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Chat with Jason Arnett

May 19, 2010

Transcripts of the chat with Jason Arnett {aka @ajasont} –  author of 4 mini-series on The Penny Dreadful –  held Tuesday, May 18th, 2010.

TPDonline: A little about our featured author today, @ajasont. You can find 4 of his miniseries on #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont blogs and tells stories at his site The Long Range Lotsa good stuff! #thepennydreadful
ajasont: Hello! #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: So with no further ado, let us welcome @ajasont on to #thepennydreadful. *applause* Hi Jason! How are you doing today?! 🙂
valerievaldes: @TPDonline @ajasont Hiya! #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @ajasont woohoo! Welcome! 🙂 #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline Pretty well so far. The rain’s stopped for today anyway. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: Hi, all! (Yay, I remembered/am not incapacitated this week!) #ThePennyDreadful
ajasont: @valerievaldes Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Glad you made it! #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: btw it’s me @CafeNirvana at the reins again today on #thepennydreadful. Thanks 2 our fearless leader @techtigger 4 taking over last 2 weeks!
lil_monmon: (Argh, Twitter’s doing that stupid thing again where it tries to download every time I hit refresh.) #ThePennyDreadful
techtigger: @TPDonline yes, I am a very happy tigger to have my evil-co-moderator back on the interwebs! 🙂 #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: Showtime! So, @ajasont tell us all about these Monster Hunters.Where do you get inspiration for your stories & characters? #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @lil_monmon try – easier than using twitter directly, just sign in w/twitter id #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Hi, hi! I’m not late I hope? 🙂 #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @mariblaser nope, we just got started! welcome! #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline Snatches of overheard conversations, Old Time Radio shows, comic books, lots of places, really. Song lyrics. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @mariblaser Hi Mari! Right on time!!! #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser Hi! Thanks for coming in. Lots of familiar faces, so now I can relax a bit. #thepennydreadful
valerievaldes: @ajasont Which radio shows? Those are great! #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont which songs/comics? #ThePennyDreadful #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont Monster hunters from song lyrics! that is so cool! I am inspired by music too but it’s mostly emo poetry 😛 #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @valerievaldes Suspense, Lights Out, Escape, X Minus One, of course The Shadow and my very favorite: Quiet, Please. #thepennydreadful
marisabirns: Hello all! Rushed over, bit breathless but just need fingers to do talking. 🙂 #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont Wow, are those like the entire lineup of CDs at the Cracker Barrel? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Songs could be anything I’m listening to. Just got an idea from a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: @ajasont @techtigger @TPDonline Thanks for the warm welcome! Familiar face helps relax, yes, as well as wine. Care 4 some? #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Hi Mari-girl! 🙂 RT @marisabirns: Hello all! Rushed over, bit breathless but just need fingers to do talking. 🙂 #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Comics from excellent writers like Mike Carey, James Robinson, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Phil Hester&Ande Parks #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon I don’t know, haven’t been to a Cracker Barrel for a while. I usually listen at the Internet Archive. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont How do you tackle so many different genres & stories over such short periods of time? How do you keep motivated? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @marisabirns Glad you could make it! #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Good taste! 🙂 RT @ajasont: Comics from Mike Carey, James Robinson, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Phil Hester&Ande Parks #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont I’m a big fan of Mark Wade and Paul Dini myself. #thepennydreadful
marisabirns: @mariblaser Hello, Mari-girl! You have the vino, yes? 😀 #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @mariblaser psst! me & @techtigger been discussing rum and johnny, but more of that later eh? *wink wink* #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline I had a plan: write 13 stories over 13 months. I mostly stuck to doing one a month, like writing comics. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline As far as keeping motivated, I wanted to get better at writing after ‘winning’ at NaNoWriMo. I just did it. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: Awesome! Links please! For us fans! RT @ajasont I usually listen at the Internet Archive. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Dini is awesome! I met Waid in Kansas City and he told me to read Einstein’s Dreams. Changed my thinking. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser Thank you. Phil is a friend and Ande’s my mentor. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont Yay! I love NaNoWrimo! Still agog at the 13 for 13 though. Whew! What’s the score so far? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @ajasont nanowrimo is what got me started writing as well – they’re good people! 🙂 #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon I just finished writing the 13th, and it’s double-sized, so it could count as 14, I suppose. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: I should say that as comics go, I like creator-owned work a lot more, in general, than the corporate characters. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: WOW! that is so cool! You are officially my hero! RT @ajasont Phil is a friend and Ande’s my mentor. