Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Reinvention of a WIP

After a month of reading and researching and immersing myself in the world of a different medium, I am trembling at the precipice of new adventure and I'm terrified to put the first word on paper. As my GoodReads bookshelf will reveal, I have been exploring the world of graphic novels/comics in preparation for reimagining my current WIP as a graphic novel (Yikes! I said it...please don't jinx it.)

The first thing I did when I decided to write for a YA audience was to read a ton of YA fiction. It makes sense, then, that I would begin to devour graphic novels and comics and books about writing graphic novels and comics as I begin this transition to my next incarnation as a writer. Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics is absolutely brilliant. He breaks down the magic of storytelling in pictures and words by using the medium itself to demonstrate it. His book is a dissertation accessible to everyone who wants to truly understand how comics work and why they are such a complex and beautiful way to tell stories. I hope someday I get the chance to meet him at a comic con or conference.

After that, I devoured Brian Michael Bendis' book Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels. He has some excellent interviews, Q&A's, and FAQ's with some of the best artists and writers in the business along with examples of different scripts and art. Again, I would love to meet this guy.

Behind all of this, I've been reading Saga and Revival and Blankets and The Road to Perdition as well as other examples so I can get a range of experiences with the medium before I begin.

So, here I am.

The scariest part, aside from utterly failing, is giving up some control of my story to an unknown artist. I am a very visual/sensory writer who spends a lot of time on description. Now, much of that description will be left up to an artist's pen and brush instead of my words. This requires trust. Absolute, blind trust. Of course, it also requires that I communicate my vision effectively to the artist without hogtying him/her completely. I know that picture book writers experience this as well, but it does some even broader in the case of a graphic novel. Not because of the length, but because of the immense detail that goes into scenes for an older audience. Somehow, I will do this. I will transform Ripley's tale into something awesome.

There is nothing to do now but dive in. So, if you see me and I have turned bright blue, it's only because I'm still holding my breath...

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