Nightmarish Reaction – Red Thorns

I’ve decided to officially post Nightmarish Reaction (Volume 3) on WordPress and DA. If you haven’t read both Nightmarish Reality (Vol. 1) and Nightmarish Revelations (Vol. 2), you can always buy my books on Amazon.

Sigh...

They will be up there for all time. Please read them for yourself, before continuing any further.

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Be warned. If you decide to carry on, you will be very confused. There will be no chapter numbers whatsoever. I will try to post once or twice a week. These chapters may jump around a lot, since nothing is set in stone.

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Please bear with me if you see any spelling and grammatical errors. If I ever decide to publish, I’ll go back and revise everything. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time right now. I’m doing this for my beloved readers/fans. Maybe for myself as well, so I can get back in the habit of writing again.

Pole Dancing is Fun!

Feel free to comment on anything you like. 

Please DO NOT send me harassing comments/emails asking me when I’ll be publishing NR3 or if I’ll finish the series. I DO NOT know when I’ll publish Nightmarish Reaction. Maybe in the next few years or maybe never. If you spam me to read/edit your story, I will ignore you completely. I DO NOT have the time to read nor edit anyone’s story.

I only posted this, because I felt bad that I wasn’t able to finish it. To my readers, who’ve bought and read the previous two novels, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you would like to know what happens next in the series, please continue.

I haven’t made up my mind whether I’ll post the entire story or half of it. We’ll see how it goes. 

front

DISCLAIMER:

This book contains graphic and disturbing scenes. Content may be controversial in nature and may not be appropriate for younger readers; therefore, you must be eighteen or older. 

Point of views made by the characters in this story does not reflect the sole views of the author. The author and the publishing company shall have neither liability. Nor responsibility to any person or entity for any loss, damage caused or actions caused, or alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly, by the content contained in this book.

All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means (electronically, mechanically, photocopied, recorded, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.


PART VI.


RED THORNS

Its brown and slender, swift legs ran through the bushes as it fled. Its feet leaped over small ponds with such ease, avoiding the water altogether as it ran deep into the swamps. A loud gunshot erupted from the trees. Nosh poked his head out of the underbrush and saw the white-tailed deer immediately go down on all fours.

His brown Fedora hat and camouflage coat helped him blend in with the dry environment. As a skilled hunter, he had made a fine kill today; Nosh removed his hat and fanned himself with it. The heat was thick as a dense fog.

Even at his age, his eyesight was still sharp as any old hawk and fast were his reflexes, for he had noticed the white-tailed deer prancing in front of his path. Something had spooked the animal out of its hiding place. Slowly, he crept toward his most beloved prize. The shotgun was still loaded and posed in both hands, ready to fire again. Nosh knelt down.

He lowered the shotgun, crouching on his hands and knees to get a closer look of his kill. A stain of blood dripped from the doe’s chest. One bullet went straight to the heart and killed it instantly. Born a Seminole Indian, Nosh had lived most of his adult life in Southern Florida with his family, far away from the Indian Reservation and his tribe. Whether it was his tradition or not, Nosh respected all life on the planet.

Before cutting up his kill, he thanked the ancient spirits for his good fortune. Nosh spoke in his native tongue, Mikasuki, which originated from the Eastern Muskogean family languages. He also knew Creek due to his life on the Indian Reservation, during his brief childhood.

Nosh said a prayer of thanks and slapped his hands together like a Christian saying grace. “Thank you brothers and sisters for providing me with such a feast. Thank you ancestors for this holy sacrifice.”

Using a military knife, Nosh cut through the skin and peeled the flesh off the young doe. He detached two leg thighs, the heart, liver, and a few ribs. He learned how to do this quickly from his father and grandfather, knowing all the techniques without making such a mess, despite the blood on his hands. He took out a large, brown wool sack from out of his backpack, stuffing all the meats inside it.

Nosh held onto his shotgun in his right hand and took only what he could carry; he heaved the sack over his broad shoulders. Nosh left the rest of the carcass for the other predators in the forest to feast on. He did this as a peace offering to the ancient spirits. When he was younger, he could lug so much meat for himself and his family. But now he was an old man, Nosh wasn’t as strong as before. His hands ached more so than ever due to the Arthritis pain, and so did his back; he could still hold a shotgun in his grip, but not for very long.

