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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Writing Comic Script: The Search For Body Gesture Terminology

Tonight, I was working on some things for my illustrator.  As this blog's readers will know, we're in the process of making Bovodar and the Bears into a comic series or a graphic novel.  In fact, subscribers to the newsletter (click HERE if you want to subscribe) will have already seen a preview of this comic series in this month's e-mail. 

Now, I find that writing fiction for an audience and writing a comic script for an illustrator are two completely different and very involved processes.  As many people are aware, when writing a work of fiction, you have to first put it on paper.  Then go over it to clean it up.  Then edit it again.  Then have someone look at it.  And maybe another person.  Then you go over it again.  You're always refining the work until it's presentable. 

But I am in the process of slowly transforming a novel into a comic book script format for my illustrator.  I'm doing this to give her a visual idea of what to specifically draw various scenes.  And describing a scene to an illustrator and describing a scene to a reading audience are two entirely different things. 

For example, several times in this process, I've been trying to explain to her a few gestures or facial expressions.  It would be helpful to have a catalog of body or hand gestures, as well as a dictionary/encyclopedia of facial expressions.  But I'm unsure if these things exist.  And if they do, I'm unsure I can currently afford such volumes.  Time will tell.

But I find it fascinating that I'm having to basically re-write an entire novel all over again---AND in an entirely different way---in order to pull these images out of the ether of my imagination, translate them through an illustrator, and get them onto paper for the rest of the reading/viewing world.  It's as though we are trying to psychically photograph a scene from another dimension that we can only visit in our dreams.  Writing comic script requires a knowledge of a whole new terminology, among other things.  It's been a fascinating medium to break into, and I can see so much potential in it.  Comics/graphic illustrations are set up more like a sort of 2-D theater, while raw text fiction remains an abstraction that not everyone will have the patience to see. 

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