SKY PIGS – NEW CARTOON!! (coming soon!)
I’ve been drawing since I was a wee little lad. But tow me by my wet arse hole around town square if I ever say I know how to write a decent story!
This was how I thought a mere 6 weeks ago – it was the beginning of November, and since the beginning of 2014 I had completed my first cartoon projects, opened a NewGrounds account, and done animation work for friends on their wedding days (see below). I was ready for a bigger project – something that would really challenge myself.
I wanted to write a cartoon series for the Internets – all of the Internets! But gishdabbit! I had no idea how to write a story that would be able to hold its own quivering mass together.
That’s when I started asking the Internet for help – looking at the usual WikiHow pages (filled with horribly OBVIOUS and UNHELPFUL information). It wasn’t until I stumbled across the website of an old (CANADIAN!) hero of mine that I found my answers.
AT THIS POINT EVERYONE SHOULD JUST GIVE UP READING MY BLOG AND GO TO THIS LINK. This is the blog of John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy – and the page I’ve linked to above gives an absolutely eye-opening account of story telling in cartoons.
After reading John K’s article, I got to work. I started with the bare-bones of the story – that is, the first part of the hierarchy of a story, as he describes it. I roughly outlined the setup, body, climax and end.
Next, I broke down these 4 sections into smaller, more detailed points – making sure that each point contributed to the larger story arch of setup, body, climax and end. As John K says, this is a great way to pencil in details without getting lost in lines and lines of script and dialogue (that stuff will come more naturally later if the main points are detailed first). I also found this to be a great way to introduce setup and payoff (introducing story elements early in a story that will have an effect on the overall outcome of the story arch).
This is the hierarchy of writing – setup, body, climax and end are at the top; the more detailed points within these story elements serve the setup, body, climax and end. Each smaller and more detailed story point serves the point in the hierarchy above it. John Kricfalusi says it better:
Every detail answers to a larger point or gag which describes the point of a scene which describes the sequence which fits in an order in the overall story. – John K (link)
So once all of this hierarchical writing was finished with, I was ready to move on to the storyboard. This is when I jumped into Adobe Flash. But there was still a lot of other work to do as well! (to be continued…)
Sky Pigs storyboard 1