Tag Archive | pages

July: Currently Reading

As I’ve said multiple times before, I’ve been meaning to catch up on my reading and get into the habit of reading more often, since I already have several books here that I’ve been planning to read and lists upon lists of books I want to read. I tend to read fairly fast, my biggest problem seems to be picking up the book on a regular basis so that can add up – I’ve been working on reading one book since April (which I wound up only reading 70-some pages of during that month, and somewhere between200 and 300 of it in my free time during May, with about 20 or so pages in-between Camp NaNoWriMo escapades last month) and when I’ve managed to pick it up I tend to get really into it and read quite a bit, but I never seem to be able to pick it up again soon and make significant progress.

That’s what this is for. I’m going to give you guys a report on what I’m currently reading now, at the beginning of the month, with titles, current page counts and a few thoughts, and at the end of the month, I’ll give another report – be it with pride, shame, or neither – to show what progress I’ve made, if any at all. I don’t expect to make a whole lot of progress, but I’m hoping to finally finish the one I’ve been reading since April and hopefully start one or two more.

In terms of novels, my ‘currently reading’:

‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker

Currently on page 400 out of 450

I’ve been reading Dracula since sometime during April. I really do adore the book, it’s entertaining and inspired me to get back into writing through journal entry format – I just really have trouble picking it back up after I put it down and why. It’s really a matter of picking it up and starting. If I’m able to pick it up once or twice between a few days, I’ll probably be able to finally finish the book, which I’ll admit, at the moment, I’m liking a lot better than any interpretation of the book I’ve seen before, although that’s admittedly, not many.

‘The Salem Branch’ by Lara Parker

Currently on page 166 out of 334

I don’t remember when I started reading The Salem Branch – not too long after I first bought the book, unlike most of the books I have lately. I’m enjoying it a bit, especially since I got it during my withdrawal from the series it’s based on (the original Dark Shadows soap opera, which I was only able to see the portion of the series on Netflix at the time). Now that I’ve burnt through all of my DVDs and will probably have some time before I can buy the next set of DVDs of the series, I’ll probably be making progress on this as well.

As for the non-fiction books I’m reading, I’ve been slowly making progress on ‘Making Comics’ by Scott McCloud (119/272 for page count) while I work on my comic. It’s fairly helpful, at least in getting inspired to work on it, and while I’m not drawing ‘noir comics’, Shawn Martinbrough’s ‘How to Draw Noir Comics’ (finished for the most part, still need to read the example comic it’s got left in the back) has a lot of good techniques and insight on the process of comics.

I’m not quite aiming to finish those two this month as much as I’m aiming to finish the fiction – at the very least, Making Comics is one I’m just trying to read through when I hit a dry spell for inspiration on trying to work on my comic and to get ideas on techniques to use, and I’m not very sure on when I’ll be up for reading the comic example to consider How To Draw Noir Comics completed.

I’m going to go into closing this with a quick apology for getting this posted a bit late (it was intended to be posted yesterday) and if the ending seems a tid-bit rushed. I’m a bit spacey right now, having some trouble fully concentrating on this, but I really want to get it done and posted so that I can have this up as inspiration for me to keep reading, plus for the sake of possibly getting some opinions on what I’m currently reading and answers to my end-of-the-post-questions.

What are you currently reading, and how is that going for you? Are you generally a fast, slow, or average reader?

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Script Frenzy 2012: Finish lines, editing, and things I’m doing instead of working on that

Page count: 90 pages

It’s been two weeks since my last post already? I was planning on doing an update at the end of each week for Screnzy, but I got a bit sick around posting time and wasn’t able to muster up the inspiration to update. Honestly, I’m still not feeling my best right now, but I’m here, so why not try to get the ball rolling and start a post? I suppose, first thing’s first, it’s time for an update on my Script Frenzy project.

For the most part, my first rough draft for my script is complete. It’s a mass of scribbles, side-notes, and often, very misread-able chicken scratch (even misread-able by the person who wrote it – I misread someone laughing at someone’s action as someone laughing at someone’s erection). I finished it up around the late 50’s-early 60’s in terms of page count, and since a majority of it is being completely re-written as I re-type it, I decided to be a bit of a cheater and count it in my screnzy page count. While this does count as editing, it’s also re-writing a lot and typing it all out, adding and taking scenes away, and the counter going up can sometimes keep me motivated to keep going. I won’t be an official winner, but I got my goal of writing a script done, and I’m keeping motivated for the final drafting stages.

