When Nothing Is Normal

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Jan. 9, 2021



Usually when building a character, we go for their general personality in terms of traits, the routine/general behavior they would display, the routine/general things that would interest them and so on.

If you are writing a slice of life story, or a sitcom style series, or anything that ...



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Dat MASK, tho

Banes at 12:00AM, Jan. 7, 2021



Masked, Unknown Characters

Fiction, certainly in the movie/TV/comics visual mediums, are full of characters whose identities are hidden by masks.

On The Mandalorian, the title character follows a strict creed that says he is not supposed to let another living being see his face, so he always wears ...





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Back From The Dead

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Jan. 2, 2021



So we've talked often about how letting a character die in a story is something that should be used very frugally, because once death occurs, it should be permanent. In most settings, death shouldn't be something that is reversible. If not, it will lose its impact, and the ...

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Exploiting Death

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Dec. 19, 2020




When a character the story's cast and audience identify and are familiar with dies, the effect is, or should be, monumental.

Not only because that effectively ends that character's journey (and arc), but also because as an event it has immediate ramifications for all the surviving characters.

First ...






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Drawing Lies

Banes at 12:00AM, Dec. 10, 2020



Drawing Lies - Deception, Insincerity and Sarcasm

Stories and characters have many contexts where emotion is needed - the happy and sad and angry and scared of it all is a big focus of my own comic drawing - I keep it cartoony (with as few lines as possible) and maybe slightly exaggerated ...



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Happy Halloween! How's your Memento Mori?

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Oct. 31, 2020



Halloween, aka Eve of All Saints, is a Day of the Dead.

Days of the Dead exist in nearly every culture. There's the famous Dia de Muertos from Mexico, but there are also less known ones.

For example, in Greece we got “Soul Saturdays” which are basically two Saturdays ...





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Hidden Horror - Lifting up the Rock

Banes at 12:00AM, Oct. 22, 2020




On our last Quackcast I had a realization about one of the recurring elements that shows up in a lot of horror I like.

It's the hidden nature of horror. When someone, or something, appears normal or even extra sweet or appealing, but hides nasty stuff beneath.

It's ...






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Character Design Brainstorming: The Witch

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Sept. 19, 2020



The witch is different than a sorceress, though their affinity with magic and their powers often can overlap: the sorceress carries status; the witch carries fear.

It's not that the sorceress is not potentially feared or the witch is not potentially respected- it's that the core of their ...



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Character Design Brainstorm: The Man (or Woman) of the Cloth

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Aug. 29, 2020



There are many tropes and many archetypes that we use for character designs. I had a couple of years go (have I really been at it this long!?) done a series of articles on the standard character type/functionality archetypes.

I'm thinking it's high time to explore archetypes ...



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Pixar's Rules of Storytelling

Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 13, 2020

Pixar has had one of the most dedicated story teams in the business. Here are the Pixar rules of storytelling. I find them to be powerful and sensible! If you haven't seen this list before (I hadn't), here they are!


1. You admire a character for trying more ...


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