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darkwolf77
16-03-2007, 12:32 PM
Thought I'd post this here so I could keep anybody who's interested updated on the novel's progress. Not that I really know one way or another if anybody IS interested, but what the heck...I need to write something other than dialog and narrative occasionally...

Currently, I've finished Chapter Four and the novel is up to a little over 10,000 words, which is about one tenth of what it needs to be. Looks like I might need to go back later and be a bit more long-winded. That's one of the problems of writing a novel. I like to be concise and to the point, but it makes for a very short novel...so I end up having to become a windbag. And that's exactly where my first novel fell apart like a house of cards stuck together with wishes.

However, I'm pretty happy with the story so far. I don't think I'll be doing any extensive rewriting for the second draft / edit.

Chapters Three and Four really start to get into the main plot, so I'm afraid I can't post those here... :evil: ...Don't want to ruin the surprises for any potential future readers.

I'll just stick with the fact that I'm pretty happy with the progress so far and since I'm my own worst critic, that's saying something. Of course, I'm not sure exactly what it's saying, since it seems it was spoken in ancient Sumerian.

I'll keep posting further updates to this thread.

Stay Tuned! Or not, as the mood takes you.
:lol:

Boomshaka
16-03-2007, 12:56 PM
Hi DW77

Ha... I'm just the opposite, I find myself writing too much irrelevant garbage and then have to delete it all just to get back on topic !!! And then my wrists are hurting too much to write anymore of the proper story :x
Seems I just love to Spam myself !!! :lol:

darkwolf77
17-03-2007, 02:33 AM
Well, Chapter Four has had some touch-ups here and there and the first draft of Chapter Five is finished. Currently, I'm sitting at a little over 15,000 words.

Just to see if anyone's reading this, I thought I'd give a couple of small samples of what's going on. ^-^
Okay, so that's not completely true...I'm having the time of my life writing this and just want to spread the word. :lol:


The following is from Chapter Four:

Twenty minutes later, Jake was peering into a large cargo container full of little purple vials of the drug known as Zip. It had to be the largest amount of the drug to ever be in one place at one time.

Zip was the most dangerous drug known to exist in the galaxy. One sip was enough to addict the user for life. It was rumored that Zipheads, as the users were called, went around spending most of their time believing that they were divine ferrets sent to spread the holy word of Xenu.*

It was also the most expensive.

* According to a certain, real-world religion (which I wonít name here due to legal reasons and their tendency to sue the pants off of anyone who disagrees with their beliefs), Xenu was a galactic tyrant who existed some 75 billion years ago (Scientists believe that the universe is only 14 billion years old and that planet Earth is only 4.5 billion years old). The doctrine states that Xenu sent billions of aliens to earth in spaceships that looked like DC-8 aircraft (what, no Concordes??? So much for advanced alien technology!). These aliens were imprisoned around the bases of the volcanoes that existed on Earth at the time. The volcanoes were then bombed with hydrogen bombs and all of the aliens were killed. The ghosts of the aliens then clustered around the highest lifeform on earth (which just happened to be mankind), and are the cause of all of the illnesses, both physical and mental, and all kinds of havoc and chaos on Earth today. This is a real, religious belief. I #### you not.


This little tidbit is from Chapter Five:

MODís cries of success made Jakeís head pound. The droid was doing much better at fighting off the pirates than he was. MOD didnít have to cope with the after affects of a drink that was trying to drill through his skull and down to his spine.

ďDonít get cocky, kid!Ē he yelled back.

Now where on earth had he heard that before? For some reason, he had a brief mental image of a tall guy in a hairy suit with a constant case of a sore throat.

--------------------------
Hope you likey! :lol:

Syklon
17-03-2007, 04:41 AM
Wait a sec...Scientology...Chewbacca... :lol:

Proto
17-03-2007, 10:50 AM
Way do I think that this novel's turning slowly into a Star Wars fic. :cry: ?

Boomshaka
17-03-2007, 11:23 AM
ZIP-

Can cause side effects :!:
http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/3555/zipheaddf4.th.jpg (http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zipheaddf4.jpg)

Don't do it, Don't become a Ziphead :police:

darkwolf77
17-03-2007, 01:34 PM
Don't worry Proto, it's definitely not a Star Wars fic. George Lucas would turn over in his grave...erm....somewhere in the distant future, at least, if I released this as having anything to do with Star Wars.

The story has quite a bit of satire in it though, so I just had to poke a little fun at the Grandaddy of all sci-fi stories. :lol:

Besides...I haven't even mentioned the talking dog yet... 'O0'


<Edit>
Chapters Two and Three have now been updated to the second draft stage. A lot of new descriptions have been added, characters have been fleshed out, new plot story lines have been introduced, etc.

I'm currently going through Chapter Four and adding more material. The story so far is probably more than 20,000 words and growing.

All in all, the story that I want to tell is taking shape and I'm pretty happy with everything so far. There are still a few things that will need tinkering with and then the chapters that have been written so far should be ready for the final proofreading.

