? When? Where?
Storytelling: The characters – what do they want? Why do we care?
Storytelling: The conflict – protagonists and antagonists
Storytelling: Keeping the reader invested over time
Chekov’s mantelpiece rule – and why it’s vital to comics
The rising act structure
Subplots and supporting characters
Is your story all it can be – the joys of hindsight

13:00 Lunch

14:00    Writing The Script

Now you have the story, we now master the dos and don’ts of scripting it.

The full synopsis – the ‘treatment’ for comics
Breaking it down: Scene by scene
Breaking it down: Page by page
Comparison: Full Script / Plot-Art-Dialogue (‘Marvel’ style)
Know your comic terms – the language of the comic script
Types of panel / how many to a page
Dialogue: Why a writer should always letter at least one page.
Comparison: Screenplay dialogue / Comic dialogue
Action Verses Spoken Word
Adaptations of existing material
Licensed Properties

15:30    The Industry

Now you have your script, what do you do with it?

Self Publishing: finding an artist.
Self Publishing: Percentage or Page Rate
Getting known: Webcomic / Vanity Press / Small Press
Conventions / Networking – the dos and don’ts

Submitting to the established comic book companies
Know your target – does your story match their style?
How much does an agent help a comic creator
Selling yourself rather than your story

16:30    Comic Book Live Ammo!

Students pitch their ideas in front of the class to get individual feedback.

18:00    To the Pub for Networking Drinks

Remember to bring your business cards!

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Tony Lee

About Tony Lee

Tony Lee is a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author of comics, novels and audio dramas - including both Tenth and Eleventh Doctor ongoing Doctor Who series for IDW, The Gloom and Agent Mom for MTV, the Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars series of children's graphic novels for Hachette / Franklin Watts and Doctor Who, Dorian Gray and Bernice Summerfield audio dramas for Big Finish. His graphic novel From The Pages Of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’: Harker was optioned as a film in 2010 and in 2011 his graphic novel Hope Falls was also optioned, both with Tony writing the screenplay. Also in 2011 his graphic novel Danger Academy was announced as being developed into a cartoon series for American television. He is currently writing a MacGyver series for Image Comics with show creator Lee David Zlotoff, has co-written a Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who series for IDW, and is the writer of The Mild Bunch, an upcoming film featuring a wealth of classic TV talent. Visit his site at