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Author Topic: So I've been writing! And a question!  (Read 5646 times)

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Offline operationremie

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So I've been writing! And a question!
« on: April 26, 2010, 04:09:38 AM »
Yea! I can't believe it, actually. I was on a trip to Boston to go visit my GF at school and on the train trip back, I wrote 4 scripts. Then I wrote another 2! I'm like "holy carp!" I still have to edit them and stuff but it's heading in a good direction so far.

How do you guys feel about comics that are just jokes every week compared to comics that have a storyline that is sometimes funny? The direction I'm taking my comic is that there is a main storyline, where it kinda doesn't have a joke-a-week theme, that leads to an eventual conclusion and the start of a new storyline. But I'm gonna have some throw-away stories that don't really play towards the main storyline on occasion (I got this idea of this absurd superhero). What do you all think?

Offline Gar

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 11:11:52 AM »
It kind of depends on whether you're pushing plot/character or humour more, and tastes vary. In the more plot-driven comics I read, I like it when there are little snarky one-liners and funny dialogue in between Action and Drama. A bit of comic relief is a welcome thing, just try not to do hilariously-inappropriate-timing during emotional scenes (unless you think it'll get a big laugh and feel that's better than setting a sentiment).

Telling a story entirely in punchlines kind of limits the type of stories you can tell. CTRL+ALT+DEL suffered quite a bit of backlash when the miscarriage storyline ran, and part of that was because it just didn't gel with the tone of the rest of the comic. If you're reading for poop jokes and funny robots then you don't want it to turn into an episode of Gray's Anatomy all of a sudden. 

That said, I think Questionable Content achieves quite a good balance of poop jokes and character drama. If you divide screen time between people cracking jokes and people worrying about things then you can ramp up the drama over time and it won't be jarring for the readers.

Side-features that don't really play towards the main storyline are fine as far as they go.  Maybe try to draw them in a different style or something to make them stand out as such. If you think you might want to tie in the daft superhero later you can have him appear on TV screens or something in the main comic

Offline Rob

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 01:02:26 PM »
I like all different kinds of comics. I have no preferences other than they be good. I read many many comics and they are a mix of many different kinds.

Offline operationremie

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 05:49:56 PM »
part of me feels that i'll have a giant storyline and then no where to go when i'm done. or it will be a giant mess.

Offline Gibson

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 07:05:26 PM »
It's a really vague question, but it depends on the story and whether the format works. If it was done well, I'd probably read it and if not, I wouldn't.

Offline operationremie

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 07:27:19 PM »
haha well i got the general idea of what's going to happen and everyone i talk to feels it's a good opener. then it kinda gets weird after that. i kinda want to do a 180 and change it up a bit.

Offline Gibson

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 08:36:07 PM »
I don't mean to be harsh, but I'm not sure what you're looking for here. Feedback? General information on whether we reads comics? I don't understand.

Offline Gar

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 03:40:32 AM »
part of me feels that i'll have a giant storyline and then no where to go when i'm done. or it will be a giant mess.

Well the good thing about having a giant storyline to do and knowing where it's going from the start means you have plenty of time to figure out what should happen next (and who knows, by the time you finish with the big storyline your characters might have started 'writing themselves'. It's always nice when that happens).

I'm not entirely sure why you're asking the board about what kind of comic you should write though. From the little description of your scripts you gave there it sounds like you're leaning towards plot-driven with a strong-ish emphasis comic relief (with occasional side stories/filler material). That's a formula that's worked well for Joss Whedon for years, so I say trust your instincts and just start the damn thing already!

Offline operationremie

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 09:04:16 AM »
I'm not entirely sure why you're asking the board about what kind of comic you should write though. From the little description of your scripts you gave there it sounds like you're leaning towards plot-driven with a strong-ish emphasis comic relief (with occasional side stories/filler material). That's a formula that's worked well for Joss Whedon for years, so I say trust your instincts and just start the damn thing already!

it was more of me trying to see if people like that stuff. i kinda don't read many webcomics that often (usually am caught reading months worth at once) so i don't know what is really out there that works and what doesn't. i was just curious if that was a common thing, where they would put funny in a serious plot-driven comic. it's just that my old stuff was just one-bit jokes every week. there was no character development, no storyline. just the same characters each week but i never told anything about them. i'm trying something different and i don't know if it would work or not. but seeing the general confusion discussion of me asking, i guess i'll try it.

and i have started. i got 6 pages of the comic already written. my gf is gonna go through and edit them for me so they sound better but i'm hoping to have a bunch written before i start drawing. it should be good.

