I thought I would give you guys a little update on where I'm at with the book. It's been a while since I finished the draft of part one (of three) and wrote the massive post about the process of making the draft (you can read that post here). In the time since then I've not done as much work as I would have liked but I have been trying to plug away a little bit at a time.
Writing for me is the hardest bit. Once I get started it's okay but it's the getting started that's hard. I have to sit down and force myself to write for minimum of 15 minutes, which may not sound like a lot but it it feels like an achievable goal, and after the first 5 minutes of constantly reminding myself not to check my phone and just sit and write I usually get on a roll and write for longer than my personal minimum of 15 minutes.
I'd set myself the goal to finish the written script for at least part two and part three by the end of January if I could (I couldn't, part three is still buffering) and then finish the thumbnails by the end of February. This would mean that I could go into my artist residency with the May Gibbs trust in March (more about that later) with a full script to work from when I start drawing up the pencils.
But I found that I was getting bogged down by staring at a computer screen trying to write up a visual script with just using words, so even though I wasn't super happy with what I had (I thought I might have missed a few stories and included stories that I shouldn't have in part two), I printed out what I'd written and started to re-read a whole (terribly spelt) script.
I wanted to get stuck into the thumbnailing because I remember how good it made me feel when I thumbnailed part one. But I struggled to get on board the thumbnailing train and then I remembered I'd missed a step that my pal and mentor Pat Grant went through with me last time. The post-it note stage!
The point of the post-it-ing is to write down the main mini-stories in this chapter and see where they fit in with each other. I also added in scene setting stuff so I can see where there will be story breaks for the reader so they are not too overwhelmed with info. Because colours are king I colour coordinated the post-its. Scenes are in blue and stories are in orange.
I like the post-it method because it helps me to visualise the collection of short stories as one big story (something I struggle with a bit). The post-its help me sort out the general flow and structure of the piece, getting me ready to thumbnail part two. Well, mostly ready: I still don't know quite how to end this section. It leads into the heavier section of the book and I'm not sure what tone I want to end this part on.
Post-it notes mostly done, it was time for the main act: Thumbnails!
I can't explain just how exciting it is to grab a red marker and sit and look at what you've written and scribble over the top of it. Figuring out what works, what doesn't and what you entirely forgot to put in. That's when you end up with a whole page of big thumbnails (see below) of a very important scene you could've sworn you'd written.
This thumbnail panel below could literally be my Mum and me at anytime in our lives with pretty much anything.
Something I really enjoy about thumbnailing is that because it's quick and small, everything is the essence of the characters and I find it hilarious seeing what my mind has decided is the essence of me, my parents and my brother.
I'm doing okay with the thumbnails but do need to pull my socks up and get them done ASAP as my residency starts in a couple of weeks. I was trying to do a scene a day but I think I'm going to step up my game and aim for two-three a day to make sure I get everything ready.
So that's where I am at with the script at the moment. I'm pretty excited to be working on something with a visual element again. I find just writing words can feel like I"m not doing very much and it's hard for me to connect with the work.
Can't wait to start the pencils and share those with you!