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Group Info Group Founded 2 Years ago Statistics 13 Members
979 Pageviews14 Watchers

Group Info

A group to help people negotiate the steps of creating their own visual story - be it a picturebook or a graphic novel.
Founded 2 Years ago
May 21, 2015


Group Focus
Common Interest

13 Members
14 Watchers
979 Pageviews
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Recent Journal Entries

Hi and welcome,
I really hope this group will be useful, and will support and encourage you to create your own visual story.

My own personal reasons for wanting to do this are twofold - I want to work in graphic novels and picture books, and I've found myself in collaboration with a number of people in these fields but none of those projects are MY vision, and I want to make something that is really mine, that I can be 100% passionate about.

The problem I found with wanting to create my own vision was where to start, I've written novels before, but doing it graphically, or in condensed form for a picture book I assumed was different.

Turns out it's not /that/ different if you approach it from the world building point of view. Don't try and create a story and then force an environment and characters to conform to it. Instead, build a world, make your environments, create characters who belong in that environment, and then tell your story with a firm believable base to work from.  Everything that happens in the environment, with the characters, to the world, should have a logical reason and purpose.

You can use this method even for a single picture, the best art tells a story, so give it one.

But enough rambling from me, please introduce yourselves -
Are you an author, artist, or both,
Do you want to fly solo or collaborate,
Are you more interested in making web comics, graphic novels or picture books,
How would you like this to be structured - everyone works on each step together so folders for each step, separate folders for authors, artists, combos and collabs, some other way?
Anything in particular you'd like help with, or like a focus on?
Anything else you want to say!
More Journal Entries

Gallery Folders

Idea Zone
Steps one-three
Story Planning 1-3 by StormWhiskers
Steps-1-3-visualstory by PuNK-A-CaT
Steps four-six
Page-24-fin by PuNK-A-CaT
Page-23-fin by PuNK-A-CaT
Page-22-fin by PuNK-A-CaT
Page-21-fin by PuNK-A-CaT
Steps seven-nine
Steps ten-twelve


CAC/M 04 : The Characters (pt 2) The design by LIN-mangaka CAC/M 04 : The Characters (pt 2) The design :iconlin-mangaka:LIN-mangaka 16 4 CAC/M 03:The Story and Characters (pt 1) by LIN-mangaka CAC/M 03:The Story and Characters (pt 1) :iconlin-mangaka:LIN-mangaka 16 0 Creating a Manga/Comic 02: The Ideas by LIN-mangaka Creating a Manga/Comic 02: The Ideas :iconlin-mangaka:LIN-mangaka 26 5 Creating a Manga/Comic 01 : The Steps by LIN-mangaka Creating a Manga/Comic 01 : The Steps :iconlin-mangaka:LIN-mangaka 41 9

The overview.

Please note I have used a sci-fi space example through this, and used the pronoun he, this is just for ease of example. This might seem like a lot of work for something like a picture book, but research and development of characters will make the end product better.
ALSO- this is just MY way, based on ideas I’ve picked up doing research and attempting the process myself, it’s not the only way by any means. This is by no means a comprehensive "how to write well" tutorial, it's just an outline of the steps to take to build an environment and character based visual story.

For ALL of this, USE REFERENCES! Find examples, go look up what things look like, how they sound, how they behave, move etc, make yourself a saved folder of things you can go back and look at. Research before you start writing or drawing.

Step one: Decide who your audience is and what type of thing you are creating. The focus here is more on picture-books/ graphic novels, but I imagine some of the steps are the same for novels. Are you writing for children, young adult, 20+, NSFW, something else? what length are you aiming for? Is it a one shot or will it become the start of a series? (I REALLY recommend if this is the first time you’ve done anything like this, don’t be too ambitious, because it will get overwhelming - start small! You can always expand on the idea later.)

Step Two: Sum up your story in one sentence. Can’t do it? That’s ok, think of a genre that interests you - is it Sci-fi? Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Comedy, Drama, War, a mix of some of them, something else? Is your story bright and cheerful, dark and gritty, what kind of mood and tone are you trying to set? What story are you trying to tell, see if you can sum it up in a few words. Break it down as much as you can.
For my example: Sci-fi - Joe spaceman needs to save the space station from the monster alien space octopus.

