Monday, November 14, 2016

Shadowfox #11 - "Trimming the Fat"

Spent some time this weekend working on the pitch package for the comic. This is what I'll send to the artist in order to have character designs done. I had previously managed to get the story down to six issues, so all that remains is to write the scripts (I say that like it's an easy thing...).

Along with synopses of each issue in the arc, I plan to send along bios on each character that will appear, as well as reference photos for a few of them. I'll also provide information on the characters' world, including their hometown of Bayou City. Basically everything I can think of to create as clear a picture as I can. I've never done this before, so I figure overkill is better than underkill. I have yet to contact the artist I want for this project, but that'll be coming once I have the first script done (I actually could contact him now, since I'm just looking to have the characters designed, but I'm also hoping he'll be interested in doing the whole book, so...). I had hoped to start the script this past weekend, but it just didn't happen. I actually have a good bit to go on the pitch package, but it shouldn't take long.

The heavy lifting has already been done, so it's downhill from here...

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shadowfox #10 - "Re-Locked and Re-Loaded - Again"

As mentioned in my previous post, I've decided to go back to pursuing indie comics creation.

This has nothing to do with The Life and Times of Abigail Waller, of course. I'm talking traditional, Marvel/DC-style comics. The kind I was previously interested in doing, but ran from like a scaredy little bitch because of how much money and time it would take, telling myself I could get them out faster and cheaper writing them as a series of short stories. Which is still true.

Thing is, while I was having fun writing what would become Issue#1, I couldn't shake the desire to see my characters realized visually. Sure, I planned to hire an artist to do covers for me, just like an actual comic book, but it didn't feel like it would be enough. Plus, I was actually missing script writing, not to mention not being able to ignore how cool it would feel to actually hold a comic in my hands that I'd created. Or, better yet, having a table at a con while representing my work. Yes, there are folks who would dig the prose stories, but there would also be those who suddenly lost interest when they found out there were words inside instead of pictures. And it's not that I'm letting that possibility rule my decisions; honestly, in fact, there's a small part of myself that feels the same way.

I ran from something I wanted to do, citing reasons I had yet to encounter. Sure, I will encounter the challenges of money and time needed to complete projects, but what it comes down to is do I really want to do comics or not? If so, then I'll have to deal with whatever comes my way in the natural pursuit of the goal. I turn 39 next week, and the older I get, the less inclined I feel to run from things. At some point you have to either "shit or get off the pot." I don't want to be one of those folks who faces old age and death with a litany of regrets. In other words, I choose to shit.

So that means that, once again, Shadowfox is a comics project. The good news is that the story is already planned and broken down into installments, so all I have to do now is write the actual scripts. As it stood, I was looking at seven parts to the story. I want to see if I can get it down to six. I don't think it'll be hard--simply a matter of cutting out things that worked fine in prose, but are just superfluous. I'm getting started on that today, so I'll know shortly just how plausible that may be. I also have fleshed out the physical looks of the characters, so passing that along to an artist to have concept work done should be easy.

Now to fashion the actual scripts and find the right artist...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A New Look for Kynetik Ink

A few months back, I told you all about a situation where I received a cease and desist order for a name I was planning to use for my superhero-themed short stories. At the time, I debuted a new name for those endeavors--Kynetik Ink Press. I also debuted a new logo, one that captured the essence of my intent for writing prose.

But, as is par for the course with me, things have changed. I didn't mention it in my last post, primarily because I was still thinking over things, but I've made my decision, and here it is: I'm going back to pursuing indie comics creation, and I'm going to do it through Kynetik Ink.

This, of course, created a bit of an issue with branding, as the previous logo for Kynetik Ink screamed literature, what with the quill as the primary graphic element. So, to better reflect the new direction of the yet-to-be-official company, a new logo was required.

Behold...


Clean. Simple. The look of my efforts as I move forward. I wanted something non-complicated, but cool, in the way of the logos for Marvel and DC. I think I achieved that here, but I'm open to fiddling with it more should a need arise. But for now, this is it. Now, to get to work on the products behind the brand--which is a perfect lead-in for my next post...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Restructuring

Due to some soul-searching, self-reflection, and a whole lot of brainstorming the past few days, I've made the decision to combine my two genre universes under one banner. "Kynetik Ink Press" and "Darque Marque Press" will merge under the Kynetik Ink name.

