A Long Wait

Greetings, anyone who has been patiently waiting for M. David Loyal to write something again. I am sorry about my long absence. In my other life, I have picked up a teaching position, and let me tell you, the first year as a teacher of seventh and eighth grade language arts is very challenging. I have not had any time to write anything aside from lesson plans since August.

I did jot down a lot of notes in a little book I keep in my back pants pocket. I was going to spend the first week or two of this summer transcribing my notes from that notebook to my various project folders in my Dropbox account. We have had a minor setback in that area. My little notebook got washed two weeks ago, and I lost everything. I have no idea of what I lost. I know that I had entire scenes written out for the upcoming Vampire graphic novel, as well as character designs for some of the characters in the Blackthorn graphic novels, and the introduction for the second novel, but I know I’ve forgotten some things, so I’ll have to re-create and figure out what to do next. I do have the next notebook started.

I’ve been re-examining what and how I want to write and share this world that has been the center of my life for the last 20 or so years, and I’m beginning to believe that the traditional way of doing book is not going to work for me at all. I love the fact that I have my first novel out – although I will share some humbling in a later post – but it’s not getting out there the way I want. I’m beginning to think I’m too much focused on the money and not enough on the sharing. Now, I’m a firm believer in keeping the copyright and control of the characters that I and the other members of the Zierath Alliance have created, and I firmly believe that if anyone should make money off of the Castle Zierath world, it should be us. The thing is, I think it’s taking too long. I’m going to explore some on-line publishing and linking the wiki page and so forth to those on-line publishing pages.

It’s time to get back into the groove of writing (in addition to planning next school year).

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Pouli’s Awakening, Nights’Maron, and Ashton Morg

Gee, it’s been another week since I’ve posted anything. It boggles the mind how quickly time goes. In the past week, I’ve gone to the wedding of one of my Castle Zierath Fair Share members, had lunch with another, and have finally gotten into the pattern I’ve been looking for in my creative endeavors.

In the last few days, I have finally finished the rough draft of the introduction for the second book. The second Castle Zierath novel will be entitled ‘Pouli: Ranger Lord of Carlindom’ and the introduction is his Awakening story, just as Zierath’s Awakening story was the introduction of to ‘Zierath: Lord of the Alliance.’ I quite proud of the adaptation. I hope Paul likes it as well. I’m sending it out to him in the next couple of days for his approval/suggestions.

Ashton Morg by Nick O'Hollearn

Ashton Morg by Nick O’Hollearn

I’ve also been busy working on the Creation of the Vampires saga, and have been spending quite a bit of time on Nick O’Hollearn’s Nights’maron character and his interactions with the poor soul who has seen too much. Nights’maron is turning into a fun character to write. He has a sharp mind and a sardonic sense of humor. He enjoys poking fun at the other characters, and his very Sherlock Holmes-like in his observation skills. He knows things, things he shouldn’t, and subtly uses that knowledge in his duties as a sheriff. He takes a liking to the unstable Ashton Morg. Nick has started doing character studies of these guys. I was hoping to put his picture of Nights’Maron up, but I was not able to find it, so instead, I’ll put up Nick’s first picture of Ashton Morg.

I will be posting more in a couple of days…a week at most. Time just keeps slipping away…

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Rough Sketches of Blackthorn

Blackthorn Rough Sketch 4 by M. David Loyal

Blackthorn Rough Sketch 4 by M. David Loyal

Greetings, friends. Sorry I am two days late with my blog entry. I actually got to go and see my new classroom on Wednesday, so was quite excited by it. Time got away from me, but I did get a few things done on the Castle Zierath front.

I worked a little more on the Creation of the Vampires script and the Blackthorn Epic script, but I didn’t get any editing or drawing done. Time does disappear rather quickly, doesn’t it?

I did want to share my designs for Blackthorn. The first picture I drew of Blackthorn was drawn in the late 1990s. I created Blackthorn as part of a role playing adventure for my students. I never dreamed at that time that I would be developing a graphic novel with him as the antagonist, but here I am.

Blackthorn - Rough Sketch 1 by M. David Loyal

Blackthorn – Rough Sketch 1 by M. David Loyal

I started to re-work some of Blackthorn’s look, and so I drew him first as a ‘generic’ dragon. I have always had a certain vision of dragons – one that has limited my designs a bit, I must admit. I also must admit that I had just watched Disney’s new film Malificent, and my dragon resembled that dragon much more than I thought it would.

I then started focusing on the name. Why Blackthorn? When I pulled the name out of the hat all those years ago, I had no reason in mind for him to be called Blackthorn. I said it was just the most reasonable translation of his name from his native dragonese. It was a true ‘duh’ moment when I realized that the dragon should have a ton of thorns on him – therefore giving him his name. I then proceeded to give the dragon a lot of thorn-like growths.

Blackthorn Rough Sketch 2 by M. David Loyal

Blackthorn Rough Sketch 2 by M. David Loyal

I’m sure that he will go through several other changes before the graphic novel actually comes out, but this is the direction I’m going at this time. Any opinions out there?

Hopefully, I’ll have more to post on Monday. See you then!

Blackthorn Rough Sketch 3 by M. David Loyal

Blackthorn Rough Sketch 3 by M. David Loyal

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What Drives the ‘Evil’ Character?

I have been pretty effective this weekend at getting some writing and drawing done despite the fact of working retail eight hours Saturday-Sunday-Monday. I am quite proud of that. I have written in the Creation of the Vampires script, drawn some more ideas for the Blackthorn Saga, and written over half of the introduction to Pouli: Ranger Lord of Carlindom. I’m quite proud. Now all I have to do is get the editing process into the mix again, and I’ll be in real good shape.

