Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

story arc placement problem
PIT_FACE at 10:17AM, July 2, 2009
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allright,here's my dilema…i have about a 5 or 6 page backstory for a character i want to have in Putrid Meat,i just dont know how to present it. im also trying to decide wether it's really necissary or not and i think it actually is becuase besides introducing a character, it'll introduce the audience to what the villain's trying to accomplish. now, i have two places where i could divide the chapter i'm putting together now so that it becomes TWO cahpters, and i could put this backstory there, but i'm to worried it'll be breaking up to much of the story for this character that has nothing to do with this quite yet. then i was thinkin of posting two pages on an update, one for the regular Putrid Meat story arc, then one for this alternate arc called “Tredd”. but my problem with THAT is that that may be too much for a reader to focus on at one time. then i was also thinking of brining this storyline in AFTER this chapter's done, but by then the character will be introduced,which might still work, but i still have to think about it.

i know it might be difficult to help without knowing what's supposed to actually be happening in the stories, but does anyone have any advice? have you ever had a problem like this before? what would make sense to you?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Arico at 11:50AM, July 2, 2009
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joined: 7-2-2009
I find, in general, back-stories and character history are non-concluding, and not good to just throw in in mid-stride. Instead, wrap up whatever little tidbit you're on, and drop the back-story after it.

For instance, if I were to compare it to a TV series, the back-story would never be in the end of the episode, it'd be right at the beginning of the episode. Break your chapter up into episodes, and place it at the beginning of one. If your chapters are short, like episodes, then just wait till the beginning of next chapter to put it in.

As for your reader getting confused, don't worry about it. Just make it as clear ap possible it's a back-story. Use different colour pallets, different scenery, change the page colour, or just wash all the panels. Anything is good, as long as it differentiates the sub-plot from your main arc.

Also, 6 or so pages isn't bad. I'd assume they have enough brain to figure it out. Even if they don't get it, they'll still be amused with the pretty pictures.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Air Raid Robertson at 12:05PM, July 2, 2009
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I concur. Finish up what you have going on first. Then, put in that five page sequence. Then, after that, move on to your next piece.

You could also introduce the character first and then do the back-story a little later on. If you introduce them with the backlog material your readers may not know why should care about the character. You should have this new character interact with the rest of the cast for a little bit. The reader will obtain an emotional investment in the character, and then the origin sequence will have more impact.

One of the issues I have personally with my characters is that I have to remind myself that I know them better than the reader does. I have to put time and energy into letting the reader get to know the character and therefore care if this character lives or dies.

I don't know if your experiences are similar, but that's how it looks from my perspective.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
PIT_FACE at 3:39PM, July 2, 2009
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posts: 2,592
joined: 4-21-2007
yeah,thanks guys. i think im just gonna wait till after the character is introduced.. the only reason why i wanted to post this background story before he was actually in it is cuase of the WAY he joins in it. but eh, this probably all just sounds like jubberish right now. so that's probably what im gonna do, but if anyone else had anything to say i'd really like to hear it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM

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