domenica 29 gennaio 2012

How to write a story (my method)

Writers are often divided in two categories. Pantster (writers that just sit and write following inspiration) and Plotters (writers that study every detail of their story before start to write). I'm a Plotter (I'm pretty an hardcore plotter), so panster will find this useless.

I can't start to write without knowing characters of my story and setting. So i need to start to create character. Evemn random characters are OK. Inventing characters, their background story and their personalities, studing even useless details will keep your fantasy alive and strong. Create even your settings, rules of your world exc...

Deciding a story is rather complex. You have to like your idea. Not all story you will decide to write can be written. I trashed a lot of stories and characters in past.
You must have a reason to write that story. Remembering the Yellow Sky is to show how it does means to be different. Acceptance doesn't help to fell like others, but you can still appreciate the action. is pretty difficult to explain, i think you will understand it by reading the story.
Rough Dreams is to show the hard life of wrestlers, they fight for enternaiment, but often fans forget that wrestlers are human being and can get hurt. I took a lot of inspiration from the Undertaker, a wrestler that is loved but not understood by fans.

After having decided your reasons to write a story, go directly to the ending of your story. Knowing the ending first is a good way to keep your story solid. Your ending may change. Keep attention that ending convey the message. An ending that doesn't fit will the whole story (a pretty common mistake) will ruin the story and the message.

Now you have ended your story. Is time to decide how your story start. you can start to write the plot of your story or several plotlines. You also have to decide the main conflict, probably you already have in mind what conflicts are, but writing them down will help you to not miss the point of the story.

A good way to understand if your story has missed point, is try to ask detailed questions to every sentence you write. If you can answer to every sentence, if you can find answer to every sentence in your story it does means that your story is OK. If you can't this does mean either you have to adjust and add missed parts or you have to cut that part because is useless to the story.
Useless details are those details that you can remove without seeing the story suffer.

sabato 28 gennaio 2012

Time to do comics

This page has been done in 2008 (In fact drawings were clearly different).
I realized how bad i am at doing comics, despite i always liked to draw them. And to said more, how bad were comics that influenced me in my childhood, because when i say bad comic, i have in mind a certain comic (Topolino isn't very good, not only drawing aren't pleasant but even some shots suck). In fact, looking on Deviaant Art, i see how good are even amateur comic artist that can't draw very well, compared to comics i used to read when i was little. If i want to tell my stories in a good way i need to be a good comic artist, and since i'm not gifted at all it will take years.
I prefer to do no comics soon rather than being like Stephanie Meyer(i mean as bad artist) or Gamberetta(another bad artist - not comic artist but still a good example about how don't do things), also i have to finish stories, so there is time for those things too. Making things i like without effort and knowledge is a thing i hate!
I like western comics. Mangas are often full of close up and details like backgrounds are almost always missed (Akira Toriyama isn't the best comic artist in the world but he has very nice tastes when talking about page composition and shots). Modern italian comics are often cold and full of texts (but i have to learn to write more myself, during high school year, someone has said that my characters tend to communicate in a non-verbal way and they don't talk much). I love french comics but my drawing style doesn't fit with french way to tell a story.. American style has great shots and i like how they manage to create the right atmosphere, lineart is amazing, but drawing style is harsh.

