Drum roll please...
It was good experience to pitch Pink Chase to two agents. I ended up pitching the entire series as a full novel. From going to this conference, I learned all the ups and downs of a traditional publishing system, and found that they will release a book maybe a year from when you sign. That's so far away! For my purposes, I'm going to stick to the slow and steady upgrades to the stories and I'm just going to keep self publishing. I don't think I wanna actually become a full fledged, professional writer. It's really hard and depressing. So, I will finish my thoughts and move on.
I've also got some ideas on how to restart Red Chase. It'll be more closer to telling Al's side of the story as he reawakens from his 15 year hibernation period. It'll also go through the society assimilation themes and horror aspects more, just like I've wanted to do from the beginning, but couldn't figure out how to.
All right, that being said, my number 1 priority is still going to be the completion of the first few episodes of Butterfly Kisses. I'm working on the drawing phase right now.
It's been a while since I last posted. Been busy working on some stuff. Let me tell you all about it.
"Butterfly Kisses" Web Manga
I just finished lettering and layout for the next 9 episodes. I have to say, going all digital is so efficient. I feel like my layout and paneling are top notch, and the dialogue bubbles are all professional looking. This is a great milestone in that it marks the end of uncertainty and this is the 50% mark to completion. I'll be working on the drawing part next. If you're following my Twitter (@RoxioxxStudios), you can see the progress.
It's been fun putting 100% of my time into this project. I'll still be working on the episodes as a whole, so I can't comment on when Episode 2 will be released, but when they are in a good spot, I'll be releasing each episode either every week or every other week. My goal is to complete all these episodes before I get back into job searching. It's one of the things I've wanted to give myself a chance for, and now I do. My target is to be pretty much done in 6 weeks from now.
Thank you for your patience.
"Chase" Short Story Series
Dedicating so much time to writing and learning the craft has really opened up my talents in writing manga, but also, it's helped me understand how to tell a story. I like writing. This weekend, I'll be going to a weekend conference and pitching Pink Chase to an agent. If I'm successful, I may have a deal with a traditional publisher. If not, I'll gain some insight how to make Pink Chase better, and finish it off all independently. The most important part is that I've always wanted to give myself a chance to succeed, and now, I've given myself this, I'm so happy.
All right. That's all for now,
How are ya? Have you found random, large outlet mall about 10 minutes away from your house? Well, have you checked? Turns out, there was one for me. I wished I explored more. It's been there for over two years. lol.
Anyways, I've been super busy with writing. I know I said I was done with the Chase series, but I then I learned how to build moments, and I just had to redo large parts of the story. I've booked some time with an Agent at the end of the month, so maybe things will work out. The newest editions of "Azure Chase" and "Lavender Chase" will be held up until further notice.
Now, I'm working on "Butterfly Kisses" the web manga. Lots of initial friction, but I'm slowly getting back into the flow. It's been a while so I'm trying to remember how to draw again. It's taking a while and it is stressful.
Also, anyone coming to the #BFGCon which is the Big Frederick Gaming Convention, I'll see you there. Hoping to make some new friends to help with creating board games.
Okay. I'm tired. Night,
YAY~! *happy dance* I've reached a milestone in creating "Butterfly Kisses." As you know, I said I finished the scripts for episodes 2 through 8. Well, as of today, I've finished the initial layouts for all of these scripts. Why is this important? -- it means the end of almost complete uncertainty! A script can only go so far when it comes to the manga media. You still need to know what is in its panel and how big to make the panel and how to put it in a flow that makes sense.
That's not to say that a script is not useful. It has to be step 1. Initial layout is step 2 of the process and helps put down the first layer of solid foundation for the rest of the creation process.
Here's what my document and initial layout looks like.
How's it going? Were you snowed in today? I was. The snow was super light and fluffy during the day. I wish I'd shoveled it up an hour earlier. My back is killing me. Hahahaha...
So it's been a few days since the last update, and I'd like to keep you guys in the loop about what I've been working on. Since quitting my job, I've dedicated to working on my projects full time, but if I don't release anything, it's all moot.
One of my goals this year has been to continue on "Butterfly Kisses." I mentioned in an earlier post that I had been working on episodes 2 through 8 of my web manga. The truth is, 8 months before I published episode 1, I had 11 chapters all written in the traditional format. The problem was that converting them to webtoon, would make that first arc end WAY too late. 1 traditional chapter was equal to 4 webtoon episodes. So that's why it was such a big deal for me in January to have found out what to cut to make the series not drag.
