English language KS3/KS4: Ram V – graphic novelist


Ram V:
You are always told to write down what you know. This is not to limit what you write. It’s to expand what you know.

Hi, I’m Ram V. I’m a writer, I write comics and graphic novels, including original content and for Marvel and DC, and the great joy of writing, some of these characters that have been around for decades , it’s that you think people get tired of them, but that’s not the case. We can take them on adventures in space and all kinds of explosions and dramas, and people will still laugh with them, cry with them, rejoice in their victories and failures.

I think the reason these stories last so long is that the stories are fundamentally about being human. I grew up in India. I read a lot of comics and books when I was a kid, but then I studied to become a chemical engineer. This allows me to travel a lot for my work. So I think a lot of my stories come from meeting people from various places and cultures on my travels, I think that informs a lot of my work.

The stories are basically about having empathy, being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Let’s see what my stimulus is. It reminds me that the music reminds me of the old school genre of big band jazz. It’s really busy, has a lot of energy. For some reason, it conjures up images of people performing in a theater. I think that’s where we’re going to set our story.

The next question I would probably answer is who is this story about? I think I want it to be in theatre. I want it to be about that jazz era, about that performance. Because I primarily write stories for comics and graphic novels, they tend to be very visual mediums. For me, writing and drawing are adjacent things, and when I write a story, it helps me to draw while I’m thinking about it, not necessarily to draw what’s in the story, but just to jotting down ideas as you go. get into my head.

When I start telling a story, I think a lot about structure, stories tend and have form, and good writers tend to be adept at recognizing that form. I’m going to start by structuring a story with a beginning, middle, and end and realizing that the characters will go through some tension and come to the end after going through some kind of catharsis. It helps to have your story told by a character who directs the plot through their choices and actions, rather than shifting them to a predestined story, if you will.

The other thing to consider when writing is also sometimes the story you planned and the story you end up writing can be very different. Characters, plots or ideas will arise as you write the story and it’s OK to pivot, it’s OK to change your plans. In fact, the best stories happen when they have a certain element of spontaneity. Good writing is largely about rephrasing, rewriting, and editing your own work. It’s important to put everything on paper because you can fix bad handwriting, but you can edit a blank page. This is written for a comic or graphic novel, and so the script will go to an artist who will interpret what’s in the script and decide what to draw on the page.

When it comes to the artist, they’re likely to ignore whatever you’ve scribbled down and just interpret what’s on the script, and that’s part of the joy of making comics. It’s like working with someone in a band. Eventually, when the reader reads this, they will see only one story, not four people working together. So that’s where a script and an illustration turn into a real comic. I think I’m ready to read it.

First page, panel one. We open on a front plan establishing the Royal Majestic Theatre, the kind of place that has existed since the forties, rebuilt, renovated. In the foreground, an old man in a coat leaning on his cane watches the theatre. The narration reads: “As far back as I can remember, the Royal Majestic has always been haunted.” The old man opens a door with a set of keys and walks in, but as he walks in it’s not the old man, it’s him when he was a child in the late forties, staring fascination and admiration on his face.

It’s important to tell stories that only you can tell, that talk about you as a person, where you come from, your references, your background. That doesn’t mean you write only about who you are, but you write about things you know on a deeper level.

So I write a lot about growing up in India. I write about characters set in India and whether they’re fantasy vampires or kids growing up in Mumbai. These stories are stories that I feel only I can tell with my voice.


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