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Total posts: [32]
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Two Bad Qualities-- should I just ditch?:

 1 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 11:55:46 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I have a comic strip going for an art class where I recently found out I committed two sins in:

  • It starts with people opening up in a blank room

  • They have amnesia

I never intended for this story to be in 3 panel format (that was for class), but I do intend for this to be a full on story some day. And the two aspects are rather...important to the story.

Is this essentially a doomed to fail project? I have about 20 3 panel strips up, if anyone is willing to help.
Happiness
Those things can be handled well if you have some skill; just because those things were mentioned in the bad beginnings thread doesn't mean "DON'T DO THESE EVER".

I think it's just that a lot of writers who utilize them don't handle them gracefully. I can't see any of your stuff because I'm on a school computer with filters, but if I recall correctly, 3-panel strips are sort of intended to stand on their own to some degree, right?

edited 19th Mar '12 12:00:53 PM by CrystalGlacia

 3 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 12:01:06 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Well, in the thread it was pretty much said to never use them, so it had me worried, so I figured I'd make a thread about it, instead of clogging the other thread up, so people could judge for themselves.

we had the option of doing a story strip or a standalone. I chose a story strip. That's not the point though, as I merely wanted to use a story I hadn't got a chance to work on, since I'm horridly bad at standalones.

edited 19th Mar '12 12:03:00 PM by MrAHR

 4 chihuahua 0, Mon, 19th Mar '12 12:24:51 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
What are you being scored on?

If you think using two such cliches won't affect your score, don't worry about it and have a little fun knowing that nobody will care.

 5 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 12:29:19 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
This has nothing to do with my art class. I was merely explaining why the format was in three panels

I am asking merely from a story writing perspective.

edited 19th Mar '12 12:29:39 PM by MrAHR

 6 Night, Mon, 19th Mar '12 12:37:39 PM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
[up]A storywriting perspective involves prospective audiences.

And in general what we in the trenches find overblown or overdone is often attractive to those in academia.
Trusted Poster of Legitimate Advice (from Wo-Chan)
 7 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 12:42:06 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
The class is based on art though. The story is not relevant to the class at all. Only the art/mechanics are. I just brought it up for context.

edited 19th Mar '12 12:43:57 PM by MrAHR

 8 Bobby G, Mon, 19th Mar '12 12:48:58 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Two things to remember about "rules" in writing: A. they are not absolute; they can be broken well, and B. you are probably not capable of breaking them well. Not a diss, it's a generally applicable thing.

In other words, the choice whether to ditch it or plough on is up to you, but if you want your story to be good (at least in the eyes of those stating the rules), ploughing on means making your task that much harder.
 9 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:10:28 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Blurgle. I guess it is up to me, but I have no idea ;A;
 10 Parable, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:11:22 PM from California Relationship Status: Star-crossed
Many Faces
When the rule is, "Don't do X" the reason behind it is often, "Because I've seen it done a thousand times before". And once someone seen something done very well, all the other 999 instances of it don't look as good.

If they are essential to your story then go ahead with them, just put extra effort into those parts so your audience doesn't take a quick look and then go "Been there, done that."
You give me joy, You give me hope, You give me love that doesn't change
 11 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:16:16 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Yeah, the entire premise is "ten people wake up in a room with no memories"

Without those two traits, there really is no story.
 12 Bobby G, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:32:49 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Alright, let me hopefully make this easier: every now and then there comes along a person who can break the rules. Anyone can write with a little time and practice, and most writers assume the rules don't apply to them because they are in that exceptional few. If this is you, reality check: no, you are not Borges, and no, you are not Joyce, and make no mistake, if you use such a trite premise, your story will suck.

So now what are you going to do?
 13 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:34:51 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
The hell if I know. Part of me wants to prove you wrong, the other part of me is all "meh, write it anyway, so it can leave your head for good", the other part is all "you never read it HOW DO YOU KNOW ;A;" and then the last part is "yep, it will suck"

edited 19th Mar '12 1:37:35 PM by MrAHR

 14 Bobby G, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:37:49 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Then that's your choice. I guess the key question is, who are you writing for?

(And remember, your writing doesn't have to be a masterpiece for art class. I know you know this, but if you're like me at all that kind of thing is easy to lose sight of.)
 15 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 1:40:04 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I dunno. Who ever is willing to read. It's my story, so I come first, but it is ultimately a story made to entertain others. I believe the philosophy is "write a story you would want to read"

If I ever actually write this story down the line, I'd like not end up writing something that is...well, color by number.

And plus, being told outright not to ever write X is jarring, under no circumstances, so I really would have to rethink what I'm writing.

edited 19th Mar '12 1:46:30 PM by MrAHR

 16 Bobby G, Mon, 19th Mar '12 2:00:38 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
No story will entertain literally everybody. If you write the story you would want to read, you can say for certain that at least one person will be entertained by it.

And if you're capable of proving me wrong, go right ahead and prove me wrong. It won't be a masterpiece, but no masterpiece was ever made by playing it safe, anyway.
 17 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 2:16:44 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I guess I'll go to the con crit thread, and put myself on the list, maybe have some people look at it there.
 18 Te Chameleon, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:07:52 PM from Alberta, Canada
Irritable Reptilian
I'd make some self-effacing comment about this being my opinion, etc., yadda yadda yadda, but if you didn't want opinions, you probably wouldn't be here.

Write the damn thing, get it out of your head, and don't worry about it. It may not be unadulterated brilliance, but who cares? Worst case scenario, it's a learning experience and you've refined your craft some. Unless doing it will interfere with your other work, just go for it. Originality is great, but it's not necessarily the final, defining trait of a work. That's why we have Ur Tropes and Trope Codifiers as two different things, after all.

Highly-Visible Ninja EDIT- as an aside, I'm assuming you have a good reason for the cliches... about the only thing I can think of that would work well with the featureless-room-with-amnesia bit is a character study (or maybe that combined with an exploration of nature vs. nurture)

edited 19th Mar '12 3:11:55 PM by TeChameleon

 19 Bobby G, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:35:22 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Write the damn thing, get it out of your head, and don't worry about it. It may not be unadulterated brilliance, but who cares?

This applies in all cases, btw; all writing projects have value, if only because they keep you writing.

I assume AHR wants it to be read, though, or she wouldn't be asking this kind of question. Most people can recognise self-indulgent, unpolished work when they see it, and they will be scathing about it.

edited 19th Mar '12 3:36:03 PM by BobbyG

 20 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:39:58 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
as an aside, I'm assuming you have a good reason for the cliches... about the only thing I can think of that would work well with the featureless-room-with-amnesia bit is a character study (or maybe that combined with an exploration of nature vs. nurture)

Ten people wake up in a room, and they can't remember anything about themselves, including their names. They are confronted by two strange people in suits (one has wings, for definition of strange) and are informed that, surprise! They are in purgatory, and they are going to be working there as a personal army for the boss of purgatory, and once they do a certain alotted amount of time, they will get their memories back and be able to go home.

So...not entirely a character study...

edited 19th Mar '12 3:40:11 PM by MrAHR

 21 Te Chameleon, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:56:17 PM from Alberta, Canada
Irritable Reptilian
Oog. Pretty much my first thought is that you've got an uphill battle going for you on this one. The whole 'war in heaven', or some variant of afterlife, isn't a new concept, nor is the drafting of human souls for said war. I can't think of any titles offhand, unfortunately, but it sounds... er... hauntingly familiar.

Maybe not to the point of cliche, but I'm pretty certain it's been done. Speaking strictly for myself, I'd ditch the amnesiac opening and just jump straight into the viewpoint character's head after he's been doing this gig for a while. Easier to write engagingly than a Tabula Rasa, there's something happening for the readers to latch on to, and you dodge the cliche opening while maintaining the 'working to regain our memories and go home' aspects.

 22 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:58:00 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
It's not a war. It's a personal army. As in, they do dirty work. Keep the djinnis in check, make sure that the people in purgatory (purgatory has been converted to a day spa) are not in trouble, and occasionally doing really odd delivery missions and stuff.

There will be a war eventually, but that is...pfft...not until they actually start getting their memories back.

edited 19th Mar '12 3:58:44 PM by MrAHR

 23 Luthen, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:59:49 PM from San Fran(sokyo) Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
It hasn't been as long for me as it was for you
If that explanation happens pretty quickly you've already separated yourself from about 75% of the blank-mind/room setups I've seen. People expect the story to be about the character's inept/stumbling attempts to find their memories/escape from the facility.

The way you've set it up, that's a reward they can expect. Though, if you're in purgatory you might not like what you get back.
You must agree, my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity! Tumblr
 24 Mr AHR, Mon, 19th Mar '12 4:04:19 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
That is true...the discovery and everything is first "episode" stuff, basically. Although the amnesia will stay with them for the majority of the story. I think...haven't worked out the ending yet.
 25 Major Tom, Mon, 19th Mar '12 4:16:41 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Although the amnesia will stay with them for the majority of the story

That although cliche is not inherently bad. It's just 99% of the time it is so poorly done it comes across as a cop out.

For example, Cave Story made up for the amnesia by having a backdrop full of loosely explained references and mumblings talking about things like "the surface...", "the war", "the Doctor", and such. It basically made the amnesia a secondary problem and thus a non-issue especially when you factored in all the characters all around the protagonist. (Who were as varied as they were numerous.)

And that just overcame one of the cliches from the other thread. The other was definitely averted hard.

I know this may be killing your self-confidence but to make both cliches work well is an uphill battle of almost Sisyphean proportions.

edited 19th Mar '12 4:18:16 PM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Total posts: 32
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