Thursday, September 14, 2006

Digging for Bones

We had all of the parameters in place for our "epic" story, but there was one glaring question that had to be answered... Why?

Why were these people looking for demons? Why did they get into these situations again and again? What were they looking to discover?

Searching for answers, I dove into research, looking to build up the details of the world our characters inhabited. I read books on witchcraft, exorcism, forensics, archeology, biology and psychology. I read Biblical accounts, police procedural manuals, crime scene reports and a host of other topics looking for the ideas to build our story from. I ended up with about 300 pages of notes and source material from which I began to write short scenes with our characters to see what I could get out of them. From those scenes, I began putting together a script... A script that quickly became long, complex and almost impossible to complete. The script needed something strong to open it, so I dug through all the "practice" scenes I had done and found one that I thought would work; It was a weird, violent scene where Green and her partner, Jim, visited a palm reader. It was never meant to be used, but I thought it would at least give Dan something he'd enjoy drawing until I could replace it with something better.

Rather than admit derailment, I sent this script (which, among other things, didn't have an ending) to Dan. He loved it and began working on the opening scene... A scene which, on paper, was 2 pages of script which I thought Dan would make into 5. Dan did my hopes one better and turned it into 19 pages. At that rate, we had a 300 page graphic novel in the making and I hadn't even written an ending!

At this point, we had been working on Enlightenment for almost a year; We had decided that it would be B&W (just in case we had to self publish it) and it would be the first in a "series." Because of this, we knew we needed a story title other than just calling it Enlightenment, so we settled on the devil you know... Partially because it was an old Southern saying and I pictured Aaron as a Southern gentleman of sorts, and partially because it was cool sounding. At this point, while dan was finishing the first scene, I finally figured out the BIG Why of the story, and plotted out what would happen to all the main characters should we see the story to completion.

It was also the point we decided to print a preview book to gain interest in the larger work...

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