On Writing for Comics
The biggest difficulty to write on any creative activity, since writing on same it until writing on automobile-devouring (to devorar automobiles) is that, in the majority of the times, the articles or interviews that appear they seem to be incapable of will extend themselves beyond the information obvious techniques and lists of recommended instruments. I do not want to fall again into this same line, being said which typewriter I use, or which type of paper carbon I find better, since this information will not make the lesser difference in the quality of that you write. In a similar way, I do not find that a detailed analysis of my process of work is very useful, since I imagine that it I vary drastically of the story for the story, and all writer tends to develop its proper boarding in reply its proper circumstances.
Moreover, I do not want to remotely produce nothing that he remembers, nor, something it type “How you the Write s — The Alan Moore Way”. To teach to generations of new artists and writers to copy the generation that preceded them was a dull idea, of the time where the Marvel launched its book “How you the Draw s — The Marvel Way” and would be equally irresponsible of my part to instruct consolidated emergent writers or already on as to write unhealthy and fancy headings of the type “Dawn transformed the sky into an Abattior” (the dawn trasformou the sky in a abatedouro) or any thing of the sort. John Buscema is a good artist, but the industry does not need fifty people drawing as it, and less still of fifty writing as I (note of the translator: of the skill that walks the thing here in Brazil, even though “an obsolete” book as this would be very welcome! — I until learned some thing with it.)
With everything this in mind, would like to try to display something that adds to this extensive chapter as we can really think on the art to write comics, what she is better that one list of specific details. It would like to say on boardings and mental processes that if hide under the writing as a set, more of the one than the form as these processes finish in the paper. As I see the situation, the way that we think the act to write inevitably takes the form of the works that we produce. Taking most of the current production of main the company of s, me it seems that an ample factor of contribution to the general loss of heart must be the famous stagnant processes of thoughts promoted for them. Surely, in terms of the general conventions of writing for comics at this moment, my trend is to see the same structures of the drama and the same functional boarding of characterization being used many and many times mechanical, until the point where the people find difficulty in imagining where they could be different ways to make the things.
As basic estimated ours on the profession they come if becoming each time more obsolete, we find that this if relates more to a problem of creation of works of some relevance for a world that if it modifies quickly, in which the industry and the readers who really support it they are considered. For relevance, since I touched in the subject, I do not want to say stories on racial relations and pollution, still that they certainly are good part of this. I speak of stories that really have some felt type of with relation to the world to our redor, stories that reflect the nature and the texture of the life in these last years of century twenty. Stories that are useful, in some way. Admittedly, she would be more or less easy it industry comfortably to live for a time pimping groups specialized in stories to the old or simple escapism, but the company who works exclusively with this type of subject is, in mine to understand, impotent, and deserves only a little more than consideration or interest that an industry of anniversary cards.
The reason for which to write comics is perhaps even though more interesting than to draw them it is that to write it finishes all being the fuse of the process. If what it will be thought before writing will be inadequate, script (plot) is inadequate. In this way, even though under the hands of the best artists of the world, finished the story goes to lament the lack of that no addition of colorful images and pompous printed matters could substitute, or same to wait a remuneration. To change the comics, we need to change the way to think its creation, and the inquiry to follow only must be seen as the first and coarse steps for this end.
To want some better place to start, either a perhaps interesting to start for extensive consideration on the comics and its possibilities, and to extract our method of inside of it. To think on comics you have that to have some idea on what it is the subject that you are treating. He is here that our first difficulty starts: in the effort of to define the comics, many authors have little risky more than comparisons in the drawings, between one technique and another one, more coarsely acceptable as art forms. Comics is described in terms of cinema and, with effect, much of the vocabulary that job all day in the descriptions of the scenes for any artist derives entirely of the cinema. I say in terms of close-ups, long-shots, zooms and panoramic; it is a stipulated language of necessary visual instructions, but it also in takes them to define the comic writing values as being virtually indistinguishable of the cinematographic ones. While the cinematographic thought has, without the shadow of a doubt, produced many of the best works in comics of last the thirty years, I see it, as model to search our proper one half, being many times limiting and restrictive. In turn, any imitation of the techniques of the films through the comics finishes losing, inevitably, in the comparison. He is clearly, you can use sequences of scenes of cinematographic form to become its more involving work and livened up that of comic writers that still do not dominate this trick, but, in the end, you finishes being with a film without sound nor movement.
The use of cinema techniques can be an advance for the conventions to write and to draw comics, but, if these techniques will be faced as the culminating point to which the art of the comics can inhale, our way is condemned perpetual to be a poor cousin of the cinematographic industry. This is not good sufficiently.
Comics also are accustomed to being seen in literary terms, desiring to trace comparisons between quadrinizadas sequences and conventional literary forms. Thus, “short stories” of the comics accurately would be based by classic formulas of writers as the Henry and Saki (note of the translator: never vi more fat people in my life), with the outcome surprise in last comic. With little intelligence still (“more idioticly speaking”), a story with more than forty pages automatically is compared with a romance, losing, once more, apallingly with the comparison. With all the good will of the world, if you to try to describe the NOVEL GRAPHIC Of the CRYSTAL (that mutant personage and pentelha published in revistinhas of the X-men for the Ed. April) in the same terms where she would describe MOBY DICK (the book, not it version CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED of Sienkiewicz, if well that the idea continues the same one), you are simply looking obstacle. Opposing it the ideas of films without sound nor movement, we will have romances without extension, felt depth and. This also is not good the sufficient.
To make matters worse, all time that if they use techniques of other languages, has a trend of the creators of comics in remaining perpetual if inhaling in the past... Looking at what it comes being described as cinematographic works in the comics, normally we find somebody speaking that it almost took off its ideas on cinema that entirely of the work of Will Eisner, and, of preference, of that it made has thirty or forty years behind. It is not one badly start, I I admit, except that the majority of the people seems to content itself only with that. Eisner, in the height of the Spirit, used the cinematographic techniques of people as Orson Welles, with resulted brilliants. Its mimics also use the cinematographic techniques of Welles, but, of “second-hand”, forgetting that Eisner was learning with the culture that surrounded it in that time. Cinema in the comics is equivalent the Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and perhaps some other more, having all they carried through its better works have one thirty years behind. Why she does not try yourself to understand and to adapt the work of pioneering contemporaries as Nicholas Roeg, Robert Altman or Francis Ford Coppola, since a really cinematographic boarding is being looked exactly? Why the literary values in the comics must be determined by the values of pulps (cheap literature, type books of pocket variety or collection SABRINA) of thirty or forty years behind, independently of the value that they can have?
Better that to assume of superficial similarities between comics and films or comics and books in the hope of that the respectability and the prestige of these languages come to purify us, he would not be more constructive to concentrate our attention in the areas where the comics they are essential and only? It would not be better that, instead of persisting in techniques of films that the comics can reproduce, we perhaps tried to consider the techniques of comics that the films cannot reproduce?
If, on the other hand, one gave credit that the guarantee of bigger creative freedom or the division of the knowledge developed between the artists and writers in the industry would produce one occasions of an impressive creativity and invention, on the other hand, he is not ours in case that (OBS.: it is not speaking of Brazil, and yes of the comics in England and/or United States). With very rare and honorable exceptions, the majority of the material of proper creation produced by independent publishing companies almost do not distinguish themselves from the current production that preceded it. Me he seems demonstrated that the problem is not, the principle, of incentive or work conditions; the problem is of creativity, and it will not be in a basic level of it that if it will be able to decide it. I do not find that this solution will come without a drastic improvement of the standard of writing for comics, a time that, as he said in the start, the writer is the fuse of all the creation process. For this end, then, we go to move of subject, where I will give the best one of me to describe some of the problems and the potential that I see inside of some aspects in writing for comics.
Once more, the difficulty is to know for where to start. The list of introductions to be done, same for simplest narrative, is enormous, and it really it does not interest for what we choose to examine first.
Everything is connected, and each item leads to the other. Of this form, we can equally take, the principle, the elements most intangible and abstract it are of its context, before continuing in the necessary aspects finest and of the workmanship. Perhaps a good starting point is what rests accurately in core of any creative process: the idea.
The idea is that on which the story treats; it is not nor the drama of the story, nor uncurling of the events of it, but what the story essentially is. As example of my proper work (not because it is particularly a good example, but because I feel myself with more authority to say of it of that he would have if it was the work of another person), I I could cite # 40 of magazine SWAMP THING (published for the Ed. April in the magazine Monster of the Quagmire # 3), “The Curse” (“the Curse of the Full Moon”). The story deals with the difficulties supported for the women in the masculine societies, using the common taboo of the menstruation as central reason. This is not the drama of the story — the drama says respect to a married young if moving for a new house, constructed on the place where it had one old aboriginal hut, that possessed person for the dominant spirit sees itself that still inhabited there, changing itself into a werewolf. I wait that here the distinction between drama and idea has been well clear, therefore it I am important, and ignored for many writers. The majority of stories in comics the only subject possess dramas in which is the fight between the two or most antagonistic ones. The result of this confrontation, normally involving some exhibition “deus ex machina” of some superpower, is equally the resolution of the drama (note of
translating: this term in Latin mentions the fact to it of almost the totality of the super-heroes to be predestined to use its superpowers in the solution of the story, without which same it would lose its reason of being). Beyond an extremely vacant triviality and without favor the type “the good always it will win the evil”, really does not have main ideas in the majority of s, it are the notion of that the conflict is interesting by itself (note of the translator: ... no, however, IT SELLS!).
