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PoM Fanfic and Drawing Tips

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PoM Fanfic and Drawing Tips

Post  Cutezee_Penguin on Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:35 pm

So, I thought cause a lot of you guys like to draw and write about PoM, this might be a good place to share any tips you got. Smile

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Re: PoM Fanfic and Drawing Tips

Post  2nd Lt. NYC on Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:08 am

Since I've been drawing most of the time, I might as well share a few tips I have on fan art.

Well, I always start a sketch with a specific plan on what I'm going to draw. Sometimes that comes from episodes (they make easy sketch ideas for those who aren't too picky) or pictures that others draw and you find interesting. Occasionally, I test-draw parts of the sketch that I know are going to be difficult to draw, like facial features or certain smaller details.

It's also kind of hard to get the body posture right, so I start the actual sketch with a skeleton that kind of looks like a stick man with a potbelly wearing triangle shoes (makes it easier to draw toes). The head shape varies depending on who I'm drawing. For example, I'd use an oval for Skipper. The skeleton can be modified to whatever you need in your drawing (e.g. add a long, curling line near the hips for a lemur tail).

Always work on the outlines first. Using the skeleton as a guideline, draw the outline of the character. Don't draw it too close to the skeleton itself, otherwise your picture will look like the character went on a diet (I can tell you that it doesn't look very pleasant). Of course, since we're drawing a cartoon we're bound to exaggerate a little, but sometimes photos of real-life penguins help in the outline.

When it comes to drawing in the larger details, it's best if you use a few reference pictures. Larger details include the penguins' black feathers, Julien's ringtail, or basically any details that are easy to draw. This is easier when you are drawing based on an episode; you have your example picture ready for you to refer to. Larger details, though easier to deal with, determine certain factors like facial expressions, which is especially so for the penguins.

If your picture had many tiny details, I suggest you draw the entire picture in a bigger size. This enlarges the details and make the smaller ones a lot easier to draw, and if you make any mistakes with them you don't end up erasing other parts (of course, if you're skilful enough with an eraser that's a good thing too).

Finally, if you want to make the picture look more artistically sophisticated, try colouring and shading it. Decide on a specific direction in which light falls on the subject of your picture and add shadows accordingly (decide on a colour for the floor if you want to). This can be applied to colours too. If you're thinking of colouring your picture, the penguins are a good idea for some easy first-timer's practice.

That's all I have for fan art. Good luck and have fun drawing! Wink -NYC

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Re: PoM Fanfic and Drawing Tips

Post  Fairy_Mochi on Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:07 pm

I'm not good at giving tips....since most of what I do turns out the way it does simply due to pure, dumb luck. And some skill. But mostly luck. I think.....

My advice is simply study your subject. Thoroughly. Study as you would for final exams. Then, if you are doing fanart, practice drawing your subject. Visualize something for your subject to be doing. Doesn't matter what; you're just practicing right now. Then sketch it out. Keep practicing until you think you've got your subject down pat. Don't be afraid of making mistakes; it's all part of the process.

If you're doing fanfics, still study your subject first. That way when you write them into a situation, you'll be able to write them true to their character. Unless you want to purposely write them out of character. Also, spell check. Good spelling is a must for good writing. Good grammar is too.

Uh...like I said, I'm not good at giving tips. NYC's advice is way better than mine.
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Re: PoM Fanfic and Drawing Tips

Post  2nd Lt. NYC on Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:24 am

Heh heh, thanks. I only wrote that on the fly, so it really wasn't much.
Now I'll offer a few tips on fan fiction writing.

The easiest part: choosing what to write about. All I have to say to that is: Be creative! Inspiration for stories can come from anywhere, anytime. Story ideas can pop out of the most unlikely of places, but all you have to do is be ready for them when they do come (and have a pencil and notebook at hand to jot it down for later reference).

When it comes to writing, I have one Golden Rule: Always Plan Ahead. This applies to every and all fan fictions. Planning ahead keeps you from going off topic (or as I like to say, off the line.) and ensures your story stays "on track". Planning ahead also saves time for you to figure out a vague storyline, giving you more time to fine-tune the smaller details in the story. Just think of the story as a lump of clay. A good plan is like a mold, with all the details of the shape already built-in. However, if you find coming up with entire storylines hard, I suggest you make up either an incomplete plan, or the ending of the story (from what I know, the latter was what J. K. Rowling used to write Harry Potter). Compared to the complete plan, these are much more versatile as they are not fixed in a specific storyline and can bend and twist more than in a full plan. And for those experts, make up a plan along the way! The point of a plan is to always be a step ahead of your writing and always know where the story's going. Think of yourself as the guide of your story, navigating a long and dark road using only a lamp. If you have a plan, you won't always be looking back at your story to know what to write next.

Most of the important bits in writing well is in the planning, so I won't write too much for the other bits.
As Fairy has mentioned above, studying your characters is important! You need to know your characters inside and out, even when you're writing a Reversed version of them (this makes for easy reversals). Take note that what you're writing is a FAN FICTION; many other people know TPOM fairly well, so this is all the more important. I have used up whole pages of my notebooks just for character profiles, and it really helps me get the personality of the character right. Otherwise, I don't think people like a story where everyone's personalities are all mixed up. You can add in something to your characters according to the story plan (for example, I have given the penguins certain superpowers for one of my fics).

Choosing a main character can be difficult. For the hero, you can go for either the really obvious ones, who are usually brave, physically fit and whatnot (for this type, I suggest you use Skipper), or the "unlikely hero" sort of thing, who are usually mild-tempered and shy (Kowalski and Private are good choices for this). Both are equally appealing to readers, but somehow the latter is more widely accepted. I myself love to use Kowalski to work with; I understand him better than most other characters, and his personality strays towards (more or less) mild.
However, if your story includes a sinister character history (i.e. the history is about some dark part about the character's past), I suggest using the former. This makes it more entertaining as... Let's just say it shows the readers the "other side" of that brave role model you chose to be your main character.
A villain is much easier once you have a hero. You have a list of villains from TPOM ready for you to choose from, but if you want, create your own. Handy tip: don't use too many. Your hero is going to have a hard time dealing with many villains. I always go for a single, stronger villain who always plans ahead (somehow, that sounds just like me and my story plans :/). If your hero has a history with your villain, then all the better, as the history will add on to the storyline, further ensuring that your hero and villain will stay as hero and villain, unless you want a strong story twist, in which case, go ahead.

This is an optional tip: Have a wide vocabulary. If you know lots of colourful (not in the vulgar sense) words, use them! However, do use them carefully. If your story is supposed to be humorous, don't use any words that are meant for tragedies. You don't want readers crying boo-hoo tears when they are reading a funny story, do you?

The final tip I have may be a little troublesome for you- rewrite your story when you're done. As my English teacher always says, the first draft is always complete rubbish. I've looked over some of my first draft, and despite my careful planning they always look ridiculous somehow. Many authors take months to write a single book for this very reason; they always take the time to revise and rewrite the story. I've heard that Roald Dahl rewrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory over ten times- no wonder it's so well-written and popular.

That's really all I have for fan fictions. Have fun writing! Wink -NYC

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