Don’t Write Alone | Free Write

Make a Comic by Drawing the Little Things

Pick one aspect of your day to expand into a short-form comic.


Daily Diary Exercise

This is a sketch with a list of what you will need for the exercise. There is a drawing of paper, a pen, and a timer. The text reads, "You will need: Loose leaf paper (real paper, from a tree); a pen (no pencils! We're chasing that no-eraser adrenaline rush); a timer (any kind will do).

This is step one. The text reads: Set the timer for 5 minutes. Now, free-write about your day (or, if it's early, about your last twenty-four hours). Focus on concrete details: What did you do? What did you see? How did you feel? What were you thinking? No detail is too small, or to boring. Write quickly! There is a drawing of a person sketching at the bottom of the step.

This is Step 2. The text reads: Go over what you wrote and circle the parts you find most compelling. Did you have more to say about a particular episode? Was the emotion especially strong? Now, pick one of you circled sections to expand.

This is Step 3. There is a drawing of a piece of paper folded halfway vertically and horizontally. The text reads: Take a new sheet of paper and fold it into four, like this, and draw a border around each of the four sections. Voila! Comic panels activated!

This is Step 4. The text reads: Set the timer for 10 minutes. Draw a comic based on the section you picked. Don't worry about a narrative arc; focus on the scene. What can you show, not tell? Which details feel important to include, and what can you leave out? Don't spend too long on any one panel—keep it loose.

reating graphic nonfiction narratives! Class begins in March.