Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Patreon Season II – Creativity Firestarter

I’m shaking my Patreon up – we’re entering Season II, and I want you to come along for the ride with me.

YOU CAN BACK MY PATREON HERE, STARTING AT $1

Season I saw me making a Comic Book Study Guide a fortnight for a whole year. It’s was amazing, if you were there, I hope you dug it.

Season II is an all access pass to my creative headspace. I’m going to spend the next year sharing the way I work, I’m going to offer up thoughts and resources and early access to new material before it hits shelves anywhere else in the world.

I’m going to pull back the curtain on my writing life, but I’m also aiming to creatively rekindle the fire in my brain, make it burn higher, brighter, better.

I’m really excited for what I’ve got planned out, so if you’re a writer [or creative type], I think you’ll dig it. If you like reading my stuff, and you want more, and you want to support me making more, I think you’re going to dig it.

RKL Patreon Season II – starts in July – come find us and hang out. You never know, if I make enough money, I could take a day a fortnight off from teaching, and that would be insane.

SCOPE OUT MY PATREON HERE – DO YOU WANT TO BE PART OF A MONTHLY CREATIVE Q&A?

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Writing is Therapy – Why an Online Scratchpad?

I’ve started a separate site, somewhere to hack out weird ideas and thoughts and stupidity. It’ll lack the structure and finesse of this site [don’t laugh]. You can follow my there by clicking the link in the image below.

This site will remain my professional home, home to announcements, essays, and other more structured things, but tbe will have the shortform, the undercooked, the mental shards and slivers. The other site will be my madness, while this remains [what’s left of] my sanity.

Enjoy.

Alchemical.

“…it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of this job of ours is alchemy, not chemistry.”

From the Jonathan Hickman interview on CBR. Yes.

Passion

I think passion might be the only thing that matters.

I’ve only got time in my life for things I’m passionate about. I want to write what makes me absolutely thrilled to be at the table. I want to chase what excites me.

I don’t want to worry about the rules. Or feel locked on by them.

Passion drives us to do big, wild, crazy, amazing things. Usually. I think.

Well, they’re usually enjoyable in the doing, and what else are we asking for, really?

ETERNAL Short Listed for a Ledger Award

Humbled to discover our little OGN that could, ETERNAL, has been short listed for a Ledger Award.

ETERNAL gets the props it does on the backs of Eric Zawadzki’s art and lettering, Dee Cunniffe’s colours, Dan Hill’s edits, and Courtney Menard’s gorgeous wallpaper – and big ups to Black Mask Studios for putting out something this different [European size, oversized one-shot format].

Stoked to see this strong line up of Australian comic talent, so go have a look and track down whatever you’ve missed so far.

I still love this book, and hopefully one day we can get back to doing more of the same – not a sequel, but more a companion piece.

Until then, good luck to everyone at the Ledger Awards, and keep reading good comics!

*NEW* THE JAM SESSIONS and ETERNAL Available Online

I sell all kinds of comics and four colour paraphernalia on the Ownaindi storefront!

I’ve put up some new stuff and if you don’t have any of these then now is the time to strike.

Buy ETERNAL for the first time directly from me online Рeach copy is signed, and has a sketch of a Viking weapon inside. This OGN from me, Eric Zawazki, Dee Cunniffe, and Dan Hill is one of my very best works yet, so dive on it while stocks last.

Buy THE JAM SESSIONS for the first time in the world – each copy comes signed and with a suggestion for something you should read in 2019. This magazine format book is over 30,000 words of me and Dan Hill [my creator owned editor] talking about how a few comics and tv/film favourites work and why they resonate with us. It’s a complete process deep dive bonanza, and you will absolutely love it. Probably only do this one print run, so get in while you can, these have been selling well.

Buy my back catalogue [INK ISLAND, EIR, STAIN THE SEAS SCARLET, all 4 BEAUTIFUL CANVAS issues] and I’ll sign them all. Y’know, help a brother out, splash some cash so I can afford to make more comics!

You can also get 10% off everything¬†this week only if you subscribe to my newsletter and read this week’s missive!

Thanks, and enjoy. Also: if you see other cool Aussie content on Ownaindi, definitely buy it.

Back to Basics and Having Fun in a Writing Teaching Moment

I love teaching writing.

I’ve rarely learned anything new about writing by teaching it to 11yo’s, but I always have fun, and I always come away with something.

Today was a perfect example – I was teaching basic story structure. I used a modified Hamburger Plan that looks similar to this:

It takes students through an intro; with character/s, location, and some basics of time, weather, etc.

Then it drops a hook – what is the complication, which we’ve boiled down to being: what does the character want, but cannot have?

From there, they try a few things and eventually stumble across or build towards a resolution. The example I give, that is rubbish, and so no student can steal it, but it gives a small idea of it all is what follows:

A young girl wakes up one morning in her room, and she wants some milk. But the fridge is empty of milk. So she goes to the store, and they are out, so she tries a supermarket, and they’re out, so eventually she borrows some from a helpful neighbour [maybe after staging a daring, and yet failed, milk truck raid, if you’re nasty].

