I've been sitting here for over an hour working at one thing. Well, two things if you count making some additions to my ever-expanding, newly renovated Amazon wish list.
So I'm writing this graphic novel, right. I was 3/4 of the way in, and have notes on the second and third parts. I could easily have made the notes, turned in my voucher, and moved on to the final chapter of the book. Problem is, I'm fairly happy with the first script. I like how it begins, I like how it ends, and I like some of how we get there. The rest, not so much. It's full of plot for plot's sake, lack of character development, and way too many one page scenes. I'm still finding my rhythm as a comics scribe, since screenwriting is so ingrained in my brain. I lose the ability to think visually most of the time, since instead of a moving shot, every narration, every line of dialogue, every instance of a comic has to be spaced out and described. I write a lot of "Angle on the schmuck" type of descriptions.
Back to my problem. I could get the scripts polished and done. Hell, I could do it in about an hour tops, and likely before I went to bed tonight. But then I'd go to sleep knowing that my first substantial published work was nothing more than a hack job. I gave up on it when things got tough. So weeks after I meant to (the notes were a little slow), I spent the weekend trying to get things right. I'm retooling the story, replacing a major subplot, and trying to pace it better. But it's not going. At all.
My new subplot isn't a subplot at all. I've done plot graphs to try and figure how each story breaks down, and I've tried to work more intrinsically from character. I know who this guy is, the one who is the focal piece of my new subplot, but I have no idea if he has a story. See, the idea behind it is basically the same idea as the main plot. And that's when I start realizing, my A story is barely there. My A story is strung together by the pieces of B and C, and my D is just a love story. It's the only thing I know how it actually plays out. And hey, look, A and D come together at the end and it all makes sense from a character perspective so all must be well. Do I need four storylines? No, of course not. But do I need four main characters with three or four other major ones? Apparently so. Since this isn't my baby or my call, I can't make wholesale changes.
What I want to do is throw it all away. Remove one character entirely (yes, the first issue is already underway with that character in it). I think the tiny part of A that bleeds into B/D should become A entirely. Put mystery at the center of the book. B should be separate. Treat is as an actual subplot, not something that ties into the larger story unnecessarily. C... Still a problem. It gives me something to do with two characters, but there's really nothing there. At all. Over an hour in and I've got jack for anything. D... Well, at least some things stay the same.
It's easy to please other people. It's much harder to please yourself. Right now, I'm the measure of displeased. And I just want to be done (I planned and was supposed to finish by the end of 2006, so many days ago). But I'm not getting any closer, and this story is barely getting any better. I've made one major tweak other than the partial gutting that makes the story stronger, but nothing else is coming along.
I'm just working through my inability to write out loud, so pardon me for being a waste of words right now.