Early last week I reached the long-awaited point in Dumping a Dragon where, after initially riding the high of creating Sivarthis’s dragon self, I always anticipated hitting a creative wall. And indeed, whether I damned myself to that by expecting it or not, I hit a wall.
I ended my first meet cute/flashback and had NO IDEA how to ease into the next segment. I tried four or five or twelve things. I wrote out a script. I sketched thumbnails. And every time I tried a page, it felt flat and lame.
Finally while watching the latest season of the Great British Baking Show, I started inking a page without much confidence…until I added the background.
This. Damn. Mountain.
Honestly, not only am I SUPER proud of that in terms of being a scenery image I’m usually pretty weak at, I’m super proud that it became the first page to get everything moving again. Even though I rewrote dialogue and tweaked panels until my eyes bled, and I asked for advice before immediately rejecting it, I am proud of how it turned out. The colors, the composition, most importantly the fact that I shamelessly magicked Sivarthis into looking a bit different, a bit more manageable, and having him allude to the fact that he could just change his size at will so that he can fit into frames with Noelia, haha.
Plus, this way ends up keeping the story following the novella more closely than the alternate way I had contemplated doing this scene.
Oh yeah, of course when I had hit my wall I was also preparing Sun-Walking for a witchy friend of mine to read. Which meant, though I didn’t need to, that I reread the ENTIRE 145k thing on my weekend off. I literally accomplished nothing new. Just reread Sun-Walking. More. God I love that project so much. After my witchy friend finishes it and we make adjustments to it, I think I’m going to have my dad find some publishers to pitch it to again. I’m finally ready.