This is a big one for me. It’s a bigger thorn in my side than even The Legend of Jamie Roberts.
This comic I’ve shelved has the working title of Greta’s Story, or Imaginary.
Greta is a 13-year-old girl who’s forced by her mom to go to summer camp. She absolutely hates it there, but at least her hatred is shared with another girl named Rona. They both start to run off and avoid the counselors and fellow campers every chance they get.
Well one day Greta spots a shadow with eyes. As it deliberately runs away from her, she chases after it until eventually, it leads her to a portal into another dimension. She tries to avoid it but she falls in accidentally.
Through the portal she is led to a series of doors set in tree trunks, and each door leads to another world with even more tree doors. In a series of events she encounters a river of blood, zombies, mermaids, and a cat-like serpent creature she calls a Wachumacallit who follows her around and can change size every time it hiccups.
Eventually she encounters a group of fighters who are part of a resistance movement against the Queen of Crows.
The Queen of Crows is a tyrant who got her throne by murdering 5 of the 7 Royal Families. Of the two who survived, one family escaped into Greta’s world, and the other stayed behind to fight.
Will Greta ever be able to make it back home? Does she WANT to?
Ok, so there are a few reasons this project got shelved.
1. The project got TOO DAMN BIG. The place that Greta falls into is Imagination itself, which encompassed anything and everything imagined by humanity. At one point in the story Greta literally falls into hell. There were so many characters and so many worlds that it was hard to tell where to draw the line between “This is for Greta’s story” and “This is an idea I want to make into its own story.”
2. The story got too complicated. I’ll spare you the details, but there were realizations of one’s destiny for at least three cast members, not counting all the history that lead up to the Queen’s taking of the throne.
(I actually made a mini-comic all about how the Queen of Crows started the path of evil. You can read that here, though admittedly there’s not a lot of evil in it until the end.)
Plus the shadows had powers of their own or were tied to royal bloodlines or ate people. It got weird and inconsistent.
3. Greta. There were several points in the scripting of the story that I HATED her. That’s not a good sign to me. When I’m writing I HAVE to be invested in the main character in some way, but every time I thought about writing her I went, “Oh Christ on a Cracker she’s going to be obnoxious and not in a charming way.”
This project will be on the shelf for a while. There’s even a strong possibility that it will never be made (which is a shame, because there were some concepts in there that I liked).