My first novel, which was stopped after the first draft due to needing a complete rewrite, took about 2 1/2 months to complete. This one seems to be moving along at a much quicker pace, so it may go to the proofreading stage in another couple of months. If I can keep up the current pace of writing, it may actually see an agent's desk by the end of summer.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, because it's really hard to type if I cross my own. :lol:

<Edit 2>
Chapter Five has been completely rewritten due to the main plot moving too quickly. I had a major plot point trying to pop up in Chapter Six when it needed to be saved until at least half way through the book.

Any way, Chapter Four and Five are now considered to be second drafts.

I've also started the first draft of Chapter Six. I'm calling it a night, so any further updates will have to wait at least until tomorrow.

Good night, folks.

darkwolf77
29-03-2007, 02:30 PM
Well, it's been awhile since I posted anything concerning the novel, so I thought an update would be nice.

Mundane life threw me a few curveballs recently, so I haven't made the progress that I'd like to make. Still, I have made some progress.

Chapters 6, 7, and 8 first drafts have been written and some more has been added to the first five chapters. Mostly, it's flavor and descriptive text, but some minor continuity errors have been ironed out as well.

Right now, the story is going well and I'd guess that I'm getting close to 40,000 words. At the current pace, I expect that the novel will have twenty or more chapters.

I've also been working on one or two visual aids to help me describe some of the ships, etc.

So far, I've got one image of the Black Star rendered, and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Here's the link for a side view of the Star:

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/Side-View.jpg

Before you ask, no I didn't model this. It's built from a ship component kit that I have for using with the Poser program. The final image was rendered in Vue 5 Infinite on medium quality settings.

I've never really mentioned it here, but I do 3D artwork as a hobby. I'm not very good at modelling my own content, but there are tons of content available for Poser and Vue that I've downloaded or purchased before I 'retired'.

I'm going to try to do some more images today of the Star and some other ships, so I can get an idea of what the ships look like in my universe. If I get them done, I'll post them here.

Let me know what you think!

al_main
29-03-2007, 11:18 PM
Fits surprisingly well to how I would have imagined it somehow!

Only thing I'd say is that I imagined the cockpit to have been smaller, perhaps just needs smaller windows, as by comparison you wouldnt be able to fit much cargo in the cargo bay of that ship.

Boomshaka
29-03-2007, 11:48 PM
Hi DW77

Glad to hear the novel is going ok, and hope RL isn't causing too much trouble !!

Perhaps I've been influenced by too many movies, but the model texture looks a bit too clean imho, :-\
I just imagine Jake to be a bit of a scruffy guy, and was imagining the Star to be a bit more 'dirty', in the same sort of style as The Millenium falcon or Firefly, as if Jake didn't care what she looks like, but more about what was underneath, a sort of 'rough diamond'.
Cool design though, ( might we see it in a future XTM version ?? ) :? :D

darkwolf77
30-03-2007, 01:34 AM
Thanks Boomshaka!

These images are clean because they're just for references while I write. The visuals help me to describe the ships a little better.

As promised earlier, here are two more ships that fly the space lanes of Jake and Ariels world.

First off, we have the GWB Mark V Light Patrol Fighter, which is used by the Earth Military forces. It's named after the 52nd US President, George W. Bush IV, who despite his heritage, turned out to be a pretty decent president after all...

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/GWBMarkV.jpg


Next we have the Highliner Corsair, which currently holds the record as the fastest ship in the galaxy...

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/HighlinerCorsair.jpg

Maybe some more later on...keep checking for future updates.

Legartius
30-03-2007, 01:39 AM
:D Loving the gatling gun :P
Pretty nice designs :) Im still learning (or trying to) the basics of modelling, and i can safely say that surpasses anything i've even attempted :P

Aragon Speed
30-03-2007, 06:27 AM
This will teach me to look up from X3 once in a while to see what the rest of humanity is up to. I've only just discovered this. :roll:

It's good to hear that you are getting on well with the novel. Sometimes a direct, but longer and more complex plot is more desirable rather than plot padding. :) If something needs a lot of description that's fine, but description for descriptions sake can sometimes be a story killer.

Take living ship for example. Can you tell me what the characters look like? Of course you can, but what they look like is mostly built up in your own head. If you go back and actually read the current chapters properly, you will find that there is hardly any description of what the characters look like. (Mainly because I am still getting the feel for the characters myself, and they will end up getting more in-depth descriptions in the second draft.) This has not stopped you getting a picture of what they look like in your head though. :)

Damn, this ended up sounding like a lecture rather than another point of view on the needing padding issue. :lol: :roll:

Good to see you still working and not getting discouraged though m8. O0

darkwolf77
30-03-2007, 06:53 AM
The novel now has a working title...

Black Star Rising

It's not set in stone, so it may change, but so far it's the only one I've come up with that I like and that actually fits the story.

I've been fleshing out the story quite a bit. My cast of characters is growing pretty much every time I sit down and start to type. I just keep finding new and interesting characters that I like.

Some of them only appear once or twice, some of them go from one shot extras to full-fledged characters.

For instance, the Star starts out with a crew of three, but by chapter nine, it has a crew of five and possible another crew member will be added soon.

The plot is, as they say, thickening. The main plot is shaping up nicely and a few sub-plots are making themselves known.

Hopefully by the time I get to the final draft, there will be a nice set of twists and turns in place.

