Okay, there was a prologue first, so it’s not technically the first chapter. But I have been posting pages continually since the prologue started on January 31st. Chapter 1 ended on July 30th. That’s six months of posting two pages per week. I didn’t miss a single update.
And that’s because I managed to keep an 8-10 page buffer the entire time.
When I was drawing the first chapter, I found that I work best when I pencil out the entire chapter, then start inking & shading pages at random. This is extremely beneficial for several reasons, but for these two in particular:
The artwork of the entire chapter is much more consistent than it would be if I was drawing one page at a time.
I get to finish the easiest pages/panels first, and can spend more time on the difficult/more complex pages.
Artwise, I feel like I improved. I didn’t get much better at drawing buildings or furniture or people, but I did get better at drawing faster. It doesn’t take me as long to draw a page as it used to.
Am I satisfied with this chapter? Yes, even though it’s more than twice the length of the rest of the chapters, and there’s only two panels per page (this is changing in chapter 3), and it’s fairly poorly shaded and I’m still figuring things out art-wise. It definitely did what I intended it to do, which is to introduce the two protagonists – Veitlen and Nymue.
I actually don’t have very many more thoughts on chapter 1, mostly because I just finished drawing the entirety of chapter 2. And that chapter starts on August 13th, if you’re curious.
I’ll probably (maybe) do one of these again when chapter 2 ends. Until then!
This month, I started rewriting my 2017 NaNoWriMo novel, The Book of Immortality. And I achieved my goal! I successfully rewrote 21,371 words (21,384 according to the validator) of script into prose – ten chapters out of forty.
I am, slowly, remembering how to write prose. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be! Don’t get me wrong – there’s definitely going to have to be another draft after this one. Aside from refining the prose, I still need to iron out some kinks in the plot that I’m sure I’ll miss in this current draft.
And then after that’s done…sometime in early 2020, I hope…I plan on posting The Book of Immortality on this website as a weekly serial!
I don’t have much else to say. July was honestly pretty uneventful, except for one thing that I will be addressing in another blog post in a few days.
I finished the script for The Land of Two Moons! It has a prologue and 49 chapters, which is, at the moment, 1182 comic pages. That number will likely change as I edit the chapters over the years. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the number of pages down below 1000.
Now that I’m not writing a script and drawing a comic at the same time, I’ve found that I’m not nearly as tired as I used to be. I used to write AND draw every weekday – and this was after coming home from an 8-hour office job. Evidently that was too much.
I’ve learned my lesson – one thing per day! Either writing or drawing, not both.
As for what I’ve accomplished since then:
Finished penciling all of chapter 2!
Re-scripted chapter 3 so that it’s in more of a traditional comic format. There are more than 2 panels per page now!
Thumbnailed out chapter 3 on paper. That’s right, on paper. With a pencil. Not on a computer. And I like it better.
Finished inking all of chapter 1 on June 20th!
Started inking chapter 2!
And now…July approaches. As usual, I’m going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to be using that month to start rewriting The Book of Immortality, the Chinese fantasy novel I started writing during NaNoWriMo 2017 and finished in June of 2018.
If anyone remembers, rewriting The Book of Immortality was one of my goals for NaNoWriMo 2018. That…did not happen. I did create an outline, but any actual writing didn’t happen, since I wanted to focus on The Land of Two Moons.
But it’s one of my goals this year to rewrite The Book of Immortality. And I haven’t written anything since I finished The Land of Two Moons. And I haven’t written prose since November of 2016!
This is totally gonna turn out well, right? It’s not like I’ve completely forgotten how to write prose or anything, right?
I hit my page goal every day. I finished chapters 40 & 41 and started on chapter 42.
Week 2: Days 8-14
Target page count: 47
Pages scripted: 47
My allergies got a lot worse this week! I barely kept up with my page goal. I’m also starting to feel the strain of writing every day. I don’t typically write this much every day, so I’ve been having a minor tendinitis flareup.
I finished chapters 42 & 43, and started chapter 44.
Week 3: Days 15-21
Target page count: 70
Pages scripted: 73
Finished chapters 44 & 45 and started chapter 46. It was easier to keep up this week than in week 2. I didn’t have any tendinitis flare-ups. I even ended up writing more than my goal!
Week 4: Days 22-30
Target page count: 100
Pages scripted: 100
Finished chapters 46, 47, and 48. Then I won on the 27th! I continued writing after that, but didn’t count those words/pages towards Camp.
Overall Results & Going Forward
As of April 30th, I have 48 chapters complete. I’ve just started chapter 49, which will be the last chapter in The Land of Two Moons unless, for some reason, I decide that the story needs an epilogue or an additional chapter (which it really doesn’t).
I’m going to spend the first week or two of May to finish up the script. And then…I’m going to work on penciling chapter 2. Editing is going to happen slowly over the next ten years as I actually draw the comic. There’s very little about it I want to change or flat-out don’t like, and I imagine that the majority of the editing will have to do with cutting down some conversations & scenes that went on a little too long.
As usual, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’m continuing to work on The Land of Two Moons with a goal of 100 pages. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish the script by the end of April. I’m close to being done with chapter 39 at the moment, and I don’t think I need more than five chapters plus an epilogue to wrap things up.
And then I’ll be done with the script! I’ve only been working on it since June last year, but it feels like forever! It’s absorbed so much of my time that it feels like I’ve been writing for years.
Of course, since this is a ~1000 page webcomic, it’s going to take nearly ten years to draw. It’s going to be on my mind for a long time.
Regarding the actual comic part of the story, I have an update: I finished penciling chapter 1 on the 20th! And due to that, I am lowering my pencils per month goal from 12 pages to 8 pages. Chapter 1 was the longest chapter – it started at 50 pages, and I cut it down to 42. I have a good enough buffer right now that I don’t need to worry about falling behind, so 8 pages a month is plenty good for a 2 page-per-week update schedule.
Back to Camp NaNo. I won’t be doing weekly update posts like I did last year. I’ll have one post at the end of the month (or early June) showing how I did.
At the moment, only the cover page of the prologue is posted here on Smackjeeves. I won’t be posting pages here or on Pillowfort, though I do eventually plan on making a separate website for the comic itself. However, that’s years in the future.
Here’s a short summary, which itself is still a WIP:
After not seeing each other for eight years, Veitlen Tyvokala is reunited with his cousin and childhood friend Nymue Rozenbarr after she moves to The Capital to attend the Tsurennupaiva Military Academy. They expect their mandatory military service to be uneventful, and that they will return to civilian life afterward. Their expectations are shattered quickly as they learn that their magic abilities are abnormal and potentially dangerous.
Finally, after seven years of posting on this blog, I have a custom domain name!
That is literally the whole reason I bought an upgrade. I just wanted the domain name. Also, WordPress sent me an email with a coupon and I figured now is a good of a time as any to use it.
On a more important note, I’ve been thinking about what do to with this blog in 2019 and beyond. I want this website to function as more of a log of my creative works with the occasional writing/comic update post. Quality over quantity.
In the early years of this blog, I wrote about a lot of unrelated stuff and sort of used it as my main form of social media. I’ve been sorting through those posts and deleting the ones that aren’t relevant to…well, anything. There were hundreds of those posts! I also plan on cleaning up tags and categories. Those have been a mess since the beginning and I want to make things easy to find.
That’s how things are going to be from now on – or, at least, until I get bored of it and want to do something else. I also won’t be doing monthly update posts like I did last year. Instead I’ll just make a post whenever I actually have something to say.
That’ll probably be at the end of January/beginning of February when I launch my webcomic. Make sure to keep an eye out for that!