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pclips
2007-03-07, 10:09 AM
There's been a lot of commentary about the slow pacing. Honestly, it frustrates us as well. I just wanted to address it, so you guys know we're not doing it to annoy you or to indulge ourselves.

First, we're committed to telling this whole story. Erfworld is a strange place, and you'll need a lot of information about it to understand what happens. The current example: it's important both for the reader and for Parson to learn how Stanley sees his side. I've tried to convey a lot of core information by subtle references along the way (magic has specialties, warfare is turn-based, units have move points, etc.), but sometimes (as in, "because my life sucks") you just need a character to stop and explain what's going on in their headspace at that moment. In short, to ratchet up the pace would be to lose important bits and have the story fall apart.

Second, this is a creation of equal parts writing and art. When I dump pages of talking-head scripts on Jamie, I'm wasting the side he brings to the storytelling. I could write you up a catalogue of the dwagons, their colors and breath weapons, their behavior and size, etc. But Jamie can show you, and make it real in a way I can't. You're not really going to see why Ansom and Jillian would fear the dwagons until you see them in action. And I could tell you in fewer panels, "Stanley just went from mockable little clown to very powerful and angry," but you won't feel it until Jamie shows you the menace in his eyes. It's an important part of the story to see what it would be like for Parson to be standing there, surrounded by dwagons, commanded by an angry little boop who can kill him at will and just might be unstable enough to do it.

Third, we're limited by reality. Jami and I literally cannot produce more than two pages a week, as they're about 25 man-hours of work each between us, we both have full-time jobs, I go to 15 conventions a year and have another comic with newspaper editors breathing down my neck about deadlines. Add to that my comedy music, which is going too well to let slide (#5 most requested song this week on Doctor Demento! (http://dmdb.org/cgi-bin/plinfo.pl?drd07.0304.html)), and I'm just going as fast as I can.

So it boils down to: we're telling the story the way it needs to be told, and as fast as we can. Before this month is out, we'll open up a new channel of information for you, which will help. But the main story will continue at this pace til the end. Sorry guys, it is what it is.

Calemyr
2007-03-07, 10:43 AM
Darn straight!

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-03-07, 10:46 AM
I don't have any complaints. It's been coming along quite nicely. You've managed to hold my interest better than any other twice-a-week webcomic I've ever read. So you're obviously doing something right pacing-wise as far as I'm concerned. :smallbiggrin:

SteveMB
2007-03-07, 10:46 AM
Before this month is out, we'll open up a new channel of information for you, which will help.
Interesting....

But the main story will continue at this pace til the end. Sorry guys, it is what it is.
Fair enough; I'll muddle through somehow until the next page. :smallsmile:

Tokiko Mima
2007-03-07, 10:56 AM
I've read webcomics where it's been a few weeks since the last update, which is on a totally random 'when I felt like it' schedule. Twice a week on a specific day is awesome by comparison. Sure, I'd love it if Erfworld came out in 25 pages per day, 50 on weekends but that's not a reasonable request, it's the request of a blindly unthinking armed zealot that's sneaking up right behind you!!! j/k

Seriously, thanks for the comic. I enjoy it and while I would like more faster (who wouldn't in todays accelerated culture), I'll keep reading and enjoying at any pace. Characterization is important too!

DeathQuaker
2007-03-07, 01:42 PM
I find the story works better read in chunks than one page at a time. It actually feels less slow that way.

But that said, I think there is a problem with the pacing that can be helped. I find the scene changes to, in fact, be too fast--which actually, ironically, slows the pacing. We get one page of Parson, one page of Wanda, one page of Ansom. Something barely gets established before we move on to another scene, to see that barely established, before moving on. The reader can't sink their teeth into any one situation, so it ends up feeling like there's three or four different vague subplots that will never see any resolution. It's not that every situation needs to be completely resolved, but the scenes don't come to a good stopping point before a transition occurs. It sounds weird because suspense is actually lessened--the scene shifts before we get a good sense of what's going on, so even the pages that end on cliffhangers just end up seeming more baffling than engaging.

Finish Parson's debriefing already. Then let Wanda get most of her interrogation done. We the readers will actually feel like the story is actually moving, rather than simply skipping in a circle.