At this point, I'm adding new chapters when real life permits and tweaking the rest when I get more written. Mostly, I'm adding in things that I realized I left out, or correcting continuity errors. That and typos...eeewww, I hate typos...the little buggers just seem to come out of the woodwork at times, even with spellcheck on, they sneak in. I think some of them must have trained as ninjas.

PS:
I do the same thing, Aragon. :lol:

Most of the description I mentioned is for actions, etc. For instance, Jake is still just an extremely average guy with brown hair and brown eyes, Ariel is still a beautiful redhead with green eyes and variable-sized endowments. I tend to build the character descriptions through the story as I go. You won't find many paragraphs describing people, it's much more fun to leave as much of that as possible up to the reader's imagination. Besides, readers tend to fill in the blanks much better than I can. :lol: They have such vivid imaginations.

I usually go back and cut out any unnecessary padding during the final draft, it's easier to spot it then, at least for me.

Aragon Speed
30-03-2007, 07:12 AM
My cast of characters is growing pretty much every time I sit down and start to type. I just keep finding new and interesting characters that I like.

Some of them only appear once or twice, some of them go from one shot extras to full-fledged characters.

Yeah it's funny how they do that, some just seem to have a life of their own. You put them in for one scene, you finish that scene and toss them on the 'done with' pile, next thing you know they are back, and no matter how much you try and get rid of them they just keep turning up. Tarron's father is one of those, that's why his dialogue is so rubbish at the moment. I don't want him there, but he just keeps coming back.>:( I gave in during chapter 4 so he seems more like a real character in that one, but he's going to need a re-write for chapters 2 + 3. :roll: :lol:


typos...eeewww, I hate typos...the little buggers just seem to come out of the woodwork at times, even with spellcheck on, they sneak in. I think some of them must have trained as ninjas.

They hide in the gunk beneath the keyboard keys. :evil:


You won't find many paragraphs describing people, it's much more fun to leave as much of that as possible up to the reader's imagination. Besides, readers tend to fill in the blanks much better than I can. :lol: They have such vivid imaginations.

It works for me, less typing! :lol:

Edit: PS I like the title. O0

darkwolf77
30-03-2007, 03:27 PM
A new image of the Black Star in a space scene that I let render while I finally got some sleep last night. I took Boomshaka's idea of adding a little dirt to the hull and also added some specular shine.

Since it got to render overnight, this one is at the highest resolution that Vue can handle.

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/Black-Star-Novel-Version-01.jpg

<Edited for Correction to credit for the idea - it was Boomshaka, and not Aragon Speed who recommended a dirtier hull>

Legartius
30-03-2007, 03:38 PM
Is the J & A universe seperate from the X3 one, but with several similarities? I was just wondering what race this would belong to (Teladi?) It might be nice to have a J & A mod too :)

darkwolf77
30-03-2007, 04:54 PM
Is the J & A universe seperate from the X3 one, but with several similarities? I was just wondering what race this would belong to (Teladi?) It might be nice to have a J & A mod too :)

The Jake and Ariel universe in the novel is completely seperate from the X3 universe. The short stories that were posted here first were set in the X3 universe, however.

The ships I've shown so far are all of Earth origin. The is mostly because I don't have a kit of parts to make any truly alien designs. That's something I'll have to work on, possibly.

There are four races in the J&A Universe so far. They are:

Humans - yep, that's us...all the earth homies

The Covrin - A race of intelligent amphibians with four eyes who evolved on the swamp-covered planet of Covrin Prime. They look a lot like toads that walk on two legs. The Covrin and humans don't really get along very well, mostly because the Covrin are extremely flatulent and have no words in their language that are equivalent to "Excuse me."

The Jahaddine - This is a race with hard skin that has a texture like rough stone. They live on an arid planet with less than 50% water coverage. The Jahaddine worship a god called Kannt. These guys preach wherever they go...their alcohol is specially formulated to not cause slurring of words, since it's a right bother to try and preach after a bender the night before otherwise.

The Talrene - These are the most human-like of any of the other races. The Talrene come from a planet similar to earth and have bright blue skin and either white or blonde hair. The are seen by the other races, particularly humans, as exotic and elegant. However, don't let their looks fool you. Every Talrene is born with a split personality. Normally, their primary personality is sophisticated and cultured. The other one is stark-raving, barking mad.


Of course, these are just short descriptions of the races. There's much more to them and they develop more throughout the book. I think my favorite race so far is the Talrene. I've had a lot of fun writing dual personalities! :lol:

Rumors abound that there may be other races not yet encountered, but so far, no proof has been found. Of course, there is one faction on Earth that believes that this is because of a secret government coverup, but since when is this new idea?

Legartius
30-03-2007, 05:37 PM
I think my favorite race so far is the Talrene. I've had a lot of fun writing dual personalities! :lol:
I can imagine :P
Will their ships reflect on their home planet / personality:
Covrin: Smooth, aquatic, vague similarities to Boron, and gas powered drives? (Sry, bad joke :P )
Jahaddine: Cracked red surfaces on fairly rounded ships?
Talrene: Spiky yet sleek, pale blue?
If you want, I can have a go at some concepts :)

darkwolf77
30-03-2007, 06:28 PM
Thanks for the offer of the concepts!

