Andrea isn’t really used to not getting her way.

I’m super nervous about the next page because for the first time since switching over to Manga Studio, I will need to paint new backgrounds. I managed to skate by these last three pages with copy-pasting, but that luxury is about to end. Ugh, how I miss you, Photoshop!!

Fun fact: Jonathan is actually a very recent addition to the traveling party (well, recent relative to how long this comic has been in development), to the point where partway into drawing this chapter, I had to rewrite the end. We were originally going to say goodbye to him in the last scene with the rest of the village, but it kept nagging at me that the story needed something more in the coming chapters. I was struggling terribly with the next stage of the story, because it didn’t feel like there were enough characters providing variety to the dialogue and scenes. And it also felt like I had built up Jonathan’s character to the point that it seemed weird to just cut him out. It made too much sense to keep him in, and once I realised that, I couldn’t believe I had planned to drop him. So I rewrote the final goodbye, added this scene to the end, and suddenly everything was fitting together properly.

To me writing isn’t so much ‘making stuff up’ as it is assembling a giant puzzle where I’m missing half the pieces, and every time I put it together and take it apart again, I’ll find more and more of the pieces I was missing. The more I learn about my characters, the better I can tell their story. Parts that aren’t working usually mean I’m going about it the wrong way, forcing something that’s not supposed to happen. Only when I step back and let go of control does the story reveal the actual course of events.

I often describe writing as channeling something that is already there, something that I must take the time and effort to fully uncover and understand before I can properly record it.