Just my 2 cents, from my own experiences in both writing and editing.

And all that said, it's still a lovely comic and an interesting story--just feels a little rough and slow where it really, honestly, doesn't have to be.

Strengfellow
2007-03-07, 02:45 PM
We would be lost and concequently at best apathetic about Erfworld without the obviously nessacary back story / character development.

As has been mentioned we are learning at the same pace (if not slightly faster) as our erstwhile Protragonist.

I for one am enjoying seeing the development of a fully fleshed out world and set of characters, (admittidly the Manifold Elvis Theory of Creation TM is disturbing on many levels, but I digress)

In essence, keep up the good work.

Jorkens
2007-03-07, 03:45 PM
I find the story works better read in chunks than one page at a time. It actually feels less slow that way.

But that said, I think there is a problem with the pacing that can be helped. I find the scene changes to, in fact, be too fast--which actually, ironically, slows the pacing. We get one page of Parson, one page of Wanda, one page of Ansom. Something barely gets established before we move on to another scene, to see that barely established, before moving on. The reader can't sink their teeth into any one situation, so it ends up feeling like there's three or four different vague subplots that will never see any resolution. It's not that every situation needs to be completely resolved, but the scenes don't come to a good stopping point before a transition occurs. It sounds weird because suspense is actually lessened--the scene shifts before we get a good sense of what's going on, so even the pages that end on cliffhangers just end up seeming more baffling than engaging.

Finish Parson's debriefing already. Then let Wanda get most of her interrogation done. We the readers will actually feel like the story is actually moving, rather than simply skipping in a circle.

Just my 2 cents, from my own experiences in both writing and editing.

And all that said, it's still a lovely comic and an interesting story--just feels a little rough and slow where it really, honestly, doesn't have to be.
Yeah - I mostly love Erfworld, but I find the way it jumps between storylines pretty much every comic upsets the flow a bit...

Aliquid
2007-03-07, 04:07 PM
Don't change anything

If you changed how much happened in each comic, it would ruin the quality. If you tried to pump comics out more frequently, you would get burn out and ruin the quality...

We just have to be patient and wait for the updates. Sure it is a bit frustrating for us, but there is no other viable option.

Keep up the good work!

SteveMB
2007-03-07, 04:43 PM
But that said, I think there is a problem with the pacing that can be helped. I find the scene changes to, in fact, be too fast--which actually, ironically, slows the pacing. We get one page of Parson, one page of Wanda, one page of Ansom. Something barely gets established before we move on to another scene, to see that barely established, before moving on. The reader can't sink their teeth into any one situation, so it ends up feeling like there's three or four different vague subplots that will never see any resolution. It's not that every situation needs to be completely resolved, but the scenes don't come to a good stopping point before a transition occurs. It sounds weird because suspense is actually lessened--the scene shifts before we get a good sense of what's going on, so even the pages that end on cliffhangers just end up seeming more baffling than engaging.

Finish Parson's debriefing already. Then let Wanda get most of her interrogation done. We the readers will actually feel like the story is actually moving, rather than simply skipping in a circle.
On the other hand, there are storytelling effects that use interleaving threads (e.g. the irony of Wanda torturing a prisoner on one page and Stanley demanding to know where Parson gets off calling his side "bad guys" on the next).

DiscountNinja
2007-03-07, 04:49 PM
I love the pacing :) in fact, I ove the fact it's only strip 30 - I like the way that it'll hopefully go on for a while, you know? :) I'm throughly enjoying it, and it's got the right amount of humour and witty jokes to the right amount of storyline :)

happyturtle
2007-03-07, 05:16 PM
It's only fair that everyone who is displeased with the pacing should get a full refund!:smallwink:

Erk
2007-03-07, 06:00 PM
I haven't minded the frequent scene-jumps, as the slow pace has given me a lot of time to reread the comic so I have a pretty solid idea where every character is and what they are doing. I prefer it to a long thread about one story, where the events in another concurrent story are forgotten until it is brought up again (my #1 complaint about Sluggy Freelance).

