rustydragonfly: Drawing of a dinosaur drinking tea, captioned "tea rex" (tea rex)
Yeesss I just finished Arc 15 and it was awesome fun. Never before have I been so tempted to write TO BE CONTINUED in big letters at the end. But I didn't. Because it was on an Alphasmart and those things don't do formatting. So I'll do it here.


ahhh now doesn't that feel good.

except for the bit where I'm also kind of nauseous but that's ok because I know why. I just wish it'd stop already. ick.
rustydragonfly: Photo of a black horse, rearing dramatically (a lovely horse (quixotic-crush))

I like bats, you should like bats too. And I wanted to break out of all quadrupeds all the time.

I spent a while in the coffeeshop again today as well, that always gets me writing. It might sound pretentious, but it works, and I'm not going to dispute what works. It feels kind of weird to be working on MFS, because of how long it's been going on for - four years now, and still only about halfway through. I don't think I've held onto a storyline and group of characters for that long, and it's a lot different to jumping in on a new concept. The characters still manage to surprise me - I don't think they'll ever stop doing that - but it's less about discovering who they are and finding things out, and more about getting in to the meat of the story. Parts of this are scary, I'm going to hurt them over and over, but that's what writing's all about. Being awful to fictional people. Yeah.

Also thinking I'll run a printoff of my NaNo novel and do an edit of it. I want to get that thing up and posted.
rustydragonfly: Photo of a starfield (SPACE)

So Manifestations is four years old today. That's a lot of time, no doubt. I don't believe I've ever had a fiction project last as long as this. Okay, I've had a longstanding worldbuilding project, but it's changed so much you can barely call it the same thing any more. And it's not a story, either, like this is.

I admit I would hope that after four years, I'd have more done. But it's worth it to have what I do have, even if I'd like to pick up the pace. Writing serials is a different thing to writing self contained novels. You're running live, and you know vaguely where it all ends but not how you're going to get there, and to make it extra scary, you're doing it all for an audience.

But I wouldn't trade the audience for anything.

It's fashionable to say you don't care about feedback, because you're doing it for yourself. And I do write Manifestations for myself. But it's a lonely experience. You're following these characters you love, and yet nobody around you knows who they are and won't join in. I can't publish Manifestations for multiple reasons, so this is the only way I can get it out there. Were it not for you people reading along and following the adventures of two broken brothers and the people they meet, I wouldn't be celebrating four years now. Maybe it means I'm shallow, but on your own, it's easy to come adrift and lose interest. Knowing someone else is along for the ride makes all the difference.

To quote xkcd, thankyou for making me feel less alone.
rustydragonfly: Photo of a lizard behind a leaf with light shining through (lizard leaf)
I have to say that if someone did decry Manifestations for encouraging young people to be selfish, lazy, ungrateful, disrepectful, etc...

...I would congratulate myself upon a job well done.


Jul. 3rd, 2014 08:37 pm
rustydragonfly: Photo of a lizard behind a leaf with light shining through (lizard leaf)
So far my Camp work seems to be turning out to be "random shorts that I kept meaning to write but never got around to because of Artslam." So far we have:

-an attempt at working some everyday religion into the storyline after realising it was a massive blindspot of mine. (Having it be on the more easygoing side of the spectrum helps a lot). Courtesy of that one inter-cultural couple I've been writing, who, it turns out, are both a pair of massively awkward dorks. Even when they try to be all together about things. Especially when they try to be all together about things. Aw boys.

-a fictional creation myth courtesy of said religion, which was massively fun to write. The essence of the story being "humanity rebels against the entity that created it, and this is a good thing, because said entity is a complete dick." Aw yeah.

-a snippet of Jen+Dhaymin h/c type stiff, because the boys being grouches while they bleed everywhere is a Thing of mine, okay?

-the start of some sweet as ever Jen/Rosa fluff. Aw yeah some more.

Not a bad start.

art time

May. 18th, 2014 06:14 pm
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)

A set of Dhaymins, as seen before. I wanted to add more versions of him, but Opencanvas was being a pain so I stuck on some cel shading and called it a day. Also I think I will get Sai once I can get the money together. The lineart functions alone are worth it.

Meanwhile, it is Sunday, and like most Sundays, I find myself falling into one of those mildly depressed states that always seems to happen then. It's not all bad, I ended up declaring Sundays to be Cleaning Day so that I could be productive and feel that I had done something worthwhile, but still, you need other things to do once that's done. So you poke about at bits and pieces, only nothing really clicks in your mind, and somewhere in there there's something about baths and long dark teatimes of the soul and all that stuff. I think there ought to be a Sunday support group. Thursdays? Bah. I never could get the hang of Sundays!