Step Three: Setting Thumbnails - either in words or images what you’ve chosen as your theme. For example, if you’ve chosen Sci-fi, perhaps the entire story is set in space - find some imagery that conveys the feeling - is it all clean and bright and antiseptic, or is it broken, dirty, falling apart and dangerous? Set the scene for your story! You can choose a colour palette at this stage and do your thumbnails in colour - even if you are writing, describe what colours you see it as. Find what kind of feeling you are trying to convey.

Step Four: Build your characters environment. You have a setting, now create an environment in which to place your characters - Is Joe Spaceman a neat freak, or is he a slob, does his room have stuff piled up and spread everywhere, or is it all gleaming and polished, does he room with other people, what’s the rest of the spaceship like, is it cramped? Is he the type to hate being in small spaces - is he small or large, do his shoulders get stuck squeezing through airlocks.. Show or tell an environment that is going to explain your characters. Remember to do this for /each/ of your characters - generally you have, the main protagonist (person the story focuses around) they might have a sidekick - someone who they can talk to, and who often shows up their weaknesses and supports them. An Antagonist/ force of opposition - the person which hinders the protagonist getting where he needs to go. You can also have a love interest and a mentor, and as many ‘extras’ as you need - don’t get carried away with them though - you don’t need to flesh out characters who are just seen in the background.

Step Five: Build those characters, using what you’ve created environment wise, build some characters. Think about age, sex, height, build, clothing, habits, ways of talking/ dialect traits, do they slouch, how is their hair, are they dressed tidily or do they look like they slept in their clothing, what kind of equipment do they carry around? Make your characters unique. If you are drawing them out check that they have a unique silhouette, so they won’t be mistaken for your other characters. Try and list/ draw how they would react to certain situations - what are they afraid of, what drives them, how do they behave around other people, are they naturally cheerful or grumpy, make them as real as you can. If you are having trouble with this, have a look at people you know and see if they have any character traits or habits/ reactions you could borrow, don’t outright copy a person, but borrow from the real world until you’ve got something you can relate to and find believable.

Step Six: Plot: Now it’s time to try and build a basic plot, you have an outline, you know what your setting and environment are, you know who your characters are and how they will react, so now you need to find the major plot points. You can do this with writing or thumbnails, whatever works best for you (I like a mix of both)
1 - what is the problem that needs to be overcome
2 - What do the character do to try to solve the problem, how does this go wrong
3 - build the tension, throw in some more problems (send your main character to hell, aka, make them have to face their worst personal fear to 'win' the day)
4 - come up with a final plan
5 - overcome the problems, enact the plan, win! (they don’t have to /beat/ the antagonist, a win can be a compromise)
6 - wrap up the ending, make it satisfying.

Step Seven: Script it out: Now comes the part where you decide how the story will flow, how many pages will each of your plot points take up, how much will be shown with images and how much will be dialogue? Try and write your script in such a way someone else could read it (either because the more you explain it the better you will remember what you meant later on, or if you intend to pass it on to someone else to illustrate, they need to see what you see), be visual - draw or describe what you mean, don’t be afraid to storyboard it as well as write up a script, whatever works for you. If you are writing a graphic novel script and you are an author - be kind to the artist, tell them what style panels and what type of shots you envision - you can always negotiate for them to have a say in it, but make the process as easy for the artist as possible. It’s your job as the author to have good clean concise dialogue and clear instructions on what the characters are doing. If you are an artist and writing isn’t your thing, get someone to help with the dialogue etc.

Step Eight: PROOF READ! Cannot stress this enough, get someone to check for spelling and grammatical errors!

Step Nine: More Thumb-nailing: Take the script, and thumbnail the pages, know exactly how you want it to look - what colours you are using, where you are putting the text, get it ALL sorted before you commit to drawing anything. Authors - polish the script, make every word count, hand it to a friend and ask them if it’s clear enough, clean up any ambiguity.

Step Ten: Draw all the things! You should now be able to draw up your story - Authors, you should be able to pass a script/ story on to an artist.

Step Eleven: Almost finished - get it all proof read again, before you think about publishing it anywhere make sure that you haven’t managed to make any errors in the text.

Step Twelve: Congratulate yourself on a job well done.. And start thinking about the next one :D








Add a Comment:
ventimocha Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
Thank you so so much for doing this!
PuNK-A-CaT Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
No problem, I’m now trying to figure out how to structure the folders and encourage everyone to get started and keep going. Any suggestions welcome :D