venerdì 27 gennaio 2012

City of Bocca d'Ombrone

'Remembering the Yellow Sky' takes place in Italy, in Tuscan region. Bocca d'Ombrone is a real place, but in my story it does appear much different than in real life. Bocca d'Ombrone is in Maremma park, a zone protected by italian law, so is forbidden to build something here, and works are made only to preserve the park. In 'Remembering the Yellow Sky', Bocca d'Ombrone is a city (about 20,000 inhabitants), and Ombrone river divides the town in two parts. There are many reasons behind the fact i've choose Italy as theater of my story. Italians neglect possibility of background that the whole Italy can offer for a story. Typical italian mentality wants that an italian comic or an italian story must me extremely serious and very close to reality, at the point of being dull. Also italian seems to tell only story about italian problems, even if they aren't interested to tell those kind of story. I am concerned too about italian problems, but i'm not interested to tell a story about them. I'm more likely the kind of storyteller that likes to tell light hearted stories, or things that are in my interests (I don't know if RtYS is so light hearted, it talks about what does means to be different, abot how people can't understand you fully even if their love is honest. It talks about wishing to be accepted but at the same time sense of inferiority or superiority - and I took inspiration from autism supremacy, a movement that i don't like at all, but it was good for my story), human experiments (of course against will of protagonists). Not really only italian things. Another reason i've choose Italy as main place of my story is because for me is easier to name characters and places in a believable way. The fact i've choosen Tuscan is because is like the symbol of italian history (the most beautiful italian region, full of vegetation and history, and just for this very inspiring), and the fact i've choosen a free place (Bocca d'Ombrone) is because i want to be totally free to draw a city as i want. Also RtYS is not located in this world, but in another dimension.

giovedì 26 gennaio 2012

The Undertaker, a great wrestler from WWE.

As i've said before, time ago i watched wrestling (somethimes i still watch Undertaker's matches) and this has inspired me for Brian's story 'Rough Dreams'. Probably everithing is started from the latest Wrestlemania, where Undertaker fought against Triple H. He won but he got injured pretty badly. Now, i have to said that Undertaker seems to get injured very rarely, because he has a very high pain tolerance (apparently he has been stretched out of the ring only two times in 21 years).
Because of this, many of his fans claims that when he apparently gets injured, is just a keyfable. They claimed this nonsense even during Wrestlemania. At the end of the macht, Undertaker collapsed, and fans were worried only for his opponent Triple H, because he held his arm but he looked pretty good, compared to the Undertaker. Many wrestling fans think wrestling is fake, and everything is scripted before, so no wrestler get injured. I'm not saiyng that wrestling isn't scripted, but wrestlers can get hurt, and when you see them fall from five meters, you have to be worried. Wrestlers are prepared for this, but they may get injured. Wrestling is a very dangerous sport, and a thing i've though after having read insenstitive comments of Undertaker's fans, i've though 'How you can say you're fans of the Undertaker when you aren't at least worried for him?' but i also have though 'I wish that people undertsand that wrestling is dangerous, even if scripted!' This was the first seed for my project 'Rough Dreams', born this Christmas. I think Undertaker is very brave when he is on the ring (he's tall, but his frame is not so solid if he hadn't his muscles, and he fought greatly men that were bigger than him (like Giant Gonzales, Big Show, Van Diesel and many other) and he won those matches. Also, i've seen a lot of pictures about him when outside the ring. Fans that have been lucky to meet him, said that he doesn't act like a jerk (some famous people do: ex Hulk Hogan) and he seems pretty nice and patient.
This fanart of the Undertaker (signing an autograph) is copied from a picture i found on google. I wanted this picture as precise as possible to the original (i'm a perfectionist), but with my cartoon style. I did another fanart of the Undertaker facing Olav Sørensen, it is on Deviantart.

martedì 24 gennaio 2012

My lineart

This is a drawing i did in those days about my characters Brian and Olav. I want to colour this, but i wanted also suggestion about my lineart, because despite pratice, i'm still not good at drawing like a professional comic artist. Is a skill that apparently requires much less time than  the time i pratice. But after all is also true that i'm not naturally talented.
On Deviantart

