Trying to decide just what to do with WCL. Though I'm glad to have gotten through all my character bios, I've been asking myself what the overall purpose of my creation is, and asking myself some other hard questions, like, "Never mind what I'm capable of doing...what is my ultimate vision for this concept? How do I see it best being produced?"
I have trouble settling upon an answer. It has to be something that doesn't brush the story aside, since that's the most important part, but it has to have strong visual appeal too...and yet I feel it will take too long to produce a comic at this point.
I'm almost finished writing the story (Book One is available on Amazon now
and Book Two will be ready soon) but prose alone isn't my vision for the concept. Still, it's important that I have the entire narrative documented so I can have a solid product to develop from, rather than something constantly in flux. It's got to have a foundation.
I've been putting a lot of effort into the development of a tabletop game built to capture the feel of WCL battles, focusing on the individuality of the characters, but I've run into a development snag. The game plays fine when I'm entertaining my kids (and the kids managed to take interest in the characters' relationships and storylines because
of the game, which I'm sure could happen if others tried it too) but for it to be something to appeal on a wider scale, I feel like something's missing. It's too simple, not enough appeal. The crude cardboard pieces are fun for a prototype but I need more. I'd love to have a professionally-designed fold-out board with colors and logos and all, and 3D printed miniatures for the characters along with cards and tokens and the whole shebang. But designing all of that may be beyond me, and learning how to create such figures in a digital sculpting program is an entire discipline in itself...one I'm not afraid of, but it just piles on top of the many other decisions I have to make.
I could of course resume attempting to make some kind of video game, even one that takes the turn-based game design and adds some animations to it like my own version of Fire Emblem
or something. My few animations weren't that bad...
Also stumbled across some visual novel-making software...that's an option too.
I've even considered making smaller books, realizing that there are middlegrounds between comics and novels, like children's books (in design, if not subject matter), where instead of sequential panels, there are illustrations with the prose laid on top, and I could publish several books instead of the three thick tomes the story is destined to be told through now. But I've had some trouble coming up with the illustrations...maybe that's something I could hire artists for.
Ultimately, WCL would probably have been best told as a comic book, if I'd managed to do that instead of writing, rather than in addition to it. If only I had simply done the comic in the first place instead of turning it into a prose novel (or rather, a trilogy of novels) to get the story down. But at this point, I fear it will take another ten years to tell the story visually even if I had the funds to hire an artist (yes, it really is that long), and I'd like to put it out there faster than that since so much is already written. "One either suffers the pain of discipline or the pain of regret", a quote I read on Twitter said, and if I have to choose, I need to choose the former.
I dug myself into a pretty deep ditch with how I've handled this concept, but nothing else I've created matters to me as much as WCL does, so I need to start digging my way out.
What I'm going to do first is concentrate on simply finishing the writing, while drawing for my various clients. I realize that all those options I've considered are all perfectly viable, and it wouldn't be so hard to choose one if I had any faith that I could actually do any of them...but obviously, I'm wrought with fear, uncertainty and doubt. Seems I'm only really confident in my writing...a dissonant state since WCL was never meant to be a written project alone. I need to get over that. I guess I'll just randomize all the options, pick the one at the top of the list, and stick to it until the day I succeed. Otherwise, I'll always find a way to talk myself out of doing anything.