Two years ago I pledged to publish my first comic. To do that, I had to learn drawing and learn to make comic strip.

I came up with a title for my comic and planned the story in a three-panel comic format. I wrote six episodes. I'm satisfied with how the story was unfolding but I failed miserably to learn drawing. Therefore I had to quit.

After two years, I want to publish my story but as a novel (not a graphic novel) and I have no idea how am I going to translate those panel acts into story. Is there any rules or guidelines I should follow? Any dos and don'ts I should consider?

Thanks in advance.


I have started to pen my story. I hope I can complete it.

I apologize it's very difficult to chose a best answer right now.

  • 1
    Just a small tip, when writing, be sure to stick to a perspective (1st person, 2nd person, etc). Sep 24, 2018 at 23:47
  • @Sweet_Cherry thanks for the tip. I'm using the third-person perspective style narration. Sep 26, 2018 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


Any adaptation is perhaps best thought of as a new work inspired by the original. Different media has different strengths and weaknesses, and you won't produce good work by just copying from one medium to another.

Comic strips convey a lot through the visuals, and they have comparatively tiny amounts of writing as compared to a novel. My best advice to you would be to forget about the strip entirely, and to reimagine the same characters and overall plotline as if you had always planned it to be a novel. In this case, since no one experienced it as a comic strip, you have absolute freedom to revise it as much as you need to --no obsessive fan base to please. (As a side note, you may find it ends up as a short story instead --you'll be amazed how much less space something takes up as pure text than as a comic strip.)

At that point, you'll just be writing a novel, although with the advantage of having characters and settings you've already thought a lot about, and whose visual qualities you know well. (There is a lot of good advice elsewhere on this site for writing a novel, so I won't reiterate any of it here.)

  • I agree. For few years I had this urge from my gut to write this specific story. I thought comic would be fun. It was no fun. I'm felling more charged with writing and expressing with words than illustrations. I really hope I can complete the first draft and then move on. Sep 26, 2018 at 12:26

Since I am not there with you to see your panel and your story, I cannot help you to the best of my abilities. However, the best advice I can give you is to:

  • Show, not tell
  • Be descriptive, but not overly wordy
  • Make your verbs interesting (ex. exclaimed instead of said, slammed instead of closed)
  • Convey emotion!
  • Try to use the active voice (In case you don't know what the active voice is, it's a way of structuring your sentence that makes it clearer, more interesting, and less redundant. For example, instead of saying "The door was closed by my mother", write "My mother closed the door".)

I hope this helps.

  • 1
    On no account actively avoid "said". "Said" is invisible to the reader and allows the dialogue to speak for itself. Sep 30, 2018 at 13:51

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