Chapter 3, The Derd

And the proofread and line edit on chapter 3 of Zhyx is finished.

This chapter is where I feel the story really finds its stride, and it seems an appropriate place to leave things off for this sneak preview. Been working on this all day and am defiantly happy with how it turned out. This will be the last full chapter I post for the book on this site, but fear not. Once this book gets released via traditional or self publishing, you will find out how the story goes. Artwork and other updates will continue to be posted here regularly in the meantime.

Hope you all are just as happy with chapter 3 as I am. Enjoy the continuing adventures of the Great Red Wyrm.

Chapter 3, The Derd.

Be sure to check out Chapter 1, The Great Red Wyrm and Chapter 2, The First Dragon as well. 

Thanks for reading and I will see all of you around.

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Blondie Artwork Update, Chapter 3, and More Exciting News

Hello everyone. Sorry for the delays on Chapter 3. These past few days have been full schedules, and I just got done with a round of applications to Warner Brothers. Not even kidding. Thirteen jobs ranging from executive assistant to barista on the lot, many of which required me to type up entirely new cover letters. But hey. It is Warner Brothers. Shoot for the stars.

But rest assured, Zhyx is moving along as always in spite of working on career advancement and other writing projects putting it on the side every now and then. Joseph Buehrer just sent this rendition of Professor Graga ‘Blondie’ Kelpla in, the intellectual orc who serves as both the party’s brain and muscle. She will be subject to some small revisions, but Joe and I are working on a meeting this coming Thursday, so hopefully we will finish her then.

Blondie Concept Art

Some bigger news as well. This story is working towards a predetermined conclusion. I am not sure how long it will take to get there, or how many other foes the hero will have to conquer, but I do now that ending. It has already been written.

For me, it is never the ending that is the hardest part, nor the beginning. The middle is where I struggle. The middle of the saga is coming, and it is quite intimidating. I could get through book one. Hopefully the next books will go just as smoothly.

Though I am struggling a bit for ideas, I do know how the second story goes at least. A rough outline has already been completed, and we already have a title. A few days ago, I talked with David Spada over at Monster Legacy about the story, and he sent over these wonderful early concept pieces based on the next monsters that the Great Red Wyrm will have to face.

Rock Titan Concepts 1

Dragon Eater Conceptes 3

Dragon Eater Concepts 2

Hope you all enjoy these and are getting as excited as all of us are. That ugly hombre right above is something you will be seeing a lot more of in the not too distant future.

I will be working on Chapter 3 the next few days, and it will be up by the end of the week at the latest. Thanks for stopping by and see you all around.

Zhyx

This article tells of the painstaking process by which David Spada and I designed our protagonist. From my initial stubbornness with the original design, to my eventual acceptance of David’s new take, and how we both worked together to create something completely knew, for which we are both very proud.

Zhyx

Chapter 2, The First Dragon

And Chapter 2 is now up. The manuscript grew shorter again, but it defiantly is helping to streamline the entire thing. In this chapter, Zhyx goes to confront the matriarch of all dragons after the opening intrusion in his layer. This latest version was shortened by around two thousand words, knocking roughly four pages off this chapter to bring it down to fifteen pages in 1.5 spacing. This chapter serves primarily as character development and exposition, but hopefully it gives the feeling these two dragons have a history.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Chapter 2, The First Dragon.

Introduction

With the line editing on the first chapter of draft 3 of our fantasy adventure epic finished today, it seemed an appropriate time to sound the trumpet. Check out the introduction to our page here to find out more this project, and the wonderful people who helped me make it happen. The adventures of the Great Red Wyrm begin now.

Chapter 1 Proofread and Line Edit Completed.

Never-Heroes-Zhyx-Illustration

Well, I know this has been a long time coming, but the line editing for draft 3 of the book has finally begun. Just now, I finished going through chapter 1, and streamlined it by around three thousand words.

I am very happy with how this is looking so far, as are most everyone involved.I do not imagine much more editing will take place after this run through is finished, but to have the completed manuscript in front of me, just begging to be polished, I imagine this phase of the writing process will be deliciously fun.

Meanwhile, Joe has been working on that picture of the orc professor, Graga ‘Blondie’ Kelpla. Here is how she is looking right now.

11770674_10153060397021547_1510156537_o

Over the next few days, I will be finishing up the line edits on chapters 2 and 3, and will put those up for your viewing pleasure as well. As for the rest, well that will have to wait until it gets published, but hopefully this little taste will be enough to get you all excited.

