I've decided to start a series of journal entries chronicling the creation of my graphic novel. I'm doing this partly for you to follow along side me while I work on my first creator owned graphic novel, but mostly for me to have some sort of documented chain of events in the creation of this great white whale. I figure it will help me learn from what I'm sure will many mistakes along the way.
For now the book is going to be referred to as simply "Project". I apologize for the teaser like nature of it and assure you that I'm not trying to be all secretive for build-up sake. There is an actual reason behind it. I read that when you start telling people your story then you are less likely to create it. Write it, don't share it. This makes sense and I've learned the hard way that it's very true. In fact, I think you most of you have learned that it's true on this very blog. I've posted about various ideas I've had and how this or that was going to be my first book, or webcomic... well, you get the point. None of them have come to life. For whatever reason, I've never got my #@%* together and just did it. So until I'm closer to the finish line I will just be calling it the "Project".
So far I've finished the outline of the book. I've broken down into 3 acts with anywhere from 9 to 11 scenes per act. The next step is the writing and drawing, two things that I was going to attempt to do at the same time. I talked to a few friends and liked their process of breaking the story down visually and scripting to that as you go. I tried it and it's not sitting that well with me. I thought I would dig it but it just doesn't have the flow that I was looking for. I like breaking an issue down all at once, penciling it all at once, inking it all at once. This lets me sink my teeth into that one aspect of the process and stay in the frame of mind. Once I find the grove I start moving much faster which improves the odds of me finishing the project.
After a day of thumbnailing and scripting along side one another I've decided to step back and take care of the scripting first. I won't be fully scripting it, panel 1, panel 2 style. All I need is a very general beat sheet with dialog for each scene. This will allow me to keep my thoughts on the flow of story and dialog and not get distracted by the angels, character designs and page layouts that cloud my mind when drawing. Hopefully this will make for a more clever, snappy script.
Just like my day job of drawing the OZ novels, once the script is in place the art duties become second nature. I'll be back in my comfort zone and things will start to progress very nicely. (Let's hope so, anyway.)
Like the title of my book, I will be keeping a lot of the art to myself at the beginning. I'll show you so doodles here and there but nothing that will give too much away. Again, once I see that I'm making good progress and that this won't be another thing I bring up on a blog but never do, I'll start sharing more on the details of the project. Until then, I'll keep you in the loop on the process and progress of The Project.