Sunday, July 24, 2011

Script for the Graphic Novel finally FINISHED!!!

The Graphic Novel is WRITTEN!
A few weeks ago I achieved a personal milestone in the creation of the Vampress Luxura: Sword of the Apocalypse graphic novel.

I can officially report that the entire script is now completed!
From the very beginning I told myself that I would not start on the art until the entire story was fully written. I can’t begin to explain how good it feels to accomplish this feat. And trust me, it was a feat! The entire story breaks down into 20 chapters. Just like a regular novel, some chapters are longer than others. I would have to say that the story reads more like 20 episodes of a TV series more so than a 2 hour movie.

The final graphic novel tops out at around 660 pages! WOW!!! That’s a little over 200 pages more than I originally planned. Most of that is due to the fact that the story has fewer panels than the typical comic. Even so, it will be a VERY thick book when completed. It also took me much longer to write than I expected. From the time my son (Kirk II) and I started hashing out the storyline to the finished manuscript took me 19 months. That was in-between family life, work and sleep.

I would get up very early in the morning when everything is quiet around the house and write for about an hour a day. Every now and again I would get extended periods where I could write for about 3 or 4 hours at a time, but for the most part the writing was done in those very quiet morning hours. There were a few weeks where life just got too hectic to make any progress at all and those times really bummed me out. It didn’t stop me though, eventually things would calm down and I could get back into a rhythm of writing. I must say that the next time I hear about a writer who took two or three years to finish a novel, I will know why.

Now that the story is complete, I am moving on to the thumbnails. For those of you who are not familiar with that term. Thumbnails are little rough sketches of what will be in each panel and on each page. The movie industry calls them Story Boards. I already had several pages of thumbnails created but they don’t fit with the page design of the book so I will have to do them all over. Once I have completed the roughs for the first issue, I will begin working on the final art and then the graphic novel will REALLY begin!

When I finished the script the next thing I did was to actually create a panel by panel mock up of the entire graphic novel. I did this because I wanted to find out exactly how many art pages it would end up being. I took the script line by line and broke it down into what each character was saying and doing in each panel. That’s how I found out to a very close approximation, how many pages I would have to draw.

I took the panel mock up and printed it out so I can make script and art notes right on the pages. Once I did the printout I ended up with a stack of paper that was about 4 inches thick. This presented a few problems. First of all, I had no way to bind all of that together, second, it was way to big to carry around with me to work on. I then thought that if I used one of the Print On Demand companies that I print some of my books with, then I could make a hard bound printed version of the Panel Mock Upand I would be able to carry it around with me where ever I go. This worked out perfectly!

With this crucial part of the process in hand I can now begin to make significant progress in creating the rest of the graphic novel. Please take a moment to subscribe to this site so you can be notified when I make updates.

Until then, please remember…

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain