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Paper Lace

Listening to: End of You – Star Parade
via FoxyTunes

A few more comic scripts got done last night.  Given that I haven’t been plugging away at anything lately, I can’t ask too much of myself, but it’s been mostly pleasant.  A kind of funny thing that happened was that I mentioned in a voicemail message that I didn’t feel up to having overtime, and hoped there wouldn’t be any.  They called TEs (that is the category I fall into) to ten hours at around midnight. They called it off again around a quarter to two, but it still made me laugh.

I have been in danger of laughing at work for a couple of nights now.  Ever since I started listening to the Unbelievable Truth, a BBC radio panel game.

Having fun mixing it up on my breaks.  This time I just fannied about, not really doing anything terribly important.  One break I spent dealing with the stupid blue chairs on the C9 live-systems-only row.  There are so many chairs that I cannot sit in comfortably in that building.  Sometimes I just give in.  I actually had to pull my legs up under me for about half an hour, ’til my legs fell asleep and I had to sit differently.

Anyway, I digress.  More comic scripts mean that I need to just start drawing it.  With the chibi concepts done and even coloured with flats, I have no excuse not to just get started.  The scripts are less planned out than comic scripts I have done in the past, particularly since the panels don’t have to be arranged or even have a set number.  One or two have as many as six panels, some of them have just four, and sometimes there are borderless panels.

The problem that I can already see coming into play is that there isn’t much of a storyline.  I have gags and it always ends on a humorous (or hopefully humorous) note.  But that isn’t enough to stand on by itself.  Sort of like a two-legged stool.  Still, it’s a start.  I think I’ll update once a week at first, after I get a buffer of three or four done.  No colour at first, and then we’ll see.  I don’t know how much I can ask of my time.  It seems like I have less and less of it.

Other things I’m doing have less to do with ongoing projects.  The vampire story thing that I brought up in the livejournal that I don’t pay any attention to is still whirling about, having fun on the odd break.  I named the main characters once or twice, and I think every single character in it has been renamed at least once.  Note to self: Ramsumair and Taliaferro.  These are operatives, even if they are not part of the underground, or even the vampire thingy.  It needs a new title.  Rebound doesn’t work anymore.  Recycle just seems oddly cruel for some reason, which might explain why I even thought of it.  As well as why I want to use it.

This is the vein I’m going to be on for a while, innit?  The stuff I do at work and the fun stuff that I’m trying to do.  With the Athena smeghead scale done, I managed to make another attempt at writing an “entry” for her, but her history gets bogged down.  It isn’t something I’m going to make public, so the only information that goes in is what I want and/or need in it.  However, a lot of that information is hard to put all in one place.

One way to deal with the branching I already thought of.  Hypertext will solve a lot of problems and also get things going for other books, such as stuff about Athena’s father and Kosmo.

No, they do not have a bromance.  That would just be silly.  And very out of character for Kosmo.  He’s more of the type of man who would be in love with his car.

Oddly enough, I am not listening to Queen right now.

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This post is to make me write a better entry today

Listening to: ALLEGRO VIVALDI – Nocturne Op. 148
via FoxyTunes

It will probably be another time when I doodle out more ideas that I won’t follow up on.  But I like talking to myself about my ideas, and last night I was getting myself to fall asleep by reading Oz books and bits of NaNoWriMo novels I wrote in bygone years.

There needs to be something that I write for WotW, that won’t distract me from TWOTW.

First chapters aren’t hard, it’s second chapters that are the difficult bit.  It’s not easy to keep up with my established pace, and sometimes I feel like I’m writing fanfiction of myself, which is just awkward.  I think I’ve gone back over each of these twice, and I still don’t know which one I’ll have be what I do for WotW.  Technically, it should be the one in the livejournal, but that one’s got the most buggy second chapter issues.  >.<

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You’re so awkward just like me but I don’t care

Listening to: Franz Ferdinand – You’re The Reason I’m Leaving
via FoxyTunes

Another post where I quote a line of the song as the post title.  :B  It works for Athena anway, so yah boo sucks to you.

I’m having trouble putting down Athena in any kind of sketch, so I’m going to put her on the smeghead scale and see how she fares.  The funny thing is, she kind of belongs on it.  Lower down than Nathaniel, but she does register on the smeghead scale.  Maybe everyone does.

