Friday, November 21, 2008

Definitely a work day.

Back from a six hour session at the publishers', editing the dummy of my mostly finished book - with scissors and almost a full roll of scotch tape. Now some of it is utter nonsense and some is much improved... six hours of "Now it makes sense, but it's not funny", "Now it's funny, but it's got no emotional impact", "Awwww that's sweet, but it makes no sense"... and every half hour someone walking past saying "Oooh, I love that bit" about something that just got cut. - And that is just fine-tuning a basically finished fourth dummy of twelve spreads and less than one A4 page of text which already took months to write.
I am not complaining, I just kind of want to somehow bottle the way I feel right now up in a pretty flask and offer a swig to the next person who asks me why I don't work seven days a week ("it's not like it's a job - it's a privilege!"), or why I don't work on more than two books at a time ("Hey, I got a few great ideas you can use!") - I love this job, but it sure is a job.

Anyway, all lookin' good, two or three more days like this and we'll have it ready to be inked in!

4 comments:

Stephanie Roth Sisson said...

Quite a day! Are you happy with the changes? I sometimes wish I lived closer to my publishers. I imagine you must learn a lot from going through the process?

Anyhow- YES! It drives me crazy ehen people say things like that. I feel like I'm not allowed to complain about anything to do with work because the response from some people is, "well, you're lucky to be able to do what you so." True. But it's also a lot of work!

Viviane Schwarz said...

They do, don't they though :) And it's true, I'm glad to be doing this job!
Lots of people think it's easy to make children laugh because they can make their own children laugh, but they tend to forget that to make your own children laugh you just need to tickle them, or put a paper bag on your head and go "hoot hoot!" - which is pretty much what I try to do, too, but in books, to complete strangers, repeatedly... it ain't rocket surgery, it's great fun when it works, but it's, well, it's work. Yeah. It takes time, in particular...

Dave Shelton said...

I was at a dinner party about a year ago, late in a run of many nights of not enough sleep caused by struggling to turn out pages of comics at a sufficiently fast rate. I was utterly knackered, thousand yard stare, monosyllabic and generally cranky and close to broken. Then some woman I'd never met before asked me, inevitably, "and what do you do?" and I told her, stressing how mad it was just at the moment and how tired I felt and how this was my first night out in a fortnight and probably the last one for another fortnight. And she said something like "Still, it's not like really working at all is it?"

And if I'd only had the energy or she'd been standing a loittle closer I'd have torn her throat open with my teeth.

As it is I gave her a sufficiently violent stare that she at least shut up.

And in fairness people who do other stuff can't be expected to understand. And I'm in no way claiming that we have it hard in the grand scheme of things. But sometimes it's a bit tough. And we don't get paid holidays and we don't get sick pay and no one I know has a pension plan and lots of us are going quietly mad from spending way too long talking to ourselves or shouting at the radio (or talking to the radio and shouting at ourselves)...

Wouldn't do anything else, mind.

Viviane Schwarz said...

Yep, that's pretty much precisely it!
I don't do as much drawing yet, so these really tough phases are rare... but they should warn you a bit more about working at home in college, for one thing, I don't think anyone expects it to entail quite as much talking to yourself, or your food, or when you go out to no one because all you can think about is what teddy bears eat for breakfast.

I was just thinking about the going slightly mad bit today... I don't know how universal this is, but one thing I find sometimes hard is working with emotions for a living. I've had big cries over stuff like someone losing their toy monkey in a story I was working on, because if I don't imagine how terribly sad a moment is in a method-acting remember-when-you-lost-something way I can't make it work, but if I do it too much, well, then I can't work myself. And I also need to stay aware of how brilliant it is to sit in a cardboard box or have a pillow fight. That sort of thing can really get a bit weird after a week mostly by oneself at the desk...

Did I mention I'll start on a graphic novel soon? Now THAT'll be work. I'll be laughing about memories of sitting in cardboard boxes for research. Cackling, probably. Aieh...