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Yup. Want some? *ready to pour* RT @marisabirns: @mariblaser Hello, Mari-girl! You have the vino, yes? 😀 #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Oh, yes yes! ;D RT @TPDonline: psst! me & @techtigger been discussing rum and johnny, but more of that later eh? *wink* #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont I think it’d count for 14. I won’t tell on you. : ) #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @ajasont do you have any plans to convert your stories over into comics? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger NaNo is just terrific. The support is wonderful, the camaraderie is just so — you know, cool. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: That is brilliant! Round of applause! RT @ajasont @lil_monmon I just finished writing the 13th #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger Not right now. I tried to break in for a couple of years, but just didn’t have the stuff. This is more fun. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: Good question! RT @techtigger: @ajasont do you have any plans to convert your stories over into comics? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger I was told I was hurting my stories by drawing them, so I stopped doing that and just started writing. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont There’s always webcomics. I’ve been doing one for over 4 years. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: How is it, the writing comics experience? Can you elaborate? RT @ajasont: I should say that as comics go, … #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: RT @ajasont @techtigger I was told I was hurting my stories by drawing them, –Whaaaaaaaaat?? #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Which one? Do tell! 🙂 RT @lil_monmon: @ajasont Theres always webcomics. Ive been doing one for over 4 years. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon I thought about it. My one claim to comics fame is a short I wrote for a manga artist who went 2 to big things #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont It would b great if you did. #thepennydreadful has plans for comics in the future& you’re more than welcome to post it all there 😀
TPDonline: RT @mariblaser: How is it, the writing comics experience? Can you elaborate? to @ajasont:. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser I liked writing comics. Pacing was a learning experience I never quite grasped. Like movie scripting. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont You don’t need a claim to fame to be a webcomic artist. My biggest claim to fame is that I once met Mark Waid. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Yep. The drawing is where 75% of the storytelling occurs and I wasn’t good enough. It was a good thing to hear #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Good analogy. I guess I know what you mean. 🙂 RT @ajasont: @mariblaser Like movie scripting. #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @ajasont I remember seeing a few writers say that scripting comics was like learning to write all over again, very diff. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Puzzled.. What about Gaiman. He doesn’t draw… RT @ajasont: @lil_monmon drawing is where 75% of the storytelling occurs #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline Unless you’re a ‘name’ writer, most artists think they’re bigger than the writer. True in that art sells books #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @ajasont i guess it is hard to find a good collaborator – the guys at Looking For Group & Girl Genius do a great job #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser No, but he had a great editor behind him who paired him up with artists. I wasn’t that lucky. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont I still wouldn’t give up. It’s just something to work on. @mariblaser correctiong: N.G. does storyboarding. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Sorry 4 ignorance, but how so? RT @ajasont: @mariblaser he had a great editor behind him who paired him up with artists #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger Yeah, b/c the artist gets to do the exposition in the drawings. It has to be in script to be drawn, though. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont Sad truth, more companies are looking for artists than writers. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: that’s strange. The visual experience is a factor but without a story its meaningless.For me. RT @ajasont art sells books? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser Not at all. He worked through DC Comics, one of the big 2 publishers. I was independent (not signed). #thepennydreadful
techtigger: i can understand the drawing vs writing thing – both can be very labor intensive, hard to do both really well #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: @ajasont Ha, got it. Thanks! 🙂 #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @TPDonline I’ve read lots of comics where the arts “eh” but the story is amazing. And usually the art improves after time. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger It was not finding a collaborator who valued the story that led me to draw my own books. Good collabs rare. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Share a link? RT @ajasont: @techtigger not finding a collaborator who valued the story that led me to draw my own books. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: Exactly! RT @lil_monmon I’ve read lots of comics where the arts “eh” but the story is amazing. the art improves after time #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline I usually follow writers, like the ones I mentioned, despite the artists. #thepennydreadful
