Sunday, September 11, 2022

Please Say It! the story

Poison Press-style cover for the series
I'm still a little surprised this has come together the way it has!

The project sits at the confluence of three factors: 

  1. producing basic page art quickly using Procreate; 
  2. the development of a YA story at Oxford; 
  3. my interest in protest and advocacy in this gay moment. 

I've discussed learning Procreate in a recent post, so you can scroll back for that leg of this tripod. So, secondly:

The story

To prepare for summer school at Oxford, I flipped through a dozen years of sketchbooks, looking for old ideas I still liked, but had not developed. And, I brainstormed new ideas. For my YA class, I settled on what is now titled Please Say It!

Our primary assignment was to generate the first 1,000 words of a YA novel. To do that, you kind of had to know where your story was going. So I mapped out the story outline first--based on common themes and pacing of realism-based YA (as opposed to fantasy-based)--in a modified three-act structure:

In class, our instructor shared with us the common YA "template" which more or less followed along a classic three-act structure, in 13-ish steps. This translated well to the standard 26-chapter format of Webtoon. So I'll stick with the Webtoon format, but it translates back to the template, and back to the three-act structure.

This gave my first 1,000 words more heft and purpose. My instructor (Carnegie Medal short-lister Julie Hearn) praised my theme, pacing, action, and dialogue. And the zazz, which a major goal of mine and my friend-from-Oxford Daribha's. What Julie advised needed the most work (and kept me from first class marks) was my "mechanics of language." Fortunately for me, narration mechanics is less important in comics than the things she thought I did well! 

So there, I was confident that I could complete this story as a YA story for teenagers, which was important to me for reasons of protest and advocacy. 

I'll speak to that in my next post.

For now, please check out the comic!--the first chapter is live at Webtoon and Tapas, with exclusive content at Patreon.

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