Tuesday, 8 March 2011

24 Hour Comic

This was a really bad idea. Not so much in the ‘hellfire and damnation’ sense of bad ideas, but in the ‘not playing up to any of my strengths at all’ sense. I was getting frustrated with both writing in general and with my comic writing failing to find any artists, and so I decided to have a go at doing a 24 hour comic, which seemed like it would bypass both problems.

The writing-in-general end of the problem was one about timescales – I had recently realised that the project I had been working on for a number of years, less and less frequently in the recent months, was essentially going to never be finished, and anything else big would require a number of years more before it would be close to being presentable – so I was in a natural valley. Additionally, I was starting to study again for my accountancy qualifications, and was beginning to realise that to do so with any seriousness would push writing right down to the bottom of the list of things I had time for in the evenings after work.

24 hour comics, when done well, can be really inspiring and interesting. Often, even done badly they can be amusing and intriguing – part of that coming from the way you watch someone’s energy and ability drain over the hours. I thought trying to do one would produce viable art whatever the technical merit, and that would be a good way of firing my creativity. It didn’t do that, although it did teach me something about my creative process.

For a start, I had decided against doing the full 24 hour slog in one go, but was thinking maybe to split it into three chunks; I didn’t even get that far. The sheer banality of what I was able to produce with no lead-up (I decided that the purest way to go would be to not prepare a story beforehand) stopped me short after four hours, and I never got the impetus to start up again. Far from plumbing the depths of my creative unconscious for wild stories, or descending into the delirious frenzy of automatic writing I came up with a fairly tedious piece of guff about story structure, which seems to be pretty much all I write about anyway.

So, I gave up. I failed to do a 24 hour comic, but I did finally teach myself that: firstly I’m not a super-fast writer and I shouldn’t believe that I have to be but should take time to develop my stories so that they have a bit of richness to them; and secondly I can’t really do straightforward adventure yarns and should be happy to explore the sort of stories about stories that I seem to be most drawn to.

No comments:

Post a Comment