Since he used the best parts of the deer, there would be enough food to last him for at least two weeks tops. After his wife died many years ago and his children now old enough to raise their own families, he lived alone. Times were getting tough in this economy and money was tighter than ever, especially for his little grocery store, Poppa’s Shop. So, Nosh did what he could and spent his days hunting deer, since he had a gun permit.

During every hunting season he’d save a little money on the meat. He wouldn’t have to buy at the local groceries and Samuel, his best friend, often offered fresh vegetables from his home garden. He saved a lot of money just thinking wisely and living the good, simple life. As Nosh carefully stepped over fallen tree branches that crackled under his feet, he suddenly came to a stop.

The wind had died down and he felt an icy chill run up his leg. Nosh stared directly at his heavy boots, only yards away from a reddish thorn bush. He lifted his right foot and took one step back. The man had come across a forbidden landscape full of thorn bushes; Nosh heard no chirping of birds above him in the trees, which was unusual.

His ears listened closely for any signs of trouble. There were no buzzing of insects, no sounds of frogs and no crickets. Nothing, but dead silence. Nosh clutched tightly to the brown sack of meat and retraced his steps, backing away calmly. He made sure not to step on any of the reddish plant life––it was foreign in his eyes.

When the man had some distance between him and the misshaped thorn bushes, he sighed in relief. Nosh envisioned himself back at the Indian Reservation as a young boy. He sat by the camp fire and listened to his father’s deep voice. Hearing his father speak in the Mikasuki language, Nosh would often close his eyes and imagine how his ancestors used to live.

However, this tale was different than all the others, for his father had a way of explaining certain events in simple terms that only he could understand. Sometimes, fear would show itself deep within his eyes; it warned Nosh that this was no mystical folktale.

“My Micco…” Nokosi said, before he paused to gaze at the stars above.

His long, black braided hair had a tint of gray as the moonlight hit his shoulders; Nokosi returned his attention to the fire that crackled and popped beside him. The flames seemed to taunt him, dancing before his eyes in quick rapid movements. Nokosi took a deep breath and then stared at his large, swollen hands, now wrinkled and aged over time. His hands trembled slightly as he held them near the fire, seeking the warmth of the flames.

“Micco,” Nokosi replied again. “Never forgot what I’ve said to you. On this day, under these stars. This unholy night.”

“Unholy night?”

“Yes Micco. Tomorrow will be the Unholy Day. A day our people will not dare speak of…”

Nosh remembered how he hated hearing his real name spoken out, even though it was his birth name. At the time of his youth, Nosh didn’t protest to being called ‘chief’ in public. Until, he married his wife who spoke three languages, Mikasuki, Creek, and Algonquian. She eventually nicknamed him Nosh, meaning ‘father,’ after their first daughter was born. Nosh preferred his new name over his real one, and had wished from the start that Nokosi, his father, had passed down a stronger title onto him.

Nokosi’s name symbolized the power and spirit of the bear, and that was a true name for a man, Nosh thought.

Nokosi’ voice interrupted his thoughts. “Micco, when I was your age, I too heard my father’s wise tales…’bout the accursed land. Time does not exist in such a wicked place.”

“Why doesn’t time exist there, Father?” Nosh replied eagerly. “What accursed land?”

“The land where only blood thorn bushes grow, deep in the swamps.”

“Father, why do our people fear such a place? No one ever goes in there.”

“Once…there was a young girl named Chechoter. She a year or two younger than you are. My great grandfather spoke to my father of how the sky seemed different that day. How the moon turned blood red.”

“Blood red?” Nosh asked with such keen interest.

“He fled with his family to safety when they saw pieces of the sky fall down upon them. Chechoter was curious, unlike her father, who was very afraid of the strange lights in the great beyond. Chechoter’s father quickly ran away into the swamps to hide with the others. But Chechoter did not show fear and followed the bright fireball of light. It was larger than the other pieces of light and she chased it to where the dead spirits don’t dare speak its name.”

“What happened to her, Father? Did she die?”

“Chechoter was never seen again once the light touched the ground. When her father came rushing out to try to find her, he saw that the reddish light had all but faded away…he saw Chechoter being taken away in a chariot of fire. He never spoke of what he saw to anyone. Until on his deathbed. He told his only eldest son the truth about what happened to Chechoter.”

Nokosi talked about the ancient curse and how the swamps there had an evil spirit after the young girl’s disappearance. Eventually, the tale grew widespread, and over the years it had evolved and changed. Some of the peaceful Christian settlers, who had lived in the Everglades side-by-side with the Seminole Indians, believed it was an evil witch. Her tragic and untimely death had withered the land, since her body was never found.

