Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Graphic Novel A Year

Who doesn't want to make a graphic novel a year? I certainly would want to. I've been reading Karen Weisner's First Draft in 30 Days, a book for novel writers, and I thought, "Why can't graphic novelists join the fun?" Weisner's book is about coming up with a draft, not a full novel. A draft is something that can conceivably be achieved in the span of a month, since the document is far from being styled, cleaned up, and polished.

In a previous post, I proposed a "program" for the graphic novelist, in which he'll spend a year developing material for the next four years. I wasn't sure if it was possible since I've been wrestling with my own project. But Weisner's book was good inspiration, so perhaps the "one graphic novel a year" idea may just work.

Another inspiration is Blake Snyder's Save the Cat: The Last Book On Screewriting You'll Ever Need. The book has drawn a lot of flak because it appears to promote the formulaic film. But Snyder follows the book up with a sequel Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told, wherein he proves that most successful movies, from Saw to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, have a formula. The formula is in the structure, summarized by Snyder in "15 beats," which is wholly unnoticed by moviegoers. What makes each film unique can be found in the style and execution.

Weisner's book is more challenging to follow, however, because her system is worksheet based. But I understand that she had to do this because she was working with the 30-day frame. Snyder's book is more an overview of story structure among other things. So having these two books (or other similar references) can help graphic novelists speed things up.

Like I've said before, there are huge differences between graphic novels, prose novels, and screenplays, but they all have one objective--to tell a compelling story. The execution may be different, but their bare bones have a lot in common.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home