I did it, I wasn’t going to but I just couldn’t help myself. I went and created a spreadsheet to help me keep track of what’s going on. Usually, I like to plan the whatsit out of my stories but I’m going freestyle with D&B and it’s just started to give me the heebie-jeebies, hence the spreadsheet (spreadsheets are my security blanket).
The spreadsheet is pretty much an extended recap of each episode. In the screenshot above, you can see that I have an overview of each episode and four columns to the right labelled A-, B-, C- and D-Story. These are for the plot lines that are starting to develop. A-Story is the main plot for Volume 1 while the others are subplots that will come to fruition in later volumes. I’m thinking that the last column (D-Story) will be the overarching series plot, but we’ll see how it goes.
As well as writing a recap, for each episode I’m taking note of the location and which characters are either in the scene or mentioned in the scene. Only named characters are included. I leave off random characters, like the doctor and police officer from episode 4, otherwise the list would be too long.
The yellow column is where I list things that are important for me to remember, such as Della’s ability to teleport and Nova’s injuries. I do the same in the Story columns, but I only list those things that contribute to those plots. For example, in the Episode 1 B-Story column (Defeating the Demon Horde) I’ve made a note that the demon attacks are becoming more frequent.
Featured image: Nova pre-Episode 1
I thought I’d start with Nova’s costume before she loses half her arm in episode 1. I pictured something simple and gold. Very, very gold.
Ok, so, to clarify. Byrne, Nova and Suun (in featured image) are sisters. Byrne is the oldest, Nova is the middle child and Suun is the youngest. In their past life, Nova was the Empress and Byrne commanded her armies.
Why was the middle child the Empress instead of the oldest? Basically, their dad (the then Emperor) had an affair with a woman other than his destined wife, and Byrne was born a bastard (which is not a curse/swear, but an old term used to describe someone who’s parents weren’t married when they were born). This actually makes Nova and Suun Byrne’s half-sisters.
When did I decide all this? Somewhere between episodes one and two as I was trying to decide how Byrne was going to handle Nova’s injuries. Worldbuilding and plots tend to happen like that for me. I’m trying to nut out how this particular thing is going to work and ideas flow on from that.
The secret to not being overrun with ideas is to keep the exciting ones like the black sunmetal) and discard the rest. Such often leads to awesomeness.
Featured image: Suun
I admit, what held this episode up the most was the drawing. Drawing doesn’t come as easily to me as writing (although I’ve been doing it longer) and I really didn’t want to send the episode without one.
I wanted Suun to have a demure stance, because she’s not as outspoken or authoritative as the others, and went through a few different poses. I also wanted to make her uniform different from Byrne’s, but not too different since they’re sisters and part of the royal family.
This episode was going to follow directly on from the previous one, with Nova and Byrne having an argument while the former tries not to die, but it struck me as kinda boring. A little bit implausible, or as implausible as things can get when you have demon corpses lying around.
I really enjoyed exploring the D&B world/setting in this one, although I hope I didn’t get too info-dumpy and bore anyone. That’s the danger with any kind of imaginary world, you have to explain what it is that’s different about them, but doing so slows the story and runs the risk of making your reader want to yawn.
I’m playing with the Sailor Moon setting in D&B, adding a dash of Roswell (1999 TV series) and making it a little darker (in the spirt of GoT). What do you think?
Feature image: Della
Della was some kind of priestess back in her Imperial life and still has a few of those powers. I tried to reference that in the toga/tabard-like costume and the ornate belt. Not sure if I should have kept the flying skirt panels.
BTW I hate drawing faces and hands, especially on bodies. I always manage to get the proportions wrong 🙁
You guys had some really awesome ideas after episode one. Thanks again for sharing!
On Facebook, Barbara kinda read my mind and suggested that Tellamoth (the badie in ep. 01) was a superior in the demon army/horde Byrne was fighting. That made me go “yeah, that’s what I was thinking too buuuuut…what if Tellamoth wasn’t part of the demon army/horde? Ooooo.” (The “oooo” was when the plot bunnies started hatching.)
I haven’t mentioned Tellamoth again in this episode because I really wanted to concentrate on what had been done to Nova, but hopefully they’ll get a guernsey in the next episode. In the meantime, keep your Tellamoth ideas/thoughts/suggestions coming!
Another idea came in via email, and it was that Byrne be guilt-ridden because she’d failed to protect Nova. Again, this is where I was going too but then I had another “what if” moment and thought “what if Byrne resented her sister?”
Now, having your main character resent her critically injured sister is a bit of a gamble because the reader’s sympathy tends to be with the person in pain. So, I needed to give Byrne a good reason to be angry with Nova, and I think have one. Hopefully, this episode has given you a hint as to what the reason is (another hint: it involves Tellamoth). I’ll give you the rest of the reason in the next episode.
Sketches of Fion. I didn’t really know what Fion looked like (or even her name) until I started writing her intro and then I had this picture of a long blue mowhawk and that was that.
I didn’t want to give her the same outfit as Byrne, so I started thinking about a pants version, but still with a nod to the battleskirt. I think it looks kinda cool.
Sketches of Byrne’s uniform/costume. I thought I’d taken more of the sketch in progress, so you could see some of my thought processes. Alas, this is it.
As you can see from my initial sketch (on the left), I started with a traditional sailor scout outfit but with a Roman General-style cape. That didn’t work out for me, neither did the Jedi-style robe or the nod to a kimono, so we have the version in the middle!
My only quibble is, what is she wearing under it? I’m going with battle tights.
About me & drawing
Before I started writing, I drew as a way to express all the stories percolating in my imagination. Unfortunately, it would always end in frustration because when I failed to capture what I saw in my head. Thankfully, I have no such problems when it comes to writing!