So anyway I decided to sign up for Artslam after all. I'm feeling a little intimidated, even though I did it several years back and I know full well there's no requirement for you to be a pro artist, I can't help but feel a bit small next to everyone else. But I think it's about time I tried reconnecting with that side of me. I've done a lot to find my own sense of community amongst other writers, and I'll always be grateful for it, but I've lost touch with so many artists I used to know. I don't draw as much as I should do.

I guess what's really depressing me right now is I feel like most people I knew who were fellow artists in the past have gone on to go pro. I'm waffling at the idea of at least selling a few things, but I'm plagued by feeling not good enough (though I'm sure everyone feels that way) and having been burned badly the last time I went there. I feel a bit left behind, sitting here drawing for fun. But... that's kind of why I'm doing this, to go back to somewhere I left and want to find the way to again. Blah blah blah...

Yeah, it's Sunday alright.


Apr. 16th, 2014 08:33 pm
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a dinosaur drinking tea, captioned "tea rex" (tea rex)
Passed the halfway point a little late but I'm going well so far. Though still surprised at how a halved wordcount goal next to a normal NaNo is translating into double the slowness. Still can't work out what's with that.

But I've also finished off Arc 13 so the theatre storyline is now done - I just need to post it all and give some of the bit characters actual names rather than placeholders. Next up is the newspaper plot... which is going to be interesting because it's all about a couple of minor characters. Sort of the Love and Monsters of the MFSverse. Actually I don't think Rosa and the boys are going to show up at all in this one, but they deserve a rest after all the crap the universe has been putting them through.

Also I finished it off in a coffeeshop and I have a horrible feeling I'm going to end up one of those people who regularly shows up to type stuff over a drink... but I'm not complaining. And my weapon of choice is an Alphasmart. (I am so going to be bummed when mine dies, the company stopped making them... seriously considering grabbing a backup while I can because they are just that awesome.)

Bonus points for finishing off the Red Velvet prompts over some actual red velvet cake.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
Presented without comment:

"What's a giraffe?"

"It's what you are. Now be quiet."

There are two scenes I've been waiting for since I came up with this arc. The first is the fandom scene, the second is this one.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
I just want to say that this is 100% true and why I'm a big old ditherer over MFS.

Though I'm trying to get faster because maaaan three years for the first mytharc, must do better. And sometimes it really is a case of sitting down and going OKAY, TIME TO WRITE THIS THING.

But still true.
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (MFS/FIM - jen pony)
Also I think I should just rename Manifestations into the "Two Guys Get Locked In A Room And Shout At One Another Show" already. Cause seriously. Boys. We have got to stop meeting like this.

28th December and [profile] aeron_lanart asks: Favourite/least favourite December weather.

Favourite: aw you know me, I love snow. I think at some stage in your life you're meant to start hating it, but I never stopped loving a nice big snowfall.

Least favourite: what we've been having a lot of lately. High winds and freezing rain all day. Ugh. Can't go outside, and I kept on fearing the power would go out. It didn't, but there were a nervous couple of days for a while...

May have room for another question or two if anything's burning.

Also I made a list and realised I could fill it, so! For January I will be doing a variant on [personal profile] drazzi's 100 Characters Meme, just this time, it's 31 Characters. Rules are simple: for each day in January, post a short blurb and some cool facts (and art if you have any) of an OC of yours. It wasn't that easy for me, and I ended up making up the numbers with AU counterparts, the characters from my totally unrelated NaNo '14 bunny, and at least one vehicle. But I think it all worked out in the end. If you want to join in, please do. I love reading about other peoples' OCs!
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (MFS/FIM - dhaymin pony)
Sunday? There's no such thing as Sundays!

I wish someone had warned me about the weather here earlier. Yeah, I really love having the contents of the Channel dumped on me via screaming, relentless wind. Thankyou, weather!

22nd 23rd December and [personal profile] boosette asks: Where do you get your ideas Describe the planning and execution process for your writing - are you an outliner? a seat-of-the-pantser? How many arcs ahead do you plot out/do your people do things like nope out of a planned course of action you'd intended to write?

I nick them. All of them. There's something kind of dishonest about origfic, when you think of it.