There will still be two universes--one for superhero/sci-fi characters (Shadowfox, Blayze, Pulse, etc.) and one for supernatural/horror stories (Lupus Moon, Darkness Walks, Infernal Knight, etc.), but they will be referred to as the Kynetik Universe 1 and Kynetik Universe 2 (KU-1 and KU-2), respectively. They may one day all share the same universe--with, of course, the potential for crossover stories--but, in the meantime, when referring to all these properties in general, you'll see me use the phrase "The Kynetik Universe."

Oh, and expect an update on Shadowfox in the near future; a major decision looms regarding that project (though, if you've followed this blog for any length of time, you can just about guess what it is). As always, there's things happening afoot.

Until then, good folks, go forth and do whatever it is you do--and I will do the same.

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Cease and Desist"

So...what had happened was...

A few days ago I hit a milestone. Yep. Another big milestone in my quest to finally become "somebody."

I got my first cease and desist order. I received via email, and it came as a direct response to a post on this very blog on June 2 of this year. Apparently, one of the names I wanted to use for a publishing shingle for fiction was one already in use by a religious organization, "As you may be aware..."

Eh, kinda.

When I did a Google search for the name when I first decided I wanted to use it, I did see one other entity that was using it--and, if memory serves me correct, they didn't have the type of web presence that you would expect from a business that obviously has the cash flow to employ pretentious, condescending (I'd post the letter to show you, but I'm pretty sure it's a good idea not to) intellectual property attorneys to send spiffy C&D letters to small-time cats like myself who haven't even gotten off the ground yet. I'm also not one of these attorneys, so my command of trademark law extends only as far as what I've gleaned from surfing the web. So I made a judgement call and went ahead with the name, thinking the organization I saw online wasn't a major player and wouldn't notice--or care about--what I was doing (it wouldn't be the first time I'd seen two different entities with the same name).

Well, I was wrong. And, as a result, I would up spending the better part of a day coming up with a new name and several hours today creating new logos and updating Facebook and Twitter pages. But it's done, and I made sure that I have a name that no one else on the planet (according to Google) has.

Allow me to introduce you to...


Now that this issue has been resolved, I can focus more time on what I do best--creating stories. I have some really cool things coming up and in the works, including what might be my first professional speaking engagement. If it comes through, I'll be talking about the basics of storytelling, as well as making preparations to deal with the marketplace.

I have a feeling this little ordeal will somehow make its way into my presentation.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Shadowfox #9 - "Re-Locked and Re-Loaded"

It's been a long time since I've had a dedicated Shadowfox update--over a year, in fact.

At the time, the project was slated to be a novel, though I'm pretty sure that story was significantly different than the last outline I finished recently. And even since then, the project has taken another major shift.

I once was considering writing the story as a series of novellas, or even short stories. I thought of treating as the prose equivalent of comic books, complete with issue numbers and arc titles. It was an idea I really liked, but ultimately wasn't confident enough in to follow up on. I just didn't think there'd be a market for it, and I really wanted to see my characters realized graphically.

Well, fast forward (or back, depending on how you look at it) to a couple weeks ago, when I came across Jonathan L. Howard's excellent Goon Squad series. It's exactly what I had envisioned--stories told over the course of multiple issues--and more, going so far as to have a letter from the writer as a coda, closing out each issue while setting the reader up for the next. At a very reasonable .99 for 27 pages, it was easy for me to give it a shot to see if I'd like it.

Love it is the more appropriate phrase. I found myself eating up the stories and reading the reviews, coming to the realization that not only could the concept could work, but there were folks who'd actually read it. Sure, serialized prose isn't a new thing, but in today's instant gratification world, I wasn't sure it was still viable (it works for comics, but for whatever reason people accept it in that format, as where I've seen actual folks complain that a written story was coming to them in pieces).

As I kept reading, my fears melting more and more into nothingness (save for the always-present "But will my work be accepted?"), I found myself re-warming to the idea of rolling Shadowfox out in the same way. It'd be easier, and quicker to get work out, I thought. Besides, I could be making money on my work while I was putting the story out, and the piecemeal nature of it would allow me to work on a couple different series at the same time if I wanted, thus touching more projects sooner. Everything was looking like a go, except for one thing...

