2020 Overview & 2021 Goals

The entire year of 2020 has taught me that my plans, however simple they are, can be derailed in an instant. The vast majority of my plans did vanish into thin air: visiting restaurants, movie theaters, and producing enough pieces of art that I could open up a print shop, among other things. Focusing on the things I wanted to do, but ended up not being able to, is generally not useful, so here’s some of the things I did manage to get done in 2020:

Finished the final draft of The Book of Immortality. The novel I started in November of 2017 is finally done, and I can finally stop thinking about it, aside from when I post chapters of it on this blog. Working on it took up more years of my life than I would have liked. Hopefully the time spent on this novel will lead to better time management & revising in the future.

Revised a short story that I originally started in 2016 and never finished. I’m not exactly satisfied with the ending, but it’s done! I can mark it as “finished” and then never look at it again.

Started novelizing The Land of Two Moons. I realized early on in the year that drawing a 50-chapter comic was not possible with my health being what it is. Transferring the script into prose ended up being probably the best decision I made regarding The Land of Two Moons this year: I wrote 20 entire chapters. That would have taken me years to do as a comic!

I also jumped around and worked on outlining/plotting various stories, but half of those don’t have names and the other half don’t have enough substance to talk about.

And now on to what I want to achieve in 2021:

Finish writing The Land of Two Moons. This is my main goal. It won’t take too long to accomplish, because I am approximately 3/4 of the way done with it at the moment. I could be done with it by February.

Fully re-outline & write a first draft for Venére Magic. This is a novel I wrote back in 2015. When I first started thinking about revising this novel, I decided to change the plot and setting – some changes are minor, and some are pretty drastic. Thankfully, the story isn’t very long (the 2015 novel is around 58,000 words) and I previously wrote a chapter-by-chapter outline. Transferring that into the new setting & updated plot won’t actually be very difficult.

Then…continue plotting & fleshing out some other stories I haven’t started writing yet? Honestly, I haven’t thought this far ahead, and that’s probably a good thing. It gives me the flexibility to jump from one thing to another without actually committing to a project, AND it helps me not feel bad if another catastrophic thing happens and I end up not being able to write.

I also have non-writing related goals:

  1. Read at least 1 “piece” (novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories, poetry, essays, graphic novels/manga, webcomics, etc) per day (365 total)
  2. Leave at least 1 comment per day (365 total)
  3. Draw 1 thing per week (52 total)
  4. Purchase at least 1 book per month (12 total)
  5. Finish at least 6 video games
  6. Get a credit card and build up my credit score
  7. Find stable employment

The thing I’m most likely to not accomplish is the comment goal. I read tons of webcomics, follow tons of artists on social media, am a member of a couple of fan forums & Discords, and…I never say anything. It’s become a problem and I want to change that.

The “read 365 things” might sound ridiculous, but I hit 212 this year and that was only after seriously committing myself to reading every day at the beginning of August. I have a ton of short stories on my backlog, as well as a couple of webcomics & webnovels, and I’ve been following just about every science fiction & fantasy magazine I can find. I doubt I’ll run out of things to read any time soon.

And…employment. I’ve been unemployed twice in 2020 (including right now). I hopefully have a contract starting after the new year, but considering it’s project-based, I have no idea how much it’ll pay or how often I’ll be able to get work.

Here’s hoping 2021 is marginally better than 2020.

2018 in Review & 2019 Goals

20181216_7years

Before I get into anything else, I hit seven years on WordPress sometime in December!

2018 in Review

The things that happened this year:

  • Finished writing The Book of Immortality (104k words).
  • Scripted and drew a short comic, Veitlen and Nymue.
  • Moved out on my own for the first time in April!
  • Started writing The Land of Two Moons in June, and started drawing pages of the comic in July.
  • Got a Switch and Breath of the Wild in July. Then got Super Smash Brothers Ultimate for Christmas.
  • Rebelled during NaNoWriMo for the first time! And won at 50,338 words.
  • I also attended a few NaNoWriMo write-ins for the first time, and also went to the TGIO party for my region.
  • Made AT LEAST a $10 USD donation every week. This totaled $586.78.
  • Kept the same job for an entire year!

There are some other minor things that happened, but they’re so minor that they don’t need to be put here.

What I want to do in 2019

Edit/rewrite The Book of Immortality.

