The residency period of the project is now over. I have written the comic scripts and some of the illustrators have visited the castle to make their initial sketches. Other illustrators will visit in the near future and I will post interviews with them.
Now I begin writing the historical context and factual background chapters, and further project management responsibilities take the foreground as event planning and marketing campaigns begin in earnest. I’ll miss the countryside, but it is nice to be back in London!
This week, comic artist Isabel Greenberg came out to Scotney Castle. Isabel is illustrating story 5, The Hunter. This story is set in the Edwardian era and there are several photos and documents from this time in the castle archives, many of the scenes take place in the Scotney new manor house and so Isabel was able to walk in the footsteps of the characters in the script.
Below is a brief video interview with Isabel shot on the day.
This week I finished all five first drafts of the scripts! Very pleased to get them out of my head and into the world. After feedback from my mentor, Karrie Fransman, I will keep developing the scripts to a stage that I’m happy to hand them over to illustrators.
3 of the 5 illustrators are now confirmed: Isabel Greenberg, Becky Palmer, Will Exley. I’m very excited to be working with such talented illustrators!
This video is part of the Castle in England project. The project is taking place at Scotney Castle in Kent, with Jamie Rhodes writing 5 graphic fiction scripts inspired by the castle archives. The scripts will be illustrated by experienced graphic fiction artists and published by Nobrow Press in early 2017.
A short video explaining what I have learned so far about utilising the possibilities of graphic fiction to greatest effect. Much of this I have learned through Alan Moore’s book “Writing for Comics” – a key text in understanding how to write scripts for graphic fiction, sequential art, and comics.
It is vital to recognise the strengths of the medium for which you are writing, whatever the craft, and Graphic Fiction is no exception. It cannot be compared directly to other mediums and should be treated as a literary craft in its own right.
After a great deal of research a development, I now feel ready to get the first drafts out of my head and into the world. There is still a long way to go before the stories are ready to go to the illustrators, but I can’t do any more development until they exist in the world proper.
At time of shooting this video I had written the first draft of the first story. I have now written up the first two (almost three).
I’ve had some very useful feedback from my mentor, Karrie Fransman, and my grasp of comic writing techniques and devices is much improved for it.
I had a bit of a meltdown when I realised that two of the stories I had been developing didn’t really suit the collection, but there is so much material here at the castle that it was no chore or struggle to replace them with stories I am happier with.
More advice given to me by my mentor, Karrie Fransman, for writers looking to transfer their skills to Graphic Fiction from other mediums.
The script should inspire the artists with the strength of the story and ideas, whilst not going as far as telling them HOW to draw the panels. The artists will be much more excited about the project if they can explore their creative vision too. This will result in a better finished piece.
I went out with the Head Ranger and got some fantastic material, not just for this project but inspiration for future work too.
There is no substitute for learning directly from an expert when researching a story. By spending time with different members of the National Trust staff here at Scotney Castle, I have been able to discover some very specific details that I would not be able to find in books or online.
Being able to bring such intricate detail to a story will help to create a much richer story-world, and more well-rounded, believable characters.