Friday, May 08, 2015

Recipes and Cooking Up A Comic

Recipes help keep things on track when you are planning to bake a cake, and planning can help in more than just cooking. No matter how skillful you are at improvisation you'll find that having a plan will make things easier for you later on, and when you need to change things you'll be able to see what changes need to be made to allow for the modifications. It doesn't matter if the plan is an outline, a diagram, or a detailed story: Having one should be paramount. Here are some tips on creating a plan for your comic; hopefully they will help.

1) Set goals. Not only should each character have their own goal, but the group as a whole needs to have some endgame. It doesn't matter if it's as simple as finding acceptance to as abstract as finding peace for his world; characters need to be working for something as it helps set their characterization in your head. The more concrete those goals, the more solid their characterizations. The goal of the group provides more than a finish line for you; it also provides a reason for the group to act as a team, as well as provide conflict if each member decides a different solution will work. Goals are thus important for more than just the story, but for characters as well.

2) Determine how you need to accomplish each goal. You need to figure out not only what tools each character needs to accomplish their goals, but how those tools need to be used. You need to figure out those individual steps work together when it comes to solving the Big Goal. It's sort of like making a cake: You need to bake the individual cakes, mix the frosting, and prepare the filling. In order to make a great cake you need to know how each component works together; without that knowledge the cake can get really scary.

3) Mix all of this together. Once you have all of the individual components worked out, you then need to figure out how they will mix together. You need to figure out which scenes should follow each other, looking for things like counterpoints and complements; sort of like playing sweet off of savory you need to decide which scenes will work together and which need some space between them. It's fine to cut some scenes if they don't work; you shouldn't wedge scenes in just because they are on the list. You may find that you need to add some scenes for better transitions and bridging, as well as to explain situations as they come up. Do whatever is needed.

3) Charge in.

If you go into something with at least some planning, the writing will go a lot easier and a lot quicker. You may need to throw in some additional scenes and find that others don't work as well as you thought they would, but at least you have some structure to work from. You can allow inspiration to take over at any time, and just go for it; at least you know what needs to be changed. It always helps to have a recipe to go off, and this should help you build one for your script. 

No comments: