TWCL Forum Index TWCL
Forums for The Webcomic List
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

CN"S Guide to Writing
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> Webcomic Gubbins
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
lonelyfetus
Think think think...


Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 844
Location: iMama bemento!

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, in comics, fiction, and art:

"People will always accept the impossible, but never the improbable."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
haikucomics



Joined: 17 Feb 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

munkymu wrote:
You need to know enough about something, whether you experienced it yourself or whether you researched it, to make it *believeable*. If it's not believeable, the only people who will enjoy that bit of writing are those who know very little about the topic.


Agreed. But what is believable? The shoe only fit the foot of Cinderella. The wolf convinced Red Riding Hood that he was her grandmother. Only Arthur could pull the sword from the stone.

thestripedone wrote:
I'm not exactly sure Naruto is really good example of "no research done" in any case. The author of it obviously has *some* idea about ninja, or things in it would be drastically different.


I'm sure Kishimoto knew something about ninjas. I doubt he read history books on the subject.


vulpeslibertas wrote:
The most important part of being an informed writer is consistency.


Consistency may make you feel more comfortable, but it does not make a writer great. Comic books, because they have been written by so many different writers for so many decades are full of inconsistencies. These inconsistencies do make some readers uncomfortable. However, comic books still are quite popular.

Some stories have episodic amnesia and what happened previous is completely ignored in the next episode.

I mean, I agree with you to a point, but I'm not sure I would make it a hard and fast rule for beginning writers. It's a point worth discussing, but it diverges quite a bit from what Casual Notice wrote. There is nothing wrong with that, but his point went quite a bit further than what you are proposing.

Casual Notice's initial definition:

Casual Notice wrote:
You don't get to write a space opera without understanding at least the basics of Newtonian physics (actually, you'd be better off fully understanding Newtonian physics, with a basic grounding in Quantum physics and some small grasp of String and Chaos Theory).


Different people have different ways of working. Any guide on the subject of writing is going to either have to take that into account or realize that the narrow view proposed will be rejected by some. As I understand it, Tolkien invented the elven language before writing TLOTR and The Hobbit. Can you imagine Douglas Adams doing that kind of research for Hitchhikers? Can you really say one is better than the other? Both are good. Both were made differently. The end.

My point? If I'm going to list my first rule of writing? It's not going to be to tell a writer to bone up on Quantum Physics so that they can write a story about Spaceman Ted, Intergalactic Mailman. Instead, I might tell them to ditch Spaceman Ted because they're only writing it because they admire the science fiction writing of Edgar Rice Burroughs. That maybe they should find a story about something that they don't just admire, but feel passionate about. I know that's more touchy-feely and harder to quantify, but it's far more important to good writing than any amount of research in my opinion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ttallan
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1128
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to me that some of the same advice frequently given to aspiring webcomickers could probably be applied to writers in general. We often tell people thinking about making a comic not to get bogged down in the technicalities like which tablet should I use and how many updates do I need and where should I advertise-- we tell 'em just make the comic. You learn by doing, first and foremost.

Similarly, new writers probably shouldn't worry too much about the research. If you want to write about chivalrous knights but don't know your medieval history, don't sweat it-- just write, that's the important bit. If you're really moved by the subject, eventually you will do the research because you're that interested in it. And then the research will become its own reward.

Your story will evolve as you become a better writer, and all your subsequent stories will be better for having got through the first one.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jbrown



Joined: 29 Dec 2008
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Consistency may make you feel more comfortable, but it does not make a writer great. Comic books, because they have been written by so many different writers for so many decades are full of inconsistencies. These inconsistencies do make some readers uncomfortable. However, comic books still are quite popular.


But notice how the best comics based on existing properties aren't based on material written before them. The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come had a beginning, middle, and end. You didn't have to read a single Batman or Superman comic to understand and enjoy them. It helped to know who the characters were but it wasn't necessary.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haikucomics wrote:
munkymu wrote:
You need to know enough about something, whether you experienced it yourself or whether you researched it, to make it *believeable*. If it's not believeable, the only people who will enjoy that bit of writing are those who know very little about the topic.


Agreed. But what is believable? The shoe only fit the foot of Cinderella. The wolf convinced Red Riding Hood that he was her grandmother. Only Arthur could pull the sword from the stone.


Children know very little about reality, so that sort of thing goes over reasonably well with them. When was the last time you read Cinderella for entertainment?

But there is a pretty variable range of what people will consider believeable or not. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief quite a bit, if the things that are *really* important to the story hang together well -- and that's usually the characterization, as jdalton said. Other people can't read fantasy at all -- the slightest bit of it makes them unable to enjoy the book. I might be willing to ignore some gaps in computer knowledge if the family comic does the family dynamic really well, but I'd never let it slide in a comic that makes technology its focus.

I think there's two things: if you don't know much about ninjas... well, that's okay. Nobody else knows much about ninjas either. Who's to say they aren't really giant alligators living in the sewers? I've never been down there. But if you try to fake, say, writing about sex and you're a virgin with an aversion to research, you're going to make a fool of yourself and just about everyone over the age of 20 will be able to call you on it.

