Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LUPUS MOON #31 - "The Same, But Different--Which, Somehow, Isn't That Different"

Remember back when I made the (latest) decision on the form of "Lupus Moon," and I decided it would be a novel? Yes? You didn't get too attached to that idea, did you? I really hope not.

Yeah, you know what's coming next...

I just don't think novel writing's for me. Not at this time, anyway. Don't get me wrong; I don't doubt that I can do it. I just don't... feel it. I sat down to work on the project last week and the entire time I was in front of my monitor I kept finding myself drifting off, wishing I was pursuing "Lupus Moon" as a comic. I mean, the story was actually speaking to me--telling me what it wanted to be and yet I continued to try and convince it to be something else. I wasn't getting much work done at all...

So I sat. And thought. And analyzed my reasons for my decisions. And came to the grand realization that all my talk about the financial necessities, the feasibility of pulling a comic off as an indie, and--perhaps most embarrassingly--not wanting to work with others was just pure and utter bullshit.

And it was the worst kind of bullshit--the kind perpetrated by fear.

Why not pursue the project as a comic? If the only reason is money, then, quite frankly, I'm not trying hard enough. Time? Sure, it'll take some, but who am I kidding? Novels don't just happen overnight. Or over a week, a few weeks, a month--or, hell, even a few months. Some novels take over a year to be written or longer. Either way, this wasn't going to be a speedy process, so my impatient ass is just going to have to learn to deal with it.

Besides, "Lupus Moon" isn't the only project that I want to bring to life via comics. As is stands, the plan is to develop two intellectual properties simultaneously--"Lupus Moon" and the newly re-titled "Infernal Youth" (formerly known as "Darkness Walks"--a title that will be used for yet another property). I actually thought about developing three or four projects to come out the gate with, but I have to crawl before I can walk (if asked, though, they are slated; I just won't be working on them in any real capacity for now).

So yes, I'm going whole hog on the comic route. "And that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so!" Or he would, if he were here. And cared. And knew who the hell I was.

I can do this. All I need is the nuts to try.  To be fair, I did say that "Lupus Moon" would exist as a comic book someday--

It just looks like that day will come before it exists in any other medium.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TLATOAW (The Life and Times of Abigail Waller) #1 - "Gettin' Money"

You can see my other two posts dealing exclusively with my webcomic here and here.

"The Life and Times of Abigail Waller" (TLATOAW, for shortsies) is going really well. As of today, there are 56 installments, and I even managed to sell my first piece of artwork!

A fan hit me up on Twitter and asked about buying an 11x14 print of Abigail for a friend who, according to the fan, is Abby's doppelganger. This caught me off guard, as I wasn't prepared for any kind of sales at this point: I'm just glad to be getting the webcomic out on a regular basis. It took me several days, but I managed to get the print made and sent out to my buyer. I didn't charge a whole lot, but I made a nice profit from it. What's even more is the fan made an extra donation to the cause, for which, of course, I personally thanked her. I hated being caught with my figurative pants down, but at least now I have an infrastructure in place for if/when someone else wants to buy anything Abigail.

The craziest part? The little bit I made on the print is more than I've made in the 15 years I've been writing screenplays. In fact, counting a bounced check I received for an option payment on one of my scripts, I've actually lost money writing on spec. Yeah, it's like that.

I don't know if I'll sell any more Abigail merchandise any time soon (at some point, I'm thinking of compiling the comics into a book), but it's just great that there are folks out there who are enjoying my work. It makes putting the comics together that much more enjoyable.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

LUPUS MOON #30 - "World Tweaks; Let's Write This Sucker"

I did some tweaking to the world of "Lupus Moon" this past week.

More like rule-changing, really.

You know how it is when you have something that you fight ferociously to keep because you think it's a really cool concept, even though it just as often works as a shackle and obstacle to what you're trying to accomplish?

No? Um, okay. Awkward...

Yes? Good. Carry on.

As it stood, the full moon in my world lasted three nights. I know that astronomically, the moon is actually only full on one night--more exactly, for a split second on one night. But I was never down with having my werewolves transform on only one night. How in the hell would I write a convincing story with that without completely restructuring the basic premise I'd had in place for years? Call it laziness, but I just wasn't willing to do that. On the other hand, I never really gave credence to the concept that some authors have adopted where their werewolves can transform at any time. I felt like that de-emphasized in importance of the full moon, and I wasn't ready to be that radical with my story. At one point, I had written in where a werewolf, under certain extreme circumstances, would be forced to transform regardless of the moon's phase. These circumstances included rage, dire hunger, fear for one's life, and heavy sexual arousal. That alone opened up some flexibility in storytelling--each book wouldn't have to be centered around the three nights of the full moon--but, in working with the outline for the story, it still wasn't enough.

The fix? An amalgamation of ideas. First off, in the interest of astronomical correctness, the full moon will no longer last three nights. It will only be one night, which means that, like tradition, there will only be one night of each month when an experienced werewolf--also called "lycas" in my world--undergoes an uncontrolled, non-negotiable transformation. Notice, though, that I said "experienced." That's because there is a caveat. When a person is bitten or scratched by a lyca, that person will undergo their first transformation within 24 hours, no questions asked, regardless of the time of month (a concept gleaned from an existing story, but I can't remember which). This means that the neophyte lyca must learn to fight the change, whether on their own, or with the help of a veteran werewolf, or face becoming the beast on a daily basis. And even if they do, there's still that one night when even their best won't be good enough. Imagine the story possibilities if, for some reason, someone never mastered this control--be it because they simply lack the will--or because of some psychological defect.  In addition, I'm keeping the transformation-triggered-by-extreme-condition bit. But the coup de grace is that, outside of the aforementioned times/situations, I'm doing a complete 180 and canonizing that my werewolves can transform at will, thus making them a danger 24/7 (they are strongest at the full moon, however).

All this serves to blow the hinges off what I can and can't do with my stories, while opening up numerous doors thematically. These changes, along with a handful of story ideas/adjustments, allowed me to finish up the latest version of the outline, which leaves me with nothing to do but finally start a draft. Yeah, I know I said that last time, but I mean it this time.

Wish me luck. This is new ground for me, so I'm hoping that I'm making this a lot harder in my head than it's really going to be. I don't expect things to get easier from here--not by a long shot. But I do hope to have a lot of fun, 'cause if I'm not having fun--

Why even bother?