Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Webcomic Wednesday!!

So it’s Wednesday and I’m writing this post. I actually managed to keep my promise. Go me!
Now the back patting and self congratulations are out of the way I’ll actually fill you in with what’s happening in my own personal web-comicking world.

For the last few days it’s been all about the resource gathering. I’ve been finding pictures, mostly for settings, and saving them onto my laptop into a variety of folders. I’m freakishly organised like that, at least for references. I’ve got entire folders dedicated to settings that may only appear for a few pages or so. I’ve got another bunch of folders solely for the use of character wardrobes, chockfull of clothing styles and pieces that I think reflect the vibe I’m going for with each character. Maybe this is the anal-retentive freak in me but I find organising my documents for comics to a freakish level fun and interesting. Artists and writers are generally thought of as some of the messiest people and I am messy. My room’s almost always got a few items of clothing lying around, although it’s usually folded slightly and put to one side. My comic materials and reference books are just shoved onto make-shift shelves in no particular order. Still though, I find myself organising and separating out my various projects into their own little physical folders. I give myself deadlines for completing certain parts of projects. It’s weird; I admit it and let’s move on. Nothing to see here, ignore the crazy creative type in the corner.

Last night I was reading through some other web-comics and sketch threads on the wonderful SmackJeeves forums that I frequent, probably too many times a day and I started sketching some of the images that I liked. I did this mostly to figure out why I liked a character or a style which actually worked. Then I shoved bits and pieces together and in a rough, and I mean ROUGH, sketch I managed to create one of my main characters! I’ve been struggling for ages to get him looking right, ever since I thought him up. He’s always come out too clean cut and young-looking but I need him battle hardened and a little rough around the edges. I’ve spent most of this evening working on a proper sketch of him though and it seems to be working. At last I have a picture of Gabe on paper that actually matches how I see him in my head. I’m so happy! He still needs work, shading and colour and the like, but I’m happy with how he’s looking so far. 
I just hope I can carry on drawing him for the 100+ pages that the Screnzy comic’s going to be.

I also went to an art store today. Big Mistake. I ended up buying some stuff for painting with acrylics; paintbrushes, acrylic painting pads, acrylic paints... Any way... I’m telling you this for a reason. Well, a reason other than the fact that I just want to talk about my shiny new toys. I’m telling you all this because, HOPEFULLY, I can start painting a few of my settings into actual paintings. I’ve still got to do all the prep work still as the settings currently live in my head, but once that’s out of the way I should be good and ready to paint some lovely, lovely pictures. And who knows, I might actually share some of my In-Progress pictures with you all... if I remember. Someone remind me?

Well, that’s my promise kept and my ramble about web-comics done. I plan on posting again on Friday for.... Project Friday? Yeah I made that one up on the spot too. Not as catchy as this one. I’ll work on it.
Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes, Project Friday *wince*. On Friday I’ll be filling you all in on the progress of various projects and might include a few photos/scans. Maybe even one of the lovely Gabe.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

A big rant in which I repeat I WILL POST MORE OFTEN far too many times to be healthy

I’m aware right now that I’m an appallingly bad blogger. So bad in fact that I should hang up my blogging hat and retire to some dark corner of the internet. Buuuut I’m not going to so nyaaaaaah. I’m not going to stop blogging because as some of my friends know I’m part Scottish and that makes me very, very stubborn. Combine that with the fact that I’m also part Irish, an equally stubborn race, and I’m worse than a cat stuck in a tree over a lake. I’m determined to prove to myself and anyone out there that I’m a serious blogger and a serious writer. Even if I do keep misspelling blogger as blooger. So like a cat in a tree over a large pool of water I’m going to stubbornly cling to my little blogger branch until an Act of God makes me let go (please don’t smite me, please don’t smite me)

Any regular readers (hey, I may have some) out there may well be wondering WHY I haven’t been blogging lately. Well I’ll tell you. Yes, they are mostly woefully inadequate excuses to any seriously dedicated blogger but they’re MY excuses and that’s what matters. To me. Because I’m special. But anyway, now my little ego boost is over with, here’s a little list for now and I’ll go through the reasons one at a time.
  • ·         Laziness
  • ·         The Novel
  • ·         The Webcomics
  • ·         Other News