I completed the editing outline in November, and I don’t plan to change too much about the story, other than take out all of the filler I wrote during NaNo. I did start rewriting some of it during NaNo, which I found to be fairly difficult as I was going from a present-tense script to past-tense prose. It was incredibly jarring, and also my prose is terrible after years of doing nothing but scripts.

I don’t want to leave this story in limbo and I planned on editing it in 2019 anyway. I don’t really have a timeframe for when I want to start doing this – only that I want it to end before 2019 ends.

Start posting The Land of Two Moons online somewhere.

At the moment, I have fifteen pages completed and eight in progress. I want to start posting the comic online in late January/early February at the earliest. It’ll probably go up on Smackjeeves, as that’s the only comic hosting I’m familiar with at the moment.

Unless I decide to self-host the comic on its own domain. That could always happen.

Continue working on (and finish) The Land of Two Moons.

I’m around 60% done with this story. It’s definitely something that’ll be done this year. I don’t see it being much longer than 50 chapters.

Related: pencil 12 pages of The Land of Two Moons every month.

I penciled 10 pages in December, and it was a really easy goal to hit! I’m going to attempt 12 pages per month in 2019 for a total of 144.

Write and post a work of short fiction on this blog.

This might be prose, or another short comic. But I want to write something that isn’t related to either The Book of Immortality or The Land of Two Moons.

Get a custom domain name for this website.

This is an idea I’ve been toying with for the past few months. Since it’s easy and cheap I’ll probably end up doing it sometime in January.

Keep the same job.

This is really something that I don’t have control over, since I could get laid off at any time. But unless something particularly bad happens, I plan on working at the same place for all of 2019.

Final words

BACK UP YOUR WORK.

Whether you use the cloud or some kind of external storage, make sure you’ve got copies of all of your work! You have no idea when your primary computer will crash and burn.

October 2018 Overview & NaNoWriMo Plans

What did I accomplish in October?

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.

pumpkinfighter
I don’t even know why I drew this, but I did. Posted to Pillowfort & Tumblr on October 5th.
veitlenari2
Veitlen Tyvokala (left) & Ariana Rhodynn (right), two of the main characters of The Land of Two Moons. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 14th.

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.

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Kallinu Jurne. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 21st.
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Nymue Rozenbarr. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 22nd.
bw_veitlen
Veitlen Tyvokala. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 23rd.
bw_temurlin
Temurlin Kerruveil. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 24th.
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Ren Fennel. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 25th.
bw_hakirin
Hakirin Maurkala. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 28th.
bw_brithan
Brithan Thiosciare. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 28th.
bw_ariana
Ariana Rhodynn. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 28th.
bw_chanda
Avatar Chanda. Posted to Tumblr & Pillowfort on October 29th.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

Update 1: Days 1-7, posted on November 8th

Update 2: Days 8-14, posted on November 15th

Update 3: Days 15-21, posted on November 22nd

Update 4: Days 21-30, posted on December 1st

September 2018 Overview

So! What did I accomplish in September?

The Land of Two Moons

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.

Oops?

NaNoWriMo 2018

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!

nano2018lineup
Left to right: Rebekka Tadesse, Tareka, Hua Mujin, Sháńdíín Blackwood, Ivan Voronin

Artwork

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.

mountainoverwatch
I’m really proud of the way I drew/shaded the clouds on this one. Posted September 1st on Tumblr and Pillowfort.
breezymuxi
Posted September 2nd on Tumblr and Pillowfort.
mujin sword
The first drawing I did of Mujin. Posted September 4th on Tumblr and Pillowfort.
mulankneeling
Some concept art for Mulan, Mujin’s older sister who went missing. Posted September 10th on Tumblr and Pillowfort.
oceanoverlook
A 1 hour, 1 layer speedpainting I did on September 15th. Posted to Tumblr and Pillowfort.

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.

August 2018 Overview

Hello everyone.

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.

A shading/color test of the lineart seen in this Tumblr post. It was posted on Tumblr on August 08.
Another shading/color test.
The third shading/color test I did, which turned out too pink/red and not as purple/blue as I thought it would be. It and the preceding piece were posted on August 09 on Tumblr.
A 4-color palette coloring of a sketch. The reason I only used four colors is because I got lazy and didn’t want to color it realistically. Originally posted on August 20 on Tumblr.

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!