Is there anything you had wished you had done differently with Artifice?

From the Webcomic Wonderland Goodreads Q&A I did yesterday:

Kinziek wrote: “Ok! I have a question!
Alex, is there anything you wish you could have done differently for Artifice, whether it is through narration or art? Do you think, had you done this, your comic would have been improved or would it have subtracted from the story you wished to tell?

Wow, that’s a really great question! The second part of it is easy: I wouldn’t have done anything different with the art. Working with Winona was a tremendous pleasure and I think she totally nailed what I was going for and what the story needed. I had done a lot of research about printing up front, so even the technical specs we used for the art worked out well for us.

***ARTIFICE SPOILER ALERT BELOW***

As for the writing? Well, there are “would be nice” things, I suppose. It would be nice if the story were longer, at least twice as long. I think that would make it a more “satisfying chunk” for readers, thus possibly more successful commercially and certainly easier to translate into feature film length (if I should be so lucky to have interest for that). I’ve already said on the notes on the last page that I wish I had written a “happy ending coda” where the readers got to enjoy Jeff and Deacon’s success for 10 pages or so. (And I’m glad that the Kickstarter campaign’s upcoming “bonus comic” will give me a chance to do something like that.)

But ultimately, for my first webcomic, I wanted to post something that I knew for certain I could finish. (Because in my research of other webcomics, I found that many don’t and as a reader that’s frustrating.) The art for Artifice took a long time to make—if the story had been twice as long, it likely would not have been released for years yet. Also, even though it is short, I like the “purity” of Artifice—it shoots like an arrow from beginning to end which is my preferred method of tellng a story. (And that’s how I wrote the first draft, in basically a single writing week.) If it had been longer, again, I’m not sure it would be that way.

Ultimately, as a writer, while the majority of the work is revision, you have to “dance with the one who brung you”, so while I learn a lot from each project, I don’t often have regrets. Even though I’m a perfectionist, I think it’s better to learn from your mistakes than trying to keep polishing a single story to “perfection” and never finishing. For me, the most important parts of a story are whether there are compelling stakes and whether it has a satisfying ending. Where I started and ended Artifice was where it felt to me both those criteria were met. So ultimately, I think it would have subtracted from the story to have tried to force something longer out of what wanted to be a shorter work.

Read more answers over at the Webcomic Wonderland thread.

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