The idea for Faeryland started in early 2015 as an idea. I've always been drawn to the different stories and movies of Alice in Wonderland and I had already formulated an idea about writing a book about faeries.
Originally I was staring at the ceiling in the summer of 2013 in my run-down apartment. I was trying to relax and think. I had some incense burning in the background with some candles. Each time I stared at the wall or the ceiling since I was a kid, I've been able to formulate images of creatures— usually grotesque-looking monsters, but some were pretty. In this instance, my mind formulated an image of two faery lovers entwined in each others arms surrounded by these sharp contorted thistle bushes with evil troll-like creatures. However, I didn't feel qualified or experienced enough to write a love story when all I knew was the heartbreak on the other side of the love spectrum and I wasn't writing about that. The story stuck in the back of my mind until 2015.
In 2015, the two ideas of Alice in Wonderland and faeries began to merge. It was time to put the ideas on paper. I decided to begin writing it during NaNoWriMo in November of 2015. I had written for NaNoWriMo a few years previously and have used it since. It is really good at getting me motivated to write.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it happens every year in November. It is a novel writing challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It equates to about 1,667 words per day for 30 days.
"Writing a novel alone can be difficult, even for seasoned writers. NaNoWriMo helps you track your progress, set milestones, connect with other writers in a vast community, and participate in events that are designed to make sure you finish your novel. Oh, and best of all, it’s free!" (https://nanowrimo.org)
NaNoWriMo has helped me three times to get a big jumpstart on projects. I've only completed it once with Dragon's Lament, which ended up being part 2 of the story. I am still working on part 1.
As you can see, for Faeryland— I only wrote the first 7,357 words in November 2015. From November 2015 to August 2016, I wrote the rest. My process for writing is fairly straightforward. For a book, I first develop my characters and the plot— all in my head first. Then write the chapters and chapter summaries. From there, it is like clicking play. I know everything that I want to write— it's just a matter of sitting down and writing. When I get writer's block it is always because I have to get from point A to point B and there is something I haven't thought of yet. It can be that I need to introduce a character, there's something about the character I haven't thought of before, etc.
I started the edits and the pictures in August 2016.
While I was writing, I was doing the initial sketches. Almost no one besides me can see the intentions in my sketches, but I knew what I had planned.
For my initial sketches for Faeryland, I used Comic Book Layout Pages 8.5in x 11in by Canson. It gives you four squares of small drawing space and on the left and right of the drawing space it gives you lines for notes.
Getting initial crappy drawings on paper can do a world of help in getting to that next step of drawing.
In the above image, the bottom left image was removed. For an example of what my process is like we are going to use the top right sketch of the Jibber Jabber.
Before I drew that image of the Jibber Jabber, I drew this in my sketchbook:
I started drawing the pictures in August 2016. There was a lot of drawing to do— over 80 individual drawings. I drew them in either pencil or pen.
From the initial Jibber Jabber sketch it developed to this finished drawing:
I finished the drawings in October 2017. I finished the digital painting part by May of 2018 and did all the final edits all of the drawings by November 2019. The final Jibber Jabber drawing:
I finished my final edits this month— August 2020. There was a lot of work put into this project and I am satisfied with the outcome.