Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fleeing the scene of the crime

Fear.

I'd be lying if I said I didn’t feel it at the moment.

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you may remember an entry where I talked about the apprehension of publication, the fear of whatever you do isn't going to be good enough because it's held to this invisible standard that you can never reach.

The reason this has come up now is because I've been so busy of late, I barely even realised that so much of my stuff is actually close to public consumption, which is mostly due to the good news I mentioned in the last entry.

Bad Luck Inc. is already out in Tales From the Plex Vol 2 – something I imagine a few of you may have read by the time I publish this. Scary.

But there's a fair few bits that you may not know about.

First up. Again, long time blog readers will have read some samples of this already, but my novelette, Primes: Bad Blood, passed the quality entry barrier and was accepted into a short fiction competition last month, being held at Rusty Axe (http://www.rustyaxe.com/writing_contest_entries.php). Surprisingly, only 8 stories managed to be admitted – could be that not many people entered. But either way, it's there and judging starts this week, where samples of each story will be shown to the public and whittled down through popularity. Final prize is $216, but really that's quite academic; I'm just damn curious as to how Bad Blood will be received. In any case, if you like what you read, I'd be happy to have your support. Not sure what the format will be, but I'll likely post about it when my week of judging is open. I'm mostly expecting to be a first round casualty, but it's nice to know it qualified at all I guess.



Secondly, the ink has now dried on my second contract and I can publicly divulge that I've been signed up for another comic book series. It's under the same company that signed me up for the first series, and I've only just finished the first issue script, but I'm REALLY happy for obvious reasons. And the concept itself is quite novel, certainly more original than many other concepts I've seen in a while. While I cant really say much about it right now (contract!) the project is very exciting to work on and I'm pretty hyped with how the first issue turned out in script form. Hopefully this time next year I'll be showing you the finished article.



Thirdly, that first series I just previously mentioned, which is also shrouded in secrecy. Well, I've been writing it for over half a year now and after a shaky start I think I've found my feet. To be honest, I've written so many scripts for the series now it's part of my usual work routine- so I was VERY surprised to suddenly find my editor/publisher send me half of the first issue FULLY DRAWN to my inbox this week. Apparently the artist (cant name him yet, sorry) should have the whole issue done very soon before starting the next. And he's superb. Really freaking good. I wish I could show you his stuff, especially a couple pages that are really eye popping – quite literally in one case.

Now I've been sweating about this project for a while, as some of you may know – various reasons. But to see the drawn pages for the first time, the characters I've spent nearly a year creating and 'living' with, suddenly get faces, watching everything come to life… man, I think I went crazy for about 2 hours in disbelief. Really amazing stuff. There's always a great feeling when you see your script be 'translated' into physical visual form, but given this is my first ongoing series and all the pressure, research, stress and so on, seeing these pages… it hit me:

This is really happening.

It's real.


Not to say it all cant fall through at any given moment – it's at the publisher's discretion once the product changes hands because they buy and subsequently own the property, but it's penciled, due to be inked and coloured soon and then lettered, printed, then finito. Done. Ready to be put on shelves. For potentially thousands to read.

Hmm.

Yup, that would be the fear thing I was talking about.

But still, the project is going full steam ahead now, which offers a stark contrast to last year which had me sitting around telling people the publisher would never hire me based off my script and plot sample. Crazy.

Now that this project is well and truly off the ground, I'm really hoping the second one I'm signed to gets running too (because that one is likely to stir the biggest reactions from people and has some spectacular -if I do say so myself ;) – action sequences in that had me consulting some of my favourite movies and books for inspiration). But either way, it's a great feeling (when I'm not worried about the reception) to have my fiction career dream actually stop being… well, fiction.


Last, but far from being least – I've recently been hand picked for another project for another publisher, which was a wonderful feeling to say the least. We've spent the last week tossing ideas around, talking about schedules and generally getting all excited about the whole thing, with even some concept sketches being drawn up (the artist I'm teamed with is brilliant and so so fast). Very early days to go into specifics right now on record, but it's something that will be on a fairly fast track of creation, so I'll be talking about it again soon enough. It's all been very sudden but needless to say if you thought I was pimping Tales from the Plex Vol 2 hard, you ain't seen nothing yet ;)

So yeah, lots of things going on right now that I had no idea would happen barely a month ago. No doubt this time next year I'll be lamenting what I could have done to spare the inevitable criticism slings and arrows, but I cant help but feel good that after two years of transition (a relatively short time, thankfully), things are moving in the right direction for once.

So: Fear is healthy.

Fear makes me want to do better.

And ultimately, if it's a choice between the fear of public failure to reach my dreams and goals or just giving them up and not having to deal with the fear...

