Aug 8, 2022
How do you describe your work to sell it to people? Writing blurbs is a real skill! You generally have to avoid doing these four things: Underselling, Overselling, Selling the wrong story, or Revealing too much. It's quite a tricky balance to master. I've been writing feature blurbs for comics here on DD for many years now (about 16), so I've developed a technique but even I haven't mastered it!
Topics and Show Notes
- Overselling is when you promise too much, more than the work can ever provide. It might help you attract an audience but it'll probably piss them off when the promises aren't met.
- Underselling is when you downplay the work too much so that it doesn't really sound interesting and discourages people from checking it out at all.
- Selling the wrong story is when you advertise things about your work that it's really not about, like advertising it as a love story when it's really about violent action. You'll just attract the wrong audience and lose readers.
- Selling too much is when you reveal major plot points and crucial story elements. People don't usually want to look into a story if they already know how it's going to go.
My technique with featured comics is to use a standard format. I introduce the main character and then the issues facing them in their world. Then I talk about the art and the story style. I do this so I can personalise the story for people, centering it onto that character or characters. Mentioning the issues introduces some stakes so people start to wonder how the character will deal with those. Talking about the world of the characters gives everything a context, a playing field unique to them and their situation. Talking about the story style, genre etc filters things to the correct audience, as does the mention of art. This works for me because I have to do it over and over hundreds of times, another style might work better for you. :)
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Sad W - Hurry up and wait! All the loose energy and stress of a Friday afternoon when it’s almost time to go home but your boss throws an urgent last minute job onto your desk. Hurry, hurry, quick, finish! Damn, you made a huge mistake, do all that bit again. Hurry! This is a modern sounding, high energy, track, thrumming with urgency.
Topics and shownotes
Forum post - Writing spoiler free blurbs - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/179116/
Remedial Magic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/aug/01/featured-comic-remedial-magic/
Sad W - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Sad_W/ - by Sstavix, rated E.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
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Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
May 23, 2022
We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.
Feb 28, 2022
Last week we did a thing of the persistent myths of fiction- fictional conventions that we all just accept, and are repeated over and over and even influence real life- for example: that people are blasted back in reaction to being shot. It started as a way of making shooting scenes more dramatic and obvious on film, but became a convention and we all believe it so much that it influences reality- it's part of the famous JFK conspiracy about a “second shooter” because people foolishly think JFK's head rocking “back and to the left” indicated the direction of a gunshot. The kinetic energy of a bullet is imparted to the medium it strikes, typically through heat and destruction when it hits a soft target like a human.
May 30, 2021
We've done a few Quackcasts about how terrible Mary Sues are… well this is the opposite! Tantz postulated that they can be likable and GOOD for a story and then won us over easily by telling us why during our Patreon video. In the Quackcast Banes and I join in, having been convinced of the idea. We talk about how if the Mary Sue is a likable, good person, genuinely humble or altruistic and helpful then that can mitigate their Mary Sueness. Whereas if they're selfish, take their status for granted, take advantage of others or are just there to be marvelled and worshiped by the astonished onlookers (re: Rey), they can be unpleasant.
Apr 12, 2021
Mary Sues are always a fun topic! There are some misconceptions about them though… Mary Sues aren't all female, they can be any gender. Being super powerful or super popular or super pretty etc doesn't equal a Mary Sue, not even if your character super stands out next to all the others, those things ONLY indicate they might possibly be one. What equals a Mary Sue is a character that doesn't have to struggle very hard for anything, a character that is almost universally admired, and or loved (even by the enemy), a character that masters hard skills with ease and ends up teaching the teachers and beating the masters, a character that's destined to succeed and does in spite of internal story logic… All these things and more can add up to make a Mary Sue.
Mar 22, 2021
Folk tales are the primordial ooze of culture. Nobody knows where these stories began, nobody owns them, They're added to and expanded by successive generations. They spread and grow because they have resonance to all sorts of different people across time, different languages, and ethnicities. We talk about that resonance and why these stories still have meaning for us today, why new ones are still being created, and why you're free to use Beauty and the Beast or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for your own creative projects without worrying about copyright issues.
Sep 7, 2020
Fanfiction is a massive subject, there are so many aspects to it, from the bad stuff with the Mary Sues, rampant shipping, author inserts and wish fulfilment etc to homages and great works that extend the story and characters beyond what they were in the original and add interesting and fun aspects to fan favourites. There are many good reasons to do fanfiction: It's fun, you're inspired and want to use that inspiration, all the characteristics of the story are readymade so you don't have to do world building or character development, the work has a built in audience so you're going to have readers no matter what and hopefully some feedback, it can help make you more popular as a creator because of the fans of the original work, and you get to experiment because you can't sell the work or do anything serious with it so you may as well have fun and enjoy it!