oodja: @ajasont Sorry I’m late to the party! Getting caught up on the chat as we speak… #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Yeah, there are quite a few that way. I give the writer more leeway than the artists usually. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @TPDonline I’ve equally read ones where the “committee” put out a pretty comic but the story is dull as my rain boots. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont To go back on topic, what kind of time-period visually sets you thinking about stories? I assume 1930s. #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @ajasont for your mini-series on TPD – do you script them out like comics? or have some other method for planning them? #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline your stories or do they just rush in on you as you keep writing? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser Here’s a short 2 pager I did. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @lil_monmon I think around 90% of most mainstream comics to be that way. Amazingly illustrated but the stories are tepid. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Anything where there’s a lot going on usually gets me thinking. Not just 30s, ancient Rome, too. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont I LIKE your art style!! I prefer non-“The DC guide to Comics.” It’s all just so plastic compared to REAL art. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: I was about to say the same! Cool perspectives! RT @lil_monmon: @ajasont I LIKE your art style!! #thepennydreadful
techtigger: @lil_monmon that’s why I like webcomics, you don’t have to conform to generic art standards for comics #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont “going on” does that refer to political happenings or the discoveries of the era? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline I’ve done both, but prefer plotting. At least major beats: A then B then C so I can have fun getting there. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Cool #art, check it out! RT @ajasont: @mariblaser Heres a short 2 pager I did. #thepennydreadful
oodja: Agreed! RT @mariblaser: I was about to say the same! Cool perspectives! RT @lil_monmon: @ajasont I LIKE your art style!! #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Me too, for long pieces. The shorts won’t allow me, heh. RT @ajasont: @TPDonline Ive done both, but prefer plotting. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger No scripting like comics, just straight-ahead writing. Not enough editing sometimes, though. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Thanks! I tried very hard and learned a lot. Just didn’t have it in me to do both. Time got in the way. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser Thank you! #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont You totally need to check out “Scot Pilgrim Vs. The World.” It’ll make you want to pick up an inking pen again. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @techtigger Webcomics have a lot more cache nowadays than they did 10 years ago. The world caught up to the internet. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont What made you interested in writing in the serial format? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Politics, science, art all inspire me. Usually because there’s a great story going on behind the scenes. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont @techtigger More Cache, but less Cash, I’m afraid. *L* #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Scott Pilgrim’s very cool stuff, but I’m happier just writing my little stories. Learning the craft. #thepennydreadful
marisabirns: @mariblaser Yes, it’s hard to plot with short fiction. @ajasont #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline Comics? Knowing that I could self-publish cheaply, easily and build an audience at my own pace. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Very true. Yes. Lots less cash. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont I’m impressed with what I’ve read so far. (I’m on your Scifi Series Honest Work right now) #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: @ajasont How’s your self-publishing experience? Are you happy or do you think of going traditional some day? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline Plus serials are just plain fun. I know that I like weekly installments, so there’re others that do, too. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @marisabirns Plotting in advance gives me something to change when I start writing. 🙂 #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont I’m just starting out w. my own serials and finding it maddening as hell. Any advice? #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @lil_monmon Thanks. I like Honest Work a lot. It’s a kind of Heinlein pastiche, I guess. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser I’m aiming to be traditional, but glad that self-pubbing is available and reasonable. #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont Do you have a regular schedule or routine for writing? [and to stick to the 13 for 13 plan?] #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Do you mind sharing your reasons? RT @ajasont: @mariblaser Im aiming to be traditional #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline I usually write 1st thing in the AM after I exercise, shower and eat. I’m wide awake and thinking by then. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @TPDonline I also tried setting firm deadlines but they blew up pretty quickly. I worked ahead by a couple of stories. #thepennydreadful
ajasont: @mariblaser For trad pubbing? Because it’s there, I suppose, and I consider it kind of ‘serious’. It’d make Mom happy. #thepennydreadful
lil_monmon: @ajasont ((Ack! Morning person!)) #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: @ajasont Is there a novel on the way, besides the serials? If yes, what’s it about? #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: few more minutes for chat to conclude officially. As always, everyone is free to continue chatting afterwards! 😀 #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: LOL! Excellent reason! ;P RT @ajasont: @mariblaser For trad pubbing? ….. Itd make Mom happy. #thepennydreadful
mariblaser: Agreed! uh RT @lil_monmon: @ajasont ((Ack! Morning person!)) #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont What are your plans for the future wrt writing? #thepennydreadful Any WIPs or other projects in the offing?
