Hi all! I’ve just finished Chapter 18 of “Fabled Kingdom,” thus successfully breaking through what I call the “50% Psychological Barrer”. I talk about it below, which is what I sent around on my mailing list. I want to start talking about my work process more to help other creators, so join my mailing list if you want the latest essays first.
- SMASH convention on the 20-21st August, where I’ll be doing a panel called “The BentoNet: Publishing in Print and Global Distribution” at 11:30am – 12:30am.
- Also, Comic-Con Sydney and Brisbane in September! Can’t wait!
I just finished Chapter 18 (of21) of “Fabled Kingdom” today, folks. The chapter is all toned, and I’m currently proof-reading it before I send it off to my copy-editor Karen. I am feeling pretty stoked, because that means there’s only 3 chapters left before the end of “Fabled Kingdom” (the first self-contained arc anyway).
How time flies. It feels only like yesterday when I was celebrating finishing book 1. Now, book 3 is due in early 2017, probably February.
I don’t often speak about my work process as a comic artist, but passing the halfway mark is always the hardest point in any of the books I’ve ever done. As far as I know, it’s the most difficult thing for everyone, but especially difficult when you’re on book 3 of a trilogy.
The reasoning is simple. Book 3 of a trilogy is always the point where you have to gather all the stray plot threads of a story and start weaving them together. It’s a process that shouldn’t be done in a thoughtless manner, because you can very easily make a mistake. This is the point where – unless you’ve planned the story out from the beginning to the end – it becomes quite obvious when an author is just flailing around and has no idea how to take the story to its logical conclusion. When that happens, it can be cause for disappointment – I know I’ve been turned off an author when they prove unable to properly finish a story they’ve started.
I’m pleased so far with the progress of “Fabled Kingdom“. I can safely say I’ve wrapped up 85% of the story threads, with another 10% to go in the remaining chapters, while leaving 5% open for future books. To make sure things go smoothly, I even broke with tradition and got the first half of the book edited before I started chapter 18 – and I’m glad my editor loved it and is excited to read the next chapter. I consider this crucial in wrapping up a story in a satisfying manner.
There’s no easy way to break through that psychological barrier, the one that every writer will accost at some point in their journey in writing a story. Perseverance, experience and the willingness to mentally hurl yourself through that wall is the only thing that you can do. I haven’t done this since I last wrote “The Dreaming” back in 2007 (the last trilogy I wrote), but all those sleepless nights are a big payoff when you look at your work and you’re mostly satisfied with what you see.
Meanwhile, in the next installment, I’m going to talk about my new discovery: Augmented Reality Comics and Art Galleries!