Storytelling 101d

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

I’m discovering this blogging thing to be pretty tough, so, in an effort to have something interesting (I hope) to say for the next couple of weeks, it might be a fun time to talk about how Zip and Li’l Bit get made.

The first step in the process is the writing. My tools of choice are a plain old notebook, and a ball point pen. Here’s a scan of today’s page as I originally wrote it up.

Sample Page 16

Sometimes the idea that I have that’s driving the page may be an image that’s stuck in my head, other times it may be a phrase or something a character is saying, so I like to write both the dialogue and the pictures at the same time. For this page, it occurred to me that if Zip fell on his head, he’d fall on his shadow’s head as well, so the image in the fourth panel started everything off and the rest of the page was created around that idea.

Another reason I like to create both the text and the pictures together is that the gesture, or body language, of the figures is very important to me at this stage of the process. I want to find out not only what the characters are saying, but how they are saying it. If I can figure that out early on, then I feel like I’ve got a pretty solid foundation to build the rest of my work on. In this example, the sketches and dialogue are, obviously, pretty rough, but I think everything that is happening is still pretty clear. If it wasn’t, then I’d want to make the changes before I’d gone much further. It’s much easier for me to change something, or toss it out if it sucks, when I haven’t invested a lot of effort on it.

So, that’s all there is to writing. ;) Next time, I’ll talk about designing the page.