Rumors and fear among the villagers had overtaken local towns as more people, who wandered into the swamp, vanished without a single trace. Darkness covered the town and drove the local residents out.

Nokosi’s sad, wrinkled eyes faced Nosh. “Soon after, wars broke out amongst our people as the white man took over our lands. We were then forced out of our homes and had to live on the reserve. I’ve never been back there since…”

Nokosi believed that the superstitions had become rampant like a deadly disease. What people couldn’t understand, they feared. It was soon blamed on the Seminole tribes. Nokosi mentioned that since the settlers couldn’t locate and properly dispose of the alleged witch’s remains, they soon gave up their search in vain. And so never having a Christian burial, her evil soul was left to wander the swamps, forever haunting those who crossed into her territory. This cursed land was called the House of Red Thorns.

Nosh didn’t know what to believe in, but he was smart enough to heed his father’s tale. The House of Red Thorns was a part of the swamp that had the deadliest reputation, for it was deep in the Everglades, an uncharted area that no man dared entered. No explorer would venture in this unnatural terrain, because of its dark aura. Nosh’s tribe knew the House of Red Thorns had taken the lives of many young Indians, many of whom were hunters.

Those brave souls might have accidentally followed a deer too far into the red underbrush and had gotten lost. Forever. Trapped for all time. The swamp was no stranger to even naive Christian settlers, who trespassed over the border for centuries. Any traveler who entered there would never return––they’d find themselves stuck in a sinking black sandpit.

At first, settlers had named it the Valley of Thorns, except that Florida had no valleys, for it was the flattest terrain ever. The old name had gave the impression that it was less threatening. Some daredevils believed it was just a walk in a park. When the truth eventually came out, by those who were lucky enough to survive the horrors, there were stories of giant thorns wrapping around trees. That the vines choked the life out of anything in its path.

Nosh gazed at the dead, wilting tree branches that looked like claws reaching outwards for him. He remembered the old wise shaman tales his father once told him on the Indian Reservation. These were ancient stories passed down from generation to the next. From his father, and to his children and so forth. They had been handed down unto him.

His father, Nokosi, told him about the existence of ancestral beings; many of them were heroic, legendary warriors. Then there were others, who suffered great tragedies. This was how the House of Red Thorns thrived. It fed off the suffering and pain of others. Nosh recalled that the red thorns grew very quickly that they blocked out the sunlight. There were no flowers in the House of Red Thorns.

No green plant life and certainly no wildlife could survive there. The images of Nosh’s father slowly faded away and so too did the fire as if everything he’d seen was just a mirage. The heat around Nosh, however, did not dissipate. Nosh saw the reddish thorns far away from him; he wiped his brow, relieved he hadn’t crossed that invisible border. If he had stepped over with one foot, he actually believed he’d be dead by now.

That’s how real his father’s warnings were to him. The fear kept people at bay and there was a good reason why. If Nosh had continued walking he’d be in another dimension by now, a dark void of oblivion. Even in broad daylight, it was pitch black in the House of Red Thorns. Nosh had it seen for himself.

He saw how the thorns wrapped around every living thing. The deer carcass was gone. Why did the vines wrap itself onto everything? As a whole they somewhat resembled a cottage, hence the name. Nosh decided it was best to stay clear from this area, for only the ancient spirits knew what real dangers lay in that forbidden black hole.

Nosh had an abrupt thought. He hadn’t seen Samuel Gates in quite some time. He missed talking to his old friend; as Nosh walked in the opposite direction he heard the distant howl of the wind, calling out to him.

“It is not my time to die,” Nosh said, looking up at the sky. “Not today, my friend. Not today…”

A sorrowful voice echoed from that eerie place. Nosh ignored it, for he knew how the House of Red Thorns lured its victims, those weak-minded fools. Many of them had went willingly into its gaping jaws of death.

Copyright © 2001-2017 by W.D. Lady

The E.R. Stage 7: Three Chapters Left!

Three more chapters left to go! The MOST frustrating chapters EVER!

2013-07-25-7-good-foods-you-can-overdose-on-coffee

I’ve been binge-eating chocolate, soda, and ice cream for energy. I probably gained back the twenty pounds I lost just trying to finish these painstaking long chapters.

