Shitload of Concept Art

Posted in 99 Cent Novellas with tags , , , , , , , on June 27, 2014 by TheDisfigured

Creation of a new story means fresh concept art, something that I truly enjoy almost more than anything else involved within this process. I am working on a new story, just like I said, and it involves a new character, Modus (I posted about him earlier) and also a new villan, Ranin. He’s a vile, greedy, sadistic merchant who uses unholy magic and brute force to get whatever his heart desires. Miserly as well, Ranin keeps a close eye on his massive fortune and make sure he gets the most bang for his buck. Ranin is the one that murdered Modus and imprisoned his wife’s soul.

At present, he’s a spellcaster, mostly because he is too out of shape to do anything else. During the exaggerated gesticulations sometimes utilized for spellcasting, he will break a sweat, and often soak the front of his robes. He is impatient, and learned magic through dealing with the Infernals.

He is a cruel child with a machine gun. Wanna see?

Ranin

 

Sick little fucker, ain’t he? Modus also fights an Infernal in the beginning of this novella that calls itself “Eye.” A dangerous beast, it seeks to spread carnage and chaos by conjuring intense hurricanes and tornadoes wherever it may tread. It never fights fair- often attacking by stealth or ambush all while exacerbating the storm it conjured as it fights. Eye has a gullet filled with thin, razor sharp teeth, all crooked and twisted. Its breath is highly corrosive, and capable of breaking down almost any substance. Here’s a picture of Modus staring eye to eye with Eye:

Modus&EyeI also created a creature that I want to use in war scenes. It’s called a Salk:

AdultSalk

Salks are strange creatures, able to think and feel along the same mental level as a horse. They are hearty, covered in dense muscle, thick hide, and coarse hair. It’s front legs are quadruple jointed in every joint, allowing a salk to articulate itself into almost any position to navigate any terrain. It uses its powerful hind legs and to leap from place to place on terrain that might not accommodate hooves, but have plenty of hand holds for their front legs. They are omnivores, eating just about anything that they can swallow whole. Its teeth are actually a defense mechanism- when it needs to clear the way, it lowers its teeth and uses them in a similar manner as the front end of a locomotive. They can be taught to attack enemies with gusto, using any and all parts of its body as a weapon.

Alright, that about does it. I’m currently busy and motivated, which is a pleasant change of pace to say the least.

 

 

New Character Born from Self-Hatred

Posted in 99 Cent Novellas with tags , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2014 by TheDisfigured

Modus is his name, the latest addition to the heroes of Melias in 99 Cent Novellas.

He is a Death Knight, a being of his own strange creation, a good being twisted and tortured for what he believes in. When alive, Modus belong to the order of Hallan; a sacred collection of Priestesses with Knights as their guardians. To ensure a bond of the highest order, men and women who wish to enter the order are encouraged to form relationships and eventually get married. Those who do not find a mate, cannot continue their training, and must try again when the order is accepting new disciples.

They are an organization dedicated to bringing peace and light into the world, seeking pain, misery, and illness and cleansing the planet of such mortal agony. You see, the a Hallan Priestess is the wife of her guardian, a member of the Knights of Hallan. Hallan disciples view marriage as the top tier of human relationships- a bond where two beings are linked completely as one, one the protector, one the healer, both sides coming together for a greater purpose, the purpose of healing pain wherever they may tread, and repelling any threats with extreme and violent prejudice.

Hallan Knights are men of exceptional combat ability and willpower. They push themselves far beyond the limits of any normal human being, always having their Priestess at their sides, healing them as they become wounded or maimed during the intensive and cruel training process. Hallan Knights are taught to harness the pain that automatically accompanies such a lifestyle and use it as fuel to drive them forward, relying on sheer willpower alone when the body is almost completely shattered. They are ferocious in battle, but are even-tempered, calm, and sympathetic to those who are innocent, or in need of help. They aid the weak, the poor, the sickly, the elderly, they are champions of the underdog.

Hallan Priestesses are women of extraordinary healing talents, grasping and mastering an entire branch of magic in mere months. They are prodigal- almost able to erectness the very dead with their incredible knowledge of healing and restorative spells. They can reattach severed limbs.  Heal severe wounds, heal disfigurements, disabilities, diseases, you name it. They train alongside the Knights, watching their loved ones get hurt. And sometimes, they must save their husbands’ lives if a training exercise goes wrong. Hallan Priestesses play mother to all the people of Melias. When they are seen in their flowing white gowns and light, elegant armor, they are flocked to, and in some circles, worshiped. But none get too close- her Knight is not far behind.