Of where the ideas really come are, the first sight, the biggest concern of the majority of the people interested in learning as to write comics and are, probably, the only question that the creative people if ask with more frequency. Without surprising, it is also the question that more has remained without reply. If they threatened to torture so that I give me a concise reply, probably would say that the ideas seem to germinate in the fertile crossroads enter the influences of other artists and my proper experiences. The study of the work of other people it supplies useful pointers of as to formulate ideas, but the primordial impulse comes inside of the writer or creator, influenced for its proper opinions, its preconceptions, for all the things that have happened with them and for all the elements of its life that finish for defining the type of person who they are. It does not have substitute for the practical experience, and if you to want to write on people, you has the duty to disdain “ books” and to leave for there looking better thing that to study the way as Stan Lee or Chris Claremont people describe (another note of the translator: care; the arrogance, when it does not kill, catches! E I still did not learn to please the public who nor these two cretins).
One becomes important to change its perception to notice small peculiar circumstances that could, in another way, to pass unfurnished, studying our proper conviviality and the relationship with the people and the events that in encircle them until you to feel that it developed a coherent angle in top of the life and the reality, to less so far how much having the perspective on situations that indicate the coming of proper and original ideas. Eddie Campbell (N.T.: another one that I never heard to speak) has developed a singular and extraordinarily percipient eye for the triviality of the existence, and this allows it to transform things that could, in another way, to seem usual and infuriates of note, in something at the same time revealing and amused. My thesis is that you cannot teach the people to have the same perception and ideas that the Eddie... you it must only follow the orientations of its proper head, in a certain way in direction as you see the life and you she will perceive that the ideas then will come spontaneously, to the end, with only some suggestions. An only new e point of view never is reduced to an only new e thing to say or on which to speak. Visa in the certain way, everything is changed into source of ideas. Opening the periodical in the page of the economy and reading on the scaling of the crisis of the international deficit, something that could seem flat and hard to swallow to the first sight is, in the reality, a situation primorosamente insane person who very probably goes to affect the life more beyond of that they live in this planet per the next decades and. It has a skill of this if to become interesting, perhaps amused, or perhaps terrifying, to the common reader? E if you counted to this in terms of a fantastic allegory, situated in a foreign planet with something nonsense it type skin of money rat serving? The idea of a handful of foreign imbeciles putting irrevogavelmente its planet in polvorosa behind a handful of rat skins is perhaps amused? E that such if we made a serious and realistic the story implacably, substituting the great involved national interests for individuals, people, so that the problem can be felt in small scale, in terms of human elements, a common agent of a company of loans trying to perhaps charge the payments in an inhospitable and hostile agricultural community? Exists there some thing capable to arrest the interest of the people per one ten or fifteen minutes?
Perhaps in another way, some incidents our proper one passed supply the embryo to it of a the story. When child, for example, if my parents photographed me in a small delict that I was certain that they would not have as to know, some times I occurred me that the adults could have some special power to know of everything, who kept hidden of the children. With effect, some times I had the impression of that everybody had such ability, except I, and that I age the only excluded person of this telepathic conspiracy en mass (if you to insist on this type of thing after the nine years of age, you can in such a way be a paranoid schizophrenic how much a writer of comics, since that you she makes question to keep some distinction — N.T.: THIS is not commentary THERE mine! Already it tava in the original text). Using this fear irrational as springboard, it would be possible to perhaps reach a type of fancy to la Ray Bradbury on the infantile universe, or perhaps a cruel the story of psychological horror on the paranoia as phenomenon in itself, perhaps having a child who suffered from complex of persecution that if became an agent of espionage of low step, working incognito of the wrong side of the Wall of Berlin (OBS.: this text is of 1988), in a world where all its horrors of infancy become tangible and real? Please, it always has in mind that the placed ideas are not necessarily good ideas... they are only some taken off examples of the sleeve of the forms for which the usable ideas can be lead.
I would have to perhaps designate that, when constructing a story, it’s not always necessary to start with an idea. Technically, it is perfectly possible to arrange inspiration for a story thinking only about tools purely abstract or a sequence of scenes or any similar thing. In some place of the process, in any way, a coherent idea must start to appear of the work beyond its simple mannerisms. If to happen of you to think first about a clear and short sequence of four pictures, very well, but you must then try to explore more the type of character or idea that the four pictures better express. As example of my proper material, an original idea that eventually is praised of first the four or five episodes that I made with the Monster of the Quagmire, takes form as a handful of disconnected ideas for sequences that they had small a meaning, individually: an excellent idea was to use the capacity of camouflage of the Monster of the Quagmire... to perhaps have part of its leg or of the visible body in the way scene that as much the reader how much the other personages do not perceive that they are looking at for the creature of the quagmire during some seconds. This finished being the two first pages it # 22 of magazine SWAMP THING, in the episode “Swamped” (published as “Possessed for the Quagmire”, in magazine NEW TITÃS # 5). Another idea that I had, at the same time, involved the way to work with outdoors “Burma Shave”, carefully spaced and rhymed, used to cover to the long one of the roads of America in a sequence of signboards rhymed in such way that the last line of rhymes, “... Burma Shave.” it was, in the truth, more visible in the plate in itself that inside of the space of the letters. This effectively happened in the two pages of # 26 (published in the magazine SUPERAMIGOS # 23, but without this trick of outdoors), exactly not having no idea to really thinking about the sequence on the form as it would become related or which part of it would participate of the set of the story. I kept the hanging idea until having an opening where he could inseriz it, and thus, when I had to make something drastic with the Matt personage Wire, I caught it and I played it in a scene of car disaster. The fact is that I had to keep the sequences kept in the refrigerator until having an idea for the story that would complete them. As I said before, nobody needs to start for an idea, but, in some point to the long one of the process, an idea is necessary, admitting that this work must be of some impact.
We will assume that, from now, we have a workable idea, something who we would like to say and to feel that we can say with certainty. Before directing the problem, we would have to perceive that, in any act of communication, they exist to the little two participants. In creativity terms, these participants are the artist and its hearing. If you are you give to expend a time mount preparing its image, either perhaps advantageous to little spending a little in a fast consideration on the person for which the message if dirige. Obviously, a time that we are saying on hearing en mass, of thousand of individuals, does not have as the artist to understand the fondness and aversion of each one of them. The conventional reply to the problem, to little as it was evident for the behavior of many of main the company of s, it is to try not to offend nobody. I had to the little one publisher of the branch saying that he has not felt in taking off of the alienation to the little reading one that is, being that the best one to make is “to alleviate” the dialogues or the scenes in question until it does not have more nothing that can be criticized by the most sensible member of hearing (N.T.: it really is speaking on the States and England. If well that, after the codes of ethics of the Net Globe and the Ladies of Santana, I do not know not...). Taking this reasoning to the extremity, this suggests that a hypothetical reader to which the artist must direct itself with its the story is moralista afrescalhado extremely affected that has one peripaque to the first suggestion of something more flesh time that a kiss of good night on the forehead. This not only strengthens the idea of that the comics are, in some way, offensive for its proper nature, and that they will only be tolerated while to be remained inside of its leash — by the way, very pressed well, by the way — as also they fail for they will not consider the enormous number of readers in potential made use will not lose it its literary time with gruel of nenê. It has something strange in being offensively harmless, and, a time that I am not suggesting at no moment that all the comics must be destined the cynical depraved ones just-left adolescence (N.T.: any similarity with public of fanzines in Brazil it is not mere coincidence here. Total freedom is very good, but ability is what this joça of country and cultural industry they need), to little if it would have to perceive that the potential hearing beyond these faces is, of far, much varied and great excessively to apply any established restrictive criteria in completely not-trustworthy hypothetical pictures of an imaginary “reader-standard”. The concept of a “reader-standard” is completely retrograde, when trying to create a reader who does not exist. I very know few people who if find “readers standard of comics”, and little people still that they demonstrate really conventional when to be examined more than close. A so small media as this really has a significant standard that it can be defined from its public?
In my opinion, the best way to deal with the problem is to leave the material to find its proper level and its proper hearing. But, a time that to not defining our hypotheses of work we finish producing reading imaginary, is obvious that we have that to find some way to understand the part that the reader occupies in the creative process. A time more, I imagine that he is less problematic to take the problem for its extremity. Instead of thinking on what he could negative affect the reader for then purging any trace of this in the work, why not to think on things that probably affect the reader positively? Again, we have the problem here of as to define what better it functions for an extensive band of people, but to little, in this example, has a series of useful models to base our thought. One of them is banal but always the creative joke.
