This is part of my writing process. I am not very good at what you would call 'writing properly', I find reading a bit of a chore and words get muddled up betwixt the page and my eye. I like comics, graphic novels, illustrated stories, computer games, music, films and storytelling. They all involve writing at some point in their creation but are enhanced by visuals, although traditionally they are presented as something lower in cultural value than a traditional novel of noted repute because hey, those visuals are doing some of the work for you.
Sitting in a chair waiting for inspiration to strike from my vast academic memory and thought machine (said with a deep irony) is not the way I write. I tend to remember what It is I want to say with sketches and notes and then eliminate what is not necessary in the telling until it makes sense as a scene or story. There are writing tricks I employ, telling the story backwards, reordering events or telling the story from an unexpected point of view that can make a piece work (or not work), I like to think instinct also plays an important role. Take Page 10 of 'The Ridings' for example.
Originally, it was a stranger talking to me about something totally unexpected that inspired the scene. My first thought was as a comic strip I could get away with six panels of talking heads. There was more dialogue originally involved in the exchange, for instance he asked if 'I used Wonder Web to hold the turn ups in place', I commented that they were 'narrow style jeans and that helped keep them...' blah, blah, blah you get the idea. It worked but it wasn't concise enough, it didn't reflect being in The Ridings if indeed I was going to use it for that project.
It was also the last page as well and last pages are special so I wanted to reflect that in some way. Ditching the six talking heads was a relief and a pleasure, because who wants to draw six talking heads from various angles. I decided on using unused scenes from the photo ref I had taken over the past weeks researching. That's when the page came together for me, suddenly I could see It had flow and an all encompassing vision of the shopping centre, complete with a gag and an exit. It was also one of the quickest, other pages had taken up to a week to complete where this took me a day, six hours (ish), from beginning to end.Where are those turn ups and boots walking onto next.