Week 38, New Novel Idea, and Started on a Comic Strip

Monday:
2016-09-19

Slept 3 hours, walked 8 km, came up with a new novel, wanted to write a short novella for wattpad, ended up creating interesting plot and characters, unsure if I want to make it into a novel.

Was mostly pissed all day because a company I used to work for still hasn’t sent me the paperwork I asked for so I can pay my damn debt. Them bastards want to drag it out as long as possible to cash in on the interest rate. But I took that frustration and came up with interesting stuff my future detective character can keep busy with. *makes evil grin and laughs madly*

During the evening I began working on a comic strip idea that I cooked up back in 2009, found old material with drawings and logos. Been thinking about this since two months back; when this shit company I used to work with started acting like a bunch of arrogant childish pricks.

The idea behind the comic strip is to basically put the human condition into something tangible, like graphics and words. Anyways, I began working in Photoshop after scanning my sketches… but my edges kept getting messed up. So I had to use illustrator instead, a program which I’ve never used before, but it came with the package, so I knew I had it. The interface and how it worked felt like flying an alien mothership, so I spent the whole night watching youtube tutorials, and that’s why I only got 3 hours of sleep… my mind wanted to spill the paint onto the canvas, but I had to be patient and first learn how to open the damn paint bucket.

Tuesday:
2016-09-20

Slept 2 hours, walked 8 km, continued eagerly on the novel from Monday, the characters are too deep to make it into a short novella. Thought if I should start from the beginning or fast forward near the end and fill the novel with flashbacks and back-story, I heard readers love that stuff *sticks my tongue out*, also, I’m leaning towards a First Person view. The novel went from a typical fairy tale story to a gritty-realistic-thriller-adventure with a very limited touch of magic and a secret that might get me hunted down by fanatics, but I’ll keep that hidden until the very end of the series, or just imply it, lean back and refute all accusations as nothing but a figment of their imagination, you know, just like their entire belief.

Spent a few hours managing my projects a bit and also made a system for how to blog… always been bogged down by what to blog about. So I came up with this idea of just noting down things in a daily diary and then publish it at the beginning of a new week. I just hope I can keep up with it… I’m not really a blogger, but since I’m keeping track of my work anyway, then why not share my day with others, hopefully it will inspire others that their boring life is not unique after all! We are all living boring lives! Even all the celebrities!

I also finished the initial character design of my upcoming comic-strip, watched video tutorials about adobe illustrator for at least two hours yesterday, and it helped a lot. Also managed to write around five scripts before falling asleep, which was painfully hard because I kept laughing… yeah, I’m that guy who laughs at his own jokes!

Wednesday:
2016-09-21

Slept 5 hours, feels amazing… but didn’t take a walk today, forgot to pluck my unibrow yesterday and didn’t want to walk 8 km flashing that around, afraid of being chased down by people wanting free burgers or something. Or perhaps I will get chased down by that burger clown… I watched “IT” when I as around 7 years old, thanks dad, now I’m afraid of clowns. His solution? Watch JAWS! Thanks dad, now I’m afraid of clowns and WATER, basically, if the water in the bathtub gets to a certain level then I begin to panic, imagining a shark just popping out of nowhere. Damn, even closing my eyes in the shower makes me feel that – shark is approaching you – sensation. But he had a solution for that too, by having me watch Aliens… yes, nothing cures nightmares than a movie about slimy monsters that bust out of your chest and pop your brains out. Add The Blob to the mix and you got yourself the perfect childhood.

Anyways, today was slow, spent the first half of the day just day-dreaming. It is easier when I don’t get to sleep much, because then my mind and body is more passive, it allows me to focus on one thing at a time… compared to days after a good night’s sleep; too much energy in the legs, the body screams for physical activity and the mind keeps going everywhere. I guess that explains the randomness in this particular diary writing day.

