Writing Partner: Traveling with an Octopus

I finished my travel writing story and I’m pretty happy with it! Fingers crossed it makes the top ten for the contest I entered. I’m also pretty happy with how my octopus turned out.

D&D Octopus miniature painted eye

I think he it turned out pretty good. As I worked out the details for each of the Pine Island locations I talked about, I layered on the base coats. That laid the framework for both the octopus and my narrative.

Next I took the real life stories and I gave them all an edge. Turning what was childhood misunderstandings and half forgotten memories into something more sinister. With the octopus I did this by choosing a pattern that indicated its venomous nature rather than the more nature red color most people pick for this mini.

D&D Octopus miniature painted
I tried to make the pattern symmetrical but I had to cheat a couple times.

Next I had to take a loose series of stories about an area and turn them into a cohesive narrative. To do this I used a common horror trope, the unreliable narrator. Though in this case he isn’t so much unreliable as he is biased. The octopus is unreliable though. Turn your back on it for a moment and suddenly you’ll be engulfed.

D&D Octopus miniature painted attacking

That was a fun week of writing and painting. However, as usual, there is no time to rest. I have my eye on another publication with a new theme to work with. Here’s a hint: it’s of mythic proportions.

Writing Partner: An Occasion for an Octopus

An octopus miniture

I’m working on a new story for a travel writing contest. At first I was really scratching my head trying to think of an idea. I write genre fiction and historically I have a really hard time bending for contest conditions and themes. Then I saw that entries could be fiction… Time to write, but who’s going to work with me on this one?

I decided to write about the Pine Islands, a fictionalized version of the Puget Sound area a friend and I came up with. We have written many stories about this area and I have visited the Islands that inspired it many times. It’s a pretty easy place to picture in my head and one I can imagine traveling through. Though I would venture through it with no small amount of apprehension.

As usual I sat down to this project with a miniature on the corner of my desk. I made my decision based on regional flavor. I picked a giant octopus.

An octopus miniture

This is a miniature from Wiz Kidz pre-primed line. I chose it because the region I’m writing about is the home of the Giant Pacific Octopus, an animal that inspired fascination in me long before I moved here. I don’t think I’ll be painting mine red though. While my beloved devilfish are known for their striking red coloration, I think I’ll paint mine up like a Blue-ringed Octopus. My reasoning here, beyond it looking rad, is that my version of the region is more menacing than the real location. So, my octopus will be more dangerous. Imagine if the largest octopus was also one of the most venomous animals on the planet. Wonderful, isn’t it?

Beyond the paint scheme I also have to decide if filling in a small factory imperfection (the line under the eye where the head meets the body) is worth re-priming my new partner. I usually don’t bother with these cheaper minis, but I really like this sculpt. Either way, I’ll post the results after I have finished both the contest entry and the mini. Stay tuned!