Grr(aphic) Mondays: Writing a comic book step one: New beginnings.

Last year got a bit off track. Well, in truth, a lot of it was pretty on track by this feature began to get a little weird so  I’m going to step it right back to the basics. This feature was supposed to help other people get writing and learn a little more about comic books. Even though I know a lot about that stuff I want to make sure you are getting the best information I can offer so often I turned the subject into something easy. Not anymore. I’m going to start a step by step guide every Monday (which I’m hoping I will be able to put into a large body of work eventually) on how to get started and create engaging piece of writing. I’m going to start right with the first steps of guide on how to create your own comic book. As we go I’m going to try to suggest writing exercises and other techniques that will help you work towards these goals. So without further ado…

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Picture Source: http://www.creativecomicart.com/uploads/4/1/8/5/4185864/5177502.jpg [Accessed: 03/01/2016]

Writing a comic book step one: Brainstorms.

The first thing any writer needs before they sit down and crack on with their work is a sense of purpose. The worse writing experiences I have ever had normally involved a lack of purpose or a least a lack of enthusiasm. To create any form of comic book or graphic novel you will need both. In a fictional piece a sense of purpose comes from an idea, from an idea you can determine tone, genre and audience. The cornerstones of planning and the very start of the writing process. However, ideas are notoriously had to develop. I know a lot of writers who will tell you that you need to wait for the right idea but in my experience that isn’t true. Here’s two great ways to kick start your idea process.

Writing Exercise One: Music.

Music-music

Picture Source: http://www.beulahumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Music-music.jpg [Accessed: 03/01/2016]

Jump onto YouTube and find a random hour-long music mix, my personal favourite is ‘Quite Nights’ by MoRindie which you can view here.  Once you have a mix, grab a pad and paper, Ipad’s can work as well but turn the internet of to avoid distraction. Now just listen to the music and try to imagine a scene that music would play over in a film. Write absolutely everything down. Don’t look for an idea just let the ideas flow over you. Relax into it. Once the entire piece of music has finished, listen to it again and add to anything you already wrote, even if it’s just you rewriting the previous note into something a little better it’s still worth it. Now look at your notes. You will probably have at least one or two ‘film scenes’ you really like the sound of. If you don’t jump down to the next method. If you do then begin to look for a way that the scenes you like could be connected. Very quickly you will start to build an idea for a narrative and that is all you need right now. Write the idea out and proceed to the paragraph after exercise two, unless you want to try that one as well.

Writing Exercise Two: Internal Analysis.

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Picture Source: http://www.tomevans.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Head_Home_Page1.jpg [Accessed: 03/01/2016]

This sounds a lot more intimidating than it is but that also means you can sound a lot more intimidating to others by saying ‘I am currently performing internal analysis’ like some form of demented robot. All I want you to do is write a list of every book, comic book, TV show and film that has every got you really excited. I don’t care if nobody else would like your choices just, if you liked them get them down on the list. Once you have at least twenty to thirty different options go through the list and look for similarities. Write those down too. Get a personal list of ten things you really like in media, once you have that you know what your personal tastes are and I will tell you a secret right now. There is someone else out there with those exact same tastes. In fact, chances are there’s an army of people out there with those exact same tastes, or at least a few in common. So now you need to use try and create an idea that would incorporate all ten elements from your list. This might take time, and could be aided by method one. Once you have your idea write it down and jump to the next paragraph.

Loglines

snoopy-logline

Picture Source: https://scriptcat.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/snoopy-logline.jpg [Accessed: 03/01/2016]

You have an idea! Brilliant. Now the hard work really starts because we are going to pull and stretch at that idea until it is the size of an entire world. The next step is to write a log line. This is normally a statement of twenty five words or less that comic book writers can use to talk about their ideas quickly and easily. For example, the log line for Spiderman is simply: ‘Bitten by a radioactive spider, high school student Peter Parker gained the speed, strength and powers of a spider.’ For next week’s Grr(aphic) Mondays try to come up with a log line of your own for the ideas created using these methods.

…and that’s this week’s Grr(aphic) Mondays, check back on Wednesday for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!

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