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 391 - personality mix group dynamics

Aug 19, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast was based on an idea from Banes. We chat about designing a group of characters with complementary temperaments. In Banes' own words: “I like the idea of the line between a logical, left brained person and a creative, right brained person, crossed with a spectrum of a more active, extroverted, action taking temperament and a more nurturing, introverted type.

Episode 379 - Troptastic

Jun 18, 2018

5 likes, 1 comment

ALL the tropes!!!! Based on Emma Clare's newspost, tropes are damn useful but they can also be your undoing if you handle them badly. Tropes are shortcuts to meanings, scenes, procedures or jokes that take too long to set up in their own right. You can use them like prefabricated parts to build your story, Lego if you will. You really should know how to use them correctly though. If it's for jokes, then work on them and expand on them, if it's for more serious stuff then you should know WHERE those tropes come from so you use them correctly. We chat about tropes, boob-slips, Doki Doki, Baka and Test, Kung Fury, Satan Ninja 198X, and Vaporwave among other things. Gunwallace gave us a lovely theme to Yasu no Monogatari this week: Floating out on a blue river of dreams into an echoing crystal cave illuminated by thousands of refracted glittering lights, traveling on your way further underground, deeper and deeper to more exciting and mysterious sites.

Episode 294 - Costume cast: Addams family

Oct 11, 2016

6 likes, 0 comments

For Quackcast 294 we all dressed up as members of the Addams Family! Me as Gomez, Banes as Cousin It, Tantz as Morticia, and Pit Joan D'eath. We had a great time and you'll be able to see us all on video! The theme of this Quackcast was based on a newspost by Banes: Comedy and Horror and the relationship between those two things. It's very close. Both try hard to evoke strong emotions and emotional pay-offs. It can be very easy for most horror to devolve into comedy if things go wrong. Many horror tropes are actually pretty silly (i.e. slow walking zombies), which is why there are so many shows that make fun of them like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Munsters, The Cyptkeeper, and the amazing Addams Family! Horror comedy is a tried and true genre. If you're interested read more about that in Bane's newspost. Gunwallace's music for the week is the same as the feature: Miracles. The sound is dramatic,urgent, exciting, classical, action music- SOMETHING is going to happen if we don’t stop it in time!

Episode 256 - Using and creating weapons in fiction

Feb 1, 2016

3 likes, 2 comments

Tantz Aerine, Banes and Ozoneocean discuss the topic of using and creating weapons in fiction and some of the pitfalls involved- all the things you can easily do wrong and do better! Stuff like using overly specialised weapons in too general a role, like giant swords where they'd be next to useless, or tricked out assault rifles with way too many things hooked onto them so they're oversized and weight a ton- also copying ideas and tropes about weapons usage without understanding why the exist and in the process making many of the same mistakes as others have in the past.

Episode 245 - fiction influencing reality and the myth of the friendzone

Nov 16, 2015

2 likes, 0 comments

In Quackcast 245 we TRY to talk about my idea that fictional characters, stereotypes, tropes and situations in media have influenced their counterparts in reality, and in a lot of ways helped to create them. Fictional stereotypes and tropes are made out of simplified models of things that happen in reality, usually by pulling together all the most dramatic, big, bold versions and then turning them up to 11 to make a new, more exciting fictional caricature, that NEW image is then spread far and wide and influences people to imitate it- a good example being the modern “cowboy”. This idea was kicked off by Pitface suggesting one of my characters looked like a douchey friendzoned character. I thought about it and realised that a real life version of this character (who's mooning over a girl in a relationship with another guy), WOULD be exactly as she described, also those characters are common to relationship comedies and so often friendzoned… SO that got me thinking: could the current crop of “nice guy” fedora friendzone exponents have based their crazy theories about relationships on images in the media? -since they don't have much relationship to reality yet they so closely match pre-existing tropes in movies and TV shows. Then we expanded the idea to other examples of media representations influencing reality. Pitface, Banes, and Tantz Aerine join me on the Quackcast. Gunwallace does a lovely theme for Entanglement.

Quackcast 239 - Draw your world, community edition

Oct 5, 2015

3 likes, 4 comments

Last week Tantz Aerine and Pitface told us about how they came up with a visual look for their comic worlds. THIS week members of the community weigh in and give us THEIR perspective on their perspective… views of their comic environments. We have very interesting views from al of them! Oh, I apologise for the saucy repartee between Banes and I at the start of the Quackcast. We're very bad people. Gunwallace's theme this week was for Trevor Mueller's Award Winning Albert The Alien! With lyrics by Gunwallace and spoken by an Alien, not Albert.

Episode 212 - Gateway Comics

Mar 30, 2015

5 likes, 7 comments

Tantz Aerine, Pit Face and Abt Nhil join Banes and Ozone to discuss the kinds of comics that are good intros into the medium for people who aren't into them: Gateway comics! You know the sorts of people; "Comics are for kids", that sort of thing. Well the idea here is to show them different! What comics would convince someone to give the medium a second glance? What comic or strategy could possibly convent people to the glorious cause of comics? Tantz, Pit, and Abt tell us what they think, we also read what HippieVan suggests (the topic creator), and the people who contributed to HippieVan's original newspost.


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