As you've probably noticed, I changed my blog header. I know Jenna and her blossoms weren't up there for long. Don't worry, her header may make another appearance sometime soon. Until then, you can enjoy it here:
(As always, you can click on the picture to make it bigger.)
Okay, on to the present. For about 2 years now, I've had a story slowly taking shape in my mind and on paper. It's a story that I'd really like to finish, whether I end up publishing it professionally, trying the self-publishing route, or just making it available for my family and friends. I've talked about it a little bit here and there.
The release of the "Once Upon a Time" TV series has been exciting and frustrating at the same time. On the one hand, it means there's definitely a market for the type of story that I'm writing. On the other hand, there are a few story concepts that the writers of "Once Upon a Time" came up with that have some similarities to mine, which makes my job a bit more difficult!
[Side note here: Since we're on the subject of "Once Upon a Time", I just wanted to mention that I don't really feel comfortable recommending it. I will always love the "Skin Deep" episode, featuring Belle and Rumpelstiltskin as Belle and the Beast, but the series has gotten progressively darker with each week. It appears that it will be continuing in that direction. So, while I have enjoyed some parts of the series, I don't feel that I can recommend it in good conscience any more. Okay, that's all. Moving on!]
The other day, I was feeling a bit discouraged. My stories (there will be 3 books) are still so far from completion. There are apparently two TV shows in production that are based on "Beauty and the Beast" (which is the main story my first book focuses on). And every week, little details here and there on "Once Upon a Time" make my story idea less and less unique.
Then, yesterday, I buckled down and did some writing. I did some research on the location I've chosen for the setting (it's a real location), and once again, I was reminded of how real these characters are to me. I've known my 2 main characters for over 10 years, and I want so badly to share their story with everyone.
Most importantly, the Lord really seemed to be directing me to write these. I would love to offer fairy tale stories with conservative morals and an uplifting message (which is often lacking in some of the current productions). I don't know what route I'll go, how successful they'll be, or if they'll ever see the inside of a publishing house. I just know I have to write them.
This shouldn't affect my blogging too much (especially since I've been a bit sporadic lately), but I do plan on trying to schedule more writing time along with my blogging time. My goal is to finish my rough draft of my first book and start on the rough draft of the second book by the end of this year. I wanted to share this with all of you so that you can help keep me accountable. ;) I'll try to update you here and there on my progress.
To help inspire myself to keep at it, I used one of my illustrations from college in my new header. While the story is not going to be the same as my original Beauty and the Beast story I wrote, the characters and their design are the same. I'm also including two other original illustrations in this post for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure, as the case may be). ;) Here they are:
"The First Evening"
I'm not entirely pleased with my "Beauty" character in this one (I'm keeping the names a secret for now). I've spent too many years sketching Disney characters, so I end up making my heroines unrealistically skinny, quite by accident! Also, the proportions on her arms seem a bit off. I like the rest of it, though (although "Beast's" right wrist is at rather an odd angle). :)
One of the best scenes in any Beauty and the Beast story. I really love how this one turned out. :)
And here's another copy of the header picture. This is the very first illustration I did for my story, and I also used it as the cover art for my original B&B story that I gave to my family and friends. The only issue I have with this one is that "Beast" is supposed to be a lot taller than "Beauty". Hmm, maybe he's kneeling or something...although that would mean he was REALLY tall! :}
I've shared these with all of you to get some feedback, but also to help motivate myself to keep pressing on. My only request is that no one use these pictures without my prior permission. Well, okay, I guess I have two requests. I would also ask that you reference this blog if you use them. These represent hours of work, and these characters are like real friends to me. Any of you who write will understand that, I'm sure. :)
I'm excited to see where the Lord leads with this project. Even if my stories don't end up getting published, at least I will be able to say that I finished my project. And if nothing else, I'll be able to provide my friends and family with another entertaining gift a few Christmases from now. ;)