Hey! I can’t remember the last time I was tagged for something like this… and actually responded. But of course I’m responding to this writing blog tour thingamer because I was tagged by one of my best buds at CCS, Stephanie Zuppo! Whoa! Seriously though, she’s one of the coolest people I’ve…
I’ve been tagged! Posting this on my actual sketchblerg.
What am I working on?
My main project has been writing for a long-form fantasy comic called Within a Mile of Home. My husband, Cei, is the artist for the project and we collaborate on the overall story. It focuses on Jinjo, a young goblin who fell off the edge of his known world into a new one. The setting is fairly DnD inspired and generally goes after that tabletop feel of starting a new campaign. The comic has been running since 2011! We’re aiming to start making our first printed book once Arc 2.5 is completed (projected maybe around Feb? It’ll depend on how long clean up will take).
WaMoH has a lot of content we’re aiming to do, so there’s really no telling when it’ll be completed. An ending is in mind, but the comic’s overall theme is about adventure and discovery. So we want to get in as many chapters as we can before the final stretch.
I also participate in Comix Warriors, a weekly comic challenge started by tumblr user pennyloafing. I usually stick to b/w 4 panels for a response (when I first started I shaded everything with pink. Aaa!).
Although not specifically writing-related, a new project I’ve started is PENM, which is a daily drawing challenge were I draw a robot-themed thing every day. The goal of the challenge is to keep myself drawing and get faster despite whatever issues in life pop-up. So far it’s had a rough start, but it has been easier to draw with each day!
I have two other comic projects I’m hoping to launch before 2015, but I shouldn’t go into specifics until I have something concrete to show. One is a comedic fantasy series, and the other is a 4 panel gag-a-day.
How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?
For WaMoH specifically, Cei and I don’t have the archetypical fantasy race conflicts that are the crux for most stories, and our main character isn’t destined to fix the series of problems happening in the setting. He certainly sets off a chain of events, but won’t be in the battlelines against the big bad.
We also have one aspect entirely missing in our story, and I can’t share it as it would be a spoiler. I do look forward to someone pointing it out though!
Overall, lots of material I write is based on frustration with a certain genre, or the aspects of a genre that get overlooked. I try to write material with a slower burn so that the characters can be enjoyed over the actual goal. That’s my intention anyway.
Why do I write what I do?
I got stories to tell and I wanna tell them! And I want people to have a good time with them! Essentially I write what I wish I could be reading. And I devour books/comics like it’s no one’s business.
How does your writing process work?
Specifically for WaMoH, I hunker down at my computer whenever a deadline is close. I first set up the intended goals of each frame (for example “Frame 1: Knife fight!”) as notes to myself. After thinking over series of events, actual framing, etc, I’ll write the actual directions of each frame, sound effects and dialogue. ( So “Frame 1: X aggressively lunges at Y while she deftly parries. SFX: SWHP!” Y: HUP!). I also add notes concerning details of the frames depending on what’s going on, or if they’re context sensitive future pages (so for example “this character watches from afar, and will later be revealed to be the assailant that attacked x”). Throughout all this I do a lot of pacing and often flit around doing chores while trying to think of sequences. It’s actually a bad habit of mine to get caught up in another errand while trying to work on the page. I’ll also edit as I develop the page, as I won’t have a lot of time to come back to a page later due to work, etc.
Dialogue is the most difficult thing for me to write, as I’m concerned about fluidity and things sounding genuine. When possible, I’ll speak lines out loud to hear how they sound, or write down multiple variations to determine which is more effective. Sound effects are probably the most fun to do! After the page is completed, I send a copy to Cei who will start drawing it. When he’s completed the page, we give it a quick check for quality assurance and then I’ll post the page/tumblr update/etc. The cycle starts all over again once the page is posted.
For Comix Warriors, a lot of what I’ve been able to accomplish has been on the fly. I used to plan out pages as soon as the challenges were posted, but it led often to a lot of over-editing preventing anything from getting done! Now I’ll take on a challenge whenever I have free time and try to finish it right then and there.
For other projects, I do the same thing as I do with WaMoH except I tend to write in chunks with loosely detailed page scripts. This way I keep the general flow of what I’m aiming for and edit later. The only problem with this is I tend to return to these ideas after huge chunks of times and change my mind on what I wrote! So the process for WaMoH seems to be much more productive in the long run.
Many thanks to Chu for tagging me! You can read her work at Slightly Damned.