Today’s selection of notes from LTUE comes from the presentation “From Idea to Story” by Jess Smiley, who is indeed a very smiley man. His presentation wasn’t very dense, but he’s an enjoyable guy and it was fun to listen to him. He’s a comic book artist, and his slides were full of great visuals. But this was also a very hard presentation to take notes on. Jess has posted a few handouts from his presentation online.
- Use mind maps. They let you make associations between ideas. They form a record of your thought process. And they let you make interesting idea combinations—great tool for creativity and idea generation.
- The note card method. Write down a beginning, a middle, and an end to a story, each on one note card. Three to five short, simple sentences. Then take each one of those, and write a beginning, middle, and end just for it. Continue expanding until you have a whole big story. You can shuffle the cards around.
- Practice safe design—use concepts. Concept for Jess’s comic series: Vampire + Loses Teeth + Last Witch on Earth.
- Make the process as fun as the finished product is supposed to be.
- The rough draft. This is what the whole story looks like. You work out the pacing, get to know the story better, and see what you’re up against.