Mar 23, 2013

Graphing and professional stuff like that

As I sit here, crunching an onion ring and drinking fruit juice out of a small paper box, I think, "I feel like a professional."

Never mind that I've written a 200k word novel. Never mind that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Never mind that I just spilled my fruit juice on my pajamas. Never mind that I'm still in my pajamas at 1 PM.

I feel like a professional because I graph out my scenes in MS Paint.

Oh, yes. Isn't that what all the professionals do? Acting them out yourself is a thing of the past! Now, with the new and improved MS Paint that comes with Windows 7, you can do EVERYTHING!

I recently found this out when I was trying to figure out which arm my FMC (female main character) was going to drag my MMC2 (male main character 2) by. Exhibit A:

You can see here my three MCs and one RAC (reoccurring annoying character) and two dragons. One is dead and the other one is not entirely sure what's going on. I couldn't figure out the scene in my head, but I knew character C (Chayten) wanted character W (Wyn) to help him drag character I (Iri, who is not dead, but passed out) across the clearing, to where character A (Aaron) is very concerned about character B (Blaze). Character S has nothing to do with any of this because, as I mentioned, she is dead.

*slurps from juice box, then continues*

This helped me cement the scene in my mind, but it was really only the bare bones of what MS Paint was offering me. As you can see, I hadn't remembered how to draw shapes or add text yet, only how to wiggle around with the sorry excuse for a pencil. Half the characters' limbs aren't really connected, Iri has an extraordinarily long arm, and I'm not sure whether Aaron is running to Blaze or just getting ready to kick him. I'm not sure how I missed all the nice colors hanging around the top of the program, but I noticed them next time.

Exhibit B.

There was really much more going on in this scene, but I didn't want to add all the bodies. Iri is, once again, passed out (there seems to be a theme developing here, but, sadly, it died because in my third attempt Iri is very much awake) and Aaron is being out of character because he is gloating. Obviously he doesn't really say "LOL", but I still hadn't figured out how to make text so I wanted something short and sweet. You can see that I've discovered color (the squiggly things are trees) and the different brushes, but I'm really not sure what the fire is doing. Maybe trying to take over.

*licks onion ring grease off fingers*

This was also another try at cementing the scene in my mind. I wasn't sure exactly where Iri was passed out and Aaron was gloating over him, so I stuck a few placeholding trees in (trees are good at that) and then put them in the most logical area.

So today I realized that there's this magical little "A" icon at the top of the magical program which can magically add magical text to your picture, thus enabling me to label the characters. Like so:

Details have finally arrived. Notice the little sprigs of grass along the corners of the tents, the stalks of straw sticking out of the bale Iri is hiding behind, and the waaaaay too many stars in the sky because, once I discovered details, there was no going back. In case you were wondering, no, Syphir is not a girl. He just has long hair. He also needs a knee replacement. And Fairfax, Aaron, and Faulkner really are tied to those posts, but the posts are between us and them (and I drew the posts firsts) so, being lazy, I didn't draw them in. We'll just pretend they're there. The fire is much more under control now and all of the characters have hair the right color and length. Iri and Syphir are getting ready to ambush a clueless sentry (the sentry actually is whistling in the scene) and rescue Fairfax, Aaron, and Faulkner.

Poor sentry.

I even made the tents 3-D.

So there's your lesson for the day, folks. If you want to feel like a professional, use Paint. And don't squeeze your juiceboxes.


Mirriam said...

HA; I never thought of graphing my novels in Paint. That's clever. XD Don't you love feeling like a professional?

Meaghan Ward said...

Why did I never think of doing that?! (Using paint to graph my novels that is... not about the juicebox squeezing.) Brilliant E! Simply brilliant! XD

Sandra said...

Ah ha! Now I can stop dragging my siblings into my court council, troll hunt, bandit chase, etc. Hey and Paint figures can't move! *does happy dance* So now the wine in the feasting hall doesn't have to get spilt all over the guests!