Category Archives: Rantings

NaNoWriMo and why I’m not doing it.


NaNoWriMo is, without a doubt, the olympics of writing. You have some great athletes, pulling out incredible performances… but the Michael Jordans and the Tiger Woods still get all the chicks (in Tiger’s case, that’s literal).

YEEEEAEAAAAAAAAWH

I would love to participate in the challenge. There’s no shortage of ideas, but there is a deficit in time.

I’m working on starting a business. No, not some multi-level marketing thing where I can ‘work from home’ and makes millions in my first week, all I have to do is send this guru thirty thousand dollars and then subscribe to every belief system he’s created.

I’m writing out the business plan and working on the product line of ERRANT Studios Inc., a new digital comics and book publisher focusing on, as the name would insinuate, a ‘different’ kind of entertainment. Basically, we’re talking about a publishing company manifested into reality and controlled by and geared towards creators and writers.

It will be ran as a business, focusing on quality. But our genres aren’t going to be so horribly restricted. We’ll accept different kinds of subject matter. And all titles we publish must be able to exist in the same universe. (We will have a different line for out-of-universe stories called Erratic.)

To do so, like I said, I’ve been working on the business plan. I’ve been developing our marketing strategy and doing research on various aspects of the industry. I’ve also created write ups of our member-owned products, describing in full detail their summaries, market analogies (what popular titles are they most similar to), how they are similar to those analogies, how they differ, and what innovations the product will bring to the table. (The business plan is to find investors willing to give us money to start this company… We need quite a bit.)

On top of all that, I need to write out the scripts for the graphic novels in which I have a personal stake. Normally our numbers are balanced between the CORE Members but out of the EIGHTEEN titles we have ready to go, I own part or all of  SIXTEEN.

This creates quite a predicament for me.

So I’ve come to announce that instead of taking part in NaNoWriMo, I’m going to do NaGraNoWriMo.

That’s right, National Graphic Novel Writing Month.

Not to be confused with GrannyWriMo, NanoRyhmo, NanoThighsMo, or BananaRhymo. (All of which are equally made-up.)

Of course, NaGraNoWriMo isn’t real. I made it up this morning while recovering from a headache. I don’t have the foggiest idea of where it came from.

No idea at all...

That being the case, I might as well take part in another fake challenge. I like the sound of BananaRhymo.

So here’s my entry:

Banana Extravaganza.

It’s not perfect. But, I have a month to perfect it.

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Just a thought…


The #1 reason why a small comic publisher will fail:

Poor marketing strategies. They rely on the book to sell itself.

Nothing sells itself. This is the world that consumers have created by demanding better products. Competition arises and consumers fall into confusion about which one to buy. Poor, dishonest marketing strategies have pushed the consumer to distrust the companies that create the products they buy on a regular basis. Moronic consumer practices (like buying something packaged in a box with a person of a certain race on it) have led to unreliable sales projections. So here we are, in a constant battle between companies trying to gauge their buyers and buyers bitching endlessly about the air in the top of a Lay’s potato chip bag.

Most artists and writers of comic books would say they’re different. They’d say this because comic books are a combination of art and literature; a closely relatable product near to the reader.

That reason is bullshit.

Comic books ARE different. They are an entirely different breed. But that’s because they ARE the package. In a comic book, you’re actually buying the theme; the message of the book. The art and story are the vehicle but the biggest reason why a fan stays with a title is that they are touched by something in the message.

But packaging on a product does little to sell it. Great art will, of course bring in people. (Horrible art will drive the masses away like they’re escaping from the london riots.) But it’s not enough. Great artwork cannot mask a sophomoric story. They may make initial sales by piquing curiosity. Those numbers will most assuredly fall if the great hero with the beautifully rendered city-scapes turns out to be as one dimensional as the paper you so desperately flip through to find a single goddamn redeeming quality for him.

But no one will get to see the art if you’re hidden away somewhere on the internet or in the back of some comic shop.

Marketing strategies are inherently important to any publisher. So much so that the marketing budget of a comic book publisher should be one third or more of its total budget.

Advertisements must be engaging. They must be interesting and relatively on target. They don’t have to tell the whole story of each book… but they do have to give the audience some idea about the overall feel.

Lyncholass – The next big short thing


A friend of mine is working on a short film for the upcoming sundance season.

Check out the trailer here:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen…


I present to you, the MORPHAGONIST. Read the rest of this entry

NEW BLOG!


WHICH YOU CAN’T SEE!

HA! That’s funny.

