Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My poor fingers

I really enjoyed writing Jak and the Giants with a pen, but as I type all those hand-written pages I really wish I hadn't.  The saddest part is that I know I'll continue writing by hand.  I can't wait for the day when I can just read my book to my computer and the words will magically appear on the screen.  Until then, the typing is slow going.

The last couple of weeks has been lazy.  I've returned to the world and seen some friends I'd been missing, read some books (Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" was pretty decent; it would have been a much bigger deal to me if I'd been 13 while reading it), and piddled around with some other projects.  I've decided that until I finish the next two Jak books I'll just keep throwing ideas against the walls until I see what sticks.  I mean, I'm still on board with my idea about Minuet, but I've also resurrected my China virus story and my Broken Earth story, and my story about the Nobles (the one that died prematurely....I did a postmortem and I think I know how to fix it).  I figure that when I'm done with Jak, I'll go ahead and start whatever feels like it's ready to be started, so the more ideas I have, the better.

I've also slowly been working on my cannibal story.  It's an idea that's been rolling about in my head for years.  The problem (aside from the deplorable paper) is that it feels like one of those stories I read in literature classes that was terribly boring to read and yet was very "full" of stuff.  You know the stories I'm talking about.  They're meaningful and beautifully written and say something about our society and might survive the test of time, but they're tedious to read.  I think I'm writing one of those stories.  Sure, it's sort of a horror story.  And sure, it's likely that it won't stand the test of time, but it's tedious to write so I can only imagine how it will be to read.  Unfortunately I really want to get it out, so I just keep plugging away at it.

I'm also working on my Plane Jane comic.  It's a little easier, but I have to switch from thinking cinematically and try to work out how many panels on a page, and how to squeeze a lot into a small space without overloading it.  22 pages has never been so hard.  Either way, it's very strange and sick and funny.  The first couple of pages show a teenage boy killing his entire family and then burning down his house in a shirt that reads, "I shaved my balls for this?"

On the actual physical act of writing front, I got my Pelikan M800 and promptly sent it back to Pelikan.  It gushed and I was very unhappy with it.  I'm letting the manufacturer tinker with it before returning it completely and getting my money back.

I also did some new inks, one of which was the worst ever (Private Reserve Fast Dry Sherwood Green....just don't) and two that were really nice.  

I also picked up some paper from Levenger and I would advise against it.  I had really wanted to try their Notabilia notebooks for writing because they hold more paper and because the Moleskin's I'd been using were great but sometimes inconsistent (often they were overly waxy causing some beading on the page).  The Levenger's look good but the pen doesn't glide across the page, it feels scratchy and rough.  Plus, there's too many sheets in it and the way it's bound leaves a ton of empty space.  In the Moleskin I could literally write from edge to edge fitting an average of 12-14 words a line.  With the Notabilia the most I could get was 8 or 9.  A pretty big disappointment for a book of paper that cost $22 for two.  I also got the storyboarding pad and while the paper is pretty much the same, I like the concept...it's been useful when working on my comic.

Other than that, for the next few weeks I'll be typing and editing Jak to prep it for its grand adventure in the world.  I'm planning on starting the second book no later than July.  I'd like to start sooner, but I don't want to rush through the editing process of book one, because if I screw up there, then no one's going to care if I write book two.

Word of the day:  Carpal Tunnel 

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