As I’ve been working on the characters of the Creation of the Vampires, I’ve been trying to make sure that all the characters are believable. No one out there is evil for evils sake (accept violent sociopaths, I imagine). There always has to be a reason for someone to be perceived as evil. As I look at our politicians and those who control our politicians, and we look at the flow of money and greed and lack of flow and trickling down (or lack thereof), it is easy to label our leaders as ‘evil.’ Everyone does what they think is a ‘good idea’ at the moment. No one intentionally goes and does something wrong – unless they intend to do it wrong, in which case they are still doing it ‘right,’- Hm. That sentence and idea got a bit away from me, didn’t it. Ah, well.

Nick and I have created a couple characters who are power hungry, hypocritical, and/or bigoted in some way. These characters are hard to make likeable. They believe they are doing what they think is the right thing to do. Rommit, the power hungry character, wants to be in power because he believes he can do a better job at running the country than the current king Rajhan, and the power goes to his head. The High Lord Exchequer Dassmar is trying to make sure that both the kingdom and the over-arching empire have good incomes through taxes, but he has a blind spot against those who are different from him – in particular the dwarven smiths in town. It’s tricky making them believable and likable and so people care what happen to them. It’s tricky writing, but it sure is fun to work at it! I hope that I can bring the whole complex web of stories and personal drives to a clear picture. I think we are on the right track.

Bralor by Nick O'Hollearn

Bralor by Nick O’Hollearn

I also wanted to share one of the Nick’s most recent drawings. This is one of the afore mentioned dwarven smiths. Meet Bralor, the elder dwarven brother – the more business oriented character. His brother Dwalor is a metal working genius. I’m looking forward to seeing Nick’s drawing of him.

I will be posting another entry on Wednesday, featuring the evolution of Blackthorn the dragon as I’ve been working on him over the last month and a half. See you then!

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Thursdays, Nick O’Hollearn, and the Shannonian Empire

Hello on this Thursday. I’ve always liked Thursdays. I think they’ve pretty much been my favorite day of the week (not counting weekends). Today was also the first day where I have been able to really try to get back on schedule for my creative processes. I am pleased to report that I got some drawing and writing done, although the editing did fall to the wayside. Ah, well. I’ll be getting back on that tomorrow! I had a nice day anyway, playing and swimming with my family.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing what I’ve been drawing and writing, but today I’m going to write about a meeting that I had with Nick O’Hollearn, my creative comrade, as we endeavor to create the first of the Castle Zierath epic graphic novels. It will, ironically, actually be the third, chronologically, but it will likely be the first completed.

We met at the Magpie, one of the local coffee shops, for four hours. We picked up from where we left off two months ago, showed what we had worked on in the interim, and set up our next creative meeting.

We spent perhaps half the time working on the setting. We worked on the maps of the empire, kingdom, and city. Nick has spent a lot of time thinking about the architecture of the area and how it is going to change from the castle out to the edge of the city. We’ve figured out that the country – the Shannonian Empire – is made up of several smaller kingdoms which all pay tribute to the emperor, and the kingdom of Darrynovy, our characters’ home, is the second most prosperous and powerful in the empire. We had a lot of fun creating quick outlines for the other kingdoms, and have added elements more that will be important pieces of the overall story.

We did also set our goals for us to have done by our next meeting. Nick is going to have all the character designs done, and is going to have the start of the layout for the graphic novel done. I’m going to have the prologue script written, and all of the story elements of the farmer Agron, Queen Araya, Sheriff Nights’maron, the Lord Exchequer Dassmar, and the dwarven smiths completed, as well as random other scenes that will jump out at me.

I am enjoying the process. I wish I could write and draw a little faster, but I know that will come with practice and continued effort. I look forward to sharing some of the drawings that I have done. Keep tuned in for updates on the Castle Zierath world.

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What Happened to June?

Greetings and salutations!

Yes, I am still alive. June has been a weird month…but, then again, when you are a writer, what month isn’t? I’ve been working along on my various projects as well as getting extremely distracted by the summer and the activities of summer. I was supposed to put myself on a regiment of writing, drawing, editing, and play. Well, I go the ‘play’ part down really well.

Throughout then next several months, I am asking you, my friends and readers, to help me stay on task. I am going to be posting here and in my various other social media areas at least two times a week to keep myself focused and motivated.

I am also going to be putting myself on a bit of a scheduled regiment. On days when I don’t work an eight hour shift, I am going to be: writing for an hour in one of the four writing projects I am working on; drawing for an hour, working on improving skills, reviewing what I have lost, and drawing Castle Zierath based images; and continuing the editing process on book 2: Pouli: Ranger Lord of Carlindom (which I was supposed to have done at the beginning of the summer – oops).

I look forward to sharing the various works that I have been and will be working on. Watch for the next posting on Thursday!

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Vampires at the Magpie

Greetings, friends,

With my last post, I said that I would be meeting with Nick O’Hollearn so we could talk about our upcoming graphic novel. Nick and I did meet at the Magpie, one of the local coffee shops, and we hammered out the storylines.

We have decided that there will be thirteen full episodes in the graphic novel. There will also be one teaser and at least one, if not two, extended epilogues. Today I’ve spent some time working on a confrontation between two of the future vampires, Lilitu the half-giant and Gyshouto the racist trader. It makes for some good drama. Nick also wrote a narrative of the teaser, and I’m turning that into a script.

We do have the first two episode scripts almost fully done, as well as the episode 13. I am working my way from each end trying to get everything to line up without being to blatant about it.

The cast for our graphic novel is quite extensive. We have the nine future vampires, members of several of their families, townspeople, other incidental animals, monsters, and scary looking creatures. Nick has quite the set of characters on his plate, as well as the architecture for the kingdom of Darrynovy. As more designs are done, I’ll be adding pictures. Can’t wait!

All these challenges. We are having a blast.

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