Honestly, I still haven't really gotten to a point where I have any idea what the other races ships look like. I should be starting to get some idea about them pretty soon.

As far as how each race's ships will look, I'm tossing some ideas up in the air and firing my shotgun at them...any that don't get shot down go into the possible's pile.

Once I get an idea of how they'll look, I might break out my sketchpad and try some concepts. Until then, I'm just kicking ideas around in my head.

:lol:

Legartius
30-03-2007, 07:19 PM
Think that was your hundreth post :P ^
It's not really a problem, i'm usually having a vague scribble, and it might be nice to have something to work towards for a change :P

Aragon Speed
31-03-2007, 01:12 PM
I took Aragon's idea of adding a little dirt to the hull

That was Boomshaka's idea, not mine. ;)

Don't want to take the credit/blame for something that wasn't me. :paranoid: :D

JayKat
31-03-2007, 01:17 PM
Chicken :P

Kat :)

Boomshaka
31-03-2007, 02:29 PM
I took Aragon's idea of adding a little dirt to the hull

That was Boomshaka's idea, not mine. ;)
Don't want to take the credit/blame for something that wasn't me. :paranoid: :D

I've been in touch with my army of Lawyers who will be in contact shortly. :lol: :police:

I'll have you know I'm reknowned for my ability to make things mucky !! :mrgreen:

Star_Raider15
31-03-2007, 08:01 PM
I took Aragon's idea of adding a little dirt to the hull

That was Boomshaka's idea, not mine. ;)
Don't want to take the credit/blame for something that wasn't me. :paranoid: :D

I've been in touch with my army of Lawyers who will be in contact shortly. :lol: :police:

I'll have you know I'm reknowned for my ability to make things mucky !! :mrgreen:
a chalange boomshaka :evil: ?

darkwolf77
01-04-2007, 03:12 AM
I took Aragon's idea of adding a little dirt to the hull

That was Boomshaka's idea, not mine. ;)
Don't want to take the credit/blame for something that wasn't me. :paranoid: :D

I've been in touch with my army of Lawyers who will be in contact shortly. :lol: :police:

I'll have you know I'm reknowned for my ability to make things mucky !! :mrgreen:


WHOOPS!
My bad!
Sorry Boomshaka...I got confused in all the posting!
I'll edit the original post.

Star_Raider15
01-04-2007, 08:51 AM
dw77, when will u post the novels man, we are eagerly waiting for them u know :cry:

Aragon Speed
01-04-2007, 08:52 AM
dw77, when will u post the novels man, we are eagerly waiting for them u know :cry:

He won't. Buy the book man... (When it's done)

Boomshaka
01-04-2007, 09:27 AM
Told you I could make things mucky,
Just look at the state of poor Dw77's update thread :P

Aragon Speed
01-04-2007, 09:28 AM
Told you I could make things mucky,
Just look at the state of poor Dw77's update thread :P

:o :lol:

Star_Raider15
01-04-2007, 10:07 AM
reminds me of topic derailments done by me and stevio :evil: :evil:

darkwolf77
02-04-2007, 04:39 AM
Okay, time for another Super-Duper Novel Update!

Currently, Chapters 1 thru 7 are in the second draft stage and are almost ready to be sent around to some agents. Of course, I have to finish the entire novel before doing that, but the only thing that remains for these chapters is some typo cleanup and basic grammar editing. Quite a lot of that has already been done too.

The word count is currently just over 45,000 words, which means that the novel is about half finished. I was expecting to write about twenty chapters, but then Chapter 7 came along and changed everything. Chapter 7 is the beginning of some nice action (at least I think it's nice) and it hit about 11,000 words. It took me 3 1/2 days...so I'm speeding right along again.

Chapter 8 will pick up right where 7 left off, and the action will continue, so I'm not sure yet just how long it will take.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on who you listen to, I'm not one of those writers that can write the entire first draft and then go back and do a nearly total rewrite for the second draft. Too many details just get left out in the first draft in my opinion. I'd rather spend three or four days getting a chapter just right than two months writing a first draft and three more months writing a second draft. :lol:

When I write a first draft, it might as well be a really long outline. That's where I get most of the major ideas down on paper, or in my case, down on hard drive using Word.

The first four chapters or so of the first draft roughly covered a large portion of the seven chapters that now exist. There were a lot of details, descriptions, action sequences, dialogs, etc, etc, etc that were left out during the first drafts.

The novel in it's current state is, in my opinion, much funnier, much more in-depth, and has about 3 times the characters. There are about 14 main characters at the moment and God only knows how many minor characters and one-shot bit parts. :evil:

Just keeping up with who's doing what, when they're doing it, and how they get along with it is a major job. :lol:

So, there you have it...the novel is about half-finished, so expect another month or two before I do the final edit and prepare it to go to the agents. Hopefully one of them will like it enough to start circulating it to some publishers...

BTW, if anyone JUST HAPPENS to have a family member in the literary agenting or publishing business....PLEASE tell them about me... :mrgreen:


PS: Star_Raider15, I think you mean the short stories. Right now, the shorts are on hiatus, although I've thought about writing some J&A shorts set in the novel's universe, based on the ones I pubished here. If I do that, then they'll be sent to magazines and such, hopefully to get a few published so that I can add the credits to my submission letters as published works.