Jokes are not, in general, directed a specific public; they only happen! Strangely, the criterion of that is or a good joke highly does not seem to be contested, as when we speak on films, books or comics. Some people laugh high, the diversion of some are a little more contained, one or two do not laugh exactly. whichever the reaction, the joke served to its intentions and affected some different people with the best one of its capacity in relation to the senses of mood of each one. The person who arrives the principle with the joke does not make idea of the person who eventually goes to listen to it... it only finds the joke funny. If it makes it to laugh, has an excellent possibility of it to make a portion of people also to laugh. I until would risk to say that many of the writers of sketches (N.T.: humorísticos pictures of television programs) if content in trusting its proper intuition on what he is funny, same that they have attended interviews with comedians as Max Wall (another N.T.: this must there be of homeland of Alan Moore), seeming that it has a very great effort in thinking on what accurately makes the people to laugh. It has, surely, some obvious principles of mood that are almost certainty to provoke laugh as reply, not importing which the disposal or the situation of the person that hears the joke can have. To understand these reactions immediate human beings is a tool of much more useful creative mood that any consideration on a “public-standard” can have.
Thinking on basic a general process that affects an ample specter of human beings very better that a notion or specific idea that would not affect at least an only type of hypothetical reader, it will be possible to arrive at an understanding of one of the basic mechanisms of the reactions human beings. It is possible to look at very well of close for our proper reactions and answers and making some happy deductions on the basic answers of its reading. If you to want to write a horror the story, thinks first about the type of thing that horrifies you. The deep enough o analyzes its proper fears and could be capable to arrive at some conclusions on the raw material of the fears and them anxieties human beings. Either implacable when making it, and it exactly submits itself in an enormous emotional suffering will be necessary to have answered this question: what it leaves me horrified? Images of babies dying of hunger in Africa horrify me. Why this leaves me horrified? This horrifies me because I do not obtain to be thinking about very small children being born in a world of hunger, misery and horror without never knowing nothing beyond pain and the fear, and not to never know that it could possibly have something more than to need food so hopelessly how much a suffocated air man necessary and never hearing nothing beyond I cry, lamentations and desperation. Yes, very I do not obtain well, but Why to think about this? I do not obtain to be thinking about this because taste to feel the world as having some form of justice and order without which much of the existence would seem meaningless, and I think that for these children he does not have the lesser possibility of them to feel the world in these terms. Also I know that, if it was in that one same situation, also he would not be capable to see any situation beyond the together hunger and misery. Then, this means that it would not have no order, no reason for the existence? It is this that makes to all splodge me (”horrifies the shit out of me”) all time that I see those titicas of fly agonizing in reporter of the six (for the schedule of England or the United States). He is. Probably he is this! What it scares me exactly probably is not what it is happening with them, but what this implies for me. To that it is not a noble cause, incredibly easy of being faced, but it is the type of dirty work that you have that to face to have some valid understanding of the material in which you are working.
This material is human thoughts, human feelings and ideas human beings. Everything in our world, since the familiar structure until the bomb of nêutrons has its origin in this area, and any one that it intends to make one mishmash with the conscience of mass for a vital mission to be client of the material, is dealing with and as this if it holds in certain circumstances. For this end, if to consider a person who eventually will be to read its the story in comics, the common denominator for which you goes behind is not the common denominating very small of the receptivity of the public, and yes the common denominator of the basic humanity. If you are reading this, you have an excellent possibility of that you it is a human being. He also has a good possibility of that, you do not import essential by what means only e are or think that is, you exist certain basic mechanisms that you allotment with members conservatives of the parliament, radical and police miners of Yorkshire, lesbians. If you it will be able to identify and to use these mechanisms for its proper satisfaction, then you it will have base not to produce an art more beneficial than if a consuming imaginary standard spent its time hopelessly hallucinating and trying to hammer out its work in a form that pleases its highly hypothetical taste and criteria.
Very well, now then we have our basic idea and to the little, some notion of that type of thing is probably what better it affects an ample band of our readers. In this point, we can start to consider the real form that the communication of our ideas must have. Before going down until finer details of the internal mechanisms of stories, the first thing to be considered is its basic form and its structure. To maximize the effect of the idea that you are trying to communicate it is preferable to give to the story some type of definite form whom a certain way of unit has and sense of integrity that produces an impression coherent and organized in the mind human being. It has as many forms of stories as forms in the nature exist. Some of them are irregular, others, regular, all they with its advantages and disadvantages and possibilities. Presumably, you will choose a structure that seems to accommodate, in the best way possible the effect that you desire for the story, but, moreover, does not import really which the chosen structure. The important one is that you it understands the structure of the work that is creating, whichever the structure that can come to have. If you it chose to turn aside from the subject, then all good, while you he will only be intent to whom it is making and because you are making, and intent to the consequences in the global effect of the story.
Some structures are obvious and evident by itself. One that I use very, probably beyond the account, is the elliptical structure basic, where the elements of the start of the story reflect events that they are for happening in the end, or where a phrase or particular image will be used in the beginning and the end, acting as extremities to point out the story, in a sense of care and unit. Another structure is to initiate from the way of the story and to fill the past at the same time that it advances with the drama in the future, moving in this way both the situations with the narrative at the same time. An example of this would be “the Teams will be Running” of # 26 of SWAMP THING (published in SUPERAMIGOS # 23, with the name “Day of Escape”). The action starts in the way, with the Swamp Thing and Abby running through the quagmire, being filled with the events that had taken them to that situation at the same time where we show the story to continue, unfolding itself in the gift. A more complete structure would be one that I took loaned by Gabriel Garci’a Marquez, in the second part of “Nukeface Paper” in SWAMP THING # 36 (published with the first one in an only episode, in SUPERAMIGOS # 35). Here, we have a counted entire the story for each personage, depending on how much of the central action it happened with them, individually. In this way, none of the personages had the story all, but with each new story of the events we more obtained a little on the situation until finally perceiving that the mountain-Russian is complete and that the picture all is finally ahead of us, if that unfolded in one forms uncommon and — I wait — well interesting. A simpler structure would be of SWAMP THING # 34 (published in SUPERAMIGOS # 34) where the central part was a poem erotic-abstract of eight pages, and the remaining portion of the story, simply the frame of that central part.
Still thus, all these are formal structures and it does not have reason for which the writers of comics aspirings must collect its slight knowledge of structure from parameters so limited as mine. Returning again the Eddie Campbell, or without a doubt the Phil Elliott or Ed Pinsent or a without-number of other attractive talents that have emerged in these last years, other people’s to the current market humorists, us we find forms of stories that are radically different of any of the described forms most conventional above. Eddie Campbell tends to give to its stories a type of informal anecdotal structure that mirror necessarily the way in which the jokes usually is recounted of person for person intercalated by small souvenirs and turning aside itself from the left subject unbroken. Stories suggest to have a necessarily controlled structure, but they seem, in some way, much more natural and organic that a portion of same clienter structures of itself that I have 0ccasionally used. Phil Elliott describes its stories as having one “” and a” B “to define the start and the end with nonlinear type of exploratory narrative and, that takes place between these colon. These are all valid boardings, and looking at for they with analytical eyes certainly if they show usable to arrive at the idea of that the structure really is and what its proper boarding of the subject could be.
Perhaps in this point, I must underline that, much even so is presenting these several facets and elements of stories so that they seem to make sensible for me, does not have reason for which you must carry through its the story accurately following these steps literally. Instead of starting with a idea-base you decide that she had an excellent idea for a the story structure and then leaves behind an idea that better agrees to this structure. The episode of “V FOR VENDETTA” entitled “Video”, for example, was a the story where the structure was conceived first: it would be possible to count to a the story using only incidental dialogues absolutely happening in a television set? The structure headed the basic idea of the story, and when a convenient place in the continuous appeared of the episodes of the series where this structure could be used to advantage, I employed it. A simple image, a simple line of dialogue, any one of them can be the beginning of a the story. My thesis is that, in some place to the long one of the line, in any place that you starts, all the some individual elements that we argue here they will be examined case the work is being so good how much you can make it.
Now that we have some idea on structures, the next step is to consider the proper act to count stories, that, for quarrel effect, will be defined here as the form for which stories if they move and if they hold inside of the limits of the structure. A time that now we reach a definite area better of the composition of stories, is much more easy to see the elements that go to characterize the difficulties of the process to count stories. Without no particular order in, prominent areas inside of a set of narrative instruments, including scenes of transition, speed of the narrative, rhythm, smoothness of the flow and all the other aspects that more say respect to the story properly said that when uncurling of the events inside of the same one.
