I spent last evening at my friend’s house, modeling and arranging a photo-shoot with several friends. This was for the free-lance project, which is really close to being finished at this point. Several of my artist friends have agreed to illustrate it, but one lives locally and so I’ve been able to work closely with him on the images he’s creating.
One of the ‘frustrating’ things is that as part of the project, any artwork or layout the final version is going to have, I need to provide. At least, I originally thought of it as frustrating, now I’m seeing it as liberating. Few writers ever have artistic control over how their words are realized in a visual medium, especially not on free-lance style work. So this is my opportunity, one I probably will not have again until I’m famous and can make my own demands, to be involved in the process and help realize my intentions graphically.
The results, so far, are amazing! Several friends agreed to be models and brought various props to help capture the right images we were trying to shoot. I was very pleasantly surprised by the number of photos we managed to get that will make some stellar illustrations.
All of this has left me thinking quite a bit about writing in a visual medium. He and I are discussing turning an earlier idea of mine into a web comic and he’s given me a book on writing comics to help me learn the ‘rules’ for writing in that genre. Of course it isn’t strictly different from any other form of narrative writing, but it has its eccentricities that make it special.
What I find interesting, now that I read this book on the subject, is that in many ways, I’ve been writing in the ‘comic’ style for years without realizing it. I pay a great deal of attention to the visual aspects of my stories, and try hard to capture the essence of my mental vision. I find this distinct from some other writers (even some I love) who write a scene while relying on the reader to provide the visual description from the dialogue or sparse setting. Neither of these styles are superior to each other, I’ve read fantastic versions of both (as well as abysmal ones) but I find that I tend to fall into the visually focused style.
I just got to see one of his pictures of me, and it is mind-blowing. I never looked so good. Ok, ok, so maybe he appealed to my ego by using me as a model too.
What can I say? It worked.