Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Story Creation
Momomite at 11:44AM, May 29, 2013
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I was just wondering how other people came up with story lines and how the plot out the main points… I'm pretty much a noob so any advice would be a great help ^^
ATBL at 9:41PM, July 12, 2013
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The posibilities are endless. Inspiration can come from reading a book you love, or just taking out the trash. As for plotting out the main points, again - any method is possible. What I like to do is make a basic list of the main points and then rearrange them as needed. Then I just start writing the script freely and work things in as they want to be worked in naturally. I try not to force anything, or else it will seem like just that. Forced.
This would actually be a great question to ask over here: http://webcomicunderdogs.com/forum/writers-block/


irrevenant at 6:25AM, July 30, 2013
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Momomite wrote:
I was just wondering how other people came up with story lines and how the plot out the main points… I'm pretty much a noob so any advice would be a great help ^^
One of the best ideas I've seen is to sit down and mindmap what you love, what fascinates you, what angers you and what scares you.  Spend a decent amount of time on each.
What you end up with is a chart of the things that matter to you.   You'll probably spark some story ideas just creating the chart but if you don't, just think to yourself “I'm looking for 3 story ideas related to my chart” then go off and do something else.  They'll come to you.
resleander at 4:54PM, Aug. 5, 2013
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Momomite wrote:
I was just wondering how other people came up with story lines and how the plot out the main points… I'm pretty much a noob so any advice would be a great help ^^
 
I took a few courses of narratology back in 2008 and we had to analyze short stories and movies. After this course I continued my studies on my own. I especially enjoy watching Pilots (the
first episode of a TV series) as you clearly see how they are introducing the
main characters, the themes, the set-up and usually also the goals of the main
characters. Just watch five pilots and you might know what I mean. 

I must have read about thirty books on how to write. But to be honest, it just comes to me. The thing that does not come naturally to me is Structure. So thats why I made a top three of some books ive read (in order of
recommendation_
#1        Story Structure Architect (Veronica Schmidt)
#2        Story (Robert McKee, parodied in Kaufman’s Adaptation) 
#3        The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell)

Story Structure Architect is full of useful graphs and the book has a nice and
clear structure to it. Small graphs help out with keeping an overview. With any kind of story, even something as episodic as a webcomic, you might want to plan ahead, especially if you want the characters and the story to go places.
Story is pretty useful too, it is filled with anecdotes and examples of scenes
in movies and the book goes into great depth explaining the underlying mechanics
at work.
Personally, I develop the characters, I know what they love, what they hate, what they fear, what they want, and what is stopping them from getting what they want. Then I explore (through background story or within the narrative) why it is that they love a certain thing, why they hate a certain thing, why they fear this or that, etc. Then I just throw them in a situation where I'm sure conflicts will arise and the characters basically write the story for me. Creating the situations is based on a lot of personal experience. Situations I've been in, or situations friends have been in. For the last five years, if anything sounded exciting, traumatizing, really funny or stranger than fiction, I wrote it down somewhere. 
I'll quote irrevenant now:
 
irrevenant wrote:
 One of the best ideas I've seen is to sit down and mindmap what you love, what fascinates you, what angers you and what scares you.  Spend a decent amount of time on each.
What you end up with is a chart of the things that matter to you.   You'll probably spark some story ideas just creating the chart but if you don't, just think to yourself “I'm looking for 3 story ideas related to my chart” then go off and do something else.  They'll come to you. 
As irrevenant said, you have to ask yourself a few questions. 
As for the mindmaps. I do this as well. Just this weekend, I was looking at my notes, almost a mindmap really; where I wanted to go with the story, where the story was, and what needed to happen. I asked myself again: WHY was this important? What is the essence of it? What does this scene mean? I went for a walk and in my head, the story just came into existence. I sat down, wrote it down, imagined it in my head, walked some more. It just comes to me really.
In the art phase I might mix things up a bit. Like in (my comic) Res Humanae when Paddy spills his drink. I totally improvised that. I had already written the scene, and I was meeting a friend for a drink. My friend, she gets really animated in her gestures when she drinks. I liked that for Paddy. So when I was sketching I knew he had been drinking. So his drink had to be somewhere right? And he was going on the defensive (in his argument), so that was cause enough to become more animated. And there I did it. I made him spill his drink.
Eh not sure where I was going with this. I guess what I'm saying is: I put a lot of personal experience into creating the characters. A few significant moments in my own life and of people I know are in there somewhere. Then the characters make their own story (they want things after all). Keep a structure (wants or must do (call to adventure)-> doesnt do (refusal of the call)-> overcomes conflict -> etc. etc.) and keep going! 
I do make a list of things that ‘need to be established in chapter I’ and ‘things that must happen in chapter 2 but have to make sense so some things need to happen in chapter 1 first’ and things that will happen in chapter 3, etc. etc.  
last edited on Aug. 5, 2013 4:57PM

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