The title was going to be “Website launch & comic production timeline” or something equally dry.
The new version of the website is up, with only a bit of weirdness. All the practice on deadcityradio.org paid off, and the experience was mostly painless. There was some wonkiness with jetpack – I have no idea why the fix worked but it did and I hope that’s the end of it. Turning curl off to make SSL work strikes me as the modern equivalent of sacrificing a chicken the first tuesday after an eclipse but whatever, that’s mild compared to other voodoo lurking around under the hood. There’s some charset stupidity despite the database, tables, templates etc. all reporting UTF-8, so there may yet be some funky characters to batch edit. OTHERWISE…
So, now that that’s done, what’s next for ATC? The script for the next installment, that’s what. My urge to do a “chapter 3.5” of Dead City Radio has abated, and my desire to make Dead City Radio Six has been curb-stomped by the CG requirements.* The CG requirements for the next chapter of Transitional Voices are thick, crazy, and hit all at once. I’m not thrilled about that but roughly 90% of the required geometry will be used in the rest of the book, and some of it will make it into ATC Book Four. It’s work that needs doin’, and it starts with the script. I’ve had a rough outline of a couple of scenes from late last year – an attempt to make progress on Water one night missed the mark by a country mile and I wound up with some Air instead, and it’s a good first draft of roughly a third of the chapter. Most of the rest of it slammed into me on afternoon walks this summer, so at this point getting a finished written script is mostly a matter of pulling the bits together and seeing what gaps need to be filled in. Turning that into layouts will take longer, and turning those layouts into pages will take even longer than that, especially given that as of this writing I have no idea what cloud money will be raining out of come January.
I’m thinking of script development speed based on the old method of drinking around it – at present that’s no longer the case, at present script development is theoretically a matter of siting down and grinding it out. Regardless of how drunk I’m not, writing prose (or “script”) isn’t a thing I do regularly so I can’t really estimate it. I do know that the hard part – the creativity – is a solved problem. Just gotta zip it up and make it work, then lay it out, then start it up.
Air should weigh in somewhere between 30 and 40 pages, with the opening quarter or third being a thing that can be done with existing assets and the rest of it requiring basically brand new everything. If the writing goes quickly then there could be pages by Christmas – though given asset development requirements and outstanding life issues I expect there to be some good-sized gaps in production.
My goal for the moment is to make the gap between launching the new site and producing new pages as small as possible – I’ll deal with further gaps as they pop up.
I’ve spent the last month working in WordPress. I’m taking the rest of the night off and I’ll start figuring out what to do about the script during my next work session.
Oh who am I kidding, I’m not taking the night off. I still have backups and post-launch cleanup to do ! 😀
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* Both of these are outlined. 3.5 is completely scripted; 6 has a partial script. If I add both DCR will become a more emotionally complex work, and if I add 6 it'll slam home a huge chunk of hyper-important ultraplot that I'll have to painfully trainwreckingly Stop the story for to explain otherwise - unless I can think of a clean way to do the work otherwise. I haven't ruled that out yet!