Learning To Write Fiction

I toy with writing fiction without actually finishing anything. At the start of the year I decided to write and illustrate a comic book, I’ve had the idea to do so many times before but either I’ve been too lazy or talked myself out of the idea. After all why would anyone read anything I’ve written and illustrated?

Undeterred by moments of doubt I’ve managed to write and plot at least one page of a comic book every day of the year so far and I’ve been happy pursuing this task I’ve given myself, whether there will be a finished product probably doesn’t matter it’s the actual process bringing me happiness and not the completion.

I’m not writing for wealth and fame, except for a few lucky individuals most writers barely scrape a living.

Not that I consider myself a writer, my attempts are hardly competent below is an example the first page of my comic book:

HAM FISTED TALES

 Presents:

 The Dark Ones

 PAGE ONE

Panel 1: A STARSHIP, THE DAMASCUS, RED AND WHITE IN COLOUR STANDS PROMINENT AGAINST A BACKGROUND OF STARS, PLANETS AND THE BLACKNESS OF SPACE.

CAPTION:

The starship Damascus leaps into known space from the strangeness of hyperspace.

Panel 2: CAPTAIN DAGON HAZARD AND HIS LIEUTENANT REGINA ROJO ARE POSED ON THE OBSERVATION DECK OF THE DAMASCUS.

CAPTION:

Onboard the Damascus Lieutenant Regina Rojo tries in vain to console her troubled Captain.

REGINA: You needn’t worry so Dagon.

DAGON: I’m not worried.

REGINA: Whenever you’re in crisis you can’t help but have your father’s disintegrator at hand. I sometimes think it’s because you’re thinking of disintegrating the crew. Or yourself.

Panel 3: CLOSE UP OF CAPTAIN HAZARD AND LIEUTENANT ROJO.

DAGON: Ha! I’m not suicidal but disintegrating the crew that’s a good idea.

REGINA: You joke but you are worried. Your uncle will be fine.

DAGON: Fine? He sounded troubled. Broken.

Panel 4: A SPACE STATION/STARSHIP ORBITING ABOVE A MOON A SPACE BACKGROUND.

CAPTION:

The Endeavour a generation class starship. The vessel currently orbits the fourth moon of the Jupiter sized world Andreas.

And, that’s the first page I wrote on January 1st.

It’s all rather dull nothing gripping nothing of interest unfolding I realised I’d not written anything engaging enough to a potential reader with this thought in mind I ventured warily onto Amazon and made purchase of two books that deal with writing comic books Words For Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis and The DC Comics Guide To Writing Comics by Dennis O’Neil, I didn’t find any inspiration within the pages of Brian Michael Bendis’ book though it is an interesting read, the DC Comics Guide however gave me plenty of inspiration and I added several pages to my comic book script in an attempt to make it more exciting and therefore gripping.

2

The result can be seen below:

PAGE ONE

SPLASH PAGE:

CAPTAIN DAGON HAZARD AND REGINA ROJO FIGHTING A GROUP OF CHITTERERS (Chitterers are named thus by Earthlings venturing out into space and encountering the creatures. Chitterers are eight foot tall armoured beetle type aliens that make a noise that sounds like ‘chitter’) HAZARD IS ARMED WITH A REGULAR LOOKING SWORD THAT HE’S THRUSTING AT AN ENCROACHING ALIEN, ROJO IS SLICING THROUGH AN ALIEN WITH A PLASMA SWORD. THE PAIR ARE SURROUNDED. IN THE BACKGROUND MIGHTY MOUNTAINS WITH THE ALIEN CAPITAL CITY PERCHED HIGH UPON A PEAK. THE SKY IS SHADES OF RED AND TWIN MOONS ARE VISIBLE HIGH IN THE SKY.

HAZARD:

DAMN THIS GODFORSAKEN WORLD! What I wouldn’t give for a laser pistol.

ROJO:

I’m receiving a psychic message from the Damascus your uncle is in some kind of trouble and seeks your help.

HAZARD:

Time to stop playing with these monsters order an immediate teleport.

