Three ways to….become a better writer by reading comics

Chris Martin thinks everyone should read comics and says there is much to be learnt from them if you’re a writer. Following on from his inspiring Pecha Kucha at Wordstock, here are three ways why reading comics will make you a better writer. Pow! Zap! Kapow!

Chris has been championing comics in the workplace for many years. Here he shares an excerpt from his Wordstock Pecha Kucha ‘Why reading comics will make you a better writer’.

Comics can teach you how to…

1. Tell Stories – More often than not a comic writer has only a couple of images and less than 100 words to establish a whole new world, and then they need to pull you straight into it to take you through their heroes’ journey. Reading comics will help you learn to pace that process to make the most compelling story possible.

2. Be concise – Modern communication means that more than ever you need to think about how the reader will encounter your words. Comics can teach you brevity, the art of conveying depth of meaning with a few choices words. They take a ‘So what?’ challenge to every page and brutally remove any letters which aren’t needed.

3. Look great – As we find design weaving its way deeper into our worlds, it is worth remembering the impact it can have on our words. Comics are the perfect blend of images, typography, and colour. They tap into your imagination, but they always show as well as tell.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of what comics have to offer here, so why don’t you head out to your nearest independent comic store (or web-based bookseller) and pick up your new favourite text book?

Chris Martin

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