Monthly Archives: July 2012

Children avert your eyes!

This post here. It makes this place NSFW. Not really on a regular basis, but it will definitely happen again. Why?

Because pulling punches and shying away from reality doesn’t make a story better. Safer maybe. Something that fits into someone’s idea of acceptable, but not always better. Not to say that extra violence,language,etc is going to make a story BETTER either. But to me the idea of pulling my punches on purpose, just to make it less offensive to some, isn’t going to serve the story very well.  I’m writing about the end of a world and the invasion of another. There is war, heartache, death, betrayal, the whole nine yards.  And in order to make my point it’s going to take blood, guts, and the other nine yards to pull it off.

Do I want to write something like Game of Thrones (which is well written yes, but I find the subject matter to be abhorrent as a general rule and the casual disregard for any sort of morality means I haven’t even finished the first book. They killed Ned for Pete’s sake, and he wasn’t saint but he wasn’t the demon half the other characters seem to be either). Neither will it fit in the Christian book genre, although that’s something I don’t plan to shy away from either. But there’s a reason that I don’t read Christian books and it’s because I’m never quite convinced there’s ENOUGH conflict.More often than not they  feel dumbed down (Except Voice in the Wind. Not that set!)

So, somewhere in the middle will sit my baby, who has no name. And because of this, I’m going to show you the following character sketch. Enjoy!

Sacrifice for power

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The Blank Space….

Terrifying.

Exhilarating

Oh the horror!

It’s that white, blank, empty, awful place where I try to put the things I’ve got stuck in my mind. But the images and words don’t want to come. They cling like barnacles in all those little crevices of my brain and refuse to come out. Like children. Like girls who won’t go to the bathroom without company.

Waitaminutehere…I’m a girl.

Dang.

Anyways. It’s taunting me. I can hash and rehash what I want to say in my head, but it won’t make it come out on paper. Or the screen. Or whatever. I live in terror of this big blank space.

So here’s my word vomit. Here’s the rough and tumble. No thought, no planning. Get it out before the little weasel realizes what’s coming and takes root in my brain. Because you can scrape a hull free of barnacles, but it hurts so much worse to do it to your brain.

Not as smooth you see.

That’s what a first draft is like. Word vomit. It’s icky and bad and not at all cohesive (in some spots). But, to change allegories, there are gems and gold and all sorts of other great things in the dross. And as a writer or artist, it’s my job to find those and refine them. And as an audience, it’s your job to decide to like them or not, approve of me or not. Because while I’m writing what I want to write, and drawing what I want to draw, unless someone eventually sees some worth to it, it’s not going to find a real audience. And that’s one of the scary things. A person can be an aspiring writer. A person can even call themselves a writer, but unless they follow through and WRITE the thing, they don’t really have much to show for it.

Oh that is so me. For the past ten years or so.

All because I’ve been scared.

How bout you?


Batman

Ahhhh Batman. I love you so. No superpowers, no immunity from the world. Your body’s shot and you’re in money troubles. Gotta love it 🙂

By far my favorite comic book hero (Wolverine coming second), I knew about Batman before I knew about comics. Nobody named Robin can escape after all. I was the butt of many a joke  growing up. And while I usually stuck to Marvel comics in the collecting phase of my life, I have a special place in my heart for the Dark Knight. And therefore, a passing familiarity with his lore. I just never could keep with all the different books and reboots and all that. But I looked at those bridges blowing up in the previews and went “Hey! Long Halloween!” See. I know some things :p

My husband will probably grumble and gripe and moan about this movie for the next ten years or so. In between the moans about how they ended the story, how he wants to see the Riddler, etc, he’s going to be doing Joke impressions and getting poked in the ribs.

I told him last night that no, I didn’t know how he got the scars, but if he didn’t shut up, I knew how he was going to get the next ones.

Anyways! On the the movie. Or more accurately, how I saw the movie. I’m going to do it with as few spoilers as possible. Which makes me look like this:

 

 

Only not as sexy and skinny. But not posting spoilers does kinda tie my hands. I can’t, for instance tell you about…well you know. 😉

I can go on and on about why I love this movie, and the current incarnation of Batman. And I promise you it has less to do with shirtless man candy than you may think (that’s “Thor” BTW). No, its the storytelling. The lack of plot holes big enough for Dorothy’s house to fit through *cough*Hunger Games*cough*. Its the constant wonder of what will come next. Even though I pretty much had it figured. Batman would be Batman if he wasn’t willing to do what he did. Its more the seeing how they’d bring a certain event about to where I knew they had to go. The little things like the lack of music during the first fight with Bane. The nagging itch (mainly because I wasn’t thinking of the lore) that something was just OFF about Raz Ah Ghul’s child.

And hey, did anyone else peg to the football team’s color scheme. I had myself a nice little snicker fit at that.  And then I looked closer at the uniforms today and really laughed. Rogues. Rogues gallery. Not that Wayne had one in this set of movies, not the mini-museum and all. But still!

The husband person made a comment about one of my gripes though. I wad saying that the whole secret identity thing pretty much got shot to pieces. Most everyone knew who he was by the end of the movie. He said “Yeah, but that wasn’t really the point now was it.” And he’s right. They weren’t about the identity, the Batman. They were about Wayne’s coming to terms with himself and with his life. From his anger over the death of his parents to his prominence as Gotham’s antihero and his willingness in the second movie to sacrifice his identity to save the city to the third, where everything went wrong and he ended up almost right back where he started. The defining moment of the whole thing for me wasn’t the end and his solution to the threat to the city, but when he was on the steps, fighting Bane in FULL DAYLIGHT.