The other thing is that if you don't know a whole lot about something, you're going to be lacking a lot of filler detail. You're going to be working a lot harder to fill in all those little details that create atmosphere and make the world more real. I mostly deal with this in art -- all those little things one observes that come together to make a picture better. Like seams on clothing, texture on wood or metal, being able to make plants look different from one another... people might say that sort of thing doesn't matter, but it can make a big difference in how people perceive the comic. And if you just KNOW all this stuff, you can get on with showing it instead of wasting time making up snergs because you don't know anything about horses.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Koad



Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 227
Location: Here

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think munkymu made a good point about the "write what you know" rule: "knowing" is relative, and as a writer you should know at least as much about the subject matter as most of your readers. Along the same line, consistency and believability are also relative. A shoe that only fits Cinderella's foot and a sword that only Arthur could pull from the stone are believable if you accept the premise of sorcery and supernatural providence that those stories are based on. And each of those events are consistent with the rules and boundaries within their respective worlds. What would not be believable or consistent would be if Lancelot turned out to be a ninja, or if, instead of glass slippers, Cinderella wore Air Jordans. That's not to say you can't write a story where Cinderella wears Air Jordans, but the onus then is on the writer to establish a world that is consistent with that.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
haikucomics



Joined: 17 Feb 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

munkymu wrote:
The other thing is that if you don't know a whole lot about something, you're going to be lacking a lot of filler detail. You're going to be working a lot harder to fill in all those little details that create atmosphere and make the world more real. I mostly deal with this in art -- all those little things one observes that come together to make a picture better. Like seams on clothing, texture on wood or metal, being able to make plants look different from one another... people might say that sort of thing doesn't matter, but it can make a big difference in how people perceive the comic.


Charles Schultz
Shel Silverstein
Edward Gorey
George Herriman

vs.

Norman Rockwell
Will Elder
Katsuhiro Otomo
Frank Frazetta

There is something that makes great art great; there is something that makes great writing great. A part of that greatness may have to do with the artist's attention to craft to research. But it may not. Research is great if research works for you, otherwise it's not. Understanding the folds of clothing and the surfaces of objects is great if it works for you, otherwise it's not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
WriterWhoCantDraw



Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 465
Location: Home of the Webcomic That Refuses To Die!

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the "write what you know" thing...one could almost say that I don't, but yet I do.

On one hand, I'm not a scientist. Science is a subject I did fairly well at, but I was always more of a history and English kind of guy. And while I like to think of myself as smarter than average, I'm nowhere near the 200+ I.Q.s that the main characters in my comic possess.

But really, the science and the high I.Q.s are a means to an end. They explain why these people are so bizarre, and why they have such a difficult time fitting into "normal" society. They have almost no friends, and they don't leave the house very often. While they're pleasant enough people (Lenore's problem with tact notwithstanding), nobody seems to really understand them.

That, quite frankly, IS something I know about all too well. But if I merely wrote a bio comic about myself, that would be the most boring comic ever. So write what you know, but add elements that will make people want to read it. And make sure that both you and the audience will care about the characters.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

haikucomics wrote:

Charles Schultz
Shel Silverstein
Edward Gorey
George Herriman

vs.

Norman Rockwell
Will Elder
Katsuhiro Otomo
Frank Frazetta


You're confusing "detailed" and "realistic". Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey have a ton of detail in their work, their work just happens to be highly stylized.

I mean, look at this:

http://www.adventureadvocate.gr/html/interviews/images/Edward%20Gorey.jpg

I can tell the man is wearing a fur over his tuxedo jacket and the folds in the curtains work. The drawing isn't photorealistic, which you seem to think is necessary to be believeable, but it's obvious that Gorey knows what tuxes and furs and balconies and curtains look like.

Same with Shel Silverstein:

http://therhetoric.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/shelsilverstein_195803_russia.jpg

I wish I'd picked up his book of the cartoons he did for Playboy while travelling, actually. I've seen some pretty good stuff in there, but now I can't find any of it online.

I'm not sure I've ever seen any artists I'd consider great who didn't demonstrate great observation skills in at least some of their pictures. Even in very stylized cartoons, you can't make people believe that something's a dog if you don't include the features and proportions that say "dog" to people. Trying to do it without understanding -- without, at least, studying how other artists abstract dogs -- is like trying to win the lottery. Might happen, but it's not something I'd base my retirement plans around.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GregC



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Write what you know" does not mean only "write what you are".

Ever read Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo? It is written 100% in first person, told by someone who had lost both arms, both legs, his hearing, his sight, and most of his face (so, mute also) in an explosion. And it's an incredibly detailed IMAGINING of what that would be like. It's one of the most amazing books I've ever read.
_________________
nothing to see here. move along.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doogl McDoog
Blue Dali Person


Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Northern NJ

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..


Last edited by Doogl McDoog on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:06 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doogl McDoog
Blue Dali Person


Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Northern NJ

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..


Last edited by Doogl McDoog on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:06 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
haikucomics



Joined: 17 Feb 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

munkymu wrote:
You're confusing "detailed" and "realistic".


No, I'm just pointing out that there is a scale. I wouldn't necessarily say Will Elder or Katsuhiro Otomo are realistic. I mean, I would throw Jim Woodring at that end of the scale too. Maybe even Chris Ware.

Silverstein can hold your interest with four lines Otomo does it with thousands. One can argue that Silverstein is implying a lot with those four lines, but I don't think he always is. They sometimes are just four great lines.

I'm just working from your analogy. I mostly agree with you. Detail and an understanding of your subject can make your work better. Unless it doesn't. That's all I'm saying.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
AskMeAboutOrcs
Alley Oooooooop


Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 990
Location: TWCL intern

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

glitchcraft wrote:
Aiieee. Crying or Very sad I was about to make a joke like "how did he write it then?" when I saw he had no arms, but I read the rest of what happened to him and now I feel bad.
That's amazing, though, that he was
A) able to create such a good story without having the ability to physically look at it and revise it
B) communicate his story at all to anyone who would write his idea for him, given that his methods of communication had become... umm... severely limited.


Are you kidding?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doogl McDoog
Blue Dali Person


Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Northern NJ

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..


Last edited by Doogl McDoog on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:06 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> Webcomic Gubbins All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 3 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Hosted by Fluent
The Webcomics List is operated and owned by Ash Young. Syndicate the comic updates.