I had turned the story from a serialized version to a novel version, including the addition of a several more scenes. Because of this, I'd have to potentially rework the entire thing to get it to fit neatly into a series of shorter stories, each with enough action and momentum to keep readers' focus. Great. I was looking at the possibility of having to re-invent the wheel I had previously re-invented. This alone was enough to work against moving forward with the serialized format, even though I really wanted to do it.

Finally getting some nuts about myself, I made the decision to give it a go (I could always go back to the single novel if things went south), and sat down to look over the current outline to see how things could break down. It took me a couple days just to figure out how many issues I wanted to release the story in, and how many words I wanted each story to be, the idea being that too many would result in taking longer to get the books out--and taking longer to start, possibly and hopefully, making money. Don't get me wrong, money isn't the only thing, but it is a concern--especially when you aren't sitting on a lot to begin with and the bills come in faster than the dollars do. Luckily for me, however, my existing story breaks down neatly into six issues, my desired number. My ideal word count for each is 11,250.

I've got my master file updated and ready to go, with the six issues laid out with individual titles (in true comic cook fashion), which, after their initial release, will be collected in a "trade paperback" and sold together; basically a novel. If things go according to plan (and hopes and wishes), the full story will run 67,500 words--well over the threshold to be called a novel, but still on the shorter side of things. Which I'm fine with.

I'm planning to use the same approach with Lupus Moon, Darkness Walks, and all my other Ascension and Darque Marque titles. They were mostly conceived as comics properties, and the fact that I haven't outlined most of the stories yet means I can originate them with the serialized format in mind. As for wanting to see my characters realized graphically? I'm still going to need covers for the stores--

One for each issue. In each arc. And I have multiple arcs in mind.

Sounds like a win-win for me. I'll keep you posted as things progress...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

#ConningWhileBlack

A couple weekends ago, I made my annual trip to Comicpalooza, billed as "Texas' largest comic and pop culture event (well, it's not much of a trip, seeing as how it's in Houston and I live here--but that's beside the point)." It's an apt tagline, as the show takes over the ginormous George R. Brown Convention Center on the south edge of downtown each year.

I'd had a different emphasis the past few years with regards to the panels I attended (don't get me wrong, I LOVE the celebrity guests just like the next geek, but I haven't gotten to the point where I'm paying for autographs and photos from everyone I'd like to get them from, so the strength of the panels means that much more to me; plus, I'd rather save my money for supporting indie comics creators). Two years ago, when I was really hot about creating indie comics, I attended every panel on making comics that I could. This year, with my current focus on writing prose, saw me attending mostly panels on the literary track, where I picked up some really good information and advice that will help as I progress in that endeavor.

However, I also found myself in some rather...interesting...situations--a few of which I'm not sure would've happened to any con-goer regardless, or just me because I'm of a certain, how shall I say, hue?