For most of the story, Athena Idony is an anal-retentive, selfish, klutzy trouble-magnet liar who solves a problem by running away from it whenever possible.  Even when forced to confront something head on, she compensates by snarking at whoever is near and practises the sort of bravery that can be called “Well Bugger, There’s Nothing Else I Can Do”.  She is stubborn and quick to accept her observations as truth, but often fails to accept truths that are told to her point-blank.

Although she never really attempts to excuse her negative traits, some of them are occasionally explained.  She is physically weak and likes being alive.  Her anal-retentiveness is a taught trait and part of her magical studies, and one might argue that her poor social skills are a product of her childhood with a weak mother and absent father, followed by incarceration in school with a death threat constantly over her head.

Partially in the realm of excuse and redemption, is her policy on lying.  She must lie to protect her own life.  Once certain lies are exposed, she is less dependant on dishonesty as a course of action.  She also eases off on details and eventually takes responsibility without being forced.

Since she isn’t intended for the smeghead scale, I shall go ahead and make up a section for her positive traits.  Intelligent, skilled in her field without mucking around with ambition, quick to care for others, and humble to a fault.  Although she isn’t a stranger to squabbling, this does not necessarily dampen her affection for anyone she bickers with.

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dashing about

Listening to: Joey McIntyre – Here We Go Again
via FoxyTunes

There are any number of things I need to cram into my short, short day.  Some financial stuff, an appointment, and I need to find time to write, draw, and drink water.  It’s all pretty basic.

The lexicon is still nebulous and unwritten, but I have a better idea of how I want it to get done.  It may even get a website just for kicks, because I want to figure out a way to either mesh character sketches and “articles”, or just go with articles.  I shall have fun with it.  :3

Gotta dash, there’s a definite need for a shower sitting on my head.  Greasy hair!

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Merry mishmash

Listening to: Goot – I Love Your Existence
via FoxyTunes

Hindsight is not actually twenty twenty, it’s more… well, just more.  It can be wrong, so giving it that old adage is a bit like giving a character in a themed book a misnomer.

I really do not like the dialogue in Princess Academy.  It can be disjointed and just plain bad most of the time, and other times it’s just an extension of how flat all of the characters are.  Exposition is very poorly done.  Which is a shame, since it’s a cute story that is otherwise well told… no, wait, I tell a lie.  It isn’t a well told story at all.  But it is a very well constructed story.  I should be so lucky that I might one day be able to put events and clues together like that.

Yes, I know it’s a book for little girls.  It’s called Princess Academy.  But I’ve been spoiled by Fly By Night.  Same age group, possibly same genre.

The characters are a little bit too slow in putting stuff together, Miri spends entirely too much time being a Mary Sue, and the things which would otherwise be quite interesting, such as the strife and tension between the lowlanders and mountain people, are characterised and developed with all of the grace and subtlety of a hammer falling on a glass foot.

I’m a bit tired.

While I was able to do very little editing last night, since I chose to walk around on more of my breaks and spent the lunch half-hour talking to Jared, I did think rather a lot on it.  The manuscript, such as it is, is incredibly rough.  There are a lot of reasons for this, one of which is that I didn’t plan a single word before I started writing, and I was just writing for the heck of it in the beginning.

I remember there being a point where everything fit, and it all slid in place, but it was at all times something that I never stopped to think about while writing.  This has resulted in some major crapfesting, and errors up the wazoo.  And I bloody love it.  I can’t help it, I love finding these mistakes that I completely missed while writing.

It means that I just keep going without worrying.  That’s kind of a major accomplishment for me.  To not worry over everything, to not fuss.  It will all be ironed out in the end.

I’ll make notes, there will be a sort of lexicon for this world.  Artemis will certainly need it, and will possibly have a better first draft for all that.  Maybe.  It’d be nice.

When I started Athena’s story, I didn’t even know… well, anything.  I didn’t know my character’s backstory, gender, or name until it came up as it came up.  Artemis, I know a bit more about.

