This is the script-based version of the Nanowrimo challenge that I’ve done for the past 4 years now. Same challenge, different discipline.
The idea is to come up with a 100 page formatted script in a month. That’s as restrictive as the challenge gets. It can be film, stage or comics based, and on any subject. As long as you get those hundred pages out, the rest is up to you, foolish writer.
This year, to add to the firsts, I’ve decided to write a graphic novel. My love and respect for the form knows no bounds, but it’s been a while since I did anything creative with it. It’s about time I put out and got some words on paper which is, after all, the ethos of Nano and Script Frenzy. Their logline should be Just Do It, but I think a plimsoll company got there first.
Just to make things even more complex, I’m trying an experiment in form. A couple of members of the Readership have been bored to oblivion already by me banging on about the transformative nature of the comic I’ll be writing, and you can probably figure out what I’m going to try if you look up my recent comics posts. I don’t want to say too much, because I think I’m onto something genuinely new here. Let’s just call it an old school response to the idea of digital comics.
It begins, appropriately, on April Fools Day. I’m prepping like mad now, working on format and structure. I did some sums last night, and realised that to do the story I have in mind properly, I will need to write 112 pages instead of the hundred required. Seven blocks of sixteen pages. I’m breaking the task down into managable bites, figuring out page counts for each day and week. This, to me, is the only way to do it. The breakdown works out to just under 4 pages a day. A hundred pages of script might not seem like much, but I’m planning on getting 25 panels into some of them. (Any comics professionals reading this just winced at the last sentence. Comics generally have between six to eight panels per page. Watchmen was notorious for sticking to a nine panel grid that is a pain to write and draw.) At some points, I think it’ll be pushing it to get a page a day done.
I’m nervous and incredibly excited about this project. It genuinely feels like a leap into the unknown. If it works, then I think I might just have hit on a new way of getting comics onto the page.
If not, then hey, it’s only a funnybook, right?