I haven't had a problem with Erfworld at all. One of the things a webcomic reader needs to accept is that it is the authors' hobby, not usually their job. This is your hobby and I am happy to take at the pace it's coming. Erf is worth the wait.

agentx42
2007-03-07, 06:01 PM
For all the complaints about the slow pacing... TSK! I went back and started reading the whole thing again from the first installment. Now that we're thirty pages in, I can safely say the pace is quite brisk. If anything, it could be stretched further with no appreciable decline in quality.

So there, another stalwart stands at your side.

Shadowdweller
2007-03-07, 07:55 PM
For all the complaints about the slow pacing... TSK! I went back and started reading the whole thing again from the first installment. Now that we're thirty pages in, I can safely say the pace is quite brisk. If anything, it could be stretched further with no appreciable decline in quality.

I have to agree. Compared to other webcomics, Erfworld is =VERY= fast paced.

TinSoldier
2007-03-07, 09:09 PM
I really haven't had any complaints, I've loved the comic since day one. I've noticed most of the naysayers have either moved on or come around to appreciate the comic for what it is.

And I really do appreciate all of the work you guys have put into this.

I agree reservedly with DeathQuaker above, about jumping around. However, that only seems to be in the current storyline. I don't think it really takes away from the story so much, or that it's confusing, though. I still think you guys are doing a great job. This is my third favorite comic, closely tied for second.

DeathQuaker
2007-03-07, 09:18 PM
On the other hand, there are storytelling effects that use interleaving threads (e.g. the irony of Wanda torturing a prisoner on one page and Stanley demanding to know where Parson gets off calling his side "bad guys" on the next).

There is a difference between carefully interleaving different scenes and jumping between them like an espresso-fueled grasshopper. In my personal opinion, Erfworld is in danger of falling into the latter category.

I'll reiterate again though, overall I'm enjoying myself. It's not perfect... but what is? I've been known to criticize Shakespeare once or twice. :smallbiggrin:

agentx42
2007-03-07, 09:48 PM
I've been known to criticize Shakespeare once or twice. :smallbiggrin:

Speaking of which, here's a pertinent quote from Shaxbeard himself:

"How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft;
And wit depends on dilatory time."

--From Othello (II, iii, 376-379)

pclips
2007-03-07, 09:50 PM
I've appreciated the feedback in this thread a lot. To be honest, I also had wondered if the jumping around was really the way to go. I've been planning to keep scenes together a bit better than this in the upcoming pages. (Though, don't worry about it becoming Oceans Unmoving, Erk.) :smallwink:

We may even alter the page order in the book to put the interrogation scene pages together, etc.

Scientivore
2007-03-07, 11:44 PM
We may even alter the page order in the book to put the interrogation scene pages together, etc.

I was going to suggest altering the order in the archives. The pacing of click...click...click downloading the next webpage is completely different from waiting a few days. If it would take too much attention to do that as you go along then I think that just doing it once, at the same time that you reorganize them for the book, would still be better than not at all.

Erk
2007-03-08, 06:32 AM
Actually, one of those little storyline pulldown menus would be OK, or something like Irregular Webcomic uses where each page is tagged with the storylines brought up in it and you can jump back to the last page that storyline was used. Check out Irregular Webcomic's navigation system if you don't know what I mean. It's neat because when multiple storylines cross you get a tag from both of the storylines and can see the crossover. That would work very well for Erf if it continues to use the same switch-story feel for a long time and starts to get hard to follow. I have often wished other comics had it (sluggy, scary-go-round, sam and fuzzy, and schlock mercenary could all use something like that. Maybe it is the s-name.)

(which brings me to the next exciting idea: Surfworld? Or would that be Serfworld? One sounds distinctly better than the other.)

DeathQuaker
2007-03-08, 07:40 AM
I've appreciated the feedback in this thread a lot. To be honest, I also had wondered if the jumping around was really the way to go. I've been planning to keep scenes together a bit better than this in the upcoming pages. (Though, don't worry about it becoming Oceans Unmoving, Erk.) :smallwink:

We may even alter the page order in the book to put the interrogation scene pages together, etc.