I still have to go back and edit these again for a final tune-up, but at least I don’t have to rewrite them again from scratch.

The book is now 421 pages.

I stayed up yesterday till 5 in the morning.

Stress

Can I finish another chapter tonight, folks?

The E.R. Stage 4: Finished Another 4 Chapters

I finished another 4 chapters, but forgot to post an update about it the other day. Yay?! Chapters 16-19 have been done for about two days now, but Chapters 15, 7, and 20 I keep worrying about. Chapter 7 wasn’t a huge problem for me in the beginning and I would’ve still published it, if it wasn’t for the news. But now that I’m seeing this play out on TV, courtrooms, and the Internet, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s just my bad timing.

Is it really too soon for such a controversial issue to be written about? Maybe this is the perfect time to write about it? I don’t know…

It’s one of those hot button debates, and I’m thinking of changing or tweaking it a little bit. I still have fact checking/revising to do for the other chapters, since this theme keeps popping up for some reason. Or maybe I could have one of my characters briefly talk about it, and end it there. I may keep the chapters longer or shorter, depending on how I feel about it. Need more time to think about this dilemma––I’m wondering if it’s something I should even be concerned with.

Is this helping or hurting my character(s) by using him/her as a poster child for this topic? Does it make them more believable or realistic as a human being… or does it make them seem like a stereotype, a stigma, a cartoonish perception of what everyone thinks their supposed to be? There’s just a lot of interesting stuff going on in the news lately (more so on this issue than ever before) and I really want to write about it. Who knows what I’ll do… I haven’t got the faintest clue…

Working hard to kick that ball!

I’m almost done with Chapter 20, so that leaves 4 more chapters to go before I finish PART 2 of NR. This is a huge chunk of the middle portion of the book, where I most often have a problem of keeping it together.

If I can reach my goal by the end of today, I’ll have 17 chapters left in total to reread and edit. These 17 chapters should not be a problem for me at all, since I’ve had them in the past. These chapters were actually supposed to go in the sequel (before it was published), but they were cut out. If I finish this week that means I can start getting ready for publishing; all I would have to do is make sure the formatting and margins are correct and order a paperback copy for myself on Createspace. Of course, I’d have to reread again and check for grammar, typos, and spelling mistakes.

However, I do have a job interview on Thursday and I’m eager to start a new chapter in my life. I really need this job. So, wish me good luck, folks! Because I’m going to need it. 🙂

yes!

Camp Nano Day 1: A Rough Start…

Report's gone..

Here’s my status update so far. It doesn’t look good at all. Hopefully, I’ll pick up some more words along the way today. It’s still early…

In addition, I’m going to post a rough draft of a chapter. It’s really horrible and full of grammar and spelling mistakes. I don’t know if I’ll actually use it, but it’s related to my series and it might go in a hidden or secret file somewhere. Read this is at your own risk.   I’ve decided to use the rough draft chapter, so I will not post it here again.

 

 

 

Going To Write… Something…Here’s a Chapter

Waiting Here...Still waiting for the Copyright Office to call me or email me or send me a certificate through the mail. I seriously don’t get it. What’s taking them so long to approve of the sequel? 😦 It’s one application with 6 or 10 steps (or pages) in a packet. I thought this was supposed to be a simple and easy process, not a 100 page submission form.

I’m so disappointed with their services. I’ve had to print out copies at the UPS store (not once, but twice). I spent $309.76 just to get the sequel printed out and shipped next day delivery. They better not have lost those manuscripts. How many copies do you need? You’ve got the electronic copy and now 2 copies of the final manuscript with 356 pages each, that’s 712 pages in all? What more do these people want from me?

I couldn’t even send them the paperback books, because it would’ve taken too long and I have a limited time to respond back to them. Grant it, they give you 30 days, but I didn’t want to worry about it for a whole month with this new job and then do training. I didn’t know if I’d be staying in the same freaking state. Due to the holidays, it would’ve taken two weeks for Createspace to print them out and then ship them out to my house, especially so close to the holidays. Yeah, it would’ve been cheaper, but what happens if they got lost in transit? It does happen…

Anyway, the Copyright Office and The Library of Congress are extremely slow with their responses. Please God, can someone notify me about the status of my application. This is ridiculous… almost a year or more I’ve had to wait, folks. 8 months is the fastest response time. WTF?!

solazycantmove

So I have the entire day all to myself to think or pout. That’s the only good thing so far. I guess…

I’ll be trying to do something…maybe some writing that I’ve been putting off like forever. How many weeks or months has it been now?

