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L. Shelby - Verdaia (Imaginary History) - News Category Scent of Spring

Scent of Spring News

Done!!!

Scent of Spring storyboards are complete.
138 pages.

I did all the storyboard pages for my last page of script today…

…8 of them.

It was a 60 page script, so I had been getting around two pages of storyboards for each page of script. But, well, the big finale, you know?

It seemed to need the extra pages.

And of course I couldn’t stop. Not in the middle of the last page of script!

I don’t usually Do New Year’s resolutions, because I’m very goal oriented generally and am already working on a number of goals… why add more just because the year has rolled over? But at the beginning of this month I made three ‘get it done before the New Year’ type resolutions. This was my second one. I’ve got one more to go.

Stuff

I have 116 pages worth storyboards for Scent of Spring now, and have reached page 53 of 60 in my script. My calculator says that's 88%, which would make the total length estimate 131 pages. Fifteen more pages to go. My estimated start of 'actual writing' date was today, which I'm obviously going to miss, but I might not be more than a month behind. That's not bad considering this is a third or fourth string project.

Dicing With Flames continues to remain on hold while I do revisions on Eyes of Infistar.

When I'm doing revisions I have a much harder time sticking to a do-so-much-and-no-more type schedule than when I'm writing, so I have a tendency to do a whole lot one day, wear myself out, and spend the next day doing nothing much at all. I'm probably doing just as much actual “work” as I do normally, but the stop and go format is a lot more frustrating. Today I'm on stop, so I need to find something I can do while brain-dead. Blah.

What I did yesterday while brain-dead, was read aloud the first three volumes of Girl Genius, while my kids followed along over my shoulder. I'm pretty good at reading aloud (even if I do say so myself) and it's great material to work with. As I've already read through what's available on my own at least three times already, I only ended up laughing when I was supposed to be delivering lines once or twice. It's a bit awkward working off a web-page, though. Sometimes I don't scroll down far enough, and I miss a speech bubble or two down at the bottom of the page.

Hero Archtypes

I was reading Romancing the Blog (because I can't find the oompha to do anything) and happened on this discussion of romantic hero archetypes listed as being: Chief, Bad Boy, Best Friend, Lost Soul, Charmer, Professor, Swashbuckler and Warrior.

And I found myself thinking: “Is Silver a Lost Soul? I hope not, because Heathcliff is the listed example, and I couldn't stand Heathcliff. And yet, Silver is a Lost Soul. Phooey! And Blood is a Bad Boy, another archtype I despise. Grumble. That isn't all they are, though… they are both Chiefs. And, both Professors…”

Bad Boy Professor. Lost Soul Chief.
Bwahahaha!
Okay, realizing that you have put together some unusual combinations is sort of fun…

…but mostly I don't get the attraction of classifying one's heroes this way. If, say, Darcy from _Pride and Prejudice_ is a Chief and my Ikhsior from Cantata is a Chief, where does that get me? Trying to equate the two in my head just makes me go :glurk!: Other than that they both have a commanding presence (as they would say at the Coral Palace) what have they got in common, and why should I care? (Actually, I think Silver has a lot more in common with Darcy, although I would not classify Darcy as a Lost Soul.)

But, for the record, as close as I can figure, my hero's archetypes
Ikhsior: Chief (That seems so inadequate, but what else fits?)
Asond: Chief (Those two are the *same* archetype? Pardon me while I glurk again.) Professor
Algernon: Swashbuckler
Kide: Charmer
Silver: Lost Soul, Chief, Professor
Blood: Bad Boy, Professor, Chief
Talon: Charmer, Chief, Swashbuckler
Turner: Swashbuckler, er… Turner's reflexes are so fast and deadly that he tends to kill people without really meaning to. Does that make him a Warrior, a Bad Boy, or a Lost Soul?
Harchung: Chief
Cabal: Lost Soul, Professor, Warrior

I'm a bit short on Best Friends. Maybe because I married one?

I think the overabundance of Chiefs is not a romantic issue but something else entirely. It goes back to the question “Why are the main characters in fantasies almost always royalty?” If I take that one on it probably ought to be a different post.

Short never was my thing…

I counted how many pages I had sketched out for Scent of Spring yesterday, and I was working on page 87. I thought there was only going to be around eighty pages in the silly thing. (Not a very good guesser, am I?) I don't think I can be that much past two thirds through the story… so much for “less than a half as long as Black Flag”.