Maybe it's something. Maybe it's not. But what is it like when you're one of the few black faces at a pop culture con dominated by white ones? Here's a little insight, in the form of  a series of intended tweets I'd like to call #ConningWhileBlack.
  • In a panel on self-publishing. Only Black person in a room of 20. Wonder how many times my talent has been discounted? #ConningWhileBlack
  • Maybe it's in general, but folks tend to think they can cross in front of me without saying "excuse me." Until I start tripping them. I've done it before. #ConningWhileBlack
  • Another panel where I'm the only Black person. Guess I shouldn't be surprised. It is about YA fantasy... #ConningWhileBlack
  • This one white lady keeps looking at me like, "I wonder why HE'S here?" I'm wanting to write books, lady. #ConningWhileBlack
  • 2nd time today: I was alone at a table that seats 7; had someone come and sit down while completely ignoring me. Guess I have the mutant power of invisibility. #ConningWhileBlack
  • The temperature in this room is NOT intended for folks who's ancestors are from a warmer climate. #ConningWhileBlack
  • Third straight panel where I'm the only Black person in the room. Do I qualify for pioneer status, yet? #ConningWhileBlack
  • I'm on the second row, and this GIANT MF just sat right in front of me. Who needs to see, anyway? #ConningWhileBlack
  • It's bad enough you're blocking my view; why must your big ass constantly jostle like the world's biggest baby? #ConningWhileBlack
  • And not that your giant self is wearing a red shirt. All I can think of is, "Oh, yeah!" #KoolAidMan #ConningWhileBlack
  • You're shivering; I would've thought your blubber would keep you warm. Just move out of my way, already. #ConningWhileBlack
  • What?! Another Black person showed up? 2 vs. 35! We got this, sista! #ConningWhileBlack
  • Another book panel. 10 people. I'm the only Black person. Do we not write? I know we do. Or do we not want to learn? #ConningWhileBlack
  • Aw, snap! 3 Black folks just showed up! We takin' over! Lol. #ConningWhileBlack
  • And the 3 Black people just left. They were here maybe 10 minutes. Damn. #ConningWhileBlack
  • Uh-oh! A new Black person. A kid, but she counts. We're at net -2. #ConningWhileBlack
  • You don't have to sit next to me--or on my row--if you don't want to. Trust me on this. #BlackHalo #ConningWhileBlack
  • Day 2. I have backup today, but apparently, with our #BlackHalo powers combined... We're at a table for 10. Completely empty. Folks at other tables all around. #ConningWhileBlack
  • Oh, wait, 2 white women show up at our table right as the film starts (we're up front). I guess you can deal w/ our Blackness if there's a benefit to you. #ConningWhileBlack
Oh, well. I still had a blast, and I'm already looking forward to next year's Comicpalooza. "And that's the bottom line, 'cause..."

You know what? Come to think of it, Stone Cold would be an awesome guest to have next year. And he's a Texas boy, too. One of my highlights this year was seeing Ric Flair live and in person, and this would take things to the next level. You have your mission, Comicpalooza. "Make it so."

Regardless, I'll be there, still #ConningWhileBlack.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Abigail Waller--Coming Back to a Screen Near You?

It's been a pretty productive Saturday. Just taking a break before finding something else to jump into...

A couple months back, one of my film friends confessed to me (his word, not mine) that he was a fan of The Life and Times of Abigail Waller and had been interested in doing a short film based on it for a while. His request was simple: a three-minute script; either a new story, or one based on an existing comic. He'd direct it, and handle all the logistics. He even offered to let me hang around and consult to make sure the characters were represented authentically.

I was completely down with the idea. I had wondered about crossing Abigail back into live action myself, but with the ease and speed of being able to put out the comic, I just wasn't motivated enough to make the jump. So taking my friend up on his offer represented the best of both worlds.

It took me a couple months, but yesterday I finally selected the story I wanted to go with, and today I refined the script and sent it off for review. If you're a follower of the webcomic, I decided to go with Episode 1.3 - "I like Your Hair. Can I Touch It?" It's a particular favorite, but it will also be an easy shoot, and something I feel will work great as a short.

Who knows? It might lead to more. I'd definitely be interested if I could find the right team--though I wonder if I should stick to comics, seeing as how so much of the story exists in that format. But that's another issue for another time. Let's see if this current project comes to fruition first.

Though--and I told my friend this--I don't doubt he can make it happen.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Freshening Up the Joint

EDIT - 7.22.16: Due to a legal issue, I've had to go with another name for the sci-fi/fantasy/adventure shingle. For more on that, including the new branding visit this blog post

Below you will find the original post, unaltered for the most part for the sake of posterity, save for the removal of the logo intended for the former book brand.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about where I am and where I want to go...

As I mentioned in a previous post, though the interest is still there, I'm not overly-enthusiastic about going back to filmmaking. My webcomic is going well, and my prose projects still look promising. In fact, I was approached by a friend a couple nights ago about the possibility of bringing another long-dormant story to life as a spinoff comic of The Life and Times of Abigail Waller. I really like the idea, so more development may happen on that front in the future.

As for prose, I'm becoming more and more enamored with that form of storytelling, and I've been spending more and more time thinking about it, pondering on how to bring those concepts, and how to organize the structure under which the projects will be released. Because my story ideas break down into two camps--sci-fi/fantasy/adventure and horror/supernatural--I've decided to release the books under different publishing shingles, as I envision each as its own universe where characters may cross from one story/series to another.

