Last week I penciled and inked page 150 of Uptown Girl-The Lazarus Heart. It was a psychological milestone. I started the first draft of the book in February 2015 and got started on the final draft in August 2015. I set out to pace myself at 15 inked/scanned/lettered pages a month and I’m happy that I’ve stuck to that schedule. I wanted to push that up to 20 pages but between The Retros and everything else going on, I decided that the quality would suffer if I pushed myself more.
Here’s an unlettered page 150 just to show some artwork. I took out the wording to avoid spoilers.
At this point, I a pretty confident I am at 2/3 done with the story. There are three segments I still need to go back and do (prologue, an action scene and an exposition scene) that need to be drawn and added in, but in terms of the main part of the book I am closer to the end than the beginning.
So, how is the book so far? Heavy. Looking back at the other books, each story seems to have a theme. Humor, action, adventure, mystery,…this book is all about drama. There’s a lot of dialogue and drama. Stuff happens, people’s relationships change, shifts to the status quo and all that. It still FEELS like an Uptown Girl book, though. If you’re a fan, I assure you that you’ll finish the book and like it. I’m proud of how it’s going.
Although it’s pretty epic, it doesn’t feel like the end. I mean, it does, but right now I am so deep into the book as a book that I am not giving much consideration that it’s the LAST book. Well, that’s not true. I am ramping up the epicness of it but still remaining true to the characters and the spirit of the book but I also know that if there’s anything I want to explore or do with these characters (in terms of exploring their relationships and dynamics) that this is my chance and I am doing what I can.
That’s not to say I am throwing everything at the wall just to see what sticks. There’s a lot of stories that I have about these characters that will likely never be told. I didn’t want to walk away from these characters if I was out of ideas…I feel there’s so much more that can be done with Uptown Girl and her friends but we’ll leave those adventures to our imaginations.
I don’t look back too much but with this book I find myself flipping back and forth between the 150 pages I’ve done for consistency in character designs, couch patterns and things like that. There is a new supporting cast member that we saw on the page I posted earlier in the post. He first appears on page 27 and when I looked back the other day I realized his character design has changed quite a bit over the book so far. Again, here’s an unlettered/spoiler-free page:
So, yeah. He looks a LOT different. I am thinking he looks different enough that I should go back and redo some of the earlier panels.
Anyway, that’s where things are with the book so far. My plan is to keep plowing ahead with the story and once the story is done, go back and add in those three missing sequences and then the epilogue.
When will the book be done? When the story is finished. But seriously, I expect to have the book done by the end of the year and at a pace of 15 pages a month, that would be 75 more pages between now and the end of the year. I think that will bring me very close to the end of the book. If I need the extra time or pages, I can go a few months into next year but the book HAS to be at the printer by mid-April to be out in time for the release date of May 2017. I hope I don’t go that close to the deadline but I’ll happily do it if the book needs it. I have just one shot at doing the final Uptown Girl book and I want to make it as good as possible.