Future in Writing

Yeah, I don’t know either.

So the last time I wrote something that could be classified as “fanfiction,” I was probably 10.  It was some weird Powerpuff Girls meets Little Red Riding Hood piece that only made sense in a 10-year-old logic kind of way.  Also drew plenty of fanart – pretty sure I still have some of it logged away somewhere.

Now, the last time I actually wrote period – it’s probably been a few years now?  I’ve been telling myself to get back into at some point, I keep coming up with all these ideas – and then I never do anything with them (unless they have something to do with I Draw Walruses).  Like, it’s November, so it’s National Novel Writing Month.   Told myself this is the year.  Aaaaaaand nothing.  Nada.  No novel.

No writing.

And then I fell down a rabbit hole into the world of Danganronpa this past week.

No idea why.  I had some vague idea of what it was – teenagers trapped in a school being forced into some warped killing game – but like, I think I was watching some random video that featured it and decided to look further into it.

And here we are.  I actually sat down and wrote a piece of fanfiction featuring my new favorite character, Gonta Gokuhara (Drew’s fixating on a fictional character again whaaaaat).  Who really needed a new ending because I didn’t like the canon one.  So I wrote one.

It’s not bad, but I can definitely tell, I’m rusty.  But it’s not bad.

And now I have more ideas for Danganronpa fanfiction.

I guess what I needed to write again was a video game about teens killing each other.

I don’t know either.

 

Okay.

So.

Friday’s comic was supposed to kick off a new mini storyarc.  However, soon after I posted it, I took another look at it and thought, “This doesn’t seem right.”  It wasn’t the lead-in that I really wanted, plus I’m not sure that I like how it turned out overall.

So, I decided to try again for today.  I had it all pencilled in, then got about halfway through the inking of it, then realized that there was something wrong with this one, too.  No matter which way I tried to look at it, I couldn’t get this particular story off the ground.  So I stepped back a bit, and came to the conclusion that this wasn’t working out at all.

Whatever story I was planning didn’t fit with this overall comic.  It was, to be honest, too weird to work with this universe.  Which, considering that this comic features talking animals and witches, is really saying something.  But it just did not gel.  The characters I was planning on bringing in did not work, and needed to be thought out a little more design-wise.

And really, I didn’t want to do this arc.  I wasn’t as excited as I have been with past storylines.  I think I was when I first conceived this idea, but now, with two false starts and the general surrealness of this “planned” story, it’s kinda like, meh.  Which is frustrating because I thought it was this great idea, but I know that if I continued to draw it, I would a.) not enjoy it, and b.) would have to force myself to finish it.  Which I don’t think works for any kind of artform, if you have to muddle your way through something just to get it done.  It happened in art school, and I’ll be damned if I let it happen to me now.   And really, there are other comic ideas that I have that I’d much rather achieve than whatever this was.

So, long story short: I don’t have anything for today.  I’m really sorry, but there will be something up on Wednesday.  Friday’s comic will serve as a monument to whatever the heck I was trying to do but somehow got garbled between the fruition of the idea and the actually drawing of it.

In the meantime, feel free to check out some of my other storylines that actually worked.  The Halloween stories, Willa’s family visiting, the couch – heck, even the Dentist story from last year.  Links will be below.

And as always, happy reading!

https://idrawwalruses.com/?p=428 – Walruses and Hauntings

https://idrawwalruses.com/?p=949 – Walruses and Hauntings 2: Revenge of the Stuffed Animals

https://idrawwalruses.com/?p=781 – Meet the Olsens

https://idrawwalruses.com/?p=874 – Road Trip

https://idrawwalruses.com/?p=1126 – The Couch

https://idrawwalruses.com/?p=709 – The Dentist

Fantastic Characters and Where I Hide Them

The full answer to Lars’ question is “absolutely nothing.”

This is something that I’ve literally been doing for ages now.  I’m not sure if it’s a hobby or what, but I love making up characters.  I think I’ve mentioned it before here, but it’s honestly one of the more fun and easier parts of creating as a whole.  I like dreaming up how they look like, what their names are (one of the most important parts, in my opinion), what their personal style is, what powers do they have if they have any – and on and on, just all the little details as to what makes up that character.

And what do I do with those characters?

Nothing.

Yep, nothing.