lunedì 23 gennaio 2012

Daniel Dunkelmann the german metalhead

(I just setted my profile in norwegian. I need to learn this language, it's beautiful!)
Currently one of the main characters from 'Remembering the Yellow Sky', Daniel is a character i started to draw during first year of art school, right after having neglected Matteo Arancini. I can't say exactly where i took inspiration for Daniel's look. I just wanted to show a character that loves to listen a certain kind of music and loves to wear certain clothes. So i can say he is inspired to several metalheads around the world, lately blacksters (though Daniel is not an extreme one, and look doesn't say everything. Olav is more blackster than Daniel, and when he's outside the ring he dress almost like John Cena).
Daniel haircolour is black. This is an involuntary suggestion by my mom from the past, when she could not remember very well Matteo's haircolour. I've though a character with blue eyes and dark hair could be cool (in fact Daniel is my only character with blue eyes and black hair), but this also fit with his musical taste, because many metalheads (blacktsers) dye their hair in black. Daniel's hair colour is natural. Most of his relatives have black hair. When I drew Daniel for first time, i didn't listen black metal yet. I was more into a group in particular, the Scorpions. In fact i drew Daniel dressed like a '70s guy, and it was ridicolous. Even more because he acted like those sweet guys from mangas and anime (just to name some, Yu Matsura, Hideaki Kurashige) and he had always a gloomy expression on his face, because i though it was cool. Naturally, my classmates liked Daniel. But they liked every character that were shown as 'the cool one', 'the beautiful prince', the dark and handsome' etc... and before to join on Deviant Art, I pushed Daniel in this direction. He was 'the dark and handsome' even in the old plot 'Mitiche Gemelle Spaziali' (i talked about it in this post ).
After i grew tired to those kind of characters. The 'dark and handsome' one, usually is very boring (Vegeta is one of rare exceptions), and to be honest, in my late teenage and in my early adulthood i never perceived Daniel as handsome, not even as cute (though other people find him cute). For me Daniel is just an ordinary guy, with a normal family a moody personality and a passion for heavy metal music - he dreams to be a musician -. But he's not the great talent (as opposite as aspiring musicians in comics). He's skilled just because he praticed a lot since he was 6. Since music is not an important part of my comic, i show his passion with his look: black clothes, chains and leather bracelets, and of course his long hair, accurately combed to be parted in the middle. I am a perfectionis person, so i didn't leaved Daniel without an acceptable personality, but you shouldn't except the dark and handsome. You should wait the moment when Daniel will create troubles. If i said what troubles and why, i will spoil the story and i don't want this.

domenica 22 gennaio 2012

Matteo Arancini... older than you think

I'm not speaking about his age on RtYS, but i'm speaking abou the time i drew him first. In 1994, at school. In that year I was very active at drawing comics, and i planned to do a serie with 50 episodes called simply 'Alice & Elena'. At that time he had another (and, of course, unlikely name), and he was a pink haired (LOL) teenager. Maybe the typical italian teenager from '80s. In those stories Alice and Elena were fignting against crime (naturally, unlikely criminals) and thi character helped the twins a lot. Matteo has been a neglected character for more than 10 years, and i stopped to care about him when i started to draw Daniel, another character from Remembering the Yellow Sky (that 'bleeding' eye on the corner belongs to Daniel XD). Recently i decided that RtYS needed Matteo. I can't talk about Matteo's role, his function is to create conflict and to render Alice and Elena's life more difficult (their life is already difficult XD). I can say that Matteo should be the peaceful italian kid in '80s style, that loves to ride scooters and thinks that school is not that important for life. But the fact that he's peaceful doesn't mean that he can't create problems (he does). And for this, of course imagining to be Matteo, i draw him with an almost anonymous look: unkempt curly, dark-ginger hair, small and with chubby body, wearing plain chlotes.
Choosing his name has been very hard. Usually i choose name in an instinctive way, i just care about the nationality. For Matteo i took ten months. I could not find a name that sounded good with the name Arancini, and i didn't wanted to use horrible italian names like Luca and Andrea (most suggested names durng the 10 months), also because Andrea already belong to Andreas Brushes (and that name is good for him) and Luca is one of the italian names that i like less. No one of my other characters gave me problems. Not even foreign characters.

sabato 21 gennaio 2012

Remembering the Yellow Sky and Rough Dreams

Remembering the yellow sky is the story with Alice and Elena de Giacomo. The story takes place in Italy, and it talks mainly about diversity, but also about friendship and family bonds. More i develop this story, more i discover is a very complex story and somethimes it also talks about strong topic (like human experiments). Characters move a lot from the reassuring tuscan settings to cold science lab. About characters, i aim to keep them somewhat young. After all protagonists are all in their teen age, and even older protagonists (like Daniel) are still high school student. I don't explain the meaning of this title because is closely related to events.

