Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Renamed a side-character

I decided to rename my "Monique" character to "Evelyn." I think it will mean more to the story and add an extra metaphorical layer that should please some readers. This late change in the name seems minor, but it has been influenced by my continued development of the final act and how it will segue into more story-telling.

I might have actually developed a new closing image for the final scene of the series. But we'll have to wait and see - can all of this be done by simply changing someone's name? In such a case, whose name will be next to change?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Re-writing a scene

So - I've concluded that one of my scenes toward the end of the script is lacking the proper motivation to be believable and interesting - there's an absence of cohesion between what leads up to that scene (a penultimate moment of revelation and commitment) and what that scene is meant to accomplish.

So - what do I do? To rewrite the preceding scenes leading up to that moment hoping that they'll influence that scene in a positive way was my instinctive interest. I was thinking of things that I could put into the script earlier in the second act to result in a better motivation in the third - but I've realized that's going about it all wrong.

Going back to the Gun on the Mantel analogy - why not go to the final scene, figure out exactly how you want it to go down, and then review the script to make sure that it leads to it properly? For example, right now I've got the protagonist pitching a no-hitter, when in reality, I want him to hit a walk-off home run. If I'd rather have him hit a walk-off, then I'd better go back and tweak the beginning, because the ending isn't what I want to happen.

So today I think I'll rework that scene so that it's what I want to have happen - and then go back through the script again and revise it to lead up to that moment in a cohesive and meaningful way - as opposed to the characters just hoping on a vehicle and getting to the final destination to observe the final act. That is, I'll do that for a little while, and then go to my awful job.

I'm interested in doing some more artwork - it feels like a tangible product toward the beginning of actually drawing the comic, versus just writing about the scenes and stuff like that. Maybe I'll get some more artwork done soon.

Thanks for following along.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Graphic novel news

First off - I've finished my first read-through of the first draft and made some good notes on tracking how the characters change in appearance through the script, made notes on how a scene should appear in the beginning of the script so that it matches the end of the script.

The old adage is: if there's a gun on the mantel in the first act, it sure as hell better go off in the third act.
Well, it works backwards, too. If you need a gun on the mantel in the third act, you'd better go back to the first act and put it there. The Bill and Ted movies had fun with this concept, if I recall correctly.

Cool graphic novel news:

Bethesda will be releasing a Fallout comic - and here's a small sample of the cover art - it appears to be a scene from somewhere in New Reno, or something. Perhaps somewhere east of that in Vegas?

Skottie Young

This is cool - I don't know what his project is about yet - but he seems to be going through the same process as I am, though taking different routes. Do you think some video blogs would be more interesting for this project?

I'd definitely be interested in following along to see how his progress goes - and to look for ideas and inspiration from his discourse while tuning mine. I've added him to the sidebar for more updates as we go along.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've started a new job for the past month, and I'm getting a bit over-worked, and this is leading to a slow-down on this project. However, I'm so close to finally getting to the artwork stage that I'm super-motivated to keep pushing through on this. I'll have some more concept artwork available to see - and then I'll be able to start posting the story.

Perhaps even by November I can be ready for Nanowrimo again and punch out 50,000 words on the second chapter of this story - I've got the first chapter half ready.

In the last while I've been rereading the beginning and trying to synchronize what happens at the end with some good foreshadowing, layered clues, artistic themes and stuff like that. For example, the Relic of Lazarus is going to be a symbol for 'hope' for our protagonist. There are a few other things that I want to ensure they are just right before we go forward.

When I was working on another project just over a year ago, The Extent, I didn't feel like we spent enough time developing the story arc for the first season as thoroughly as we should have. We had a very basic framework, and then suddenly we were writing scripts before we even had characters fully developed. You can watch it for yourself, I wrote almost half of the episodes, and one of my episodes was cut because one of the actor's availability interfered with the filming schedule, so we just didn't film it.

The season finale isn't available to watch, nor can you buy the DVDs (even I, an executive producer haven't been able to buy one of these DVDs yet).