Up till that point he’d stayed in darkness and shadow. In that scene the two roles he played were as close to unified as they were ever gonna get.

That’s all well and good you may say, but what does it have to do with this blog? Well; aside from how much Batman rocks, its the sort of thing I want to pull off in my writing. Nothing wasted, little digs or outtakes to this or that, pulling material from what came before and not having it be hugely obvious when I first mention the thing or event or whatever. I want to weave story lines like Nolan did, or Joss Whedon. I don’t know if its just me or its the same for everyone but I notice more subtly in movies than I do in a lot of books. I think its the visual element, like the football uniforms or the daylight. In a book you have to TELL the reader what they’re seeing and make an effort to point out what you want them to see. There are some pretty obvious ways to do the same in movies, but it seems easier to just pop something in there. Like Cptn. America’s shield in the first Iron Man or any number of other little things I cant think of because at the moment I’m still pretty hung up on those football uniforms. ;p

 

For the record, none of these pics are mine, I can’t remember where I found them. Need to get better about that.


The slump. The pall…

I’m stitching this sucker together. It’s like Frankenstein, pouring out of my head and onto the page in all it’s rag-doll glory.

I’m terrified of it.

This thing was a collaboration between me and my best friend in High School. We worked, we giggled, we drew. And then in college we grew apart. I’d already planned to pull the whole thing into one cohesive story, and she’d agreed to let me do it. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. By the seat of my pants. No planning except what I remember.In smaller and smaller bits every time I sat down to work on it. By hand.

300 some odd hand written pages later I gave up and did an outline for the first book (that was this spring BTW). Then I fleshed out the scenes a little.

Now I’m writing them in full.

But here’s the trick. I started this when I was 16 and as emo inside as many kids are on the outside these days. Even my faith in God was something that suffered for it, and I think that in some ways, I haven’t left those days behind. Now I’m trying to piece together the agony I thought I was putting my characters through and realizing….I wasn’t all that mean to them.

The dead got resurrected, everyone found true love, and there was a land of happiness and candy over that rainbow. I’ve already raped one , killed another daughter, and made one who’s supposed to be a sister/friend and torturer and murderer who just wants to protect her people at whatever cost to outsiders.

And I’m not even halfway through…

Which is the problem. I’m in a spot where I don’t have any real guidelines. I’m truly making things up now, not working from old material. What I had to work with is filled with all these gaps, where we waved our hands and said. “They joined with the other guys and here’s the start of the next story.” But I can’t do that now. There’s character work that needs to be done. A platform for a future relationship needs to be set up. The insane and the person who lessens the insane need to learn about each other. Because later on I plan to rip the bottom out of the world of the insane one and stick her back in the wringer and I can’t do that if she doesn’t have someone to lean on.  I just wish they’d stop dancing around each other with minds of their own and take guidance.

Silly characters. XD

They don’t know it’s only the first draft.

But in the meantime I’m trying to get these scenes figured out and it’s hard. They keep branching off into unknown places and that’s good, but also hard. I’ve never really tried to direct a scene before. I’ve always let them flow. Granted, I’ve hashed and rehashed them in my mind until they’re nearly dead, but I’m not doing that this time around. And it’s slowing me down. It’s an exercise in discipline.

Bah. 🙂

Anyobody out there feel the same?

 

In the meantime, here’s a sketch:


Come one! Come all!

Take a trip through my mind. It’s pretty boring right now, this place at least. I’ve torn down the old (and outdated) to make way for the hopefully new.

I have, in the past months, made a number of choices. No, make that the past couple of years. I moved from Alaska to the oilpatch of North Dakota, bought a house, gave up animation school, and pretty much resigned myself to never seeing my dreams come true.

Well screw that.

I started studying Medical coding recently, in hopes it can get me better jobs, jobs where I can work from home. Jobs that don’t require getting up and going someplace in order to feel productive and get paid. Really, I love my job. I just hate getting up for it (especially this morning, when my shoulder hurt so bad I didn’t know if I’d be able to sit up). I also picked up, completely on a whim, a book called  90 Days to Your Novel at Barnes and Noble this spring. It’s  been more than 90 days, but in fairness, I’m alternating school with writing.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. I’m going to write this book. I’m 16k words into the first draft already. But it’s a story I’ve had in my head since I was a teenager. First I wanted it to be a TV series. Then a comic book, Then, slightly more realistically, a web comic. I even started drawing pages (but for a different story). I had them colored, the first 8 or 9 or so.

And then it fizzled. Life hit. The knowledge that I can draw people till the cows come home but ask me to do a convincing background or critter and I get stuck. Add that to the fact that writer’s block is exponentially worse when you are trying to think of the direction for the story AND draw it, and I threw up my hands. There’s no second drafts in webcomics after all.

So here I am. Writing, and hopefully drawing again too. I’ve pretty much abandoned the art in the past couple months in favor of writing, but I want the reader to see what I see, in my head. I want to give you a peek at the world I’m trying to build.

I hope you’ll join me.

It’s gonna be a fun ride. XD

 


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