Assignment 4: Building Stories

I have explored the transition from observed drawings leading towards imaginative solutions that build and communicate a narrative sequentially.

For this assignment, I am going to make a six-page ‘foldy’ zine-style sketchbook that develops a narrative over 6 pages. I made a ‘foldy’ zine book for Exercise 1.0 (What kind of sketchbook should I use) of Illustration Sketchbooks (Part 1: Everyday Sketchbooks) See below:

I will find an idea that I’ve played within Part 4 to use as a starting point and then find parts (drawings) from my other sketchbooks (that I made whilst on this course) I can rework, remake and refine to develop into the short story.

I will choose from the stages below and build a narrative.

  1. Stasis – the ‘normal world’ or everyday scenario: Introduce the “everyday” scenario in which the story is set / Introduce your character in their unsuspecting situation.
  2. Trigger – Provide a catalyst to start the story moving away from what is normal and fine toward a problem (something which is often beyond control)
  3. Quest – Your trigger should result in a quest..this image should define the goal of the story and add some tension
  4. A surprise – Introduce turns in the story which show the elements which might get in the way of the quest and your character’s response. ( These could include pleasant events, obstacles, complications, or trouble for your hero)
  5. A critical choice / a reaction – The hero makes a crucial or critical decision about how they will respond
  6. The Climax – This image should be a penultimate cliffhanger before we discover whether the quest has been a success
  7. The Reversal – The goals have changed (the hero has been changed by the experience and has transformed).
  8. The Resolution – A return to a new status quo / everyday scenario.

I will plan each page (6) by making quick sketches or thumbnails of the basic imagery that will form my narrative.

If I want to choose any wording to accompany each image I need to think about how the wording relates to the images and what function it will have.

Primary Research

For my primary research, I decided to expand on the drawings I had done for Exercise 4.0: Fill it up FAST as I had decided to take a walk down to the seafront and aim for the Belle Tout Lighthouse as well as the Beachy Head Lighthouse and drawn all that I had seen along the way. The whole trip lasted roughly 2 hours so I had a decent amount to work with.

My sketchbook pages from Exercise 4.0: Fill it up FAST!:

Photo References

The photos that I took whilst out and about:

Narrative Structure

My Chosen Idea: Love story between a couple that I saw holding hands on the way up the hill to the Belle Tout B&B Lighthouse.

Images of my notes that I jotted down in my sketchbook:

(8 Point) Narrative Arc with descriptions:

Thumbnail Designs


Final Design

Without Colour:

With Colour:


What did I learn and what did I enjoy most?

Answer: I learnt that most stories are created by using the 8 point narrative arc and now I know this I find it really interested when watching movies. I learnt that almost anything can be created into a story and that the narrative arc is really important.

How did I find the process of moving from descriptive drawings towards fictional narratives?

Answer: I found it really interesting and rather exciting to start off with primary research photography from exercise 4.0: Fill it up FAST and create a whole new story based off the photos and where I chose to go.

I found this assignment really exciting as I tried to find an interesting narrative from my photographic research. I originally thought when looking through my previous exercises and choosing which one I wanted to carry on with on this assignment that it was going to be quite hard to find an interesting story from the trip I took to Beachy Head, but the more I looked at my photos and sketches, the more I remembered interesting things that happened whilst on the trip, for instance when I saw the couple that I ended up doing a story with for this assignment, I really liked the aura coming off them and I could see they were in love. I am happy with how this assignment went and I feel as though my narrative was a strong one.

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