I'm currently trying to finish off my new mini-comic for TCAF and am having some problems ending the story. In going through some of my old notebooks I came across some notes I had made from a Darwyn Cooke Storytelling workshop at few years ago at a Toronto Comicon. Not surprisingly, there were some great words of wisdom in there that I thought I would share here. Also, if you ever have a chance to sit in on one of these from Darwyn - grab it!
Darwyn On Story
- Describe someone's character through their appearance and mannerisms (don't have to spell everything out in narrative).
- Learn how to get your characters to display human emotions through the physicality of body language.
- It's possible to draw every emotion known to man with just a few lines.
- Make characters relevant and make the resolution to your story satisfying for readers.
- Everything in the story should serve or reinforce the theme.
- Pacing is art + design + math which all comes together to break out a script.
- When breaking down a script, don't change the writer's dialogue to reinforce the theme, change the location if you can to something that is thematically consistent to what is being said.
- Move the eye through the page diagonally from top left-hand corner to bottom right-hand corner (an easy way of doing this is by using triangles - see example below which is artwork from a New Frontier page).
- Never draw a floor if you don't have to! It's too much perspective work and you should pay more attention to the story. It will also cut 40% of your drawing time and the work will be compositionally stronger (if you are Geoff Darrow or Brian Bolland, please ignore).
- If you're stuck in how to end a story, try to end it so that it's either happy or sad.
There have been a few reviews of my stuff recently that I thought I'd link to because they're so swell.
- First off Rob Clough from Sequart did a short write up of both the Toca Loca Project and There You Were, where he says:
"Tamblyn has been creating quiet, thoughtful stories for a few years now."
Check it out here.
- Then Sean Clement recently reviewed Writer's Block at DivergingComics.org. Some of the nice things he had to say:
"Diana Tamblyn continues to shine as someone able to make real life situations into comics worth reading about, as well. Her gift for storytelling, both as a writer and artist, is wonderful."
Thanks Sean! You can read the review here.