Sad

I can’t even remember.

I’m going to leave two teaser chapters for you. One of these chapters happens to be really dark (actually both of them are), but I have no idea where to place them. These might still have some grammatical errors, so please bear with me. They are copyrighted by the way, no matter what happens at the Copyright Office.

CHAPTER ?

Stephan pushed open the large doors of a crumbling Catholic church; dressed in all white, he took his time and strolled down the aisles. The church had been burnt down many years ago and fragments of that tragic day lingered among the leaning structures and ripped tapestry. Stephan’s suit seemed to almost glow in the dark.

He eyed the statue of the fallen Jesus with much interest, but his nose picked up the scent of something foul. He quietly looked around, exploring the old building. No one heard his footsteps––he didn’t make a sound. Stealth was his mission. Stephan’s white shoes stepped beside an altar and some candles on the ground. Someone was living here.

Stephan came across a homeless man, sleeping on the floor; he covered his nose, smelling the stench on his clothes. The elderly man rose from his bed and saw Stephan just standing there.

“Who are you? What you want?” asked the old man.

Stephan knelt down and tilted his head. His face was stone-cold, showing only a blank expression.

“I’m the Angel of Death,” he whispered in the man’s ear.

Evil smirk

CHAPTER 13… WHO KNOWS?

It was nighttime when I found myself standing off the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. Staring down at my feet, I could only see a patch of green before me. There was hardly any color in this grayish world of mine. The sensation of wet grass tickled my toes. I looked over and saw Lathyrus sitting on the sidewalk, all by himself.

He was drenched to the bone and shivering from the cold…as if he’d been out here in the rain. Time seemed to stand still for me as I watched beads of water ripple slowly from nearby tree branches. As I blinked and squinted my eyes, I realized it hadn’t stopped raining. Each drop of rain had frozen in the air, almost as if they were suspended—like time had slowed down. The droplets were still in their watery state, and yet I couldn’t feel them on my bare skin.

It’s as if I’m not even here… I thought.

I was invisible to Lathyrus and not effected by the surrounding sphere nor the sudden climate change. But nothing made any sense in this place. How could I feel the grass beneath my feet then? Why can I not reach out and touch anything?

I tried to approach Lathyrus, but I couldn’t move––I found it difficult to even lift one leg. The air outside was suffocating, choking me. Whatever Lathyrus was going through at this moment made it hard to find my actual bearings. The emotional turmoil going on inside his head weighed me down more so. As if my feet were chained to an anchor, keeping me at bay. I couldn’t talk to him either, no matter how loud I spoke.

His head was down and his dreadlocks covered his entire face. He was just a child, and I wondered how old he must’ve been in this timeline. He looked like he might’ve been ten.

Am I in a memory? Is this part of his childhood?

It wasn’t like I had a map. Where did I need go exactly? I wished there was a simpler process, a guideline to see which memory I was going into. Kind of felt as though I shouldn’t be here, prying inside his self-consciousness or his brain. Feeling confused as to which side I was really on, I noticed a few fireflies around the area. To me, it was a bit disturbing, since I hadn’t noticed them during the rainstorm.

Never had I seen fireflies in Florida. Not even in New Jersey. Where did they suddenly come from? Did they emerge from out of the grass? They didn’t look like bugs at all, just a glowing speck of light. They calmly floated in front of me; the dots of light seemed to swarm around Lathyrus constantly. But he didn’t seem to notice them or care.

One of them landed on my right shoulder; I glanced at it still fluttering its delicate wings. The immense weight on my shoulders lifted, and I was able to move once again. I fell to the ground on my knees and hands. The firefly that released me from my burden, flew away and went on ahead. My instincts told me that I had to follow it. And so, I did. The forest wasn’t too far behind me.

The firefly drifted toward a door in the center of the field; it had materialized from the mist, which slithered along my feet as it crept slowly into the swamp. At first, the door looked like any ordinary object. Nothing stood out about it, except I knew it didn’t belong here. There wasn’t anything special or particular about it. It was a dark, crimson color. It seemed to be oozing a black substance along the corner as if it had recently been painted on.

Is this blood?