Rough Dreams instead is my recent project about a story that takes place in the wrestling world. In this story the protagonist is the young wrestler Brian Brushes. Brian did  many years of  pratice in minor federation, but now he is in the main businnes. The title is related to the fact that the life of a wrestler is hard, painful and dangerous, and at the start Brian doesn't consider those things because he just dream about being famous and loved like his dad Andreas. Even here there are some strong topics, like drug, alchoolism and homosexuality. but a story about wrestling does need also comic parts, because after all, wresting is also comic.

venerdì 20 gennaio 2012

Today i don't talk about anything. I let you with this video.

Toki is a character from the cartoon 'Metalocalypse', a parody about metalheads. I like it because despite the sillyness of the show, characters are very well developed. Finished work on Deviant Art.

giovedì 19 gennaio 2012

From Transylvania... Claudiu Gurici!

I've created this character in early 2002, taking inspiration from a classmate. Claudiu Gurici is a funny vampire that comes from Sighişoara, the romianian city where Bran castle (know also as Dracula's castle) is located. Probably this is one of my most developed character. He is funny to draw and to move, probably for his peculiar features. Often people ask to me if Claudiu is evil or dangerous. But his look doesn't match with his nature. Claudiu is not the only vampire in Remembering the Yellow Sky. There is a community, but things will be clearer when i will do comic, first because is spoiler, also because i have to fix a pair of problem in the plot about the part with vampires.
When i drew Claudiu first, i gave him another name and i hadn't already decided he was romanian. I started to care about his origins about two years ago, when i decided it was important for him to have a romanian name, so i did researches about things related Romania (especially language) I was going mad, becaue i discovered romanian language wasn't that great and despite similarity with my first language (italian) i had difficult to understand how romanian works. I understood romanian as language but at the same time i felt it so strange that when i stopped my researches i felt exausted. Only 6 weeks later i felt more familiar with romanian, so i have been able to search a good name for my character. It was an hard work because most romanian last names end in 'escu' and 'au', instead i was looking for a pure romanian name that could be easily mistaken for an italian name (Remembering the Yellow Sky takes place in Italy). Gurici is, in fact a romanian name. In Italy, this name doesn't exist and in Romania is rather rare. An italian reader must know that the last I in the name Gurici is mute. For the rest, the name must be read as is written, just like italian. Claudiu instead is a reference to his poor health. He is one of most important character from 'Remembering the Yellow Sky'.

mercoledì 18 gennaio 2012

Olav Sørensen

Olav is a character I created in 2005 for the videogame WWE Day of Reckoning, taking inspiration from the professional wresler Undertaker. Olav shares many things with the Undertaker. They have almost the same physical appearance, almost the same tallness and the same colours.
Unlike the Undertaker, Olav has only two tattoos, but red lines called ‘Dry Soil’cover completely both his arms. He hides another small tattoo on his chest, a drawing of Norway and the title of the norwegian anthem, ‘Ja, vi elsker dette Landet.'
Olav is Norwegian, and when he doesn’t fight, he lives with his mum in his birth city, Tromsø.
To be honest, originally i had no intention to create a background for Olav. Originally he hadn’t even a name, just a nickname. I wanted to keep his past in the shadow, because i liked the idea of a mysterious character. And a character looks mysterious only if even the author doesn't know him.
I still have some original drawing concept of Olav, with notes about his fighting style but i have to find them. I drew them before doing the first Olav in a WWE game, using a picture of the Undertaker as reference to keep track of differences.
For some years, i stopped to watch wrestling (really i’m very picky about wrestling, the only wrestlers i appreciate are the Undertaker and Rey), so i even stopped to care about Olav. Last year my brother bought the videogame ‘Smackdown VS Raw 2010' and asked for having Olav in it. I was happy for this request. I almost forget about Olav. Like Alice and Elena, Olav has a special place in my heart. But since at that time he was a neglected character, i forget about many things about him.
In Smackdown VS Raw, many signature movies i chose for Olav (Axe Guillottine Driver, Spear, Big Boot, Chlothesline from Hell and many other) are missed. But Olav started to appear more clearly in my mind. Finally i knew his past.
Unlike most of my characters, Olav hadn’t an happy life, but i don’t want to talk about his tragic past, (later i will explain why). Outside the ring he doesn’t act like an asshole. He is known as a solitary and dreamy man. Olav is currently part of a recent projects i started, a comic i will do after ‘Remembering the Yellow Sky’. He is not the main character (is for this i didn’t wrote detailed info about his past here), but he will have an inner growth, just like Brian Brushes, the protagonist of the story.

martedì 17 gennaio 2012

Brian Brushes, protagonist of another story.

