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Revision as of 00:03, 21 April 2011 by Ziggy (Talk | contribs) (Broken Ideas)

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Add and discuss here some principles we'd like to see applied when writing the stories. Ideas about mood, atmosphere, art style, vocabulary, point of view, and presentation are welcome here.

Improvisation and Non-contradiction

I propose that we adopt (if not immediately, then soon) an "improv" atmosphere. As far as possible, let's run with whatever the others come up with. This way we avoid lengthy and un-productive discussions, and don't end up contradicting eachother. It's either that, or keep everything in discussion until we all agree on a middle course.

Of course, there will be times when contradictions accidentally arise. Should we allow these, or try to fix them? It might be intersting to just allow contradictions to stand, though it could get confusing to readers. Ziggy 16:31, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Unique Characters

We should avoid "recycling" characters unless it makes a lot of sense. It is a common theme I see in many webcomics, and bad fiction in general. An author creates a compelling and interesting character, and then wants to use him in every story. Something like, "...Ooo, and then Exega the baker from Calamityville could be moonlighting as the busboy in the Too Tall Motel and discover that Recurring-Villain-Who-Never-Dies is smuggling Seamorium in an attempt to blow up the ocean!" As a result, the stories get rather tangled and ingrown, everyone from everywhere is involved in everyone elses business, like some kind of cosmic soap opera. The motivation is partially good (readers like seeing farmiliar characters) and partially bad (laziness).

The solution, of course, is to keep making new characters when appropriate, as well as reusing old ones when it is reasonable. Also, our non-linear format allows us to develop characters without weaving them into the main story, by creating backstories or paralell stories. Mogan's Run will probably involve no other main-line characters, but that's okay since it won't be getting in the way of the main story. Ziggy 21:00, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


A good story shows the audience instead of telling them. If you have to say "The moral of the story is..." then the story probably isn't complete yet. As has been mentioned in several places in the Wiki, lots of the stuff we discuss here will never be explicitly revealed in the comic. By showing the audience what happens, they should (and will, if we do it right) figure out what is going on.

On the other hand, characters having realistic discussions about what is going on around them is fine too. This is like the Council of Elrond explaining the situation to the Hobbits (but by no means the WHOLE situation, as we learn from the Silmarillion). This is not like the "discussion" of the Gyver suit, where one character stands in for an omniscient narrator.



something Paul and Luke have thrown around a lot. using these terms, are we going to allow ourselves to have multiple events on a page, multiple pages per event. when is there a cross over from even to event? I mainly need Paul's thoughts since he already has the sorting program. I don't know specificaly how it works. This needs to be resolved before we work on the Evicted plot line anymore.

Well, the sorting program isn't finished yet, but an "event" is going to be the basic indivisible unit. I would like it to be possible for multiple events to exist on the same page, but there will never be multiple pages for a single event. There may be multiple pages for a scene though, which is almost the same thing. Also, if juxtaposition is required, it should be possible to have an event show up on several different pages, but it will be the same event every time. Ziggy 15:20, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Don't Jump Right In

I think it would be a good idea not to jump right into all the crazy plot ideas we have. First they're going to be more graphics intensive. If you swamp yourself off the bat your less likely to stick with it. Second, it doesn't give time for the characters to grow and develop a personality. I recommend starting off the comic in the apartment in a simply four or three panel format. Start with simple jokes and gags and move from there into short plot arcs exploring different character. Then, once you are ready and know your limits, undertake the larger Faerie story arcs. Hugh

I agree. We'll start on something short and simple before moving into the more complex, intricate, and visually difficult stories. Ziggy 14:14, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

types of pages

kind of a brain storming exercise here. what type of things are we going to make?

  • there a comics that progress the story
  • pages that tell a joke or gag (the comics in the paper)
  • pages that express a specific idea (xkcd and penny-arcade)

as of right now its sounds like we're doing mainly 1 and 2. could we also do number 3 to reflect the conversations that we have? more to chew on. Oswald

Hmm, yeah. We do have a number of conversations like that. They are usually a bit more protracted than XKCD, but I'd wager we can distill them into a frame or three.Ziggy

Broken Ideas

A broken idea is an idea that makes the world un-usable for storytelling. Usually it means making one character or object overly powerful, allowing him/it to bypass character interaction with pure force. Many of the concepts in star-trek are like this, so the writers are constantly neglecting existing technology in order to make challenges seem challenging. The super-powerful heroes from comic books are like this. Also, the Dominic Deegan world appears to encompass many broken ideas, without resolving them.

Do we want to include broken ideas in Hozz? What are we willing to live with, as far as limitations, or the lack therof. Ziggy

I still think this topic deserves more thought. Addressing this point will effect the whole flavor of the story. Ziggy 00:59, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

On further reflection, the entire term "broken" implies my view. I don't like ideas that should change everything, but don't. Any dissent? Ziggy 00:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Mechanics of the Graphic Novel


Several ideas I've come up with require the juxtaposition of to (or more) events in the same page. For instance, Ziggy at the job site dealing with problems vs. Ziggy at home dealing with problems. I'll try to make sure we can do this. If anyone else wants to do something like this, go ahead and write it. We'll worry about the technical execution later.Ziggy 22:32, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

sound effects

Most if not all comics utilize noise words, emotional icons, and visual cues in order to communicate the non-visual or the non-still life. How do we implement these in a 3D based comic? Confusion, laughter, embarrassment, quick movement, various action noises, etc. --Hugh 02:17, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Excellent point. It would be very interesting to have no facial expressions and rely completely on emoticons. Conversely, if the facial expressions are good enough, we won't really need emoticons at all. For motion and action we may need further cues. I'm guessing some experimentation will resolve this. Any wild ideas of how to convey these non-visual sensations? Ziggy 15:05, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm especially interested in smells. Can we come up with some visual cues for olfactory senses? Usually there is just a little squiggly for bad smells, maybe a cloud of some kind. Good smells, especially food smells, are shown as breezes flowing into the nose. Perhaps words on these "breeze lines" would convey better the smell of the place?Ziggy 19:13, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

See Also

See also Critiques of other works.

List of Themes

Oh, by the way. I found this site Chainmail Bikini[1]. It has great art, great story, and some tips for people starting out on webcomics.