Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: SEB-standard: Week 10 - Writing -My Process

  1. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    SEB-standard: Week 10 - Writing -My Process

    Another Wednesday, another column!

    Ok, for whatever reason, this little column of mine gets more hits when I talk about writing comics. Apparently, my views and opinions on the comic world in general draw less attention than my misadventures as a wannabe comic writer. What you don't know, but I am about to tell you, is that I have a SECOND collaborative project of an entirely different nature. I answered one of those scary no-pay collaborative ads on Digital Webbing. This one was one of the rare ARTIST SEEKING WRITER ads, with the stipulation that the writer be in the Orlando area. I'm about an 45 minutes to an hour out of Orlando, depending on which part. So I answered. I've been talking to Brian for almost a week now, but we've got some things cookin'. Brian Wolf, here on PFB as brianwolf (go figure) had some ideas he came up with, but needed help turning into full scrpts. I liked the ideas, and now we're starting to expand on them. I'm handling these two projects, mine & Neil's and Brian & mine, in decidedly different ways.

    Ok, so, as you know, I am collaborating with my pal, Neil (Spyhawk here on PFB) on a Revolutionary war, semi-superhero (hero, yes; super, not-so-much) title.

    Like many writers, I have a 'real' job, in my case, teaching. I know most of the world erroneously thinks that means I have all weekend, all summer, and from 3:15 on each day to write; but let me assure you, such is not the case. I have lessons to plan, papers to grade, and more beaurocratic red-tape and paperwork to file than you could ever dream of. So, again, like many writers, finding the time to write isn't always easy. As it stands, I am on page 21 of my 24 page script for issue #1. The last few pages of a script always take me the longest. In fact, for those who write themselves, let me share my creative process, my journey to a script.

    First, I hatch out my general idea. I don't do a formal plot, per say, so much as come with what I want to happen. From there i decide how many issues I want it to happen in, and weigh that out against how many issues it should actually take to tell it. Just because I want a story to be three issues long doesn't mean that's how long it will be. Some stories go shorter, others more. Once I start my mental plotting, it doesn't take too long to figure out how many issues should be required.

    Then I start picturing the book. I've always said I don't so much write scripts as I do transcribe the comics in my head into script form. I'm what teachers like myself would call a "visual thinker". Quite literally. Did you ever read DC's IMPUSLE? You know how many of his thought balloons were illustrated instead of written? Yeah. I think like that. Anywa, I "see" my comic page, and then write that. It helps me plot and pace the story. This way I know what fits on the page, what belongs, and how it should generally be laid out. I don't do breakdowns or layouts, as I want my artists to be able to their thing. That said, if I want a certain effect, or feel to a page, I will suggest certain paneling. But in general, I leave it up to the artist.

    Beginnings are easy as I find them flexible. (What? Are you kidding? Beginnings are too important to be flexible! What does that even mean?)
    Ah, i'm glad you asked. The beginnings themselves are not flexible, so much as what becomes the actual beginning of the story is flexible.
    Still confused?
    Ok, the part I begin a script with does not necessarily end up the actual beginning of the comic. For example, my revolutionary war script. it went through several rewrites, three of which were total overhauls. The original beginning was dropped all together, the second beginning got bumped to around page four, and the final beginning stemmed out of a scene I had originally envisioned for almost the end. You see, for pacing and gripping puposes, I decided to start the issue off with the action already well underway, and then tell the origin in flashback. This often used plot device can be used to capture, and hopefully hold, your readers attention. I'm a novice, and I know it. Forby tells me every Tuesday. With that in mind, I realized it would be easier and more effective for me to get the readers to read an origin about a character they had already (albeit briefly) met, then to get them to read the origin cold, with out any frame of reference as to who my guy is.


    With Brian's project, I'm going a different route all together. Brian sent me a handful of ideas, all very clever, really. He sent a brief -I can't even say outline, really -descrition, a few sentences, as to his thoughts. basically, he had some inspirations, and sent me exactly that. Inspirations. And, like a good inspiration should, they inspired. Expecially one of them, which started some ideas rattling around in my little skull. So, for his ideas, I'm fleshing out some concepts and geneal plot concepts. While I'm doing that, I'm also coming up with questions, questions about his intent, his ideas; does he like this way or that; which direction; etc. You see, these are Brian's ideas, I'm just scripting them. I don't want to shanghai his concepts, but flesh them out. Maybe we'll go in a different dierction than he originally planned, but only if he agrees with what i have in mind. Once we have ironed out some of the details and laid a foundation, then I'll start at a potential beginning. Most likely, I'll send him a copy every four or five pages or so; for his approval and comments. That may be a bit halting, but it allows both of us to add and subtract what we want.


    So there you have it. A piece of my thought process as to my creative process. Is this article a how to? Not at all. I just figured that the various posts I see here, and especially on Forby's BOLTS & NUTS, tend to include a desire by new writers to compare techniques with other writers. So, here's mine. Make of it you will.