They take love and transform it into something much greater than just a union between two people, strengthening it as they see the good that they can do in each other’s company. They turn love into armor. Determination. And they are devout in their goals to the death. Modus used to be such a Knight, until he and his wife were captured by a vile and twisted merchant that uses dark and terrible power to assert dominance in any field of his choosing. Modus was cursed with Undeath, his soul sent into the Infernal Realm where it remains imprisoned, constantly tortured by the evil that dwells there. His wife was murdered in front of his eyes, the blood from her neck splashing his own face and armor, her soul banished into the locket that she herself gave him on their wedding day. But enough back story. Here’s what he looks like after decades of being warped by the dark magics that made him:

 

Modus

 

Once a slave to he and his wife’s murderer, he is now free, still carrying out his duties. Only now, he has a connection to the very darkness he seeks to destroy, and he exploits his condition whenever he can. I created Modus out of a time when I was mired in self hatred and dread. Anxiety. Basically, he is a supernova contained within an evil shell, a good, holy being wielding the dark and hideous power that was forced upon him. When I drew Modus for the first time, a felt free from a terrible gravity that I had yet to realize I had been carrying.

I have more concept art coming.

Inspiration through Editing

Posted in Thoughts with a Sharp Tongue with tags , , , , on April 17, 2014 by TheDisfigured

Creation of story requires an active mind and a steady stream of thought, akin to a dam with a tiny hole at the bottom.

It is difficult to simply pull more content out of your ass. When I force myself to add words to my work, the work? It blows. I catch myself being lazy, using too many short sentences, stupid grammar errors, blah blah blah. The process is enough for me to hide from the piece I am working on, be it poem, novel, short story, name it. At present I am working on a new 99 Cent Novella featuring my two favorite characters, Thas and Gruun. At the present, I am adding more content into the story to beef it up. No, not to pad it for length- actual, real writing.

I’ve been dry.

But that’s okay! And I’ll tellya why. See, I thought writer’s block worked one way and one way only. Your ass sits at the computer/typewriter/notebook and you piss, moan, and pout when the story don’t come out. So, that’s the method I’ve been using forever. Only until recently did I discover a way to still work on your piece and fight back against writer’s block.

Years would pass in between spurts of writing or art for me. Years! I just accepted it as part of the creative process, my creative process, but this is bullshit. I don’t have to accept anything I don’t want to, and by sheer luck alone, I’ve found a loophole. When I used to write, I would complete a piece without even thinking about proofreading/editing until I was complete. Then, I would print it all out on hard copy, proofread, and then edit. Fuck THAT.

As of late instead, I found myself driven to read the pieces I have already completed. Before long, I noticed the unconscious tweaking of the content here and there. At first I spurnned myself, saying that it’s just a minor adjustment and I should wait until I am finished with the piece. That may have worked at one time, but no longer. Eventually, I just said fuck it, and started to edit and proofread all my work before I had finished it, and I stopped printing out my manuscripts (a task I do not miss).

During the editing session, I found myself generating new ideas about where the story would go, and what was needed to move it forward. I also learned where the language was weak, along with countless other weak points. This is helping me shape the story into something I can be proud of. Little did I know that for me, editing generates fresh content in my brain. Why?

My best guess is that maybe editing turns over my ideas inside my head and refreshes them. As I gain more confidence in the finished product, I can write the piece and finish it more quickly, and perhaps produce a result better than my previous method could create.

Hey, your writing process is your own. Everyone had habits and routines, but all I’m trying to say now is don’t get blinded by them. Every once and awhile, try something different, or better yet completely new. You’ll be surprised with how much thinking your brain is capable of.

Concept Art and MORE

Posted in 99 Cent Novellas with tags , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by TheDisfigured

Explaining why I’ve been lax in my activity would be boring and egotistical, so I’m going to jump right in and get to stuff people might actually wanna hear.

