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Friday, May 15, 2009

Guest Blogger: Sara Easterly on Graphic Novels, Part 5

This week we have author, readergirlz PR specialist, and former SCBWI WWA co-Regional Advisor Sara Easterly guest-blogging about the process of writing a graphic novel and working with her illustrator co-hort, Jaime Temairik. Today we have Where to Start. (All illustrations are copyright Jaime Temairik!) Welcome, Sara!


While I’m not yet finished with the first (re)draft, the final manuscript page count for this first book in our series is probably going to wind up around 50 or 60 pages… which reminds me that things could’ve been much more catastrophic with the saved-over manuscript. Had I made it to 500 manuscript pages and the same percentage had been deleted, I most certainly would have listened to that bullying inner critic telling me it was a sign to give it up.

In the meantime, I’m reminding myself that countless writers finish a draft (or three) and then start completely over—as a writing exercise! I’ve always thought those kind of writers were a little south of sane, but I’m finding that once I let go and stop trying to recreate every single scene down to the exact word choice, the re-write really does seem stronger. Having a rough sense of where I’m going makes the process faster, too.

Of course, I still need procrastination breaks, so then it’s time for reading. Here are some of my favorite graphic novels and how-to books, in case you’re interested in giving any of them a read:

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel by Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber (Alpha/Penguin)
Writing for Comics with Peter David by Peter David (Impact Books)

Pleasure Reading:
Biker Girl by Misako Rocks! (Hyperion)
Nancy Drew series by Stefan Petrucha and Sho Murase (Papercutz)
Peach Fuzz by Lindsay Cibos and Jard Hodges (TOKYOPOP)
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon (First Second)
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)


This concludes our five-part series - thank you so much, Sara, for guest blogging on graphic novels! Now, to come up with a story...

xo Holly


  1. Thank you so much for having me, Holly! This has been a lot of fun!

  2. Fun series, Holly and Sara! Thanks for the reading list.

  3. Awesome, Sara! And thanks, Holly!

    I'd put a triple star next to DRAWING WORDS AND WRITING PICTURES as a highly highly recommended book. I think a PART TWO of it is coming out soon, too.

    And I'd add an addendum to the list to
    *Attend any workshops given by Mark Siegel or any of his First Second staff.

    Can't wait to see your graphic novel, Holly!!!

  4. Go Sara, go Holly!

    Robot Dreams is fab.

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