漫画 Deb's Invention

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Japanese Class

We are typing up the translation of the rules to So-Soo-Yoo which we translated into Japanese. This is an exercise in data entry in Japanese, among other things.  Thanks, Alice, for writing all this stuff down by hand in Japanese during class!!



Better description that explains that the colors have to be the same as the pawns.


"Writer's Block": Tactics

My feeling is that it's important to free write, to get it down as fast as I can. Last time I wrote about what I do to not get stuck and to always have something I can write about (since the goal is to get a manuscript of at least 50K words out, not a "perfect" one). Last time was "strategic" ideas, this time more "tactical".
  1. I have pretty much given up capitalization and punctuation this time (I don't necessarily recommend this).
  2. I will be editing later, so I don't worry about anything (spelling, grammar, etc.)
  3. I write down EVERY modifier or descriptor I can think of, even if it's the wrong word, even if it's wordy, even if it's totally convoluted, even if my descriptions contradict each other -- I will edit later
  4. I don't worry about whether it's offensive, obscene, stupid, illogical, etc. -- I'm going to edit later and NO ONE will see it but me
  5. When I slip up I just START THE SENTENCE OVER in mid-sentence, no backing up, no deleting, nothing. I may just try out the same sentence over and over again two, three or more times, type the same prepositional or other phrase over and over again multiple ways or if there was a wrong word back a line or two I just type it (more) correctly right where I'm at and carry on. Just like I were talking.
  6. When I get a new idea for a different scene or whatever, I just hit Return a couple of times and start typing. I may do that again a paragraph later and go back to what I was on before or go to something else. You can also just hold down the Equals sign to make a score through your manuscript to highlight the complete change of direction for when you edit later.
  7. I put brackets [ ] in for editorial notes for later, e.g., [Jesse should do this instead of Claire] or [strike this?] etc.
  8. I don't spend time worrying about getting my characters and places names right, at most just put [wrong name?], [that ninja girl here?] or just [?]. There WILL BE INCONSISTENCIES and I will sort them out later, and I do merge characters [next point]
  9. I don't worry about chronology, logic, narrative inconsistencies -- I will sort those out in editing. I just try to write cool scenes and ideas and conversations about interesting and compelling stuff so I have something to pick from later when I'm editing. I expect that important (and unimportant) characters will do inconsistent stuff and I will decide what they are as a character later, based on what is most appealing when I have the manuscript done.
  10. I don't worry about outlines or preconceived plots.  That comes out later based on what worked or was worth keeping once my first draft is written.
  11. For minor characters (or even actions I'm not sure I want my major character to do), I'll just grab a new character, make them up on the spot, with the idea that they may be merged into another character or a main character will take over that scene, that action in the editing process.
  12. I will sometimes go off on a complete tangent and write something that I KNOW is inconsistent with any vision I have for the story, or even sometimes completely off topic (this could turn into a dream sequence or vignette later), if that's what helps me to keep writing along at a given moment.
We will have an ongoing editing workshop that will probably continue to meet twice a week after NaNo and go on until next Nano.  Feel free to join.

"Writer's Block": Strategies

When blocked, try:
  1. Writing another love scene (standard NaNo wisdom)
  2. having two of your characters start talking about how the story sucks, has run out of steam, how one or both of them should do something drastic, how they really love/hate each other, etc.
  3. describing doing or cooking or building something in the most gruesome detail imaginable
  4. YOU can write about how the story sucks, is stuck, and how you don't know what to do next (but doing it through characters is better), review (write it!) what's happened so far, etc.
  5. Just start writing some random scene from your own life, a TV show, a fantasy
  6. Writing a dream sequence. Make it the most random thing imaginable (EXODUS, my book, has two)
  7. etc....
I may come up with more later...

On Writing: Adding a Character

I've found that adding a new character can solve all kinds of narrative and flow-of-idea problems and get things going again.  More on this below.
This morning I added a character: Detective Yumi Ohashi.  She's going to take on a couple of narrative functions in my manuscript:
  1. do the assiduous detail work that brings the police out of the weeds into almost having a suspect list
  2. be the one who "disappears" when trying to make first contact with the Bad Guys
This provides multiple benefits to the main character (Boro Goto):
  1. He's justifying Ohashi's outlays and staffing demands to their captain, not his own, simplyfing that dialog
  2. Ohashi is slightly junior and yet a peer so she has to entertain Goto's wild theories, and even if she doesn't fully understand them the story works and she can play her part, and can discuss the relevant facts with him
  3. All the much-needed dirty work is done by somebody else (a major supporting character), so the main character can still be a Hot Mess if he needs to and not compromise those explanatory details
  4. The main character doesn't have to be the first to confront the Bad Guys (which could require narrative gymnastics)
  5. Ohashi can be seriously working, without conflict, to be trying to prove Goto's theories WRONG so they can move on
  6. Ohashi can be on a totally different fear level to Goto and so we can have "No! don't open that door, Yumi!" dynamics
Anyway, I have found that it's often easier to spin off new characters in new scenes or, as above, to take over part of the narrative burden, and then combine them together or even fold them back into the main character later than it is to try to write the main character doing everything. I suppose I should tell you WHEN I think it's a good idea to do this, i.e., spin off as opposed to make the protagonist take it all on, but I'm not sure if I have that clearly defined.  Basically, if it's EASIER to just make up some new character in a scene where it doesn't matter, just go for it.
  1. just for yucks you can decide to use some character you made up in a random other scene in your current scene
  2. you can always split them into two characters later
  3. Re-using characters like this can lead to more interesting characters who can even turn in to major characters, i.e, they have more backstory, just automatically
  4. folding characters (back) together can have the same effect, i.e., making fewer more interesting characters in an organic process
  5. you can fold minor characters' story threads back into your main character later, but it may make MORE SENSE (be easier to write) by splitting off a separate character NOW (don't be afraid to do this).
That's my two cents on creating and messing around with characters and how it can make writing easier (for me).  I've been writing like a maniac since this morning and it's all thanks to Detective Yumi Ohashi (and may be partly due to the fact that I AM a maniac...).
If you have any questions or comments, fire away. Also, we have a write-in tonight at One World Cafe and we can all chat then.

