|by Simon Whitelaw|
So, I’m still in the writing process, following along with the Snowflake Method that I spoke about earlier, and I happened upon a great blog about making graphic novels. It’s called…ironically enough…Making Graphic Novels and it’s chock full of great resources and inspiration.
One of the nuggets of wisdom I located there was a pretty darned funny (and NSFW) review of the plot (or lack thereof) of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”. I recommend watching all 7 parts, because…well, it’s funny, and I found myself asking a question that seemed pretty obvious, but wasn’t really:
“Who is the main character?”
The idea behind the main character is the lens you use to draw the readers into the story. I had thought that in my story, Doc Monster would have been the main character.
You see, the main character has to be an “everyman” kind of person. Someone people can relate to and feel for. Doc ain’t that guy. He’s weird, super-intelligent and….well, weird. So, unbeknownst to me, Agent Clay was actually set up in the 4-page story I had on Zuda (rest in peace, Zudites) he’s the guy that doesn’t have it all together…who gets to ask all of the silly questions so that the reader needs to know.
Wow. Who would’ve thunk?
So…I’m ok with Clay being the lens that the story is seen through, but then I thought, “how can I make his character more interesting? What’s missing in the story?” The answer I came up with? Women! In most of my stories so far there have been NO main characters that were female. None at all. So, why not add one? It makes me a bit nervous, because not only would I be writing a gender I haven’t before, I’d be writing a 1950’s female character, which is different from the variety of females we typically see.
I know, this whole thing is a fantasy, but I want to make sure that my lady (not sure of her name yet) acts and thinks like a woman from the period. I think it’s more challenging and authentic that way. The more I thought about it, the more I liked making Agent Clay’s character a woman. I mean, I’m a romantic at heart, and though there will be other females in the story, this gives me a chance to add the kind of elements that have been missing…love and sexual tension! 🙂
I did some digging around for images of 1950’s ladies that I could use as a model for my new character, and I think Grace Kelly would just be the cat’s meow.
Don’t you think so? She’s got a sunny kind of grace that would offset Doc’s dark, stern looks, with a girl-next-door kind of vibe.
I’d better start digging up reference for 1950’s fashion! I know that the series Mad Men is a bit later than this story is set, but I’m looking forward to renting Season 1 from our library to check it out.
No, I haven’t seen it before. I don’t have TV. Heck, who has time for TV? I’ve got a graphic novel to make!
More next time,