This is actually a (sort of) remake of something I drew last year:
The two paintings have a tree, a sea, and the two suns in common, but that’s about it. I didn’t want to do an exact remake because that would be boring, and I wanted a more sunset-y color palette. I also learned how to make more realistic-looking clouds in the past year.
The second image (the original) was drawn at 11″x17″ because I had every intention of selling it as a print. That didn’t happen, but I am actually selling the new version as a print on Redbubble.
In further art-related news, I’ve also made an Instagram account: @zhilongart. My art gets posted there as I finish it, and I’ve been posting old artwork there too!
After thinking about it for over a year, I’ve finally opened up a Redbubble shop.
Last year, I decided to paint/draw some print-size artworks (11″x17″) with the expectation that I’d open up a print shop in the fall. I did two, got a new job, and completely forgot about it.
I didn’t think about my goal of opening up an art shop until recently, primarily because…I needed to buy some fridge magnets. I’ve been following a bunch of artists for years on social media, and assumed that at least one of them would be selling fridge magnets (they are). Then I remembered how I’d drawn this piece of art in January:
I’d originally imagined a line of stickers with cats wearing different hats, but that seemed like too much work at the time so I just drew this instead.
I decided I wanted to do the stickers after all, but that would mean I had to redraw everything, since I hadn’t kept a version of the witch hat cat file with layers. So I did that, and ended up with these eight designs:
Then I decided to redraw another piece of art that would make a good sticker: an upset desert rain frog.
Then because I hadn’t seen it done anywhere, I also made a bunch of “conlanger” pride flags:
Then, after I’d drawn everything and set up the Redbubble shop, I realized…that I’d completely forgotten to buy fridge magnets.
I plan on redrawing some artwork from the last few years to make into prints. I’ll make a blog post every time something new is available. And I definitely plan on updating the “Art” page on this website at some point.
I did a lot of editing. I decided to go back through the early chapters of The Land of Two Moons and put them into the 2-panel-per-page format that I’ve been using for the latest chapters. Those early chapters comprised parts 1, 2, and most of part 3.
The result? Well, Part 1 used to consist of a prologue and 3 chapters. It now consists of a Prologue and 5 chapters. Chapters 2 and 3 needed to be split into 2 chapters each, as they were getting way too long for my liking.
Part 1 is 157 pages long. Comic pages. Comic pages that I will eventually have to draw. It will, at minimum, take me around a year and a half to draw 157 pages.
This is after me cutting out all the fat, too. Everything here is essential to set up the plot and character development.
Part 2, on the other hand, started out as 3 chapters and ended up as 3 chapters. It has ended up at a much more reasonable 94 pages. Part 3 also stayed at 3 chapters, and is 87 pages.
So, writing-wise: I finished the first two chapters of part 4 (chapters 12 & 13). I am currently in the middle of chapter 14.
Artwork completed in October
I didn’t draw this much as in other months – mostly because I wrote and edited a lot.
I’ve also been doing a series of black & white portraits of the main characters of The Land of Two Moons. It’s helping me figure out what kind of shading style I want to use for this comic.
NaNoWriMo Plan & Goals
I’m doing something very different this November. I’m rebelling!
It’s something I’ve done for multiple Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, but never NaNoWriMo proper. I realized that I haven’t had enough time to think out the plot of the original novel, and I wouldn’t get anywhere if I tried to write anything past the first act. I am not much of a pantser, unfortunately.
These are the tasks I want to complete during this NaNoWriMo:
Write the first act of Mujin’s Journey (novel, WIP title). This should be around 10-15k words. The series of events is pretty set in my head, so it won’t conflict with any other ideas I come up with.
Continue working on the script for The Land of Two Moons (webcomic script). I only expect to write 4 chapters during NaNo, with each chapter being around 2000 words long.
Finish the editing outline for The Book of Immortality. I wanted to complete this task in September, but it did not happen. I also wanted to complete it in October, but…it still didn’t happen. I will be writing a 3-4 sentence summary for each of the remaining 37 chapters that do not have summaries. This will probably end up totaling around 1000 words.
At most, that gets me 24,000 words – barely halfway to the 50,000 goal! But there are some other tasks I want to include that don’t produce a wordcount!
Drawing comic pages of The Land of Two Moons. I saw someone mention counting each comic page as 1000 words in the NaNoWriMo forums, and I’ve decided I want to do that as well. I’m breaking this down into pencils (the sketch of the page) being worth 500 words, and inks (the finalized page) being worth 500 words. Since I hate drawing an entire page in one sitting, I’ll probably do a bunch of pencils one week, then ink those pages in the next.
Editing The Book of Immortality. That editing outline is one of the tasks I plan on knocking out first, so I’ll have the rest of the month to edit. Each hour of editing will count as 1000 words.
It’s unlikely that this will also get me to 50,000 words, unless I somehow become a master of time management overnight (very unlikely). That’s why I also want to start worldbuilding and plotting two other projects: Let the Sky Remain Unbroken and Tenebres Library. They’re both future webcomic projects that have been bouncing around my head for a few years. They’re now at the point where I’m satisfied with my ideas, and I want to start writing.
