Monday, June 27, 2005

Sometimes Better to be Lucky

I had a productive weekend: I completed pages 3 and 4, and started on the renders (and some of the post work) for page 5. This was good since I was running a little bit behind on my pages. I need to do about 3 a week to get a new chapter out every 4 to 5 weeks.

Due to being a scatter-brain, page 4 presented a slight problem. Basically, I did the first three renders on day and the rest a day later. In between, I finalized (in my head at least) the dialogue for the page. However, once I arranged the panels the way I had originally planned, I realized that the first three had no actual dialogue associated with them. I had forgotten about them when I decided on the dialogue! So, I starred at the page for a while until I came up with a solution: namely to move two of the “speechless” panels to the end. This actually worked out pretty well, but it points out that I am either a) very talented, or b) lucky. Since “a” isn’t very likely, I am at least glad that “b” is sometimes the case, otherwise I might’ve had to redo some of the renders or redo the page.

Finally, I estimate that I’ll be done with the chapter the weekend of July 16-17th.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Slow Progress as Usual

Page 1 is done, but I’m still finishing the renders for page 2. It’s been slow largely due to my schedule lately, not because I’m having trouble with the chapter itself. In fact I think I have a good handle on the dialogue, at least for the first several pages. I’ve reviewed my original source material (the unfinished novel) and I think I can use a lot of the dialogue, even more so than in the previous chapter. As I’ve said before, having the script finalized before I do the renders makes the process go a lot faster since I can plan more efficiently.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Chapter 5 Begins

I did the first few renders of chapter 5 last night. I spent the day or two before that creating the first set (which takes place on a space craft) and creating the model for Lady Sophia. As you will see, Sophia has a rather gothic/vampire look which wasn’t entirely on purpose, but which I’m okay with. She’s a femme fatale, so looking like a vampire isn’t necessarily inappropriate. Although her character is not as macho as Lucy, Sophia is still a powerful individual. One of the things I try to convey is a level of ambition in all creatures in the story, even though they may go about it in different ways. Just as Lucy uses her physical strength to get what she wants, Sophia uses her “feminine charms” (among other things) to achieve her goals. Just about everyone, except maybe robots, have some agenda or another, normally involving power. This includes the women as well as the men.

As I mentioned above, I have created the spaceship interior, but what I don’t have yet is the exterior (for the first panel of the chapter). This has been a consistent problem for me since I never seem to find a model that’s suitable. I can, as I did for the Prologue, create one myself, but I really don’t think my efforts create the quality that I’m looking for.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Chapter 4 Now Online!

Although it was a week late, Chapter 4 is now online (actually since Sunday). Overall I think people have liked it, which makes me happy.

Chapter 5 is called Katherine Augustus and is divided into two parts: the first takes place on the ship carrying Kate, Alexander, and Lady Sophia (Kate’s handmaiden, so to speak) to Revenna, the planet where the Emperoress (Isabella Montros) lives. The second part takes place on Revenna itself where the before mentioned characters talk with Isabella, surrounded by her courtiers. I don’t expect this chapter to take as much time as Chapter 4 since it’s mostly dialogue.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Final Two Pages

Chapter 4 will be 14 pages long: I made that realization yesterday when I finished the renders for page 12. After I completed that page, I went ahead and planned out 13 and 14. I knew what I wanted to happen, but I hadn’t been close enough to the end that I could actually plan out (accurately) how many more pages it would take.

So, I have the weekend (Fri – Sun.) to complete the last two pages and prepare the site for publishing the chapter. I think it’s doable, depending on how frustrated I get doing the last two pages. I think it should be okay, though.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

On Track for Weekend

I completed pages 9 and 10 last night. I’m not very happy with how the lighting/color looks on 9, but it’s not so terrible that I’m going to fix it. On the other hand, my wife made me watch this horrible show on Fox last night with an angry chief who kept yelling at the other chiefs to try and motivate them to push themselves. While I was working on these two pages, I could hear the chief yelling at me too: “How can you accept such crappy work! Do you really want other people to see this sh*t?” It was a bit disconcerting.

Although I had estimated the chapter will take 12 pages, I have a feeling it might spill a little over into a page 13. Either way, however, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be done by the weekend.

Friday, June 03, 2005

No "I" in Story

I’ve completed the renders for page 9, but I haven’t done the post work. I had hesitated to finish page 8’s post work because I wasn’t 100% happy with the dialogue for it. However, since then I’ve done new dialogue that pleases me more. I also have the dialogue for page 9 so I should be able to completely finish both tonight.

I’ve had a lot of confidence problems with this chapter. Perhaps it was the week long vacation I took during it, but basically I’ve felt very detached. I haven’t felt comfortable at all. I’ve also wondered whether any of this is even worth it and whether anyone would care if I quit (which I don’t intend to do, by the way). Lately it’s occurred to me that I care too much about what others think of the story and where it’s going instead of just doing it for me. This might sound selfish, but as a writer it’s important that you tell the story that’s within you and not someone else. The fact is it’s entirely possible nobody will like your story or even hate it. I think most of us, including myself, want to be liked and want to be successful. However, if you think too much about that, it can make you crazy or, in my case, depressed. So, I’m trying to focus on telling the story and not worry about what others think or even if anybody comes to my website to see it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ch 4 Delayed Until 6/12!

Sorry for not updating the blog recently. I’ve been busy cranking out pages, but I must still officially postpone the new chapter for one week (now set for June 12th).

Since we had a three-day weekend, I was able to get a little more work done. I’ve completed pages 6 and 7, and completed the renders on page 8. I’ve also added more sound effects, so to speak, to the frames. I had not used that much in the previous chapters, but I felt it was required now. I decided against the manga-style of action whereas speed lines are used in the background. In other words, if a character was attacking, the background would show many lines to convey “speed” or action. However, instead I used another technique which shows “ghost” images, in this case of a sword blade, as it slices through the air. This is a more “Western” style of comic representation, which is ironic since most of the comics/graphic novels I’ve read have been manga (the Japanese style).