So today marked the final strip in UnCONventional's I Hate November storyline. It's been a long month and a lot of work, but I'm happy with how the entire thing turned out.
I said at the beginning that starting December 1st the comic would resume its normal update schedule and content, and I meant it. Tomorrow, Chapter 3 starts - but I've really enjoyed this "serious" diversion.
When I was planning this, my first instinct was "The UnCONventional readers will enjoy this and be up for the ride," but as time drew closer to putting up the first strip, I got more nervous by the day. What if no one would like it? What if everyone was just here for the dumb jokes I make? What if this is a huge miscalculation?
Feedback was generally good though, and I really shouldn't have worried. I've yet to receive one negative comment on the storyline so far -- which on the internet is kind of amazing once you think about it. It seems like the fans of UnCONventional loved the storyline... and that, my friends, is awesome.
There's nothing more rewarding than taking a big risk and having it pay off.
Because I knew I had an exact number of strips, I Hate November was scripted much more tightly than most UnCONventional storylines. Usually I have a rough idea where I'm going, but I develop the strips organically. Since I know there will be plenty of non-plot filler comics mixed in usually, it lets me be pretty flexible. With I Hate November though, I plotted out the arc ahead of time, week by week, day by day. The dialogue was mostly preplanned, the locations chosen, and everything scripted to a T.
I found I had to edit out parts of the story to keep the plot moving. I found that I'd have to leave some stuff implied and to rely on previous continuity for some things to make sense. Did you know there was going to be a whole flashback with Marcus in I Hate November originally? There was. But it wasn't needed and it would have compressed parts of the storyline that shouldn't be... so I tossed it.
Because this experiment worked so well, I may do another serious story down the road -- but like this one, it'll have to fit into the main arc organically.