KYUSS: edit update 1
Just wanted to jump in with some quick updates from my edits of the first issue of KYUSS.
I'm re-reading the whole piece as I go, slowing my reading pace on dialogue specifically. It's a western and I have one good cowboy voice, so I try to exercise it by reading the dialogue aloud in that voice. This helps me think about which words I'm emphasizing in the line and the vernacular each character is, and should be, using. This stops some characters from being verbose when they shouldn't be. These changes demanded the most time and attention, since the specificity required is critical to character portrayal. Also, panel descriptions receive an interpretation from the artist before the reader experiences it. The letterer will present the words to the reader, but their substances falls solely on me.
Spotting panel descriptions that need work is both easy and hard. Most of my panel descriptions follow a simple structure. The first sentence is the primary action of the panel, the thing the artist is most concerned about. The next sentence or two elaborates on the action and/or the setting, sometimes dictating what we can and can't see. The rest of the panel description communicates the emotion and tone of the panel.
It's easy to spot a panel description that needs work because it's usually half a line long. These particular panels were usually written just to move the story along and get to the next panel, and they look like this: "Subject verb noun." As soon as I see one of these panel descriptions, I take time to reread, and occasionally rewrite, the panels around it in order to fortify the flow of action on the page. Then I expand on the super-simplified description, adding the details required.
But it's hard to spot a panel description that needs work because even super-detailed descriptions need to be worked upon, thus requiring a thorough reading which takes time. This is not a complaint. It's the reality. Then I need to parse what past-me wrote and decide what stays, what goes, and what gets modified. I found one hefty panel description, 4 lines in Word, that said a lot about the panel, but didn't have a clearly stated action. I went in, clarified the action and edited the rest of the description around it.
All in all, editing is going as I expected. I haven't been editing every day, despite wishing I was. But life has its distractions and obligations, so I'm not surprised by this failure.
I'll see you next week with more updates and thoughts.
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