Offline JGray

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 09:11:30 AM »
I'm a sucker for a plotline and character development in anything. Comics. Video games. TV shows. What have you. With the exception of the Farside or Peanuts, comics that are nothing but daily gags that never go anywhere don't interest me. The Wizard of Id, for example, is the same characters doing the same things over and over again. I find little use for that. On the other hand, the characters in Doonesberry grow and change over time and that interests me.

Offline Rob

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 09:45:14 AM »
The Webcomic List tracks over fifteen thousand webcomics. I'm told that there is another site (the name escapes me) that tracks 25k. The point being that there is something for everyone out there. There are no limitations. Do what you love.  ;)

Offline Gar

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 11:16:48 AM »

it was more of me trying to see if people like that stuff. i kinda don't read many webcomics that often (usually am caught reading months worth at once) so i don't know what is really out there that works and what doesn't. i was just curious if that was a common thing, where they would put funny in a serious plot-driven comic. it's just that my old stuff was just one-bit jokes every week. there was no character development, no storyline. just the same characters each week but i never told anything about them. i'm trying something different and i don't know if it would work or not. but seeing the general confusion discussion of me asking, i guess i'll try it.

and i have started. i got 6 pages of the comic already written. my gf is gonna go through and edit them for me so they sound better but i'm hoping to have a bunch written before i start drawing. it should be good.

I don't know what kind of comics you read, but if you catch up by reading big chunks of archive at a time then that hints at more plot-driven stuff and you're waiting for 'chapters' to accumulate.

From my own experience, I go mostly for comedy with a kind of gentle meandering story more-or-less in the background, and that works for me. I recently outed one (well, two) of my feline characters as gay (Keno and Murphy are the names), and played it for laughs. I had hinted at it years ago when they were stuck up a tree and I put in some shy flirting, then last year when I wasn't doing much with the plot I did a strip which was basically a love poem from one character to the other. Recently Murphy accidentally outed Keno to his father (Neko). Neko thinks it's the best scam ever (as no kittens=no neutering in his mind). Murphy took offence at the idea that being gay is a scam, and then it devolved into a conversation about buttsex. I actually got a few e-mails from gay readers who loved that little arc, but it wouldn't have worked if I hadn't set up the Keno-Murphy relationship in advance before revealing what readers had suspected for years (making the readers want it to be the case), and if Neko hadn't been established as a narcissistic jerk so his bemused reaction would be authentic.

You don't have to draw such clear lines between comedy, plot, and character development. People say funny things in conversation all the time, sometimes especially during tense situations, and a conversation doesn't have to be taken equally as seriously by all parties involved.

Time-honoured advice: Try and write a comic that you yourself would want to read.  You seem happy (excited, even) with the scripts you have written, and that's a good place to be.  Try reading Gibson's writing tutorials for advice on planning if you're worried about where you're going with this thing. Other than that just trust your instincts.

Offline Funderbunk

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 12:49:32 PM »
part of me feels that i'll have a giant storyline and then no where to go when i'm done. or it will be a giant mess.

Let me ask you one question - if you have a giant storyline that wraps up nicely and has nowhere left to go, do you feel you SHOULD continue it? There's plenty of reasons a lot of sequels are not nearly as good as the originals, but forcing new stories out of characters that are done is a big one. This applies to everything - books, comics, and films.
I'm so optimistic, my blood type is 'B Positive'!

Offline operationremie

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 01:34:50 PM »
gar - i usually read a huge chunk at a time 'cause i just usually forget to read webcomics. then i'm like "oh crap" and go back and notice i'm months behind. happens a lot lately...

funderbunk - you got a point. should maybe see what happens.

Offline Alectric

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Re: So I've been writing! And a question!
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 06:05:05 PM »
Have you considered subscribing to RSS feeds so you don't forget?  I find them immensly convenient (they're pretty much the only reason I use Internet Explorer) and am astounded that so few people actually use them.