Sunday, March 27, 2011

Milking chickens, man of bronze and writing tips

Here's the first page of the next scene, All in. I forewarned that you'll see left hands where they don't belong - and on this page the terror returns.

Disregard the man with the two left hands - he ate the wrong thing for breakfast and now he's ... got awful left hands. For the record, if you're drawing someone holding a phone, the fingers should always be facing the front of the speaker's head, and the thumb is to the back of the phone - unless you're drawing it wrong. The thumb is very rarely going to stick out at the front.

For the record, I'm reading "The English Patient" and the character Caravaggio has no thumbs, because they were cut off in the war. The only reason he wasn't murdered by the Axis is because the Allies were approaching, so they had to stop punishing Caravaggio. Just so you know.

Graphic novel news

How to Write a Graphic Novel Story Template
Spanner Spencer

A graphic novel is a narrative work that uses sequential art to deliver the story to the reader, much like an extended, feature-length comic book. The storytelling techniques employed in writing the script for a graphic novel are the same as any work of fiction, requiring careful attention to the story's structure, theme, characters and narrative. By gradually building an outline template, the story's development time can be significantly reduced. This is achieved by starting with the story's core concept as the foundation, and expanding it incrementally until it's ready for the first full draft to be written.


* 1 Write a "tag line" for your graphic novel, which conveys the story's concept in a single short sentence.

* 2 Expand the tag line into a "log line" by writing a sentence explaining the story's beginning, two sentences for the middle, and another single sentence for the ending.

* 3 Write a synopsis of the graphic novel by expanding each sentence in the log line into a full paragraph. The finished synopsis still shouldn't be longer than a single sheet of paper.

* 4 Take each paragraph in the synopsis and expand it to a fill a full sheet of paper, but no more. This is the first stage of your graphic novel's outline.

* 5 Proofread the outline thoroughly, and go back through each stage of the template, making any necessary adjustments to the story. Begin with the tag line and work forward from there until you have a second draft of the four page outline.

* 6 Write biographies for each of the characters that were important enough to warrant a mention in the outline. Include details of their childhood, their physical appearance, family history, what they do for a living, how they spend their free time and what their motivation is within the graphic novel's story. The biography should cover their lives up until the point at which the graphic novel's story begins.

* 7 Rewrite the outline based on any changes that have surfaced after writing the character biographies, and expand each page as much as you like into a "step outline." This step outline should cover everything that happens within the entire story, but without including any dialogue. Keep going back over the whole template, making adjustments as the story and characters evolve within the step outline.

* 8 Write the first draft of the graphic novel's script, following the step outline closely.
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Graphic novel anyone?

It's taken a while but I've started to think seriously about the graphic novel. Writing one, I mean. Certainly not illustrating one. I am not an artist, which is the understatement of the year. I'm probably going to sign up to attend the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable Graphic Novel Event at the end of February, in order to learn more about this genre. I've attended a couple of talks, but this is an all day intensive so I'm hoping for inspiration. If any of you have the good fortune to possess both writing and illustrating talents you're a step ahead, but I think the key to a good graphic novel is combining the writing and the graphics like a recipe with measured ingredients. Now usually when I write the text of a picture book I have almost no power over the illustrations - though the publisher usually keeps me in the loop. That's as it should be. I often don't get to meet the artist, who might even live in another province. But I suspect that with a graphic novel the writer and artist have to work together as a tight-knit team.

So I keep thinking about the story of mine that publishers always love, but don't want to touch, because they can't figure out who to market it to (neither can I, only how about 'anyone of any age that actually finds it funny?') I know that it would work as a graphic novel. I feel it in my bones - unless that's just the osteo-arthritis acting up - but there's a problem. The language of that story is so important. Not to hold myself on the same level of greatness as Oscar Wilde, but it would be like creating a graphic novel from 'The Importance of Being Ernest.' I could, however, see two versions. The witty, wordy version and the graphic version. I'm talking about my story and Wilde's play, by the way.

What do you think? Maybe get together with an artist friend and see if you can come up with a graphic novel or short story (read Irene Watts' graphic version of her novel 'Goodbye Marianne.' Then read the novel. Check the differences). I think it would be very creative if your school combined an art class and an English/creative writing class and teamed up kids to create graphic novels.

I'll get back to you with more on the subject after February. Meanwhile, keep on writing.
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J.G. Jones: Man of Bronze
by Jeffrey Renaud

Superman, Batman, Reed Richards, Indiana Jones, James Bond and even Buckaroo Banzai -- these and many other pop culture icons were inspired at least in part by Doc Savage. But beyond creations on the printed page, silver screen and more, the Man of Bronze motivated a generation of creators, as well. One of those creators, J.G. Jones, is about to fulfill a fantasy he's held since he was a young boy growing up in Walker, Louisiana.

But the superstar artist known for his Eisner-nominated work on "Wanted" and "Final Crisis" won't be drawing the title for DC Comics, he's writing it beginning with "Doc Savage" #13, which is scheduled to be released April 13.

A self-described fan of the character, Jones will be continue delivering covers for "Doc Savage" for the duration of his six-issue run as writer while Qing Ping Mui ("Warcraft Legends") will serve as the interior artist.

Jones told CBR News how his collaboration with Ian Sattler, DC Comics' Director–Editorial, Special Projects & Archival Editions, on a forthcoming original graphic novel led to him writing the series. He also teased about what Doc and the Fabulous Five will be up against in his arc "Raise the Khan," which best-selling title he'll soon be providing covers for and also a little about what historical event moved him enough to create the aforementioned OGN, "Dust to Dust."
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Hey there, I am glad you have taken the time to leave a comment. Thanks - I am looking forward to reading it.