January update

Crawl from coffee shop to coffee shop, seeking caffeination and air conditioning. It’s too hot to be outside, too hot to be at home. This Brisbane summer is nothing short of oppressive this year. Today, the last day of the month, feels like the most oppressive yet. The air is charged with disaster, and even more ominous for the abortive forecast “super storm” on Friday, which amounted to a disappointing spatter.

The second SHELL book is done. It’s back with the editor for a final pass, to ensure I haven’t introduced any new errors.

This is something new for me - working with a specialised comics editor.

It seems to be rare among self-published comics to hire an editor. And yet, we creators commonly see/hear the advice that spelling and grammar mistakes are the fastest way to damage the appearance of professionalism in a book.

Ross Murray, known as The Comic Dr, did a great job. He found a dozen tiny plot holes, which forced me to think even harder about the way in which this new story has been told.

This new SHELL book is again an autobiography. Its tales are not exactly couched in perfect narrative logic because the protagonist’s thoughts were certainly not couched in any kind of logic. I know… I was there.

The art of creating a satisfying autobiographical tale seems to revolve around how to portray this sense of inner weakness.
The writer should be perfectly in control of their inner weaknesses. The weakness exists, but it’s constrained. The reader should question the protagonist’s intentions, not the narrative’s intentions. Making this distinction between the protagonist’s intentions and the narrative’s intentions was a revelation.

Hiring an editor enabled me to see my work through a new set of eyes, and the result is a book about which I can be even more proud.