Whoo. This is a tricky one.. well, more like really long. It depends a lot on the story and even more on what I feel like at the time. I don't have a single best way of working, but it's a rough split between how I handle NaNo novels, and how I handle an ongoing project such as Manifestations. So...

NaNo projects

Actually this is variable, but I'm usually a moderate pantser. My typical strategy is to have an idea that consist of a start, an end, and some things that happen along the way, and to go for it. I think some year I would like to do a completely pantsed novel (i.e. start on November 1st with no idea whatsoever what's happening) but that's never happened before. The only awkward thing about this method is the resulting draft is very messy, and to this date I've never cleaned up a single one, though I have some that are deserving of attention. Especially the MFS Real World AU novel, if only because it's the one people seem to want.

Once or twice I've either outlined or attempted to outline. I did a partial outline for my 2009 novel and while the outline itself never got finished as much as I'd like it to have been, the end result was one of my best attempts (and also my longest, reaching about 72K). I attempted one for this year's, but it never really got very far so it ended up in the mostly pantsed file. Next year's is going to be outlined. I know this because I have a giant pile of outline documents sitting in Scrivener, staring at me. Staring, I tell you. The fact that there's 11 months to go hasn't stopped a thing. Needless to say when November 2014 rolls around, I will be ready.

And I've always been curious about whether or not the results I got in 2009 are consistent. FOR SCIENCE. We like science around here.


This is a tricky one because MFS is written in prompt comms, and as such a single prompt can spawn a whole idea. But there is definitely forward planning going on. I have three major mytharcs roughly sketched out in my mind, and I have an idea of how and when the whole thing will end. At the same time, the strategy is similar to how I normally do NaNo. There's no rigid planning. Some arcs I have in my head for months before they get written. Some arcs are made up the night before I start them. It usually depends on how important they are. The pivotal ones like 6 and 11 were in my head for a long time, or at least the big stand-out scenes were. Arc 10 was made up at the last minute to replace an idea that wasn't working out. Arc 2, which ended up being really important because it introduced Vesin? That one started out on a dare to have Jen crossdress, until Vesin walked onto the stage and decided she fancied a bit of Dhaymin.

So it's kind of the same as my usual NaNo process, but a whole lot scarier, because you can't go back. If you cock up, everyone will see, and you look a prat. And that's why I'm kind of in a state of being perpetually terrified by it all.

For "Series 2" I have a few arcs planned out, including Numbers' triumphant and very trollish return, the MFS equivalent of Love and Monsters, and Weird Stuff Happens To Dhaymin, Well Actually Everyone, But Mostly Dhaymin. Not sure how they all fit together, yet. But they will.

And as is probably obvious, the characters take it where they will all the time - see Vesin's example. They're usually more often going "I want to do this!" than NOPE, but the sentiment is still the same. Usually if I scrap an idea that's my own decision, because it's not working. Fun fact: in an early idea, Dhaymin was going to turn out to be tarnished too, until I decided it didn't work - Jen is the tarnished one and Dhaymin has a whole other load of Things which I'm starting to touch on. Having them both be tarnished didn't work out at all.

But they will pounce on things they want all the time, and I can only listen.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
It is not November. There's an idea in my head for next year's NaNo and it won't go away. But it is not November.

Can you tell I'm a bit fictionally frustrated? Go away, idea, I have MFS to write.

21st December and [profile] aeron_lanart asks: Which House in Hogwarts is the best fit for you? If you do any of those sorting quizzes, are you in a different House every time or do you get consistent results? I always end up as a Ravenclaw, including in Pottermore.

It's a toss-up between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Definitely not the other two, but which of them is a bit fuzzy. I never did any quizzes or sorting comms so the answer's all in my head.

I like to think Ravenclaw, but that depends on whether or not I'm as smart as I think I am, and let's be honest here. Hufflepuff is the real coolest house.

Since that was a bit short it's worth pointing out that I have a habit of sorting people I write into houses... and they all seem to end up Hufflepuffs. Everyone. Well, okay, I think Rosa is a Ravenclaw, but let's face it, Jen and Dhaymin are totally Hufflepuff. And Mr Tildeworth, one of the guy's I'm poking for the Idea That Will Not Go Away? So Hufflepuff it hurts.


However I have no icons of badgers so you will have to make do with a giraffe.
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (MFS/FIM - jen pony)
[profile] nathskywalker asked: If you read, then what are your favorite books? Are your tastes in reading similar to your tastes in other media or not at all? If you don't read, then why is that so?