As far as posting the entire novel, I think the Mods would hunt me down and use my guts for suspenders if I tried that. The thing is 193 pages long at the moment, and growing. Besides, writers have to eat too! :P :lol:

Proto
02-04-2007, 11:15 AM
Elven Bread right? :lol:

darkwolf77
02-04-2007, 12:23 PM
Elven Bread right? :lol:

LOL....more like the magical 'Cup-o-Noodles', but that's supposedly made by elves too....you know the Orient-Elves :lol:

Aragon Speed
02-04-2007, 02:27 PM
Orient-Elves

??

Orient the elves?

What you mean their lost?

darkwolf77
02-04-2007, 02:52 PM
??

Orient the elves?

What you mean their lost?

Yep! They were using the old auto-pilot systems....stupid engineers!


hehe, it was really just a bad pun...Orient-elves (orientals)...I know...major groan from the audience... :evil:

Legartius
02-04-2007, 07:35 PM
Your audience has got up and left :P Does this fit in with Sweet and Sauron sauce? :P

al_main
03-04-2007, 12:25 AM
:roll:

I might just stop reading this thread before these get any worse!

Legartius
03-04-2007, 08:35 PM
I don't know where that came from :P I'll make sure to sever my hands should it happen again :lol:

darkwolf77
04-04-2007, 01:06 PM
You know, if I were writing a fantasy satire, something like Terry Pratchett, I'd just HAVE to use those...

:evil:

darkwolf77
07-04-2007, 02:29 PM
Well, I'd just like to take a moment to wish everyone a

HAPPY EASTER!


And now....On with the update:

Real life has been back at it again, so I haven't made a lot of progress on the novel since the last update. I was also still working out exactly how I wanted the story to end.

I did get quite a lot of editing done when I did have a little time to work, and I have to say, the first 7 chapters are as good as they'll ever get, which in my opinion, they're the best writing I've ever done.

I also managed to figure out how the story will end, so the main plot is wrapped up. I think it's pretty good, and I hope you all will too, when the novel comes out.


Now, it's time for a few goodies for Easter:

Since I've only had an hour here or an hour there, I've also been working on some more graphics. (I can let them render overnight while I sleep...when I sleep, I should say)

This is a pic of the Covrin Tigerfish

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/covrin-tigerfish.jpg


And THIS one is my favorite. I'm betting that quite a few of you have wondered what Ariel looks like...well, here's how I see her...

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/ariel.jpg

(Sorry about certain anatomical bits that seem to poke out a little - They weren't doing that in Poser when I put her together, but when I moved everything over to Vue Infinite to do the final render, they kept (ahem, cough, cough, ahem - seem to have something in my throat) they kept popping up.

Until next time....

Star_Raider15
07-04-2007, 05:30 PM
nice job on ariel, too bad i dont like redheads...
god i so want to see ur novel, plz send some of ur copies to some of ur most loyal readers in romania :lol:

Mokonzi
07-04-2007, 05:38 PM
Sounds good dw77! Nice renders by the way! Interesting though...

How did you get her face to look so life life? Very impressed with your skill both fictionally and graphically.

Stevio
07-04-2007, 06:29 PM
:o
ahem...

yes well, very life like especially around her.. :paranoid: err.. face O0

The ship is cool aswell
i wish i had time to read through your story some more

Goods stuff keep it coming!

Legartius
07-04-2007, 10:22 PM
She turned the thermostat down ? :D :lol:

Boomshaka
07-04-2007, 11:12 PM
Always had a thing for redheads myself :smitten:
Never mind the novel DW77, I want to see the film !! :D

Vue Infinite living up to it's name perhaps ? :wink:

Glad to hear the novel's coming along, best of luck mate. :)

darkwolf77
08-04-2007, 03:46 AM
How did you get her face to look so life life?

Almost all of my images use only three pieces of software: Photoshop 8, Poser 6, and Vue 5 Infinite Pro (I used to be in a high-end tech support/systems analyst position, so I have connections :lol: )

For me 3D models are sort of like guns, I couldn't build one myself, but I'm dead on when it comes to using them. :mrgreen:

All of the pics I've posted here were assembled in Poser and then rendered in Vue.

The secret to getting such life-like renders is mostly practice. Good textures are also important. But, the single most important thing, and this takes the most practice, is lighting. I get alot of my textures and models off of freebie sites and they don't usually need any editing, but I do a lot of texture editing when I need it. Other times, I use procedural textures created inside Vue 5.

Vue 5 Infinite is an awesome landscape / rendering engine and has some really powerful features when it comes to lighting (and just about everything else)

Still, the real secret is in practicing and reading every tutorial you can get your hands on.


BTW, if anyone's interested, I have a gallery of some images I did back in 2005-2006. You can see how much my work has changed over time.
The link is:

http://www.renderosity.com/mod/gallery/browse.php?username=jpolson77
PS - there's one image that says "Content Advisory" that has a naked bum in it, but nothing else.