My brother and I would make up characters all the time, but at least we would do something with them, acting out stories where our characters would have adventures or simply go through their daily lives.  But the characters that I’ve made up in my spare time?  Yeah, I don’t do much with them.

Maybe I’m overthinking this.  Maybe other people do this, too.  It’s just that I’ve realized that I have a LOT of characters.  Like, I’ve had to make lists to keep track of them.  Lists and lists and more lists.  And that’s all I do!  I create them, write down their names, and just leave them there.

The characters I’ve created for this blog – Lars, Willa, Eliza, Jeff, and Cleo – are thus far the only ones that I’ve actually done anything major with.  And I feel like I really should do something with the bazillions of other characters that I’ve made up.  At least draw them or something.  Because I do feel like I’ve made up some interesting characters.  I just need to make them…come to life, I guess.

But that’s the hard part.  Trying to figure out what these characters are supposed to do – the story/world that surrounds them, that they exist in.  Like, I can see it in my head, but getting it out onto paper for someone else to see isn’t as easy as I would like it to be.  Which might be why I’ve been avoiding writing all this time.  Hm.

Just something I’ve been thinking about lately…

Resoluting Resolutions

Hey, two out of four ain’t bad, in the long run.

Didn’t really come up with any resolutions for the new year.  Or rather any new resolutions.  It’s pretty much the latter two mentioned in the comic – attempt to worry less and try to write more.  Both of which I failed at last year.

Of course, now that I think about it, I don’t think I helped myself at all in those regards.  I basically ignored writing – aside from this blog – in general, while ramping up my anxiety through constant Googling and clicking on stuff that I really shouldn’t have.  So this year, it is a matter of displaying some actual willpower and restraining myself from random Google searches at 10 PM whilst pushing myself to write.  So far, the Googling seems to be going well.  The writing, well – it’s a work in progress.

As for the other two resolutions that I actually managed in some capacity to achieve, now is the time to continue forth with those, not chucking them aside.  I need to make sure that I keep going to the gym and watching what I eat, whilst moving away from the snarky t-shirts in order to upgrade my wardrobe.  Time for them to evolve into habits, not just resolutions.  And hopefully at some point, writing will become a daily activity and the worrying will diminish.  In the meantime, it’s time to buckle down and make sure they happen.

The Story’s Over

Now what, indeed.
Now what, indeed.

So far, I’ve done about 4 big storylines here on I Draw Walruses.  And this tends to be what happens afterwards.  Posting that last comic, sitting back and thinking, “Well, now what do I draw?”

That’s the nice thing about storylines: knowing what I’m going to draw next, which will obviously be something regarding that story.  That next event/scene that will advance the narrative along.  Once I’ve finished that all up and bring it to a close, it suddenly becomes time to think of something new.  Only – what the hell is it?

There’s also the sense of the fact that the story’s over.  I believe I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really like things being over – movies, books, whatever.  There’s this weird melancholy that sinks in, that it’s finished.  And I now have to move on.  It’s super hard when it’s something that I’ve created, whether it be a comic or a written story.  I know I have to bring it to a close at some point, because I literally could be writing or drawing it for forever, if I so choose.  But I have to.  It just…feels too much like a goodbye to what I’ve done, which is ridiculous because it’s right there.  Just, now things can’t, or rather shouldn’t, be added to it.

Perhaps a bit strange, I know, but that’s kinda just the way my brain works.

Side note: I may have actually teared up finishing this past Road Trip storyline.  No joke.

Walrus Studies: The Author

Write write write write.
Not seen: the hours of procrastination before hand and the YouTube breaks.

Here’s our walrus friend, hard at work on his latest writing endeavor.  He’s finally broken through the writer’s block, and is now attempting to sally forth with his newest short story.  Knowing him, it’s probably about fish.

Speaking of writing, I have finally gotten started on that New Year’s Resolution of trying to write more often.  It only took about…a month or so to get around to it.  Lots of thinking about it, though –  and lots of procrastinating, of which I am an expert at.  But yesterday, I decided it was time to get back into the game, and this time turn it into a full blown habit.  I’m not going to set a time where I need to do it everyday, or else I think I’m just going to keep putting it off.  What I am going to do is set an amount of words per day that I need to write.  Right now it’s about 500.  May increase as I continue forth.

