Ships and dragons

I wanted to take a crack at drawing a clipper ship with all the sails and rigging, so I found a nice reference and took a shot at it.

Then Temeraire had to get in there, because it’s such an iconic image, the ships sailing with the dragons flying overhead, in all their war gear and carrying their captain and crew.

Here’s the spiffy diagram I found that shows the names of the sails:

Scribbly map

A scribbly map of Tyrona, the world that is cracked apart into continents and held together only by the magic and willpower of the local geomancers. I’m planning a grand tour across Tyrona for a couple of characters, and you gotta have a map in order to tour it.

Writing tips from a publisher

In my surfing of the internets, I happened across a little Christian publisher. And the editor for this publisher has a bunch of writing tips that he says you must, MUST apply to your manuscript before submitting it for publication.

So I gave them a look. You can, too!

I knew about half the tips intuitively, from writing and reading a lot. Like, I knew what beats were, I just didn’t know what they were called. And I know the Dumb Puppet Trick and the importance of creating a likeable protagonist.

I was reading all this because the story I’ve been working on just wasn’t working out. The first five chapters were great, but I was to chapter 8, and it was getting harder and harder to write. The characters didn’t like where I had taken them, and the setting wasn’t right. I couldn’t get excited about any of my upcoming scenes, and I was almost at the end.

So I sat down and wrote a synopsis of the story so far, and stared at it.

And I realized I had changed the characters too far from their original vision. Originally, the story of Jake and Revi was a fast-paced action thriller, like Bourne Identity or Mission: Impossible. I had turned it into Titan AE.

Wow, I just slammed myself so hard I think I saw stars.

Anyway, after some long talks with my co-writer, I chopped the story back to chapter 1. I re-imagined the characters and their powers, and eliminated all the secondary characters, cutting the cast from 6 secondary characters to 1. And miraculously, the story and characters are working again. The characters are talking. The plot is working. The villain’s motivations are much clearer this time.

So that’s why I haven’t been drawing much. I’ve been sketching and sketching out a story that actually works.

Mountains practice

I’ve been needing to work on some landscapes, so I hit up to see what Google had to offer.

This gorgeous view was sitting on the front page:

So I toyed with arranging the mountains into a prettier composition.

I might actually finish this one, I kind of like it. Except for that one peak being kind of a naughty shape. I’ll try to change it a bit.