Obviously I’m not going to start writing something new when I’ve got enough WIPs to handle, so that’s just why I’m plotting them.
But…isn’t this too much to focus on in one month?
This has crossed my mind. A lot. It is, in fact, quite a bit too much to do. This isn’t even close to what I would try to do in a normal month – but then again, neither is NaNoWriMo. When I’m writing a normal script or novel, I try to aim for 500 words per day, weekdays only. That’s around 10,000 words a month.
NaNoWriMo’s always been about going above and beyond what I feel comfortable with, so I’m going to give this impossible plan a go!
Like in previous years, I’ll also be doing weekly blog posts.
Unlike previous years, they are not all going to be posted on Saturday. Here’s my current schedule:
I wrote 40 pages. This means I finished chapter 8 (which was in-progress at the end of August), finished chapter 9 entirely, and started chapter 10, which I am already halfway through.
I’ve been looking at my “outline” (it’s really just a list of events and plot points that I need to get to, roughly in order) and it seems that I may have to move some events forward chronologically. There’s no real reason not to, and the only other option is a timeskip, which I really don’t want to do.
The Land of Two Moons is supposed to be a script for a webcomic. I was previously scripting about 5-7 panels per page, but with the start of chapter 9, I changed this to be two panels per page – one on top of the other, split roughly in the middle. Now that I’ve been doing this for a while, I can say that I like it a lot more! I feel like there’s less filler & fluff in what I’ve been writing.
Of course, when I’m editing the prologue and chapters 1-8, I’ll have to go and fix those pages to fit this new format. Perhaps I’ll be able to entirely throw out or rework some scenes that I felt were weak when I was writing them.
The Book of Immortality
I started working on an editing outline, which means I’ve been writing a 2-4 sentence summary of each chapter and also taking note of what I need to change or remove.
I’ve only gone through four chapters. Four out of forty. I’m only 10% of the way through this.
I’ve figured out my rough plot, named all my main characters (though I may need to create another one), started work on a galaxy map, and drew a character lineup!
I also drew a bunch of art this month. All of them were originally posted on my Tumblr and on Pillowfort, which I joined at the beginning of September.
October is NaNoWriMo prep month…
And there’s still quite a lot of preparation I need to do. First and foremost, I need to figure out a working title for this project. Right now I’m just calling it “Nano 2018”, which is okay at the moment. It won’t be okay when it isn’t NaNoWriMo.
I also need to name a few more star systems (this is a space opera) and figure out the exact route the main characters are going to take through the galaxy. That shouldn’t be so bad, since it’s not nearly as difficult for me to do that as it is to think of a title.
I am bad at titles.
But there are other things to do in October!
I just remembered that Inktober happens in October. I don’t know whether or not I want to do it. If it wasn’t the end of the month, I would be leaning toward “yes”. I may do a few ink drawings, but I don’t be doing one every day.
I also want to continue working on my editing outline for The Book of Immortality. If I outline a couple of chapters each Saturday and Sunday, I ought to be done with the whole book by the end of October. Then it’ll be ready for editing, which will happen…sometime. Maybe in 2019, depending on how long it takes me to finish this year’s NaNo novel.
The next blog post will go up on October 31st! I’ll see y’all then.
I’m writing this blog post last-minute. Usually I work on a draft all throughout the month, but I haven’t done that this time.
Enough about that. Let’s get to the point.
What did I do in August?
I finished chapter 6 and 7 of The Land of Two Moons. I am now working on Chapter 8. I set myself a writing goal of 46 pages, and I wrote exactly 46. I have the rest of chapter 8 outlined pretty thoroughly, so finishing that chapter will not be difficult.
I also drew some things.
I did draw some other things, but they are sketches or concept art and aren’t supposed to be seen by anyone other than me, so I’m not posting them online anywhere!
I’ve also got an unfinished piece; I posted my art progress on Twitter. I’m not sure when I’ll finish it.
What do I want to accomplish in September?
I want to continue this 2 page per weekday thing for The Land of Two Moons. It’ll net me 40 pages, which means I will finish chapter 8, 9, and probably get about halfway through chapter 10.
I’ll need to finish outlines for those chapters soon, since as of right now, I don’t exactly know what happens in those chapters. I have vague ideas, but I haven’t exactly worked them out.
Perhaps it’s time to move some events around and make things more interesting.
I’m also starting to think about what I want to write for NaNoWriMo. Is it too early? I don’t remember if I’ve ever started planning a NaNoWriMo project in September before – that’s something I usually heavily start getting into in October.
Anyway, I really have no idea what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo, so I’m going to focus on that this month.
The last thing I want to focus on this month is creating an editing outline for The Book of Immortality. I finished writing it in April and haven’t touched it since. Enough time has passed that I should be able to look at it, make a list of the major events, and start creating a plan to edit this novel.
Next blog post will be on September 30th! See you then!