Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gathering Ideas

I’m back. I met my deadline and I’m on to the next one. Right now, I have to write the manuscript for my next “Fangbone! Third Grade Barbarian!” graphic novel. This will be book #3 and is the last one I am contracted for. I hope to have the opportunity to do more. Books #1 and #2 will come out in January, with book three coming out in the Fall of 2012.

We decided for this project to write a script for the entire book before any drawing is done. That way the plot, character arcs, the jokes and the structure can all be worked out first. It’s very much like writing a screenplay for a film. The manuscript will run about 28 pages, and the completed book will be 128 pages of comics.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a while, and even did a rough draft back in March, but I’ve scrapped much of that. While it was very funny, it had way too many ideas and threads, so right now my job is to simplify and streamline. I’ve had to take out a character that I love, but it’s best for the story.

As I set out to write book #3 I have to get all of my notes and ideas in order. Above is a picture of all of my idea sources.

1. My Acer Netbook. I bought this a few years ago for Grad school, and it worked fine for what it was. The rough draft I mentioned above was written on this. That’s a printout in front of it. I’m going to go through that and grab the parts I like. My initial pitch of this project was also written on this, as well as summaries of the three books.

2. An early copy of “Fangbone!” #1 for reference. We recently changed the cover of Book #1 and as we completed book #2. I will be showing both of them very soon.

3. Sketchbooks. These have written ideas and drawings, usually all on the same page. I keep a few sketchbooks going at all times. One might be in my bedroom, one in the car, one in the living room. I want to have them available wherever I am. Some of these go back a few years to when I was first working on this concept. There are ideas that emerged during those initial brainstorming sessions that I still want to use.

4. Notebooks. These are the small sketchbooks I sometimes carry with me, or keep in my car. Again, notes and images sit side by side.

5. Index cards. This is the stack of index cards used for that first draft mentioned above. There’s stuff in there that might prove useful.

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