I’ve been working a lot of the 99 Cent Novella project, in particular focusing on two characters. One, a barbarian half-orc, and the other, a human Warrior Shaman. Anyway, I’ve been writing a novella where these two team up to smack the shit out of a powerful Infernal (picture evil, demon-like creature). Then, on a whim, I decided to get a little artsy fartsy and sketch Gruun’s face:

Gruun.ConceptArt_99CN

No nonsense motherfucker, right? Anyway, he and Thas (the Warrior Shaman) are fighting a being calling itself Sycahiss: a creature that not only has an unsettling appearance, but is also a master of decay, death, and necromancy. It is an Infernal that can tear a hole into our world through the agony and pain of those sacrificed in its name. Like a moth to the flame, the beast is drawn to such profound pain and misery, and when the veil finally pops, Sycahiss takes form as. Well…take a look:

Sikahiss.ConceptArt_99CN

See that little face inside its chest? This Infernal is not as powerful as one might think. Once Sycahiss is ready to enter the material plane, he latches on to a human infant (provided by its cultists) that he keeps inside of himself. Sycahiss draws from the life energy of the child, aging the human without it ever getting any bigger. When the child is used up, Sycahiss must find another, or he will not be able to maintain his corporeal form. Also, his cloak is just a load of bullshit. Here’s a piece of concept art that details one this vile creature’s many captives:

SikahissThrall.ConceptArt_99CN

But that’s not all. Basically, Sycahiss is summoned upon a mass grave. Hundreds upon hundreds of people are tortured, killed, mutilated, and thrown into a large pit by his fanatic cultists, who will eventually add their own bodies to the pile. As Sycahiss emerges into the corporeal realm, he rises up out of the dead, and then rallies these unhallowed creatures to do his every command. Each one is different, but all are savage, mindless, and disease infested- all working as one via telepathic command from Sycahiss. Basically, this Infernal is a miserable and disgusting defiler, searching to spread misery and destroy lives, but unwilling to soil its own hands if unnecessary. Naturally, Thas and Gruun had to stand in its way.

Alright, I think that’s enough for now. I’d like to post some more about the races and creatures of Melias (the world where all my 99 Cent Novellas take place for now), describing what they are, and posting more concept art. I’ve been away from my craft for too long, and I aim to place my heart back where it belongs.

 

Obsession with a Character

Posted in 99 Cent Novellas with tags , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2014 by TheDisfigured

Mental health has always been an area of cloudy self-misdiagnosis and a constant drain on my own personal energy and willpower for me. Depression, anxiety, blind anger. They are all my friends, and I have them with me every day. No matter what I do, no matter where I go, they are always there.

Different emotions manifest themselves in different ways for different people. My defense mechanism is immediately to go into fantasy. Push out the non-fiction, and fill the empty space with stories of my own choosing. Lately, the feeling of stagnation has permeated into my life, but it is one that is unguided and without reason. Typically, I can hone in and solve my own problems, but I am not one who will deny help.

Gruun, one of the characters from my 99 Cent Novella project, has currently been my focus of obsession. Having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder already makes me predisposed to latching on and never letting go, so. Writing and fantasy kinda just…fell into place as I battle my brain.

I focus on Gruun because he is what I want. He is what I need. A force of unstoppable nature, an immovable forward moving object. Regardless if you know what the fuck I’m talkin’ about or not, let me be plain. This character is a literal manifestation of my own rage and body insecurity.

He is massive, muscled, and brutal- kind, compassionate and patient, he is the balance of fury and civility. Acting in the real world like a normal person can be difficult (is everyone merely acting?). Can be? No. Is difficult. For me at least.

Normal. There’s a word that I despise. It’s a label that follows the same mantra as generalized testing inflicted upon children in “schools” all over the world. Who the fuck makes the rules for normal? And why do I have to follow them? Why do you?!

Because there is no real normal. It is a label.

Obsession rocks and reels with you, waning like the tide. Sometimes, you are up to your ankles, and sometimes your buried neck deep in the sand, struggling for air as the tide collides into you over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over again.

There is a freedom in directed brutality. I’ve never been a believer in simply spitting out anger and harming anyone or anything in my way. So as this builds up, it festers. The anger builds first, and then frustration afterward at the fact that you cannot simply purge this fury from your body. As stress and these feelings build, they must be released. And anger is best released on yourself or inanimate objects.

Writing is in act of masturbatory masochism that is rewarding and soul crushing. I turn my anger inward so it can only hurt the person responsible for it. It sits in me, a little black hole. My own personal abyss, pulling me on top of myself, collapsing. Gruun is that release.

Hatred piled on top of the frustration and rage seeps downward like grease, soaking the whole godamn mess, making it worse. Depression and self loathing is the dark fog which clouds the entire scene. And guess where you are? At the bottom, clawing through, looking for the light in the fog.

