A dilemma of perception

Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially at the point in the semester when I start losing control of my schedule, and stop taking care of the long-term commitments, like this blog. I haven’t worked on any one of my long-term goals since my English capstone class workshopped my first few pages of the Multiversed script. NOT ONE. And it feels like forever ago since I made any progress, instead of, what? A week?

To be fair, I’ve had a couple of last-minute commitments. Liz in a bad mood and needing company… Megan’s birthday sushi… Danny and Vince getting sick… Me getting sick from taking care of Danny… Yeah, it’s been rough.

On the other hand, the workshop has been weighing heavily on my mind. For the purposes of the capstone, I’m going to have to make some changes. Too many don’t understand the format, the terms, how the page will look. I wish I could assign homework. I’d give them Understanding Comics for the basics, and The Sandman: Dream Country, which includes a script of “Calliope” (and which I admit I used to figure out how a comic script might look).

Okay. Step back a bit from this, Ashley. What I’m dealing with is a dilemma of perception, and that perception is mine.

Multiversed is going to be a webcomic. For now, I am only scripting the story, for a class in which I have to share my work. Whereas the script is usually a dialogue between writer and artist (even if both are the same person), within a workshop it becomes… something else. Public instead of private. I know I shouldn’t, but I resent having the format and the panel descriptions be such a big deal. In the finished product, they won’t be.

I guess I wanted to workshop the idea of Multiversed, rather than the script itself. This workshop has shown me that’s way too idealistic. Actually, Anne put it best, in her comments:

I worry about your audience. I know the majority of people won’t be able to visualize from this like you can which will effect their reading. Is there another way to help them out/reach a broader audience?

I think it would help to include more art – character sheets, world designs, rough sketches of panels/pages. As I brought up before, though, the art takes a lot more time than the writing. Only Ian’s character sheet was finished for the workshop, for example.

…I don’t know. It’ll take some more thought.

Other issues raised in the workshop:

  • Ian & Bea seemed younger than they actually are (and Wendell seems old). Easily dealt with through their designs. Granted, Ian looks kinda on the young side, and acts like a big goof too at times. He should still look older than Damien, Laura, and Val when their designs are done. Robin’ll be the youngest, and she kinda already looks it. Wendell is old.
  • Ian & Bea seemed like siblings instead of a married couple. Difficult. There’s something very unsubtle about having them flash their wedding rings around. Or pausing in the middle of the chase scene for some hawt lovin’. Maybe just ‘knowing’ their age will take care of the sibling issue? Not sure about getting across the marriage part, though. That really might require some hawt lovin’.
  • Wendell’s and Ian’s relationship – what is it? Uh. Damn, we need a flashback for that too, probably.
  • Whose point of view are we following? Ian and Bea’s… but also Damien, Laura, Val, Robin, Qinzolquani… I think this will become clearer as the plot gets going and the other MCs are introduced. Unfortunately, at least one person assumed Wendell’s POV, so I think the ‘Epic Cheeseburger’ scene will become flashback.
  • Try weaving the history between the characters in with the rest of the story. Yes. Will do.
  • Is the name “Beatrice” a deliberate Dante reference? Yes. Make of that what you will. (Okay, okay, I can’t just be flippant – I was hoping someone would catch that!)
  • Flashbacks are confusing! Flashbacks are my bad habit. It’s hard to fix here, because I feel like I need to start in the middle of some action in order to get reader attention… but then the set-up and background is confined to flashback and dialogue. My fault entirely, I’ll see what I can do to keep everything clear and (mostly) linear.
  • Flashbacks are creative! …Hrm. They are a spice to be used only a pinch at a time, perhaps?
  • With all this foreshadowing, this narrative could get confusing, fast. -_- Yep. The foreshadowing is going to be cut. I don’t like it. Too heavy-handed.
  • I’m not sure what the conflict is yet. That’s what I was afraid of. I’m going to rearrange the order in which events are shown, try to make it clearer.
  • Is anything autobiographical about this story? No. ‘Laura’ used to be ‘Ashley’ once upon a time, but she hasn’t been me for a long time. I prefer it that way. Ian and Bea were in their saccharine relationship before I was in mine with Dan. (Admittedly, now I have more reference for this ‘making out’ thing, but really now guys that’s not autobiography that’s learning where your tongue goes.)
  • Maybe some characters are based off people in your life? Not personality-wise. But… if you wanna know a secret… I’m mining you all for design ideas. The clothes you wear, your hairstyles, your smiles and odd expressions, the way Prof. Brown likes to drape herself over desks… Oh yes, I’m filing those details away for later. *grins evilly* (I really am doing this to everyone I see, but it’s not really that big an influence on the character designs. Yet, anyway. I just like giving evil monologues.)
  • Who’s Qinzolquani? BWAHAHAHA – *cough* Hem. Just this person. Goddess, actually. Quite – *cough* – unremarkable. Yes.
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