I’ve been dedicating a ton of time to the Youtube thing lately. The more I do it the more I want to do it, and because I talk about everything under the sun while commentating, all of the rants are depleted by the time I get to the blog, and so the blog falls to the wayside. All the thought-making and news-giving gets out of my brain and doesn’t make it to this neglected little corner of mah life.
In the meantime, I’ve been slowly plugging away at Meredith, Last of the Wicked. That’s a working title that will probably stick? I toggle back and forth between Wicked and Witches. Don’t know which one will win in the end, if any.
In a completely unrelated note, have I told you about the artsy chill? I feel silly and pretentious talking about it, but it’s a weird brain chill I get when I realize I finally figured out a story problem. Whenever I get the chill, I know I can finally move on. It’s a weird and very addicting feeling, and perhaps the most satisfying part of the creative process. I bet there’s a lot of other people out there that get it in some form or another.
Anyway, when I started Meredith’s novel I set out to write a lighthearted fun story featuring wicked witches, enslaved wizards and child-devouring monsters. It was part joke, part challenge. It became an actual Serious Project and now, 300 pages in, I believe it would have been a damn fine novel if I’d kept going the way I was going until recently.
But I didn’t. As I wrote it, a nagging voice in the back of my head kept saying that I wasn’t taking chances. I wasn’t pushing things as far as they could go. I wasn’t taking advantage of what I could really do with this world.
So I made a change. A plot twist, I guess you could call it. And when I changed it, it felt like this is where the story was going all along. There’s a crap ton of foreshadowing leading to it. Everything points toward it in subtle ways, and also in the right way—it’s the kind of foreshadowing that is only obvious after the fact. The artsy chill was more like a sinking sensation in my chest. It was bizarre.
Sorry about being so vague, but obviously I don’t want to spoil any of it. In fact, I wrote a lot more about this that I deleted, because it was going too far. The reason I’m writing about it at all is that I’m a bit scared of the new story. It makes me weird in the gut and throws me out of my comfort zone. I’m dreary and mournful and generally not okay…
This fear makes me want to change it back. I don’t get emotionally affected overmuch when writing—I appreciate the sentiment that I’m trying to convey, but watching the sausage get made usually takes away some of the flavor. And yet, this…
This feels different. And that can’t be a bad thing.
That’s all I’ve got. I spent some time figuring out Meredith’s face a while back, by the way. This one looks a bit young, maybe. Let’s call it preliminary concept art. There ya go.
Magnifico-man Patrick Rothfuss is running a T-shirt design contest on his blog over yonder, for the noble purposes of his mid-year fundraiser. Go over there and have a vote, damn you all!
I submitted a design but it didn’t make the cut, woe is me. Behold!
Dinner is over. The fort is built. It’s now time for tea.
What’s for dinner, Mr. Whiffle?
I should probably make perfectly clear that these characters are of course property of Patrick Rothfuss and originally illustrated by Nate Taylor, and I make no claim to them whatsoever. You should read the Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle if you have even a passing interest on comic books, clever art, or books that pretend to be for children but instead will scar your childhood forever.
While the drawings didn’t make the cut (I was really hoping to see at least one Mr. Whiffle-centric design, even if it wasn’t mine. Wah wah) the experience of drawing these to make the Sunday deadline was really edifying and I don’t regret it in the slightest. Art is a long-neglected hobby for me. I didn’t think I had the ability. I didn’t think I had the focus to go from blank white page to that in a few days. But I did.
Can you imagine how much I could have accomplished in all this time, if I’d stopped procrastinating already on that damn death ray?
I was going to title the post “Eternal Art” but the pun is probably wearing thin by now.
It’s no secret that I like to doodle. Eternal is full of neat art that gets manhandled like a Nigerian prostitute ratty hand-me-down during the publishing process. The physical version gets a bit pixely, while the digital version needs to be shrunk for it to nicely fit in readers of all sizes. And so I now point you toward the Art Gallery bellow. SHAZAM! Click on the images to make them HUGE.
This motif is used throughout the book and is all over the floor of the Census chamber, among other places. It symbolizes that the passage of time is a load of bullshit the twisty whims of time.
Alexandra’s stylized staff
This is a stylized rendition of Alex’s staff. It’s used to separate scenes.
The Silver Sunburst
This is one of Humanity’s symbols. It represents the everlasting, far-reaching light of the Silver Sun.
The gems are amethysts. The body is white gold vines with obsidian background. The inside of the shank is white gold. It is expensive and she’s ashamed of liking that.
Gate to the nexus
A tiny Alexandra steps through the gate, with Carved Barrow’s Mount in the background.
Ming Xiu’s sword
Get a good look at it while you can. It might vanish into shimmering billows any moment.
If you squint hard enough, you can spot Aaron in there.
Nah, you really can’t.
This one didn’t make it into the book because it looked weird on a page. It’s still kind of a sketch.
I’ve also drawn a few banners to post as ads. I’m pretty fond of them! Here are the originals—most of the time I have to edit these down to a manageable size so they’ll fit the ad criteria.
A certain someone (left) has a depressing conversation with Alexandra (right).
Ming Xiu dives into the writhen tide like a boss.
And a little button I haven’t even used yet.
I wish I had more time to pour into this kind of stuff. I’m one of those people that googles rule 34 fanart of any book / game I enjoy—or rather, any book / game / what have you that I connect with. I think it’s the one thing I’ve fantasized about the most, actually: people out there liking my stuff enough to make raunchy doujinshi fancy fanart of it. That’d be cool as hell, brahs!
Anyway, I feel compelled to illustrate all these images in my head. Hope you like ‘em.