Wherein Dale Belittles Himself

Swordmaster Odyssey has certainly been a learning experience for me. I tend to wing it when it comes to stories, starting with a general idea of where I want things to go and then coming up with the actual story as I work. SMOdyssey is lucky in this regard in that when I started, I actually knew how it was going to end. However, as time has passed and I’ve actually finished things I’ve started (or gotten close to as much), I’ve begun to rethink a lot of my writing techniques, and my shoot-from-the-hip approach is no different.

When I started inking SMOdyssey, I had a basic summary of the first seven chapters lying around somewhere (which became the first five chapters since some events were longer or shorter in practice than anticipated) and little else. I’d just storyboard about five to fifteen pages ahead and go for it. In the end, though, this has resulted in a narrative that just isn’t as tight as I wish it were. So, as of late, I’ve really started getting in the habit of doing full outlines for things. Not the scattered, disheveled notes a lot of people use, but a very clear and well-arranged summary breaking down major events and assigning them to chapters or whatnot.

To this end, today I sat down and began something I should have done two years ago: plan out the entire story, beginning middle and end. Granted, things can change as I go, but I’m tired of loose story threads getting lost in the shuffle, and the pacing not always panning out as well as it should in hindsight. Hopefully, this should prove for a better over-arching story when everything’s finished because I can stand back and see where everything should go and get a glimpse of whether or not it’ll end up reading like I want it to.

As for Sketchbook Monday, sorry about that, but I’ve missed it again. I spent all week writing a book and didn’t get around to drawing anything. I’m back to work this week, though, so there’ll be no excuses next week! (I hope.)