Writing is similar to painting miniatures, for me at least.
Start with a miniature I like. The idea for a story, short, game, or long work.
Examine the miniature to immediate flaws, fix the flaws. The outline where I determine if the idea is something I want to work on and where the initial large holes are located, such as plot, setting, or characters.
Examine the miniature for details I want to highlight. The idea is workable, what do I want to focus on initially.
Then start painting, first the base coat. Sloppy with no concern other than covering the entire miniature. Rough Rough Draft. Rough Draft. And lastly, rough draft ready for show.
Next, the first pass, applying base colors to each part of the miniature, more detail oriented, keep the colors where I want them, but not overly concerned if small mistakes creep in. First and second editing passes, focused not on the details of language and grammar, but looking for places for expansion, clarity, and deletion.
Next, detail work, fine brushes, correcting the mistakes and working ensure the overall look is what I want. Second and third passes, fixing grammar, punctuation, yet still focused on adding details and clarity.
Next step, washes, designed to create shadows and depths, washes have a tendency to get messy, but a necessary step. Fourth pass, where I take another look at the work, looking for…well everything; language, grammar, clarity, details, flow; how can I make them better.
Dry brushing follows, fill a brush with color, wipe the brush dry until nothing but pigment remains, then wipe the brush over parts of the miniature. Brings out detail and sharpens the shadows and depths created by the wash. Sources identified, time to bring out the details, see what shines. Typically, done through asking questions, such as what does this look like or why are the characters where they are at and then answering them. Some answers end up in the writing, others are for me to keep track of for later.
Finally, true detail work, painstaking work with fine brushes and other tools to bring out all of the detail, to bring the miniature to life. The “final” manuscript. I can look at it no more. Truth being, there is no “final” there is only “done for now.” Unless I turn in a manuscript to someone else, I will go back to the writing at some point. 🙂
With all of that in mind, here is the next stages (Wash and Dry Brush) of Puddles and Whiskers starting from the beginning.
At the sound of a frying pan bouncing off a skull, everyone in the ramshackle room stopped fighting, for a brief second. Pouncing back from her fallen foe, golden furred Puddles brandished her frying pan above her head, drawing her heavy pistol at the same time and shooting a charging black and red clad mook.
“Give up will ya!” Puddles shouted at the room full of mooks.
Gray and white furred Whiskers knee-slid underneath the sloppy punch of a mook, gutting the mook with his katana. Popping up from the slide, Whiskers flicked his katana clean of blood, and sought another challenger. Whiskers did not have to wait long; knocking smaller mooks aside with swings of a large pipe, a giant over-muscled mook lumbered straight towards Whiskers. Adjusting his grip to a low-position, Whiskers waited for the moment to strike the perfect blow.
Three large bloody holes appeared on the over-muscled mook’s chest. For a brief second, the mook looked surprised before falling over. Curved knives drawn, three more mooks jumped over his body to take his place.
“You’re welcome!” Puddles shouted at Whiskers.
Whiskers shot Puddles an irritated glare before returning his attention to the mooks. The perfect moment gone, Whiskers charged the mooks. Sidestepping right at the last second, Whiskers swung his katana upwards, gutting the mook on the right as they passed each other. A half step forward, a downward stroke, followed by a quick slice to the right and the other two mooks fell clutching their wounds.
…other than their labored breathing, the room was silent. Puddles strolled over trash and dead mooks to Whiskers. Wiping his blade clean on a dead mook, Whiskers faced Puddles, his ears back giving extra body English to his irritation with his longtime partner.
Pointing at the over-muscled mook, “What was that about?”
Puddles shrugged. Her spotted tail waving lazily in an S-pattern that Whisker’s knew so well; her “Oops, did I do that,” when she knew what she had done shrug.
“I couldn’t let you have all the fun,” Puddles said over her shoulder, holstering her pistol while stepping over mooks on her way to the doorway, her tail swishing away as if she did not have a care in the world.
Tail lashing, Whiskers stood for a moment, gripping his katana tightly the holo-etching flaring bright along the blade, before sheathing in one smooth motion. He gave the over-muscled mook one last look before following Puddles out of the room into the refuse and graffiti covered hallway. The floor cocked downward, ceiling tiles hung ready to fall at any moment. Halfway down the hallway, alarms began to sound and the few hallway lights went from white to emergency red.
Ears upright, alert, Puddles looked at the ceiling, “Seems like and odd security system for a gang.”
“Took them long enough,” Whiskers said to Puddles.
“I thought we made more than enough noise,” Puddles replied.
Whiskers caught Puddles making her infamous, to him, “Who me” gesture; ears forward, eyes wide, and arms held out. He smirked.
“If you weren’t such a push over we wouldn’t be here,” Puddles said while peeking around a corner.