Brian Brushes is a character i’ve created at the end of 2002, as part of the old cast of the story with Alice and Elena de Giacomo. Originally Brian was the typical bully. Ignorant, selfish, war-loving (he was happy for wars in the world), animal hater and... with Harry Potter phobia.
From 2004 to Benoit's death, WWE had a period of popularity in Italy. My brother suggested me that Brian could be not only a wrestling fan, but even a wrestler himself. I liked the idea and i worked in that sense. In those years I bought two WWE videogames for Gamecube, Day of Reckoning I and II. In those games we created a colorful roaster of wrestler, costantly growing. Other than Brian, in my roaster there are Andreas (Brian’s father), Olav Sørensen, la Scimmia, Harald Næss and Bjørn Tennfjord. There are also two other wrestlers that comes from hell and from heaven, 666 Man (a devil) and Seven (an angel). While most of my wrestlers come from western world (U.S.A., Italy,  France and Norway), most of my brother’s wrestlers come from east (China, Japan, Egypt, but a pair of his OCs come from Canada and from Mexico).
Despite the fact Brian is a character that can’t find a space in my current project ‘Remembering the Yellow Sky’, i developed him. I gave him a backstory and a more consistent personality, and last month i’ve started a new project, a story with Brian as protagonist. In this story Brian is a young wrestler, just entered in the businnes. Brian is born to Bocca d’Ombrone (the same city where ‘Remembering the Yellow Sky’ takes place), his dad is half american and is a professional wrestler. Brian started to train himself to become a professional wrestler from the age of eight. Having dyslexia, he decided to leave school at the age of 16. His talent as wrestler allowed him to join in the wrestling company where his dad works (of course not at the age of 16). Due to his young age, Brian is immature and arrogant, but during his story his qualities will be slowly shown. I didn’t decided the title of the story yet and i have just some ideas about relationship between characters.