Transition, the movement of a scene for another one, is one of the most intricate and intriguing elements of all process of writing. The problem is to move of a place or a time to another one without making something drastic or unskillful that could compromise the delicate wire of the involvement of the reader with the story. If the transition will be dealt with the missed way, this will make the reader “to awake” fast excessively for the fact to be only reading a the story; if you the first scene spent all constructing the involvement of the reader with the drama and the personages, certainly do not go to want that nothing she returns it to the reality. A time that until scene changes requires with frequency a type of breaking, following a pause enters the end of a scene and the start of another one, the transition interval is one of the places where very probably you risk yourself to lose the interest of the reader if she will not be worked adequately.
As I see, a successful the story of any type must almost be as a hypnosis; you fascinate the reader with its first phrase, she more ahead leads it with second, and she has it in settles soft for return of third. Then, having well-taken care of in not waking up it, you ahead take it among the narrow ways of its narrative, and, when it will be completely lost for the story, having itself delivered it, you makes right it with a terrible violence, like hitting a ball with a bat, and thus, she leaves it to beg for the exit in the last page. It believes me, goes to be thankful therefore.
An important thing is that the reader has not waked up until you thus wants it, and the transition between the scenes is the weak point of the enchantment that you are having a labor (or workmanship –JS) to launch on it. Of one it forms or another one, as writer you have that to come with its proper repertoire of tools and tricks with which you construct the credibility interval that the scene change represents, taking loaned some advice of other writers and, if God to want, who you know, bringing a little of its proper ones. One that I have used in excess, to judge for the commentaries that I harvested in revisions or letters of the readers, is the use of the overlapping or coincidence of dialogues. Or either, better the one is something very that to fall again into old and crippled “Meanwhile, in the Room of Justice... “ or some twitch (kneeherk –JS) seemed, and is more widely applicable than some of the boldest experimental ideas on scene change, many of which only possess, in the most instances, a limited use.
Thing that I finish making that it facilitates the transition and it is, some times, everything what it is needed to carry through it, is to write having as basic idea the page, in way that the action of the reader to turn the page if becomes the “compass” in which I moves of scene without disturbing the rhythm of the story. Another boarding is to vary the technique of overlapping of dialogues and to use the sincronicidade of the image more than words or even though a coincident joint of vacant and abstract ideas. It is even though possible to use the color to move of scene: the end of a scene that has a portion of exchange of shots and spilling of blood could finish with one close in the shining red blood all spread on the white floor. The following picture could, suddenly, cut for a commercial square in Italy, in one close of a tent of a florist with a vast profusion of red flowers taking most of the scene. In this example, the simple maintenance of the red color probably is enough successfully to lead the reader to the transition.
The transition nor always has that to be soft. If you the sufficient will be adept, some times you can use a very abrupt transition, with such elegance that nobody will go to perceive any breaking in the flow until the moment has passed and the reader already duly is absorbed by the next scene to the story. An example that comes of the cinema would be the dizzying artifice that Hitchcock used in “the BIRDS”; when finding a body mutilated by the birds, in the leaked eyes, the heroine opens her mouth and inhales, obviously gives to free an shout deafening. Instead of showing the shout, Hitchcock it cuts, suddenly, for the next scene, in one close-up of an engine towing, in an amplified and dissonant racket as what it was formed in the head of who attends, as the shout that if was waiting to hear. The brusque change in the scene is surprising, but Hitchcock obtains to use the sense of surprise with positive ends, accenting the pleasure of the story much more that exhausting the attention. This would not function in a half quadrinhístico, exactly using effect with onomatopéias, but a mind with initiative does not have reason for which cannot find a form to adapt the bases of this artifice in a sequence of words and fixed images.
Transitions, important in itself even so same, can also be considered as part of a general topic on spacing or compass. The compass, although, when made correctly, nor it is perceived by the reader, is an integrant part of the story, determining the intellectual progression with which the reader if inside moves through the story and timing (the temporization) of the events of the story for one better impression. The way simplest and mechanics to understand timing in the comics are to learn how much a reader spends in one comic before passing to the next one. The principle, it takes a certain time reading the legends and the balloons of dialogue. Perhaps one comic I contend a standard of 35 words will lead about seven or eight seconds being read, depending on the complexity of the image that follows it. Perhaps a simple graphical image without no balloon nor legend takes three seconds (N.T.: perhaps in a country of illiterates vitiated to television it delays a little more, but, it must be for there same). If you to read some stories having timing in mind, in briefing you will have a useful intuition on how much the reading delay in each picture. Still that this gives a rigid control to it, such which the assembly of the time enjoyed for the cinematographic industry (which has its proper disadvantages), without a doubt it confers you some principle of control on how much delay for the eyes of the readers to be guided to the long one of the page, or through the story as a whole.
The compass must engage the clutch having the scene in the hand. A thoughtful scene that probably demands attention would function better with a completely slow rhythm. A scene of fast action, perhaps a fight scene, very probably would function better when how much possible so fast moving itself. It compares some of the quiet scenes of fight of Frank Miller — which if they move very fast, flowing of image for image with the speed of a conflict in real time, not interrupting the reader with pauses to read mounts of accompaniment text — and the scenes of fight of lesser writers with some sense of scene movement are interfered with by the antagonists having poured mounds and mounds of dialogue on one another. What was said above are not rigid rules or of easy assimilation: I am certain that it is possible to write a scene of action with rhythm fast e to use many dialogues, as well as I know that it is possible to increase the amount of details in the next scenes to make a long dumb sequence that is chore to slow well. Or either, some intuition on as to trim the words is essential for the construction of a the story, as much to construct suspense in a dramatic situation, or to synchronize one gag for more circumstances. It plays with quiet scenes and it sees as they can be used to extender the suspense moment until strengthening the impact, if necessary. It tries the synchronization notion and it sees what it happens. In episode “100 rooms” of the series YOU LEASE TAMBIEN, Jaime Hernandez incredibly makes some strong things with the structure of the time and he executes them with genuine élan (boldness, audacity). An example would be when the sad former-noble who “had kidnapped” Maggie finally removes the hand of its mouth, confident of that it does not go to cry out. Abruptly, in comic following, we cut for an indefinite future moment, in the same room; Maggie and her abductor had obviously made love and the man is seated to the side of the bed, excusing itself for its behavior. This sudden, disconnected one and deliberated compass in addition of the story are disorienting, but, in certain way, satisfactory. It is not nothing that I have insolent me to try personally, but only demonstrates what it is possible if you it will have enough talent, nerves and imagination. You can add elements that really disturb flowing of its the story and still to obtain that they act in the context of it as a whole.
Basically, he does not have limits to the different effect of narrative and boarding that are possible beyond the limits taxes for our proper imagination. Everything that if asks for is that if it thinks on techniques that if are using, understanding what they are and knowing where they are applicable. More important still, he must yourself be had in mind that the some narrative artifices only are there for giving the best expression of its the story, or part of it. If you he will have a shining idea for an artifice of these and it will not be appropriate for the story that you are writing, abandons it. When tools narrative oppresses the idea that you was trying to lead the principle, then you is working in detriment of the story, much more that in benefit of it, and must be scratched out without pity or mercy. As many of intricate dramas described above, confidence in that you are leaving stop backwards and what to include in any definitive the story they are things who come only with practical and experience, but, a time that it knows at least what it is looking for, probably will see that these things finish come more fast the one that if imagines.
Assuming that you now have some notion on the real possibilities to its disposal to tell a story, in this stage we will pass to the considerations on the proper elements of the fiction work. By convenience, the main elements in this category can be divided in three basic sectors: composition of the personages, composition of the environment and, finally, drama(trauma/drama? –JS). Let us start with the environment, therefore the nature of the drama and the motivations of the personages widely will be determined by the world where they live.
The task of the writer, independent of it to be trying to describe a colony in Neptune in the 3020 year of or the life in London for 1890 return, is to invoke a sensation of ambient reality of the most complete and flowing possible form. The way most obvious of if making this are to explain the expository bases of its world to the readers through legends with text or dialogues, being this also, in my opinion, the less efficient method most artificial and least efficient. It happens that it is also the method most easy, being therefore applied with as much frequency. Inversely, the best way to give to its readers a sensation of space and a secular and geographic localization is, in the my opinion, most difficult, at the same time that she is most compensating in the long run.
The best way, me seems, is first to consider the environment with that you are working as a whole, in detail, before starting to write. You walk to write “V FOR VENDETTA”, for example, I gathered an enormous amount of information on that world and its inhabitants, many of which never will be shown in the comics for the simple reason not to constitute essential material for the knowledge of the readers and that probably she would not have place for she incases them in the entire history (story? –JS). It is not important. What it is important is that the scriptwriter must clearly have a picture of the imaginary world in all its details inside of the head all the time. Coming back to our Neptunian colony for a few seconds, we go to pass for the type of details that are essential to the synthesis of a picture clearly of that world.
