To say that it's been crazy around here is a bit of an understatement - for the most part it's been horribly mundane stuff, basically had to run my department all week when most of it took off on vacation or sick leave. The good news is that, well, in a pinch I can do a pretty decent chunk of everyone's job - the bad news is that I'm still one of the lowest paid out of all of 'em and I'm pretty sure a raise is nowhere near in the cards.
The rest of my week was spent in kind of a geeked-out haze (no, not biting heads off chickens...) as Ms. Jennica Harper (over on Ink) was so kind as to point us in the direction of www.zeros2heroes.com and her new comic book Abigail's War (which I highly recommend you take a read through).
To break it down quite simply: The website is like a social network for people who want to MAKE comics - artists, writers, fans and more all coming together. Of all the cool things about the site, probably the best is their 'pitch doctor' where you can follow the process they've put together and have at the end a pretty solid comic book pitch.
It's quite an interesting idea and it wasn't long before I found myself digging through my ol' idea bin.
You see, many many years ago - before I fell in love with wanting to become a TV writer - I had mad, mad love for comic books of all kinds; Even taught myself how to draw with them, back when I thought I was going to be an 'artiste'. I had so many cool ideas for characters and stories that I couldn't possibly draw them all - so I wrote them down and have been doing it ever since.
Now, some of them haven't aged all that well but there were a few that got me thinking.
The one I ended up posting was one that came to me back at Sheridan, in my first year of college. It was dark and moody and was something I knew I could have a field day with: A Horror story. And so, after reworking it a tad, I posted my pitch online - and was shocked by the positive feedback I received!
Soon I couldn't stop thinking about it, the characters coming to life inside my head. By Friday night I realized there was no way I was going to be able to settle down to my spec script work until this bug was worked out of my system. And so I woke up Saturday morning and began writing, refusing to leave my computer until something came to life.
Page 1 took shape and then another - over half my day had passed and I was now 10 pages deep but utterly exhausted. I found myself in bed and out of it by 5pm. A simple nap turning into a full blown slumber. Don't think my brain was prepared for that kind of abuse.
This morning I awoke with a renewed fervour - 10 pages in and only 12 to go I sat down, determined to get the 1st draft done today. And so I've spent most of my day - with a small exception, hopping down to the Silver Snail (summer sale!!) - writing once more.
In a matter of two solid days of writing, with little to no distraction, I managed to pump out a full script (22 pages) for my Comic book! Holy crap!! Yes, it's a first draft, I'm sure there's still a lot to go. But the raw materials are there and have been assembled (however rickety). It's a script. My first comic script.
And now - hopefully - it's out of my system. For now at least. You see, now I'm going to put it away and return my focus to where it should be:
This next week is all about my spec. Using all that I've learned thus far in an attempt to craft something better that what I've written before. A story in a genre I've never explored; no space ships, no monsters (well, no non-human monsters), no horror. Well... maybe a touch of horror.
The cool thing about my spec script is that I've already got all my 'outs' figured, well, out. They're my favourite part of this and a major part of my excitement for telling this tale. Actually, I've found it's been quite helpful for me to start at those outs and work backwards. Kind of a 'how did we get here' approach. I find it makes me think of the problem from another angle - be less cause and effect, more "finding-the-true-'root'-of-the-problem-and-planting-it-in-the-right-place".
Thanks to this approach my outline is already about half done and that - if all works out right - should be finished tomorrow. I'm hoping that on Tuesday (the first 'official' day of my vacation) I'll be ready to sit down and try writing this thing out. Will I have as much success? Who knows?
Either way, no matter what, I have to say that I'm really encouraged at how much I've been able to accomplish by shutting my door, turning off my cell and just getting down to it. I'm not sure what the average benchmark is for a comic book script, but if I can keep the story rolling out of me like this one did then I'll really have something to cheer about.