That story illustrates character desires, and a complication to resolve, but unfortunately it’s boring. And the main character doesn’t learn anything, they just act like a pest until someone in their sphere of influence yields and gives her the dairy hook up. So I explain that to the class, usually with a few laughs, and then we build another story in front of the class, with their assistance.

I try to do this live, with no pre-prep or set up, so they can see that it can be done with an open mind.

I start with the first interesting character that springs to mind – a giant.

I ask the kids for a secondary character, a friend/sidekick type – they spit out a few responses and I decided to amalgamate two into something I like: a clown on stilts.

I tell them the story is taking place in a city, a New York city type place, big skyscrapers, squillions of people, and then I say it’s Winter because…because I like Winter, and it’s more fun for me to describe, and that’s why.

We talk about possible complications for a giant living in a huge city and the kids circle the idea: he doesn’t fit anywhere, he has nowhere to go, and I add in that the city sees him as a kind of nuisance.

I then tell the class that maybe if we think of a resolution to his problem, then we can build the story’s guts up to that resolution. A student suggests the giant build a new home and it instantly sparks an idea – so I tell the kids to watch and learn, because I’m about to take that idea and spin gold with it.

I say the first thing the giant does in the story is try to fly away, because he knows he doesn’t fit, so he’s off to a farm. To do this, he enlists the aid of a mechanic to build him a jetpack, but all the jetpack ends up doing is making him hover, not propel away, so he’s stuck in the air above the city. He eventually lands to try something else, which becomes the next section of the story.

The giant enlists a builder to make him a huge houseboat, so he can live on the river – because all cities have rivers, that’s why cities popped up, to be on waterways to be able to trade with other cities. But when the giant pops into his houseboat, it displaces so much water that it floods the city. And then the city folk hate him even more.

The giant is pretty dejected by now, he’s failed, and then actively affected others, so now he just wants out enough to simply walk away. Which he does, and it works, but then the clown – I couldn’t very well forget about our clown on stilts – finds him abandoning him and the city and he gets sad – he doesn’t want his best [giant] friend to leave. The giant can’t handle hurting another person, so he stays – which is when he gets his idea.

And this is where I thread it all together for the kids, showing how a story should always build up, having the character also build and grow themselves, while also collecting plot tokens.

So the giant has – the possible ability to hover, a houseboat, and a desire to stay with his best friend. So he puts it all together in a new way creating a hovering house above the city. Problem solved, story resolved, and the end is consistent with the character’s desires and what happened in the story.

Though one student then pointed out that the city would hate this floating shade in Winter, causing people to freeze to death in the excessive cold underneath, so I had to change it to Summer. Stupid Summer. But at least it shows a willingness to edit when plans don’t exactly work out.

With the story ended, I congratulated us all, and one student asked what happens when Summer ends, and I at first laughed her off, saying stories just have to resolve…’for now.’ But then I thought deeper and realised the giant would probably just install a sunroof, and sunfloor, to let the sun through on Winter days – though this might have a magnifying effect with all the window/lenses, and that would just have him setting fire to everything below – at which point we realised we had the basis of our sequel story :]

It was a great lesson, I loved filling in the story and having a laugh, and it reminded me for my own writing that if we drop in our loose resolution, we can then seed plot moments and tokens throughout for our characters to find to inform them, make change, or build growth in them. It’s not something I didn’t already know, but putting this stuff into my forebrain always helps.

We can always be thinking about writing, and we forever should.

You Can Always Make One Thing

I fear I think too big sometimes.

I overwhelm my brain into thinking each story must be larger, every publisher more titanic, my “career” only ever rising higher and higher.
But it won’t always be that way. And once it’s the opposite of those things, it can become a little overwhelming. Faced with the concept of going backwards, you start to see the word ~failure~ looming in front of you, and before you slam head-first into it, your face shattering the windshield, you body hurtling towards possible death/certain pain, I think I just need to consider one thing:

What am I making right now, and why?

If your aim is to pitch to a comic company and get picked up, then there’s a chance it’ll not succeed and that will suck. If I’m prepping a Kickstarter, I need to hit funding, and I need to deliver.

But beneath all that, at the core – what am I creating?

If I have no publishers, then what can I do anyway? And can I do it for reasons of joy?

I’m blessed with a day job I like [teacher], so I don’t push myself beyond boundaries to hustle for gigs I don’t want but feel I need in order to leapfrog into something I’ll only mildly hold in disdain, to eventually land a shot at a gig I find relatively interesting, only to land one of the few gigs I’d die to do, and then funnel it all back into gigs I love [creator owned work].

With that in mind, I have to consider what I’m creating, and why. Does this work have an audience? Will this work generate money? Or is it something else?