First, as human beings obtain to survive in Neptune? Which are the physical problems that would have of being surpassed before the people could live in that planet and what she would sound as reasonable method for the overcoming of the possible difficulties? The fact that Neptune is constituted largely of gases would have to imply in an amount of environments artificial linked floating platforms perhaps for a domestic telecinética net? How the telecinético system would function? Which the effect that the enormous gravity in the planet has on the lives and the psychology of the individuals that live there? Which the intention of a colony in Neptune? It is, by chance, the ore exploration to be consumed in the Land? Which is the political situation of the Land prevailing in this point of the story and as it affects the life of the colonists? Have how much time they are there? The time enough to have developed a proper culture? If thus it will be, that type of art produces and that type of music composes? Is it’s art overwhelming and claustrophobic as resulted of the pressures of living in a so closed environment, or the parts of art and music are full of light and space to compensate the inhibiting environment that the colonists are forced to support? How is kept the law in the Neptunian colony? That type of social problems exists? The inhabitants of Earth are the only species that obtained to colonize the planet or has other involved foreign races in the settling project? The humanity found of fact some foreign race in all the decades that if had followed until the time where if uncurl our the story or still is alone in the universe — until where it knows? How functions the economy in this place? How the people if dress? How the family is structuralized?
This was the process that I submitted myself when I composed the world of WARPSMITHS and the way as its culture was structuralized. I crossed process with HALO the same JONES and V OF REVENGE. The question is that, a time that you elaborated the world in all its details you will be capable to speak of it with complete confidence in trivial way without hammering the reader over the head with excess information.
Howard Chaykin proceeded thus with AMERICAN FLAGG. It elaborated the names of the marks of products and shows of TV, the trends of the fashion and the problems politicians for then only following with the story and leaving the readers to catch the general climate in its transcorrer. In the first episode of American Flagg, we see the flashes of shows of TV and announcements that in give much more genuine impressions to them in the way as the personages think and live that an enormous amount of legends could pass. Moreover, it has the advantage to seem much more natural, therefore it follows the way almost accurately as we catch a foreign culture when we travel for the exterior. We do not understand necessarily everything of the face culture, but, gradually; to the measure that we catch the details of the environment, we reach a complete conscience of the set, its atmosphere only e the social elements that shape it. When a writer manipulates the environment in this way, does not have the sensation to be receiving a gamma from pressed irrelevant details against us only why said whose he wants that let us know meticulously by what means it has been in the construction of the story. On the contrary of this, we realistically have the sensation of a conceived world of complete and detailed form, where the facts transcorrem normally, exactly that the story is not focused in them. A world to point out the our the story that is structuralized logically interrupts any diffidence of the reader and finishes dragging it in that state of hypnosis that I mentioned in my previous article.
While the previous commentaries if relate environments specifically imaginary, if you are if I take care of to a real environment, you needs to be meticulous to the extremity in its conception of the world that you are displaying. When I started to write the MONSTER of the QUAGMIRE, I read regarding the Louisiana and its rivers and tributaries in such a way how much I could and I obtained to congregate instrumental knowledge on its flora and fauna and its general constitution. I know, for example, the type of liquid the hyacinths (flowers) synthesize in a thick sheet in the surface of the water — that it makes that this sheet seems firm land and allows that these grow so fast that, some times in the past, had of being burnt so that they did not take the quagmire all. I learned that the alligators eat rocks finding that they are turtles and later they do not obtain to make its digestion. It is therefore that the alligators have that excrement mood. I also know that cajuns (descending of the French colonists) is called “coonass” for non-cajuns as a demonstration of racial discrimination, but that cajuns had transformed the insulting term into a compliment, creating enormous adhesives where if it reads “PRIDE OF BEING COONASS”. I know that the more popular name cajun is Bordeaux. If desire a name that sounds natural for a common citizen in the Louisiana, I look for in my telephonic catalogue of Houma until finding a name that jumps me to the sight: Hatie Duplantis can be a good name. As well as Jody Hebert. If I to want to know which the road a personage I would have to take to go inside of Houma to Alexandria (of the United States, not in Egypt. After all, isn’t there PARIS, TEXAS?), I look for in a road map of the United States. They are the small details as these that make with that its description of a specific place is realistic and convincing. They can accidentally be dripped in the comics, without ostentation, and will be probably more convincing in the ratio where they will be trivial and irrelevant.
Of course, when considering an environment, is not only the physical reality of the place that must be understood, but also its atmosphere — the emotional reality. It catches the Gotham City of the Batman, for example. It is only another version of New York? Is it an enormous park of diversions for super-developed children, full of giant typewriters and Jack-in-the-boxes, populated by creatures such as the bat-dog and extremely wicked hobgoblin bat (bat-mirim, in the livened up drawing) and clowns as the Penguin and the Joker? It is a paranoid and left-hand side landscape urban derived from Fritz Lang, frightened for deformed types and monsters, whose only defender is a cold, guarded, and remorseless man that is dressed as a bat? The way that you choose to treat the way that goes to all modify the character of the story and is so important how much the final effect as an understanding of real the physical factors that compose the world on which you are writing.
The boarding of the composition of personages in comics has evolved, as all more in this disaster of delayed way, in a painful slow rhythm in these last thirty or forty years. The boarding oldest sight in comics is that one where the composition of the personages is maniqueísta, constituted generally of the “that one it is good there” and “that one is there badly”. For the comics and the world comparatively simpler than they were made use to entertain, this perfectly adequate age. There for the start of years 60, however, the times had moved, and a new boarding for the composition of personages if it made necessary. Thus, Stan Lee created a new composition of personages of two dimensions: “that one is good there, but it is unlucky with the girls” or “that one is there badly, but it could help the Avengers if a certain number of readers wrote asking for that it made this”. Of new, at the time, this was an innovation to take off the breath, and perfectly seemed a valid way of if making stories in comics that had importance in the context where they were being made. The advances since then have been minimum. In an effort to follow the times, the personages properly said had become more distinguished, dopey, bixxare or neurotics, but the basic way to portray moved very them little. Still they are carefully defined personages under the two angles, with a pinch of verbal embromação a play to perhaps liven up them here and there.
I believe that it has left of the part of the guilt for this state of things if it must to the great adhesion without questionings to good and the old one dictated: “if you it will not be able to summarize a personage in fifteen words is not a good personage”. He wants to say, who is that he said this? On the other hand, certainly he is possible to define the personage and the motivations of Captain Ahab in a well-elaborated phrase as a “wild cripple who feeds rancor against a whale”. Herman Melville, obviously, better found to go deep itself more the service a bit. He seems me that the best one that if wanted to really say with that how much in such a way false phrase one type is something it “if a personage will not be able if summarized in fifteen words it does not have to be salable to a young public, that presumably have limited attention and brief supplies of intelligence”.
These written laws and this conventional wisdom are not really the curse of the industry, or, at least, one of its curses. The problem is that they tend to involve the people in a certain way to reflect on the things. He is obvious that if our necessary personage to be described in fifteen words, you will incline in direction to a personage of fifteen words — something as “one takes off cynical whose parents had been assassinated, what he compels it to undertake a private war against the crime”. At the same time where this can represent the beginnings of a elaborável personage, the trend is of that the scriptwriter not look very far beyond the skeleton of fifteen words. One or two times to each episode it will make with that the personage says some cynical thing and has remembered itself of its career as policeman. Moreover, one of the secondary personages probably will say, the certain height, “Frankly, you is so cynical!!!”. To that our hero will answer: “What you he wanted? I remember, already I was strap “. If the scriptwriter will be relatively adept, small subtleties of personality will be introduced in the project... is disclosed, for example, that our former-she also takes off cynical collects stamps. Strangely, this generally will be leagued of some skill to the initial premise of fifteen words: “I am Well, here, with my album opened in my front, glue stamps. I would not be making this if still he was one takes off. About the hard one, the more I think about this, more cynical I I am “.
If the writer will be bold, will feel the necessity to explore the personage in a bigger depth. The question is that it does not matter how deep it goes into the soul of the personage; it still will have fifteen words of width. Perhaps the writer dedicates all an assay to the personage, trying to unmask the mysteries of its past through a flash-back or something thus. The story will have a central point and a subject, such and which must have stories, turning probably around “What he was same that it became this so cynical personage”. To the long one of the twenty and as many pages we will cross the first years of formation of the personage until reaching the apocalyptic event, well in the height of the story: “I was only seated there, seeing my album of stamps and the collection without price that had consumed years of my life to be composed, when, suddenly, I perceived that, a time that the donkey had jammed those stamps with glue here and the glue one direct in the album, was impossible to inquire its value — they already did not possess value some. Then, I understood that the universe did not pass of a cruel joke on the humanity and that the life had not felt. I became cynical on the existence human being and could see that the dullness all intrinsic the human effort. In this height, I decided to integrate me to the police force ”
The point is that if the initial premises of work on which the personages are constructed are limited and gradually rigid, thus are also the proper personages. Perhaps if the scriptwriters of comics to obtain to develop its of composition of personages until a level where if she follows changes, were not an bad idea to play except some of these models expenses and to face the problem of one another form. A logical starting point would be simply to leave and to observe the people. It also considers the structure of the character of the people to its return and its proper personality with the biggest frieza and objectivity that to obtain. After little time you it will go to discover that almost nobody can be described in fifteen words, at least not in an excellent and significant way. You also it will notice that the people mold its behavior depending on with who they are talking. They are with the different voice when they speak with its parents and when they speak with its colleagues. They vary the attitude and disposal to each hour. They will make with frequency things that are, apparently, it are of its personality. Simple and subtle comments as these help to equip the creative mind in direction to a more complete understanding of the composition of the personality of that the one that is offered by some brief generalizations on the phenomena in general.