The sci-fi/fantasy/adventure shingle, with will primarily house my superhero characters, will be known as Ascension Press, while my horror/supernatural shingle will bear the name Darque Marque Press. In true Kevin Sorrell fashion, I've already created logos for both brands (with no books to show, but those will come later, right?), and they have corresponding Facebook and Twitter accounts--'cause I love the world-building aspect of things.


But all my brainstorming didn't stop there. With my currently-waning interest in filmmaking, I wasn't sure what to do with my Cougar's Marque Entertainment brand. Surely I'd have some use for it, but as what, if I wasn't making films?

Well, the answer, for now, is "nothing." For a moment, the idea was to use CME as the parent company under which everything else would be placed, making it a truly multi-media company. But something just didn't feel right when it came to the novels and books. In most cases, especially as an indie, the author more or less takes center stage in terms of online presence. They themselves are the brand--not some company. In other words, if you wanted to know more about a certain book, you'd most like be presented with an author page that houses information on their books and projects, or, at least, a website specifically dedicated to the books in question. 

I could go the latter route, but, thinking toward the hopeful day that I'm a comic or book convention, and someone asks me where they can get more information about my work, instead of having multiple URLs I could provide (and have to keep up with), I felt that it would be nice to have one catch-all site, whether someone wanted to know about my webcomic, my short films, my books--all of it. And if someone was asking about my books, telling them "cougars-marque.com" wasn't doing it for me, as it created a bit of a disconnect. What the hell is Cougar's Marque?

Now, this is probably one of those cases where I'm making something out to be a bigger problem than it really is. In actuality, I could probably give someone any URL, and they'd go off happy because they got what they needed. But there's a business aspect to go along with all of this creativity, and I'm obsessed with making the smartest decision--getting it "right"--and paranoid about getting it "wrong." So the "right" answer was simple...

"Kevin Sorrell" would become the "parent company," and everything would fall under that in terms of corporate structure. 
  • You want to know more about my novels and prose? "kevinsorrell.com."
  • You want to know more about my webcomic? "kevinsorrell.com" (of course, there's abigailwallerseries.com, but we're talking a one-stop shop here). 
  • You want to know more about my films? 
  • Music video? 
  • Screenwriting? 
  • General thoughts?
You get the idea...

I've had this blog for a while, so it makes perfect sense for everything to coalesce under this site. And I bought kevinsorrell.com a while ago, when I first had the idea of doing a site to brand myself as a writer--basically the planned successor to this blog. I'll probably move this over to another platform eventually, but for now, this is where it's at.

Oh, and one more thing. I might change the name of the blog, in alignment with the username I currently use on Twitter, and plan to use on any writing-related sites I join going forward--writerguykev. It's not a definite, as I dig the current name, but it's always something I could always go back to if I wanted.

Besides, change is good. I should know. I certainly do it enough...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Name-Dropped by Nerds (of Prey)

It's always nice when your work gets attention.

The Life and Times of Abigail Waller received a really cool honor a couple of days ago, when it was mentioned on the latest Nerds of Prey podcast, on a “Quick Caw” episode focusing on webcomics!

Normally hosted by four lovely sistas, this episode featured two of the usual crew, @Phunky_Brewster and @BlkGirlManifest, talking about what they loved about webcomics, as well as particular ones they follow and enjoy.

The entire show (under 35 minutes) was great; Abigail, in particular, comes up at the 20:12 mark.

Listen to the podcast here.

Monday, May 9, 2016

LUPUS MOON #34 - "New Prologue"

Reworked the outline for Book One a little bit tonight. While trying to figure out the best way to start the story, I came up with an AWESOME new prologue idea. I'm actually embarrassed I didn't come up with this sooner, since it seems to feel so damn right.

If I follow my work schedule, I won't be touching the project until next Saturday--but that's a big "if," as I'm now more eager than I have been in a long time to get into a draft...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

You Win Some, You Lose Some...

Today's a little bit of good news, a little bit not-so-good...

The good news is that today is the one year anniversary of The Life and Times of Abigail Waller. It's been a blast working on the comic this year, and I look forward to continuing the story into the next and beyond.

The not-so-good news is that a competition I was hoping to land a nomination in (I didn't even want to win; it would've been nice, of course) released their list of nods today--and I didn't make the cut. The competition is the Glyph Comic Awards, put on by the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC). It's the comics awards equivalent to the NAACP Image Awards, established to honor achievement in the field of graphic arts by persons of color.

