I now know what being an author is like.

Whenever I think of this comic (and especially the script that I’m really marathoning right now), I think of this guy:

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Simon Beck, the guy who creates astronomical, precise, gorgeous art by trudging through the snow.

Not to say that my work is nearly as accomplished as his–it’s more like every time I sit down and work on this comic, I want to create something as successful and appealing as this, that has so many intricate nuances that I want to fold into it.

The challenge of working with this material is that the factual information is what gives the story the “flavor.” I’m going to totally destroy this analogy by calling the comic a big pot of potato stew and the potatoes are my characters and if I don’t add the flavor to it, it’s just a bunch of cut potatoes in some hot water. It’s really true, though.

I have these facts and bits of information about the Silk Road flying around in my head ON TOP OF feeling really strongly about the characters I’ve created. It causes this back-and-forth where I have to constantly be mindful of both character development and keeping the societies they traverse “in character” as I move forward. This is, by far, the most involved story I’ve written so far. My other stories came through life experience or were totally fictional–and none were nearly as long. I’m loving this process, but, as I’m sure any artist knows, there’s a trade-off for creating work outside of one’s comfort zone.

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This is why I feel such an affinity to Beck’s work–it’s precise, time consuming, and one false move and the house of cards is on the floor.

I’m nearing the point where the entire script will be completed but not finished. It’ll be written down and separated by pages, but edits will have to happen. I keep looking back and thinking, “I wanted to emphasize this more, but if I emphasize this, it’s going to make the script longer, so what do I cut out?” Lots of little things that aren’t enormous and plot-driven, but they add to the overarching theme of what I wanted to say to begin with. And what’s the point of me even continuing if my message doesn’t get through?

The more I say, the more I realize I want to say. The more I’ll try to fit in surreptitiously and hopefully harmoniously so that it still doesn’t lose the heart I feel it has.

TL;DR edition: I want this to be good and part of the process is hoping that it can reach the heights I want it to.

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