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Inspirational Reads

A Victim of my Own Addictions

August 15, 2006

As I alluded to a couple of weeks ago, I bought a sketch pad. My first intention was that this sketch pad was going to be long enough and wide enough that I could draw out the map that's been in my head for a long while. That's the map of the world in which The Boar War takes place. Fortunately, this is a map I see crystal clearly in my head so I don't need to commit it to paper in order to know where my characters are going and what they are doing.

Maps are just fun for me. I love them. I love looking at them, I love drawing them, I love everything about them. I just wish that I had time and or space to properly spread out the sketch pad and start putting in the mountains, seas, lakes and forests of my world (and, of course, the REALLY important place, which is yet to be named here in order to keep a surprise at the end of the book).

However, instead of drawing maps, I've been tinkering around with something completely different.

Anyone who knows me knows I love playing video games (see last night's update in case you want some more info on that) and anyone who knows anything about my video gaming love knows that I love Final Fantasy games. Of all the FF games out there, I love Tactics the best. I'm not sure why. There's just this sort of fine balance between monsters, storyline, and character building that intrigues me. If I ever had to pick one game to play for the rest of my life, this one is probably it. It's a different game everytime.

But, I digress.

Inside the booklet, there are sketches of each of the class types for the characters. Naturally, the drawings are far more rich in detail and design than the characters on the screen (not that that detracts from the on-screen fact, there's a certain beauty in the simplicity). However, I absolutely love the sketches in the instruction manual and it's one of those things that I've always wanted to imitate in my own drawing.

So, with pencil in hand, I picked out one of the characters to replicate the other night. It was the male knight, since I love knights and all, and it was fairly simply yet elegant in its form. I started sketching it out and I thought "Wow, you know what, a comic book/graphic novel with these types of characters would be way cool." Of course, I knew that the Final Fantasy story lines are owned by SquareEnix and that I shouldn't wander into that realm too much. However, at some point, the world in King of Shadows et. al. would be mine. All mine. So, why not use these character types in a graphic novel that way.

I think you can see where this is going. But, before you think I'm headed off chasing yet another crazy idea, this one is simply in the fledgeling stages, and will have to stay there for some time. You see, I developed this idea, thinking about the question that any fantasy author (or any author in general) should think: What happens after the story is done?

Lots of authors go for the nice, neat, happy little "and they all lived happily ever after". Being that I cut my teeth on Tolkien, that's what I was used to. Thanks to Tad Williams, I saw the other side. The "Things ain't going to be so easy for our heros" ending. And, as Tad is a huge influence on me, that's how I opted to finish my books (much like J.K. Rowling, I have part of the final chapter of the final book written...that way I remember everyone who dies).

What happens next?

Well, it's not all happy. People will still do anything for power and money, and with all these new avenues into various forms of power popping up all over after The Hundred Kings Saga is finished, there will still be countless stories to tell.

And I plan on telling them.

One of the ways I was planning on telling them was in a new series that comes after I've finished Hundred Kings that focuses on several of the same heros (and villains) from the original series, just fifteen to twenty years down the line (haven't nailed down the timeline yet, but the story is, loosely, sketched out in my notes). However, in that time period between Hundred Kings and the as-yet-unnamed second series (still kicking around ideas for it), there will be lots of stories to tell.

These are the stories that will be told in graphic novel form. I think.

I'm hoping that, with six books under my belt (The Hundred Kings Saga and The Boar War), I'll have enough notoriety and/or money to write this out, draw it, and either get some small, indy publisher to pick it up or even finance the idea on my own. I've got some plans for it. Again, they're all in the infancy stages. It's what I think about while watching my rotovap stir.
However, I do have a name. And some characters. And a place where the action starts. And some of the things that are going on. All jotted into notes (again, it's what I think about while watching solvent creep up my TLC plate). The title of the book is Chivalry.

I know. I heralded the greatness of Robin Hobb last night (and she's still her stuff!). However, I feel that this isn't exactly infringeing upon her work (I'd worry more about The Boar War, since I, you know, have people who can talk to animals in it and all) as none of the characters are actually named Chivalry. That's just the title of the book. And, it was the code of conduct held by knights. And since this whole thing started because I felt the need to draw a picture of a knight, you can see where this is going.

So, seriously (I didn't intend this post to be this effing long...I'm terribly sorry), give me some feedback here. I know some of you might not be big comic fans, but would there be any interest? I know several fantasy authors have found a niche by having their stories told in graphic novel form (the Dabel Brothers do uncanny their stuff if you're a graphic novel fan), so I thought maybe, some day, I could tap into this. But, I would need an audience. I'm sure, with the glut of comic books/graphic novels on the market, it's even tougher to break into that biz than with the authoring business.

Plus, if I'm successful enough at it, I can write books, write comic books, draw comic books, and finally have a job that's fun while also not nearly as life-threatening as chemistry (though I still do enjoy the chemistry).

Curse you Wizard for putting the idea in my brain!