First, hand update: I'm still a long ways away from being healed enough to work again.
Second, this is a bit of a long read, so there's a summary at the bottom if you want the quick version.
I've been pondering my options. It's been almost a year since I started Shards. During the period where I've been unable to make pages for it I've continued to work on the story itself, and it's becoming clear that it's just too big for me to make as a comic with how screwed up my hands are.
A vague estimate is if I worked on it exclusively, at two pages per mouth it would take at least 20 years to make, and that's not taking into account the Kyoshi comic, which I don't want to cancel. And that's just those stories - I have others I want to tell too.
What can I do then? Petty much the only way I can think of to keep it a comic is to draw everyone as stick figures, but there's no way I would be satisfied with that (and I doubt most readers would want to read it that way as it would not do justice to the story at all), and if I'm honest, I sincerely doubt I could keep myself from trying to make it more detailed again.
As such, I've been forced to conclude that it's just not feasible as it is.
Okay, a comic is out, then. The solution?
I actually wanted to make a novelization of Shards even before I decided to make it a comic (the version before the comic was a role playing game), so I already thought it's suited to the format.
Writing isn't my first choice of mediums, it's true - comics are what I love making most. However, I've been writing a few sections of the story over the past week and have been having fun with it. I think it's working quite well.
I didn't think it was a realistic option originally because of how slow it was to write, but I've been getting a lot better with the alternative input program I've been using and it's increasing the amount I can write per day.
It amazes me just how much faster it is to write a scene than to draw it. Even with my reduced writing speed, what takes months to make as a comic I can write in hours.
Being able to create content so fast (even though it's still a lot slower than normal typing) has also improved my mood dramatically. I'm making genuine progress on stuff instead of just waiting to heal (a couple weeks ago I thought my left wrist had gotten better enough to do some daily drawing with it - that turned out to be wrong). And a huge bonus? My writing solution doesn't use my hands, so I can rest them and still create!
I'm also considering other options, like making pieces of art to accompany the story, or drawing an occasional page to show bits of the story as I originally imagined it.
This approach also has the benefit of not monopolizing all my available hand endurance to work on two comics. This way I can use that time to work on other stuff.
What about the Kyoshi comic, then?
I'm not sure. I'm debating perhaps writing the less visually important parts of the story and drawing the parts that would benefit most from it. That would get you all the story much faster, and it would make it a lot easier for me as there are some upcoming scenes which would, shall we say, take a lot of work to draw and would probably screw up the two pages per week pace. I would prefer to keep at least some parts of it a comic though. I haven't decided what to do about it yet.
Okay then, writing. Next problem - how to distribute it?
I hadn't plotted out all of Shards when I started it, but because of the pace of new pages, I had quite a while to make the script before the pages caught up. With writing I actually catch up too fast. I don't write the initial ideas in a straight line, so releasing Shards chapter by chapter wouldn't work. It's far better suited to release all at once as a novel.
The Kyoshi story on the other hand might actually work to release chapter by chapter because I've got more of it already figured out. This would also give me a way to produce new content to show people while my hands are healing.
So yeah, tldr: I'm switching to making Shards a novel because it's my only realistic option, and am considering partially or entirely turning the Kyoshi story into a fanfic as well.
Any thoughts? How would you feel about the Kyoshi comic turning partially or entirely into a fanfic? Let me know!