Gave away a few presents to my sister for finding an apartment, I’m really happy for her, mostly for myself because I’m not a big fan of whiny children whose only form of communication is crying (she has two now). Point at a thing and then cry until they get what they want. I’ve seen the same behavior in grownup people. Like women who don’t get what they want or men who do it to sleep with women. I wonder if women are wired to listen to whiny guys who cry about wanting sex, perhaps it makes the ladies feeling guilty and thus give in, to prove that they’re not stingy cruel tyrants, a form of self-serving mechanism to maintain a good social image. Ah, self-righteousness is funny. I wonder if a thief could walk up to these kinds of people and cry about wanting their money, would they then give away their money to prove they are not greedy? Perhaps that’s how Stockholm Syndrome works on a per-individual level.

Tried to model the comic character in 3D… realized how bad I was at working in 3D, so I scrapped that! Don’t want to make it a big project anyways, gonna keep it as simple as possible!

Aaaand 7 hours later… worked on some details for the comic character, a few props and layer management. It’s a fun small project, but it does take time. I don’t mind though, it will be my first web comic, so the experience will be well worth it for future projects. Got 15 scripts so far… I need at least 100 scripts, so I can post once every week for two years straight. The most time consuming process will be the environments and props that are unique to certain scripts.

Thursday:
2016-09-22

Wow, I fell asleep quickly yesterday, my brain was too tired for its usual pranks, you know, like bringing up random regrets that leaves you awake at night, going through what-could-have-been. But that didn’t happen this time! Slept 7 hours, that’s amazing! Took my regular 8 km walk and worked a little on the novel I spoke about at the beginning of the week. I felt dreamy though, I don’t get it… it is as if the brain goes on a vacation if you sleep more than 3-4 hours. Like: “Oh, I guess I’m not needed then, auf wiedersehen, sayonara!” Whatever, I’m trying to solve a very important scene; the antagonist is riled up and tries to justify his decision for his next course of action, a point of no return. Anyhow, I helped my mother unpack from her vacation, ate lots of homemade food and then spent 8 hours working on props for the comic. Decided to do the environments in 3D, makes things easier, did some research and testing for 2 hours and then 6 hours constructing the house of the character. Far from completed, but I got all the measurements and the outer walls completed. Now I just have to make the rooms, some stairs and common household items… but there are plenty of free resources on the web, so that’s not an issue.

Friday:
2016-09-23

Couldn’t sleep last night, I just laid there… trying too hard. So I thought to myself “hmm, if I’m not tired, then I can work some more!” Stayed up to 4 AM looking for free 3D models, found lots of stuff, thanks internet.

Slept 6 hours, didn’t take my regular 8 km walk at all, was too eager to work on the comic; and work I did. A lot of things are happening as well, I’m going to have to move in a week or more. Gotta renovate some stuff in the apartment, repair damages, fill holes and paint a lot of walls! Also did some measuring and designing for how I want to set up my next work-space. I’ll be making it streaming friendly, got big streaming plans, but I can’t stream right now, no proper microphone, I share space with the living room, so people and their noise is basically everywhere. Hopefully moving my work-space will fix most of that. Also planning on making a small recording studio for my future audio-book-creations, need to practice my super manly voice and tame it so mortals can withstand it!

Anyhow, worked on the comic strip today for many great hours, I set up the panel design. My brother got to see it as well, he couldn’t stop laughing. He also gave me some ideas which will really add more dimension to the overall comic! Found out the scripts need more work though; I’m far behind on those. I tried one of them on my brothers and it took time before they got it. It’s basically dry, dark and sarcastic humor, a difficult combination because the reader has to be able to relate and be aware of what is happening in the world. I will try to let the art-part bring in the reader while they ponder about the meaning of the script.