So get ready everyone. The adventures of the Zhyx, Great Red Wyrm, start here.

Wordpress 7

https://zhyxthenovel.wordpress.com/3rd-draft-first-three-chapters/chapter-1/

Explanation for Being Scarce and Introduction Updates

I do apologize for being so infrequent this last month. I have been quite busy. Just moved into a new studio apartment so these last few weeks have mainly consisted of searching for a place, buying the place, and moving into said place. As a result, one of my scripts has fallen behind, but the first act is still done, so there is at least the groundwork to build the rest of the story on.

Now that my move is done, I will be able to take up more work.

Today, the introductions for myself and my proofreader Cullen McCurdy are now up for anyone wanting to take a look.

Will be working on some bios for David Spada and Joseph Buehrer in the next few days. Also, Joseph Buehrer and myself will be having a meeting tonight, with new concept art to be posted shortly.

David Spada is almost done with Zhyx’s new picture, displaying his toothy visage. We have also begun design work for book number 2 of this series, which you will also be getting a sneak preview of soon. I would like to extend my congratulations to our friend. Recently, David’s web page, Monster Legacy, hit 4000 views! If you love creature effects and make-up, check it out.

https://monsterlegacy.wordpress.com/

Also be sure to check out Cullen’s web page. He recently did some very insightful articles on the art of world building, something we have both become familiar with this past year. If you are interested in writing fantasy, those articles are a good read.

https://mccurdyc.wordpress.com/

Here are the two bios. Meeting with Joe is tonight, and I will let all of you know how it goes. Catch you all later.

https://zhyxthenovel.wordpress.com/introduction/eric-hanson-author/

https://zhyxthenovel.wordpress.com/introduction/cullen-mccurdy-weapon-and-background-designer/

Atticus Finch and the Adventures of the Next Draft

Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s supposed sequel to her pulitzer prize winning masterpiece, was released not too long ago. It brought with it a shocking revelation.

Go Set a Watchman told the story of a grown Scout Finch returning home during the civil rights movement, and finding out much to her dismay that her father, Atticus Finch, was in fact a racist the entire time. She becomes progressively disillusioned with her home life, her father, and her roots, eventually cutting ties and moving on.

For a character as revered and loved as Atticus Finch, it came as quite a shock. Many viewed the character as a desperate plea to those in positions of power to treat their fellow human beings with compassion and understanding. To find out he in fact held similar views to the villainous Bob Ewell was a gut punch.

Of course, people are forgetting one little thing.

Go Set a Watchman is not a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird.

It is the first draft.

In Harper Lee’s own words, Go Set a Watchman is the parent of her highly revered novel.

Taking this into account, that gives the novel an entirely new meaning. Stories and characters, just like people, change. From the moment an idea is conceived, it is in a constant state of change and flux until it is finished. The bigoted fool in Go Set a Watchman grew to become the persecuted father in To Kill a Mockingbird. As such, literary nuts rest assured, the character of Atticus Finch remains the same saintly figure we can all admire.

This so called latest vision of Atticus was a work in progress, and provides an interesting look at Harper Lee’s original, and much darker vision for To Kill a Mockingbird.

Looking at earlier drafts of stories is a very fascinating look at their origins. One of my favorite examples is The Terminator.

The original script was a much more complex and multi layered story. James Cameron eventually decided he packed in too much information and edited the story down to its most essential elements, resulting in a very different narrative.

These changes included the villain. Originally, Sarah was stalked not by one, but by two killer cyborgs. One of them was a liquid metal shapeshifter. Sound familiar? This villain was excized from the first film and resurrected in Terminator 2 as the T 1000.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 12.03.48 PM

By far the biggest change in the story was the loss of a complete arc. This segment actually made it into the can and was shot, scored and edited. Cameron again however deemed the scene unnecessary and removed it from the film. In this scene, Sarah and Kyle have an altercation where Sarah suggests they blow up Cyberdyne and prevent the rise of the machines.

Again, this element was cut out of The Terminator, and resurrected as the main story arc in Terminator 2. It even includes the signature “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” line that many believed originated in Terminator 2. 

Many stories do this. The mine cart chase in Temple of Doom for example was originally written for Raiders, but Spielberg decided the script had too much action and put it on the back burner. It eventually became the signature scene of the sequel.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 12.03.11 PM

This happens often in writing. Scenes and characters are excised, re-written, and sometimes re-used when they do not fit in the context of one story, but are perfect for another. My story is no exception.