Lesson 1, I Learned
The original drafts were all thumbnails of layouts and characters, with a loose idea on words. It takes time to scan all that, and then reformat it. In the beginning, I think this is needed. You need to see your vision as close as possible. However, in the later stage, you get a feel. Or even, if you become a writer that has passed beyond the newbie stage, you learn what details to include.
In my mid-stage, after the setting and characters had been fully explored in the initial draft, I went through and wrote the entire scripts, word and description first. I used Microsoft word to just go through and write out all the dialogue and what each character was doing in each panel. Each new panel was a new paragraph. That was intuitive.
What I learned specifically to make me successful on Webtoon was to increase the font in the Word document to the size it would be in my web manga. Why? Because webtoon will take a max size of 1280 by 800 for an image (portrait mode). For full stories, you have to cut it down. Well, here's the thing, sometimes your panels may be way longer than that. That's fine. It's not fine when you're in an image creation software, like Clip Studio Paint, and have a 40,000 tall document. Performance goes down and I've had some issues with files saving. After I'm done with my script in Word, I export it as a PDF, then every page is a different file in Clip Studio Paint (I use the Story feature here). I stay true to the PDF as I'm taking the dialogue and copy and pasting into the Clip file. If I need to keep sequences together, that's fine. I just put a note on that blank page that I've moved it to the previous page and keep on going. I extend certain Clip files as I need more room for my panels. So some files in, let's say episode 2, are 2560 px long (my default) while others are over 8000 px. From my experience, I'd say to keep it below 9000, if possible.
Lesson 2, I learned
Since I'd written all of the script up, and thought I was happy, I was about to go and print all these pages off. I thought, "hey, I need to flip through and see what's happening. Sketch things out." I held off on that idea for money saving reasons. Now, I find out it was a great idea not to do that.
You see, your script will change if you learn something new, as I did. That would have been a waste of paper, and I would have had to reprint (because the changes were massive). If I did that for every episode, that would mean the original 96 pages I printed out were useless, and I'd have to print out another 100+ more. That's a lot of waste, even double sided. On a whim of laziness, I thought, "I can at least just copy the dialogue in and add in rectangles and squares. I can use the draft settings and put in rulers for keeping things even." So I did that. That was an easy yet effective use of my time. I then found I could put script directions in blue text under the draft folder (these would not show up in the final image as long as my output setting did not have "Draft" selected) and attached descriptions to each dialogue box. Some blocking issues arose, so I changed it in the Clip file. I found excessive adjectives in the dialogue and pulled them out. It turns out, I just needed each page in Word once to set up the rough layout in Clip. Printing out all that paper was just a waste of time, money, and resources. Digitally, I can make mistakes and just stretch the canvas or delete. You can't do that so easily with traditional media.
My first, manga series was called "The Legend of Auferre." I did that 90% traditionally. It had so many issues but I sake a whole bunch of time into it. I was so happy I published like 60 pages of it. It was a learning process, but I'm glad I evolved.
Going digital, it is so easy and time effective to modify and polish your work. These next few episodes are going to be of some of the highest level of storytelling I have ever done. The quality of content is going to really shine in this series.
Lesson 3, I learned
Now that the story has been thoroughly explored, the script vetted, the plot consistent, the vision is there, layout becomes easy.
It starts out just by drawing these panels on a single layer with squares and rectangles. You roughly place your dialogue text there (without the bubble at this point), you make sure the rectangles are the right size, or your resize them and/or the canvas. Make sure there is enough space between panels for pauses/quiet time.
Brr! It is cold outside where I live and I think there is a draft in my room. Let's get to some updates.
Today I was hit with the realization that I might be getting a full time job soon. What this means is I can no longer spend my time on whatever I want. So this mysterious writing project I was working on, I'm just going to have to get over having it sit in the back. It was actually "Red Chase" version 2, and this story was going to be a fully fleshed out novel. I've written near 70,000 words of it, but from my estimation, it's only 60% done (and that's only the first draft). I'm super happy I was able to work on it as much as I could. It had a lot of fun stories and was a huge step up for me in gaining experience as a writer. Every thing I make after this is going to tell a much better story. I'll still be working on it in the background, but I don't expect the first draft to be done until April.
That brings into question: what's the next project?
Well, "Pink Chase" version 2 is going to be released in this month. It's price is going to go up to $1.99. If you want to get it at a discount, you should get it before next week. Here's the link.
I've got to get around to just redoing this one part of Rose Festival before I can release it to the public. It won't take long. I just have to do it.
But my number one priority right now is getting Butterfly Kisses up and going. I'm pretty confident with the scripts. I've got some ideas on how to get it out quicker and not be hampered by the file size restrictions.