Legartius
08-04-2007, 10:02 PM
Any chance of a chainmail bikini? :P

Stevio
08-04-2007, 10:11 PM
Peachy! 8)

darkwolf77
09-04-2007, 12:15 AM
Any chance of a chainmail bikini? :P


LOL! :lol:

I'll see what I can do. :lol: :wink:

darkwolf77
09-04-2007, 03:18 PM
May be a couple of days before I get to post any new updates.

My brother just got a new laptop, so I got his previous one, which is a nice upgrade from my older one, but I'm busy transferring all of the data.

Still....I got a new laptop, so it's worth it. :lol:

Legartius
10-04-2007, 10:55 AM
:lol: Why not just swap the hard-drives? Or are they incompatible? :)

Stevio
10-04-2007, 06:41 PM
Or perhaps because one is better :roll:

darkwolf77
10-04-2007, 09:17 PM
Hey folks!

The new laptop is up and smoking...well, not smoking, but...oh, you know what I mean. I was going to do some writing yesterday, but life decided to throw an anvil at my head. Don't worry, I ducked in time, but it kind of killed the writing mood for the day. :?

Sooo.....

I went off and worked on one of my hobbies, which just happens to include computer rendering. I have 3 new images, although you're going to have to wait a few more days for one...last time I checked my long-term rendering computer, it was saying it still had something like 4 days.

I also discovered that Poser and Vue weren't getting along so well, so I checked both out, uninstalled, installed, tested some more....only to realize that the problem I was having was caused by one tiny setting that would have taken a second to fix....DOH :!:

The result of all of this was:
One, I realised that the original render of Ariel was NOT what it was supposed to be. All of the facial and body work was completely ignored in Vue. The only reason I didn't catch it sooner was because I had left it to render overnight and got up the next morning...there was my render: cute redhead, spacesuit, ok, good to go.

It also meant that I could finish the image I had started earlier, which was requested by Legartius. Yes, I actually did one of Ariel in her chainmail bikini. :evil:

So, here are you two new images:
(Both are how I originally intended Ariel to look)

Ariel - Revised

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/ariel-1024x768.jpg


Ariel in Armor


http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/ariel-armor1024x768.jpg



Now, I think I'll go try to write some today....

Stevio
10-04-2007, 09:25 PM
ah what happened to her Nip.. er.. i mean.. never mind :oops:
:lol:

looks good, nice Chain mail O0

EDIT:
dude you made her human femaley bits HUGE!!! :o

darkwolf77
10-04-2007, 10:17 PM
EDIT:
dude you made her human femaley bits HUGE!!! :o

Nope, not me...it was that magical chainmail armor what done it.

Hehe, actually, the body is a standard set of morphs that I had....they just didn't show up in the original render...was a right pain to figure out why everything kept coming out wrong.


EDIT:

Forgot to mention earlier, but there's a place in the book that mentions Jake's discomfort due to Ariel becoming more interested in personal appearances...she's started experimenting with body morphology. :lol:
OH...and giving him a hard time when he forgets to zip his fly.

Legartius
10-04-2007, 11:17 PM
:lol: Ill have to make casual remarks more often if it gets me this :P

Proto
11-04-2007, 09:36 AM
I guess the X-verse fanfic looks dimmer by the mizura :cry:

darkwolf77
12-04-2007, 02:44 AM
I guess the X-verse fanfic looks dimmer by the mizura :cry:

I'll eventually get back to the X-verse fanfics, but right now, the novel is keeping me busy, at least when I'm not rendering.

To be honest, the past couple of days, I have taken a break from writing because I can't pick up the flow of the story when real life is trying to kick in my teeth (don't worry, I'm fine, just a lot of stress at the moment - which makes writing difficult).

I'll be working more on the novel hopefully later tonight.

PS- I still have one more pic rendering on my spare machine, but it's still 2 or 3 days before it's finished because of the high poly count and the huge textures.

Legartius
12-04-2007, 11:58 AM
I'd send you some cookies to help you out, but i dont know where you are :P :D

darkwolf77
14-04-2007, 01:00 AM
Well, here's another short update...

I'm finally back to work on the novel and just finished chapter 8. I'll be starting chapter 9 shortly.

The main reason for this update, however, is for another graphics freebie!

Remember the other day when I said I had another image rendering on a spare machine? Well, it finished today (over 100+ hours total rendering time - OUCH!). It would have finished sooner, but had to stop it midway through the first one to make some changes when I found some new parts to use! Then it was a total restart - this version only took 68 hours to finish.

Ever wonder what Jake sees while flying along? Well, here it is...

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/Black-Star-Cockpit-View.jpg

The planet and station in the background are in the book, though I won't say where. :D

I might do a few more renders later, so keep watching!

Proto
14-04-2007, 01:14 AM
Strange I always figured that the monitor was on top of the cocpit not down :)

Mokonzi
14-04-2007, 06:57 AM
Nice work dw77! It's good to have these images, it helps picture the characters in the story better.

darkwolf77
14-04-2007, 05:39 PM
Well, last night, I had a loooonnnnngggg night, so I decided that it was about time the whole crew of the Black Star got together for a group portrait.