I set up a blog for the studio which we can use to update each other on our projects, setup meetings, keep information secure, etc, etc. It’s set to super-private and associated with a different username. This kind of a tool is incredibly useful. With it, a group of people can set up checkpoints throughout their schedules where they review others’ work. If you’re working with a group, this kind of thing is indispensable.

Aaron

James Cameron to PRODUCE ‘MYTH’ – EDIT


So, it’s out. James Cameron and the production team that brought Avatar to the big screen are in talks to bring out a new movie, ‘MYTH’. It was pitched to Fox as a premise and is yet to be written

Holy shit! That’s great, man! You’ve been working on Myth for 16 years! I can’t believe they’re making it into a movie before you write the books!

No. No, it’s not MY myth. It’s another myth. No one has any idea about the story yet, I’ve just been following the breadcrumbs laid by the companies.

So, it’s not your story? Aren’t you worried?

About what?

First and foremost, what do they say it’s about? Is there any news on that?

Yeah, sort of. They’re calling it a science fiction epic with lots of action.

… And you’re not worried?

Why should I be worried?!

Because it’s a science fiction action epic named MYTH… for god’s sakes, man, wake up and smell the coffee. They ripped you off!

Bull. There’s no evidence that anyone involved has heard anything about my story. I keep my premises hidden. Even what’s up on this site has little or nothing to do with the bulk of the story. My Myth has depth and layers. No one’s seen anything quite like it. My Myth isn’t just sci-fi. It’s drama and fantasy and gothic and a deep psychological look at what truly makes someone evil and if evil can ever really exist.

So, they ripped off what you put up. I didn’t say they’re going to do a good job with it.

It’s ridiculous to think that someone took MY idea. Who am I right now? Why would they be trolling through other people’s stories? It’s not my story.

Ok, ok. It might not be your story. But what then? It’s going to be a major blockbuster. If it keeps the same name, it will taint your story forever.

… Why the fuck do I keep talking to you?

James Cameron

Character Interview – Claire Bo’Fauhn


This is Aaron’s secondary mind, reporting from the creative recesses of his psyche. We’re here with one of the main characters of Myth; of Men and Monsters. She doesn’t quite understand that she’s a character and she hasn’t gone through any of the events in the story yet, we’ve caught her the day before her first introduction.

Ms. Bo’Fauhn, it’s lovely having you here, are you comfortable?

Yes, very much so, thank you.

Wonderful. Let’s get started as I know you have things you need to accomplish. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Give us some history on you.

My name is Claire Bo’Fauhn. I’m sixteen years old, nearing the end of my Spiriling courses at the Byohar Tower Schools. I’m the daughter of a Ghirault, a nobleman from Fridinlay. Read the rest of this entry

The Greatest Warriors


I need a group of the greatest warriors in history… We can’t use all of them and I can’t tell you why I need them yet…. but… I’m still imposing this question on you.

What are your favorite historical heroes/villains/warriors/military leaders?

Here’s my list, so far.

  • Vlad Tepes
  • Isom Dart
  • Sun Tzu
  • Alexander the Great
  • Spartacu
  • Salah Ad Din
  • Miyamoto Musashi
  • Leonidas
  • Hannibal
  • Richard the Lionheart
  • Atilla the Hun
  • Genghis Khan
  • Boudica
  • Audie Murphy
Have any others? If so, COMMENT BELOW and tell me about them!
If not and you haven’t even heard of these guys, do some research. They’re pretty damn cool.
-Aaron Shively

The Fun Part


Here’s my personal philosophy…

Measure twice, cut once.

This does work for writing. Not everyone breezes through their first draft with little regard for pacing, sentence structure, paragraph breaks, readability, grammar, punctuation, etc. It’s the same for consistency in story-telling. For sci-fi and fantasy works, the mantra has to be refined.

Create a system of measurement, measure twice, create a cutting tool, then cut once.

The concept is done, the worlds are fleshed out, the peoples and places have been described. Maps have been drawn for continuity’s sake. My system of measurement has been set in stone and the eyeballing gave way to absolute relativism long ago.

I am at the point of creating a cutting tool and this is the fun part.

Developing characters’ method of action is giddily enough like playing god. Their voice, their personalities are the best part of everything.

I’ve gotten it in my head to do a character interview for Myth:OMAM which I will post here as soon as it is finished.

– Aaron

Last Reminder for STORYFEST 2011


CLICK THE IMAGE RIGHT NOW, DAMMIT!

Time is running out to read some of the best stories from Story A Day. Check out a few great writers who took the challenge. IT ENDS THE 14th! SO GET TO IT!