The sucky thing about it is the timing. The nominations were supposed to be made public no later than March 28, per the contest's registration paperwork. That never happened, and it wasn't until last week, on April 16th, that anything was said about what was going on (apparently, they decided to add more time to the judging due to a larger-than-normal number of entries). The fact that the announcement was only made through an affiliated Facebook page, with no emails sent to the actual persons submitting, says a lot. In fact, the only reason I knew the nominations came out today was by accident; someone mentioned it in a Twitter post in a group I'm a part of. I don't check in to this group everyday, so it could've been whenever that I would have found out.

So, because of a "delay" in judging, instead of learning I about this news when I should've, when I would've been over it by now and on to other things, the news gets dropped today--on my webcomic's anniversary. It can't be personal, because they don't know me, but nonetheless, that's a real "fuck you" moment.

As I mentioned, it wasn't about winning. I really just wanted to be nominated. I thought it would be cool to be able to say the webcomic made a nice impact in its first year. And I get it; you can't win them all and losing happens. But to really want it and to get the bad news on your webcomic's anniversary because of outside bungling...this is exactly why I'm not bursting at the seams to go back to filmmaking.

But enough bitching (this is my blog, though. If I can't be honest and vent and bitch here, where the fuck can I?). It doesn't change the fact that I love doing The Life and Times of Abigail Waller, nor does it change the fact I have some really awesome fans who make it even more worthwhile to crank the comics out. And it damn sure doesn't change the fact that I have stories to tell. Long story short--it changes nothing.

New Abigail will be dropping next Wednesday and Friday, and the Wednesday and Friday after that, and the Wednesday and Friday after that, and so on...

Can't stop.

Won't stop.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

When I'm Quiet...

You know the drill by now.

I come on here, blog for a bit, then...silence.

Then I reappear, talk about how I've changed course on everything, blah, blah, blah...wash, rinse, repeat.

Well, this time, that's not quite the case.

I've been working. Anytime I go silent, you can rest assured of that. Have there been changes? Sure, but nothing major. Lupus Moon is still on the docket (as a prose work), but it has been shifted into a secondary/backup/contingency role with my intention to bring my teen superhero concept, Shadowfox, to shelves first (I'll get into that in a future post). The Life and Times of Abigail Waller has just started it's third season--with a new, consistent format--to rave reviews. And I'm still planning on doing the web series concept with my actress friend, as well as the Blaque Magick web series project. As for the short films, Revelation and The Reparations Squad, I'm still interested in making those, but I need to revisit them to see if they're really moves I should make right now and if they're stories I really want to tell (and why).

They key to all this, of course, is time. I recently worked a side gig shooting and editing video to bring in some money. It's taken a lot more time than I wanted it to, but I'm almost done with it, which will allow me to move onto other things. In the meantime I've put together a schedule to try and keep my projects on track while making sure everything gets touched. Now all I have to do is follow it--which I'm doing now, resulting in this blog post.

It's late, so I'm about to hit the sack so I can get up and get back at it. I look forward to updating y'all on things as they progress.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Say Hello to the Bad Guy..."

You know what sucks? Constantly being put in a position where, if I defend myself, I'm the bad guy. 

I feel like I get billed as someone who's always angry. And I guess maybe I am, not that I want to be. It just seems that people routinely try to take advantage of me, insult me, or find ways to place me in awkward, stupid circumstances where, again, if I dare to speak up for myself, somehow  I'm the villain. I'm the one who's wrong and at fault.

If I show up for something at the wrong time because I'm not given an updated schedule? My fault.

If someone pushes me to waste my time attending something really unnecessary and I express that, I'm evil.

If someone posts something online, looking for a specific type of person, and a third party tags me in the post because I fit the description, only to have the original poster come back with "Who is he???"--and I respond in the way anyone who feels insulted would (I mean, damn, I was tagged; it's a live link--click it and do some fuckin' research, you lazy, trifling bastard!), I'm Satan.

