Thursday, July 27, 2006

Writing again / The Deadheads

Been a very busy week crunching deadlines, hence the absence of posts since the weekend. That said, it's no bad thing as it gives folk a chance to post, comment and generally have a bit of banter on a subject. For that reason I'll try and keep to about two posts a week from now on, with intermittent pointers to Wyrdwood along the way.

Wyrdwood was written a couple of years ago now and I'll be the first to say I haven't aggressively promoted/marketed it anywhere, especially not with a publishing house. For me the whole process of writing that first story was an extremely steep and perilous learning curve. Especially when I thought I was done with it and my literary agent Laura told me it was 3o,ooo words too long. That's right, YOU try cutting 30,000 words out of your opus (as I thought it was when I'd first written it!) But cut it I did, and through that I realised I have a lot to learn about novel writing.

I've been putting off working on my next book for a while now, to be fair, pretty much since Evie was born. Spare time when you have children is pretty fleeting. As a friend of mine would say, "it's as rare as rocking horse poop" (edited for reasons of good taste). This week I've knuckled down though, and am getting a few pages written a night; ten one night, one and a half the next, three the following, and so on. I'm enjoying it immensely. Telling stories has always been my first love. Hopefully with the one I'm currently writing I won't need to have such a dramatic hack at it when it comes to editing. Indeed, I shan't be in a hurry at all to show it to anyone once I've finished my 1st draft, as I want to let it simmer a while as I look over it.

The journey is a heck of a lot of fun.

And for those who want purdy pictures in the posts....


These characters, Larry and Lulu, were originally developed for FLYING CAT toys, and the images here are dummy maquettes that were made for one of the New York Toy Fairs. I'll level with you when I say I don't know WHAT's become of them, as there's a breakdown of communication when dealing with the other side of the world sometime! :-D

As with (too) many of my projects, my preoccupation with all things zombie rears it's ugly, stitched-up head once more. I wanted the Deadheads range to be a series of Playmobil-esque toytown preschool skits, where all manner of "normal" citizen was turned into a ghoulie...

Bada Bling!


Nik said...

Needless to say I love the Deadheads! That Playmobil vibe definitely coming through on the guy. Will there be a deserted mall and farmhouse playsets?

Alina Chau said...

THese are tooo COOL!

Jo Bling said...

That'd be great, wouldn't it, Nik? Can just see little Johnny making grunty moo noises with his zombie cow! There has to be a shack in the woods for sure. Darn, you're making me want to play the ZOMBIES board game again now....

Thanks Alina, good to hear from you my dear.

Somebody asked about Siggraph on the blog the other day and no, I shan't be going. Boston sounds like a cool city but try as I might (and I try mighty hard) I struggle to argue that I need to be in attendance at a Computer Technology Conference when I'm just an 'umble crayonboy. Maybe if we get MY DADDY finished in time for next year it could be on.

Goobeetsablog said...

awesome I mean.


paulhd said...

Total agreement about that there writin' lark. Learning by doing's great but it usually means your best work is your next work - which is as it should be. Not written much myself lately, thankfully moving house provides me with a convenient excuse.
I blame Nik for the zombie rearing (now there's a job)! Love the Deadheads, I cast my vote for a mall set too!

baboonplatoon said...

can you make wind up ones that go like the clappers like that one idiot extra in return of the living dead?
oh purleeese!

..and with the super-size action playset there's always room for more paramedics.

you should be able to take their heads off and fill the bodies with chunky pasta sauce!

see..always thinking.

cool to see Nik doing well (i remember him fondly from the tgtokyo days. he is the greatest character name generator ever)..wassup holmes!

once again jobling you are two steps ahead..i was just about to go into production with my glow in the dark flesh eating ebola-cuddle ghouls (in the vein of 80's "glow worms").
part of my "tough love" playmobil abuse range.

the undead and toddlers are a winning combination.

stay slinky


justinpatrickparpan said...

Thoughtful words on the writing process, Mr. Bling. I personally find the research stage to be most fulfilling. The process of discovering new ideas while scribbling notes and drawing messy concept sketches is a wonderful time, there’s really nothing more exhilarating.

Simply love the deadheads. Really lovely designs.

Jo Bling said...

Yep, it's a long road travelled writing any kind of story that's long format. In this particular case I've had the story bubbling away on the backburner for something like 12 months. As Justin mentioned the research stage is where the thing fits together like a Rubik's cube - on first examination it's always a puzzle to work out how the story is going to work.

Paul, get back to writing squire, want to see what you've currently got cooking. Baboonboy (or Andy to me!) good to hear you holler, squire - too funny that you know Nik, what a small small world.

Nice to see all things zombie are still raising a smile.

In all honesty I don't know if anything will come of the Deadheads range or even if they'll make it to the shops. Possibly not. It was one of those trial run things.

paulhd said...

Like the chunky sauce idea, reminds me of those toys where you forced playdoh through their heads for miracle hair growth.
Planning and plotting really isn't my strong suit, I'm trying to work on that for a book I want to do soon.
Seeing as you asked so nicely have a look at Mr Bling to see what's currently on the stove, Simian Smith's still there and I've posted the rough and not very ready first chapter of the not very well titled Tale of the Turnip.

Jo Bling said...

"Extruders" they're known as. I only know this as when Bob first came out I had to approve all manner of playdoh extruding toy designs where red goo would splurge from Bob and the gangs many orifices. Not a pretty picture!

I've read the Tale of the Turnip and now see your point about not very ready yet (there were a few typos but you clearly know that). I reckon when you've polished that up you're going to get countless young Fungus The Bogeyman fans wanting to read more.

paulhd said...

Cheers for the Fungus comment!, chance'd be a fine thing!
Oh yes, very rough at the moment, I've got a couple more chapters written but they're even rougher, so I'm sparing people the suffering for now.
I tend to wait until it's all finished before I go back and tidy up instead of nailing a chapter at a time.
You have a prefered writing method?
Extruders? That sounds... wrong somehow.

Jo Bling said...

Preferred writing method for me? Get it out of your system and then go back to it to tidy things up. I think if you play with it too much en route then you can drive yourself to distraction. Tell the story and then iron things out is best for me, but each to their own!

Nik said...

Hey Andy, hows things? Glad to see you're still doing your thing!
Ah TGTokyo, Bishi Bashi and Hardcore Bikini Allstars. Actually completed a second issue of Hardcore but never got round to lettering it. Always planning to revisit it at some point as a web comic as its a great way to tell every idea I ever have more or less, and I love the characters. Heavenly is even up on the Zombie Dollar$ site.
Good to hear from you