...then screw it – bring on the degradation.





(Hell, I've been a little known games journo/writer for over half a decade and had to put up with public libel being fired at me from all sorts of readers; I should be used to it by now…)

11 comments:

Jac said...

Wow! Things are really taking off now - and about time too, you really deserve it :-)

Congrats on the short listing for short fiction competition - keep us posted on how to vote etc.

Onwards and upwards eh?!
Love jac xx

Writing Gaijin said...

Thanks! :D It's all just kinda happening in a way that's making me think 'well, maybe... just maybe this is where it's going to start... oooooor, this is just another of the many FALSE starts' lol.

But it's nice to have so many things on the go. Now I can only hope enough people like my stuff to keep it that way - from other cautionary tales I've heard, the fiction industry is quite like the games industry in the sense you can sink almost without trace if things start going bad. And after 2 years of keeping my head barely above water I could do without that sort of stress again...

Thanks again - and will post all the contest stuff when it drops (hoping they choose a half decent chapter when they throw out the judging sample). No idea how it's going to work but experience is good.

That's what I'm telling myself, anyway ;) xx

Sarah said...

YAY! I was having a wee cheer for you by halfway through your blog!

Sounds like the ball is not only rolling but starting to roll down a steep hill too! YAY!

Well done for all your hard work, here's hoping you keep seeing results for a good long time to come!

Bid Hugs
Sarah xxxxxxxxx

P.S. remember who your first loyal readers were when your rich and famous! LOL!

Writing Gaijin said...

Heh, thanks! :D Lots of work to be done, but at last some of it is coming back in a good way... so far ;)

And naturally my loyal readers who have stuck by me all these years will be remembered regardless of what happens ;) - although it's more likely I'll be asking you to remember me when I'm broke and in need of something more than my published works to keep me warm (at least they'll make a good fire! ;)xxxxxxxxx

Crowley said...

God, I am so incredibly happy for you Corey! You always had the vision, but to make it this much of a reality just through sheer bloody hard work (and judiciously applied sexual favours) is so heartening! You are, the man!

Writing Gaijin said...

Well I'm not there yet and have a LONG way to go still, but cheers :) I may have to keep applying the favours for a while yet :P

Jemima said...

I dunno, I can think of other people who deserve this success more...

joking! Sounds utterly thrilling, hope it all goes smoothly, but not so smoothly that you fall asleep through being understimulated.

I have no idea about this fear of which you speak. It's not as if my baby goes to the printers, ulp, TODAY I THINK. Yikes. I thinkyou can expect a wee bit of shameless self promotion over at mine too. I've been picking up hints and tips while here ;-)

Jac said...

Oooh - my copy of Bad Luck Inc arrived today! Very nice!! My first time EVER reading a comic style story, so you will be pleased to know it was a good experience. I loved the theme of the piece..and as expected, a very 'Corey' ending ;-)

I haven't read the other stories, but on flicking through, I must say you landed on your feet with the artist. I think your story is the best illustrated in the book by far.

Maybe I should get you to sign my copy?!

Jac xx

Writing Gaijin said...

Jemima: Cheers - to be honest, I'd be happy for it to go smoothly for once. The creative process (for me) can be such a headache at times -although rarely not fun- that if the production process actually went to plan for once it would be a blessing. There's so many points of failure with comics, especially (as I'm sure you know!). I've been lucky that all the artists I've worked with have pretty much stuck to what I wanted, though, and things have rarely gone drastically wrong in the editing, pencilling, layout, inking, lettering, placement and final production stages...

Good luck with your project, you need to actually tell me what exactly it is going to the printers seeing as you never answered my question last time ;) And blogs are the very definition of shameless self promotion! See my novel in process for further details... (winking metatext AWAY!)

Jac: Wow, glad you liked the story! You're actually the first to let me know about it, so it's doubly appreciated ;) Yeah, Yui captured the whole thing perfectly - and I didnt realise how different her style was compared to the rest of the book, which made it nicely distinctive. I actually felt more nervous after reading Plex 2, because Bad Luck is very much a 'straight-laced' comic story compared to the much of the more tongue-in-cheek, experimental, knowing or comedic pieces of the anthology, so I felt a little worried.

I think if I signed your copy it would probably devalue, though ;) xx

Therine said...

All the hard work is starting to pay off.I can see that penthouse in the horizon. My copy hasn't arrived yet but looking forward to it especially after Jac's comment.Will speak to you soon.
Love Therine

Writing Gaijin said...

I'd be glad for a small studio flat at the moment, given how cramped my quarters are ;) Hope you enjoy it when it arrives :) xx