National Graphic Novel Writing Month Day 30: Can Twitter Make You A Better Comic Book Writer?
Collecting all the Twitter posts we did earlier today. If you’re not following the ComicMix Twitter feed, tsk tsk tsk…
I have written before about the danger of distractions while writing. And Twitter can become a huge timesink.
But Twitter can also actually help improve your comic writing, if you use it properly and understand how and why.
Denny O’Neil had a rule: in a standard six-panel page, there should be no more than thirty-five words per panel.
Two hundred and ten words of dialogue and captions. You have to write tight with no room for error.
Twitter forces you to write dense snippets to carry the maximum impact. Poetry in brevity.
The math works; thirty-five three letter words with spaces is one hundred and forty characters. Convenient.
Yes, the most common word length is five letters. Err on caution’s side. The discipline’s good for you.
If you must, pretend each tweet is one speaker in a two person conversation. Neither should over-dominate.
Besides, you won’t always have a six panel page. Nine panels breaks to twenty-two words each.
So writing short, memorable, natural tweets can help you write comic captions and dialogue. But there are catches.
First: get in the habit of writing numbers as words. Numerals are rarely used.
Second: no Twitter-speak abbreviations. Write out the full words. Contractions are okay.
Third: don’t repeat what the art already tells the reader. Good advice at any time.
There’s a reason a Tweet looks like a word balloon. People already think that way. Use it.
Remember: you can follow all the NaGraNoWriMo posts here!