漫画 Maturity

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Japanese Class

How to win if you need just one more ring.

Owaru and Ato (end and after -- how to keep them straight)

Contents of the Game: Dice


Japanese Class

Lin was new to class, so we covered a few fundamentals
Phonetics of Kana and ten-tens


Japanese verbs and their two different types

"One way changing verbs" versus "Five ways changing verbs"

The old reliable pun on "ji-ko-sho-kai" (self-introduction or "accident introduction")

In the joke there are lots of same characters used in different ways.

same characters, different uses (and pronunciations -> ji-ko is an ateji in the first word)

Lot's of ateji to do with time

Back to So-Soo-Yoo and the rules on winning
(apologies to Charlie Sheen)

Halloween Jack-o-Lantern

Can you guess what these are?



12 Step Cartoons

These are photographed only, I need to do a scan, too.

漫画 Growing Pains

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漫画 Manga Index

The Poets of Porcadis
Meet the Boys Our heroes, Lenny & Sparky, are prowling around East Porcadis Park on what turns out to be a very strange and mysterious mission for a shadowy patron.
Lulu Goes to College Their quest leads them to Porcadis University, the Department of Mythology and Crypto-Memetics, and Lulu is persuaded to become a graduate student.
Lulu Meets the Blue Horn People Lulu's advisor leads her and her fellow students on a fantastical jaunt into a workshop of anthropology, biology, and ultimately memetics and memetic engineering.
Lulu's Internship at SCARE Lulu's starts interning at a local company to help them transform their business processes using the memetic analysis & engineering skills she's learning at school.
Growth Experience Lulu talks about the effects of sustained rapid growth on organizational culture (comic book).
The 2nd Coming While waiting for her advisor to come back, Lulu once again locks horns and crosses swords with Pénélopé over points of philosophy and the bedeviling question of whether the office doughnut pool really is as fair as Lenny & Sparky think it is.
Schrödinger's Catachresis Our heroes awaken to find themselves in a strange place with some strange new companions.
Mop & Broom Con Lulu & Penny are taken on a study trip to the nerdy, feminist Mop & Broom Con.
Financial Intelligence Upon hearing Lenny & Sparky's timeworn refrain about how broke they are, Lulu treats them to coffee (again!) and tries to teach them (and you!) her method of keeping track of her money and growing her Financial Intelligence, Financial Integrity, and ultimately (hopefully) reaching financial security.
Cloud of Dreams Lulu & Lenny meet a new friend in East Porcadis Park, and they all discover that there's more going on at Lenny's place of work than meets the eye.
Step Forth Casey confronts some inner truths about himself, his self-image, his relationship to himself and others, and to women in particular.
To War! Deb and Lulu go to see Nick and Guillermo off only to find that they may all be confronting dark forces they have only just begun to understand and which may lead to civil war.
Penny’s Ordeal
Behind Enemy Lines
Deb’s Mission
Nelson’s Terms
Curses, Foyle'd Again! Lulu, Deb and the boys are kidnapped by a reformed Church of Zhe which has unknown plans for Tinna Foyle.
Dr. Quack The unexamined ideological systems, or memetic systems, inherent in the practice of medicine? Medicine an ideology?
Mr. Peabody & The Mermaids
A trip to the full-service Native American Bank Honquèrelle's & Mr. Peabody's projects lead the gang on an adventure to a bank that tries to meet everyone's needs.
Electionville Honquèrelle & Alexántebra use a new on-line game to try to get into office to prevent some bad trends from making it into Siren Cove.
The Tale of Treat Umiko and Honquèrelle's son, Treat, each undertake a quest.
Mermaid Comics and Japanese Mermaid Puns One-frame jokes and puns.
Mermaid Olympics, Mermaid Fashion, Cartoon Political Commentary

漫画 Growth Experience

ZeppelinManga IndexNext vignette: Curses, Foyle'd Again!
I have a color version of this cover which I can make available, or which I will probably make available on Deviant Art for hi-rez download so you can make your own copies of this comic book. Post if you're interested! I think I'd like to put out more of these in comic book form. Again, post what you think!

ZeppelinManga IndexNext vignette: Curses, Foyle'd Again!