It's extremely frustrating. How can people drop the ball on their end or do stupid/inconsiderate shit and then get snarky and upset with you when you speak up and/or refuse to accept it? I don't go out of my way to call people names and I try my best to be as professional and courteous when dealing with others at all times. The problem is it's rarely reciprocated; folks are too much into their own myopic world of wants and desire to raise their heads above their own mental muck to actually consider someone else for a change. They believe they can act any old way, and everyone's supposed to accept it. And when they don't--how dare they?

I'm just tired of it. Adulting sucks...

Friday, February 19, 2016

LUPUS MOON #33 - "The Prose is Right"

You really shouldn't be surprised at this point...

Yes, Lupus Moon is a novel (first) again.

I still love the idea of Lupus Moon in a graphic format; it's still something I'd really love to do someday.

I'm just not sure today should be that day.

Don't get me wrong, things were rolling. I had completed two of the six comic book scripts I felt were necessary to tell the first story, and was ready to launch into the third with the idea that I might start seeking out an artist afterward and start pitching the project to publishers to see if it would catch on (which is still the plan whenever I come back to it). I was having fun and things were fine. I'll admit, there was something about the story that didn't sit perfectly with me, but I'd attributed it to changes made to best adapt the story to a comic format. But that wasn't what changed things...

I simply couldn't shake the idea of how much time it would take to realize the project, and how much quicker I could get it out if I faced my fears and gave prose another try. I was prepared to take the time necessary to see the project through as a comic, and even resigned myself to the financial commitment it would require--but I still didn't like it. And, after looking over the other characters, stories, and IPs that comprise what I'm currently calling the "Darque Marque Universe" (not to mention a myriad other concepts that don't fit that paradigm), I just couldn't see how I would ever get to it all if I continued in the path of comics. Add to that my rediscovered enjoyment of reading prose fiction via IA B.O.S.S., the second book in John Darryl Winston's YA series, and a video that Shaundra shared with me about how to write a bestselling novel (mind you, I hadn't told her I was thinking of taking Lupus Moon back to prose), and that, pun intended, was all she wrote.

That's not to say writing prose is a cakewalk; it's most assuredly not, but it's something I can most assuredly turn out quicker and cheaper, allowing me to work on more projects in the same amount of time. I'm a storyteller with a lot of stories to tell and only so much time on this planet--and tomorrow is promised to no one.

So far, the process has been fluid. Per a friend's advice--a friend who's working on his first novel as well--I've downloaded the trial version of Scrivener, a story organization/composition program that looked amazing in the promotional videos and, in the two days I've been working with it, has proven just as impressive in person. With it, I'm able to have all the books in a given series, notes, developmental documents, and even images in one file. I was used to having multiple files open while I worked on a project, but the ability to have all the books in one master file as opposed to separate ones was too much to pass up. It's also been a godsend for funneling all my story beats from screenplays, previous prose attempts, and comic book scripts into one place. The notation and outlining features are very robust, and I feel very strongly that it's my future as it pertains to novel writing (Scrivener can even format my work for submission as an e-book for Kindle, paperback, or standard manuscript--another feature that closed the deal for me). I'll stick to Movie Magic Screenwriter for my screenplays, but Scrivener is the real deal for everything else.

The story hasn't changed too much as a result of going back to prose, but there have been a few things added, shifted, or removed. The primary difference is the re-inclusion of old scenes that were favorites that I'd taken out for one reason or another, including a prologue that introduces us to our heroine, Alex, right before the event that would forever alter her life and send her on her current course. Think of it as her "origin story." The changes fit in neatly with the rest of the narrative, and, coupled with Scrivener's easy-to-rearrange interface, I was able to complete the updated outline in one 24-hour period. The project is now ready for the first draft, which I'll start some time in the next few days.

I'm excited about the prospects of Lupus Moon, as well as the other Darque Marque properties and beyond. I'm sure there will be challenges, but if my incessant flip-flopping on format has shown me anything, it's that I have stories I feel passionate about telling and I'll stop at nothing to tell them--

--even if it means an extended layover in "Paralysis-of-Analysis-ville."

Thursday, February 18, 2016

"Today Was a Good Day."

Had a hella productive day today.

Finished the updated outline for the novel version of Lupus Moon (yeah, you read that right; I'll address it in another post), set up the Darkness Walks series to begin work at some point (per a friend's advice, I'm giving Scrivener a try; I'm really loving it so far), and knocked out the first draft of the pilot episode for the web series I'm developing with my actress friend. Traditionally, a day like this means that I'm totally not getting anything done tomorrow, but I'm gonna do my best to buck that trend.

