Talking Heads

April 6, 2018

As I’m finishing up with Prince of the Ruined Land, I’ve only had a couple moments to work on my comics. When I went to open up the next page I’d sketched out some time ago, I got the very laughable reminder that sometimes things just don’t work out.

I opened up this page and said, “WTF! Talking heads!”

MS5 Pages

Even with the placement of the dialogue, I couldn’t justify any of this to myself. There in the 3rd panel, she’s supposed to be doing this little head turn to glance away. Really? Didn’t I just do that on the last page? Maybe it was two pages ago.

Anyway, I got a laugh at myself, then I made the page invisible and tried again.

Failure is not fatal.

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Progress – April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

Feeling a little bushwhacked.

No lie.

I have spent all weekend working on Prince of the Ruined Land. Will it be ready by the  release date of April 17th? The ebook version will be. Still not sure about the print, but it’s getting there. I mean, hopefully formatting won’t take too long. If I have one done, the other shouldn’t be too hard, right?

So, I’ve been revising this latest draft by using the strikeout feature in Word. That allowed me to kill passages without actually taking them out. Now, before I broke Prince, the manuscript was about 96,000 words as I recall. As of Friday when I finished threading it back together, it was over 102,000 words. After I lopped off all the scrap sections and the chapters I was pulling out, the manuscript was 70,000 words. Now it’s approximately 72,000. I hope that helps put a little perspective on why this has been a major project.

I’ve done an initial continuity read-through. I still have a little work to do to slow down or revise one scene that goes a bit too fast — end-of-book-itis? Possibly. It might need a complete tear down and revamp, but since I’ve done that to all the rest of the book, what’s one more scene?

I would still love to read through it one more time since I was still revising as I went. If I can have one draft where I don’t correct major issues, then I’ll feel a lot more confident in releasing it.

I still have a map and a character list to build. The cover needs some tinkering. Blurb for the back needs to be written. Just a few things. No worries!

Last week I also decided to start to get up earlier in the mornings. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to work for about half an hour on audio, twenty minutes on Weblinks or Rockin’ Life, and about an hour editing. So far, this has been a workable schedule. We’ll see what happens as the weeks progress onward. I do like the idea of having scheduled time for editing. Right now it has obviously been time I’ve used on Prince, but next up is Loki. I really hope that someday I get well versed enough at my craft that I can cycle back better than I do now. It would save me a lot of time. But writing like I am now doesn’t afford me this looping. Someday.

Well, I’ve been looking at words all weekend, so I don’t even want to write at the moment. Let’s just get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 4,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,160 words

Writing month to date total:  29,009 words for March. April has a whopping total of 630 words mostly because I was reading today and deleting nearly as many words as I was putting in. No joke. At one point my word count was actually negative. My writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 13 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 96,407 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 2 hours working on Rockin’ Life and Weblinks.

Audio: I spent almost 5 hours editing audio.


Sketching Fun – March 29, 2018

March 30, 2018

Another Weblink’s page has been posted on Noble Heart Comics for your reading. This is based on some of the work in progress blogs you saw here earlier.

If you want to stay up to date with the comics there, I suggest subscribing to the email (the box on the right). Honestly, I have no idea if it works (yet) as I just remembered to subscribe myself to it yesterday.

Yes, I subscribe to my own blogs. Yes, I’m a goober. I know. (grin) Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – March 26, 2018

March 26, 2018

skl1 fb promoAside from Prince of the Ruined Land being blown to bits and having to rebuild it, this week was decent. I was tired, but I had fun.

My youngest son was home for spring break. He tore my story apart (in a good way – grin), but considering he’s been helping me plot and work on this book since he was 12, he’s forgiven. He knows the story almost as well as I do even though he’s only read the first book. I hope someday he’ll read the others.

But it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of that I don’t have to worry about spoiling the story for. It lets me be very open about what I “know” about the story as well as explore other avenues.

As I said above, I was also very tired. I think the time change finally caught up to me and shook me like my dog with his toy. Not fun for me.

The boys and I went to see Black Panther last weekend. Not as life-altering as the Sailor Moon musical, but a good story nevertheless.

I’ll speak to a few certain things as I go through the numbers for this week, but since I want to keep this short, let’s get to those numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 4,869 words – all of this has been on Prince of the Ruined Land. I did have several thoughts about Onesong and Elliot’s story (that’s the prequel to Onesong —  I seem to write stories in reverse).  This next week will see me making sure that Prince is coherent. I absolutely must have it done by next Sunday if I want to have a print version done close to the ebook. I will say that I’m glad that I’ve switched to Vellum for my ebooks. That makes that job so much simpler.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,876 words

Writing month to date total:  22,521 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 12 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 89,289 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 3 hours working on Weblinks. I also started looking at some of work I did on Quest for the Three Books many years ago. While I don’t want to draw the whole thing as a graphic novel, I am thinking about an illustrated version of the novel. I think it’d be a lot of fun to add in some extras. I didn’t get started on; just thinking about it right now.

Audio: I spent 5 and a half hours editing audio. I’m currently on chapter 20 of Quest for the Three Books. Yes, my Sacred Knight series has been on my mind all this week in one form or another.


Noble Heart Comics – 03/23/18

March 23, 2018

A new Weblinks page has posted to Noble Heart Comics. I’d love for you to head over there and check it out!


Working on Weblinks

March 20, 2018

Last week, I showed a page in progress for Weblinks.

