And that's the end of chapter four! I drew the whole thing in two months! I hope I can keep that up from now on! And I hope you all enjoyed reading it!
Most of this final version of chapter 4 is very unlike what I initially wrote in November 2010. The scene that makes up pages 3-10 was one of those few scenes that I already had written down months before NaNoWriMo 2010 arrived, but during the editing of this chapter, sometime in late 2011, I changed almost everything about it. After all those rewrites to chapter 2, hardly anything Ananda said in that scene made any sense any more.
The original chapter 4 also ended with an anticlimax: Hira hired Irya after his third fight, and the boy with the hidden face did not reappear. It was almost a year after I wrote chapter 4 that I realized that the original ending was a problem and started thinking about how to fix it.
In spring 2012, I deleted the scene that initially wrapped up chapter 4, and started writing the second half of the chapter. And then stopped right after the bit where Irya gets into the ring to have his final fight. The idea of writing the last fight of this story arc made me feel intimidated and anxious, so I decided to put it off for as long as possible. Which was until December 2014, when I thumbnailed the whole chapter in one go (something I’d never done before.)
And I’m kinda glad I waited until then, because by December last year, I’d already drawn 169 pages of Bits Fair, which included a few fight scenes, so I had a much better sense of what would fit the story and the characters. Also, that whole thinking flowchart we got right before Irya steps into the ring is also something I came up with while thumbnailing the chapter in December. Pausing the writing of this chapter for more than two years, meant that I got to view what I had written with much fresher eyes, and realised that there was a lot Irya would be able to think of before stepping into the ring in the first place.
And finally, the scene that you see up above just kept growing and growing. When I thumbnailed this chapter in December, the final scene was meant to be 3 pages long (it was basically just the bit from where Hira says they’re leaving to where they leave the house + a splash page), but then I decided to start that scene at an earlier point to not just have the bearded guy disappear without even getting to say goodbye to the audience. And then there was meant to just be a splash page with Hira, Ananda and Irya at the gate, making up a total of six pages. But then I came up with a few thoughts for Irya to think while leaving Tanri, and that final splash page became two pages. And so I ended with a 7 page scene, and while my usual rule is to never have more than 6 pages go up at once, I decided to break that rule here, because breaking up this scene would have been just wrong. (And I don’t want a bigger buffer, 2 months is more than enough.)
ANYWAY, that’s the end of the Autumn Fair! A new story arc starts next chapter. I hope you all are looking forward to it, because I definitely am!!! You’ll get to learn a lot about the world of Bits Fair and maybe get some answers to some questions!