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BE INSPIRATION │ KNOWLEDGE DETAILED SYNOPSIS


You might guess that the next step would be drawing the comic, but not yet. Next, I transformed the two-page outline into a detailed fifty-page synopsis. In text it’s easier to edit, shuffle around or even omit a scene if it isn't working, than it is with artwork, so this step saves me a lot of headaches and tears later on.


Some graphic novelists write in a movie script format, which can be useful for communicating character actions, dialogue, setting details, and other specific instructions for each page and panel when collaborating with an illustrator. Because I'm both the writer and illustrator, I prefer to plot the story as a synopsis. This allows me to avoid locking down every scene into a rigid series of instructions. I find this approach keeps the story fresh for me when I'm ready to move onto visualizing the page layouts.


STELLA


STORYBOARD


Then, I brought the text to life in the form of storyboards. The storyboards are drawn small, 4" x 6" so that I can focus on the essentials without over detailing. Some artists work at an even smaller size.


I break down the synopsis text into panels describing the elements I want to get across to the reader. Sometimes I make changes to the synopsis at this point to improve pacing and readability. Then I work out the layout, staging, character expressions and pose, dialogue, balloon placement, and sound effects. If you compare it to making a movie, creating the storyboards is a little like playing the role of director, actor, and set designer, all at the same time.


NANOOK


Synopsis for page 15


"The cubs want to pursue the mysterious creature to find out what it is. They try to follow, but it's too steep to climb out of the den’s entrance. Nanook suggests that one of them prop up the other to look outside.


Stella nominates herself; she's the strongest, and therefore the best candidate. Nanook doesn't think that's fair, and besides, if Stella is stronger, then she should lift him. Stella pouts. Nanook realizes that if they keep arguing, whatever it is will be long gone. Stella relents and boosts her brother up, but takes the opportunity to tease him. Nanook climbs up and pokes his head outside."


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