Tuesday, March 27, 2012

storyboarding


For the past few weeks I've been entertaining the idea of writing a fictional story but rather than sitting down with pen and paper or a word processing program my first tendency has been to open my sketchbook. Although there are many things involved in telling about any adventure or quest it seems to me that two things are important at the beginning. The first is that you know who your main characters are and the second is that you explore the place before they get there. I've been taking tiny steps to develop a couple of characters - well, one to start off with and this is her. The trick for me will be to keep her recognizable from multiple angles. I hope you'll excuse me not telling you the plot if I explain it isn't very clear to me yet but I promise to post more sketches as the story progresses. It might get long and if it does I rather expect there'll be more writing than pictures. Even though I love Japanese manga I doubt my ability to draw pictures by the hundreds.

Meanwhile, in case you need entertainment right now, here's a very sweet little story about a young astronomer who lives in a world without stars:


Light up from Light up on Vimeo.


Wish me luck with the process. I have a feeling that telling you I'm doing it might just keep me on track.

30 comments:

The Crow said...

I like the nascent girl you nave created, Susan. I think it is her hair and the way she looks from the corners of her eyes.

Enjoyed the Light Up film, too.

(Thank you for your note. I lost it when I tried to post it on this library computer I'm using.)

Rob-bear said...

A very wise start, Susan — the start with your sketchbook. Stories are, well — stories. Meant to be pictured in the mind. So draw pictures to start. So entirely sensible.

By the way, your young miss reminds me a bit of the Little Prince, in the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Your little lady seems a bit precocious, a touch rough-edged, but having a good heart. An initial response. Please tell us more.

susan said...

I'm glad to know you like the person she's becoming - a child but not too young, nor too sweet either.

Light Up was too nice to miss.

So pleased you have a library close by.

susan said...

I tend to have a very visual imagination anyway so it's more natural for me to see a story first and then find the words.

Your take on my main character is exactly on target - a good protagonist can't be totally whimsical - but telling more now would be unproductive for her development.

Yes, the Little Prince is an old favorite.

marja-leena said...

Lovely idea, Susan, to sketch and play to develop this. I love what is beginning - have fun! Awaiting more...

The video is delightful, the little girl reminds me very much of my younger granddaughter, I think it's the smile. I've sent it on, thanks, you always find such good little films.

Randal Graves said...

Then you better keep on telling us because we want to read/see it. (does this video require sound to fully appreciate?)

Ol'Buzzard said...

I have felt from first viewing your blog that you would be a great illustrator for a children's book. A friend of mine recently published a children's book about a family of loons that live on a lake near her cottage.

Regardless: children's or adult's - I look forward to your work.
the Ol'Buzzard

susan said...

Any attempt I make to do this comes with many thanks to your encouragement.

I'm delighted to know you enjoyed the video so much.

susan said...

I'll keep telling so long as you keep dropping by. (not as much sound as your choices)

susan said...

It's something I haven't thought of doing in a long time. I'm glad you know someone who published a book about such a neat subject.

Thanks for your show of confidence.

Lisa Golden said...

I'm so happy that you're moving forward on this! Your character already has some of those expressions that make me wonder what she's up to. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with her.

linda adelaide said...

oh my, I am tardy..I have been rather consumed of late. it is late and I am on the iPad so will be back tomorrow to leave you a proper comment! just to say xoxox

susan said...

I've spent the afternoon trying to write an overall plot summary. The pictures are easy in comparison. Why didn't you tell me about that part?

susan said...

No worries, my friend. btw: Is it true iPads get hot?

linda adelaide said...

hello again and it's not midnight...a first! and no they do not get hot. at least the one i have doesn't but it's not got all the bells the newer ones have... there was a problem with some apple product's battery getting hot(maybe) but if so, then it was fixed because i remember someone saying something about it. we are an apple family here with too many EMR's to go around. are they making me smarter along with sunny flares? doubtful but...

i love this little drawing. you have such a knack for giving your people drawings such expression with a minimal use of anything discernible but a few marks. it's really amazing. i love this one, her shorts, her hair and is that a giant fish tail in the boat? probably not ;) but it sure looks like one from my vantage point-no?

i cannot wait to see where you take this...i imagine it will be a wonderful story. to tell it and illustrate it is quite a mouthful, i dare say. but if anyone can, you can. how's the weather?
xoxoxo

Lisa Golden said...

Oh, THAT part! I think it's why I'm in full retreat and thinking my forte is the sometimes humorous personal essay. And writing on bathroom walls. Novel? Forget it!

Even so, I have confidence in your talent and skills. To be a great writer, one must be a reader and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're a reader of many, many books. Too many to count.

susan said...

Well, I still think you have some really good things happening in your novel and I hope you may yet return to it. Creative efforts are often a matter of the right thing at the right time, perhaps now isn't the time. It's certainly true you write side-splittingly funny essays.

As for me, I wish reading were enough to make me a writer. I love music too but even though I've listened to a lot of it I still can't play the piano.

susan said...

Nice to see you made it back and not in the wee hours either. Apparently, there's been some news about the iPad 3 getting very hot especially with online gaming and downloading. Jer's Mac is tiring so he's thinking of an iPad replacement when the time comes rather than having 2 computers. I'm very attached to my Pro and may not want to share :-)

When I looked at the drawings again that does look like a fish in the boat but the story has no fishes.. at least not yet and I'm not planning any. I tend to squiggle a lot when I'm messing around. You're right that there's huge difference between drawing and painting one picture and actually doing an interlocking series with a written story. Still, I think it's time I make the attempt. Today I wrote the first outline just to have a framework for more complete drawings. You're very kind to say such sweet things.

The weather seems to have returned to normal spring but there are more flowers earlier than last year. How's yours?
xoxo

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan, I always thought you lively drawings and lovely pictures tell a story quite apart from the entertaining short versions we have all read on your blog. What a wicked experience you had on first arrival in Halifax in relation to your intended abode
The hardest thing about writing is getting stated and not to stall once you start - so don’t try and work to the ending or the name – that will come to fruition along the track
Lovely pictures of the tall ships and your own wonderful renditions.
Nice to see it warming up over there. .
In relation to the debate as to how long ago farming began let me add a perspective from the point of view of the Australian aboriginal. Their culture didn’t elect rulers or build monuments but was predicated on an affinity with the land stretching back more than 50,000 years.

Archeologists have uncovered extensive stone buildings which were used during seasonal eel faming and found evidence of agriculture where grasses similar to maize were harvested. How long ago was that ? some now say their existence stretched back mote then 70,000 years !!

Best wishes

susan said...

Hi Lindsay, It's nice to see you've been by to visit again. I really do appreciate your compliments about the artwork already shown and your encouragement for my new endeavor. I'll keep your advice in mind.

I've read other books and articles about the beginnings of agriculture and understand people were planting and harvesting for a long time before 11,000 years ago. It's just that that period is generally understood to be when pastoralism became prevalent. It's amazing the Aboriginal people were farming and building too.

Best wishes to you too.

Spadoman said...

Wow susan.. When I worked in motion picture production we always had a story board artist sketching the scenes that we were filming that day on set. One mod these story board artists was a good friend. She used to drive a limousine, but when she presented some sketches, they hired her immediately to do the daily story boards.
Your sketches remind me of what I saw when I looked over her shoulder. Best of luck with this project. I know you will achieve what you desire, and I know it will be a treat to see as it all unfolds.
Now, I have to go look at those ships in the posts below. You know, with me bein' a former seafaring' Cap'n an' all. Aurggghhh!

Peace

Francis Hunt said...

Waiting, with pleasant anticipation, for the story (stories). Does she have a name yet?

okjimm said...

I was StoryBoarded once..... I was strong and divulged not a single state secret.

susan said...

That's a neat story about your friend who worked in the movies. What a great job for a sketch artist.
Thanks for the good wishes.

susan said...

I'm not sure yet if it will be one or more but thanks for the good wishes.

No, I haven't named her yet.

susan said...

Thank goodness this isn't such a painful process... quite.

okjimm said...

nah..... I like coming here. You really have a neat blog, full of useful and insightful things, and cool pictures and oodles of neat folks that stop by and comment. Plus.... it always makes me want a really really good beer.

Gina said...

Sounds great. Looking much forward to the finished product.

susan said...

and I like it that you come to visit. I just wish I could offer you a beer when you do.

susan said...

Thanks, Gina. The finished product may be a long time coming but I've always preferred the work to the end result.