So! The moment – at last.
Page three and the first appearance of my main character, albeit in a rather…shrouded manner. I spent a great deal of time trying to work out the perfect dialogue, the ideal speech by which he might introduce himself to my readers, but in the end I decided to learn a couple of lessons…or perhaps reiterate them to myself.
The first worth discussing was one that I found the truth of before I even started page 1. It’s an old mantra, the origin of which I am unaware, that when working in a visual medium, it’s better and more engaging for the audience to be shown something, rather than told it.
My first drafts were full of expositional narration, a hangover from my prose writing style, which tends to be rather wordy. I had a moment of clarity when I realized that all that stuff that I was struggling to say in words could be displayed, hinted at, subtly disclosed in a few pictures and one or two carefully fashioned snippets of dialogue.
The second rule is a more general “less is more” principle. Not all the information has to be got out right away, not every question need be addressed.
With these two lessons under my belt and a conversation with my excellently awesome wife, I realized that I needed to cut out a load of the clever lines I had in mind and just go with the basics. I think it has made for a stronger page and a punchier final frame.