Well, that's all. Night,
A Joyous New Year to you all! Hope your holidays were at least chill. I had a good vacation at this undisclosed location doing [REDACTED] things.
Over my vacation, I let the story sit so I could go back and review it. You know, make sure the story makes sense and all the potential has been displayed. I'm gonna need to revise the script before I go into the story boarding phase.
I also updated my 3D models, color pallets, and concept art pages. I think I should be good now for a speedy execution. I'll be rendering out the bulk of Alexander's costume through my 3D program while the rest of it will be done traditionally. I'll also keep the colors minimum, so that I can publish quicker (like 12 colors in my color pallet).
There is an arc coming up after this first introduction arc where the new father and daughter spend time creating a small dream catcher. So, I had to create some concept art. I have 4 remaining dream catchers left now. Check out my etsy store if you want some exclusive concept art for the series.
Chase Short Stories
The majority of this week has been spent on updated "Pink Chase" with more content and more illustrations. It will grow by 50%. I will also raise the price to $1.99, so I would suggest that you all grab a copy before I raise the price with the new release.
A couple of days ago, I said I would have the scripts created for the next 7 episodes of Butterfly Kisses. Just wanted to confirm to you all that is completed. After I return from a vacation, I'll be working on paneling and storyboarding.
Still, the major writing thing I've been working on is about 60% done with the first draft. So, those will be my two major projects for January.
All right. Happy New Year!
I couldn't get any sleep until I took down some items off my to-do list, so here's an update on how things are going.
My Webtoon series "Butterfly Kisses" had a lot of work done thanks to a sudden bolt of inspiration (I was actually on the toilet at the time of these ideas, lol). So, by 3 PM today, I'm planning on having all the way up to episode 8 scripted out and the first arc will then be completed. That's 7 new episodes on the way. What took some time was this was originally going to be a manga. Because of fitting it onto Webtoons and their file restrictions, I had to chop each manga chapter down into smaller chapters. Getting to the main kick off point in the story would have been at Episode 30. That sounded pretty dumb to me, so I reworked it until I got to a better, more efficient and engaging way, at the big plot reveal which will happen at the end of this new 7 episode part. I'm grateful I didn't dive into creation until I had properly worked out the webtoon version of the script for this. That means more quality content for you viewers! :D
Video Game Development
So, time to reveal a secret: I've been working on a new video game engine behind the scenes. This time, I'm not having to create the core from scratch. I've using another company's prebuilt core (which also has prebuilt saving and loading features) and adding in plugins to make the game mechanics work. So, it looks like ALJ and other games will be feasible for me to create. My vision is to have a brand with visual novel and point-and-click story rich games. Just need to keep playing around with the visuals to make sure they are immersive.
Chase Short Stories
I've been working on a lot of illustrations to add to the stories. This week, I've kicked off a series of drawings with Fred. If you don't know who he is, read Pink Chase. So yes, I haven't forgotten about them. I may even revisit the stories themselves.
I also have some more behind the scenes stuff going with just improving my writing. I've even been reading this book called "The Head Game" by Phillip Mudd. I had no idea what I was getting into, but it looked interesting, and I thought it would be fun to mix Alan Alda's "If I Understood You, Would I have this look on my face?" Turns out, those two books had a lot of content that helped me flesh out the details of my characters. Such as, Alexander, being the clever alien parasite that he is, I got to define just how he communicates to others so effectively instead of just saying "he did it." Then for the Guardian Knight/Auferre, I figured out how to show how analytical she is. So a lot of progress was made thanks to these two books.
All right, that's all.
How are you? It's been a while since I've posted a full update on the developments. Taking that one month vacation in November really set me at ease. I haven't felt relaxed in so long, it was good to finally become calm. So, let's get started with the developments.
I took this time to work on writing and other skills, like the above pixel art you see. It was great to work on the fundamentals. I feel like everything coming out down the pipeline is going to be of higher quality, and that's what you guys like. High quality work.
Also, I've created some handmade, DS game badges. These are being sold on my etsy store. Click on the images below to be taken to that product's page.
I've got the entire first arc planned, so as I finished scripting the first 5 chapters, I found there is a lot of fighting, and not enough talking. Like, not much character interaction or development. So, I'm currently working on gutting out half the fighting and adding in more talking scenes between the main group. I'll keep updating you on the progress.
Behind the scenes
I've got some work that I'm doing behind the scenes that can't be revealed yet. The reason is that it's in the experimental stage and may never really come to fruition, so no need to talk too much on it.
All right, hope you all have a good week!