Saturday, August 30, 2014

Letter From the Editor

Oh, hi.

Last week's post was a wee bit wee.  Abbreviated.  Foreshortened.  Limited.  I was short on energy, patience, and apparently, words.  Rest assured, this week's post will not be so muzzled.  Get ready for a torrent of words.  I'm about to open the hydrant of my word makey thingy and douse you with its contents.  They will fill up the street to about ankle level.  Small children will come out of their houses and splash in those words.  Like in a Spike Lee movie, except with less racial tension.

If you're already worded out, you can skip to the pictures.  No biggie.  I know I'm going to.

 I'm still editing.  And what's more, I'm only just about to finish editing the very first page.  But it's going well.  I'm still excited to work on it every day.  I wondered if the editing process would be tedious, but it's actually really fun.

Like last week's panels, this week's panels also won't make the cut of my editing...umm...splicer?  What do editors edit with?  A marker?  That sounds weird.  Anyway, this panel isn't going to make the final book.  There will be a version of it, but it had to be completely re-drawn.

It's another of India's imaginings on the first page.  Here's the sketch:

And the outline:

And the final:

Here's the thing: The original version, the one that's being taken out?  It's actually cooler than the one I'm replacing it with.  It's got brighter colors, more detail, and it's probably better drawn.  But it just doesn't fit.  It didn't make sense the way it was and didn't help to explain things.  In fact, I think it confused things a bit.  Which is why I had to replace it.

Not every page will be as heavily edited as this one.  Most of them won't need much of anything.  But the first page is one of the most important in the book, particularly since it introduces the main character.  So, as with the rest of the book, I'm willing to take the time to get it as close to "right" as I can.

In other exciting news, I'm going to a conference in September and I have a brief meeting with the editor of a publishing house scheduled while I'm there.  I'm looking forward to it, of course, but I'm going to do my best not to get my hopes up or think about it too much.  Mostly because every time I think about it I throw up a little bit in my mouth.

To quote Marty McFly: "What if they say, 'Get outta here, kid, you got no future'?  I just don't think I could take that kind of rejection."

Actually, I'm pretty sure I COULD take that kind of rejection.  Here's why:

Every once in a while, people ask me what it takes to be an illustrator and I tell them it takes a healthy amount of stubborn and stupid.  I happen to have that last one in spades.  When they were handing out stupid, I got mine.  Then I got back in line for more.  The lady handing it out looked at me and was like, "Uh...don't you think you've had enough stupid?"  And I said, stupidly, "I'll tell you when I've had enough."  "Okaaay...", she said under her breath skeptically, dipping her giant serving spoon into the trough and slopping an extra helping of stupid onto my already-laden tray.

So here I am all these years later with at least double the Recommended Lifetime Allowance of stupid and probably the regular amount of stubborn.  And it's going to take more than a couple of rejections, common sense, basic human dignity, a living wage, the advice of sensible people and my own crippling self doubt for me to give up.

So there.


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