As I’m working away on my first graphic novel I reflected back on what my influences were that inspired my story. One of the hardest things to do is begin your story. Pulling from your personal interests and experiences are the best material to harvest from. But compiling them into a narrative story can be daunting.
I happened to be driving home from work daydreaming, when the basis of my book popped into my head. My story idea was triggered by a time that I was driving through open country many years ago and seeing an old abandoned roadside motel. This then perpetuated a series of ideas. I started to write down these ideas. They started simple as the landscape, my first car, music and the type of films I had interest in.
Before long my story had characters, setting, beginning, middle and end. It was truly a rough draft but it really had a concrete narrative. This then was read to my wife who is an English teacher and she pointed out some very helpful guidance. Plot holes, character development, and some narrative that was needed. I took all this on board, and refined the story and gave it back to my wife along with some sketches. As I’m not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, I was extremely grateful for her feedback. She got me in the right direction. I’m a visual type of person meaning that I see my story in visuals rather than literary. But in relying on solely visuals to tell my story, I needed more narrative.
Once the idea you conceive is inspired and you can pull from your influences, the story will begin to fall into place. So have your idea as a foundation, then start to build with your past experiences, art, literature, music, films, ect. But remember to get early feedback to catch anything you could very easily overlook. It’s easy to assume you have created a masterpiece until someone else reads it and notices pitfalls that you may miss due to being intimately close to your project.
I hope my personal advice will help you in your development of your future endeavours.
Stay tuned as I will be looking at storyboards in my next post.