Am I writing a short comic because it’s a story I’m dying to tell? Am I writing comic book study guides because I genuinely enjoy having them on file for use in class – and because making them makes me a better reader/writer? Am I writing one-page scripts for fun just to hone my craft? Am I blogging because it’s 2019 and it’s clearly a smart use of personal time?

I tend to get caught up in the bigger/better/faster wheel of thinking – and I think it’s currently spitting me out. So I have to look at my job list [day, week, month, year] and consider whats up.

Am I overwhelmed and drowning under a sea of pitches and scripts that aren’t guaranteed to go anywhere, but they’ll sap 150% of my energy? Can I carve out a little slice of that just for me? Can I write a weird set of short stories using avenues/media that aren’t the usual [Google Keep lists, two security guards commentating the CCTV footage inf front of them on a Sunday afternoon, a shopping list found in a supervillain’s base, etc].

What’s the purpose of writing those things – fun, I guess. To make me a better writer, also, but maybe just for fun. Maybe just to sit in my office and connect with words and have a good time.

Who knows? Maybe down the track you can collect this stuff, package it, and try to sell it. Maybe. But if not, maybe I just set aside time to create that one thing that’s just for me, and isn’t huge, and that makes me smile.

I find, I can be doing a whole mess of things – too many things – but sometimes it’s satisfying just to pause, exhale, and sink 10 minutes into something tangential from the Big Things.

The Patreon Half Season Rundown

I’ve been on the Patreon road half a year and I won’t lie, I’ve been loving every minute of it. I’m still enjoying putting these study guides and teaching materials together, and I love getting feedback from those using these things to keep thinking, or share the erudition around.
I want to thank those who are already supporting over there, for making this insane ride possible, and I wanted to give everyone a heads up on what they might not yet be accessing. If you haven’t really looked into it yet, or you’re there but you’re sitting under $3 a month, I still appreciate it all, but I don’t want you to miss out. Here’s a list of what we’ve dropped so far in these first six months:
  • 12 study guides
  • 10 podcast episodes
  • Plenty of process/teaching/thinking posts about comics, and how to analyse them, and sometimes how to teach them.
If any of that interests you, be sure to think about what you want as there’s another six months ahead of us in this season :]
If you know any teacher friends, or good looking smart people, who want to think about comics a little deeper feel free to throw them at this with a handy link: bit.ly/rklpatreon
Thanks to everything, and here’s to an amazing 2019 for us all!

Making Things in 2019

They say you should start things the way you want to finish them, so I guess I want to end 2019 doing a whole mess of work.

Here’s a quick visual guide for how I played the first week of 2019.

MAKING COMIC BOOK STUDY GUIDES

I read BEOWULF by David Rubin and Santiago Garcia and it is just utterly stunning.

I instantly knew I had to write a Comic Book Study Guide about it for my Patreon, so I launched into it with vigour, the above image showing what the front cover will look like.

I’ve enjoyed running the Patreon to create study guides to help thinking around comics, and explicit use in the classroom, and I’m putting together some plans and ideas for 2019 which should make it an exciting place to be and thing to do.

Support my Patreon now to help me make study guides, podcast episodes, and lesson resources for bringing comics in the classroom!

 

WRITING AN UNDAD ANTHO STORY

I’ve been brought in by Shane W Smith to contribute a story to his UNDAD series, whic is aces, and so I’ve been breaking all kinds of thoughts on this, circling around the exact thing I want to say with this idea of a suburban dad becoming a zombie and trying to reconcile that with the man he still is.

Oh, Newsletter, My Newsletter!

Every week you’ll find me writing my newsletter, in which I discuss my writing week, my process, my thoughts, fears, ideas, everything. I also dive into links for other good things for other good creative brains, some Kickstarter love, and hopefully you think about something differently, or get a smile from each weekly missive.

Subscribe to my email newsletter about this writing life right now!

A Novel, My Novel

Dipping my toes back into prose, just to feel that power once more, and I’m enjoying the change of pace this brings. I don’t know where it’ll go, but I clearly don’t know where anything goes.

This story is always going to hit the back seat for the other comics writing, but it’s nice to have in my back pocket.

The Shiny New Project

I write lots of shiny new projects, but this one has really caught fire and spread throughout my brain. I can see and hear the lead character, which I’m loving, and it’s been a genuine treat to write this past week. You never know where that feeling comes from, or for how long it will stay, so I’m off to enjoy the good vinez.

Cubby House Library Fort

I took the kids to the local library, and we stocked up on all kinds of goodness, and then we returned home to tidy the cubby house and decorate it as a reading place. I need to get to hiding up in here way more often.

Every child deserves a reading space in their lives [so do most adults].

So, that’s been my first week, roughly – I didn’t want to screencap all of the many emails I’ve dealt with, and sundry other things.

For now, enjoy your first week into 2019, may it be productive, or restful, or relaxing…or whatever it is you need.

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