WRITING A STORY

I’m going to declare here and now that I will write a story and make a book. THERE I SAID IT!

All I know right now is that this is a story about a girl struggling to deal with her negative emotions, which manifest in the shape of a wolf. It all started from this drawing.

When I drew this I was thinking about moments when I looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself anymore. Ugly emotions had turned me into a monster, and I could no longer remember how to be me. But what if the monster was in pain too? What if it was just trying to reach out to tell me something?

For a while, it felt like “write a story” had taken up permanent residence on my to-do list... I would look at the task guiltily as the days turned into weeks, promising I would get to it “tomorrow”. It’s the one thing I really wanted to do but somehow became really good at avoiding.

Recently a friend suggested I break down this nebulous task into smaller, more concrete action items and this has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE! I had been staring at a blank page expecting to come up with an entire story in one sitting, when in fact there were so many puzzle pieces to be considered.

So I sat down to write out all the things I could think of that go into making a book, and a path is starting to emerge. It’s a long long path, but nonetheless it’s exciting to have a sense of direction😊

My main goal for this month is to get to know the main character. This entails the following:

  1. Personality - spend an hour brainstorming personality traits (likes, dislikes, motivations, quirks, etc.)

  2. Visual - spend an hour exploring different silhouettes (start with basic shapes)

  3. Visual - spend an hour exploring different facial expressions

  4. Visual - spend an hour exploring possible outfits/accessories (must reflect her personality)

  5. Environment - spend an hour putting together a Pinterest board of furniture that might be in the character’s room/home (I’m imagining the story taking place primarily in her room)

  6. Create a character sheet with a fully designed character in different poses/expressions

  7. Review progress and decide on next steps!

That’s a good start, right? In addition, I’m taking a class on Schoolism to study visual development (this class by Victoria Ying is amazing! I signed up for the non-critiqued sessions that you can take at your own pace), and will also be going to the library/bookstore to research different book formats and styles.

I’ve always found the combination of words and pictures to be such a powerful mode of expression. Writing intimidates me but I know I have stories to share, surfacing all the time in fragments through my art. I want to breathe more life into my characters and make them whole so they can go out into the world and make new friends.

Wish me luck, and I promise to keep you posted with progress (or struggles) for the duration of this journey!

I also just realized my last post was about a wolf and girl too😂This concept has obviously been brewing for way too long!