I’m about to embark on a revision of a manuscript, and in an effort to better sink back down into the world of the story, I’ve been looking through the drawings I did while writing the first draft. Here’s a look at some of them. Below you’ll meet a handful of the story’s main characters, and also find a few hints about what they get up to as events unfold.
For this trip into my sketchbook, I’d like to introduce you to a handful of the stars of one of my current works in progress. The first few characters might look like regular old unassuming kids, but let’s just say they’ve got some rather . . . unusual abilities — ones that very much come in handy when an ice cream truck-driving villain pulls into their town.
Unlike a lot of authors these days (at least those that I know), I tend to start new projects longhand, with a pen or a marker and, usually, a brand-new pad of unlined paper. I do this for a couple of reasons.
One is that I think I think better with a pen in my hand, as opposed to a keyboard beneath my fingers. Writing takes longer than typing, and that extra time lets me think a little more about the characters I’m creating and the worlds I’m building. Once I’ve scratched out a rough draft, once I feel I’ve figured out what sort of story I’m actually trying to tell, then I’ll move over to the computer, where I can work more quickly and confidently to bang out a second, and hopefully much less rough, draft.
The other reason I like to start new projects the old-fashioned way is that I like to draw. A lot. It helps me think things through, making the characters and situations I’m writing about feel a bit more real. Also, it’s just fun.
Recently, I thought it might be cool to share some of the drawings that have been popping up alongside the stories I’ve been working on lately. It’ll give readers a behind-the-scenes look at my works in progress, and maybe even inspire any aspiring writers and/or artists out there to do a little drawing themselves.
So here, completely contextless, are some selections from my sketchbook. I’ll leave it up to you to imagine why an alien might need to disguise himself as a human, or why a boy might suddenly find himself falling through a hole in space-time.