Monday, February 20, 2012

Make your own graphic novel part 2


Part 1 is here if you missed it.


Step 2, write it down:

Moving on, now that you’ve narrowed it down to one idea you need to write the story. I am going to approach this the traditional way. Any basic story has three parts the beginning, middle, and end, or three acts as they call it. Sometimes the end is told first through a flashback or some other instrument to give you a glimpse at what is to come, or it could be told in a 1,2,3 manner. If you are new to this, then write the way you would speak to a friend, and keep sketching your characters.

 
Prisoner of the Mind Character Sketches

Now keep in mind this is my opinion because my background is film scripts and that is how I write. I started writing screenplays almost 20 years ago, so this process and style is ingrained in me. There are actually many great websites which have templates and examples of comic book scripts which are an industry standard for the likes of DC and Marvel.


 
When creating a graphic novel you wear many hats. As the writer, you should always carry something to take down random notes for your story. I keep my sketchbook handy for just that reason. As the artist, you should always have a sketchbook or IPad handy.

I choose to write in a screenplay format for my graphic novel because I am also the artist and the only one that has to interpret my words. With my finished story, I have a good idea of how the scene should play out through storyboards. If you have a busy schedule or live in an environment that is not conducive to writing, then you have to make time for it. Go to a park, or the Library to get away from the hustle and bustle. If you are trying to model your story after the professional comic book writers of today, here are some resources to help you.

Comic book scripts to read for reference.

  1. http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/
  2. http://homepage.mac.com/dmcduffie/site/Scripts.html
  3. http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=10319
Film scripts to read for reference and the How To’s of writing.

Hollywood screenplays to read for reference: http://www.script-o-rama.com/table.shtml
Screenplay writing 101: http://www.screenwriting.info/
Formatting your screenplay: http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html

Don’t get caught up in the formatting yet, it will only delay your writing. There are many ways to tell a story, and you should write it the way you feel most comfortable.

Prisoner of the Mind Screenplay

American Author and Cartoonist James Thurber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Thurber said, “Don’t get it right, get it written.” You have to put it all in writing first, then you can always go back, edit and enhance. If you don't write it, you’ll have nothing to edit or enhance.


Here are some more tools to help you get your story written. Start with a character description. The thing that makes most stories believable even if the setting is on another planet, are people. We all connect with people and personalities, this is important! If you do this before you start drawing everything will go much faster. This is an extensive list so only use what you need.

Character Description Template

Physical Description:

Gender:
Species:
Sexuality:
Age:
Birth date:
Astrological Sign:
Height:
Weight:
Hair color:
Eyes:
Body type:

Physical Condition:

Scars, marks, and tattoos, handicap:
Clothing:
Possessions, jewelry, etc:
Personality type:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Goals:
Fears:
Manner of speaking (accent, speech impediment, etc...):

Physiological condition:

Positive characteristics:
Negative characteristics:
Quirks

Background Information

Family and History background:
Home:.
Birthplace:
Occupation:

Click here for Part 3 ... Write it better.





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