I studied it and touched the dark matter. Scratches were all over it. Something evil and hideous may very well be lurking behind this plain looking door. What kind of animal made these claw marks? Examining the strange indentations, I quickly glanced back at the ten year-old Lathyrus, gazing downward at the road. A man with long hair and dressed in a black suit stepped forward––was that Rue? He was carrying a rainbow colored umbrella and talking to Lathyrus.

Then, Rue offered up his hand to Lathyrus. I still couldn’t go near them, for some reason or another, and before I knew it, more fireflies besieged me. They landed on my hair, my shoulders, and my skin. I cautiously peered over and took a peek from behind the door. Saw nothing out of the unusual.

I walked around it a couple of times while swatting at the tiny balls of light. Why wouldn’t they leave me alone? They seemed harmless enough. At least they didn’t bite me. How could this door remain in place? I tried to push it down, but it was stuck. It wouldn’t even budge.

What am I supposed to do? Just sit here and watch?

Did Lathyrus want me to enter through this doorway? Did he know I was right here, standing across from him? Why couldn’t he see me at the corner of his eye? One of the fireflies, burning the brightest, landed on the doorknob. It crawled all over and then squeezed itself through the keyhole.

Bending over, I saw light emanating from where it had just entered. The gap was so low to the ground that I knelt down to take a peek for myself, and yet I couldn’t see anything. It was so bright. I tried to turn the knob with my hand, but it was locked. I sighed, seeing nothing of interest. Low and behold, as soon as I rose to my feet I found myself not outside anymore. I was now in between a dimly lit hallway, viewing thousands upon thousands of doors. They were on the ceilings and even on the floors.

Surprised that I was somewhere unknown, I backed away from that one crimson door, and tried to find another way out. Eventually, the more I walked forward the scenery wouldn’t change. That crimson colored door followed me wherever I went. I discovered that there really was no way to escape. I was in an endless hall of never ending doors. What exactly were behind all of them? Were they portals to somewhere? To the unknown? To Lathyrus’ memories?

Maybe these were his secrets. Dreams? Nightmares? This was another side of Lathyrus I hadn’t seen before. In a dimension of sorts, I decided to stop wasting my precious energy wandering around. I walked to the crimson door, stopped, and took a deep breath. Bending over, I peeked inside the keyhole, curious as to what I might find on the other side.

Shocking

My Graphic Novel Is Done… Well Almost

Dance Until You Drop!

THE GRAPHIC NOVEL IS DONE!

Sweatdrop...

Well, most of it… The written part is done and edited.

Stress

I’ve stayed up for several nights at a time, constantly writing and editing it. I tried my best (my hardest) to revise and get everything right, until it was perfect.

Work!All this week I’ve been working on the graphic novel as if my life depended on it. It was tedious working on the formatting as well as the story itself. I used Final Draft and it helped me out a lot.

Hahahah!

It’s done, folks. I have ended it at a complete conclusion and if it’s possible (God willing), there’s enough to make a lot of sequels. But only if people want a sequel. If it ends there and there’s no more graphic novels from this point, that’s it.

If I were to kick the bucket after the book gets published, I can die somewhat happy, knowing that maybe someone out there might read it. Who knows? Maybe a director will like it enough to make a movie and not butcher it to pieces. A girl can dream, can’t she?

MUWHAHAHAHAA!

I reread it and I love it! It is controversial, it’s moving, unbelievably funny, original, and overall just something I’ve never written before. It’s witty, it’s new and fresh. I love all the characters. Everyone of them has a special place in my heart, except for the evil villains.

At 176-177 pages, I may add in some of the character profiles at the back, the ones Nicoy are doing for me right now and make it almost 200 pages or so. It depends on how I feel. The book itself may be around $25.99 to $29.99, but the kindle e-book will be half that price.  And that’s pretty much it.

Hero Time!

Now for the Walking Dead Show.

My Graphic Novel: How Many Pages Should It Be?

studyingSo, I’m still here studying and doing research on different types of graphic novels. One of the issues I face right now happens to be page lengths…

whoa!

Exactly, how long should I make my graphic novel? What would be considered too short or too long? What would be a reasonable price range for say a certain page length?

A Slap In The Face...I think I’ve had this discussion before a long time ago. But I’m going to go over it again, since I haven’t done a graphic novel in my life. I’ll report my progress every step of the way, so that others will know of all my mistakes, my failures, and my successes.

Well, first of all, as a reader myself I would never want to disrespect my readers and audience by having such a high price tag to begin with. I’ve seen many authors/writers do serial graphic novels, because they’re popular and can make them a lot of money.