Ooh. Well now. To be short here, the answer is "fantasy" but there's a bit more to it than that.

My reading as a kid was mostly animal stories. Particularly ones where the animals talked and were characters in their own right - I remember having a few horse/pony stories, but those didn't engage me as much as Watership Down, which I probably read at a way younger age than I was supposed to. That's still one of the books I re-read frequently. From there, I moved onto Redwall after a classmate recced it, and that got me into straight up fantasy. I don't read Redwall anymore, but those books were my childhood and were filled with so many things to love. I think they were one of the things that got me into fantasy mapping, too.

So I read a lot of that, but the weird thing is, despite the fact that fantasy is my genre of choice, I don't read an awful lot of it anymore. So much of it just... bored me. I used to think it was the same-y settings, and in a way it was. I wanted beautiful, otherworldly places, not mud and medieval Europe. But I think a lot of it is that most fantasy protagonists just don't do anything for me. So many of them seemed to be the sort of guy you're meant to root for because he's the main character, and beyond that there isn't much to say about them. It's something I've tried to avoid in Manifestations - I want you to know and love the characters, and if you do, that's my job done. I admit to a lot of mud and (very)pseudo-medieval European settings, but that ended up being a conscious choice - I tried more fantastical settings and people complained that they were too complicated, so this time I'm starting generic and moving up to something a bit more interesting.

Well, that's my excuse, anyway.

So I think overall I'm the sort of person who likes to read, but I've been turned off by so many crap novels that I don't read as much as I'd like to admit. Most of my reading these days is Pratchett because I know I'll get a good story and characters I can enjoy out of his work - with anyone else I won't normally touch it unless I have a good rec from somewhere. Which is sad, because I miss the days of poking around bookshops and looking at the fantasy/sci-fi section thinking how cool they all look. Thankfully there's always the internet, and I've diverged a lot thanks to fic and places like [profile] runaway_tales - the latter has actually gotten me reading some modern day, non-fantasy work, which I wouldn't have thought of until a few years ago.

I must admit my tastes are still firmly rooted in fantasy, and failing that anything with a non-everyday setting, but to be honest, I think the deciding factor is strong, likable characters you can take with you after the book's closed. And, I think, a dab of humour. The story doesn't have to be a full-blown comedy, but I find that stories where nothing funny ever happens, even characters exchanging amusing one-liners, falls flat. When I write MFS, for example, the storyline is serious, but the characters have senses of humour because they feel more real to me that way. I think if I've made you laugh, that's half my job done.

As for my favourite book in the whole world, it's a three way tie between Watership Down, Good Omens (the one book that I re-read religiously each year), and the entire Discworld series because I can't pick just one and there's never been a Discworld book I didn't like.

Ask me a question! I have plenty of dates left.
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)
I finished it! This is for [profile] storyfriends for MFS. I suggested a primer challenge because I was afraid of people being intimidated by some of the larger canons in RaTs and was worried mine might be one of them. It's been around a bit and amassed over 200 pieces. Considering I wanted MFS to be an easily accessible story, that's going to need some work.

So, primers.

Manifestations: Has absolutely nothing to do with any other series about monster hunting brothers. Honest. )
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)
Whew. Feel a bit better today after some proper sleep. Still guiltballing a but, but it's mainly been replaced by the usual low level "everything I write is fail and suck" and I know that's not true.

Well, maybe if I edited and put more time into stuff that might help. But what can I say, recovering perfectionist. Yeah, terrible secret, I don't really do much revision. Just get it done and get it out there. It's a recovering perfectionist sort of thing. I know it's a bad habit, I gotta kick it someday, but... Trying to get over years of stalling. Seems to have worked at least.

and I finished an aaaaarc. Next stop, ROSA AT LAST. Wow it only took me a year to properly debut her. Or huh how about that practice vid I've been sitting on since I grabbed that copy of Premier? Come on I know Sims stuff takes a while to make but not that long.
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)
Well, I'm in for it now. (And then Time Lord!Jen is all "well actually it was the Weasley's car but why should you listen to me because nobody ever does so I'll go angst in the corner some more AAAANGST.") Actually I did do an AU where they could time travel! But they were their usual human selves there.

And while on topic, a short tale from last night:

Me: "hmm, I should get started on that cast page I keep meaning to make. Ok, need pics"

*fires up TS2 due to being too lazy to draw*

*summons Dhaymin to photoshoot lot*

*forgets he was at work*

His LTW is to be a lawyer.