Friday, September 2, 2011

Life on Mars

AARRRG! My characters are killing me, they wont shut up. What I intended to be a SHORT prologue, to my upcoming web comic series, just keeps getting bigger and bigger. This web series was only intended to be a practice run, of writing and illustrating a comic book/graphic novel, while I start a more complex graphic novel.

When I first put pen to paper on the prologue, all I wanted to do was establish the main characters and set up the premise for the series. Pretty much all I wanted was the who, the what, the when, the where and the why, but what I have so far, is so much more.

I intended to keep everything short and sweet, you know, get it over and done with and get to the main story. But in trying to create realistic dialogue and actions for the characters, I feel the whole thing is just getting out of control. The characters seem to have taken over and are operating on their own. When I was writing, the conversations just flowed and it wasn't until I started to pencil out the individual panels when I realized that what I had written was probably too long. The dialog didn't have anything to do with the plot but it was a good way to define the individual characters and their personalities. I have already edited out a biggish chunk of dialogue that wasn't necessary to the plot (it was just a bit of humor). Even though part of me wants too cut back on what I have already, part of me wants to keep adding to what I've got, even though I know I can add some of it in the main story.

So do I edit out some of the material, to get to the action and main story quicker?
Do I sacrifice pacing for character development?
Am I too eager to get into the main story?
Am I putting too much thought into, what is essentially is a training exercise?
Am I not putting in enough thought?
Have I lost control of my own characters?
Where did my beer go?
Is there life on Maaaarrs? (sorry I just listened to that song now I cant get it out of my head)


  1. it sounds like you've had a great start!
    i don't think you are putting too much thought into it. that's the purpose of having a practice exercise. you don't go halfway when practicing, or you go halfway when executing! :)
    personally, i'm a fan of letting characters have their way while drafting, but when it comes down to editing, i believe that if it isn't relevant than it needs to take a hike. this is painful. extremely painful. many people call it "killing your darlings" because oftentimes we fall in love with our own words or scenes or characters and we want to overindulge ourselves. when writing for a market, it isn't all about us. it's about the reader. you never ever ever want to give the reader incentive to put your story down. they may never pick it back up. i truly believe that matching pacing with your intended audience is crucial. but i also believe in saving your scraps. when you cut a scene, it might be usable in a later area. or a section of it, or a couple of lines. it might help you as the writer to revisit it at a point in time. i have scrap files, where i describe where the scene originally was and cut and paste it in there.
    i don't know. ultimately, it comes down to your decision on what works for the piece. so, i guess i'm saying best of luck to you! :)

  2. here's what i was trying to say about editing put much more eloquently!
    see ya!

  3. I feel for you! I finally bit the bullet and deleted pages of stuff. It's not easy. Good luck!