Anyhow - I'm working to make this story really special to me, embodying all the things that I feel are important to a good working script. When it's time to see it, I hope you'll all agree. What a great hobby this is.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Printed 'er out, and time for the edit/review

Well - it's taken a while find the ink cartridges and stuff like that to print out the script for the graphic novel. I 1.5 spaced the lines and spread the script out to 113 pages. So the script is alright - but I know that while the plot points I wanted to reach have been technically achieved, there's a lot of coherence and plot and motivation that I want to make sure is done just right.

also - as it stands, my heroes walk into the final scene unarmed - though they know fully well that their adversaries have shot at them before. If you were on holidays, travelling a new country you'd spent relatively little time in - do you have any idea where you might get a gun from? Would you somehow get a knife? What would you arm yourself with? Also, I've already used a captive bolt stunner, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Concept to first draft

I was just going back over the blog again and realized that one year for a hobbyist to go from a concept to a first draft of a script is pretty good progress. Considering over that time I've changed jobs three times, moved three times, got married and went on a honeymoon in that year, as well. I'm pretty proud of that.

I'll have more updates early next week - but it might be a while before there's more to update on. After I review the first draft and make the edits, I'll have to do some concept artwork, and then it's on to actually drawing the story scene by scene. I'll post and link to all the updates as they come along.

Please, keep following along, and if you want, share this with friends. More to come.

Friday, August 13, 2010

First draft finished!

I feel good about it! I just wrote the final few scenes of the third act. I'm wicked-pumped that it's done. Now I'll just go over the thing a bit more, do a little rewriting or clarifying to clean it up. A lot of the time I was just writing it down so that it was done and workable position. Now that it's all written down - I can craft the actual dialogue, settings and pacing to be "just right."

It feels really good to have that much out of the way - the artistic part could take a while. More character design, setting research, trying to figure out the pacing of the images. That's a big step as well - hell, some of the "artifacts" haven't been completely designed yet - I just know that they're in fact, artifacts of importance and that's all.

So - lots more to do, but the actual writing part is behind me, and that feels excellent. Looking forward to the next step. I may even print it out to be more workable.

Really excited about this. Hope you're interested in following along still.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dr. Miller with battle damage

I had to draft up a sketch of the protagonist to see what he'd look like if. Throw on some stubble, take off his glasses and give him a noticeable affliction to his face, and it comes out like this:

I like it. Is it significant that the damage is done to the left side of his body? Perhaps, though certainly not overtly significant.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Act III, scene 1 "Meet Mugabe"

I've titled each scene of the script to help me keep track of what happens in it while I'm writing everything. Some of the titles are clever taking a turn of phrase from the script to embody the idea of the whole scene. In some cases they aren't clever - like "Opening Image" and "Clear out your desk."

I'd like, in the end, for each update of the comic to have a title - I think that'd be really neat - though I'm not entirely married to the idea. It will give the appearance of 'episodes.'

Though, the titles make it a bit more fun, that's for sure. Anyhow - after the turn to Act III the first scene is called "Meet Mugabe" if you were wondering. It basically gives you the back-story on the villain that's been causing trouble through the script.

I've also finished the second scene titled "Coming Through Slaughter" which is an homage (in title only) to Michael Ondaatje's fantastic story of Buddy Bolden. This book is absolutely amazing - one of my favourites. If you get a chance to ask me to borrow it, I hope you do. It's very good.

I think I might rename the next scene, "Silence of the Lambs" but I'm not sure about it yet. I'm not even sure if I want there to be lambs in it - It will definitely have pigs, though - which featured heavily into the Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal. Hmm - I like that title for the scene more and more, actually. (smiling)

Two more scenes and that's a good day for me. I also did another sketch of the character Dr. Casey Miller to see if he'd look stupid or not if I ... did something to him in one of these scenes. I think it's going to work out nicely. Perhaps I'll post it soon. And not to get ahead of myself or anything - but I've set up a new blog domain for the script itself, called: Tomb of the Undead, which you can find at tomb-of-the-undead.blogspot.com (there's nothing there yet)

I'm excited about this story - and hope that some day soon people will get a chance to learn more about it. It's hard to have something in development that you want to share with people while you're excited about it - but can't really, or else they lose interest (because they hear about it for months and years at a time - yet it never seems to be done).

I'm very close to finishing the script - and that's really important to me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Finished Act II (it took a while!)

Now I'm working on the remaining scenes in Act III, which is very exciting. These scenes are going to be the most fun to write because this is (of course) where all the heavy stuff finally comes together. The characters have to overcome their dramatic needs, the plot gets cranked into its end-game, the barriers that have to be overcome are more challenging than ever, and the stakes are incredibly high.

These types of things just don't happen in the first two acts - they can't, or else your third act would just be all resolution instead of conflict and climax. Anyhow - there are going to be a lot of intricate, long scenes to move through before the end of the script. It's going to be a lot of fun to write!