October 23rd, 2012

Making My Own Crystal Ball

by Terri Libenson

I’ve mentioned before that I work about 4-5 months ahead of my deadline. If I wanted to, I could even push it further. That’s great — fantastic, actually — in my line of work.

On the flip side, if I’m trying to keep my characters’ happenings on par with my own family, it can be challenging to create scenarios if I haven’t actually experienced them yet.

Normally, this is not a big deal.  Besides, most of what happens in my kids’ lives could also happen 4 months later, like getting braces (hint hint) or going to a school dance. Sure, it gets tricky during major seasonal changes, like summer break or entering a new grade, but for the most part, I can fake it.

A daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is a different beast entirely.  Right now, we’re still in the preliminary stages of planning (i.e. beginning Hebrew tutoring, booking DJ, photographer, etc.). But in the strip, the Kaplans are in the throes of it all (think of it akin to wedding planning). Soon, I’ll be writing March strips; the characters will have a mere two months until The Day.

This basically means I’ll have to make s*** up. That’s okay. Usually, my writing takes off on its own, and I never know where the journey will end, anyway. On the other hand, I wish I could experience it first, reflect a bit, and then write.

Since I’m not a time traveler, and I can’t send in my material The Day Of, I have no choice…I’ll have to become a method actor of sorts and conjure some equivalent emotional scenario. Whatever that is.

Again, I’ll have to make s*** up. Scary, but all part of the journey.

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