Valley the penalty to observe as the people in other areas decides the question of the authenticity human being. An artist who wants to learn to portray the body realistically human probably will start drawing models livings creature, observing as the people stop, if they incline and if they put into motion. Not to be that they are wondrous donkeys, they will not try to catch the life in its figures by means of little trustworthy declarations as “pretty figures have salient chins” or something thus.
It studies proper itself and to the people to its return with details and tries not to lose nothing... Each knot in the voice and hesitation, each nuance vacant in the corporal position or unconscious gesture of the hands. It hears as they speak and it tries to inside reproduce its voices of its head with all the features and mannerisms. Exactly that, very probably, you never it has, in all its career, success in creating a personage who is total true, to the little o effort will bring it more close to this objective and to the understanding them involved problems.
Another useful instrument for the composition of personages can be extracted of the theater. Already I mentioned before I look for to adopt a method of boarding in that the always-possible composition of personages and that it seems to be giving resulted. As for example of as I would approach a personage for this method, I would cite the way of as Etrigan, the Demon I was treated in the ones in the 25, 26 and 27 of magazine SWAMP THING (published for the Ed. April in the ones in the 27, 28 and 29 of the magazine SUPERAMIGOS). To elaborate the personality of Jason Blood did not present no real difficulty, but, a time that the Demon represented and fact a creature of the hell, I perceived that its interior mechanisms, its psychology, demanded some reflection. I wise person who it I would be a stocky personage low e, and later drew that it would be very intense and inflexible, in consequence to pass the life in the hell. I imagined its weight enormous, as if it was of massive iron, and its internal temperature almost so hot how much the magma. This in accordance with suggests a type of feverish intensity in its action and thoughts its smashing weight, result of its powerful density.
I noticed that in the original sketches of the John and the Steve (John Tottleben and Steve Bissete, the tracers of the series) for its proposal of treatment of the personage, who the canine tooth was sharper and the mouth had a light crack in the superior lip, like a cat’s. This suggested that the voice of the personage would be a little distorted, says it modified for the deformation of the lip and teeth.
Armed of all these information, I closed the curtains of my studio so that the neighbors did not scare and called the social assistant (probable the equivalent the English to the staff that direct the people to the Juqueri) or something to it sort and try imagine what feel if be of fact the personage. I imagined the weight enormous of my body, that now was very lesser, and vi that this would bring to the corporal movements a terrible impulse. Keeping the fierce nature suggested by the imprisoned frontals, I tried the sensation to incurvate myself like Quasímodo (Hunchback of Notre Dame) and to limp. Later that I felt that to get the physical sensation of the personage, I tried the voice, splitting the teeth and raising the superior lip until being difficult to speak with clarity. To make direction, after all it seemed necessary to speak very slowly, what it suggested a type of voice as of a record player disconnect, guttural and very serious. Finally, I perceived that the accurate voice that it looked was of the type of voice as of Charles Laughton in the film “the Riot”, electronically distorted. A chosen time the voice and the position of the personage, you can record in the mind the impression to evoke it when to arrive the time to put the personage in the axles and to produce realistic dialogues for it.
A conclusion that I arrived is that almost all have a practically infinite number of facets in its personality, but emphasizes only part of them in the biggest part of the time. All we have parts of that they are cruel, badly intentioned, cowards, profligates, violent, greedy... If to describe a personage with these characteristics, we must in preparing them to look at for regions of our personality with which in we feel them less comfortable of front and to make a honest evaluation of that we see. On the other hand, all we have sides that noble, heroic, they are unfastened or loving, let us admit or not. When creating a noble personage, you must before Have to try to see in you yourselves any spark of nobility, exactly that the possibility of the existence of it seems the most improbable in its worse moments.
The more audacious you to be in the composition of its personages, more confident he will be in facing the problems most specific and confusions of the work. How a white writer, of the masculine sex and heterosexual practitioner, for example, as I go to be able to write on a homosexual, a black or a woman? Theoretically, it is clearly, it would be more easy to write on people of one another color, sort or sexual inclination of that on livened up vegetables, whermeuschen or creatures of the abyss. The point where this can give pra backwards is that, if you to understand its ambulant vegetable in making a mistake way, will be able to offend and to hurt somebody that can be felt mentioned. To deal with the vast multitude of different types of personages that you probably will create during its career of scriptwriter is, at the same time, demanding absorbent and. In one day, you it will be the infanticide of New York; in the following day, a transparent creature of Altair 4; in the other, a nun of seventy years taking care of the survivors of the second plague of London of 2237. You she will be forced to ponder on morally offensive people who are politics or you and to try to understand them.
This can in such a way be personal how much professionally compensating, but the main result is that, when writing on the personages in the course of its work, you care degree of and pretension and at the demanded degree of authenticity or estilização with the complete notion of the involved principles will arrive at an adjusted. That one remembers that never more all the involved ones are personages, same that who, by chance, take a walk for the dumb scene and leave been silent, reappearing. Exactly that you it does not make use of time and cannot spend traditional the seven days of the week in this, you had, at least, To have certainty of that thought in such a way about the subject how much it has been necessary.
Now that we have the discriminated idea, structure, boarding narrative, environment and personages, I assume that if must also think about considering the plot (even so, as you already must have deduced, if he is that you already it read sufficiently of my works, I almost I cannot bother me with this formality). After all, that devils are a plot? That expensive has? The plot is not the main point of the story or its main reason of being Is something that is there more for enhancing the central idea of the story and the personages who will become involved themselves in the one of that she stops dominating them and forcing them if incasing it in its limitations. Plot is the combination environment-personas only with the element added time they. If the combination of environment and personages can be called “situation”, then, plot is a situation seen in four dimensions.
Using the example that we take from the excellent “Report on the Probability” of Brian Aldiss, thinks about a different thing of stories in comics for terms one another perspective of the idea. Let us consider a painting — in particular, “the Mercenary Shepherd”, of the daily pay-rafaelita William Holman Hunt.
In this picture, we see a young in facing in first plan, in way to a pretty and luminous pastoral landscape, bathed for the golden light setting it. Kneel or stoops downs, then behind of it, we see a young man, the shepherd of the heading. It is with an arm raised for backwards of the shoulders of it, as it was the point to establish a physical privacy, involving it in one hugs. However, at the portrayed moment, its hand still did not touch it. Canine tooth in the palms of the hand, it brings a small “sphynx-skull” butterfly (note of the translator: insect that has printed in its wing the figure of a skull). As much the expression of the beautiful shepherd as of the young one is ambiguous. The shepherd seems wanton and the young woman seems stimulated/motivated. Seen in another light, the expression of it is a little more left-hand side, while of it is of somebody suffocated by the scare. Behind the couple, in the bathed English fields in gold, a flock of sheep wanders without route and protection while the shepherd passes the time with the beautiful young on the lawny one soon above of the grass. The shepherd seems to smile to if preparing to show the insect, and it she does not seem bothered its approach. The sheep graze, the butterfly if it agitates, the moment is suspended, without passed or conclusion. He is only one second, extracted of one continuum on which we do not know more nothing. We do not know nothing on the past of them — where the shepherd grew or same where he passed the previous night. We do not know if the woman is until there by chance or if she had combined of if finding before with it. Of its future we know less still. When it shows the insect, it if he enchants or if he scares? They will make love there exactly, or they will talk or only fight? What it will happen with the sheep, left without guard? With an eye in the apparently left-hand side symbolism of the sphynx-skull, will exist something more threatening implicit in the scene? Not something necessarily melodramatic/sensational as the shepherd to be you give to strangle it, but, perhaps, a mention to the death and the way as we waste the essence of the life? This perpetual moment that we see, imprisoned in the screen, is the start of a relationship, or the end? The beauty of a good painting is in the fact of the mind and the directions to be able to become vacant perpetual in, following its track and covering its ways in this place where the time is suspended. “the Mercenary Shepherd” in displays the situation to them. The not dumb situation, but we in inside dislocate them from it, appreciating its subtle meanders perspective and meaning.
