Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Blank Stare Into Space, aka Writing


It's true that most of my writing, maybe seventy percent, happens in my head. Sometimes I'll randomly write notes, but more often than not, I'll just stare into space working over story ideas in my head before writing them down. The idea part of the blank stare can happen anywhere, but the scripting part happens in the office, this is a breakdown of what I like to have in my work space to write.

I asked my wife to randomly come in and take a picture of me while I was writing, this is what she got:

Pay no attention to the right side, none of that has anything to do with my writing, that's simply me updating my podcasts on a box of diapers, next to a Mexican wrestling mask. Although I have done some writing while wearing the mask, I don't think it was an essential piece in my process.

The real stuff is on the left:

1. This is my notebook. All ideas are gathered and broken into an overall story idea, then issue by issue breakdowns with some description and possibly a little dialogue. In the issue breakdowns I'll usually make little brackets indicating what action will be happening on one page, this helps me find the "page turn" moments I want to end on.

2. This is a sketchbook. I am, without a doubt, not an artist, the sketchbook comes in handy as a way to fidget and waste time without going on the internet and falling into the black hole of non-productivity. Sometimes just doodling some random shapes can be nice busy work while I think about the action or the dialogue. I also used to sketch out the page layouts as I was writing the script, just so I could see that what I was writing would actually look like a comic once it was drawn. I try not to do this anymore, instead leaving it in the hands of the artists.

3. This is my monthly list. This only came about in the last few months, I took it from Ryan K. Lindsay from The Process podcast. The list is nice because at the beginning of the month I make a new one, see what I have to carry over from last month, see what new stuff I have to add, and I get a good look at what I accomplished in the last 30 days. I'm not a full time professional writer, so some months I don't cross off a lot of stuff, but since I've started keeping track, I've always crossed off at least two things, more often three or four.

4. These are books I'm reading. I need to keep books close, these ones are, The Incal and Three Shadows, both are highly recommended reading.

5. These are comics. Similar to number 4, but different because these are regular sized monthly comics. For whatever reason, sometimes I just need to stop and pick one up, I just pick it up and flip through the stories that I've already read but push me forward and inspire me. Sometimes I just pick up a book and hold it, something about the size and shape of a comic, I don't know, If I'm stuck on something, It really does help to un-stick me. Maybe It just helps to see that it's worth it to keep writing because comics do get made, it happens, if this comic in my hand can be real, maybe my stuff can be too. These look like, Punk Rock Jesus and the Free Comic Book Day Donald Duck Family Comic, with Morrison's Supergods sitting on top of Secret Agent Poyo.

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