Processing! - 2/3
Spent most of this week hammering out the page-by-page outlines for Volume 14 while Scott started working on covers for Volume 13 so he can get them all out of the way before diving into art for the issues themselves.

I was a little worried about v14 at the broad stroke phase.

Pretty sure we’ve talked about this before, but in brief our volumes start with the Big Idea, usually the central crisis that all the action orbits. And then we think of a few ways Robo can interact with that crisis -- discovering it, defeated by it, and eventually thwarting it. When we’ve got that we break it down into five issues for the Basic Arc to get a rough sense of how it shapes up both as individual chapters and as a whole.

That’s as far as I’d gotten on v14. It was coming together but there were a lot of cheats involved. Little phrases like, “Robo has to fix The Doohickey that’ll let The Crew activate The Bullshit and save the day.” That’s a direct quote by the way.

Now, there always a little cheating like that in the broad stroke phase because it isn’t time to hammer out fine details. That’s what the next two phases are there for.

But, like I said, there were a lot of cheats this time. More than usual. Enough of them to make me wonder if we even had a whole volume’s worth of material!

Only one way to find out: dive into the Page-by-Page outline. This is where those fine details first start to start to crop up as I map out the important information/events that should go on each page of each issue so I can sit down and start writing the actual Scripts.

And, just as I feared, the first pass burned through everything in about three issues. Whoops!

Mind you, it was a solid three issues of sci-fi adventure with escalating stakes and accelerating action. It just needed another 44 pages to turn it into a complete volume. What’s a lad to do?

Y’know, every comics writer out there has fudged a page or two maybe even unto half an issue in an absolutely emergency. But what in the hell are you supposed to do with forty-four pages? 

Oh, right.

The great thing about writing an adventure comedy series is that forty-four “spare” pages is an absolute godsend. I scrapped the original breakdown and started up a new one adding a treasure trove of subplots for more interpersonal hijinx, more tension, and additional stakes. I’ve still got the fourth and fifth issues to outline, which is great 'cause I've still got (at least) two issues' worth of action and subplots that need resolving.

I guess the lesson here is to always trust the iterative process to reveal the best way forward even as you walk through it blind.

Big Idea → Basic Arc of Issues → Page-by-Page Outlines → Scripts


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