It seems people are misunderstanding me a bit, so let me clarify: when I say I want my script to be a flawless representation of what I want to portray, I am not saying that I want to create a perfect story, or even a masterpiece! This project is not that story for me (Also, I think it's really necessary we break this habit of allowing ourselves to settle for less, as it is really detrimental to understanding something vital about the industry, but that's a journal/video for another time). I believe that the intent of a project can be perfected in its delivery, and that is what I was referring too; addressing the subject matter on a level that is both satisfying and conclusive.
That doesn't make those who commented already wrong; the comments so far have been really helpful! But I just wanted to clarify so people don't think I'm caught up in some perfectionist plight. This journal was meant to be a sort of reflection and discussion-inducing, so I'm glad people empathize with me, but I'd also like to hear some more opinions!(And I will respond shortly to those who have already commented; thank you for sharing!)
Since this past March, I've been trying to produce my first manga/comic series. Unfortunately, my skills were nowhere near polished enough, and due to my own feelings of uncertainty regarding the content I created, I kept holding off on really starting it. I finished the script and character model sheets for chapter 1, and I was ready to storyboard, but due to the nature of the story's inception (discovering Attack on Titan), there were too many possible routes to take. Even though I knew how it would begin and end, my thoughts on the plot were still far too broad and unspecific. As a result, there was a lack of focus in my work, and therefore no way for me to build on it without making the story melodramatic or dark just for the sake of being dark. At the time, I kept trying to figure out why, but when you're in the process of creating, there's a lot of things you end up missing. That's why an editor is a great commodity, but I don't have a full-time editor. (I did have an editor for this project, but editing was a secondary role, since the editor in question also had a project to work on. Consequently, a lot of the problems I'm seeing now were totally missed by both of us.)
So a lot of the summer was ultimately wasted, with me trying to desperately "fix" my idea, although I had no idea what was wrong with it to begin with!
Along the way, college started up again, and I really had to cut down on the time I draw/write/create, so it was even harder to dedicate enough time to improve this project. Actually, I ended up giving up on script completely and hadn't touched it in 2 months. Recently, however, I think I may have hit a turning point in my skill set, in terms of visual art. Naturally, my desire to write grew with that extra little confidence, and so I decided to take a look at the project I had been shamefully neglecting since the start of the semester once more.
In order to identify my issues, I decided to re-write my original script, which after months of leaving it alone, now reads TERRIBLY! Absolutely terribly! What I was once proud of before now just looks like a bad attempt at an Attack on Titan ripoff. While I have to admit that I was really influenced by Attack on Titan to create the idea (as stated earlier), and wanted to capture a similar feel at first, it was just heat-breaking to think I, the biggest advocate against ripping off other series, actually managed to do so, even if it was accidentally and I was oblivious to it. I think this just goes to show that there is a Skill Limitation, where if you haven't done something enough (in my case, write), you end up copying voices and structures of others.
Somehow, with a new outline overview of chapter 1, I was able to seeing things a lot more objectively and re-organized my events to encompass an entire volume... which is where lots of things happened all at once. I discovered how to best utilize the story and characters, the focus of my story, and how to approach this project. It was kind of like an epiphany, actually.
Essentially, I won't be making BirthRight a series; at least, not yet. The reason being the subject matter that this series entails is... very mature. It's subtle, but the implications, personalities, and mannerisms of characters are really, really hard for me to write, and also hard for a lot of other people without experience to really understand. I'm not just saying that either; the best focus that "fits" happens to be one that is barely touched upon out of legitimate lack of understanding. And it's also something that I don't have first-hand experience of as well, so I pretty much only know how to set the story in motion; implying that I also seem to have a Knowledge Limitation to overcome regarding my subject matter. I have little understanding of how to tackle the "issue" at hand, but I also know that I want to create at least a volume of work to detail the beginning of what could be a very interesting journey. Ultimately though, I think that due to my current maturity level, understanding of the subject, and my abilities, I may have to hold off on "completing" the story's message.
That being said, I really don't want to make this story a one-shot either; I feel this first part tells a complete story on a surface level, but I don't really think the theme and subject should be "wrapped up" in about 50 pages; that would be doing the subject matter a great disservice. So I'm just resolving to complete volume 1 and then put the story on hiatus until I can approach it again with the right frame of mind. Even thinking about how to advance beyond volume 1 is kinda stressing me out and leaving me with a blank, so I'll just leave it at that.
For now, I'm just taking things part by part, re-writing, then editing, then writing once more, over and over. I want my script to be a flawless representation of what I'm trying to portray. While I do this, I'll be sketching and uploading some concept sketches in the near future, to help fuel my thoughts. Seeing things in concrete form happens to motivate my writing.
I've got a second project I'm writing for as well, and that one is also quite tricky to write, so I'm hoping my writing ability improves overall after all this struggle. The thing about independent work is that you've got to improve all aspects equally, or you risk unbalancing your projects. But that comes with the territory of being a one-man story-teller, I suppose.
So, does anyone else have moments where they feel their projects are going nowhere, and then suddenly you realize where to go?
Are there moments when you just don't think you can write or draw a particular scene because you lack experience or understanding in the matter?
How do you go about getting around these moments?
Do you think limitations on one's knowledge of the subject is more hindering than one's skill at representing the subject through visual art/writing/stories?
Do you struggle with deciding on whether a project should be a one-shot/self-contained story, or a full series?
Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to read what people think about these things.