Whenever I am sad, rage is the first emotion to burn through the fog. All my emotions converge into that rage and create a multi-faceted confusion prism of human emotion that is almost impossible to direct or hold on to for a long time. To awaken such rage, writing is an outlet that often drags me out of the shithole and sits me back high on my own big ol’ pile of fuckin’ bullshit.

But with that anger driving me, slurping down all the bullshit becomes palatable when you don’t care about what you swallow.

I’ve never felt numb. I can’t- and this isn’t a statement of pride but fact: I need to feel. More specifically, I need to feel rage. The process of inflammation, reduction, and retribution associated with my  twisted mental jungle gym concept of my own consciousness. As the anger surfaces, so does the writing.

Gruun, Spek, Alistar, Thas. They are all facets of my rage personified. Every character I create is a bloody chunk of my own fuckin’ meat, raw and vulnerable. It’s my job to toughen them, and to toughen myself. What’s in a character? If you have any skill or common sense, the first thing in a character should be a piece of yourself. Rage is the first emotion I turn to.

Yours?

 

Stolen Steel Spine

Posted in Thoughts with a Sharp Tongue with tags , , , , , , on February 6, 2014 by TheDisfigured

People have a strange relationship with the world.

Little busy creatures, bustling about. In all types of weather, all types of climates, all types of places. I watch them from afar, always studying. It is not a place of superiority, rather of curiosity. Stewing, I believe, is the term I’m looking for here.

My mind is not free from idea. My projects have slowed. But sometimes the need to write outweighs the want, and vice versa. It is the struggle of both that is so godamn tortuous. The thing I miss the most was spine. A writer’s voice. Mine has dwindled into a pathetic vomit of disjointed entries like this one, or as ambiguous pieces in the abstract. And the kicker is that there is no solid way of knowing whether or not it’s my voice as a writer, or just a load of fresh, steaming bullshit.

I think most of myself is twisted in hypocrisy and guilt. In spite of the light, it gets bent. Bent around experiences, fractured by pain, amplified by joy. But always malleable. It’s this fact that drives on the terrible point, hanging like an old noose at the gallows. Dramatic.

It’s all dramatic. Each emotion, each word I push forward feels like shit flavored molasses. I don’t have the will to write now. Not forever, mind you. But the strength of mind writing takes (for me) fails me. Fuck this entry, and fuck this day.

Lost with a Compass

Posted in Thoughts with a Sharp Tongue with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by TheDisfigured

Days roll on by and the guilt of stagnation hangs with the meat until there is a call for action.

Completion of tasks, both great and small, go checked off until the lists are calm, until the day makes sense again. Wandering-

There is a stark honesty about apathy and sloth. They imply peace, but are often abused. The mind is a weak thing that must be cradled by willpower and bone, or it will break. Each stone pillar wears away in the desert sand until all is dust, slow but sure.

Writing has been hard. Mostly these types of entries flow because there is no point to them. They have no definitive purpose, nor is their journey valid or useful. Creating ideas in the brain that won’t translate -or can’t- into creation itself. There’s no more will to write anymore and there must be a rally within to find the spark once more. It feels forced and arbitrary. Wouldn’t read the words pushed out like a smeared shit.

Mostly the violence sticks out. Violence in the stories, especially the killing and dealing with loss and guilt. Envy. Stick to what is comfortable and profitable, but can there be a time when comfort is a liability opposed to an asset? Of fuckin’ course.

Setbacks at a later age are harder to cope with as responsibilities, anxieties, worries, and doubt build up inside an adult brain. Not enough space to cope. So it’ll get fixated. This one is fixed on violence.

Why the violence? Why the need for blood? Is there a hurt inside that is invisible to the world and its victim? Why such blind anger? Why the need to spit pain in all directions?

Forests sometimes have a path. Deep ones, ones that have been around for decades; tempt beauty off trail, but there is no solace or safety where there is no vision. Following a compass so the path is always known is not foolproof. Many, many times the forest will swallow travellers. Some find the path once more and travel to the intended destination, wiser for the experience as a whole. All too often, the direction, goal, and destination is lost or discarded, and there are mass graves of intention and loathing that conceal an endless supply of ignorant bodies.

Wander the woods, but keep an eye on the path. Death, metaphorical and tangible, comes in many forms and feelings.

Mind the deadfall.

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