Last week, I announced I would move forward with creating Wildlight content again. As anyone who writes knows, this process will take some time to get going. However, for the few people who care about these kinds of details, I will share my experiences here, on a regular basis. Furthermore, I will often post notes about my characters, settings and more right here for those who want to dive deeper into the Universe of Wildlight. Again, this will be a return to form for this blog, which I started as a way to share my journey as a writer and artist who loves God. With that said, please allow me to share what I have worked on this week.
I spent a bit of time reading through the entire Wildlight comic. For those who do not know, back around 2000, I started posting the webcomic about once each month. I would complete about 4 pages worth, call it a ‘webisode’ and post it on the internet. I did not finish it until 2009. By the end, I completed 70 webisodes, or 18 standard comics worth of material.
In reading through it all, I saw a lot that I enjoyed. Some of the characters touched me, made me laugh, and feel concerned for their plight. Some of my artwork really shines, too. The main character, Tammy Tanaka, feels likable despite her array of flaws. I also saw numerous things I did not like such as characters that felt too flat, important things left unexplained and outright errors in the dialogue.
I took many notes. Part of my motivation for reading through this again was to determine how I would create future episodes. I could stick with making webcomic, or move to a novella style of story telling, with added illustrations. After reading through it all, I decided with the latter. First, I still have a lot more story to tell about Tammy, and I might be dead before I finish it at this rate. My constrained free time prevents me from working any faster on a full comic. Second, when I rush, my artwork really suffers. Third, editing a comic after creation is much harder than revising a written work. In fact, if these old Wildlight episodes were simply a novel, I would start the process of editing that story before pressing on with the next phase of Tammy’s life.
This brings me to another point. I have decided to re-write her origin story, despite numerous people telling me to move forward on new material. The origin stories of Wildlight provide an important foundation for the character. To have that story told in one format, and other stories told in a different format may prove jarring for some. However, a stronger argument for this direction stems from the deep need to clean up the story as written. As a single example, I find that the antagonist, Max Domain, has motivation, but lacks depth. I cannot really go back and add that into the comic now. However, if I re-write the origin story as a novella, I can do that and more! Furthermore, if I need to revise it later on because I find more issues, or someone else points out a concern, I can address it much easier. A super-heroine is only good as the villains who oppose her, so I have to get this right. A re-write from the ground up will help me do just that.
For those already familiar with that story, that means you will get the same story again. However, it will not only be presented in a new format designed to engage your imagination but also provide you a new perspective on many of the characters. Also, I will make sure I clean up some of the camp factor while I am at it!
This week, I also researched various ways of writing, as well as the differences between short stories, novellas and novels. Expect my discoveries and thoughts on these subjects with the next blog posting. Thank you for all your support. Please feel free to email me your thoughts (jcservant at cyberlightcomics dot com) and/or share your comments below.
By His Grace,