The last few projects I've started all went the same. I had an idea that I committed to and was excited to write and draw. I'd pull out the sketchbook and start looking for the character and style of the book. After a week or more of that I'd hit on something and then move over to the laptop where I'd spend a few weeks plotting an outline. I followed the screenplay structure. Act I, Act II, Act III complete with properly placed plot points, mind points... you get the points.
Next up, I would start writing. My structure consisted of detailed plot with full character dialog. I didn't bother breaking it down into pages or panels because I was doing graphic novels, I could do that in the layout stage. A few projects didn't make it to the end of this step. My last project did. I finished the full script.
It was a few months after having the initial idea that I was ready to finally start doing thumbnails ands laying out the book. I finished layouts in about 5 days and the book ended up being 124 pages long. I jumped right into drawing and inking pages. I was around 90 days into creating my OGN and I had only spent 20 of them drawing so far. I felt burnt out and hit the wall that mentioned in the previous posts.
Flash forward a year later and I'm writing this post. What's different this time around? Everything.
There's the content which we covered in the last post. I'm playing in made up world but telling a personal story with it. But most of all, I'm already drawing. That's the big difference. The idea started to form in SDCC around 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks of discussing options with my trusted crew of art junkies and now I'm laying out pages.
I try to be honest with myself. I could come up with a million great reasons why I've stopped every project I've started. Most people would say I already do a monthly book, that should be enough. But that's no excuse. I'm dying to tell my own stories, and I've just flat out dropped the ball each time. But I think that it's because I try to go about it the way I THINK it's suppose to be done. Graphic novels are written and then drawn, right. Well, the more I look into some of my favorite storytellers you begin to find out that's not always the case. I was happy to know that find out that Jeff Smith knew where Bone was going, but he didn't have it blocked out before hand. He just drew his story. I liked the idea of this because it would allow me to use that new energy and motivation I have on actual pages where as before I was burnt out before even getting to the art stage.
I'm 10 pages into this new process and I'm as excited today as I was on the day I started to form the concept. I'm determined to not repeat the past this time and hopefully with in the next year you'll be holding this book in your hands.
Thanks to all of you who have been following along and leaving your comments. Pass the word, retweet, post away. The more eyes that are reading the more people that will keep me in check.
See you in the next post.