BF-CH02-24-25

2.24-25

I’m scheduling this update to go up on the 30th of September and it’s the 30th of May right now! AHAHAHA! HOW MUCH BUFFER IS TOO MUCH BUFFER, GUYS, HOW MUCH BUFFER?!! Four months is definitely too much buffer, so I’m going to just dump chapter 3 on you all in big chunks, so get ready, GET READY! I’m so enthusiastic because chapter 3 is going to be awesome!!! Things will start happening at last! Yay!

(I’ve drawn 110 pages of story introduction, I should be hanged for crimes against storytelling. Or at least have my cartoonist badge revoked. You guys are awesome for bearing with me and my super-slow-paced webcomic, you’re like the most patient webcomic readers on planet Earth, and hopefully your patience will be rewarded soon.)

(Also, tomorrow will be exactly a year since I launched this website, so yay to that too!)

And the writerly notes:

Chapter 2 was an agony to write. It all started when I scrapped most of my initial ideas for it, mostly because they were too melancholic and also mildly angsty. Once November 2010 came and I started writing down the story, I just made up something brand new from scratch. And it was awful. I knew it was awful the moment I had it written down, but since the motto of NaNoWriMo is to not worry about quality and keep on writing, that was what I did. But, at a certain point, you do have to start editing, but my 2.0 version of the second chapter was so bad, that after editing away all the crap, one would be left with very few lines of script.

So I deleted that thing from existence sometime in early 2011, and made a complete overhaul. The only thing I kept were the first two scenes, which had previously stayed over from my initial idea. Those were some of the oldest Bits Fair scenes I had come up with, and I wanted to keep them. But this 3.0 version of chapter 2 also eventually started to fall apart. I couldn’t understand Ananda, I couldn’t understand her family, I couldn’t understand her village, and nothing I wrote looked even remotely credible.

And so, in early 2012, I wrote the first half of the fourth new version. This time, to have a truly fresh start, I scrapped the original intro and wrote something brand new. The only thing found in this chapter that was there in the earliest version, is the brief dialogue between Hira and Ananda on pages 8-10, and I would have cut that too if it hadn’t, by that point, become an impossible-to-remove part of Ananda’s story.

Then I ran out of inspiration and this chapter just sat around unfinished until January 2014, when I forced myself to write the second half of the chapter, because I wanted to leave for myself a few month’s window during which I could notice any horrible writing and fix it before I had to start drawing the chapter.

And then I proceeded to not look at this chapter even once until it was time to start drawing it. I was kinda worried that if I actually read it, I would realise that it’s terrible and needs to be re-written again, and I didn’t feel like re-writing the exact same chapter for the millionth time. (Naturally, at this point, I don’t even know anything anymore. I hope this chapter wasn’t bad.)

Also, this chapter was super short because there wasn’t much ground to cover here. And my characters have been talking about the Autumn Fair non-stop since the first few pages of this comic, so we should probably finally get to the Autumn Fair. That’s what the next few chapters will be about.

Chapter 2 cover.

BF-CH02-00

Quite similar to the chapter 1 cover! Nothing fancy. All the chapter covers will be something like this.

Also, I guess I could link to this. (Though I think that’s less of a character design evolution and more of a drawing style evolution.)

The chapter 1 cover.

BF-CH01-00

I finally drew the chapter cover! Here it is!

I’m glad I drew it now and not back in August, it took me a few months to figure out how I wanted Irya to look (I posted a comparison between Irya on page 3 and Irya on page 63 up on Tumblr, a week ago). I actually spent most of the last three days fixing how he looks in the older pages (pages 3-11 especially saw a lot of re-drawing), but I won’t be replacing the pages on the website. I actually intended to do it, but as I opened the psd file for page 3 to save it as an internet-friendly jpeg, I realised that the partially-done panel I posted under the page didn’t really correspond with what was on the actual page any more (I re-drew Irya’s hair), and so I’d either have to delete that bit or write something in there to explain the discrepancy, at which point I decided to not bother replacing the page to begin with.

Also: as you can see, I’m exceedingly creative with titles. You should be able to guess what the title of chapter 2 will be pretty easily (hint: it features a girl). And if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what “Bits Fair” is even supposed to mean, then don’t worry, it doesn’t mean anything, I just couldn’t come up with anything better. (The development title of Bits Fair was “The Fair,” because back when I came up with this story, the only thing I knew about it was that it was going to feature a fair. That’s not what the story is about, though, so once it was time to come up with a real title, I just replaced “The” with “Bits,” because I wrote most of the story in bits and pieces and out of order. (So I guess one could find a meaning in this title, if one tried hard enough.))