Posted Friday, Apr 26th 2013 @ 16:10

Graphic Novel Update!

Sorry no visuals yet, because I didn't make any. Life intrudes on creativity like a foul demon, demanding time and attention to slay before it's Friday again and you haven't made even a scribble. Scribbles be damned, we move on!

With the world established and those soldiers having done nasty things, we jump over to our hero. It's okay to throw your hero into the opening sequence, but not necessary. What IS important is to show an event of relevance using characters that have weight in the story. Think about your top favorite fantasy films or books and how they begin. It's just the nature of myth and story that they follow natural structures, and being aware of these structures does nothing to change the impact of the story told. This is how the same themes can be packed into a vast array of different stories, regardless of setting or genre. The bottom line judgment on any story must always be 'Was it entertaining for you?' The power of fantasy allows us to explore these universal human themes in the scope of our own world and rules.

What follows a good opening and world creating scene?

The hero.

And it's not the hero being amazing and awesome, it's the hero in a stale, stagnant and suffocating life. Why not just jump into our hero being a badass superhero decimating fields of goblins? Slow down hombre, even Conan the Barbarian started as a kid. It's a comic book if your hero starts the story fully developed. It wouldn't be so epic if Frodo had the bow skills of Legolas and the axe skills of Gimli. It wouldn't be so awesome if Luke started episode 4 with incredible Jedi powers. Long story short, Harry Potter started as the kid under the stairs, not the young man facing down a snake faced dude we can't discuss the name of.

Our story? A young beduin, his father dead from raiding and his mother sold off to another tribe, no siblings living.

The opening is followed by a setup period in which we explore the personal world of our hero, usually in both a public setting and a private one. A story doesn't always need both, but sometimes it helps to flesh out the plot with a second hero setup scene.

If our hero is a young beduin, and his life is unbearable, then there are only so many things that can reasonably make life unbearable for a young beduin circa 300 BCE Spain.
The nature of his tribal camp life, social relationships amongst the tribe, external threats to the tribe, etc.

In summation, stay in the world and the hero's problems will come to you. And then you can draw them.