Resolving Early Dramas
As I was writing my way through the manuscript, I began to notice issues. Imperfections as it were. Characters were changing roles and things were getting confused. I also noticed that dialogues were adapting which made characters seem like totally different people later on then who they were in the beginning. Also, I was finding elements that needed explaining and didn’t know where I could put them in. The idea of moving pages and then going back through the whole document to re-arrange the entire manuscript was too daunting. I’d written out page numbers, frame numbers, everything. Adding in a page after page 3 would mean i’d need to re-write every page number after that. As one page of manuscript didn’t equal a page of paper it meant i couldn’t even use the basic auto page numbering to help me.
So I made a decision that cost me a couple of days, but was potentially the best decision thats been made so far. I produce websites and digital media for a living so I decided to create a tool for myself for a change.
I created a system (just on my laptop) which allows to me add new characters, scenes, frames,chapters, pages, props and dialogue boxes as well as design the layout of the pages as I go and change them as and when I want, without worrying about it. Then when I’m ready, all I’d need to do is click a print button and the manuscript is written out in whatever format I want at the time. Easy.
This system also gave me the ability to look at a single character and see everything they’ve ever said from start to finish, all on one page which allows me to change the dialogue to maintain the feel of the character. It took me 2 days to migrate the story information into the new system, but then after that I was able to up the production speed 10 fold. Like this website the system is in it’s infancy and will become more useful as time goes goes on, but to have a basic tool to help me produce this graphic novel was priceless. I never did look into any opensource free ware that would already do this for me. I’m sure it’s out there. I just figured it would take me less time to build something bespoke then to go look for something else and lose more time learning how to use it.
By the end of the week i’d mapped out what was being placed on each page and completed over 50% of the entire comic manuscript. This told me that the comic was to be around 350 pages in length and even gave me a dashboard which told my how far I was through the comic. From this point on I was feeling unstoppable – though slightly scared at the scale of this. It could take a few years to produce the artwork for this and even brought forward the idea of breaking the Graphic novel into Volumes to release it in stages.
All discussions for another day though I guess.