Episode 440 - Character tropes VS characterisation

Aug 19, 2019

Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.

Topics and Show Notes

Quackcast 440 has the full crew of Ozoneocean, Banes, Pitface and Tantz! Our description of the two types of characterisation are are probably artificial extremes but it helps to see the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Some advantages to starting with archetypes and building traits with pre-defined tropes are that it's very quick, very easy and you can create something you know for sure your audience will understand and resonate with! Disadvantages are that you risk making stale characters: either by creating a cliché or by sticking too closely to your archetype (as you're always tempted to do when you make a character this way), and not allowing the character to evolve, change out of it and escape it. You generally want to return them to “true”.
A good use for this approach are quickly made side characters who won't be around long, characters in a short-form or one-off story, or sitcom characters where you have to quickly get the audience to like them.

building a character organically over the course of a story through interaction and circumstance is harder and takes longer, but give you a changeable character that grows with your audience and who your audience grows to love! …if they can invest the time. The disadvantage here is that often you can't afford that time. This is better for long-form stories, dramas and novels.

In reality most of the time you'll use a mixture of the two approaches, often starting out with a reasonably defined character with a few traits in place, who grows as the story progresses and is changed by what happens to them and around them. That's a good, balanced way to do things, though short stories and side characters benefit from tropes.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Ice Massacre: A quiet, contemplative meditation on the vastness of space and time. Gentle ripples of sound lap against and wash over you… building slowly and then receding back into the ocean of time. Percussive tinkles glitter within the flow, like unusual seashells or sparkling pieces of colourful coral. For a moment they catch your eye, only to disappear again forever in the wash of sound.


Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
The Mystic from Wanzerbe - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/aug/13/featured-comic-the-mystic-from-wanzerbe/

Featured music:
Ice Massacre - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Ice_Massacre/, by Icemassacre, rated T.




Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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Episode 434 - Where do your characters exist?

Jul 8, 2019

3 likes, 7 comments

This time we're chatting about settings and where your characters exist in space… where does all the action happen in your comics and WHY does it happen there? Bane's had the really novel idea of thinking of story settings as action playsets, which are toy settings made based on a TV show or movie where you can play with action figures and act out key moments FROM the TV show or movie: Unlike a dollhouse they only have the key sets where the important things happen.

Episode 415 - lazy solutions cause plot-holes!

Feb 25, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast expands on my newspost from Friday about forgotten abilities causing plot holes, but now bunny Banes and Lady Tantz wade in to lend their genius to my silly ideas and we chat about what the real issues are: bad writing and laziness! This is when a character gains the ability to walk through walls or become bullet proof or go back in time and then forgets it for the rest of the story or in the sequel When basically 80% of the problems they encounter could be solved by it… And you're mentally screaming at them “Use your damn power that you got 20 pages ago… Remember that thing that would help you avoid all this trouble!?” Using easy solutions to get out of problems causes plot-holes! And your audience will hate you for it.

Episode 413 - Breaking structure

Feb 11, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

It's just Ozoneocean and bouncy Banes today. This time we're chatting about breaking and subverting structures, formulas and conventions in webcomics. Commercial creative projects need to use formulas and familiar structures because that's what audiences expect, it's also what studio executives, creative editors, publishers, producers and all the people that greenlight those projects need and expect as well. The Hero's Journey and other conventions and formulas aren't just used because they make good stories but because of the commercial realities and risk averse nature of the industry (there's a lot of money and jobs on the line). Webcomics don't have those pressures so we're talking about why webcomics shouldn't necessarily adhere to popular formulas and structures and why many don't.

Episode 412 - Hiatusssss D:

Feb 4, 2019

4 likes, 4 comments

A huge thank you to the fantastic Amelius, creator of Charby the Vampirate! We mined her great newspost on the topic of the comic hiatus for this Quackcast. When you're reading a comic and it goes on Hiatus it's an awful thing… suddenly all progress stops and you don't know for how long it will be gone for. Some authors are great, they'll reach a point where they can't work anymore for some reason or they'll take a little break, but they will tell you they're going on a hiatus and when their comic will return- and Lo, it comes back exactly when they said it would. Crappy authors will say they're going on a hiatus and never return.

Episode 399 - How many characters is too many?

Nov 4, 2018

3 likes, 2 comments

How many characters is too many? Ensemble casts can be fun and the interaction between characters can be more interesting than the actual plot of a story! But keeping track of characters from the audience point of view or even from the creator's perspective can be hard when you have a lot. Characters can copy each other and just become bad clones or you can forget what some are meant to be doing and create plot holes, audiences can stop caring about some of them or just become really confused. So how do you keep track? I think breaking them into small groups can be one good way to do it… What are some others?

Episode 394 - Nostalgia, creative fuel?

Oct 1, 2018

3 likes, 3 comments

Nostalgia! - Where does it fit in the creative process? People are the product of their influences. For a lot of us the strongest influences happen when we're growing up and learning about the world and all the things IN it for the first time. As you get older the things you experience don't make as much impact, simply because your brain has already had most of its “first times” and it's already learned enough about the world to be fully functional and independent.

Episode 392 - Outside hobbies

Aug 19, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we chat about what interests we have outside of webcomics and we want to know what YOU do as well. What are your hobbies and interests? Our interests and hobbies really inform what we do as comic creators in all sorts of ways, it can be fascinating to learn about what drives a person and what led them to be where they are now. For Banes it was music, keyboards, drums, magic and ventriloquism. For Tantz it's writing and a fascination with surgery. For Pit it's archaeology, heavy metal, and art. For me it's making, art, costume and sewing. What about you?


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