I have just finished inking the first page of The Dessert. I have decided to go with pure black and white after all. I’m still not sure how long it’ll take me to finish this story, which should be between 10-14 pages long.
It is a new year, and I know I mentioned that I was going to work on the layout and script of story number 4, The Dessert while I was away on holiday over the Christmas and new year but things have really got the better of me and I’m only starting to work on writing a page summary and laying out the panels in my notebook just now. Some unanticipated events meant that a supposedly idle 3-4 weeks in the Far East turned into a rather strained and stressful time and working on this short story was furthest from my mind. Now it is a new year and I am left guiltily facing the fact that I have done nothing particularly creative whatsoever in the past few months (apart from two hurriedly drawn cartoon strips) and I have to buckle down to it now if I am to have any hope of finishing the ”book” by the end of this year. One major problem is creeping indiscipline, it is far too easy to let time simply slip through my fingers as there are 101 other distractions in my daily life.
Looking through my three other stories so far – it has been a learning process, and the first “Card Players” story was really an experiment with putting things together, dialogue and drawings, etc. and it was all done very quickly, within a fortnight, from beginning to end. The second, “Nighthawks” was not planned out at all beforehand, and left to meander its way into 16 pages. It could have done with more careful editing, but the end result is a stream-of-consciousness mess, although I don”t think it is entirely a failure. The last story, “The Snack Bar”, was wordless, and I seem to work easily with a stream of images – I planned all the panels within an hour and then, through many days of procrastination, laboured over finishing the pages of drawings, but it wasn’t a difficult attempt at all, oh no. I was preoccupied with at least a dozen other things at the time, and drawing the story just filled up the gaps of my day. Now that I have learned some valuable lessons from all these three stories, what will “The Dessert” be like? I will probably end up taking more time with the drawings themselves, adopting yet a different style (and I am still tempted to use a touch of colour for this one…. ala Seth) but will the story be interesting enough to hold the reader’s attention?
I don’t know when I will get the first page all done and scanned yet, but rest assured, some planning and writing is taking place right now.