Feb 10, 2020
There are a couple of approaches when it comes to making a big creative project: planing it all out or working things out as you go i.e. flying by the seat of your pants. Well in reality it's a spectrum and those are the two extremes. Most of us work somewhere between those two, sometimes with more or less planning etc… I've tried a lot of different mixtures myself!
Topics and Show Notes
Improvising as you go can be thrilling, it can really keep the creative juices flowing. It works best when you have a really good idea of the world you're working with, the characters and how they think. The downside to it is that you can easily lose focus and hit a creative brick wall. It also means it's harder to make big, coherent story arcs with clever ideas, good structure and payoffs for loyal readers. This approach is best for comic strips or very experienced creators.
Planning everything is a good way to go if you want a nice tight story with a good structure and pay-offs for readers. If you create this way you'll always have a direction to go in and won't really run into any blocks. It's also easier to get team members on board to help you. The disadvantage is that it takes a lot of work to set it up at the beginning and if you plan too hard you can lose motivation when you're creating things because you're just working to a per-determined plan. This approach is best for graphic novels, team projects, or commercial projects.
Most of us will work somewhere in between. I used to fly by the seat of my pants and just work pay to page… I've also tried working from a fully written script. At the moment I work from a broad outline: I know what happens in the full chapter and the action on each page, but not what the action looks like or how many panels I should have. I've let myself have some creative freedom so my creativity isn't stifled and I can develop tings as I go without being too restricted- but my main plan is always there to go back to when I need it.
What's your method?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Dozer Manifesto - Start your engine… The sound of the powerful diesel motor as it comes time life… you can smell the fumes. Dry, dusty, industrial, rocky, the guitar thrums with a mechanical rhythm, hot and fast.
Topics and shownotes
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Planning newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/jan/29/planning-ahead-vs-the-thrill-of-discovery/
The Second Crimean War - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/feb/02/featured-comic-the-second-crimean-war/
Dozer Manifesto - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Dozer_Manifesto/, by Arborcides, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Jul 8, 2019
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.
Jun 24, 2019
Just Banes and I for this one! Today we have 3 topics: 1. Being positive and how that really helps us in online communication and social networking, as well as giving a boost to those we talk to- very important in comic communities. 2. How to get more eyes looking at your work. We always need to build our audiences! 3. Updates for drunk duck to modernise the site… We're going to have to raise a lot of money for this! How is the best way?
Jun 17, 2019
This Quackcast is about having political agendas in your work and expressing them well! We're talking about deliberately putting in ideas that you want to get across to people, NOT the idea that all work has agendas and ideas no matter what. That's not relevant to this discussion. When you want to want to get your ideas across there are good ways to do it and poor ways. When you do it poorly your work either has the opposite effect (people will laugh at your agenda or despise it), or it becomes propaganda. Propaganda is for preaching to the converted, it's terrible for changing minds. The only thing it's good for is motivating people who are already on-board with you.
Jun 10, 2019
At the beginning of a story how do you grab and KEEP your readers? This comes from the Friday newspost by Emma Clare. Her advice was pretty brilliant. From my own perspective it's generally characters that grab me first before anything else. Great art and a fantastic cover can hook your eyes, but without a great story or interesting characters there's zero to keep you there.
May 13, 2019
Inspired by Emma Clare's Friday newspost about supporting characters, today we're discussing sidekicks! Sidekicks are a useful character type that are used in so many different ways. They can be a specialised type of supporting character that are also a main character or they can be the main protagonist in some cases. In comics sidekicks came in during the early days as a way of giving juvenile readers their own insert character who they could identify with… Bucky Barnes, Jimmy Olsen, Robin etc. They had other functions like giving the hero someone to save, providing commentary, reaction and exposition. Later when that kind of sidekick fell out of favour they became superheroes in their own right.
Feb 4, 2019
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.
Feb 26, 2018
Jason Moon, author of Crater's Edge, messaged me about some comments he had. He was perturbed about reader reaction to his storyline and wasn't sure how to handle the comments. I told him that those sorts of comments are the very greatest compliment an author can get, because once you get them you've reached the stage where people care about your work enough to get angry: they're invested emotionally in the characters. Yes. It is initially confronting to have someone commenting like that but what you really need to do is step back for a moment and realise what a gigantic compliment it is in actuality. It means you affected them strongly, and that's quite an important thing to be able to do. It doesn't happen much but it's quite a GOOD thing when it does. It's not an easy thing to do to get people that invested. What it really means is you have succeeded as a writer and reached an important milestone. We also have a chat about getting comments in general and also GIVING comments! Hopefully our new comment notification feature will be a boon for this kind of interaction. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Kitty Kitty Bang Bang: Multilayered Chinese video-game war anthem with a modern twist! That’s how I’d describe this complex little piece. It’s the final boss battle, you’ve got no spare lives, you’re down to your last powerup and time is running out!