Spectra · Uncategorized · writing

Camp NaNo Update with Spectra News

I’ve written double what I needed to for the little Camp goal, I’m currently at 6007 words! (300 words are 3 comic pages technically) so I’ve got no worries about camp, just story structure!

And here’s the thing, after hopping about imagining Spectra and dabbling in other stories and all that, I figured out a solution to Spectra’s beginning.  Because for the longest time I’ve felt like it starts off too unevenly, or really that it does NOT give the reader a good idea of what they’re getting into whenever I planned to start with young Sheyla having to handle her magic before the war that sets everything off, and even when combined with Des and his encounters with aliens, nothing quite clicked.  The problem was that even though they acknowledged the wider dangers out there at the start (aliens) they aren’t really shown and there’s simply a lot more about them and their families, the “normal” before the storm.

And even if that was okay, I never solved “Do I open with Sheyla?  Do I open with Des?  Do I open with a flash forward prologue that mostly has Sheyla and maybe a bit of Des?” I wasn’t satisfied.

It was simply apparent I was bored of the opening I planned.  Not that the scenes are utterly bad, but they make bad openings, they do nothing to indicate the scale of conflict in Spectra, just a teenager and a kid being set up before the war that puts them on opposite ends.  It just couldn’t work.

I couldn’t think of a way around it.

Until.

I decided it would have to open with someone besides Sheyla or Des.  Someone already in the middle of the action, someone deep in the action throughout the whole story.  Thankfully, there are a few characters who have already have several segments with their POVs consistently spread throughout the government.  I considered Dale and other members of the Kaldoan military and resistance, who are certainly prominent.  But, I realized that perhaps the best one to open it up would be the Void Lord, since he would have the benefit of being in space.

And also the first chapter is a few years before the war, so the Kaldoan military wouldn’t be doing anything plot specific and I’d be tempted to make filler politics that connects to tension between the factions and that sounds too complex for now.  And like filler.  But the Void Lord…his focus stays the same through the whole thing.

I might still introduce Dale’s side afterward, but it wouldn’t be necessary and it verges into needless backstory that only I (and friends) would be interested in at this point.

For all I know the prologue will only be a page, but it should give a nice sense of scale to the story and hint at how all the disparate threads of Spectra will come together in a cohesive whole.

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Art · Comics · Uncategorized · writing

Camp NaNo Goes on with Grumpy Cover Art

2112 words written and 3 pages drawn for Camp NaNo so far.  I stalled over cover design, but at this point I’m willing to use a bit of filler work just so I can get to the actual comic without worrying about getting the perfect image in my head.

coverdraft

And it shows.

They are too cartoony.  And also conveying my reaction to realizing I had drawn the sun icon on top of the text outline in the same layer, so I wouldn’t be able to easily edit and save them for later (to develop my own title font for SoA), thus I kinda lost interest in making it look great for now.  But the mood is conveyed and Tristan and Dhelran’s typical attitudes in this book are accurately portrayed.  Some success then.

I’m over-achieving my tiny Camp NaNo goal, but I really want to draw a lot more pages then my current rate.  Someday I’ll have to update the cover, but not during Camp!

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Camp NaNo: Relaxed Goal and an Old Story

I have a 3000 word goal for Camp NaNo.  And because I’m sure to want to draw some comic pages and not just write, I decided each page I draw will be equivalent to 100 words.  So far I have drawn a page and written over 400 words.  All in all, I’m keeping up and getting some story work done!  And I don’t feel stressed about it at all (other than having a million stories I can’t write all at once.)

Started doing Spectra, contemplated The Dragon Maidens, and then I began settling into working on Sons of Adawine and I drew a series concept cover.

Tristan
Tristan

So, I’ll see how it goes…

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Book Review: A Thousand Perfect Notes

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews.

Allow me to fling out my thoughts because I just finished the book yesterday!

Just. Just.

That internal struggle teenagers face trying to stand up to their parents when they know it’s right but they just don’t have the courage because they’ve never been able to before and there’s no one else to support them when it would all inevitably go wrong.

That was just so captured in the book and all I can feel is ouch ouch ouch.

And also feeling unable to tell anyone about his problems lest he embarrass himself (though really expose his mother for how awful she is though he can’t really admit that because what kid can admit their parent is awful when they’re stuck with them?!)

Yeah, that was all amazing and the Maestro felt so real, like those psycho parents you’ll hear about in the news after beating up their kid.  Agh.  All the unstable “logic” and manipulation of that kind of parent, it’s a pretty good snapshot of all those negative facets for someone to be wary of in a person.

I’m not sure how to describe this book, there’s a lightness to it, an accessibility to a heavier theme, but that theme makes it dark.  It’s gloomy, but it doesn’t turn reading burdensome.  I guess it’s well balanced.  And the last few pages from the end, my eyes got watery and tears fell out.  A solid book, and so exciting to read after anticipating for so long!

Art · Spectra · Stories · Uncategorized · writing

An Illustration of a Storyteller at Work

madatspectra

 

My Frustration Personified

Basically, I feel like I’m overthinking Spectra and ought to get started on the comic version (the novels are absolutely not ready to be shared though), however it’s still intimidating.  And man, I want to draw quick simple comics like this instead of proper ones.  I have no idea what to do.  I’m better off drawing something than only overthinking…but I don’t want my stories all reduced to silly comics.

 

100 for 100 Update

I failed that “write 100 words a day for 100 days” challenge.  Rather expected that to happen.  I wrote about 4,000 words for Spectra (a lot of it plans, not purely narrative), so that was good.  Except I had a habit of not writing out my ideas fully when I had them because I wanted to have an idea for tomorrow to work with.  I kept halting myself too much.

Plus, comics are where it’s at for me.

I think what I really want is to have some fun comics with my characters so you can see them in action instead of only being told about them.  I don’t have any ideas for a premise though, since the idea of a non-canon practice comic just seems to take away from finally getting to the real story.

I keep re-outlining and making outlines in new systems, but maybe I need to just draw the comic…but it would be so much more simplistic than I want and I’d have to redraw it later.  Basically a roughdraft.  Is it better to share the rough version of a comic with readers now, or keep waiting around till I somehow feel ready for it…?

Possible Website?

Oh, yeah, and this last week I looked into website stuff for comics.  I got a Wix account and I’m seeing if it could work for my comics.  I’d consider using one of the webcomic hosting sites out there except I want a bunch of comics online that I’d update sporadically.  I figure it would be too unusual for a normal comic site.

But I’m still learning how to use Wix, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to move forward with it yet.  It would be nice to have a centralized cyber home.  Mostly I have to figure out databases and dynamic pages so I can easily upload new comic pages without manually creating a new webpage for each one.