The first part of creating any comic book is coming up with the idea. Ideas can come from anywhere. The more experiences you go through in life will give you a greater background for creating a range of characters and story lines. I recommend coming up with ideas that you like and are interested in that you can write about for a while.
For me, writing comics is something I love to do. I'm not writing them expecting to become a millionaire or because someone told me to do it. I'm writing because these are stories I want to tell. So if you start writing about something you're not interested in, more than likely it'll become homework to you, which can easily lead to being bored with it. So choose topics you will enjoy working on for extended amounts of time.
For me, the idea for RELIVE, which is about memories and trying to remember ones you lost, came from the loss of my mom to cancer when I was in my early twenties. A few years after she was gone, I noticed one of the things that bothered me the most was that my clear memories of her were becoming more difficult to recall. And that is what inspired this comic book idea. I wanted to create a world where people could remember anything and everything by simply taking a pill. So that was the core of the concept. From there, I built out more of the story. I had always loved spy themes, so that was to be the world in which the story was set.
After the general idea was formulated, then it came down to figuring out in more detail where the story would go. I originally began with one of the main characters who created the memory drug and just started writing. I would write a few pages of the first issue, take a few days off, think about the story some more, and then start writing again.
This was my initial process, however, I would recommend getting the complete idea done first before moving into writing any actual issues. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Write in outline form the rough the idea of the story from beginning to end.
- Gradually add in more detail to the plot inside of this outline.
- Consider if your story is going to be a longer running series or will be a shorter mini series (6 issues or less).
- Create character biographies (Basically write out the history and motivations of your characters. This will help you have a better understanding of your characters and make it easier to write dialogue for them once you get to writing the issues)
- Take a day or two off from thinking about it.
- Come back to the outline fresh and continue filling in details.
- Don't limit yourself to any page number for your outline. This is mainly to help you organize your thoughts and the overarching flow of the story.
Once you are satisfied with the level of detail and the concept of your series then you can move into part 2, writing the synopsis.