PAGE TWO

Panel 1: HAZARD’S UNCLE, PROFESSOR CARLTON OWENS, STOOD STARING AT A STRANGE BLACK MONOLITH ON A DEAD WORLD.

CAPTION:

Kepler-452b 1,400 light years from Earth. A world previously thought to have been devoid of life Professor Owens and his team of experts, family and friends, have discovered evidence that the world was once home to an ancient civilisation. Creatures from Earth’s many myths.

OWENS:

Fifteen bastard years of my life wasted searching the worlds along the Monoceros Ring and all this time the answers I sought were closer to home.

Panel 2: PROFESSOR OWENS IN TURMOIL, HIS CREW, A MIXTURE OF MEN AND WOMEN, RECOILING IN HORROR.

OWENS:

THE OLD MYTHS WERE TRUE. MONSTERS LIE SLEEPING IN PLACES MAN FEARS TO TREAD.

RANDOM MAN:

AND NOW WE’VE AWAKEN THEM. DAMN YOUR EYES OWENS. YOU’VE DOOMED THE GALAXY!

Panel 3: DEMONS FROM EARTH MYTHS TEARING AND RENDING PROFESSOR OWENS TEAM.

Panel 4: PROFESSOR OWENS, AND THREE WOMEN, RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES.

PROFESSOR OWENS:

BACK TO THE SHIP. WE MUST WARN STAR FLEET.

Panel 5: DEMONS FEASTING ON HUMAN FLESH. SEVERAL DEMONS ARE LOOKING TOWARDS THE READER AND LICKING THEIR LIPS.

Panel 6: PROFESSOR OWENS ALONE STUMBLING ABOARD A STAR VESSEL HE’S COVERED IN HUMAN BLOOD.

PROFESSOR OWENS:

I led my family and friends to their doom, opened the doors to Hell. I’m a fool, a damned fool.

That’s the end of my new additions to my comic book script.

It’s certainly more exciting than the page I’d previously written, it introduces quickly three of the main characters and introduces them in scenes of action, of horror, of destruction and that is the intent of my comic book.

I realised at the end of last year there’s very little in fiction, comic books, TV, books or movies that features what I’m looking for. At the time I was searching for science fiction novels on Amazon that featured heroic Flash Gordon types battling ancient evil. I wanted, nay craved, Star Trek versus Lovecraftian nasties, but there wasn’t anything to be found, it doesn’t mean such fiction is non-existent it just means I couldn’t find it, so I decided to create what I want for myself.

My story starts with Captain Hazard and his crew visiting his uncle and finding themselves drawn into conflict with ancient evil, originally I was going to base the ancient evil on Lovecraft’s Old Ones but I’ve decided to go all Judeo-Christian myth with a big dollop of other Earthly myths thrown into the mix. My idea is this Professor Owens is a God fearing man, though a scientist, he believes that Earth’s myths are very similar to the myths of many alien races and that’s because beings like gods, angels and demons once existed and did battle. To prove his idea he’s been searching for evidence finding imprisoned, sleeping, demons on a dead world close to the planet Earth he accidentally awakens these demons they kill his crew and then seek him out to kill him, the Professor tries to warn Earth’s Star Fleet but they consider his ideas outlandish and unbelievable in the hundreds of years Earthlings have been exploring the Galaxy no one’s ever encountered such mythical creatures.

And there begins a short story, in terms of a TV series it would be as long as a British series rather than an American, nine episodes each an hour long featuring ham fisted space heroes fighting supernatural demons. I already have the ending written and I have a clear direction the story will take.

It’s an interesting, though difficult, task to create a comic book and in my mind’s eye, or whatever, I see the pictures looking very Jack Kirby-esque, my own attempts at drawing images aren’t very Jack Kirby-esque and while the writing is difficult the actual illustrations are even more so.

I’m figuring the best way to present my finished comic book tale to an audience is via the Internet, a webcomic, but I’m not going to post any finished pages until the entire story is pencilled, inked, digitally coloured and lettered that way I can post a few pages a week and keep this schedule running without falling behind.

In the past I have tried, and failed, to create two webcomics my failures can be seen here:

http://4fistedtales.thecomicseries.com/comics/1

 

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