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Second Guessing Yourself

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, June 6, 2020
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Constructing a story is a work of high creativity and love. Enthusiasm and personal interest in it are required if the story is to have quality and engagement, be unique and full of personality. While writing we look forward to certain scenes or sequences that we expect to have special impact on the plot and the characters' development.

You wait for the scene to come up perhaps from the moment we create the first page! In the case of webcomics the scene might take years to come up before the audience.

And then, it comes.

And you're… not sure it's what you've imagined it to be. Or perhaps it's a lot more that what you have imagined it to be.

And then you second guess yourself. Maybe you've gone too far. Maybe this is too light/ too dark/ too silly/ too serious/ too inappropriate/ too shocking/ too bland for what you were going for.

It's a terrible place to be. How to deal with it?

In my opinion, you have to trust your own self and your initial design. If you have done the work needed, then the scene is there because it needs to be there.

The team that created the Incredibles mentioned in one of their commentaries that at some point they had gone over and over the script so many times that no joke seemed funny to them anymore, and they feared they'd made a bland, unfunny movie.

They of course had created the exact opposite. They pressed through the self doubt because they trusted that the impression they had was one of constant exposure, rather than the quality of the work itself.

The same goes for any creator. Needing to go over and over the same scene several times might distort it in our perception and that creates self doubt.

The best thing to do is to shut down the self doubting voice. However, if that just isn't possible, try stepping away from what you're working on for a while. Do something else, work on something different, to clear your mind and return with fresher eyes. See how it looks to you then. Chances are it will look great to you again!

But even in the event it doesn't, you'll know what to do with it.

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comment

anonymous?

EssayBee at 7:57AM, June 9, 2020

My philosophy is simply, the story is what the story is. You just gotta see it through. Yes, sometimes things don't turn out the way expected (for better or worse), but you just gotta go with it and see where it takes you. If you're lucky, even a "worse" situation can nudge you in a positive direction. "Course corrections"--especially from outside pressure--can be more destructive to a story, and an storyteller's vision, than any "worse" second guesses.

fallopiancrusader at 11:46AM, June 6, 2020

I would say that the same goes for the art in the comic. I've heard that painters in the renaissance had a mirror in their studio, and they used this to look at their painting flipped, so that they could get a fresh look at the composition. These days, flipping the image in Photoshop makes that a lot easier, but it's still a great technique for looking at the art from a fresh perspective.

Banes at 11:22AM, June 6, 2020

Can very much relate to this! Great topic; worthy of a Quackcast!

usedbooks at 5:41AM, June 6, 2020

Any kind of "reveal" I try never evokes a response from readers. :P But I do occasionally get unexpected reaction and praise from the most random scenes and pages, so I guess it evens out. (I've also had a few scenes I felt were a little much and cringed the entire time I was working on them. I still don't know if they were a good choice. But it's uncertainty, not regret.)

Andreas_Helixfinger at 1:29AM, June 6, 2020

I got nothing to add to this so I'm just gonna say that I agree👍


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