If, then, to add the dimension time to this situation, the work of art is completely modified. Instead of presenting infinite possibilities, them they would follow an only definite route. The composition of the events to the long one of this definite route. The composition of events to soon of this route is the plot. The young woman in the painting notices the butterfly and is curious and also a little scared. A dialogue between the charming shepherd and the young woman is stopped then, that it is fascinated by it. They make love after freeing the small insect. After this, they discover that the flock was stolen or if it lost in this half time. Instead of facing the fury of the raging farmer who uses it to take care of the flock, the impulsive servant decides to run away from the e region to look job in another county. After some weeks the young woman he perceives that she is pregnant. Its father and its brothers are knowing and swear to hunt the shepherd and to give a choice to it — or he marries or he dies -... and etc, etc, etc. I confess that the version above is an unskillful and ugly extrapolation without nothing of that charm, subtlety or poetry of the original painting, but believe that it clarifies the point of that to compose the plot is a type of phenomenon of four dimensions, taking time as the fourth dimension. The situation portrayed in the proper painting is a representation of a three-dimensional world that, with the addition of the time, becomes quadra-dimensional and passes of situation to the plot.
Therefore, to assume itself of the process of creation of plot in a valid way, you it must try to reason quadra-dimensionality. It sees the world where continuum with past, gift and future live its personages as one. It sees the form of all, then you are more apt to observe as the elements inside of the global project if they relate much more clearly in way. “WATCHMEN” was created exactly of this form. In the real time, the story starts in October of 1985 and finishes some months later. I have all the events enclosed in this period, incased necessarily. In ampler terms, however, the story refers it events that go since 1940, with individual sequences that if they give in years 40, 50, 60, 70... the impression that we have, waits, is that a felt of depth and the story likely, together world with personages who share this quality. To the being capable to observing a period of 45 years of relative the story of the world where if it before points out my drama exactly to try to write an only syllable on that world, I was capable to observe parameters of events and events that if they reflect conceptually, potentially interesting elements of the story and its narrative that I could emphasize and bring to the surface as the progress of the story. I could notice chances to moor elements of the plot or the thematic structure and to present one more coherent and all effective one as resulted. Still, a time having the story and its some personages planned in depth, if perhaps notices exactly of personages or interesting events that they would occur logically to a certain height and that they could suggest one or another interesting dialogue.
Establish its continuum with a quadra-dimensional format — with length, width, depth and time, and then it takes an only wire of narrative that leads it for the landscape that you created of the possible revealing form most interesting and, either realistic it or of a more abstract and psychological land. This wire of narrative is its plot. While the plot if dislocates through continuum visualized well that you created for it, you it will find easy to extract a real and pleasant impression parallel if uncurling inside of the story that you are definitively telling. A good example of this is the words that Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez had created in “LOVE & ROCKETS”. In stories “You lease Tambien” and “Mechanics” of the Jaime, we have the sensation of an only body of likely details hover beyond the limits of the comics and proper the story. After seeing for some months “MISSILES OF OCTOBER” pichados by the city, we discover that this is the name of the band of Hopey, in the same way accidental that we discover that its name is “Glass” or that its aunt, Vicky Glori (note of the translator: it lacked the author to read with attention, this she is the aunt of the Maggie, not of the Hopey there), gained one disputed fight against Rena Titañon. In “Heartbreak Soup”, Gilbert produced a work equally notable in its description of the community of Palomar in a period of fifteen or twenty years. Observing Jesus, Heráclio, Vicente and others to grow and to establish its when adult lives. We see the Sherrif Chelo to start its career as bañadora (“a woman who gives to bath in men “- note of the translator: it can seem joke, but this type of service was common in communities baffle plates of the years 50) before being banishes from the businesses for the Luba beautiful and debtor to enter the force of the law. In later sequences we see with that perfection it assumed its new vocation and observes that it also is become thin and being more attractive, while Luba starts to make look like each time more fatigue and conscientious of how much it feels lack of youth and that is losing the beauty. The world is genuine and three-dimensional. It takes fifteen years of the story to perceive that Vicente more is complexado by its deformity that originally mame look like to be. We observe two children of different mothers, both generated by the young just-deceased “estraçalhador of hearts” Manuel, playing together during a public commemoration, at the same time that the adult life continues in function of them. We have the complete sensation of one continuum, inside of which all the elements assume its proper degree of importance and become vital part of the total work of art.
We have an idea that we desire to transmit and a script that enhances and discloses the idea in an incendiary way. We composed the personages to live the story and an equally concrete and likely world to shelter it. First step is to catch our the story that, I presume, it was developed with an eye in how many pages they are available for the impression, and to see accurately as it can better adjust itself to the limitations that we have. As an example of as this process functions, I would cite my Superman Annual of 1985 (Super Powers # 20, in Brazil). The idea was to examine the escapism and the fantastic worlds of the dreams, that include happy times idealized in the past and points desired in the future, where finally will reach objective longed for ours. I wanted to evaluate I eat these concepts I would be applicable and which would be the dimension of the interval that separates the fancy of the reality. It was a the story, if to prefer, for the people who I have found for the life measures that they are stopped in some point of the future when finally they will be “happy”. They are people who say “if I had not married that man or that woman, if I had continued the college, if he had left there before, established, IDO to see me the world accepted, the job that I refused...” or, that they say “when I to pay the mortgage, will be able to use to advantage the life. When I will be promoted and to earn better, I will be able to use to advantage the life. When the children to grow, when I to obtain to publish my book... “ People are who if enslave for its nostalgia or its expectations, being incapable to live the gift until it if has become passed.
The script that I chose to develop this idea involves the mind of the Superman, enslaved for a parasite telepath that insufflates an illusion that the heart of it more desired... a Krypton planet that does not blow up. That is part of a script on a foreign enemy of the Superman — Mongul — that wants the hero is of its way so that it can dominate the universe or what he wants that these tyrannical types normally inhale. The story happens in the day of the anniversary of the Superman, in Fortress of the Solitude, with simultaneous sequences inside of its mind, while it imagines itself in Krypton as if it still existed. In uncurling of the story, we finally see that such eventuality could not be so happy how much promised to the first sight, leading the hero if to undo of the fancy. At the same time it perceives that its nostalgia for a disappeared planet is useless, as of fact was, and exactly learns something on itself with the experience.
Ok... then the problem is as to inside present that script and its main idea of the restrictions that are imposed by the dimensions of the magazine, the market the one that if destine, and thus by ahead. The immediate restriction most concrete and is that the magazine has forty pages. This implies in having that to adjust to my story that one it needs dimension without that it seems neither pressed nor strained. Thus, my first step is normally to catch a sheet of paper and to number of one the forty, in the left side. Then sketch the scenes that already are in mind and I try to decide how many pages they will consume.
Already I decided that desire to present a contrast enters the world of Krypton in the dreams of the Superman and the reality of its situation, paralyzed in Fortress of Solitude with one fungus sprouting of its chest, if floundering in the bio-aura of the hero. So that this of this certainty, I needed interesting facts of uncurling in Fortress of Solitude while the Superman is asleep, and equally involving happening simultaneously in the “real world”. As this happened in the anniversary of the Superman, it seemed logical that some of its colleagues super-human beings appeared – Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin — as really it would come to happen, and gave edge to some interesting incidents with Mongul, that would be taking care of its workmanship.
The coarse project would be the following one: they arrive, we establish its personalities in brief you launch and we show as they react. With the dialogues, we allow that the reader knows that it is the anniversary of Superman. We establish that as much Wonder Woman how much the Dynamic Pair it brings gifts — brings an enormous package, whose content it does not disclose in way some, and Batman and Robin have a special rose call “Krypton”, especially cultivated for the occasion. When entering in Fortress of Solitude apparently, they find the Superman with a stranger mass of black roses sprouting of his chest. It is immovable and total inert. While they try to discover what she is happening, Mongul appears and discloses the details excellent that lack. Wonder Woman tries to attack it and is won with a brutal blow that the spear for the Room of the Trophies and makes with that it crosses the wall of the Weapon room, where the foreign weapons if discloses useless against Mongul. Meanwhile, Batman cold tries to reanimate to the Superman, seeing in this the only way out of the situation. More as resulted of the increasing disenchantment of the Superman with the illusory world where it is that for the efforts of Batman, the untied creature if and it imprisons this last one. It is in this height that, it exempts of influences of the creature, the awaken Superman. The fancy that it lives finishes and the two extremities of the narrative if they join while the events if head for the climax of the episode.