I’ve always wanted to create a 200+ volume set of my own, but looking at my budget and seeing as I tend to ramble, I’ll never be insane enough nor be ready enough to afford it. Maybe if I get picked up by a traditional publisher, it could work out. Maybe… Not to mention, I never buy a series with that many volumes. Once a series goes over the Volume 10 range, that’s it for me. Unless, it’s a very compelling story, but most times these graphic novels tend to drag on and on forever. Which is a main reason, why I cannot watch certain Anime/TV shows that go on for 10 episodes or more.

I love shorter series, because let’s face it, I don’t have all the time in the world to watch filler. I prefer stories that are more self-contained. The shorter the better, is what I say. Now, don’t get me wrong there may be some really great stories out there, but I don’t see the point of dragging things out. Now, the reason shows keep on going for so many years is because of money. Everything revolves around how much money a show, movie, and book makes. Sorry, but that’s the real world for you. I wish it wasn’t so…

However, as an indie self-publisher, without a company to call my own, putting my books on Amazon has never been easy for me. Now, with a graphic novel on the way (five years down the way), I could never have a 1,000 page epic nor a 24 page short. Either way, the price will be a little higher than say, my regular paperback novels with just black-and-white text alone.

So what is the problem with publishing on Amazon? There’s this thing called royalties, and in order for me to get a decent sum, the price of this graphic novel has to be higher than a certain amount, depending on page length. Whenever it comes to calculating page length, I’m always a bit concerned. What is a reasonable price these days? That’s the question right there.

If I do publish this graphic novel, I’m thinking 50-60 pages long. In the beginning, I thought 90 to 100 pages would be a lot better. However, just look at the royalties. For a graphic novel that’s all in color, ink is very expensive.

Here’s a list of page lengths per price range: (Red is Bad & Blue is Good)

  • 50 pages at $9.99 = $1.64
  • 60 pages at $9.99 = .64 cents
  • 60 pages at $10.99 = 1.54
  • 70 pages at $10.99 = .84 cents
  • 80 pages at $10.99 = .14 cents
  • 90 pages at $12.99 = .64 cents
  • 90 pages at $13.99 = $1.24

No Money coming in...

So there lies my problem.

I want to keep the graphic novel affordable for everyone, I really do, and I’d like to have them not too high. But in order for me to do that…I have to accept much much lower royalties, which frankly isn’t a smart thing to do. I’m already poor enough. .84 cents may not seem too bad for some people, but then, if you think about the cost of making a graphic novel and hiring a professional to help you, it’s not that great at all.

Let’s say a comic book artist costs about an average of $5,000 to $15,000. You sell your book for $9.99 at 60 pages. Do the math people. You’ll have to sell 8,000 copies of your book to break even. 😐

.64 cents x 8,000 = $5,120

I'm dead

Does that sound like fun to you?

All the world's a stageI’d be lucky to sell even one copy. Hell, even 50 copies! Let’s say I sell 100 copies. .64 x 100 = $64 dollars. I don’t know what’s worse, working on a graphic novel or a regular book. It may take me 10 years to finish either one, but the higher price tag is the graphic novel, no matter if it’s black-and-white or in color.

That’s why I’m using my own money to make this a reality. No one said it was cheap. Not only am I taking a huge risk, I may never see that money again, in my lifetime. So, the next time you think that making a graphic novel is easy… please think about it some more.

It’s not as easy as it looks. Some people never even finish. But I’m determined to finish mine. I don’t know when I’ll publish it, but we’ll see how things work out. Maybe I’ll get lucky someday and find a good paying job, so I can be able to publish graphic novels and regular novels. Who knows? 🙂

Learning The Basics Of A Graphic Novel. So Much On Interior Design!

Work!

Well, no one said it would be easy…

I'm dead

I’ll be working another 9 days straight at my job. I already killed myself on the interior of the graphic novel all week. Man, is it complicated!

studying

I don’t think I’ve seen anything this complicated before. Learning about full color with bleed is good to know, but image resolution seems to be my biggest problem.

Enough!

I didn’t understand why I kept getting a low DPI resolution for the interior page, especially Page 4. It was killing me. Folks, I was at the end of my rope, so I set the DPI for like 900. At the highest resolution possible. I need to keep a record of this for future generations. 900 DPI!

Good Job!

And guess what? It finally worked!

