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I'm taking a little break, having finished another page of Head Above Water, and a question occurs to me.

The current part of the story I'm drawing, Amber has been jolted awake by a really bad nightmare.  In a combination of fear, frustration, and anger, she flips out and trashes her magic room.

As I'm drawing the panels, it's going pretty well, until I am actually drawing Amber herself.  It's then that I start feeling really...bad.  A little guilty, too.  This scene is important to the story, and it makes me uncomfortable that I'm putting my character through it.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I know she's a fictional character.  She's not real.  And, as I said, the scene is important to the overall storyline.  But I still don't feel great when I think about how she's reacting, how to depict it, and the realization that I'm the one subjecting her to it.

I have similar problems once in a while with other projects.  For the Stress Puppy graphic novel, I was surprised at how rotten I was making Clay.  He's supposed to be a dick, but when he puts his plan in action to demote Holly and promote his underling, I actually felt like punching the armrest or the tabletop as I lettered in his dialog or drew his smarmy body language.  In a few upcoming issues of Sound Waves, there are parts where Rhapsody is...well, she's not exactly in mortal peril.  But she is caught up in a situation bigger than she is that she cannot control and has to find a way out of.  The ending of #5 that I just finished and the start of #6 make me really uncomfortable to draw, but I can't excise the plots, as I feel that, without them, Sound Waves becomes to milquetoast of a series, like a Strawberry Shortcake or Care Bears series where things just happen, consequences don't exist, and there's no real risk of the Big Bad World occasionally getting in the way.

I know that part of the fiction writer's craft is to make the audience react emotionally to the characters or situations.  You laugh with them.  You cry with them.  You feel embarrassed for them.  You are in awe of the things they are experiencing.  I just wonder if it's normal for the creator of the story to react that way as well.

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