My process for writing has changed over the years.
From knocking out a short sharp plot, to letting a story “brew” where you feel the moments with your characters.
To that end here’s how a typical story gets done:
1. Waiting for one scene
London Horror Comic follows a “two people in a room” model.
Before I have a fully fleshed out plot I’m looking for that one scene which the story is essentially about. It’s a neat trick which allows you to ensure your story is about something that matters without having to think about cause and effect early on.
2. Inspiration first, structure later
Once I have that one scene and I’ve got two characters talking, I build scenes either side of it.
What could get us to this point that lends the story resonance and where could the story go in a way that heightens events? Structure is important in making a story flow, but I only really begin applying structure after I have an idea that interests me.
3. Talk is not cheap
For me, the choice and rhythm of words is just as important as image selection in the script – the two have to work together.
I write out the dialogue and captions and then write images that match or lend a contrast to the words. I never do both at the same time as I find when I do panel descriptions my mind works in a more literal way (clarity here is at the forefront of my mind) whereas writing dialogue and captions is more instinctive (more like poetry).
4. Image First
Once I get the art back, I then go back and prune the words that will appear on page. Again, this is to ensure that the words work with the pictures. I re-read back how the words “sit” with the pictures as if it was part of the art and prune some more.