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.
Topics and Show Notes
I used to think it was the mark of a superior writer, but it's really not at all, it's just another in a long line of techniques that has its uses and missuses; most annoying of which is when cutting to the B story takes the momentum and energy out of the A story or it changes the tone of the overall story in an unfavourable way. While a good use of a B story could be to give the audience a momentary rest from the stress and urgency of the A story, while retaining the momentum.
The multiple thread story structure is most obvious in sitcoms, but it's really everywhere and when it's good you don't tend to notice too much. Do you write stories with multiple subplots? Can you name a story that's just an A plot and nothing else?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Into the Bookwoods - A folksy calming journey into dark green, misty, warm depths and golden lit fields in afternoon sun. An acoustic driven piece with the pleasing sounds of plucked wire strings!
Topics and shownotes
Shadow Born - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jun/21/featured-comic-shadow-born/
Into the Bookwoods - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Into_the_Bookwoods/ - by Kvalhissir, rated E.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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May 9, 2022
Let's go forward in time to the past so we can get back to the future and kill our grandfather and be our own ancestor while we step on a bug and change the course of evolution 200 million years in the future and doom the Morlocks to a date with Doctor Who, while Bill and Ted drive a Delorean in the Old West and save Fry's dog as it waits out the front of the Pizza place… Time travel is fun to talk about, but it's easy to mess up because paradoxes in plots pop up all over the place as timelines intersect and cross over and over, getting tangled and logically prevent events that have already happened from happening!
Dec 20, 2021
Merry Christmas and whatever you celebrate :) Interesting topic from Banes! It's his idea that sometimes the literal elements of a story (the plot etc.) are simply too weak to properly support the theme. He gives the example of The Truman show, where the idea is that a person is living a fake life under constant surveillance as the star of one of the most popular real life TV shows ever and he doesn't know anything about it… The themes are the power of the media, commercialism, the American dream, obsession with reality TV etc. Banes felt that although these themes were very strong the practical setup of the world and story weren't quite strong enough to support it.
Nov 8, 2021
The other day Tantz Aerine wrote a newspost about an article critical of Squid Game. The crux of things was that the Squid Game creator had said their message was anti-capitalist, while this critic was saying that the author's message with the Squid Game was an anti communist critique and not a very good one at that. The issue here is that isn't how you do criticism. At all. You can give an interesting reading of something and tell us why YOU think it's anti-Communist, or tell us how it looks through the lens of post-colonialism or new wave feminism etc, but you can't say that is what the author is saying or what the work means, especially if the author explicitly says WHAT they are saying. This may seem like a small distinction but it's actually very, very important. Bad criticism often tells us what the creator is saying. Don't do that. Don't be that person.
Jul 11, 2021
Schemers can be part of some great stories when they're done well! When they're done badly though they're very annoying! Schemers, plotters and planers have become a super annoying trope in anime: at the end of the first or second episode a person will show up in the shadows and say that they're amused how things are all going as predicted and planned…. They'll appear again at the half way mark of the series and again 3 episodes before the end in the run up to their climactic battle with the protagonist. It's a trope and a formula. Sometimes it works, often it doesn't.
Sep 21, 2020
Today we're talking about the idea that entertainment aimed at kids can only be enjoyed by kids and the reason that adults often don't like kids things is because adults just don't “get” them. I contend that everyone, of all ages should be able to enjoy General or kid rated media and the true reason we don't is not because it “isn't meant for us”, it's because it's simply badly written - specifically, it's not the content that's annoying, it's the structure.
Oct 21, 2019
As promised we dive right into the second half of the Star Wars chat! We cover all the Star Wars stuff besides the original trilogy and the new trilogy. There's a lot to cover and we only touch on most on it: Solo, the Star Wars Christmas special, Droids, the Ewok films, Clone Wars, the games, the books, comics, Solo, Rogue One…
May 27, 2019
What are the different expectations for female and male audiences? This almost entirely a culture based thing, it changes depending on where and WHEN you are from as well as your age and experience… but some obvious things are determined by our physiology: sex sells, but there are slight differences based on gender. I wasn't interested in the “why” (genetic predeterminisim or evolutionary psychology), just the “what”.