Making Books

March 23, 2012

It’s easy to talk about making books, than to make books…and that includes me! One of the disciplines I practice when making a new graphic novel is to stay focused on the difficult things to do in story. That means I have to put my head down and work alone, even when it’s not fun to put my head down and work alone.

That said, I’m working on my 14th book! Does it get any easier on the 14th go? No. It really doesn’t. What does get easier is that with experience comes less mistakes and less plot holes to have to fill.

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11 Responses to “Making Books”


  1. I’m not a published author (yet) but I did my own book last year as a daily comic to prove that I could do it.

    http://www.killthecomics.com/2012/02/milt-treasure-stealers.html

    I’ve made plenty of web comics, and then some, and I have to say that making books of my own, making anything to share, is some of the best fun I have. At my day job sometimes it’s all I think about.

  2. BillDoors Says:

    I’ve had ideas bouncing around my head for a novel for years now. A lot of false starts and nothing to show for it. But I think I’ve got a really good one now. I’m just afraid that if I start working on it and run into problems, I’ll give up like every other time in the past. Well, nothing for it but to try. Maybe something amazing will happen.

  3. ben Says:

    I have struggled with this too. But this year has been wonderful because when it began I made some specific, measurable goals.

    Instead of saying “I want to draw better”, I said “I want to fill a 100 page sketchbook with practice sketches by the end of the year”. This was a much easier goal to quantify and measure. And I am learning to draw better through the consistent practice.

    I’ve been posting the sketches on my G+ page here:
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/108252186661199249139/posts

  4. ben Says:

    Making specific, quantifiable goals is the only way to go. I have always struggled in my life to get traction. But this year has been so different. Instead of saying, “I want to draw better”, I said “I want to fill a 100 page sketchbook with practice sketches by the end of the year”. Some simple math helped me figure out how many pages a month/a week I needed to do to meet that goal.

    And you know what, I am getting better at drawing. Not instantly, but slowly. And it feels great to see forward movement.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/108252186661199249139/posts

  5. Benmanben Says:

    “BillDoors”, have you seen or heard about Doug’s outlining method?

  6. Jack Thomas Says:

    I hear that, hardcore. Pushing through is the best feeling in the world, though. :)

  7. BillDoors Says:

    @benmanben – No, this is new to me. What’s the outlining method? Did I miss that somewhere in the blog archives?

    • Benmanben Says:

      I just mean how he works with beginning, middle, end.
      I think it is somewhere on his site forums.
      Just search them for words like “story” and “index cards”.

  8. samuelmayo Says:

    I just now saw a bunch of new posts on the site, so jumping on here a little late. Some great insight in the post and in these comments.

    I completely agree with what Doug said. I’ve written three novels and two long-form short stories in the last three-and-half years. The toughest part is sitting down and plowing through that first draft. “ben” makes a great point above about breaking the monster task down to daily, bite-sized pieces.

    For me, that comes down to a goal of (say) 1000 words per day. For a comic book, I would imagine it comes down to X number of pages per day.

  9. funkpopper Says:

    I’d like to see another graphic novel from you, Ghostopolis, Bad Island, and Cardboard were great. =D


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