Basically, it’s been reading time: season of the sponge.
Currently reading Pieternella – Daughter of Eva (English translation) by Dalene Matthee. She wrote South African historical fiction, with her book Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child) arguably being her best known work – curious thinking about it now: but maybe I’m saying that because I grew up in a coloured household? And the story was the most sympathetic account coloured folks had seen from a white author about The Group Areas Act? IDK, hey. In high school it felt as if Afrikaans readers actually prefer Kringe In Die Bos (Circles In A Forest) – my school was predominantly white.
I’m also waiting on Islands by Dan Sleigh. Which is another English translation of an Afrikaans writer. It’s been frustrating trying to get Afrikaans language books in the US without using Amazon – and even then it’s been ridiculously costly to ship the physical books.
I bought Alan Moore’s Writing for Comics because I had some real structural and editing issues with the last comic I made. In the end, I released it, but felt really self-conscious about how clumsy the story felt. After which I decided that it would (hopefully) be the last thing I release into the wild unedited. So, getting comic-specific help was essential BUT THIS BOOK FEELS LIKE A JACKPOT!
Without getting too much into Moore (because WHOOOOOWEEE there’s a lot to get lost in!) his advice has been like a macro view of how to tell stories in a satisfying manner. Satisfying for both maker and reader, it should be noted. Having read quite a few practical guides, I figured the comic-specific book would provide exactly that: advice tailored for the technical concerns of designing a satisfying comic.
It definitely meets that requirement but in a much more holistic manner than I could have expected.
God, it’s been so useful in figuring out how authors who make me go “How’d she do that??” might have approached it! (Looking at Sarah Waters here with Fingersmith – camouflaged exposition, satisfying shape of a story, memorable characters)
All that to say, I’m following the advice in Moore’s book and spending waaaay more time in worldbuilding-mode before I even add characters – let alone plot (which he calls the 4th dimension because it’s a time based series of events).
Can’t wait to share ideas of how the world of this comic works, next week – with more hand drawn images.