Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Script Frenzy: Update the Fifth

I have grown a lush, luxurious beard. It has been in the offing for some time but has only recently come to a stage of full, glorious, fruition. My face now coated with the ever lengthening hair that proves I have neither the time or the inclination to shave. I mention this only because it is a well documented fact that the length of one's follicles is directly proportional to their creativity.

Case in point.

So, yes, after my mad dash this weekend (And a little beyond) to polish off my second three issue arc I am, in fact, one of those annoying people who's over 100 pages for the month already. Since I also went and finished up all the four page back-up strips to my main eighteen page issues, I'm well past the victory mark. 132 pages. More probably since I'm counting by story pages instead of script pages and, you know, I'm a wordy bastard so you know I've padded even the simplest panel description with page after page of weighty prose detailing backgrounds and motivations only tangentially related to the action at hand.

Actually, not really. One of the things I've really been focusing on is streamlining. Paring down the story and the text to the bare minimum. On making things move rather than getting bogged down in interesting but ultimately pointless embellishment. But I still have this sneaking suspicion that I have more pages than I think I do.

Not all of them are completely finished, mind. There are still a few pages and scenes here and there that are only roughly sketched in. They'd suffice if, say, I was to draw this comic myself since just barebones notes on direction and placement would be all I'd need. But they're not exactly what I'd want to turn over to someone else or submit in a professional setting since they're not very polished. But I'm done enough with it for now.

And I'm glad it's done because I've always thought going in that the second arc, issues #4~6, was going to be tricky. But I don't think I understood just how much. In the end, I managed to get through them by shuffling around some plots I meant to bring up later and picking up some threads that I'd left laying around earlier. The result isn't very pretty but, again, it's done. But that's okay because it's a first draft. Quality isn't crucial. The important thing, at this point, is that it gets done.

Next up is my third storyline. Which I've already begun roughing out today. I'm a little worried at this point because it was supposed to be one long set piece. A big running battle between my hero and one of his old foes returning to haunt him again. Page after page, filling up issue after issue, of punching and kicking and reversals and edge of the teeth escapes. The thing is I've learned in the last arc that I'm not really so good at set pieces. My planned epic battle between my hero and his first (on page) villain fizzled out. Cramped between all the nice dialog and character establishing I wanted to do, floundering on the rocks of plot contrivance, and, above all, dreadfully boring to write. And a few issues full of set pieces wasn't exactly thrilling me.

Instead, I think I'm going to shift gears a little bit and change plans from a set piece showdown to more of a road trip. A homecoming, if you will, since the plan was for our hero to get ambushed by his old opponent while returning home for the holidays. Now, I think, I'll focus less on the fight and more on the journey to get there. Road trips are always nice because they get your characters out of their familiar setting and force them to deal with each other for a time. That should leave me plenty of space to practice that dialoging I'm so fond of at the moment.

I'm going to have to sleep on it. But now that I'm caught up and back on schedule to finish off 12 issues by the end of the month, maybe even more with a last minute push, I have that luxury of time again.

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