Thanks for considering the feedback, pclips. :smallsmile:

And I am so buying that book when it gets published!

jami
2007-03-08, 11:03 AM
It's only fair that everyone who is displeased with the pacing should get a full refund!:smallwink:

LOL!! My mom said that too!

Panda So Angry
2007-03-08, 12:58 PM
Just to add to the already mounting support for the pacing, I think that it's going along nicely, especially when you consider that it was mentioned that the run of the comic would be 80-90 pages (depending). Keep it up, yo. ;)

benthehater
2007-03-08, 06:31 PM
I am on the side of the people who will be rich when it's done. Whatever they want to do is the right decision, always.

Rocheforte
2007-03-09, 02:04 AM
My god, I did not need to be reminded of Oceans Unmoving. I even liked that story, but it felt like the strip was being drawn in timeless space, not occuring there.

Something that might help as the archives get larger is page titles, like OotS uses, so that it's easier to look back at plotlines. Just something simple with location and some plot handle. Instead of the unhelpful "Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 23", how about "Gobwin Knob: That's a joke"? For Page 7, "Ansom's Camp: End the turn". When the archive gets to three digits (in just 35 more weeks!), it'll be a whole lot easier to search.

Caractacus
2007-03-09, 02:59 AM
Just to add to the already mounting support for the pacing, I think that it's going along nicely, especially when you consider that it was mentioned that the run of the comic would be 80-90 pages (depending). Keep it up, yo. ;)

Just 80 or 90 pages? In total? We are a third of the way through? *cry*

Regarding the pacing, of course I want more, more more, too. But even I have to get on with my work some time... :smalltongue:

[So...Tin Soldier reveals his true form...it seems Funkytown isn't in Kansas...:smallcool:]

factotum
2007-03-09, 04:37 AM
Just 80 or 90 pages? In total? We are a third of the way through? *cry*


We're a third of the way through the Battle for Gobwin Knob. I have a suspicion that the very obvious subtitle means there may be more to come after this one is wrapped up... :smallbiggrin:

Om
2007-03-09, 06:02 AM
I was going to make a generic comment of support for the current style of pacing and *swooshing*, for lack of better term, between storylines but then I was distracted by Panda So Angry's adorable avatar. So I have a weakness for pandas... sue me.

truemane
2007-03-09, 09:33 AM
I could write you up a catalogue of the dwagons, their colors and breath weapons, their behavior and size, etc. But Jamie can show you, and make it real in a way I can't.

I assume you meant BWEATH Weapons?

:)

I jest. I think that it's a wonderful story, and you should continue producing it at the pace and in the manner that best befits your own personal vision.

Vonriel
2007-03-09, 11:05 AM
Can I shoot him now? Please? I'll do it politely!


(One of these days I'll get Firefly off the brain.. until then, Firefly references for everyone!)

And as for twice a week: Quite possibly my favorite webcomics update only once per week (Nodwick/Full Frontal Nerdity) so I can easily handle this twice a week stuff. Especially for such an awesome storyline.

KillerCardinal
2007-03-09, 06:09 PM
It's not perfect... but what is? I've been known to criticize Shakespeare once or twice. :smallbiggrin:

For myself, I've been known to criticize Tolkien. :smallbiggrin:

Anyway, I've been VERY happy with the pacing so far. Love Erfworld!

spite48
2007-03-09, 07:01 PM
I have no complaints. I'm enjoying your work despite initial misgivings.

Sebastian Bux
2007-03-09, 07:25 PM
This post removed by the author.

benthehater
2007-03-09, 08:56 PM
The story is tightly packed. Even the jokes are very much not throwaway items. Every panel serves a purpose. That means rushing can allow a reader to miss critical details. It also means rereading and looking back to cast a critical eye on the artwork can be very rewarding.

What you are experiencing might be uncomfortable, but through persistance, your brains can become accustomed to looking at greatness, and this uncomfortable feeling will pass.

I object to any change in pacing that doesn't give us more Erfworld more often and faster.

Rocheforte
2007-03-10, 06:42 AM
If there's been a hardened critic of Erfworld it's been me. I've panned this work since issue 10 and I've been rather unrelenting for much of it's time since then.
And yet here you still are, three months later, beating the same dead pan. Is there a link to your own comic, so that I can see how it's supposed to be done?