Oh, they fussed a bit about having to comb their hair and such, but eventually, I got them all together in the cargo hold and got a nice pic using my Crumolta 768 Surenot DigiCam.

So, here they are - the crew of the Black Star:

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q199/Darkwolf1971/bs-crew-groupshot-1024x768.jpg

From left to right, they are:

Erika - not telling who or what she is, but she serves a similar role as Alex did in the short stories.

Jake - who else?

Ariel - you guys should know her on sight by now.

Kipper - the dog...probably best not to ask

and

MOD - everyone's favorite droid


The only character I'm not satisfied with is MOD, but nobody had any decent droid models to work with....he'll just have to do for now...

Now, I have to go recharge the batteries in my digicam...stupid things keep running out after one pic...

Mokonzi
14-04-2007, 06:00 PM
Look's a nice crew shot dw77, though you'd think they'd pose a bit better for such an important picture!

darkwolf77
14-04-2007, 08:40 PM
Look's a nice crew shot dw77, though you'd think they'd pose a bit better for such an important picture!

Hehe, they hate it when I get out my camera...well, everybody but Ariel, anyways.

JayKat
14-04-2007, 08:45 PM
Nice pic DW77...I agree with you about MOD though :)

Kat :)

Star_Raider15
17-04-2007, 05:56 PM
i imagined mod looking like C3PO in SW, a bit clumsy but rather cute in his behaviour
i also had a nice about Jake, he looked exactly as i thought he would, now thats a proof of your writing skills dw77 :lol:
i wish you luck at ur writing mate :wink: or better said, free time :lol:

darkwolf77
18-04-2007, 05:38 AM
i imagined mod looking like C3PO in SW, a bit clumsy but rather cute in his behaviour
i also had a nice about Jake, he looked exactly as i thought he would, now thats a proof of your writing skills dw77 :lol:
i wish you luck at ur writing mate :wink: or better said, free time :lol:

:lol: Actually, my idea of MOD is very similar, more like C3PO's smart-aleck cousin. Thanks about the compliment on Jake. I had fun getting him in that pose. My wife loved it too.

The novel is finally progressing again. Chapter Eight is finished and Chapter Nine is in progress as I speak...er, type. I've made one or two minor tweaks here and there, mainly to add a forgotten detail that I added in later chapters, but the first Seven Chapters are definitely finished, except for the final clean-up.

So far, I've managed to poke a little fun at the Matrix, Star Wars, and a few tiny references to Blade Runner, although those aren't as obvious as the first two. Oh, and there's a very obscure reference to the Back to the Future movies that I'm not sure many people will even catch. Still, I just couldn't help it.

I also gave one of the secondary characters the last name of Marvin, in tribute to good old Douglass Adams.

The novel style is something between a semi-serious space tale and a Pratchett novel. You can see the Pratchett influences, but the story definitely stands on its own and in my own style. For one thing, I think Pratchett made the best decision ever in choosing Fantasy as his primary target. There's just so much to poke fun at. if you've read some of his later City Watch Discworld novels, you'll know what I mean. The imp-powered traffic cameras and the instant messaging clacks are two of my favorites. The problem with sci-fi is that it's hard to poke fun at without going into Adam's territory, which I'm trying to avoid. I just can't write like Adams and wouldn't want to if I could.

I'm having a blast getting the characters wound up in one situation after another, although I may go back and add in a tiny bit more humor in the clean-up stages. They story is getting to the point where it sort of wants to be a little bit more serious than I originally intended. The character list keeps growing too. I've introduced or plan to introduce at least three or four more characters.

Right now is probably one of the most serious points in the story and soon the humor will pick back up again as I reintroduce a character mentioned right at the beginning of the story. I'm REALLY looking forward to writing that bit. :lol:

Talk later, must go write!

Legartius
18-04-2007, 12:49 PM
From what i have read, it seems a welcome balance of humour and seriousness: with this seriousness, it might have collapsed into more of a comedy style rather than the wonderful piece of literature that it is. Very good work, and i'm looking forward to the full version! :)

darkwolf77
18-04-2007, 04:52 PM
Well, it's been a REALLY long night. My sleep rhythm has lost its rhythm...bloody thing can't even tapdance anymore.

The bright side is that I caught up on my writing in a major way. Chapters Nine and Ten are now finished. The current word count is just a little shy of 54000 and there are 215 pages. That's measured at a rough approximate of what would actually be in a printed novel (250 words per page average).

I'm over halfway there.

Chapter Nine was fairly easy to write and Chapter Ten was just bloody good fun! I got to reintroduce one of my more humorous characters and to explain some things that might come as a shock to a lot of people who aren't in the know! ;)

Well, I think I'm going to go guzzle a few energy drinks now...I want to sleep tonight instead of today, which is what happened yesterday. I hope that made chonological sense, since I'm not sure if I'm still in the same timeline/universe that I went to sleep in yesterday. (We need a smiley for wired on caffiene - until then I'll just use this one) :jump:

Quantum is a bugger. ;)

darkwolf77
02-05-2007, 03:15 PM
Well, I haven't updated in awhile, so I thought I needed to come by to let everyone know that I'm still breathing. :lol:

The novel is still in progress, although at the moment progress is sort of inappropriate. I'm still working on it, but haven't gotten past chapter ten. Due to some new Real Life things going on, I had to take a break for a little over a week.

