(Scroll to the bottom if you’re just here to see the book recs :D)
As kids we grow up having imaginations and this ability to make things that don’t exist in real life take a physical form in our eye that only we would understand and it can become tedious explaining to someone outside your make-believe world. We use make-believe worlds to escape reality and find something new, because it’s something in our own control. This world can provide your mind with the stimulation a creative mind would need and sometimes can serve as your creative sanctuary.
Every artist’s (and writer’s) thought process is different, but with a common goal: take something that doesn’t exist and making it as real and believable as possible, even if humanly impossible, they practice the ability to suspend your beliefs making you ask “What happens next?” and not say “This would never happen.”
Storytelling is never perfect, the scale is “really well” to “not really well” and this all relative to who the audience is.
Before I started drawing when I was little, I was a writer. That’s because almost every kid is. The moment you turn your house into a castle and your grass into a moat of lava, you’ve started a storytelling process. If you were to see kids tip-toeing across the grass and you asked them what they were doing, they would tell you that they were trying to sneak around sleeping trolls and they can’t wake them or they won’t be able to get the treasure they’ve been searching for. Sometimes they would even go into the purpose of the getting said treasure and what the treasure even is. You can’t see it, but they do, and they paint the world for you until you believe it. That’s storytelling.
Having a strong imagination exercises the brain and strengthens how you perceive things around you, and this is important for any artist from any discipline, whether you draw it out or write it out.
In my case, when is it character design and development instead of simply a character portrait? I believe that writing out a short but detailed character background strengthens the image of said character. Instead of it being a normal picture it’s now become a story “at the expense” of the character.
You draw an average Joe who looks like someone you’d see walking down the street, and that’s all he is, an average Joe and you will ask “What does Joe eat for breakfast?” if you even care. But when you take Joe and cut his arm off and replace it with a robotic arm, all of a sudden Joe’s a cyborg and the question becomes “How the hell did he get that robot arm?”.
All you had to do was cut his arm off and he’s someone new.
I believe behind every good artist is a good storyteller. Storytelling is definitely something that takes a little more work, but it’s worth it in the long run because the focus shifts from how pretty you can make something to how well can you tell a story without words, but I’m sure a lot of you know this. 🙂
Just reading fiction anytime anywhere is always good! For me it’s a mix of playing video games, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and reading comics.
With that, I have a list of awesome writing books that I feel focus more on the imaginative side of writing rather than the proper form and structure of what writing entails. I do own these books and I love them all as they serve their purposes when I need them. They also help in avoiding cliches and other redundancies.
May you find them helpful like I do! 🙂