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a Writer's Quandary...

 
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thedaves



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: a Writer's Quandary... Reply with quote

There's a storyline in my head that I am ambivalent to tackle.

On the one hand, it is a topic I am very familiar with, as I have been living with it all my life. It could act as a sort of catharsis to let it out in comic form, to let it play out with these characters of mine and to meditate on what could have been.

The topic is about an estranged parent who is trying to reestablish a connection thats been severed for a long time.

I've written several drafts concerning this topic, with it either playing out too serious thus destroying what my comic is all about and confusing its identity, or it being dishonest to what I want to say about it.

Without giving the conclusion to the storyline away, do I resolve the conclusion with both parties walking away from this amicably or end it in a way that reflects a truth in my life?
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vulpeslibertas
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Joined: 19 Dec 2005
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Location: Here and there...mostly there. Sometimes kinda in between.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leave it unfinished, that will give it the strongest possible dramatic impact.
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: a Writer's Quandary... Reply with quote

thedaves wrote:
There's a storyline in my head that I am ambivalent to tackle.

On the one hand, it is a topic I am very familiar with, as I have been living with it all my life. It could act as a sort of catharsis to let it out in comic form, to let it play out with these characters of mine and to meditate on what could have been.

The topic is about an estranged parent who is trying to reestablish a connection thats been severed for a long time.

I've written several drafts concerning this topic, with it either playing out too serious thus destroying what my comic is all about and confusing its identity, or it being dishonest to what I want to say about it.

Without giving the conclusion to the storyline away, do I resolve the conclusion with both parties walking away from this amicably or end it in a way that reflects a truth in my life?


You're being pulled in two directions with a matter that means a lot to you personally. Maybe you could create two forms, a comic and a writing. The comic could be the one that is NOT "too serious" and the writing could be truer to what really happened or what you really want to say about it. One could be the fiction and you could go wherever you want with it, the other could be more real-life cathartic.

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www.mcmasterscomics.com
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Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: a Writer's Quandary... Reply with quote

thedaves wrote:
I've written several drafts concerning this topic, with it either playing out too serious thus destroying what my comic is all about and confusing its identity, or it being dishonest to what I want to say about it.


This is the bit that jumped out at me. I'm a pretty shit writer, so take this with a grain of salt, but...

If I had two endings, say, ending A which is true to the identity of the comic, and ending B which is essentially what I want to say about the topic, I'd be looking for a way to make the identity of the comic line up better with ending B. If ending B is jarring and depressing, maybe look for a way to make it so that it doesn't come out of nowhere.

Not that the comic has to suddenly be some completely grimdark emo noir thing, but you could go for more of a dark humor or bittersweet atmosphere to make things more consistent. People can handle it if the comic goes from "kind of sad" to "really sad" at the last moment, it's just when it's all wacky hijinks and fart jokes and then it ends with a page of "everyone dealing with Bob dying of cancer" that the message starts to get lost.

Or something, I dunno. Like I said, not an expert, etc. etc.
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Casual Notice
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Joined: 18 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter how the situation played or plays out for you, you, as a writer have to be true to your story and your characters. Let it play out the way it must in the context of the story. If that is a reflection of your real life, so be it. If that strikes you as being untrue because it happened differently for you, then that's the way it is.

As far is it being "too serious," assuming you set it up honestly and it progressed naturally to this point, your readers will forgive the lack of laughs as long as you remain true to the story and the characters. Charlie Brown worrying and losing his mind of Snoopy being lost out in the world is acceptable; Charlie Brown lighting up a big ol' blunt and discussing the relative merits of French Existentialist is not (that's more a Linus thing).
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thedaves



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vulpeslibertas wrote:
Leave it unfinished, that will give it the strongest possible dramatic impact.


I don't know if I want to do that. Not with this particular issue.

[quote=mcmasters]Maybe you could create two forms, a comic and a writing.[/quote]

Writing like in not-comic form is a different beast altogether I don't have confidence in. Besides, I like making pretty pictures more than crafting evocative sentences.

[quote=kail] it's just when it's all wacky hijinks and fart jokes and then it ends with a page of "everyone dealing with Bob dying of cancer" that the message starts to get lost. [/quote]

Yeah... so far, all the comics I've posted thus far and a lot of my gags are wacky hijinks's. Not so many fart jokes, but wacky nonetheless... I will have to find a way to create a smooth transition. I do agree I shouldn't blindside people with heavy drama stuff. I'm gonna try to avoid contrived situations and plot devices.

[quote=casual notice]No matter how the situation played or plays out for you, you, as a writer have to be true to your story and your characters. Let it play out the way it must in the context of the story. If that is a reflection of your real life, so be it. If that strikes you as being untrue because it happened differently for you, then that's the way it is. [/quote]

That's the part that bothers me so much. As far as the story goes, I shouldn't do anything that throws a wrench in the story, but what is art but an extension of the artist's inner feelings? The question I have is that on integrity as an artist, but what aspect of this two-headed beast to I take? I mean, your explanation certainly is helping me see that other side, I just don't want to worry about feeling like I sold my soul to appease something only to betray another. I would like to have my cake and eat it without worrying about getting fat, ya know?

Thank you all for helping me on this question of mine. Truly, it's giving me some stuff for consideration.
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