Although this might sound bad, I think it's going to be good for the novel in the long run. During that break, I had lots of time to read some other author's works which gave me some new inspirations for things happening in my own story.

It also gave me some time to re-think the novel's direction, and how I wanted to tell the story. During the process, I realized that I had really left out a lot of good things that I really really wanted the story to contain, and I used the downtime to start organizing how I want to add those elements.

Bluntly, the story as it stands at the moment has been losing it's humorous edge. Luckily, I've worked out where things started to turn in the wrong direction and I'm pretty sure that I know how to fix it without tossing the lot and starting over.

There will definitely be some minor and maybe one or two major plot changes. Some of the technology has changed (which is a good thing, since I was getting too far into the serious side with the technology anyways - I'm especially proud of the Spune Hyperspace Drive and the discovery of the o**** particle). The Jake and Ariel Universe is coming together and starting to fit into the mold I originally wanted to pour it into.

Several characters will get more time in the spotlight, especially MOD, who unfortunately was starting to get a little left out of things. The storyline was turning in such a manner that Ariel wasn't even having enough time to torment the poor little droid. I really can't be having with that :evil: .

Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm going back to my roots and making the novel a lot more like the short stories. It's been slowly drifting away from those roots for awhile now.

All in all, the novel is going well, but I think my original timeline for completion was a little off. I've said this before, and I'll say it again...sometimes you sit down to write one thing and end up with something completely different, which is exactly what I want to avoid with this story.

At the moment, I'm going back through what I've written another (groan) time. This time, it's chop, drop, and re-interpret. Some things will stay the same, some things will get thrown out the window, and some things will be given a whole new look.

Don't get me wrong. I still think that what I've written so far is one of the best pieces of writing I've ever done, but it was losing the spirit of the short stories which was defeating the whole point.

Jake, Ariel, and MOD's universe is supposed to be sort of a cross between Star Wars, Terry Pratchett, and with a little Douglas Adams thrown in for good measure. (Well, that's how I describe the short stories anyway).

Up until now, I've been rushing the entire story, just wanting to get it all down on paper. The upside was a soaring word count and a good story. The downside was losing my original vision for the story.

So, I'm slowing down, taking my time, and making the story what I originally intended it to be. I think that everyone will like it much better this way. I know I will.

Jake is going back to being the loveable clutz of an engineering genius, Ariel is going back to being a computer with a wicked sense of humor and the emotional angst of a lovestruck teenager, and MOD...well, MOD is just MOD, isn't he? :lol:

Now that I've given the long version, here's the short version:

The story is getting better by the day, and I'm loving it!

Star_Raider15
02-05-2007, 03:48 PM
yay dw77 is back :jump:
welcome back m8, its good to see that you have returned to the world of writters :lol:
out of curiosity, when will we be delighted with your marvelous work here on the forum, or will we have to purchase ur masterpiece?
anyhow, good luck, write at ur own speed, thats the best speed

Mokonzi
02-05-2007, 05:37 PM
Sounds good dw77, can't wait to read the full version, no pressure but hurry up! >:D

JayKat
02-05-2007, 06:01 PM
I want to know about the "o**** particle"...as Moko said "hurry up" :evil:

Nice to see you back again :D

Kat :)

Aragon Speed
02-05-2007, 08:30 PM
Hi m8. Sounds like things are going well (even with the usual setbacks :D ). Nice to hear you can rescue the plot drift. :) Nothing worse than having to dump a huge chunk that you have spent ages on just 'cos it's not working. :roll: :)

darkwolf77
03-05-2007, 04:06 PM
I want to know about the "o**** particle"...as Moko said "hurry up" :evil:

Nice to see you back again :D

Kat :)

Unfortunately, publishers don't like to publish books where more than a few excerpts have been published previously, even online - BUT - I can give you a small tidbit of an excerpt about the o**** particle, which is used in starship shielding:

"The o**** is a subatomic particle discovered in the early 22nd century. It is the most unstable and over-reactive particle known to exist. When properly organized and controlled, the particles form a sort of two-way mirror made up of pure energy. From the inside, anything can freely pass through, but anything trying to pass through the outside is deflected. This is not, however, without its limitations. An o**** field can only handle so much stress before it suffers a breakdown and needs some downtime to recharge and reorganize."

** note that this wording may change slightly in the future...just for humorous purposes

JayKat
03-05-2007, 04:27 PM
Thanks DW77 :)

Kat

darkwolf77
05-05-2007, 05:45 AM
Okay, the book is still underway, though progress has been slow. I've been doing some other things on and off, one of which is working on my art, which I do when I'm having a bit of writer's block...which I am.

Soooo.....I thought' I'd do a little bit of self-promotion on my art :lol:

I've opened a CafePress shop to sell a few pieces of art...one of them just happens to be related to the book. It's a mini-poster of a close up of Ariel's face...very artistic and nice...probably going to end up with one on my own wall as soon as I can.

You can find it at http://www.cafepress.com/darkwolf77


I'll keep everyone updated on the book, hopefully with some nice big updates in the near future.

Thanks!