Back when Zhyx first began to resemble a story it told a very different Wizard of Oz style tale. The plot was that three teenage boys on a camping trip are whisked away to a magic land by a yet unexplained phenomenon. The rest of the story is a chase, with these three boys on the run from a large red dragon who, in later drafts, would become the central protagonist. Though the dragon does save the boys in the third act, for the most part, he was a false antagonist, distracting the reader and viewer from a much more serious threat. That draft was a script written back in twenty ought twelve. Eventually it became the book, the dragon became the hero, two of the boys became and elf and an orc.

Writing a draft, be it a book or a script, is a way for an artist to get something on the page. This makes it easier to see what works and what doesn’t, and sometimes, in the case of Go Set a Watchman, show an author that their original story may be but a mask for something far more compelling.

Due to pressure from her publisher, Harper Lee began to elaborate on her character’s childhood, and something new and magic happened. Atticus sacrificing his standing to defend a wrongfully accused citizen, the whispered rumors of the mysterious Boo Radley, and the villainous Bob Ewell stalking two children on Halloween night. The bigoted Atticus Finch died, and he became a man of conviction, who would take the spit and insults of every one of his neighbors as long as he knew he was doing the right thing.

The same thing happened in Zhyx. While writing those early drafts, whenever the red dragon interacted with one of the boys, a shy and introverted lad named Derek, there was something there. Some kind of magic. Eventually the red dragon wrenched my hands away from the keys and told me something. ‘This is where your story is.’

I have been taking his advice ever since, because lets face it. The dragon can weave a much more interesting tale than I can.

That is the way drafts go. They are the birth of a story, and like people, stories grow up, they change, grow more complex, and learn new things. The tale of Scout losing her father to bigotry became the story of how he tried to protect her from it. The story of Sarah and Kyle trying to prevent armageddon became the story of them trying to survive it. And the story of a red dragon pursuing three scared kids became the story of how that same dragon had to save the world.

For those fearful or angry at this newly revealed Harper Lee novel, fear not. The story of To Kill a Mockingbird will forever remain the same treasure it is. This new book however does offer an interesting glimpse into what the story could have been, but ultimately was not.

Citch Concept Art and Article Re-Edits

Our Master of Monsters has done it again.

After many hours of hard work, the new artwork for the villainous Citch has been completed. Citch is an original creation of mine known as a horned ravager, and a very nasty hombre.

He went through quite the overhaul since his concept art page was completed last year. His horns were completely re-designed and a thick coat of hair was added on his back and arms, among other things. The end result is a very wonderful humanoid beast that bears some vague amphibian traits, but is much more mammalian than the previous design.

Citch Final

With this new artwork available, the concept art page for Citch has also been re-written and can be viewed here.

https://zhyxthenovel.wordpress.com/concept-art/citch/

His page in the villain section, along with the other villain descriptions, is too undergoing renovation and will be re-posted upon completion of the writing.

Special thanks to out good friend David Spada at Monster Legacy for his once again stunning work. His unique designs have given this story a great sense of individuality and have certainly been a huge inspiration and help to me. If you love monsters, ghouls, and extraterrestrial horrors, be sure to check out his web page here if you love all things creatures. https://monsterlegacy.wordpress.com/

Thank you my friend, and thanks all of you for visiting. Rest assured that David Spada will tame more horrors with pencil point in the future. Him and I already started throwing around ideas for book number 2.

Hunter ‘Sparks’ Nightshadow Concept Art Completed and Character Pages Up

The concept art for the elven wizard Hunter ‘Sparks’ Nightshadow has been completed.

Bigger news still, the character pages for Zhyx and his heroic companions have been written.

Here is the page for the titular dragon.

https://zhyxthenovel.wordpress.com/heroes-villains-and-all-in-between-the-characters-of-zhyx/

And here is the sub tab with his four companions.

https://zhyxthenovel.wordpress.com/heroes-villains-and-all-in-between-the-characters-of-zhyx/37-2/

As stated before, concept art for these characters will be added once it is available. The pages dealing with the villains as well as other miscellaneous characters are currently being re-worked as well and will be up shortly. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these new and improved bios.

Here is the full visage of Sparks. Thanks for reading,

Hunter 'Sparks' Nightshadow Concept Art Final