Friday, April 7, 2017

Celebrate The Small Things - April 7, 2017

Ever since I heard about the Scholastic Graphix contest, I've been working on a graphic novel to enter. The contest was announced at Comic Con in July 2016, but I didn't hear about it until November. I really could have used those extra four months to work on my GN, but I did the best I could with the time I had. It took me a few months to finish the drawn thumbnails with dialogue. I practically used the whole ream of paper. Here is a picture of all 180 pages:

It is so much easier to revise a GN than to revise a novel! With a novel, it takes so long to try to find the spot you want to revise. You have to go back pages and pages or thousands of words to find the right words or paragraphs to add to or delete from. With GN panels, you don't have to go back so many pages to find the panels to change. For the panels I wanted to delete, I just put an X in the corner and was done with it. To add, all I had to do was draw a panel on a separate piece of paper and insert it next to the page I was adding to.

I really loved the process of creating a graphic novel. This is the way I want to go about writing my stories from now on. I've been working on a novel for several years and am seriously thinking about turning it into a GN instead.

Anyway, back to the celebration. I was able to complete the 12 pages required for the contest and turn them in on time on April 1. It did not go smoothly, though. I had to learn a new program to ink and color the GN which took me a week just to get the basics down for what I needed. The colors on my Wacom tablet did not match what was on the computer screen. I didn't have Adobe to convert my file to PDF so I had to download it MINUTES before the deadline. The colors on the PDF looked terrible! The colored file ended up exceeding the required size which I didn't realized until AFTER I submitted it. Even though I compressed the file, it didn't change the size. So, I ended up submitting the black and white line version I had saved before I colored it. I submitted the entry 7 minutes before the deadline! My husband didn't think the file attached so he wanted me to do it again. He and my two sons were looking at the time and FREAKING OUT. They were all screaming so I couldn't think. I apparently pasted my artist statement in the box with the synopsis in my haste so they were screaming at me to redo it. It was crazy.

It turned out that I had the deadline date and time wrong. I thought it was midnight between March 31 and April 1. After thinking that I was disqualified for the file being too big I was depressed, but I started to put the black and white PDF together which makes a smaller size. I read the rules again and saw that the deadline was 11:59pm April 1. So, I actually submitted it a day early by accident! I ended up submitting the black and white version.

I worked so hard on this GN. I'm sure all of you writers can relate. I barely got any sleep during the last month, especially the last week. I didn't sleep for the last two days and only got 3 hours of sleep on the days prior. And that was just for 12 pages! I have 168 to go!

The computer program really slowed me down since I was learning it from scratch, but I love that program now (Clip Studio Paint). Now I have more time to learn how to do more things with it.

I still have a lot to do for this graphic novel (choose or create a better font, make the design more appealing, create model sheets), but I'm so happy I was able to submit an entry before the deadline.

Oh! I'm also celebrating that I learned how to make my own font for this graphic novel by watching a video on YouTube. YouTube is awesome! I learned how to use Clip Studio Paint from YouTube as well.

What are you celebrating?

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Lexa Cain2.Fiction and Film
3.Writing Off the Edge4.Kidbits
5.TheCyborgMom6.Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
7.Intentional Insights with S. Kelley Harrell8.Constantine
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25.Patricia's Place26.Anne Higa
27.My Antimatter Life28.Bouquet of Books
29.Lightravellerkate30.Curious As A Cathy
31.Glennie's Random Ramblings32.In My Own Words
33.Tamara Narayan, Author34.My Creatively Random Life
35.Yvonne Ventresca36.Two Book Minimum
37.On Becoming a Writer38.Decadent Kane
39.Stacy Uncorked40.Sharon Himsl--Shells, Tales & Sails


  1. YouTube is awesome! I do lots of research from it for my own stories since I can't always travel to the places I want to go as rapidly as I need to. Learning new software is really frustrating. Especially when colors don't match up on monitors and printing. Ever since I got my MAC color seems to be truer. I wish you luck. I had my own deadline to finish up some final edits myself. I felt like I was revisiting the stress and pressures of finals all over again. Great post. :)

  2. Creating graphic novels and new fonts are, indeed, labor intensive. Congrats and enjoy the experience.

  3. You are super talented and I really hope your GN wins!! Believe me, writers constantly mess up subs to agents and publishers. Everyone has different rules and some are strange. Plus, no matter how many times you proof, mistakes get in there. Congrats on getting it in and good luck in the contest!!