Home FAQ 2.5: How does he approach writing a story?
12/3/00, 9:06 p.m.
I certainly don't start in anything resembling a script format.
I could start in a couple different ways. One is to just keep writing
down all kind of little notes of first pesrson voiceover, dialogue, scenes,
or any ideas. And then develop the structure based on the developement
of the character.
I don't write in a script format with indications of panels and captions,
etc, until the very last phase.
A lot of it I just sort of begin by writing as a first person journal
There are a lot of ways to begin, but I save the script part for last.
I don't think of it in the beginning, because it is just a tool to organize
the story that I first collage together in less conventional ways.
4/23/01, 10:24 p.m.
I do like to travel to get a fresh perspective on things, but most of my
work is accomplished by discipline and practice. Nothing takes the place
of devoting all your energy and attention to the work. But it does help
to take a step back now and then to re-approach it with a fresh and objective
6/6/01, 9:39 p.m.
And my question: When you wrote the Daredevil: Parts of a Hole" storyline, did you write a full script format of a Marvel-style format? Or did you sketch the whole thing as you did in Masks?
As for my DD script, I wrote a full script and turned all 6 issues in at once. Wrote it as one big story. I also turned in a lot of layouts for it too. Especially with the earlier issues and the last issue. Whenever I write for someone else, I usually do quite a bit of layouts just so they know where I'm coming from.
Check out Reflections #3. It documents the whole Daredevil collaboration and shows all my layout pages from the first issue and the various stages of the color collaborations.
8/10/01, 7:30 a.m.
I believe that Maya [from Daredevil: Parts of Hole] was the best new character of the past year, but I'm afraid we may not see her again. Do you have an interest in writing/drawing her in the future?
Was she just a plot device?
I don't really think in terms of plot device. I write for the character
instead of the plot. Plot is just one way of telling a story, and it is
highly overrated. When there is a plot, I prefer character-motivated plot,
instead of plot motivated character. In other words, I prefer for the plot
to just happen based on the interaction of the characters and where their
internal motivations lead them.
8/27/01, 2:42 a.m.
I designed Kabuki as a book that I could use as a vehicle to integrate all the artistic disciplines that I enjoy, as well as my own personal story, experience, growth, and to incorporate all of the things that I incorporate into my learning process.
I wasn't ready to do a full on autobiographical tale, so I decided to tell a story through metaphor. Many times people make the main character an idealized version of themselves when trying to do this. To avoid that trap, I decided to make all of the surface elements different from myself. I made the protagonist the opposite gender. I put the story in a differnt part of the world with a different language and culture.
This was also a great way to draw upon other passions for things that I was in the process of learning. I was able to integrat my studies of the Japanese language and culture, and travel and observations of friends into the story.
As Kabuki grows, I grow, and vice versa. So by definition of the project I have an unlimited array of interests and passions to draw on for the story.
So no, I have not lost any enchantment with the characters or cultures that are in my book. In fact the opposite is true. The enchantment grows.
I enjoy Kabuki incredibly. I will continue to produce Kabuki books indefinitly. But naturally, I will also do other projects in between story lines. Each feeds my enchantment of the other.
9/6/01, 6:17 p.m.
I appreciate the "it feels Japanese" comment about the ending to this story. And your comments about the differences in traditions of story and cinema in East and West.
The outline of this story (and the ending) [for Scarab] stayed true to the way I outlined it about five years ago. And the story (including the ending) was indeed influenced by Eastern (both Japanese and Chinese) cinema, folktales, and story traditions, that I was immersed in at that time. There were several times in the past year when I questioned myself about the possibility of changing it (for reasons you can probably understand after reading it), but I felt that I had to stay true to the story, and the character and any change in that ending would have felt like a comprimise or an easy way out.
I'm very pleased that this issue was your favorite, and that you enjoyed
the different art styles. I'm very happy about this Scarab story. I'm pleased that the entire story has its own flavor, and that each single issue has its own pace and tone and ambiance, different from the preceeding Scarab issues. I think that each issue reads at different speeds, different depths and on different character levels and on different emotional levels. I'm lucky that I have readers adventurous enough to stick with a story that
changes and evolves in these regards from issue to issue.
And as different as it is, the story fits into and enriches the preceeding
Kabuki stories with new info from a new perspective. So on those levels it succeeds for me.
And of course Rick's art adds a wonderful and rich new dimension to the world of all of these characters. I owe a big thanks to him.
1/7/02, 12:52 a.m.
In reference to your mentioning of a Japanese woman asking about if
I consciously put "feminism" in my books, I think that what I said was
that I don't see things in "isms" and that I do not approach my work through
"isms". I actually try to avoid "isms" altogether.
I am glad that people find affirmation, validation, encouragement, and
inspiration in my work. But those things are meant for all readers to get.
Not just one sex or any other group or "ism". I think that what I said
was that I write from a "personal" or "human" point of view. Not a "gender"
or "ism" point of view.
I think you will find that approach inclusive and accesable and inspiring
to all. I appreciate that all genders and races appreciate the book. I
appreciate that feminists appreciate the book. But one of the themes in
my books is to trancend these categories, groupings, and isms. It is to
hopefully inspire readers to see the reality of people themselves instead
of seeing people through a lens of labels and "isms". The idea is (in Akemi's
case anyway) that even simple labels and categories such as gender (male
and female) can not even categorize everyone. Some people do not fit into
even those simple labels. And, ultimately, these labels are silly.