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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Jul 18, 2022
History is happening faster now. With the growth of universal high speed communication and cheap world travel, culture and technology move at unprecedented speeds. Because of these factors the rate of change is different to what it was at any time in the past. This is an objective and verifiable truth rather than subjective perception: the current speed and quality of global communication has never been possible before and that has ramifications for how the world changes.
Jun 27, 2022
A and B stories… And C, and D etc. It seems that it's more popular than ever to have stories with multiple concurrent threads. This is when you have a main story and a bunch of other sub stories all happening at the same time. These might come together at the end of the story or they might peter out. We don't get many stories just made with just an A-plot and nothing else these days.
Jun 13, 2022
Our very own Tantz made a newspost last week about the idea of “Heroes” who are really villains… or at least they're actually villains who think they're the hero, but come to realise that they aren't. Sometimes that makes them change their ways and they seek redemption, maybe even becoming a true hero. Sometimes they just lean into and embrace their true villain nature.
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 30, 2022
Adaptations of one thing into another is an interesting process. What's lost, what's gained, what modifications do you have to do to make it happen? As webcomicers we do it all the time in many ways, we have to adapt our influences into ideas, adapt those to stories, and adapt those to images and comics, which isn't trivial! It's often quite difficult to transform the written word into narrative sequential art- what portion of the writing gets directly turned into images, what's cut, and what becomes dialogue? For me about 20% is cut, 78% becomes art and 2% becomes dialogue or captions.
May 16, 2022
Spoiler- we don't actually talk much about Yu-Gi-Oh! But I feel it's a good example of a pretty bad a so-bad-it's-good story, but bad nevertheless. The idea we're talking about here is that it's useful to look at bad stories and stick with them because they can really help you write better. They're a lot more useful than good stories because you'd rather just enjoy those and it's a bit harder to examine them for technical details, but with “bad” stories the faults stand out strongly. Instead of simply dismissing a bad story or making fun of it, it's more useful and valuable to try and “fix” it: try and work out why it seems bad and think about what would be needed to make it better, then think about how that applies to your own work. Maybe you're actually making many of the same mistakes?
Mar 28, 2022
Retro adventure heroes are an interesting and unique sort of hero. The trope was revived and crystallised by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones, but it had existed long before then and continues to persist now in many forms. They're not without their problems But I like these characters. I love their outfits, their competency, intelligence, self sufficiency, and their penchant for exploration and discovery.