Hire a writer? Yeah! I’d already hired an artist before in my previous project. Surely I could find a writer. Maybe I could even get Brian Yip, himself! So, the search began. If I couldn’t write the Ryu/Chun-li story I wanted, I would find a talented writer I could guide. Together we would do something awesome.
During my search I learned of Brian Yip’s passing. Damn. I would have loved to see if we could have teamed up, but it wasn’t meant to be. So, I took this unfortunate knowledge and used it to become even more passionate about making a Ryu/Chun-li story happen. If I couldn’t work with Brian, I would honor him by what every great kohai should do for their sempai. I would work hard to surpass him.
The quest for a writer continued. I scoured the fanfiction sites, homed in on Ryu/Chun-li stories, and after working through and contacting the writers of the few complete stories that exist–so many unfinished works!–I hit pay dirt with a writer. Her name was Bob. Bob had it all. Not only was her story directly inspired by “Hero of Heroes”, but her writing skill was well above any of the other Ryu/Chun-li story writers out there, even Brian himself. Did I like her story enough to just straight out ask her to use it? No. Brian’s plot was way better. There were also elements of Bob’s characterization of Ryu I just couldn’t stomach. But her skill… Oh her delicious skill! Not only that, but she had commented how producing a graphic novel someday was a dream she vowed to complete. Could I ask for better potential partner? If I could convince her to help me maybe together we could do something great.
I contacted Bob. She was really excited about the work. I was so thrilled! We made a tentative deal, and she would start work for me on December 21, 2012. In the meantime, I went to work making documents to make her feel welcome and show her the direction I wanted to go.
Then the waffling began. Oh how she waffled! Her day job suddenly put a lot on her plate. Our conversations became less about the project and more about her troubles. She talked at me, not with me. I felt like a psychiatrist and Skype was my sofa. Finally, after two months trying to boost her confidence in her ability to do the project (I was so hopeful!), I asked for a definitive answer on December 21st. Yes or No.
I got a No.
If you love something, let it go…. And I did. I let Bob and her delicious talent go. I told her I was glad she finally made a decision and wished her well.
Then the anger came.
I was mad at Bob, of course, but more mad at myself. In hindsight, I knew in my gut Bob was not a good fit for the job. She wrote for herself, which is fine. However, she was not a writer who could take direction, which I needed. If anything, she was way more interested in simply rehashing the Ryu/Chun-li story she had already written. But, thanks to Bob, (I eventually got over myself and we are friends), I started to learn a very important lesson (more on that in the next blog entry). And, even better, something miraculous happened.
With my anger came clarity. I looked at all the documents I had put together to guide Bob and saw I had inadvertently created a story outline. After over decade of nothing, I HAD AN OUTLINE!!!! My anger transformed into hot creative euphoria. The writer’s block that had kept me from writing a new fresh Ryu/Chun-li for years melted like ice in hell. I grabbed my laptop computer and wrote like a man possessed. Tired as hell but happy as heaven itself, I completed the first draft of the script in three days. The script still needed a lot of work, but I’d written a complete original Ryu/Chun-li story. Finally.
Thanks, Bob. Couldn’t have done it without you.
More to come,