Finding The Right Direction Thanks To The Wrong One.

Yesterday I sat down to write more of the script for Issue 26, which would be Chapter One of our next storyline.  The last time I sat down to work on this script I was on fire.  I was pounding out pages like they were nothing, and the flow of the story came to me very easily.  I never struggled with direction and everything was coming to me naturally.  I was in that wonderful (and sometimes elusive) zone, and I was sure the next time I sat down to write more of Issue 26 it would come to me just as easily.

Yesterday, that was not the case.

All my momentum came to a dead stop.  I found myself staring either at a blank screen or the unending blink of my cursor.  When dialogue or direction came to me it was stunted and forced, and I struggled to get scenes flowing with the same swift current of earlier pages.  I took the story in unexpected directions in an attempt to jolt myself out of this funk, making characters do nearly out-of-character things and relying on leaps of logic to make something work.  After several hours of work, I had both written several pages and accomplished nothing.  In the end, I scrapped everything and decided to try again tomorrow.

Well, I didn’t scrap everything.  I took a look at what I had once I determined I was done trying to make progress.  I looked back at where I had been and tried to find a clue to the “right” direction.  It was a wise decision, because some slight revisions to earlier scenes gave me a clear path forward.  I cut unnecessarily dramatic and complicated elements to focus on “keeping it simple.”  I was putting the spotlight on too many characters in an effort to look clever, so I narrowed the spotlight to essential characters.  As Frank Herbert said, “A beginning is a very delicate time.”  When I’m setting up a new storyline I find it’s best to keep the narrative moving forward simply and clearly.  There’s plenty of time to be complicated later.

My failed attempt at adding more to the script wasn’t a failure at all.  I was able to salvage scenes and dialogue from the scrapped material.  I spent so much time discovering what wouldn’t work that I found what would actually work for the story!

Mistakes always present opportunities to learn, if you’re willing to accept their lessons.

About Michael

Michael Terracciano loves comic books, superheroes, outer space, and telling stories. His friends call him "Mookie." He spent the last ten years as the author and artist of the fantasy webcomic, "Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire." He enjoys spending time with his wife and their three cats. His favorite planet is Jupiter because it's awesome. He wants having superpowers to be fun again, and for this to be a universe you want to escape to, not from. He hopes you enjoy reading Star Power.