The Comics Engine #1
This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of production blogs as I work through the creation of the second book in the Jackie Rose series. I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences as I move through each step of the creation process. So come along with me. I hope my experiences and thoughts will help you as you embark on your own storytelling adventures.
Keep Your Cool
When I first started writing stories, my entire focus was built around ideas that I thought were cool. Beyond that, I just winged it. Leaning on knowledge I gained about storytelling from TV shows and movies that I liked.
This presented a lot of great concepts that people liked, but it also presented a lot of problems for me as I began to learn how stories actually work and how broken many of my scripts actually were. Over the last year and a half I’ve been learning more and more about things like “External Conflict”, “Internal Conflict”, and what the three act structure actually is, and what makes each act significant. This information has been vitally important to me and it’s made me a better writer. At some point, I will probably go into a lot of those writing formats and lessons, but for now I want to talk about something else.
Sometimes the deeper we go in learning something, the more we forget about the basics. If your primary focus is on “what works for the story”, you will create a very well structured, and very BORING story. When you sit down to write a book or to write a scene, the first thing that should come to your mind is this: “What is the coolest thing I can write?” or perhaps, “What is the most interesting setting?” “What is the most exciting thing that could happen?” “What’s the most fun I could have in this story?”. Go back to that child like excitement for stories and ask yourself as a READER, what do I want to see here? Of course, the level of craziness needs to fit into the confines of the world you’ve created, but push that world to it’s limits. This might sound obvious to some of you, but when you’re waist deep into a script, it’s very easy to forget that the very reason you’re making the story in the first place is to share something interesting, something that matters.
We create stories to entertain, not for the sake of creation. If you’re bored with what you’re writing, everyone else will be bored reading it. So if you get bored, stop. Think about what would make the scene you’re working on more fun or interesting, and push yourself in that direction. You will have a lot more fun creating your story and it will energize you to keep going.
Make it cool, and then make it work.