But for now, as Ice Cube would say, "Today was a good day."

Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 Plans and Projects

Awesome! 2016! Time for me to talk about my plans for the year...

Wait, what's that? It's February 1 and not January 1? Yeah, I know...

Things have been a little crazy for me creatively--just trying to lock down what I want to do, how I want to do it, which one I should do first, how much time to spend on doing each on a weekly basis... A lot of paralysis of analysis. But, the bright spot is I finally have a plan and, in fact, I've been adhering to it successfully since the first of the year (for the most part).

I should probably take the advice of a friend, who told me I'd be better picking one or two things and putting all my energy into getting those done, as opposed to spreading myself over multiple projects and taking longer to push them across the finish line. This is great advice, and for most folks, it would probably be the path they'd choose.

But me, I'm an idiot.

I can't help but want to work on multiple things at one time. There's a ton of stuff I want to do, and working on them linearly means there's a lot I may never touch. I'm the type that, while yes, I like getting things done, I'm also turned on by the simple act of making progress. And when your brain is as creatively fertile (and then desolate, and then fertile again, and...) as mine, it's hard to lock myself to one project when there's a few very intriguing ones that are screaming for your attention at the same volume. So how do I manage the (benevolent, I think--I hope) voices in my head?

I make a schedule.

Among the projects in the mix:
  • The Life and Times of Abigail Waller, which is about to wrap its second "season"
  • Lupus Moon (the rough draft of the script for Issue #1 is complete; Issue #2 is in the works)
  • Infernal Youth, another comics project to be developed alongside Lupus Moon
  • A web series developed with an actress friend, to be produced through my production company
  • Blaque Magick, a second web series, this one my own (in development)
  • Revelation, a short film (script completed)
  • The Reparations Squad, a second short film (script completed)

Add to this a script I've already written and submitted for a friend's web series, a short comic concept I submitted to a horror comics anthology a couple of weeks ago for consideration, plus the planned launch of a side business to pay the bills, and it's an ambitious plan that has already begun to bear fruit. Is it too much? Probably, but given that the comics projects are long-term (I'm thinking it could be two years before either had any completed work to show), and the short films a fraction of that, I think it can be managed. As for the web series, I'd only push one at a time, so while both are currently being developed, one could very well get pushed to next year in terms of production (the Blaque Magick concept, if greenlit, would require more extensive special effects and locations, so it's the natural choice to be postponed).

If you follow this blog, you know how quickly things can move around, so, as always, "card subject to change." That said, it will be interesting to come back a year from now and see how much of this, if any (besides the webcomic, that's a lock and going strong), stayed the same. But for now, I have my heading.

Time to get (back) to work.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

LUPUS MOON #32.6 - "Issue #2"

Working on the script for Issue #2 this weekend. Got a nice start, but I'm still trying to find my way with regards to my process. Nonetheless, I'm moving forward...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

LUPUS MOON #32.5 - "Overtime"

Well, I went into overtime, but I finally finished the first draft of the script for Issue #1. I'm supposed to spend tomorrow working on another project, but I just may take some of that time and devote it to LM in order to start Issue #2. We'll see how I feel in the morning...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LUPUS MOON #32 - "Progress is Progress"

I didn't get any work done on Lupus Moon over the holidays and, although I recently worked on it, it's been several more days since I last touched Issue #1, I'm finally working on it again. Based on the progress from my last session, the script really should've been done by now, but I hit a small snag in plotting and fear of dealing with it (really the fear that it wouldn't work and I'd have to restructure the whole issue) kept me away. But the time away only served to throw more fuel on the fire, so now I'm determined to iron out the issue and move forward. 

At this point, I'm thinking I might write up all six issues before approaching an artist. I might flip on this, of course (I know I don't have to have the entire story completed to get the ball rolling), but it would feel great to get the entire thing written so I can cleanly move on to the next project--'cause I have a lot of ideas, and I'm not getting any younger.

But it's all good. This will most assuredly be easier on the next arc when I'm not trying to consolidate story bits from so many disparate files into a narrative whose details have changed numerous times.