Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Do You Have a Sounding Board?
El Cid at 8:25AM, Feb. 14, 2020
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We've all seen it happen. Some big hotshot comics writer or game developer or filmmaker strikes off on their own and you're like “hell yeah! Now we finally get to see their complete, unfiltered vision, without the studio execs and co-writers watering it down.” Then their brilliant, uncompromising masterpiece is released and… it sucks. Like, it really blows massive chunks. Why is that?

I think a big part of it is that compromise can help rein in a project from going completely off the rails. You need feedback from other people to keep things in perspective; otherwise you're just bouncing ideas off of yourself, which can become an infinitely reinforcing loop. Of course you think your ideas are great! You're you!

So, do you have a sounding board? Is there someone you bounce ideas off of, to make sure your crazy ideas are “good” crazy and not just “crazy” crazy? Personally, I don't; I find my work is only interesting when it does go a bit off the rails, but I do try to police myself as much as I can.
bravo1102 at 10:57AM, Feb. 14, 2020
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Apologies to Tantzaerine but this where that self-flagellation/deprecation comes in handy. I am my harshest critic.

My first reaction is always to second guess my ideas and think it's the worst ever. If you think my stuff is awful you should see the first draft. 😉 🤣🤣🤣

Seriously though, I'm constantly throwing ideas around.

When I put the stuff up I take notes from the reader's comments on their story suggestions and to get reactions to my crazy ideas.

Some of my readers are great to toss ideas off of and can be very inspiring.

So I really have to do a shout out to my readers for being my sounding board.
last edited on Feb. 14, 2020 11:03AM
usedbooks at 11:56AM, Feb. 14, 2020
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I need one, but I always feel so guilty asking other people for their time.

Reader feedback is sometimes helpful, but I script years in advance, so it doesn't help much in the long run.

At this point, I ask for an ear only when I am helplessly blocked and have been so for many months and am staring at blank pages (or, more accurately, piles of scratched out non-cohesive pages) at the 11th hour.
Ironscarf at 8:36AM, Feb. 15, 2020
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I don't have anyone to bounce ideas off and while that sounds like a great idea, I don't know how I'd go about finding such a person! I mean, comics are such a specialised thing, nobody in my daily life is going to have much idea and other creators I know online, well they're too busy creating. I wouldn't want to hassle them.

Out there ideas are only out there until everybody jumps on board. If somebody approached me for an opinion on their project and it seemed completely crazy to me, I wouldn't want to discourage them or tell them to reign it in. I'd be afraid of watering down something that could turn out to be a success. I'd give me opinion on page and panel layouts if asked, but that's about it.

Obviously if you're signed to a publisher and your editor recommends some changes, that's an entirely different thing.
 
ayesinback at 3:14PM, Feb. 17, 2020
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I made the big mistake of asking my mother (literate, canny sense of humor, professional editor) to read a first draft of a short story I had written.
Her comment was “That is so done.” When I asked her to clarify, she stated that she must have seen the same theme/storyline played out dozens of times. It pretty much killed the story for me.

Aside from who your sounding board is, I think the timing of the criticism is key, maybe at outline time? And/or before big money is spent. I also suggest that when asking for input, one should require that any comments be very specific. “I'm not feeling it” kind of crap should be appropriately flushed.
You TOO can be (multiple choice)
Ironscarf at 7:00PM, Feb. 17, 2020
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ayesinback wrote:
When I asked her to clarify, she stated that she must have seen the same theme/storyline played out dozens of times. It pretty much killed the story for me.

Should've stuck with it ayesinback. Sounds like you were onto a winner there.
 
bravo1102 at 5:22AM, Feb. 18, 2020
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Ironscarf wrote:
ayesinback wrote:
When I asked her to clarify, she stated that she must have seen the same theme/storyline played out dozens of times. It pretty much killed the story for me.

Should've stuck with it ayesinback. Sounds like you were onto a winner there.

For me that would be the beginning of the conversation, not the end. Everyone who says that usually has some change-up on the tropes they'd love to see.

That's what having a sounding board is all about. This tired trope is what I came up with, how can it be changed to freshen it up?
last edited on Feb. 18, 2020 5:26AM
ayesinback at 10:57AM, Feb. 18, 2020
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bravo1102 wrote:

For me that would be the beginning of the conversation, not the end. Everyone who says that usually has some change-up on the tropes they'd love to see.

That's what having a sounding board is all about. This tired trope is what I came up with, how can it be changed to freshen it up?

I agree, but it takes two for a conversation. In choosing a sounding board, I chose poorly.
You TOO can be (multiple choice)
Ironscarf at 4:03PM, Feb. 18, 2020
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Any story worth telling has been told countless times before. You chose well!
 
Tantz_Aerine at 8:57AM, Feb. 19, 2020
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bravo1102 wrote:
Apologies to Tantzaerine but this where that self-flagellation/deprecation comes in handy. I am my harshest critic.


You can be your harshest critic without self-flagellating :p

I have at times assorted people as my sounding boards. The more I go closer to the party politics in Without Moonlight I get a lot of unsolicited sounding boards hahaha! Some of them very useful, but also a whole lot of noise!
 
PIT_FACE at 6:22PM, Feb. 19, 2020
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No one has the time and I'm shit at taking advice, lol.


rickrudge at 11:53AM, April 12, 2020
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My wife is kind of my muse, but other than that, I’m sort of on my own too. Except, in some cases where you, El Cid, comment on some of my pages (but, by then it’s too late). Some of my stuff is way out there, but the Adult rating keeps people from getting too freaked out dealing with my crazy imagination.

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