Ok... a time with this organized, I needed to develop a similar project for the events in the imagination of the Superman: we open in Kryptonópolis, where we establish that it lives as Kal-El, has wife and two children and is an archaeologist who works for long and tiring hours. We are knowing that Krypton is in a phase of social decline. The father of Kal-El, Jor-El, was banishes from the scientific community, a time that its forecasts how much to the destination of Krypton they had demonstrated to be baseless e, with the death of its wife, Lara, it if he became frustrated a man and sad, inclined the groups extremist politicians in the attempt to interrupt the decline that he sees in the Kryptonian standards of living. This takes it to enter in conflict with its son, who is more liberal, and the two if they misunderstand. We see such events to culminate when we know that the cousin of Kal-El, Kara, was attacked and wounded for armed members of a group of campaign for the abolition of the Zone Ghost and that they feed an intense resentment against who wants that is still that remotely on to the creator of that project — Jor-El. Worried about these events, we observe Kal-El and its family trying to abandon Kryptonópolis having as deep cloth of a parade of torches, detonations and manifestations while Krypton starts if to more quickly dislocate each time in direction to the collapse. Finally, Kal-El cannot more accept the terms of the fancy and more prepared is not felt to pay the needy price to support it. It breaches with the fancy to find Batman prisoner of the parasite, when the two extremities of the story if find.
The next step was to integrate these sequences in one all coherent one, of form that parallel ran during all the first half of the forty pages. This wants to say, I had that in such a way to make use the scenes of the fancy of the Superman how much the scenes inside of Fortress with Batman and Cia., deciding for high what it had to go in each page with an eye in the final result of it, that must contain a complete scene. I wise person who all this equipment needed to go in the start of the album, covering the 25 first pages. This wanted to say that I had to interlace the two lines of the narrative in joints synchronized well and to try approximately to bring the two extremities in direction to the height at the same time. When establishing a good one start for the story I had an immediate position: or I started with the arrival of the visiting super-heroes or I could shoot the direct reader in the fancy of the Superman without any explanation. As it seemed more logical that this last alternative would more tend to surprise and to instigate the reader, I decided to open in a scene that if gives in the illusory Krypton of the dream of the Superman produced for the parasite. The effect waited on the reading one was something as “what!? Where we are? In Krypton? But Krypton did not blow up? Ué... is Kal-El, the same age that has today in the Land, but seems half different there. It seems... common, it is using eyeglasses, it has a regular job, wife and two children. What it is happening “ If this first page will be intriguing the sufficient, then you already it obtained to evolve sufficiently in the process of “fisgamento” of the reader. When establishing this basic situation in this imaginary Krypton, we turn the page and we pass direct to the Arctic Circle, for the arrival of the three visitors for the anniversary of the Superman. While it keeps one I dialogue accidental however revealing, them they enter in the Fortress. Knowing that pages 2 and 3 are respectively in the left and right hand, he seemed advantageous to wait any great scene of visual impact until page 4. A time that has a sequence in addition after page 4, and, as taste very of pictures that they take all the page, as much to call the heading the story as to properly give to the suggested premise its had weight and occasion, emphasizing the said start of the story, page 4 is the height of the introduction: the Superman paralyzed with a left-hand side black and red tumor sprouting of its chest. With luck, the reader is curious with this uncommon state of things the sufficient to jump the announcements of Figs and Apples Newton until page 5, in the verse of the leaf, where we show the reactions of the friends of the Superman, trying to guess what he happens to its colleague. The page if locks up with one close of the face of the Superman looking at for the nothing while Batman, behind of it, comments that the friend if finds in a particular world. We take the look for the top of page 6.
Here, we have an image that it evokes comic previous. One more time, Kal-El looks at for the nothing, but we are in return the Krypton, in the dream of the Superman, almost literally in a “particular world”. Thus, the coincidence of images and the irony of the commentary of Batman supply a soft transition and half-significant it enters the two scenes without losing the attention of the reader. In page 6, we show to the relation between Kal-El and its woman, with a certain text of emotional details, using its dialogue to give to the reader information on as it is the situation of them. The page finishes with a nocturnal taking it building where they live against a blue and pink sky, immediately after Kal to mention that she goes to visit its father in the following day.
We turn the leaf and we have a taking showing one another Kryptonian building, of this time with a sky of dawn, yellow, orange and red to the deep one. Still we are in Krypton, obviously, and is equally obvious that is morning of the following day. We pass to the meeting of three pages of Kal-El and its sad father, who if locks up in page, with 9 Jor-El hatefully pulverizing an ornamental glass tree in the terrace and jamming a glass bird, portrayed at the moment where he fed a youngling. The last taking is of the cut off head of the bird, with a glass worm still in the peak. At the same time where this in suggests a symbolic image to them of the disruption of the relation father-son between Kal-El and its old one, it has an oblique linking with the legend of the next picture, that says: “in the truth, one is alone questao to join the parts”. This phrase, in the on reality to the comment of Batman in its applied deductive process in the inquiry of that if it gives with the Superman, also has apparent importance in relation the image of the torn into pieces bird, left in the soil in fragments impossible to be reconstituted. This in takes them to page 10, where it begins a scene of page room where Mongul arrives and fights with Wonder Woman. It finishes with the villain saying “Obliged. I find that this answers to my question “, while reaches the heroine, with the deep, the inert one Superman to, looking at for the emptiness. In the next page, we again have a scene in Krypton, the hospital. In first plan, we have the mother of Super-Girl, Allura. To the deep one, approximately in the same relative position where if it found in last comic, Kal-El enters in the hospital. Allura despairingly interrogates a nurse on the conditions of its son and says: “I made a question”. This continues in similar way, going for front and pra backwards, until arriving at page 25 and reaching the wakening of the Superman.
A mapeada time the first part of the album, I was capable to see how much available space I had to co-ordinate the events until the end. I wise person, for example, that it needed a strong final page, preceded of one or two pages you spend only with the conclusions of action and the establishment of a state of spirit of return to normality and reflection on the lições that we learn. This consumed more or but one four pages. I want to say, the 36 for the burning hot final battle between Superman and Mongul remained pages 26, what it seemed to be the correct duration.
Using the same approach procedure as before, I then looked for to interrupt this sequence of action of ten pages with one I gush out interesting of lesser events while Superman and Mongul if spank for the Fortress. To make this to function, I exhaustingly consulted the project of Fortress of the Solitude, loaned for my tracer, Dave “Fanboy” Gibbons. I wise person who the first Superman would fall on Mongul in the Weapon room, where the foreign giant spanked Wonder Woman. If Mongul made right the Superman with force the sufficient one to hurl it through the ceiling, it would stop in the Foreign Zoo, immediately above. They, then, if beating for the Zoo, would arrive at the Room of Communications with its archives of computer. If, to this height, if they played in the soil, if they would ahead estatelariam of the giant statue of Jor-El and Lara supporting the globe of Krypton in the way of them. This seemed an excellent place to lock up the battle, with its inherent echo of the world where the Superman passed half of the story in dream. While this happened, we follow the progress of Robin in dealing with the foreign organism that it removes of Batman. It finally follows the track of destruction left for Mongul and Superman, arriving until the two, the time to bring the vital element for the defeat of the villain. Of new, this had that to be made in natural way, bringing the two extremities of the narrative (Robin/parasite and Superman/Mongul) to the height simultaneously.
Mongul finally is defeated by that organism that it intends to use to imprison the Superman. After a conclusion of three pages, in which the heroes relaxing and talking after the fight, have Batman delivering its rose “Krypton”, especially cultivated, who are jammed during the fight. The accepted superman with calm the death of the rose, and, for extension, the death of Krypton, giving a contained emotional point for the closing of the story, with the central idea reasonably explored and to less partially decided. The final page, evoking the first page, in gives a taking to them of the terrible and bloody reality lived for Mongul under the influence of the parasite, showing that it is more hopelessly chats inside of its dream of that never would be the Superman, in giving a counterpoint to the eventual success of this last one with its eventual defeat.
Good, we have the story completely dissected with an approach understanding of that it goes in each page, as well as with the understanding of as the dispersed elements that we analyze are working jointly to form one all. The only remaining stages are mere final creative processes in the reach of the correct track, as much in the verbal narrative how much of the appearance.
The stonecutting of the language is important, therefore in that bumbling language, flat, or without life to inhabit will very likely disinterest the reader in relation to the plot that you desire to tell. You must learn as to use the words with the maximum of its ability, one more time applying the realistic reasoning to the involved procedures. He is easy to develop a visual sensitivity, for example, still that she is minimum, as mine, adopting the habit to make schematic scribbles of each page before writing it, showing the visual elements that go in each comic. You he will collect an idea of that he is possible to show in each comic, and you he will have a notion of as a complete phrase will consist; have many closes of faces or taking of countenances? They are all visas of exactly angulo without-favor? This picture where you want to establish a threat direction you would not have more effect if she was seen from above, in way that we felt that subliminally somebody almost observing the personages from above, unprepared there under, soon to attack them? This would be better if it was a sequence of three comics instead of one only, using comic remaining for some another thing? Have many information squeezed in this comic e, this in case that, have space in the page to distribute them in two comics, in way that is chore more softly? Tips of this type will allow the tracer to understand the effect that you search and the intention for backwards of it, what it will be able to use as starting point for any visual information that it desires to add to its the story, having in mind that it, with almost all certainty of the world, will have a sensitivity (or intuition) visual 50 times more solid and trustworthy that its (note of the translator: since that you he is not working with one covered or an imcompetent person, is clearly)