The setting is still not concrete, but it’s a world that exists now.  I was basically creating it as I wrote, discarding and tacking on what I thought of as I went.  The characters’ ages and personalities came into being like primordial sludge out of the moors.  The world gained a history, a system of government complete with corruption and secrets.  The monsters are going to get a lot of attention.  I get to make up a good deal of them.

New topic!

Last night I had an idea for two characters, a girl called Noga who just ran away to escape the army or a life of pacifism, and another girl called Siobhan who discovers that she can create entire realities if she gets drunk enough on the right mix of alcoholic beverages.

I have no idea what they will do, but it will have to do with war and loss.  In a cynical humour plus candy floss sort of way.  There is supposed to be romance, but I don’t know if they will get on well enough for it to work.  After all, my best romantic pairs are the ones that I don’t know get together before I start.

Squid and Ando (whom I will change to Szabo if I ever edit that) were fun, and Trevor and Ianto ended up doing all right, but I had vague ideas about Gremlin and Eleuin that did not pan out at all.  So we shall see about that particular subplot.  For now, war, pacifism, liquor, and world-creation.  I have some things I want to do first.

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More 750 blog post

Pretty much just copying this with very little editing and no html since I have to leave for work in about five minutes.
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There are some songs that I listen to that give me new ideas for stories.  Lately I feel like writing, like creating something new, and it’s all sparking without a direction.  It’s kind of cool, in that I feel like I can do absolutely anything, but it’s also got this sort of aimlessness that I fear is going to get me into trouble.

While talking about Rumours of War with Dither, I started thinking about my own comic–not much about the failed one, but the other one.  The one that I had a few pages for…  I think there were ten.  It had a sort of story, at least through the introduction.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t bring it up, since that would have been interrupting worse than I already do.  But it came into my head.

The sketchbook with those pages is not far from me right now, physically, anyway.  It’s also right underneath the purple notebook with the scripts inside.  I’m pretty sure that I ended up drawing almost all of the written pages, and the real importance of that purple notebook is that it has all of the dialogue that I did not pencil in because I wanted to do the text effects digitally.

Inking it was also on the agenda, but I know I never got that far.  Rice in the Afterlife.  Such a silly title.  It was a silly idea, with very little in the way of plot.  Mostly I just knew the characters and the world.  How they got along and suchlike.  Dead Guy Jones, the possessed doll whose real name was something complicated and possibly vaguely biblical or taken from legend.  I never actually came up with that name, but I knew a good deal about him that never made it out of my head.  Chopstick McGee, a zombie girl whose cosmetic troubles were fixed by Jones’s magic.  A twelve-year-old protector of a doll.  I liked drawing them.  She’s still on my credit card.  Rather, her character sheet is on my credit card.

I wonder why I carry that kind of thing around so consistently.  A reminder of unfinished projects?  I have a lot.  This may be why I’m not giving and starting something new while trying to take care of all of the things I need to do.  Both creatively and with my life.

One important thing is still editing!

Last night I got into the meat of chapters three and four.  It was kind of a rewarding experience, since I had an idea of the plot I wanted to furnish them all with, and Noni had been introduced.  I had forgotten how badly off track I was at that point.  Right before I touched into it, I was thinking that my edits were getting too light.  Athena was not pulling out too many inconsistencies or they were big enough to make a small note about, and I hadn’t had time to contradict myself too often yet.

Then there was this huge plot thread that I realised had just been dropped.  There were hints of it happening around the time that she told Grandmaster Trevino about the mimet, but I was a little surprised to become reacquainted with the idea of an established history and the function of heroes.

Apparently I had different ages planned within their history.  It couldn’t have been the affect of ACSIM, since I wrote these chapters in October.  But there is mention of an age of heroes, and Grandmaster Trevino is going on about the possibility of Athena being a hero.  I have a feeling that it isn’t so much dropped as it was proven wrong right there in his study, but I didn’t get to re-read that far.

While I have to say there’s a difference, I’m affected by my own thoughts in that area.  Why mention heroes when they won’t technically come up?  They are relevant.  The topic has been brought up by a man who is in charge of a monster pen, so to speak.  It’s kind of weird how much this book has to do with the next one, without even meaning to.  The monsters are far more important in Artemis’s story, obviously, since he’s a monster hunter, but so many early details show up that are actually linked with the plot that belongs to Artemis and not Athena.

