Hi all! Updates on The Firelight Isle have slowed a little because I’ve been feverishly typing away making some edits to the script based on additions and changes I made to Chapters 1&2 whilst drawing them. There are often things that just don’t crystallize for me until I draw them, and one very major one of those was exactly how intense the sunlight is. This has knock-on effects for dialogue, and also it chimes with certain things in the plot thematically, so I’ve been considering those events and tweaking them.
Thanks to this and other changes, the script has actually taken a rather sudden lurch in a particular direction, which has surprised me, but I’m really liking how it’s turned out! Some of my reservations about the story have been sorted out, and I feel that there’s a particular atmosphere I’m trying to evoke that I’ve managed to intensify with these changes. Seeing the final art all together, and being able to read a 60-page chunk of the story in its finished form has helped me pin down that atmosphere and more accurately target it in the later parts of the plot.
This brings up an interesting tension in writing a long comic. Writing short stories, it’s very easy to just go straight to art. There’s so much more clarity in writing a comic when you’re working straight into layouts, and doing so helps to feel out how the language of the panels can be used to tell the story and underpin the plot. The pacing just feels natural, and the beats fall into place easier because I’m working straight into the medium that the story will be read in.
I’ve found that that approach is just not practical when the story is 300+ pages long though, so completing the art for a major part of it means my appreciation of what I want to achieve and how I want to achieve it is slowly shifting. I imagine I’ll be making minor edits, or even major changes right up until the final page is drawn. It’s a fun process knowing that I’m already happy with the story, but that there might be some unexpected discovery along the way that will make it even more solid, or really bring it to life in the telling!
As always, backers on Patreon get access to these tweaks and changes in real time, so if you’re the sort of person who likes to read scripts and follow the creative process, please consider supporting!