I’m a chronic procrastinator. Unless it’s actually important to my existence/income I generally put off doing something until the last minute. I’ve always done that since school, through university and into my job seeking. I’m getting better now though. I’ve been learning to write cover letters, different CVs and the importance of good quality research. That doesn’t mean though that my dastardly procrastinating ways are over. I still think that doing other things is more important, or rather funnerer (shush it is a real word!) than doing the things that I should be doing. Instead of writing I’ll watch TV, instead of blogging I’ll play WoW, instead of drawing comics I’ll read about drawing comics. Some days I’ll just spend hours flicking through DamnLOL pictures. I’m just too freaking lazy. On that note then I’ve realised I need to change.

I have to train myself into regular habits, from waking up before 10 to blogging more than once a fortnight to using references in my comics to researching important things for my novels. I’ve managed to get myself waking up at half past 8 so I figured I’d move onto the next part of the list. I’m starting that today and I’m hoping that by telling you, however many of you there may be, I can train myself into actually posting at a regular schedule again. So that is my promise from this week onwards. 


Who knows, maybe I’ll end up with a regular update schedule.

The Novel

My NaNoWriMo Novel (henceforth referred to simply as The Novel) was finished last month. Now I’ve finally gotten around to editing it. I’ve managed to edited enough chapters that I could, if I really wanted to, send it off to literary agents. I’m not going to yet though. It’s a massive 100k beast that needs a lot more work and I refuse to rush it. Should, by some freakish stroke of luck, an agent request the entire thing after I send the submission excerpt in I would do more damage trying to edit it all quickly than if I waited a little longer to edit more of it.

The Novel is a groggy beast. It starts off well enough until it reached the end of my micro-planning. After that point things got very, very fuzzy. Characters kept getting killed. Or kidnapped. Or at one point both. I’ve got more characters than I know what to do with. With this in mind I’ve been working through many of the plot points in my noggin, trying to straighten all the twisted tangling threads into one lovely French braid version of The Novel. A French braid plaited by Umberto G himself. Or some other hair stylist or plaiter. Yes that’s how I’m seeing The Novel’s plots, like a plait. It’s got nothing to do with the friendship bracelets I made with my Guide Unit last week. Nothing at all. Maybe.

To sort out some of these plot points, especially the ones involving the main antagonist I’ve had to do some research. This has involved buying a few books, actually reading through them and making notes. I’ve gone so far as to actually write in the books themselves *le gasp!* I know it’s sacrilege but I have no plans of selling them and it helps me figure out why a certain fact is/was important. With all this research, and the editing of The Novel itself I’ve been too distracted to come up with anything constructive to write. Or even whine about. 

Now though I’m realising that it’s no longer an excuse. Many other, more important/successful/busy writers and professionals than me find the time once or twice a week to post a blog, even if it’s only a few sentences. If they, who are probably busy almost every waking hour can find the time to do that why can’t I? A person who has no job (not for lack of trying I may add) and no other distractions other than self-made ones.  With that in mind I’ve decided that


Just like the writers who are actually published find time to do between book tours and meetings with publishers. Oh and the actual writing.

The Webcomics

I’ve mentioned the webcomics that I do in several posts in the past. Well, with the start of Script Frenzy fast approaching, (in a week’s time in fact) I’ve been busy planning my idea for that. On the back of this idea though has come others. Specifically one exceptionally long webcomic idea. Before I start even thinking about researching or scripting that though I want to get these other ones out of the way first. In particular the Script Frenzy Webcomic (henceforth referred to as SFW). It’s short, only planned to be 100 pages. If I finish it, or rather when I finish it (I’m trying to be optimistic this week, shush!), I may start work on this new idea (NI). 

