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.