Monday, April 16, 2007

Like Drawing, Really

101,000 words (or could be the letter 'e' in binary or something...)

Closing, closing, closing in....

Yesterday the Dynamo asked if the new book is any good.

My honest reply: "I don't know, I haven't read it yet."

That's actually still months away. Next I'll be doing what I call penciling. Y'see, when I draw a comic I start with a blue drafting pencil. The lines are loose and all over the place, many elements on the page little more than fuzzy blue clouds suggesting a hand or a face or a parked car. That's where I'm at right now with the book.

Then I give the page a light pass with an eraser and go in with a regular mechanical pencil. The rule? One line. One. No fussy clouds of Da Vinci-esque 'suggested forms'. Pick a line out of the mess and use it. If it doesn't work, erase and pick another one. Indicate blacks, hatching, etc. where I see it.

That's next. False trails and flailing will come out. Characters shall have one name, and one name only. Hopefully only one eye color as well, but I swear gremlins creep in and fuck with the files. Stuff will go in, as well. Themes amplified, symbols repeated or accented, certain characters' journeys of the soul more fully explored.

After that I'll put it away until I can't quite remember it anymore.

Then, and only then, will I get to read the damn thing. And see the typos, the clunky wooden bits, the occasional nice spot and the character whose eyes change color halfway through!

But thank heaven, I'm almost done with this bit. I need one more dead character (dying as we speak, in another window), and the last half of the denouement. Maybe today...


cs harris said...

You don't go back and read as you write? What self-control! By the time I finish a book I've read it so many times I can recite it. But I can't judge it because I've read it so many times it's boring.

Charles Gramlich said...

This was a fascinating post because it really gave us some insights into your working habits. Sounds like you've been influenced a fair amoutn by your comics experience, which makes sense.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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