While I’m working on the SFW though, putting the script through my editing brain, planning the characters in more depth, etc, etc, etc, I will be rebooting some old webcomics. In particular is Loves Complication (LC) a webcomic based on a short novel I wrote and actually finished at 16. Looking back on the entire premise now it’s incredibly obvious how childish and teen fantasy-ish (shuddup) the plot was. With this in mind I’m re-writing the script, fiddling with the characters and actually writing a better plot. The main storyline/theme stays the same, it’s just the path from A to B is a little more complex and less wish-fullfillment. Which LC was. When I wrote it I was going through a bad time at school that suddenly got better. As a result the plot meanders quite happily from heavy teen angst (we’re talking major emo here) to happiness on level with a Twilight fan being locked in the room with Robert Pattinson. In short I had a manic depressive webcomic. I’ve decided to change that while I’m working on the others. LC will now be digital and less juvenile. It will also be on heavy medication in an attempt to even out its moods. It will be all these things... once I finish designing the characters.

The other webcomic which I know I’ve mentioned on here is Witchan. I’ve ranted before about my impatience when writing and drawing and Witchan is the perfect example of this. I went into it last time too quickly without a decent character design or established style. As a result it shows in my art and the writing. Now though I’ve taken the pages down, I’m running through the first few chapters with a big pen and completely reworking the idea. The plot may not even stay the same. The premise will be though. There’s no way I’m giving up that magic wizard school that floats in the sky. The name may also change. The one thing I do like about Witchan however is that it isn’t as juvenile as LC. I’m trying to approach different, more adult themes in comparison to LC which is mostly teen entertainment.

LC and Witchan will, more than likely be slowly worked on at the same time as the SFW but posted sooner. Not as much work is needed for them in comparison to SFW as I’m not starting from scratch. Once SFW and one of the others is finished, then and only then, will I start drawing actual pages for the NI. That’s if I’ve completed the preparation work for it all. All I’m saying about the NI is that it’s reaching into new territory for me and needs a lot of research in areas that I have no knowledge of.

I’m not going to go through all this alone though. Oh no. For every little stumbling block I reach, for every little artistic epiphany I experience, for every time I want to screw everything up and set fire to it you, dear readers will be informed of it too. I might end up giving out spoilers, I might end up posting little snippets of art. Who knows? I certainly don’t. But I know that in order for us to find out... 


Come on, you knew that was coming.

Other News

The site WILL be having a revamp. I don’t know when, I don’t what it’ll look like, I don’t even know how I’m going to do it as I don’t know any HTML code. But I’m going to change the design and make it look more professional, more stylish, But if I do it now no one will notice because I so rarely update. If I want people to come to the site and keep coming back and then go “Wow! Nicole the site looks so different and shiney and sparkly and new” then I need to keep people coming back. To do this


Please, you had to have seen that one coming.

 And with that insanely long blog post out of the way (Boy, I really got carried away with all that ranting didn't I?) I’m going to look at some kittens and hunt up some reference pictures. I will hopefully see you all on Wednesday for WEBCOMICS WEDNESDAY, where I talk about my webcomics and any little epiphanies that have kicked me in the brain (do you like the title? I just made that up). This is all part of my plan to                 


What you thought I was done with that?

Nicole xx

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Writer's Block

Sometimes it feels as though I keep thumping into a brick wall. All the enthusiasm and drive to create that was with me in the last week or so has gone. I know this is me being lazy, that I should push myself to draw anyway but I just don’t feel like it. Annoyingly I still have the ideas coming into my brain but still I’m not doing anything about it. I would once have called this the dreaded Writer’s Block but I’ve come to realise that Writer’s Block is mostly a myth. It’s simple laziness on my part. The ideas are there. There’s no actual block on those ideas, it’s just my lack of motivation to put them down onto paper that is getting in my way. 

I’m hoping that pushing through this lack of motivation will get the ball rolling again and hopefully I can start producing stuff again. It’s been that way before. I’ve thought I’ve had Writer’s Block but once I’ve actually gotten working the block has... dissolved I suppose, and I’ve been creating comic pages, writing my novel and just generally being creative like a machine. So I plan to work through it, pushing myself to actually write, to actually draw. I can already feel it dissolving in fact as I write this post and hopefully I can get my arse in gear and sort through it all. Who knows, I may actually get through it and out the other side to find myself enthused about writing and drawing again.

Does anyone else ever have problems with motivation?