Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hate My Writing Sometimes

Sometimes your writing comes back and smacks you in the face and I hate when that happens.

I usually hold on to my scripts until the last minute and reread and tweak them endlessly. I want them to be perfect when I turn them in. And once I've handed them in and they're sent to an artist, I like to forget about them for while. But only for a little while. There's a satisfaciton that comes along once you've finished a script; a weight is lifted off your shoulders after hitting send on the e-mail to your editor. It's always such a great feeling.

Then there're days like today where I feel they've come back to haunt me.

I read two of my new books today and I hate some of what I wrote. Specifically, I'm talking about New Mangaverse 4 and X-Men Fairy Tales 1. It all sounds so good in your head when you're envisioning it and typing it. The dialogue flows, the characters move, you hit all the right beats. But it's never the same when it's illustrated and printed. Now don't get me wrong, I could not be happier with the art Tommy and Sana did on these books. They LOOK great! I'm worried I failed in the scripting department though. I think some of the dialogue in Mangaverse falls a bit flat. The jokes don't play as well as they should. And in XFT, I think I wrote it a bit too formally. I tried to make it more of a serious fairy tale, a cautionary tale, but I think I made thr narrative voice too stiff. I went it and did some rewrites today as we had time, but I still don't know if it comes off as naturally as I hoped it would.

Some writers I know could care less about the final product. They turn in the script, cash their check and never worry about it again. I can't do that. I'm more hands on. I want to be a part of every step of the creative process. Everything needs to be perfect. Yes, I'm probably my harshest critic, but I can't help beat myself up month after month when I know I could have done a better job... at least in my mind.

I know, I know... Suck it up, Cebulski!


Christopher said...

I go through this every day. I'm almost never happy about the work I do. I'm constently second guessing myself, and wishing I had more time. Luckily, you're at the front of the line and not at the back of it, like I am.


congolia said...

The fact that you care about the quality of your writing, and that you want to improve it, is a good sign.

If everything you wrote was a golden missive from the heavens, you would get very bored, very fast. We only improve through mistakes, success is a terrible motivator.

Enough gay banter, I'm off to work on my terrible writing

Scott Sackett said...

Welcome to the other side of the desk!

I think a lot of comic dialogue feels wrong because we are used to movies & television. In those medium the poorest writing can be saved by the actors delivery. Comics have to compensate because there is no delivery to save it. I think the writer on my webcomic (no cheap plug!) watches too much TV and his dialogue suffers. My (usually) rushed lettering doesn't help!

Honestly, I think you are being too hard on yourself; most creative people are rarely satisfied with the final product. You may even find the more you write, the more you spot stuff you don't like.