Never stop starting

I guess I just have to accept that The Elves of LleuGarnock is the kind of story that just keeps on starting. A year and a half into the comic, I am on day six of the story, and saying to myself, “Well, in about 24 hours of story, the action will really get started.” I guess that the story just isn’t very action-packed. Which is really fine; I like to think it has depth and interest without relying on violence. And come to think of it, a lot of my favorite comics don’t have tons of action; they mostly use the visual aspect of the medium to set the mood and provide detail about the setting.

It really does feel like the plot is crawling along, though. Mostly this is the fact that the creation of the comic is crawling along at the speed of my ability to draw. It’s also something I’m super-conscious of because of some of the unreasonably slow parts in the beginning. But it’s also the curvature of the story itself, which does build slowly up to the climax.

There are always so many details that I would like to include in the story, about the world, and the characters, and their lives and pasts. This inclination to elaborate will serve me well during the climax, I hope. The climax is the part of the story that I think of as the most interesting and full of action, and if I slow that down and add detail, I hope that will make it rich, fulfilling, and long enough to really enjoy.

I guess that’s why I’m looking forward to that part so much – I’m sure the process of transforming it into comic pages will make it a lot better. The slow start, getting to know the characters and the world and the situation, is all necessary, but I’m never certain if it’s actually any good.

Well, in three to six years, when I am done the climax and looking to wind the story down, hopefully I will be wiser, and I’ll be able to add only what is necessary. I’ll wrap it up quickly and then I can take a look back at the begining to see where I could do better. I might decide to change some things, or I might decide I worry too much, and the pace is right when the story is read beginning to end. Who knows?

In any case, I have finally gotten to the point where the upward slope has begun to be noticeable. The pace is picking up just a bit. Honestly, it will still be a while before I reach a point where I can say to myself “This is the climax! Things are really happening now!” But that thing that happens in about 24 story hours from the last comic I’ve drawn? That is definitely progress. That is definitely drama. I will no longer be able to say the story hasn’t gotten started. So I’m looking forward to that.

In other news, we’re going to Scotland in a couple of weeks. Tomorrow I’ll get started on the Dragon’s Fall page that will go up while we’re gone, then after that’s done I want to get started on the one that will go up less than a week after we get back. I hope I can not only finish both of them, but do a couple of pages of LG as well. This might even happen. Page 9 of DF (which will go up tonight/tomorrow) took a lot less time than all the previous pages. I am settling into a process for drawing the characters in this more realistic style.

I’m also hopeful that we’ll be able to get a few scripts ahead in Dragon’s Fall. Now that we have early drafts for the next two pages I’m hoping William will get a couple more scripts written while I’m away. That would be great, because we’ve been running into a little bit of trouble working on one script at a time. When I go to draw a page I’d like to know what’s going to happen next so I can account for it. It also helps me perform my function of script quality control. I insist on keeping this role even when I’m not being a writer.

On the whole I’m very happy about how both comics are progressing. I hope I’ll still be so optimistic when I get back from Scotland and my buffer has shrunk significantly. Here’s hoping!

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