Speaking of scripts… I started working on a database to keep track of the scripts and their theme. Gonna aim for at least 200 scripts before I publish the comic, which will be released once a week, so that’s 52 a year, which means I’ll have material for 4 years at least. If I write 20 scripts a day, then it will take me 10 days to finish 200 scripts. And I guess it will take 2 hours per issue, so on a perfect day I will be able to finish 5 issues, which makes it 40 days of work. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so I’m guessing it will take 80 days to have 200 issues ready for release, and no, I don’t get paid for this. This is all done on my free time. Does it interfere with my novel writing? YES. Is it necessary? YES. See? Many Yesseses! Basically, it is a concept I had back in 2009, but I didn’t have the time to pursue it, and it was just a baby-idea back then. However, I developed it further in my head over the years. Also, in 2015, I developed another idea, but I never really “felt” it. So what happened was, as I was taking my regular 8 km walk, I thought, “hmm, why not combine the both?” AND BOOM MOTHA #¤%#, my brain gave birth. And they fit perfect, because both are almost the same, except one is graphics based and the other is script/educational. This is why it is important to always write down and store your ideas, sketches, WHATEVER. Every idea is great, even the bad ones, actually the best ideas are the bad ones. Because the bad ones tell you which direction you shouldn’t go in. Also, a good practice is to study bad ideas, find out WHY they are bad and try to flip them into good ones. Good ideas are not free, they cost brain-time… the most expensive currency.

Saturday:
2016-09-24

Today was very unproductive, but I tried my best. Felt dreamy, tired and just slow. Hungry but didn’t want to eat anything kind of day. Got an headache as well. I would basically work for a while and then get easily distracted. I guess I didn’t sleep well, too many disturbances, such as; kids shouting while playing games and someone doing the dishes noisily with the faucet constantly running. Oh well, at least I got some work done. Added some accessories to the character in the comic I’m working on. Implemented some of the ideas proposed to me yesterday by my brother, took around 5 hours and it’s not done yet. The rest of the day I spent stealing candy and chips from the kids, their cries were silenced by my laughter *evil laugh*.

Worked a little more on the database, making sure I do it right from the get go, otherwise future edits and changes are going to be wastefully labor intensive. So I tried a few different setups before picking a style. And basically that’s all, best Saturday ever. I did take my regular 8 km walk and worked on the novel, basically, the scene I was stuck at will be turned into a chapter of its own, and I believe that is for the best since the initial stage of that scene allows it anyways. Wrote a lot during my 8 km walk, and the more I wrote the more obvious it become that this scene deserves a chapter of its own.

Anyways, the headache disappeared once I ate one of the most delicious dinners I have ever had. Then I spent eating the stolen chips and candy while watching a movie.

Sunday:
2016-09-25

Woke up damn excited about working on the comic, today was DATABASE day. Spent the whole day organizing a big list of topics and themes that I will be writing about. Skipped my 8 km walk, mostly because the winds were crazy, I easily get headaches from strong winds. So yeah, it was mostly repetitive work, so nothing fancy to mention. I had planned to work a little on the graphics, but there wasn’t much time for that.

I figured out I will be running different series, to make sense of the numbering of each issue. For example, I will be having one story based series, and a specials series; stories that require more than one issue. And a holiday based series, for special world holidays and events. All this will make the numbering much easier and allows me to release issues related to stuff going on in the world. Damn, didn’t think it would be this time consuming, but oh well, it’s a fun project and something I have always wanted to do. Besides, it will give me the experience I need for future projects. I had in mind a more complex full page comic series, but such a project would be too big for one person I believe. Or, it will have to be a once a month issue. But all that is in the far future, not gonna make a big deal of it now or promise anything. I still have THREE novels to work on… damn. One is at 20 000 words, one is around 15 000 words and the one I started on just a week ago is barely beyond the plotting stage. Is it good or bad to work on multiple projects? Well, it takes more time, but the good thing is that you can come up with things that you can use in the other projects. Also, perhaps something isn’t working in one novel; then you have the opportunity to move it to another novel and make the changes needed to make it work.

Oh well, that’s all for this week. Ask me anything and I will answer it in the next week’s post.

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Ahmad Wehbe

Wehbe is a creative artist and philosopher from Sweden with Lebanese roots. He uses various art forms to express emotions, thoughts and to tell stories.

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