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Postby gricc » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:07 am

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Subject title: How the hell do you write a story/comic?

GI'm trying to create a brand new story from scratch and maybe make it into a professional comic? I have no experience at all and I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm trying to flesh it out but I keep getting stuck and then start thinking "how am I supposed to even start?!". Please help with ideas, tips, etc. What I want in the story for sure is a Metal Gear and Samurai Jack season 5 esque kind of vibe. (If that makes sense)
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Postby arodude » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:08 pm

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It's something I'm struggling with as well but I think it comes down to just start writing. Chris Oatley has some tips for writing a comic script. Some people like to approach it visually and thumbnail their story.

Your first ideas won't be good but you can always revise them and make them better as you come up with better ideas later. You can start by writing one page a day or work on a character design. Another day you could research the look of the setting etc. If you have a friend willing to listen, you can use them to bounce ideas off of. I think also it's important to analyze and break down stories you enjoy to figure out why you like them and how to apply some of their elements to your own work.


Postby Engell79 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:34 am

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THis is a rather advanced topic, just as advances and deep as drawing/painting it self.

Theres lots of good Youtubes about creating stories! just search for it. its a subject ive been into for a loong while.

To run it down to an extreme simplification, heres some points that i in my studies learnd are fundmental of good story writing.

1. A fixed universe: type of universe, type of world, and most important the rules of it.
2. Complete chars, for main cast and main side roles. Have sheets, that describe their 3-4 most prominent traits. It makes it easier
to work with the char, and know how this char will react to diffrent situations. Breaking a chars 'rule' book of behaviour can be very
powerfull in story telling, but be very carefull , it will seem flat, lazy and as bad story telling if you do it with out the chars personality
being VERY well established threw many diffrent deeds.

3. have a clear sence of what u whant to tell threw your story, is it Drama, tragedy, comedy, gore and action or horror? and think of the rules of these
kinds of stories.

a good way to practice your own imagination, is using chars from movies or books u know very well, and create your own story lines with in their universes.

another good way is to TRANSCEND a story to a new universe, so lets say, re-make the story about the seven dwarfs in a Sci-fi universe...
were the dwarfs could be aliens, the princess a spacestation managers steep doughter and the ebil steep mom an evil entity bend on destroying
the "princess" to enherit the spacestation... hope u get the gist of it.

its good imagination and story telling practice, it gives u a foundation to build on, and yet experiment to your wishes.


Postby Moe » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:02 am

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I'm pretty new to writing myself but I've been doing some research over the past couple of months and I learned a few things. For one thing, I think the reason you're having trouble coming up with a story is because your motivation is rather superficial(samurai jack/metal gear solid vibe) . There is nothing wrong with wanting to write cool action scenes and whatnot but in order to develop a story that engages readers you'll have to look far beyond that. You have to look deep down into your core belief system, what are your values, what are your truths, those that things that really connect with people, the action scenes, the cool looking character designs , the dynamic panels are all icings on the cake.

There are 3 main sources that you can draw from as far as writing goes

1.) Reality.

I was watching a ted talk a while ago and speaker was an editor who was talking about the writing process. And he said the reason why most people suck at writing is because they have boring lives. So in order to write well, you need to have some kind of interesting life experience that you can draw from. This does not have to be as crazy as you worked as some undercover narcotics officer who did drug busts while pretending to be a handicap but it should be interesting. Perhaps, you're a gay muslim and you fear of coming out because you didn't want to be disowned by your parents and shunned by your community, maybe you were bullied as a teenager and you had to find a way to overcome the situation by becoming stronger, maybe you were in a really bad break up, Maybe you have claustrophobia and there was a time where you got stuck in an elevator, etc. In order to create great writing, you have to really open yourself up. Afterwards, you can add additional stuff that can make a story look cool.

2.) Theory

Basically, just read books on this, there are general principles like the three act story structure that work well.

3.) Master studies

Watch movies/read books but don't just watch/read it for fun, analyze it, pick it apart, figure out why you like it. Don't just limit your "master" studies to content you like, also read/watch things you dislike so you can avoid that in your own writing.


Postby gricc » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:41 am

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thank you guys so much, I'll definitely make something really from my heart and something that will actually mean something to me. Good luck on your guys' end as well!
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Postby warm-wax » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:12 pm

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http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168644 this community is dedicated to writing short comic scripts, so they'll have some advice and examples. You can also submit your script or parts of it to be reviewed!

As far as comics go, you really want to look at short stories. I usually use myths, they're variable, but some of them are short and very satisfying. (Also if you ever wanna use the plot verbatem you can cause its in public domain! :P ) For myths, read the [colour] fairy books, (eg pink fairy book, blue fairy book) they're in public domain and collect fables/myths from around the world. I know they're probably not to your taste, but people can draw inspiration from anything, and you should, as a writer, try to broaden your pool of reading. Neil gaiman also has some decent short stories, and there are a fair amount of anthologies around, collected as a theme. Bad stories are just as useful to read as good ones--if you can figure out why they're bad then you can learn from them.

You should also familiorise yourself with actual comics. I don't like spending money so I tend to find a place in the comic store where the clerk can't see me and I read a bunch of issues :P I think if you like samurai jack you could read the samurai jack comics? Hellboy, I'd reccomend, as well as indie comics. Just reading Marvel gives you a small pool of artstyles and layout designs, and while they're good they tend to be quite stale sometimes.

Make sure to make a couple drafts! Don't expect the first one to be perfect. Maybe team up with an artist, they'll tell you if the amount of panels/dialouge is getting excessive, and they might storyboard a bit for you. no guarentee.

anyway the main point is to have fun :)


Postby RukuKabe » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:03 pm

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Think of the plot as like a train track. It's there, it exists. . . but it's not doing anything of it's own accord. The train is the characters. The plot pulls them through situations and valleys and up mountains and who the hell knows what else.

The point being: don't just take a guy with a name, a design and a quick little bio and try and build a story with him. Develop your characters, do turn arounds, write bios (looooong) bios. There's no merit in just jumping into the meat of the story if you don't even know what sort of meat you're dealing with.

I've got this lovely little book called Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight, and so much of it applies to writing in general as well. Here's a little excerpt:

"What usually happens when a writer deliberately begins with a theme is that it distorts everything else. For one thing, it becomes painfully obvious that the characters are not self-employed but are working for the author, doing what she tells them to.
Your characters are your employees, and your reader knows that, but if you are adroit and lucky you can make him forget that temporarily. The last thing you want to do is rub his nose in it"

Take that as you will. Point being, a story is only as good as its characters. Work on those, and as long as you've got at least a general idea of what the story is, the plot will come along.


Postby UnorthodoxThing » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:52 pm

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I have a full fledge plan for my comic, but I would really like to know what are the essentials art skills to make one. >.>
Oh, I'm making a contemporary world mixed with folklore spirits. It seems like human anatomy and assorted monsters. Some perspective. But those are really vague in my term and I dunno really.
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Postby Moe » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:01 pm

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UnorthodoxThing wrote:I have a full fledge plan for my comic, but I would really like to know what are the essentials art skills to make one. >.>
Oh, I'm making a contemporary world mixed with folklore spirits. It seems like human anatomy and assorted monsters. Some perspective. But those are really vague in my term and I dunno really.

Tbh, everything. You need to know everything from perspective, anatomy and gesture to designing characters, script writing, paneling(composition). I will say the less essential are values and color theory.

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