ajasont: @mariblaser I’ve got ideas for two: one adventure/first alien contact story called Supercell (for now) (cont…) #thepennydreadful
TPDonline: @ajasont How do you feel being part of this blossoming project that is #Thepennydreadful?
ajasont: @mariblaser And another that’s a lot more abstract about ideas that don’t go away. It’s really got my imagination. #thepennydreadful
ajasont @TPDonlineFuture writing includes more shorts to submit to magazines/websites – planning on 6 before end of year.
ajasont @TPDonline Also want to write more serials for my website & TPD. Working on a couple of ideas now. Start writing end/June
lil_monmon @ajasont Looking forward to it! : )
techtigger @ajasont wow, you’ve got a pretty ambitious schedule! Go you! 🙂
ajasont @TPDonline I’m so glad to be part of TPD. I feel lucky to be here and that you think nice things about my writing.
marisabirns @ajasont Good luck with all your projects! Having your imagination captured by them all is wonderful thing. 🙂
ajasont @techtigger It’s gotta be or else I won’t do anything. Just have to be careful of overloading myself. That’s dangerous.
ajasont @mariblaser Thanks! Most are lightly plotted out already. Really just have to write then edit.
TPDonline @ajasont Before we sign off officially (& break out the vino), do you have any message for your readers&fans :D?
lil_monmon @ajasont And if the inclination grabs you, I wouldn’t mind seeing more artwork too.
ajasont @lil_monmon We’ll see. I’ll find that short I did with the manga artist. She won’t mind if I put it up, I think.
KatharinaFive Do you feel that #fridayflash and #thepennydreadful help you fine tune a story that you are writing
ajasont @TPDonline I’m grateful for every reader. I like to know what you think, what I can do better, but glad you read the story
techtigger @ajasont manga? That’d be awesome! we’d love to have it on TPD 🙂
TPDonline And with that lovely message from @ajasont to his readers, we officially conclude chat for today. Thanks for joining us!
ajasont @KatharinaFive If I didn’t have TPD I might procrastinate a little. Yes, all of it helps a lot knowing someone will see it
mariblaser @lil_monmon Pleasure was mine. Loved the illustrator input. 😀
marisabirns @lil_monmon @techtigger @TPDOnline @mariblaser Thanks for making this another great chat!
lil_monmon @techtigger @TPDOnline @mariblaser @marisabirns it’s been a pleasure as always. : )
TPDonline Follow @TPDOnline or #thepennydreadful for the transcripts and more great stories & lovely people! 😀
lil_monmon @ajasont Thanks for the insightful chat! Had a blast!
mariblaser @ajasont Thanks for the great chat! 🙂 @tpdonline @techtigger It’s always fun! 😉
ajasont Have a great day, everyone. I should write something now, shouldn’t I?
TPDonline @ajasont Thanks for joining us, we had a great time, lots of illuminating stuff and learnt a lot about comics too 😀
techtigger @ajasont thanks for chatting with us today, and for sharing your stories on TPD! 🙂
TPDonline You can find all of @ajasont ‘s stories on TPDOnline & on his site
ajasont For now, I’ve gotta run. I’ll check back in later. This was great fun!
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