This is part 1 of a 2 part post on story boarding and scripting your comic book or graphic novel. As I’m moving out of the development stage of my book and will be starting the production phase, I wanted to catch up on how I’ve gotten to this point. As I’ve said before I’m learning as I go, and I’m sure there is other methods of going about doing a book, but these methods are how I’ve worked along.
Story boarding is a way to sketch out your ideas into a story. Story boards or thumbnails are just rough sketches of the visual end of you book. An idea, if you will, of what you want it to look like. This is done with pretty much all comics and graphic novels, as well as TV shows to films. It doesn’t have to be a work of art or perfect, just rough sketches. It helps lay out how you want the flow of you page to be. This can also be changed as you go along. I found myself going back and changing storyboards because I either felt like their were missing elements or the flow was a skewed.
I’m more of a visual person so I started out doing my story boards before I had my script done. I knew the story I wanted to tell, so I started sketching out how I thought would be best to tell the story without any words. As the art form of comics is vastly visual, I felt that I should try and tell the story with visual elements rather than literary elements first. This allowed to to create a flow of story telling by imagery and paneling. Clearly, I knew that some of the images would need some sort of narrative to understand what was going on in the visuals, so I had to make notes within said panels. As you can see in the page below I made some notes within the panels to give brief idea as to what I wanted.
Story boards or thumbnails can be sketched on anything. I would recommend a cheap A4 sketch pad, as you could find yourself tearing and shredding pages as you work along. You probably don’t want to use any expensive paper or Bristol board for this stage as it’s counter productive and a waste of good material. If you’re anything like me, money is definitely on the tight side so I use inexpensive materials for this and I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I found that I re-did a good few pages.
I kept all my pages sequential as I went along by numbering them. This allowed me to see the book as I wanted it to look. It also helped me when I got to the scripting phase, which I will cover in my next post. Again, this is just the way I found easiest for me, but like I’ve said before there is other methods out there. So in conclusion, sketch away and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or changes, this is purely a development phase of making your master piece. Once your happy with what you have on the paper and the script is drafted, have someone, a friend, family member, whom ever, read it over and give you feedback. This is essential as it might make sense to you, but not to someone else.
Thanks again for taking your time to read my posts!!! My next post will be about scripting your book and putting it together with the story boards.