aleksandra-chabros asked: Hello Noelle. I love your art (as we all here do!) and I wanted to ask - how do you know when your idea for a story/comic is ready enough to go further with it and start actually drawing and showing it? How much of the story and the overall world it takes place in (characters + places + history + etc) is pre-decided and how much of it is left to chance?
I gotta be honest, I have no idea. NIMONA was very much a practice of jumping off a cliff and figuring it all out on the way down. It helped that I knew what the ending was, but there was a lot of working things out at the last possible second. I didn’t have the script finished when I started posting pages, and a lot of plot points hadn’t been resolved yet. But even though that could be really stressful, I’m glad of that feeling of urgency - I’m not sure I would have had the resolve to take this thing through to the end if I had spent a very long time working everything out beforehand, wanting it to be completely perfect. Because the fact is I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I learned through the act of actually doing it. At some point I had to accept that it wasn’t going to be perfect but I was going to go for it anyway and see what happened.
I’m not sure if that works for every story? I think that level of knowing all the intricacies of your story beforehand vs. jumping headfirst into it and seeing how it goes is going to be different for everyone and for every story, but I think you need a certain amount of both. You might be the kind of person who likes to make charts and bullet points and do pages and pages of sketches and lots of intricate worldbuilding, but at some point you’re just gonna have to go for it. And if you’re going to go rushing into things, there are certain things you’re going to have to know or it will fall apart. I didn’t know a lot of things beforehand - most things, even - but I knew who the characters were, I knew the ending, and (I think most importantly) I knew what the story was really about. There’s just a center to everything, and if you know what that is then all the decisions you make about your story, whether on the fly or carefully plotted out ahead of time, will tie back into that. I think you can get away with faking your way through certain things and pretending you know what you’re doing, but you can’t lose sight of what the heart of the story you’re telling is. I think the readers have to know that there is a purpose to all this, and if you don’t know what that is, then it will show.