I did realize something as I was writing, which is the difference between how I draw and how I write.  When I’m drawing, I need noise.  I need something playing in the background.  Which is why I do a lot of drawing in front of the TV set or while watching a YouTube video.  If there isn’t anything playing, I can’t seem to focus on drawing.  It’s just too quiet.

Conversely, while I’m writing, I need total silence.  No music, no TV, nothing.  Just me and my laptop.  Even when I’m writing my blog posts, I realize that it has to be quiet, or else it’ll take me forever and a day to write these things.  It all has to do with thinking of what comes next – what I want to say, what I want to happen in the story, that sort of thing.  If there’s noise, I get completely derailed and I can’t seem to come up with the right words.  Kind of like when I’m talking to people – I need a moment to think of what I want to say.  Otherwise, it’ll come out wrong.

Thinking about it, I realized that it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything in the realm of fiction.  And it’s hard.  You know?  I’m a little out of practice.  It must’ve been last summer where I was writing anything.  But hey, I’ve started again.  And I can’t wait to see what happens.

Side note: I don’t write on a desk, like our walrus friend here – I mostly just write hunched over on my bed.  Professional.

Resolution: Writing

Can you even get typewriters anymore?
To be honest, the shirt and tie is probably the most unrealistic part of this whole scenario.

Welcome to Resolutions Week!  It’s a series where I discuss what I want to happen/hope will happen during the year of 2016.  And today’s topic: writing!

Yay…

So, back in college, when I was in the midst of discovering that art school was doing nothing more than crushing my soul, I took a mandatory writing class for the Honors college that reignited something in me that I hadn’t felt for a while: a love for writing.  A chance to express myself in a different means, to get out all that frustration concerning what I was going through at that time.  And damn, did it help/make people worry about my mental state/wonder about art school in general.  So, at the end of that semester, I decided to pick up writing as a minor, to counterbalance art school – which, side note, turned out to be a requirement for the Honors college.  Having a minor, I mean.  Didn’t even realize that until later.

Then, when I realized that art school was never going to get better, I switched over to English, which sort of allowed me to focus more on that writing skill that I had let atrophy in the meantime.  I was so focused on art for the longest time, that writing just fell by the wayside.  I had taken creative writing way back in Middle School and loved it.  But then art just took over, and I ignored writing.  To be honest, one regret that I do have is not taking a writing class in high school.  Who knows what would’ve happened had I focused on that instead of, I don’t know, taken photography or continued on with art?  Might’ve been one of the few guys there, but I was already one of the few guys in both photography and art, so, what would’ve been the difference, really.

Loved the writing classes I took in college for the most part.  I took one short story writing class for three semesters because the professor was awesome, and my writing really improved.  Took a few non-fiction writing courses, a poetry course (and discovered that I’m not exactly poet material, but eh) – overall, a rewarding experience.  Once I graduated, though, I stopped.  Like my art, I started to ignore it, or refused to do it completely.  Instead, I decided to indulge in my anxiety, letting all those thoughts and criticisms take over and obliterate any thought I had about continuing forward.  And I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be writing!  Should I have started on that novel?  More short stories?  What was the point?

Over the past year, my drawing, as you can see, has roared back full force.  It’s even improved a bit, considering I was so out of practice (yes, I do look back at some of the earlier comics here and cringe).  But yet, my writing has remained stagnant.  Yes, I write here on the blog, but I want to get back into what I really like: fiction writing.  Fantasy based, world building fiction.  I had a couple moments last year where I worked with a friend and actually got some stuff done…then got lazy.

So, that is one of the things I hope to accomplish this year: getting back into writing full force, and getting disciplined about it.  That’s something I think I lack in the writing department: discipline.  One of my professors, my creative non-fiction writing professor, said on the last day of class, “You have got to find some way to keep writing.  Because if you don’t, you’re going to not do it.”  Or something along those lines.  And he was right.  Man, was he right.

I’m going to try and start writing again, and this time, get a rhythm going, like I have with my drawing.  I want to balance those two things, so I can actually do them at the same time (WHAT a concept!).  And not give up.  Hopefully.  Because that’s not going to solve anything.  And it’s not like I don’t have the time.  I’ve got tons of free time.  Obviously, I need to start spending it a bit more wisely.

Here’s to 2016, and here’s to me getting back in the writer’s mindset.