Tag Archives: young adult novel

The “Vanishing Fantasy Series” or, “Where the Novels at?”

The trials and tribulations of writing a fantasy novel series.

So, ya, about that fantasy novel series. Where are they at and what’s happening? Are they ever going to come out? It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the novels, mainly because there wasn’t a terrible lot to post about. Thought I’d give a quick run down on their status. Good news and bad news. Bad news first? Good idea. Get it out of the way. Here we go.

The Bad News

I have no idea when “The Conjurers” book one will launch. From the get go, I had an ambitious idea of creating a hybrid fantasy novel that weaved prose in and out of the illustrations. Cool! Exciting! Never been done before! Yes, all very well and nifty, however, as is to be expected when doing things four miles away from the nearest box, you bumble your way along a foggy road that has never been mapped. The first tree in the road was attempting to write the prose and work out the illustrations at the same time. But when the prose changes, so do the illustrations and when the illustrations change the prose needs adjusting. Round and round it went for a bit. Finally a couple faint, swinging lights appeared in the fog.

The first was coming to terms with the fact that, on my inaugural outing writing a fantasy series, I wasn’t going to be able to pull off some the word C.G.I. where text blended into a sequential series of drawings and then seamlessly merged back into traditional prose. It was clunky and at times, too comic book-ish. Once I accepted that, there was another looming issue.

The original draft of book one was just over ninety-thousand words, and that was before adding in the pages and pages of illustrations. The book would’ve been more a piece of furniture than a fun read kids could tote around in their backpacks. Thankfully, a new creative director had just flown over on white, feathery wings to my publisher and she had the light bulb moment that pulled the whole project out of the muck. “Why not split book one into two books?”

And boom! Just like that, books one and two were written. Sort of. Now I could focus on polishing the text for book one and finalize the what and where of the illustrations. Right now, as I wait for notes on the final edits for book one, I am sharpening and molding book two (formerly the second half of book one) into it’s own complete story arc. The neat bit is that where book one was torn in half makes the series more of a cliff–hangar serial.  That is to say, at the end of the new book one everyone dies. Just kidding.

The Good News

Onto the good news! Mainly, that book one is nearing completion and should have an official release date soon. The second breath of fresh air is that, because books two and three are more or less written, there won’t be any delays between releases. By the time book one thumps onto shelves, I should have book two wrapped and will be putting the finishing bits of spackle on book three.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting more often, given that I have a slightly sturdier grip on this eel like process. And that also means, as I promised myself, I’ll post a lot more sketches.

 

First Drafts

The Conjurers Book One, first draft

The Conjurers Book One, first draft

So this is what a first draft looks like. At least the hand scribbled part. After the notebooks, I transcribe it all in to the computer, cutting and patching bits as I go. Then I give it one more look, jotting down a few notes of things that need renovating and it’s off to my editor.

There’s lot’s more to be done. Rewrites, cover art and interior art. All of which I am greatly looking forward to.

Puppets. Always some puppets.

No matter what I do, puppets always work they way into the story. These guys were a bit of a surprise. However they became a fun way to convey some backstory and foreshadow upcoming scenes.

Time for some magic

Back home from a glorious road trip visiting family. Managed to squeeze in some writing and stripping (comic stripping. What were you thinking?). Also got some quick concept art scratched off. Here's a snippet. This is part of the tower of Dedi, the center of Conjurian City.

 

The Conjurers novel

 

New Conjurers Comic

What’s not to love about a chase scene involving floating skull creatures. The style is a changin’. I’m focusing more on form and value and laying off the heavy atmospheres and textures.

 

New Conjurers Comic

Little time jump here. Now, the script called for Savachia turning the cup over to the old couple and all, but I felt the story needed a breath. Mostly from the real-time plotting so far. Just a bit of space. Also, you’ll notice the art has lightened up a lot. Again, I’m still experimenting and am pushing the art in a slightly different direction. I want to keep it painterly, but I need to focus on better rendering of the characters and such. We’ll see how that progresses.

And, if you can’t tell by this week’s episode, things are about to get battle-licious. Things were moving slow in the original script. So I’m editing a lot as I re-write the pages and thumbnail ’em. I have a habit of trying to explain too much in too little space. Makes things drag. Simple solution: add more conflict, ramp up the stakes.

Also, we’re not far off from Savachia’s journey into the Conjurian. Which will be the end of this comic arc. His story picks up in the novel. I’ll have more on what story will be next soon. It’ll be quite different in many ways.

Thanks for reading!

The Inner Circle

Welcome to a meeting of the inner circle. This is the ruling body of the Conjurian. And while you won’t see a lot of them in this episode, you’ll see them all in different capacities in the novel.

For now I have only mentioned a few names. You know Ray, Eugene, Aggler and now a mention of Xavier. They are key players in the overall arc for the comic and the novels. So much fun ahead.

Next episode, you’ll see what happens when Savachia tries to take charge. Also, an honest offer from an evil man.

New Conjurers Comic

Seems to me someone knows a lot more than they have let on. And who is this Christopher fellow? You will find out. He’s a major player in the world of magicians. Can’t give away too much. Suffice it to say, he has a large role in the novel.  was happy he popped up in this comic series. Kind of a little meet and greet before the book.

Now, what about Savachia’s father? Oh my, there’s lots. You’ll see.

New Conjurers Comic

And wham! Something has popped out of the Conjurian. Ya, I know we’re not heading directly into the Conjurian for a good while, but I wanted elements from that world to crossover into Savachia’s story.  Things are picking up some steam, and there’s more complications to come for the poor street hustler. He’s stepped into a dandy of a wasps’ nest.

Also, I have some ultra cool news coming about the webcomic’s future. Should be able to announce it very soon.

New Conjurers Comic

And he’s back! Remember? The creepy dude, sitting in the tree outside the magic shop? Eating doughnuts? Well, I hadn’t forgotten him and goodness knows he was dieing to get back in the action.

This is where the fun of writing happens. In my outline, I had a few notes for this page. Firstly, bring back the doughnut eating Watcher (and his crow). Second, I knew the scene was going to be creepy, him standing over Savachia’s Mom and all. What I didn’t know, till he started talking, was that he has a history with dear Mrs. Savachia. Well, that threw me. So, I still have my outline. I know where all this ends because of Savachia’s role in the novel. However, some of the stuff coming will be as much a surprise to me as for you.  Kinda cool.

What I do know is that things are going to escalate faster and faster. There be some battlin’ a comin’. Nothing is ever what it seems when dealing with magicians.

New Conjurers Comic

Now to find out what’s in the secret room. Just not the way Savachia thought he was going to find out. Wait till the next episode. A little surprise, even for me!