Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Mini-challenge: Veils and Dragons

In anticipation of doing the 24-hour challenge tomorrow, I decided to sit down this evening and do a three-hour version. Unlike the previous 1-hour pages, I put an additional constraint on this one: I had to tell a complete story.

I started by loosely scripting the three pages I planned to do. Well, actually, I started by coming up with an idea for it, then scrapping that idea, then coming up with a new idea. Then scripting that out. More-or-less. I started changing the script before I finished the first page, and didn't write out the script for the third page until I was actually on it. But the important part -- deciding what the beginning, middle, and end would be -- was done before I started drawing. I started drawing at the twenty-two minute mark, which seemed like pretty good time.

I called koogrr about two hours into it, and told him about the mini-challenge plan. "I don't think I'm going to make it. I've only got an hour left and I've barely started the second page." Twenty minutes later, he asked if I wanted to call back when I was done. I still hadn't finished the second page. "Sure. I'll call you back when I've failed."

Two hours and fifty-six minutes after my start time, I called koogrr again. "I did it!"

So far, the biggest bottleneck for me is lettering. The act of physically fitting the words onto the page with the pictures is both trickier and more time-consuming than I anticipated. I've taken to doing the lettering before I draw anything. I have new appreciation for why howardtayler handles his lettering that way.

The second-biggest trouble is wanting to do the art well. I think this'll be easier to overcome than the lettering problem, because it's a purely mental barrier. When I got to the third page on the mini-challenge, I had half an hour left, and I told myself, "You can either try to do this well, or quickly. Which is it going to be?" And I picked getting it done by the deadline over trying to make it look good.

Although taking shortcuts with the art is still somewhat problematic: as I commented to John, "I may not have to do the art well, but I still have to make the drawings work. People have to be able to recognize who the characters are. If that table is plot-relevant, it has to be identifiable as a table."

Anyway, I still plan to try the real challenge tomorrow, although I still don't know how I'll do on it. My current plan is to spend the first hour or so on story and script development. I'm not going to try to get a solid script down, but I do want to know the general beginning/middle/end before I start drawing. Exact words and panel layout can wait until I get there.

I'd originally thought of trying to start early in the AM, maybe 5AM or so, in the hopes that there'd be a better chance of people being conscious when I'm wrapping it up. I've decided not to worry about that, however. It's more important that I be well-rested and ready to go than that I start at a specific time. There are even advantages to a late start -- if I begin late, people will be awake again when I'm into the 23rd hour.

On a related note -- I'm not sure how much I'll be looking to the Internet for moral support. I've got my pens and everything else set up in the other room, and I don't know if I'll be coming into the computer room to check email and post updates on my progress or not. I expect I'll do occasional updates, but definitely not hourly ones. In any event, supportive comments and emails will be much appreciated.

I don't plan to scan the pages while I'm doing the challenge; it just takes too long. If things are going particularly well or badly by evening, I might try scanning a few pages. (Why waste the time if things are going badly? Well, if it's already going badly, ten or fifteen more minutes aren't going to make that much difference, whereas some moral support might.) In any case, y'all will see how it goes tomorrow. :)

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