1. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Style When you don't want a simple plain text

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Larissa Redeker, Mar 11, 2014.

    I will tell you the "saga" of my book. Sometimes I don't know if I laugh or cry when I see what I'm doing :p (don't worry, there is no excerpt of the book)

    Aside from writing I like to draw too, and, if I can join the things, better. So, I started the book as a simple fanfiction (crossover of The Elders Scroll and Perry Rhodan) to make a comic. While I was training my drawing skills, I was "playing" with the plot of my fanfic. One year later I'm still improving my drawing skill, and my fanfic evolved to a full original plot. Nothing left of the fanfic.

    With this plot I started to make a graphic novel. Bad choice, you need too much talent to draw something like that (and the seek for a partner to draw it was unsuccessful). I made 20 pages before give up.

    But my story is there, my chars are shouting: and us? we want to live!

    So, back to the novel format. But I don't want a simple plain text. My first idea was to make a script with some drawings, like a storyboard, where you have a drawing of the scene and the description and dialog for it. This first format was something like:

    [image]

    description / action
    char: dialog

    But after a few pages, I discovered that it isn't what I really want.

    Then I had the idea to make it like and old book, something like a medieval manuscript, with text and drawings. Something to show that the book was written a time ago by one that saw the events, or at least, know the events (like Tolkien made with LOTR).

    The final format will have text and some drawings, and decorated capital letters on the beginning of the chapter (as showed in the image).

    But the text retains a bit of the script format. I'll not tell the story, I'll show it, like a movie. I don't want to tell reader the thoughts of the char, I want the char show it by its actions and dialog only. (The book is written in parts, first the main plot where I define what happens, then the rough draft of each chapter: like a script, indications of location and time, action and dialog. The rough draft is ready for the 3 first chapters, I need only to work them to a final version.)

    And the big issue that prevents me to continue writing the book is: this format will work? Someone will read a book like this?
     

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  2. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    You have 3 types of books with drawings in;

    Illustrated: adds nothing to the story, just aesthetically pleasing.
    Picture Book; mostly aesthetic but small nuances give details about characters or thoughts etc (like Peter rabbit and his different coloured fur)
    Picturebook: you cannot have one without the other, the pictures complete the story and vice versa.

    These are still very popular styles to use so using one of those three, you can still have an amazingly successful story :D
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I actually own a few books that are not too dissimilar from what you mention. Expedition, by Wayne Douglas Barlowe is one of them. The story chronicles a scientific expedition to a newly discovered planet, Darwin IV, where there is life that the scientist proceeds to document. It was even made into a Science Channel special called Alien Planet, but the show was a very curtailed version of the book and advanced robots replaced the very real human being who was in the book. Important to note that Barlowe is a professional artist and illustrator focusing on science fiction and fantasy themes. It's pretty clear that the book is art first, story second.

    Another book I purchased, but do not have in my possession as it was a gift to my mother, is also a large format book concerning ancient Egypt and is written and illustrated as a kind of Victorian travel-log, as was common practice with the upper class of the U.K. to do "the tour" of the classic world, filled even with little scrap-bookie items like from White Star and other little tids and bits that one would have collected on the way. My mom loves all things Egypt. :)
     
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  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I love some of Kotzwinkle's early books which featured text and drawings - Like - Herr Nightingale and the Satin Woman & Great World Circus. I think it could work, as long as the story is interesting or creative enough to warrant artwork.
     
  5. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    I wanted to use the third format, but I'm not sure if I can, so I think the first or second ones are better. But I will try to make the third to see what happens :)

    I'll take a look in the books you mentioned. They looks very interesting :)

    Another to see. Thanxs :)

    Let's go to the drawing board, again. One day I find what I'm looking... I still haven't found what I'm looking for.... :p
     
  6. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    Omg I have the exact same Egypt book!!! It really is unique because it has such a strong voice with the images and little items to explore adding so much more depth to the story. It is truly wonderful, I'll see if I can dig it out when I get home from work and post the name and details etc for you :D
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Holy fuck, another Barlowe fan? You sir, are awesome.
     
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  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Barlowe's work is incomparable. :)
     
  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I turned to my wife while we were watching Avatar and said, "That looks like Barlowe's work." And he did all the creature design.
     
  10. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    Egyptology by Dugald Steer. That is the Egyptology book. It is amazing!
     
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  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yep! That's it. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    I feel so happy and proud of both of us!
     
  13. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    I took a look at these two books on Amazon. They are very interesting, and the one about Egypt is beautiful.

    Now I'm here thinking what I make with my own work. More text and less image, or more image and less text. Both have pros and cons.

    Or maybe I should raise pigs, at least I produce bacon. :p
     
  14. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Well, I put my two neurons here to make a brainstorming, and they decided the following: text to tell what is happening, and drawings to describe locations/chars/objects. Once the drawings are black and white, sometimes the indication of colors will be made with text (and some others descriptions that cannot be made with a pic).

    Not a graphic novel and not a plaint text book (like the books made for the game Diablo III).
     
  15. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    I would recommend looking into William Moebius and his Codes regarding picturebooks. It will give you some interesting insight into the drawings that are used in picturebooks and may even help you with your own :D
     
  16. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Well, I'm back to this thread only to say that, after a long time, I found what I want to do with my books :)

    Imagine reading a book where the next scene is not text, it's just a drawing, occupying an entire page or just the top of the page. The drawing is part of the narrative, not just a decoration. After it comes text showing what follows later. Or, in case of a full page drawing, another one for the new scene.

    My books will be half book, half comics. You're reading and creating the image in your head, then suddenly you need to make the opposite thing: create in your mind the text from the image.

    I don't know yet if it will be accepted by readers, but sometimes we need to try something new :)
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm sure you'll find readers... what you probably will not find are traditional [= paying] publishers willing to take it on...

    and, if you take the self-publishing route, you will probably find it will cost so much to put into print, due to the artwork, that it will be priced beyond what most folks are willing to pay for books by unknown new writer/illustrators...

    but i suspect you will not let that stop you...

    best of luck with it!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  18. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Wow, that book is expensive. $150 minimum.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It wasn't that expensive when it was new and still in print. I live well, but not so well as to throw money around like that. ;)
     
  20. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I should qualify that as the price of a new book. A used one can be gotten for about $55, both as paperbacks. Hardcovers are about $190 new, $80 used.
     
  21. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Thanxs, maia

    I want to self-publish it. For me it's more a craft work than a simple book :) I love to make different things, and if someone likes it and buy, better.

    All the artwork will be black and white (grayscale in fact), I asked some printing services and they say grayscale can be insert into a text book without increasing the price, and I'll make the illustrations by my own. But first I'll publish it as ebook and with Amazon CreateSpace. For the printed one to distribute in my country, maybe I launch a crowdsourcing.

    The only things that can stop me are: if I forgot how to draw, or my computer or drawing tablet broke :)
     

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