I’ve mentioned before that since 2001 I’ve been writing the scripts for a Webcomic that never came to fruition. The plot was there, the jokes were there, but there was no art for it. It’s been in limbo, just growing and growing, all that time.
Last night someone mentioned the idea of turning one of their novels into a play. That sounds like an interesting exercise, as plays are so much different a medium and require different skills—but the learning process might help illuminate some truths about writing. As I pondered that scenario, Bad Idea Mode came down on me like an anvil.
I have tentatively begun novelizing the comic. The goal, if it works, would be to develop it into a series of short comic sci-fi novels.
This is very much an experiment, though. Books are different than comics. You can’t just cut away once the punchline is delivered; at least not all the time. Sight gags are practically out of the question. And with overlapping story arcs and a different concept of length, I honestly have no idea where a novel would end. If the comic had gone into proper development, my plan all along was for about the first 150 issues, spanning most of five systems, to make up one book; that’s a good figure for a comic book and it coincided with the end of a major arc. But the first issue takes up two distinct book scenes (it ended on a cutaway, which got expanded), and I have to figure each issue thereafter is about one scene on average—with the exception of some action sequences, which would cut it down a little, but more of those happen in later issues.
For a comic novel, length is probably my enemy. I’m thinking something in the 75K range for each book would be ideal, although a tad longer might not hurt—but 150K is right out. At my current pace that barely gets through the second system. And some of the more interesting developments and characters wouldn’t happen, then, till book 3 or so. How much of a problem is that, really? I don’t know.
This is brand new territory.