Of course, I’ve been having a little bit of trouble keeping to working on it a little bit every day. I’ve been keeping myself entertained productively with a lot of other things – in terms of this project, settling on character designs, messing with the designs in different poses to see if they fit the character and I like working with them, practicing my digital painting skills, and namely a lot of things involving my little project-devoted sketchbook and my tablet.

On the other hand, I’ve also been devoting a little bit of time every few days to a mini-comic I’ve been doing to relax and have fun, for the entertainment of my friend’s and I, rather than sitting down and forcing my hands to the keyboard when I don’t feel up to it. It’s definitely not something I’m pouring as much devotion as my main project into, and I’m going for a sloppy, fun look to it, something obviously quick but still with a lot of work into it, something that I’m doing quick and for fun but still making sure I’m satisfied with for the style before I consider it finished. I think this is essential to my improvement as well – learning to make things quick and keep things fun every now and then, and trying not to lose sight in that working on these things are what I’m supposed to enjoy, not force myself to do 24/7.

And then there are other things I should be doing – work, reading Dracula, and posting on this blog. I’m fairly sure I can put those things into my weeks at least a little bit without messing anything up too bad, but I’ve also been staying up quite late these days and adjusting to that sleep schedule when I should really try to be fixing it to something more up-in-the-mornings-and-days focused until I’m done with my work. I’m really trying to settle into being more productive, but I’m slipping up a lot, especially with holidays and sickness. My recovery from other things, however, relies a lot on productivity and satisfaction with the amount of things I get done, so I’m going to have to try a bit harder.

If that means forcing myself to start a scene or two in editing and to plan a brief idea for another script, trying to watch a little less of the original Dark Shadows and get things done instead, and trying to fit all of this into an odd sleep schedule or fixing my sleep schedule to something different, so be it.

Expect some posts on editing, rewriting, and the like in the coming months, probably, since that’s what I’m currently doing with my writing, myself. I’d prefer to focus on things that I’m currently working on to keep myself in that mindset when it comes to writing these posts. Hopefully, there’ll be some more posts about my project in particular, inspiration, and eventually some to finish up my posts on character creation. We’ll see, though. As I said – I’m still adjusting.

If you’re participating in Script Frenzy, are you going to be hitting 100 pages this month or not, and how has your experience been? If you’re not in the Frenzy this year, what types of things have you been working on and how is that going? And for all of you – what types of things do you end up doing instead of working on your ‘projects’?

Script Frenzy 2012, week two: The inner editor, nightmares, and exploring the project

Page count: 50 pages and counting

I’ve seen a lot of talk about week two, what it seems to do to people. A slow of inspiration, loss of confidence in their skills to see it through to the end… but this past week, for me, it’s still been flowing finely. I’ve been able to get quite a few pages more than usual in per day on the good ones, and I’ve gotten myself a bit ahead. My work has gone to a sort of slow, however, and I’ve been putting myself on 3 pages per day, usually right around night time. My inner editor has started trying to force it’s way through, and there’s that little barrier I broke down at the beginning building itself up again, a little barrier in my head that gives me doubts. One that fights the risks of taking on a project and leaves the door unlocked for the inner editor to come around a little too early for my tastes.

I had a nightmare last night, something horrible and terrifying. I spent a good deal of the morning looking up almost everything I could remember about it in a dream dictionary, each and every little detail I could find, and while I’m not one for dream analyzing, the terror from it was enough to get me to. I found that most of the details were involved with a positive change in life, a fear of not being good enough, things that seem to line up with an amazing change in my life that has come with Script Frenzy: writing more and writing regularly, which has inspired a lot of positive change. Recovery from something I’ve been experiencing for years, long enough for me to wonder how I’ll live when it’s gone, and I guess it is kind of scary thinking about it, although it feels marvelous. Most of the meanings I found lined up with how I’m feeling, the way life has been going, and some of the other things are quite personal, so while I won’t detail them here, they did line up correctly as well, which may have just been an odd coincidence.

The dream resembled nightmares I had often when I was very young, the main difference being my age in it and the fact that it ended with the words “32 PAGES UNTIL DEATH” on my computer screen. I’ve always had a fear of never finishing projects, and since I was little, I’ve had a bad habit of abandoning them. I’m thinking my subconscious is a little wary of my love for the project I’ve been working on this month, something I’ve been trying to build up in my head since around Thanksgiving. I’m balancing my life with it well, and while I do run into little bumps of stress on this road, I’m very confident in this project and I know I will finish it. I have a lot of faith in it, but I’m becoming doubtful of it as always, and this doubt was fairly specifically last night before I went to bed. Hopefully, Script Frenzy 2012 will help me through these problems I have and help me become a better writer, script or not.