A bit dizzy

I had revised page 4 like a million times, since Createspace was telling me the resolution was way too low for printing and might cause blurry images.

Stress

I spent all night and this morning, reading guides on Adobe Indesign, bleeds, how to enhance images, how to use photoshop CS2 to fix a title image.

Here lies a Good Man...

It all paid off in the end. At first, nothing seemed to work for me. All the other images in the first few pages are just fine. I can’t understand why page 4 was giving me so many problems, but it had something to do with the font style design. I don’t know if I’ll go back and make any other changes. Quite frankly, I’m a bit scared to mess it up now. 

ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING…

Sweatdrop...I have yet to decide exactly what I’m going to write about in this graphic novel. Still figuring out a script for the whole darn thing. At least I have down the basics. It’ll be 60 pages with both color and black/white images. Had a few ideas. At first I wanted multiple stories, but I’m thinking about doing one story for now… just to be on the safe side.

Eventually, if I do decide to continue I may have 2-3 multiple storylines eventually and merge them all into one. There will be a lot of going back and forth with the flashblacks as well.

The Plan: A Lot Of Stuff To Cover!

Yes...I'm an idiot.

So, I’ve cut the sequel and now it’s 299 pages. Terrific!

Work!I’ve decided to dedicate a few chapters to my brand, new characters. I’m excited, yet I’m also a bit concerned. Let’s hope this works out as planned.  Rearranging these chapters is not easy. But I’ve got a blue print for the structure that I want in this novel…if it works out accordingly… this may eventually be passed on to some of the other, later novels. For each new character, I’ve decided to give them a specific amount of pages. I don’t know how many as of yet. It just depends on how I feel and the material I’m working on. But since I like these characters I may be able to push myself really hard.

However, the central focus of the main character has not changed. Regardless if the main character is there or not, they seem to play a pivotal role throughout. Due to the fact that I’m limited to the number of pages, there are some characters who will not be making an appearance in this one. Disappointing to say the least, but don’t worry, folks. They will be back again, soon enough.

If I can get this sequel done quickly and edited in a reasonable amount of time, I may be able to start working on the trilogy, right afterwards.

More Chapters. It Just Keeps Getting Longer & Longer!

Shock!

I should be sleeping, not staying up and writing till the break of dawn. But I can’t help it!

A bit dizzy

There’s just so much I have to finish. I wrote ten pages this morning and that’s just the beginning. I have at least 17 missing spots for these scenes/chapters, not to mention, I have so many floating chapters that need to be shortened, extended, taken out, arranged, and re-arranged for the final setup draft, which is still a rough copy.

Eventually, I’ll have to put these additional chapters in the trilogy and continue where I left off. The page count is now 390. Luckily, I know what needs to be added. But not what needs to be taken out. I’ve written little notes to myself while I was reading the sequel. There are certain plot points that don’t make sense or fit in the context of particular situations.

There are too many flashbacks in this one. I noticed a pattern here…some jumping back and forth from one character to the next. I have other characters that need a lot of attention. So far, I can positively say… it’s looking good, since I know what needs to be added, in order for the story to make sense in a linear structure.

What’s not good is the length…and some other things, I won’t get into at the moment. ^^; So once again, I’ll have to decide how I’m going to do this. I probably need to keep it as simple as possible. I feel like I’m rushing some scenes and I really hate that. I’m going back and adding as much detail as possible, without going overboard with it. I’m trying so hard to show emotions, but I feel like I’m just repeating myself. How many times can I describe sadness or anger? I’ve highlighted phrases I love to say way too many times! Even I say them on my blog––it’s getting annoying for me to see and read them. I’ll be cutting back on my adjectives and making sure I don’t sound like a broken record. Easier said than done, right?

I hope I’m not becoming like Stephen King, describing everything, even blades of grass. 😦 I just need to focus on what’s important: location, setting, characters, and emotions. I do try to describe people’s apparel, but it’s gotten to the point when I describe a person once, I don’t feel like talking about their clothes again… unless it’s like a special dress for an event or important occasion or something. I’ll be avoiding the whole “what is she wearing?” trend. Is it stylish?

Just going to stick to sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. Whatever characters were introduced in the first novel… I will not be re-introducing them over and over, in really long paragraphs, about how they look and what they wear. I’m cutting right to the chase and hitting it off with dialogue, action, and story. I don’t really care if readers (who didn’t read the first book) don’t know what these characters look like exactly. I’d prefer it if people just use their imagination.