I still want to get things in order, but at times it seems all I can do to just get some red pen time in at work.  I need to get more time to myself for it.  Make more time.  I don’t like saying “get”, as if it’s out of my control.

Anyway, I wanted to explain why I said rewarding, at least in brief, so that this won’t run long.  I want to do more than just add and take away with this story.  I want to really revise.  It needs it.  There are probably going to be entire threads, such as this hero business, which will be removed and put in as sideplots in AMBET.  I would like that.  Not because it would give me a starting point, since I don’t quite want one, but because it does not fit in with Athena.  The point is that she is not a hero, but it isn’t a point that needs illustration.

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Journey of 165 pages

Listening to: Zen Cafe – Ongelma
via FoxyTunes

According to Word, of course.  Formatted for print in a 5″ x 8″, it’s about 360.  These entries get a bit long, so maybe I’ll start throwing in More tags.

Editing goes well enough.  I continue to come across consistency issues, which is hardly surprising, considering how I wrote this story to begin with.  I think that since I didn’t sit and talk about the story as I wrote it, this editing process blogging should serve that missed function.

At the start of the story, there’s a good bit of action.  No, I want to say this differently.  I want to summarise a little, even though the first draft is online for anyone to read.  In chapter one, Athena Idony is trapped in a closet under the stair, hiding from a living nightmare called the Hollow Man.  He is patiently beating down the door, and she’s utterly terrified.

She seals herself in the closet by drawing a sigil on the door.  It’s like a lock that works on both sides of the conflict, keeping the monster out while she is inside.  As soon as that’s taken care of, she realises there is another monster in there.  The reason for this monster needs to be given, although I wonder if it’s actually going to be explained in another book.  Artemis’s book will have a good deal about mimets, which is the type of monster this is, of course.  I’m starting to talk like Epitome Quirkstandard.

Athena draws another sigil, this time on the wall, to escape the mimet and the closet, but is injured and the first mistake in drawing a sigil takes place.  This is a recurring event–in fact, nearly every time she draws this particular sigil, she makes a mistake for some reason.  It’s one of the ways I am able to show the urgency of using this magic correctly.

Chapter one ends with Athena getting out of the closet and meeting Demetrius, and then realising that he is technically a figure of authority, by virtue of his name.  Nobility and elected officials are a bit weird in this world.  I need to work out the details of their government, which is indeed a monarchy, as well as writing a bit about the geography for my own consistency and notes.  It will make writing Artemis’s story a lot easier if I know where more things are.  He’s going to travel about the country a good deal more than Athena did.

A few things that need to be addressed overall appear in this chapter.  One thing is the obsession with precision in numbers.  Considering that I do not have much of an affinity for numbers myself, it’s a little hard to remember that Athena is supposed to be continually measuring things throughout the book.  One might argue that she has other things on her mind later, but it’s second nature.  She may not always mention it, but it did not show up enough in later chapters.

There are a few people, or rather, names that come up that have no bearing.  Dr Allenford might have to be given a more important part than he has, or at least make more sense in the way that he drifts out of the story.  Jaylee never actually appears, although there actually seems to be a reason, and the old lady person that Athena mentions in the very first sentence never came up again after that.  That in particular is completely due to the fact that I was just writing off the top of my head, and this is the very first edit.  That shall be easy to fix, I’ll probably just make it less specific and remove the old lady character name.

Demetrius’s character is either inconsistent or going to need ironing out.  He’s smarter at first impression, there’s less of him being awkward and worried in his own angry way.  He’s also far more eloquent and teases Athena with more confidence and condescension.  I could argue that it has something to do with being in his own house and her being a stranger, or that it’s how he warms up to Athena in the first place, bickering a bit.

I’ll most likely figure out how to smooth his wrinkles when I see how they came to know one another better.  I think bringing in Noni when I did was at the right time, but it threw off Demetrius’s characterisation.  He’s a different person around her.

She makes him nervous, I think.  She has this personality that he is familiar with, but does not understand, and he just finds her overwhelming.  This girl always gets what she wants, often at his expense, and he expects her to do so at the expense of his single life.  Or, to put it another way, he already sees her as a ball and chain.

That’s getting ahead of myself though.  Noni won’t show up for a while.
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