Here is another thing. Note that it’s been an unusually long time since the last thing. That’s because I’ve acquired a day job and two additional freelance gigs since my last post in early April. Yeah, it’s been a weird two months. I’m writing this at 4 am, knowing full well I have to be up in a few hours, but desperate to prevent at least one more follower from forgetting about my existence.
The two of you who still follow Yume-Hime have noticed that it’s currently in the middle of its longest hiatus to date as well. I haven’t given it up—its half-finished 21st page is taped to the drawing board in my room, leering down at me in judgment every day—but… Sorry. Nothing else to say here but “sorry.” Should have said something on the comic’s site itself.
Anyway, in a last-ditch attempt to capture your interest, here’s some content, mostly pulled from the Webcomicry Tumblr. You like content, right?
Most of you have probably heard of Loomis at one point or another, and a lot of you might have already seen this. But for those of you who haven’t it’s still valuable enough to be worth posting here. After all, the old racist laid the foundation for the way anatomy and perspective are taught to illustrators and comic artists to this day, he still serves as a good jumping-off point for learning it, and I still haven’t found a better method than his for drawing heads from various angles. So, if it helps just one person, here’s an archive of his books in PDF format. Thanks to artist Alex Hays for preserving them.
Anyway, once you’ve learned to draw those heads, you might want to know how to shade them. So here’s…
a juggernauting fuckton of FACE LIGHTING REFERENCES
Courtesy of photographer Jessica Truscott. Click on each image to be taken to its Deviation page, which has a link to download high-res versions of all the component image.
So… Your characters are now well-rendered and shaded. But they’re bald. What now?
Well, thankfully, there’s…
A massive database of high-resolution images of different hairstyles. Contains an estimated 16,000+ individual cuts.
(Thanks to Benzarro-Smash for passing it on.)
So your characters are now perfectly coiffed. But they’re still mute…
Crash and Burn‘s Mikiko Ponczeck teaches you all the basics of speech bubbles and digital lettering in one fell swoop.
As an unprecedented act of generosity, she’s also giving away…
And as a bonus, for those of you into the retro look…
By print comic artist Martin Dunn. Teaches you not just how to recreate the dot-matrix effect, like most tutorials of this sort, but how to fade it and create an “aged” paper effect as well.
Literally hundreds of links to writing articles and resources, geared at teaching you the basics of virtually every type of writing at once. I haven’t gone through most of the links—there are just way too many of them—so I can’t vouch for how helpful any individual one will be, but it’s still the most impressive collection of them I’ve ever seen.
HOW TO FIGHT WRITE‘s Combat Guides
Written by a Taekwondo Black Belt and an Eagle Scout, this Tumblr has some of the best-written and most thorough guides to combat you’ll find online. Here are some involving…
- Showing kinetic energy and the impact of blows
- Choosing a martial art
- Writing Convincing Fight Scenes in General
They don’t have a single overarching guide on sword fighting, but they’ve covered it more than enough over the course of various other posts to comprise one.
Also worth noting are their posts on assassins, an ever-popular career choice in webfiction, but always done ridiculously wrong; “Top Ten Things that are Not Impressive for Action Characters,” and “Seven Deadly Fight Scene Sins.”
A Grab Bag of Random Resources
- Chuck Wendig’s “25 Things You Should Know About Writing Fantasy”
- Rachel Aaron’s “How I Went from Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day”
And finally, a quote
There are a lot of ways for a novelist to create suspense, but also really only two: one a trick, one an art.
The trick is to keep a secret. Or many secrets, even. In Lee Child’s books, Jack Reacher always has a big mystery to crack, but there are a series of smaller mysteries in the meantime, too, a new one appearing as soon as the last is resolved. J. K. Rowling is another master of this technique — Who gave Harry that Firebolt? How is Rita Skeeter getting her info?
The art, meanwhile, the thing that makes “Pride and Prejudice” so superbly suspenseful, more suspenseful than the slickest spy novel, is to write stories in which characters must make decisions. “Breaking Bad” kept a few secrets from its audience, but for the most part it was fantastically adept at forcing Walter and Jesse into choice, into action. The same is true of “Freedom,” or “My Brilliant Friend,” or “Anna Karenina,” all novels that are hard to stop reading even when it seems as if it should be easy.
Got any questions, comments, or suggestions for the next one?
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