Road to a Comic and Writing – Just Get it Done

Okay, so this could either turn out to be something I’m really proud of, or it could turn into an unmitigated disaster. I’m hoping it’s the former, but I imagine there will be a long time before I find that out!

Kind of a low quality ninja?

Last week, I posted about a homemade zombie comic that I had read and enjoyed. In fact, it inspired me to create something myself, and I’m finding lots of parallels with my writing. The only problem with that is that I need to acquire some skills first.

Now, if this were The Matrix, I could just plug in and get an injection of comic artist’s skills. The comic would be ready by the end of the week. Sweet.

Only, this is not The Matrix (at least I don’t think it is – how would I know?), so I’m going to have to acquire those skills the old fashioned way – by hard work and practice.

Why would I do this?

It’s a valid question, and one that I have asked myself several times over the last few days. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I write. Is it wise to try something that’s not that? Probably not, but I write because I enjoy it and wanted to see if I could turn my hand to something else as well. Plus, the idea really appealed to me!

Getting better?

I was thinking it would be another way of promoting some of my work, something a bit different, and so I came up with the idea of turning one of my short stories into a comic. Which one? I’ve got a good idea, but I reserve the right to change my mind at any point! The story I’ve got in mind is Reproductive Cycle which is not one that I have available in print just yet, but it is available as an audiobook over on YouTube, read by myself. Click the image below to listen.

Click it. You know you want to.

Reproductive Cycle is a horror story about a group of friends that discover an alien plant that just wants to be left alone to grow, but a group of elderly friends are unable to grant that wish after one of their group is found entangled in the plant…

So I’m going to assume you’ve listened to the above audio (if not, do it now), and I can hear you saying ‘why didn’t you get a professional person to do that?’ Well, I think there are a couple of valid reasons, and I think as a new author, there are a lot of benefits to recording your own audiobook, or drawing your own comic:

  • It enables you to flex your creative muscles – try something that you’ve never tried before!
  • It can assist with writer’s block – stepping away (briefly) from your WIP (Work In Progress) can regenerate and reload your creative brain. ‘A change is as good as a rest’ as my mum would say.
  • You can learn a new skill – Well that’s the plan.
  • It can save money – spoken as an author on a budget (read no budget). Perhaps in the future, when finances permit, I can get someone to do it for me, but at the moment, I like eating and living in a house, so I work on no budget!
  • See / hear your work in a new medium – Side Note: reading your work out loud is a good idea anyway; it is a good way to pick up any glaring errors in your text, and helps with telling you if your dialogue is believable or not.
  • Start good habits – doing something every day, whether that’s writing / drawing / learning an instrument and setting small goals, ones that it’s almost harder to miss (e.g. 10 mins writing / 10 mins drawing etc).
  • It’s fun – if you’re writing for yourself and no one else (if someone else likes it, that’s a bonus!), you need to be having fun while you are doing it; if you’re not, why are you doing it?
At least the proportions are correct

In addition to that, and probably specific to me, I find that drawing is actually a nice break for my fingers. MS makes typing difficult for any length of time, so when I can’t do that anymore, this gives me a chance to continue being creative!

So there’s a lot to do and although I worried initially about how I would fit everything in; because I’m not stopping writing. Far from it. I’ve found that over the last couple of weeks I have written more than I have in a while – First draft of Parklife completed, first drafts of two new short stories, and a third started. I’m even more active on social media, which has never been a strength of mine!

What’s the Plan, Stan?

It’s a straightforward one, and that is end up with a full comic strip of Reproductive Cycle. But along the way, I will need to learn the basics of drawing from the ground up. I would like to post regular updates that will serve two purposes: keep you updated with how things are going; give me an opportunity to look back and see progress (bonus – you get to laugh at my drawing).

Starting Point

culmination of hard work or fluke?

Every project has to start somewhere, and if you’re a new author looking to start something and are feeling apprehensive, here is my starting point for this project. As you can see from the images scattered above, at the beginning, the quality is not as high as I would like it to be, and whilst I don’t expect to be drawing for Marvel Comics by the end of the year, I hope to have something that is passable and readable.

My question to you: What are you waiting for? Just write something. Don’t worry how good or bad it is. If you ever worry that what you’ve produced is bad, don’t. Just come back here and remind yourself how truly bad things can be!

Week 1 starts next week. I will aim to post updates on Thursday or Friday.

11 thoughts on “Road to a Comic and Writing – Just Get it Done

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