lunedì 16 gennaio 2012

De Giacomo twins - from 1992

Alice and Elena de Giacomo aren’t really first OCs I created, but they are for sure my most important OCs. I’m currently obsessed toward these twins and one of my obiective has always been to give them a life toward a story with a start and an end. First time i drew Alice and Elena, i was 9 years old. It was a drawing with them on stage (in a theater) and they were surrounded with several other OCs, between these Vera Zani, another character i still keep. It was in the month of March, in 1992. Unfortunately i’ve missed that drawing.
Since i have Asperger’s syndrome (and i also had a vanished twin), in that days i was obsessed toward twins. I did researces about twins, about the way they born and about different kind of twins (identical twins, conjoined twins, fraternal twins etc...), i drew several couple of twins, i wrote sevral stories about them and i watched cartoons like ‘Twins of Destiny’ (know in Italy as ‘Gemelli nel Segno del Destino’) because protagonist of this story are two twins. I liked also (but i wasn’t obsessed) paranormal activities and extraterrestrial lifeform, in fact when i drew Alice and Elena for first time i was heavily inspired by Steven Spielberg's movie ‘E.T.' where the protagonist is an extraterrestrial child, lost on Earth.
As a child i didn’t minded much about stories with a start and an end. I cared more about stories like the Smurf, Inspector Gadget, Police Academy, and i was a reader of western comics (especially italian comics, that in those day didn’t sucked) where protagonists have a different obiective for each episodes. In my old stories Alice and Elena were just little children but they fought crime on their planet, because they were princesses and they had this responsability. I seldom drew adult figures. As a child, i though adult life was boring because adults was obbligated to renounce to their dreams from something people call society (i still don’t understand the concept of society in those terms), and also i didn’t knew how to make adults act, in fact most of my adult characters were crazy scientist or paranormal guys (so i could make them act like children).
During my teenage i cared more to stories with a starting and an ending. But my main sources of inspiration were again cartoons like Sailor Moon, Miracle Girls and Slayers, stories that are hybrid between stories with a start and an ending and episodic stories.
I drew episodic stories about Alice and Elena, and i imagined that like an animated series with 50 episodes (i also created video, audio and sculpture about my comic serie).
Art school were a black period if talking about creativity. For sure it was an important phase of my life, but in those days i discovered my total lack of talent at drawing. And, the worst thing is that in my class, i was the worst artist. Also i was in a phase i wanted to grow up and to be like others. At middle school i had gained decent social skills and i was sure i wasn’t an aspie anymore, but it was just an illusion because kids from high school are totally different from kids from middle school and i used skills i learned from middle school. I decided to forget about paranormal, aliens and super children and i started to create boring stories about kids in their teenage. Protagonist were again Alice and Elena, with a new look. No more blue hair, no more antennas, Alice and Elena were two ordinary foreign girls.
Only when i discovered Dragonball i re-discovered things i liked a lot, like aliens paranormal, astronomy and science. And i recovered the ‘ancient’ concept with Alice and Elena as alien on Earth. I wrote a long story, inspired to Dragon Ball, named ‘Mitiche Gemelle Spaziali’. That story wasn’t great at all ad i had no idea about how to write every single chapter. I wasn’t even interested to tell some parts and i wasn’t satisfacted about this story. But i didn’t knew how to write a story. I believed a story needed deep characters, but my characters wasn’t deep at all. Two years ago, i discovered an italian site about how to write a story. It was a well made site, and even if it is pretty dull to read, is very well explained and you don’t even need clarifications. It has been enough to make my writing skills improving dramatically (i’m still far from write like a professional writer, but i’m working on it). So i put order in my story. I put away useless characters, i trashed Mitiche Gemelle Spaziali and i rewrote several version of a new story about ‘two twins with antennas between humans, in search of their origin, theme of this story is difference’. My character now are deeper (they’re far to be OK, but the story is work in progress), the story is clearer, it has a start and an end like how i wished when i was little, and now it has also a new title, ‘Remembering the Yellow Sky’. Alice and Elena now have different personalities, different behaviour and they’re reconizable even if physically identical (or at least i know their differences). When i will finish to write the plot of ‘Remembering the Yellow Sky’, i will write accurately every single chapter and after i will start the comic. It seems it will have at least 30 or 40 chapter. Once i liked the idea with Alice and Elena as protagonists of a long story, but now i just like the idea of Alice and Elena as protagonist of a well written story. I will do my best.

domenica 15 gennaio 2012

Yuki's Story and Yuki Revolution

Yuki's Story / Yuki Revolution is a fan comic drew by YukiOshi: This is her gallery on Deviant Art, you should give a look because she has a fresh drawing style

Her comic has already 843 pages and is difficult to find every page in her gallery, so i decided to create a fanclub for her, and i put all her pages in order. Here you can read her comic without difficult.

The comic is in english, and this helps everybody to understand the story, even if first pages are in italian. The story is in the Dragon Ball universe, but almost all characters are hers.
Protagonist is Yuki, a saiyan woman that lives on the diyng Planet Ruwwu, serving a tirannical queen as a soldier, but her meeting with Goku and Vegeta will change her life forever. Yuki lives several adventures around space with her family (her husband, her dog and many, beautiful children) and i find interesting the fact that the protagonist is a mother than cares a lot about her family (and her family loves her).
If yo will read this comic, you will feel the warmess that lacks in many modern professional comics.

sabato 14 gennaio 2012


I'll write in this Blog in english. At the moment i called this blog with the name Nordlys på Mars (it does means Northern Lights on Mars), but probably i will change the title in future. This blog is fully dedicated to my stories, my comics and my projects, especially my current projects 'Remembering the Yellow Sky'. I will also make advertisement about other amatorial artist, that, in my opinion are more creative than professional artists.