Here’s an update on that page:

MS5 Pages

This is just the pencils for this page. Inking and toning to come. Progress!

I do love Lucky’s wimpy arms in the upper panel. You see, Lucky is actually the younger of two brothers. His older brother is the buff, athletic guy. Unfortunately, the events that befall the brother make Lucky into a computer nerd. He’s spent many hours researching and digging through bad scans of arcane texts in a desperate attempt to translate them. He knows just enough to be dangerous.

But oh so much more than what Caitlyn knows. (grin)

I have always felt like this Bite (chapter) of Weblinks is talking heads, but there is so much information here. Don’t worry. We’ll get back to the action soon.

P.S. If you’re wondering why there has been no dialog on these pages, it’s because I’ve taken it off. There is a joke on this page that I’m particularly fond of and I don’t want to ruin it for readers who might see it here first. So, if you want to know what it is, you’ll have to get to reading the comic. Hopefully this page will post next week, maybe two weeks from now.

 

 


Progress – March 19, 2018

March 19, 2018

Much like the ruins of New Lilinar, my story has crumbled.

With less than a month until publication, I have discovered too many issues with Prince of the Ruined Land. My final flaw which brought the whole thing down was realizing that Steigan had been bitten by gargaxes three times and no one says anything about it for about 20 pages.

Talk about dropping the urgency behind it.

That was after I had discovered that the main climax scene comes and I really felt like the story should end, but I was wondering why it continued on for five more chapters. Unfortunately, they were five chapters that really needed to follow for the story to work.

Again, a lack of urgency had dropped the ball.

In general, these are things that are really easy to fix. I’d already done that in the beginning of the book several months ago.

But then I was trying to think of another way to increase the urgency other than the way I’d been thinking, just in case I’d missed something, and was explaining the story to my son. He kept giving me funny looks. Then one of his questions really blew things apart. I realized I had way too many scenes that detracted from the story and really needed cut.

So I spent five hours figuring out which scenes could be cut and stripping them out. Now I have new transitions that need to be written. Plus an important scene to figure out how to put into the book. I’m at a point now where I’m trying to see if it’s needed right now in this book. Parts of it have never fit. I’m not even sure I can make them fit with what I’m going to try to do in the next book in the series.

Poor Steigan. He keeps trying to be a bad boy and he never gets to succeed.

Now, no worries. The ebook is still available for pre-order and will be released on April 17, 2018 as promised. I do also plan to have pre-order setup for the book soon, but I’m going to wait just a little bit in case I don’t have enough time to order a proof copy of the book as I had planned. This might delay the print version of the book by a couple weeks. Trying not to have that delay, but I will also take the necessary time to make a good story. A little give, a little take.

If this quick retake of the novel doesn’t work, I do still have the original and can go back to it in a flash. However, I suspect that the story will be so much better when I’m done. I trust the process and since it kept telling me that it wasn’t right, I was bound to find flaws that would strength the breach of me knowing it needed more work. A deadline, a very firm one now, will assure that I stay focused on getting it done. There’s some significant patchwork to be done, so I’ll be getting words in.

Also on the Sacred Knight front, I have finished recording Quest for the Three Books. I wish that was the first time I’d said that, but I think it’s about the third. Practice makes perfect, as does a good mic and a professional setup. I listened to a section of the second book that I had recorded some time ago and let me tell you: the difference between what I was doing then (and I thought it sounded good) and what I’m doing now are two totally different levels. I’m really glad I did a few other projects before continuing on this book.

I also splurged a bit on my audio setup last week. I bought another microphone stand, a new shock mount because the one I’m using now is broken, and a new stand for my iphone. Since I bought a shroud for my mic, I haven’t felt comfortable in my booth; it just feels crowded. A 3 1/2′ x 3 1/2′ booth is small enough without feeling claustrophobic in it. Now, I know that logically adding another mic stand to my booth isn’t going to give me more space, but if it gives me a way to shroud my mic and still read my copy without feeling as I do now, it’ll be good. I must remember to take before and after pictures.

I have my son home for spring break this week, so I’m not sure how much I’ll get done. Fortunately, he’ll have his brother around to entertain him. (grin) I get the fun of sitting back listening to them play video games together. I really have been blessed with two good children who have always been friends with each other and who help me out greatly.

I haven’t yet even begun to look at what I’ll be posting for Onesong this week either. I hope its something good. (grin)

Since I’m trying something new with Prince of the Ruined Land in order to figure out what needs fixed, I figure that will also be helpful in Onesong when I get around to patching it up. Strangely enough, the list of chapters for Prince now looks nearly as bad as the one for Onesong which I’ve shown on other posts. Maybe I’ll post what they both currently look like here later in the week. I think it’s quite funny how they both look similar. But that might just be humor that only a writer could get.

Fiction words written last week: 3.098 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,808 words

Writing month to date total:  15,776 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 11 weeks. I do want to point out that I wrote ever day last week, I just didn’t hit my goal every day. I still got the weekly word count though. I suspect it might be like this for a while as I get Prince reshaped, then I read through stories to remember where I was at in them. I really ought to figure out a way for me to keep track. I’ve seen the process other writers use, but I’ve never found a system that works for me. I think I just need to tame my writer child to only work on one story at a time. Dang that sounds boring!

Writing year to date total: 82,544 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 1 and a half hours working on Weblinks.

Audio: I spent 6 hours recording and editing audio.