Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HIGH MOON: The Slow Burn

So, I've been reading over plot breakdown for the first HIGH MOON story. The breakdowns are about 52 pages long - and insanely detailed. The notes for Pages 9-24 are the most detailed.

Telling a story in the Zuda format really requires a lot of planning.

Often editors will tell creators 'less is more' and 'comics are a visual medium' ... and as a writer it is essential that you keep the story moving, give the artist something interesting to draw, and use every scene to advance the plot, reveal character, or establish mood. Plus, you need to give the reader an incentive to 'turn the page' with every screen.

That's a lot of stuff to keep in mind going forward, isn't it?

(Especially, if you are like me and like to give your characters a lot of room to talk.)

I do believe that Zuda requires a certain degree of brevity. I think it requires you to go in, get your point across as awesomely as you can, and leave the readers wanting more.

When I wrote the initial prologue for HIGH MOON, I wanted to establish a threat and dramatic need from the start. On Page Two, I toss out some theories. By Page Five, I provide a little bit of fan service, because you can’t have a werewolf western and not have a werewolf. And, by Page Eight I take those theories and expectations I built and toss them out the window.

You don’t have to do it the same way I did. I’m going for a ‘slow burn’ the kind you’d find in older westerns. I’m trying to develop the kind of tension that slowly builds until it explodes in one form or another.

To accomplish this, I’ve structured each of my screens according to the Three Act format. Every crisis in the story builds upon another crisis, every page builds on the previous page, and contributes to the bigger picture. It requires a lot more economy of space and a whole lot more forethought.

Anyway, all of this is to say that the uber-plot for HIGH MOON has been written. The script for Pages 9-12 has been delivered to Steve. And, Pages 13-24 are being scripted now.


Dave_Flora said...

Bravo, Dave! Sounds like you'll be able to have a book published on writing comics for the web, eh?
Congrats on the scripting...2008 looks like it's going to be a good year!
Happy Holidays,


The NInth Doctor said...

I'd buy that book.

Great advise as always.

And great to here that HM is on its way!