Although Black Flag just got longer too. I posted the sketches for Flag in Flames online (http://www.lshelby.com/BlackFlag/FlagDraft/0-0.php login:guest, password: crit) in the theory that someone might be willing to look them over and make nasty comments, and if I was going to do that, I needed to make those revisions I had planned. As usual I had kind of rushed the ending, and so I ended up adding an entire new chapter. I think that puts my total pages figure up to 218.

Slightly more cheerfully, I should have no trouble finishing off my weeks' writing quota today. Yay! Progress, makes me happy. That'll put me at about 15 000 words.

(Why am I not posting word counts of this story? Well, for one thing, I have a wordcount page on my website now — http://www.lshelby.com/wordcount.php — and secondly, I'm still not sure what the title is yet. The wordcount page on my website is created dynamically from a database, where I change the name of the story once, and every word count entry for that story is updated. Here on lj that wouldn't happen. Although one disadvantage to the database thingy -> on my own computer the wordcounts on the site are automatically updated, but the copy of my website on the webserver has to wait on me getting around to doing the database datasync routine before it's up to date.)

I'm glad that the writing going well, because UV mapping my space armor is proving problematical. Apparently my 3Dmodelling program does great maps if you do them *before* splitting your object up into different pieces so that it can be made to move with the character. Afterward… no love. Each body part ends up mapped individually. Arg! I need to dig out my older not so cool mapping utility and see what it can do.

Naturally…

Haven't been reading usenet…
Haven't been reading my livejournal friendslist…
Have a nasty head cold.

So of course I have a convention coming up this weekend.

I so don't feel ready for even socializing, let alone this networking thingy I'm supposed to be trying to do.
I'm going to go anyway, of course.

And on the plus side, I did get three good writing days in (book is now over 5000 words long), so maybe my mental condition is improving :crosses fingers:

And I have done a lot of stuff on Black Flag, even though none of it is actual pages. (I was a hairsbreadth from getting back to doing pages — got the space armor working… Yay! — and my 3D modeling program decided to go all wonky. Grrr! So I've been building characters and continuing to work on the website while waiting for some tech support.)

Oh, and the Scent of Spring sketches continue to go well. I'm on chapter six or seven or something like that.

Very little to report

I haven't been doing all that great health-wise, so mostly I've been working on very low energy – no thought stuff like website updates. I haven't done reader comment based revisions on the first two chapters of Eyes yet, and although I did attempt to start on the next Asolde story (tentatively titled Building with Flames) the wordcount to date is not particularly impressive.

On the other hand, my daughter in e-school had standardized testing this week, so while sitting at the testing center I had nothing to do but work on Scent of Spring. I am now almost finished the thumbnails for chapter three. (It goes slooooowwwly, but when you consider that it's be worked on on top of Black Flag, which is on top of my novel writing, I can't say that I'm all that displeased with its progress. I have given it a one year pre-write estimate and a five year production estimate in the website updates I've been doing — same as Flag in Flames, even thought it's less than half as long. That may not be a very accurate guess, though, I'll have to see how much drawing time I find during the summer.)

Side note: I have occasionally worried that coming from a novel-writing background might make me a little too word focused for graphic novels, but I just put together three pages in a row without any words at all. :)

Not Home Alone

My sister had the good timing to arrive for a visit while the kids were off school because the weather was too dangerous to travel half a mile in. My sister drove about 900 miles to get here, but that's beside the point and we won't go into it.

The kids had three snow days in a row, and then a two hour delay, but now they are back at school again finally, and it's now my social duty to entertain my sister. (Since I'm quite obviously capable of avoiding social obligations that I don't want to fulfill you may all safely assume that I enjoy spending time with my sister.) :)

This morning I told/read her Scent of Spring. Got lots of giggles. It is wonderful having a receptive audience. The kids don't “get” romantic/comedy of manners type humor much yet (their only interest in that particular story being the toddler character and the cute little doggy), and Boyd doesn't want to have his first reading of a completed story “spoiled” by too much interaction with it while its still in progress.

This 'n' That

Did not do any writing today because Boyd took me shopping (besides the kids are home, and although it's easy enough to get them used to me writing when they are always home, it is nigh impossible to do it when they are “on vacation”).

Unfortunately me going shopping means me not doing that great health-wise (which is why Boyd takes me instead of me going myself). I hope I can write tomorrow, I've got a climax to do.

