readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sara Easterly on Writing a Graphic Novel, Part 1

This week we're over the moon to 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. I (Holly) am already a huge fan of both Sara and Jaime, having met them both in children's writing/illustrating classes at UW (in fact, I wrote an article five years ago for the SCBWI Bulletin all about meeting Jaime and her amazing drawings). Welcome, Sara!

This will be a five-part series all this week on the why's of writing a graphic novel, illustrator collaboration, graphic wordplay, turning to the experts, and where to start. So we'll start today with The Why's of Writing a Graphic Novel. (All illustrations copyright Jaime Temairik.)


Right now I’m writing a middle-grade graphic novel. To be accurate, though, the word is “rewriting.” That’s due to a dumble-fumble where I saved over my almost-finished draft with an older copy, cutting the whole thing back to a whopping nine pages.

But I won’t get into that sob story right now—which would be easy to do, believe me. Nope. Instead, as per Holly’s request, I’ll talk about the process of writing a graphic novel… with a tidbit or two about the exercise of starting over.

Why write a graphic novel? For me, I’d been dipping my toes into graphic novels ever since I wrote an article about them for the SCBWI Bulletin. The initial inspiration started there, but what struck me in the course of research was how with graphic novels, just about anything goes. No rules. No boundaries. No set format, even. I didn’t realize I had a rebellious alter-ego, but it was stirring with excitement at the possibilities.


Tomorrow: Collaborating with an illustrator. Stay tuned!



Melissa Walker said...

Ooh, I love that this series is up! Sara has great insights.

Realm Lovejoy said...

Exciting to see the process of another fellow author and illustrator, combining art and writing together! Cheers!

Justina Chen said...

Fantastic article. I love how the characters also look like their creators.

Sara Easterly said...

Aw, thanks for having me, guys!

Realm, I'm only half of the equation for our graphic novel... unlike you who can clearly do just about anything! Your graphic novel sounds/looks amazing and truly thought-provoking. I can't wait to read it!

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