    Now, unlike Forby, I don't assign column Home Work. I assign enough of that at my day job. But, what I would like to see is maybe a few of you could post some of your creative process. Don't spill all your ideas, just share what goes into your putting thought to page. This way we can all add a little something to our Writer's Bag o' Tricks!
    Last edited by SebastianPiccione; Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 03:41 PM.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  2. tylerjames Guest

    Always like hearing about other writers'/creators' process. I've honestly found that having multiple projects helps, rather than hurts productivity. Sounds like you have a very cool creative back-and-forth collaboration going.

    Funny your comment on the beginnings being flexible. For a project I'm working on currently, I've already pushed the beginning backwards in time twice from my original start point.

    And I hear you on the teacher thing...as a former elementary teacher, there never seems to be enough time in the day and there's always something you could be doing to better yourself in the classroom. But, striking a personal balance is a key to being effective as well, and if you're someone who needs to create to be happy, you need to make time for it.



  3. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Tyler.

    And thanks for assuring me that I'm not the only one with "flexible" beginnings. I find that storytelling is best when it flows naturally, and sometimes it flows out both ways from the middle.

    Wow, a fellow instructor/comic creator. At least we can legitimately laugh in the faces of anyone who accuses us being in it for the money! :rolleyes:

    And it's nice to know, that after years in High School, I feel I can write more believable teen character dialogue than 90% of comics on the market! :cool:
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  4. fjp800 Guest

    I have a suggestion! There is something you need... Time to write. My wife, Michelle, is in your league. Besides writing, she is an accomplished artist [both in photography and oil paint] and is deeply involved with St. Petersburg College as the head of the alumni association. Thus, she has very little time to write. But she came up with an idea... She plans to go on a vacation...by herself... to Ireland. Why Ireland? Her book is about fairies and goblins. An obvious choice for inspiration.



  5. StevenForbes Guest

    Nice column, Seb. I like the thing about being flexible.

    When I write, I tend to do it in scenes. Depending on what's going on, I can switch one scene for another, because each scene should be its own beginning. Again, this is dependent on what's happened before. Sometimes, it just can't be moved. You can write another beginning, but the discarded scene can't be used. It goes with the territory.

    I also like the fact that you are very respective of the new artist you're working with. It's one of those things that's just wonderful to hear about. This is a perfect example of my Communication column, because when everyone's in the loop, everyone wins.

    Oh, and I tell you no such thing on Tuesday! Giving me a complex!



  6. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    FJP800, thanks, cuz! Glad you could make it here! Ireland may be a bit of a stretch, but I see what you're saying about making time.

    Forby, Yeah, I know what ya mean about writing scenes, and being able to shuffle them around, to an extent, when you're done.

    And as for respecting the artist, well, that just seems common sense, despite how uncommon a practice it may be. On the project with Neil, I trust him completely. His first sketch of my, now our, character was better than I had imagined. He changed up a few things from my original description, but what he came up with was more visually appealing and made more sense than my first way. So I trust his artist's eye.
    With Brian, it's something else all together. This is his idea. Instead of me writing my story, with my characters, from my idea, and having an artist help me interpret them, this is Brian drawing his characters, from his idea, and me helping realize his story. It;s like the reverse of the usual artist/writer collab. I submit writing for the artist's approval.

    It's actually very relaxing to not be in the driver's seat on this one. I get to write things I wouldn't have done on my own, really flex my writing muscle, while someone else makes the big descisions. I'm just connecting dots. I could get used to this.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  7. TomLupo Guest

    I DON'T COMMENT MUCH HERE, BUT I READ THIS EVERY WEEK. MY PROBLEM WITH WRITIN' IS I WRITE HOW I TALK.....SO UNLESS I'M GONNA DO A NEGATIVE, SEXUAL, OFF THE WALL HUMOR COMIC....I CAN'T WRITE.



  8. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    AS I understand it, a negative, sexual, off the wall humor comic would probably sell.

    Besides, with the way you speak/write, I'm betting with the right editor you could write one HELL of A BEN GRIMM story!
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  9. TomLupo Guest

    YA KNOW.....I SHOULD COLLABERATE WITH ENNIS.....I AM SUPPOSED TO GO OUT DRINKIN' WITH HIM SOMETIME SOON....



Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Archive Forums (For Archive Purposes only): General Comics Discussion, Original Works, It's Clobberin' Time, Respect Threads, P'wned, General Chat, Beat Down, The Champagne Room (Mature), Marvel News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Archie News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here), Comics Are For People (See the latest columns here), Comics & Cinema (See the latest columns here), Comics Pro Prep (See the latest columns here), Bolts & Nuts (See the latest columns here), Seb-Standard (See the latest columns here), Webcomics You Should Be Reading (See the latest columns here), Development Hell (See the latest columns here), The Proving Grounds (See the latest columns here), Pixels Per Inch (See the latest columns here), Bargain Bin Gold (See the latest columns here), Dead Tuesday (See the latest columns here), Have You Considered... (See the latest columns here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here)
Project Fanboy is now Fanboy Buzz.
Fanboy Buzz is home to Comic Book News, Comic Book Reviews, Comic Book Columns, Comic Book Forums and Comic Book Podcast
Check out some of our past podcast hosts doing podcasts at GonnaGeek.com. Sci-Fi, Tech, Gaming, Comics and More!