Oh, well, whether I can or not, I now have empty page protectors again, so I have somewhere to put thumbnails for Scent of Spring, and thanks to a gift card from my parents-in-law, a bunch of art supplies to play with, so I can hopefully figure out how exactly I'm going to go about making “finished artwork”. Work on that one has recently come pretty much to a halt because it was driving me nuts that once I finished a page of sketches I had to either tuck it away somewhere where it couldn't be seen, or cover up some of my earlier sketches. (Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that this reveals something unfortunate about my personality?)

My younger son decided he wants Captain Blood on his Christmas tshirt, so that shirt is done, and my middle daughter decided to do her own tshirt, so we are down to my shirt and then I can go order them all and finally get back to work on Black Flag and Chaos Circle. I'm feeling a bit sorry for the other Black Flag characters, though, Blood has been getting way more attention than anyone else.

has mentioned in her livejournal that she is looking for an inker for her artwork. I often think I wouldn't mind a collaborator of some sort myself. Alas, I can't afford to pay anyone anything, and if I can't pay I don't like to even ask in a general way if anyone is interested. (If someone just volunteered out of the blue, that would be different, I'm not trying to take advantage of them in that case.) I think if I could afford to pay someone the first person I would want to find is a 3D modeler to help me build the Black Flag universe. And the second person on my list would be someone who could to help me arrange my music. These choices amuse a little though, because at the moment I have no serious plans for making money off either, so why are those the things I think I would be willing to pay money to get help with?

In theory…

…I am taking a Christmas break.

So, um, I just finished the script for Scent of Spring.
60 handwritten pages.

Because I plan to draw this one rather than use 3D, I have been getting a great many books out of the library on how to draw comics, (also Scott McCloud's “Making Comics” which is very, very cool, but has more on how to figure out what needs to be drawn than it does on how to draw). Of the current selection my two favorites are How to Draw Manga: Getting Started, and How to Draw Kung Fu Comics. The author of the Kung Fu one's occasionally irritates me by saying things like “the female palm and fingers are thinner and longer, and more elegant” — Oh, yeah? My female palm and fingers are short and stubby, so there! But I do like the art even if it even if it is stereotypical and sexist — it's also pretty, and dynamic, and kewl…

…I'm particularly fond of those lovely elaborate outfits with all the wrinkles and folds. :drool:

Anyway, I've been learning a lot, which is always neat. :)
I went over my Flag in Flames layout sketches, (which I now know are usually called “thumbnails”), and have discovered that I typically sketch figures with “6 head” proportions. (I didn't know there was such a thing as a 6 head proportion when I was doing the sketches, but I used it amazingly consistently anyhow.)

I'm currently trying to get a handle on the thing that has has always bothered me about my own drawings… the faces just aren't consistent enough that they look like the same person twice in a row. I read somewhere that the way you fix that is draw your characters over and over and over again in umpteen zillion poses and at every possible angle, so I'm getting started on that now.

:wanders off humming “Witness' Waltz”:

Twelve thousand, half million, million and more
Pieces of sketch paper litter my floor…

Grumble

Scent of Spring is giving me trouble and its all my own fault.

I liked the way Part One fell rather tidily into four chapters of pretty much the same length because with that title obviously I have a seasonal thingy going, and it was working — yay, and all that. So I tried to force Part Two into the same structure and the result was a severe case of too much blathering and insufficient scenery (which is not a problem I'm prone to complain about in a novel, but this is supposed to be a graphic story, so the scenery is pretty much the point of it all.) In retrospect I think it should have been obvious to me that Part Two was going to need to be at least twice as long as Part One. I'm pretty sure I've been trying to squish everything that needed to be said into half as much space as it needed to be said in. Urk!

I'm going to have to dump everything I've done on Part II and start over, but I've been dragging my feet on that and spending a lot of time trying to re-image things before diving back into writing things down. Which may not have been a waste of time, actually, but I'm starting to get impatient about getting pen in hand again. :)

I also did some work on Chaos Circle yesterday. I finished putting together the character “Tate”. Which means I can do the next strip, finally. I may make her a character page first… I know she's a Cynthia McQuillin fan, but I'm not sure what her favorite filksongs are yet.

Author's Note on Verdaia

I kept dreaming up these stories that seemed like fantasy or historical romances. But if they were fantasies, where was the magic? And if they were historicals, why couldn't I recognize any of the settings? I finally decided that all these story ideas were set on the same non-magical world, and named it Verdaia.

Verdaia has different geography than earth, and a different history, but is otherwise very much like earth. For me the fun of this world is in building cultures remincient of earth cultures, and yet not exactly the same.


 
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