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Guideline for Crafting Graphic Novels for Diverse Age Groups

Started by HuiLi, October 13, 2023, 01:47 PM

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Hi Fellow Graphic Novel creators,
Where can I find summarized guidelines for creating GN designed for different age groups?
Specifically, for example, for early readers GNs, what is the recommended word count per sentence, and how many syllables and sentences should be included on a page, how many chapters are allowed, etc?  The guidelines may vary from publisher to publisher, but is there a general rule, or we need to tailor GN toward one or two publishers?

Thank you very much for your insights!

Debbie Vilardi

I think this is such a new genre that you won't find much. All of the publishers have early reader programs and some include graphic novels. My guess is the vocabulary and sentence structures would be the same as for those books geared toward the same reading and age levels. But I've never seen them published for a specific publisher for all levels. You can use Flesch Kinkaid in Word to get an idea of your reading level. Reading levels are based on number of words in a sentence, punctuation used, and number of syllables per word. You also have to have a sense yourself though. Think about how common a word is and how easy it is to decode. Think also about the developmental stage of your reader and how long they can sit for a story.

One thing that helps is that the voices of your characters have to fit their ages. This makes dialog easier to fit into a reader.

I hope someone who isn't just guessing stops by.
Twitter: @dvilardi1


I don't know of any resources of this kind either, but you can learn a lot by taking published books and typing out a few pages, turning them back into manuscripts, in a sense. That will give you a sense of what a particular publisher is up to.
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site:

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