While I’ll have to get to work and prove to myself that I can do this, the script has been going well. I’m getting to know my characters and the way they act more, experimenting with how they react to different things, basically learning more and more about them each page and (hopefully) breathing more life into them as I go. They’re each developing their own senses of humor, their own ways of responding to stress and irritation, some even gaining their own ways of wording things before the process of going back and re-wording their dialogue to fit their speaking styles. I’ve found that one of them used to write what they refer to as marvelous stories, and another has it in their nature to worry and dote over others. My antagonist’s plans are being set into motion, and the main characters are learning more about what other things that aren’t quite natural could be lurking in the forests around them.

I’m having a blast exploring my world, getting to know my characters, figuring out the little details of the story as I go. Winging it comes with a lot of doubt sometimes, but it brings freedom, too. I’m definitely going to try to do more of this, maybe combined with a wee bit more planning on what the actual stories will be about next time, and I’ll hopefully be trying more and more new techniques to see how things work out. Soon, I’m going to be buying something to keep all of my visual records for the story in – character and setting designs, drawings that will create the foundings of this world I’m creating, the visuals that will hopefully help me bring my story to something more than a writer and artist’s distant dream.

I’m absolutely loving Script Frenzy 2012, my first participation in the event, despite the bumps in the road! How is everyone else participating holding up? If you’re not participating in Script Frenzy, are you working on something else – if so, what is it?

Script Frenzy 2012, week one: Inspiration, misbehaving characters, and self-sailing

Page Count: 19 pages and counting

The first week of April is coming to a close now, and I’m still pretty confident. My script is a bubbling pile of inspiration, covered in scribbles and doodles, filled with scenes that I need to re-arrange and slim down, and the beauty of it is, I don’t really mind right now. I’m having loads of fun, and just getting the plot down in all of it’s winging-it glory. I’m battling my inner editor and whacking it over the head with a stick, but I’m repressing it enough to not go back, scribble all over things and rewrite them in white-out pens over the black mass of scribbles. I know that I’ll be typing out my script and wondering what the hell I was thinking when I wrote this here and let this happen over there and left this idea off somewhere else, but that’s the fun of it. I’m just letting my pen vomit my ideas all over a page, and I regret nothing. This way of doing things is very inspiring, honestly – letting the inspiration flow and take me everywhere it wants to is getting more work done than I usually do when forcing everything into the direction I already decided. A breath of fresh air, I suppose?

That being said, I did have a few plans for my characters – but some of them are already giving me the ol’ “fuck you!” and doing something completely different. I’d had a little bit of romance planned for much later in the series I’m working on for the main character with someone who hasn’t been introduced yet, however, the chemistry between them and another character is growing with every little word I write. I don’t really mind it – it just shocks me how letting my inspiration guide me and my characters do whatever is working so far! All I did was add a little bit of dialogue to reference to the internet phenomenon most of us have probably participated in at least once before, shipping, a tiny little joke that I intended to go no where, and within a few lines, my exact thoughts were, as follows:

What have I done?! It’s sailing itself! This ship, it’s sailing itself!

Regardless of fuzzy tummy feelings, though, these silly geese have a lot longer to go before it’ll even be acceptable to give them an actual romance, and right now, they have a famous legend to encounter – the Black Dog, or rather, something based off of it. The script I’m working on is a fantasy-based setting that is based off of several different places and time periods in terms of environment, government, architecture, culture, and folklore, telling the story of a fresh-out-of-training soldier with a lot to hide, nothing to lose, and how their life changes throughout several different stories, ranging from action to drama, and essentially goes through a lot of good, a lot of bad, and a lot of plot-rich things hidden in even the most seemingly irrelevant pieces of their life when they wind up being carted off to war at the worst possible time.

As horrific as that may sound, I’m having a lot of fun with it, and the message I want to convey especially – people walking in and out of your life, lessons learned from them, etc – is something that I will admit means a lot to me. I’m enjoying the attempting action scenes, the plot development, and the character development, especially. Hopefully, when it’s done, it’ll come out to be a blend of action and plot that I can work with. It’s to be a graphic novel, webcomic (this is the most likely one), or maybe an animation if I sharpen my skills there, and I’m planning on putting as much work into this as possible. This won’t be a project that I give up on so easily.

The biggest problems I’m really facing with Script Frenzy right now are writing enough to make my hands ache (something I don’t really let get in my way too much) and falling behind in my reading, which I definitely plan on fixing this weekend. Hopefully, I can make good progress with both this month. This week’s-almost-done update being finished, I should get to working on writing a little bit before my nephew comes over for me and my mom to babysit him.

How is your script going so far if you’re participating this year, and what are you writing your script about? I’d love to hear from everyone!