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jdalton
01 September 2015 @ 11:37 pm


Saranjit is a secondary character, but a lot of fun to write. She and Maida have very little in common. And what they do have in common is bound to cause trouble. I only did some of the ten "character building questions" this time because Saranjit doesn't show up nearly as often as some of the other characters.

I've been back and forth a lot on the subject of accents for this book. In my head, half of the characters sound like they're from East London. Figuring out how to convey that without being illegible (or condescending) is a challenge. I've dialled back the spelling changes to minimum levels (one step above not having them at all) and I'm going to try that for a while. Originally I wanted the upper class characters (like Saranjit here) to have some other accent altogether. Not upper class English (offworlders like Maida are the only ones who get to speak "standard" English, since their dialect is old fashioned), but something else. Jamaican? Indian? Neither of those will work, though. I may need to make up something completely fake. The upper classes of this society once spoke overseas English or English as a second language, but by the time of this story they are a wholly new culture that we don't have in 2015. For now, Saranjit gets to speak Estuary English like the rest of her classmates.
 
 
jdalton
24 August 2015 @ 12:49 am

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This is an exercise that I did a while back to help me work out some of the main characters in my story. The questions are adapted from a list I got from the Paper Wings Podcast. What you do is ask your character these ten questions, and figure out how they would respond. I added the extra rules that they have to answer in their own voice, and in comics form. They can't lie, unless they are lying to themselves, and they have to answer, but they can deliberately or unintentionally misunderstand the question (which would itself be revealing).

Having written 75% of the story, now, I would change some of these answers. And to be sure, Maida would answer differently at different points in the story. But these are pretty close to the mark. I did this exercise for a couple of other characters and I'm planning on fixing those up and posting them here as well. I also want to do some for some of the other characters I missed. That is, if I can do it without giving key character traits away that I want to keep secret for now!

I mentioned earlier that I recently finished scripting chapter nine of my story. This chapter is a lynch-pin of the plot and it came together better than I'd hoped. Over the past few days I've come to the realization that this is no longer just a story I'm working on in the hopes that it'll hold together well enough that I might decide to use it. This is a story that I am definitely doing. That realization is, I suppose, my own character revealing question answered.
 
 
jdalton
22 August 2015 @ 12:23 pm
I finished scripting chapter nine last night (okay, at 3 am, so, technically this morning). It was an intense chapter to write. The stakes keep getting raised.

I really enjoy that when the writing is going well, scenes, characters, and locations can transform before your eyes into something unexpected... and better... than what you had planned going in. Maida in chapter nine is quite a different person than who she is in chapter one. But the changes make sense. They feel right. And this is the person she needs to be to get through the last three chapters.

The end of the first draft is finally in sight! Let's go!
 
 
jdalton
12 August 2015 @ 12:14 pm

Over the (too many) years that I've been assembling this project, I've often joked that Maida is basically a shoujo character, ha ha. But recently I realized that no, in fact, this story really is shoujo. I just need to accept that and run with it. The word shoujo is a description of target audience in Japanese rather than genre, and I don't want to suggest that this story is meant for girls to the exclusion of guys. I'd rather my audience find me, and besides, gender binary much? But even so there seem to be clear stylistic trends in shoujo comics that my story fits with perfectly. It's about a teenage girl who goes to high school and needs to figure her life out. It's full of drama, introspection, and pushing against the constraints of society and gender roles. And you know it doesn't take much of an excuse for me to draw patterns and effects and fancy outfits. I'm all in on this plan.

There is also a dystopian government, future technology, and life on the internet, so, "cyberpunk" is a good qualifier to add to that description.

The next time anyone asks, I'm going to describe this story as "shoujo cyberpunk." I think that's the perfect hook.
 
 
jdalton
01 August 2015 @ 02:28 pm

I'm going to start by reposting some of the stuff that's gone up on Tumblr in the past.

Consider this an early colour / environment test for my story. Each location needs not only its own architectural style, clothing, culture, and general look; but also its own distinct colour palette to facilitate quick cuts between the two.

Earth is urban, dense, conservative,* and steeped in history. It’s basically cyberpunk in an art deco dystopia.

Mars is a cold and austere world, a world with problems, but one painted with nostalgic pastels and primaries. In the context of this story, Mars is home.

There’s a lot of other things going on here (dudes with masks? giant silos? scarves and hats?), but I’ll let those stay a mystery for now.

*- That’s a word with a lot of baggage attached and I’m not going to explain what I mean just yet. It might mean what you think, but probably not all the way.
 
 
 
jdalton
01 August 2015 @ 01:56 pm
Well, hello!

It's been almost exactly four years since I turfed my LiveJournal in order to focus on other social media sites. But lately I've seen a bunch of people pining for the old done days of LiveJournal, and I can see why. There is no other platform that is quite so fine a place to hold a conversation (and isn't Facebook). So, I'm back.

But it doesn't make any sense to me to just repost everything from one site to another ad infinitum. If I'm going to bring this blog back from the dead, it needs to have a different purpose from my Twitter and my Tumblr feeds. I've decided that purpose is going to be to show some of the work I've been doing on my next book project, which is still at the scripting stage right now, but should be moving on to character designs and thumbnails hopefully sooooon? Soonish? This book doesn't have a name I'm prepared to share just yet, but its working title has long been "Maida Kilwa," after the main character, so let's stick with that for tags and so on.

If you want to know what's happening with this book, pay attention to this blog. If we are mutual followers, stay signed in when you check LJ, because there will be some locked development posts too. You can friends-lock posts in LiveJournal. Remember that?
 
 
jdalton
24 October 2013 @ 10:57 pm
Hello! I'm bringing my LiveJournal back from the dead.

Well, not actually. But just in case I still have friends and followers on here that I haven't managed to connect up with in other social media enclaves, I wanted to make sure you heard the news. A Mad Tea-Party, my long-running sci-fi comic, is finished! And I've started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to print it!



Check out the Kickstarter page (including the pretty cool video) right here to pre-order your copy today.
 
 
jdalton
11 August 2011 @ 04:26 pm
Hello Livejournal. Those of you who still read this blog have probably noticed that I haven't been posting here as much. It's true. I've been slowly abandoning this site and it's time, I think, to finally pull the plug. I still need to go back and archive some of the stuff I've posted on here over the years, but a dying social media site is never a place to have a good time, and I can only afford to invest myself in so many sites.

But don't fret. There are other, better, newer ways for us to keep up with each other.

On Twitter I'm @grasshopperpie. I post on here way too much. If you want to know when I'm eating curry, or find out What I'm Mad About Now, in 140 characters or less, this is the place to be.

On Tumblr I'm LostCityComics. I've mostly been using this to post art, as well as comics updates. I might also use it for other news and opinions occasionally, but I'm trying to keep it primarily stocked with pretty pictures.

And while Google Plus is still technically not open to the public, I expect it will be soon, and if you have an account you can find me on there as well. While I don't spend as much time on Google as on Twitter, it is a nice shiny new way for me to post art as well as whatever blog-type things I want to say that won't fit in 140 characters. The method of controlling content via circles is one I really like and plan to use. Basically, if you're someone I actually know, I can put you in a circle. If you're not someone I know, you can put me in a circle and still read and comment on what I say.

So yeah that's it. Best luck in your future endeavors, Livejournal- I wish thee well.
 
 
jdalton
22 July 2011 @ 01:05 am


New page time! I was so busy today I nearly forgot to post this.
 
 
jdalton
15 July 2011 @ 01:28 am


Here is a new page of A Mad Tea-Party.