The creative process is always so funny to me. Everything is always shifting like sand on a beach. An idea is as strong as the biggest sand castle you can build on that beach, and while it may retain its form for some time it, too, will succumb to change. That’s what I love about this whole thing.
At work, we’re given storyboards to convey the beats of a shot. A lot of times designs and storyboarding is done at the same time. They try and communicate between each other but the evolution of art means that in some cases we don’t receive designs that work with what we need to get the story across. So we improvise. It’s strange to call a process that takes months to develop and polish improvisation, but that’s totally what it is. I’ve done it time and time again where the director and I rewrite an entire scene just using whatever props we could find. We are limited, since this is 3D animation and not 2D animation, by what has already been made, but half the fun of animating is creatively using something in a way that it’s not intended to be used.
These past couple of weeks have been like that with the Chronicles of Zwain stuff. I’m making a stew here, and whatever I can get my hand on is going in. Though initially I may have grabbed too big of a pot. My original plan was an epic trilogy of books. Each book the size of a small novel. The more I’ve imagined scenarios, the more I want to condense things so that we can get to those scenarios faster. Because they are just so damned awesome in my head. I don’t want you all to wait for the giant climactic showdown. Also if I went with the 3 books path, I would have to come up with more major players to make each book meaningful enough to stand on its own. At the moment that’s just not in the cards. As three parts of a single book, I can still establish the big main conflict, and keep the other two parts interesting enough to move the story forward.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how the story is going to once I get in there. I know where I want to steer things, but if Zwain stumbles on something that is worth pursuing, you can bet your britches that I’m going to pursue it. I’ll leave it to the second draft for consistency and balancing.
The more I think about it, the more I get excited about it. I’m having giggle fits to myself right now. For me, that’s how I know I’m on the right track. Giggling to the point of distraction. If it pleases me this much, then it’ll tickle your fancy in some little way.
Or at least that is what I hope!