Om
2007-03-10, 10:11 AM
1 - You have your fans at this point
Those of your fans that really take to Erfworld are going to look forward to every two weeks and a new update. Sure it will seem like a long time at first but I suspect the response will be much more favorable by you fans and those on the fence when a great 4-6 page arc is revealed.Bull****. Sorry but that's exactly what this is. Perhaps its because you yourself are not a fan but it is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that the Erfworld fans, that is those who wait most anxiously for an update, would happily wait up to two weeks for one.

Less frequent updating means less interest in the comic, less interaction on the boards and less Erfworld itself. Where exactly is the logic in that?

SteveMB
2007-03-10, 11:17 AM
Perhaps its because you yourself are not a fan but it is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that the Erfworld fans, that is those who wait most anxiously for an update, would happily wait up to two weeks for one.
I'd wait two weeks if the authors decided it made more sense to present chunks of story, but the suggestion that most of the fans would prefer it that way strikes me as ridiculous.

Sebastian Bux
2007-03-10, 11:56 AM
Whatever..

Panda So Angry
2007-03-10, 12:11 PM
...

2 - We have OOTS to keep us occupied. There's still three updates a week so there's plenty of reason to be around the site. And every two weeks there's 4 updates. We're going to be here anyway, you have the time.

...

Eh, and if it doesn't ... well, who would b surprised if I was ignored. LOL.

If you read OotS. I would grant you that most of the people that read Erfworld also read OotS, but that doesn't mean the creators of Erfworld should rely on this fact to quell people's annoyance with the lump updates you're suggesting.

So far each comic has revealed a little something new every time around. You might be happy with waiting a couple weeks for each revelation, but I know I'm not.

Things are good the way they are, and could only be made better by more updates during the week. XD

Also, if they don't do your idea doesn't mean they ignored you. Just means they don't see any merit in doing it that way, but I guess it's easier to feel marginalized. ;) Anyway.


You know what? I'm a fool for even bothering to interact with the Erfworld community anymore. If I have something to say, I'll say it to Rob or Jamie directly. Won't that make all of you so very happy :)

Riiight.

Maurog
2007-03-10, 02:07 PM
Sebastian, that's not how it goes... everyone knows you don't go directly to the boss battles - you must fight the hordes of minions first.

You just don't have enough experience points to take on Rob or Jamie yet.

Haarculaneaum
2007-03-10, 03:26 PM
I _miss_ Oceans. . .
But anyway the problem with continuity & flow is only a partial problem. Someone coming upon Erfworld in 2 years (unless Wikipedia acquires the power to delete from afar . . .) will notice no flow problems -- at least until they catch up.
But as webcomics are fascinating art forms subsidized by the sale of graphic novel versions (for the most part) we can't really complain too much.

Besides, is anyone writing Lynn Johnston (of For Better or Worse fame) and telling her to hurry up with the stories?

The fact that we think things are moving slowly at all means we are loving what is going on. It's a complaint to relish.

Haar

Learnedguy
2007-03-10, 04:41 PM
I still love erfworld^^

AlisdairM
2007-03-11, 12:24 AM
You know, I miss the Thursday updates.
The pacing of updates was a little un-even on that schedule, but that was part of the charm of Erfworld <g>

The benefit was that no matter how much the first update of the week left me screaming for more, the second was only a couple of days away. It was much easier to brace for 5 Erfless days knowing a double-helping would be served again next week. With the more even schedule, it feels like every update takes too long, even though I am getting exactly the same ammount of comic per week!


Oh, and nice idea Scientivore about re-ordering the archive. Not sure how simple that would be for Rob, but it would offer a chance to get feedback before committing to hard-copy.

dakiwiboid
2007-03-11, 12:08 PM
Rob and Jami, don't feel you have to change a thing to please the minions! I love the artsy pages as much as I do the exposition pages, and I thrill to the idea that there will be more books to come after this one!

I've also tried to follow some webcomics that weren't updated as regularly or professionally as this one and gave up on them in disgust. I gamely tried to follow one for months because of its lovely art, in fact I tried twice! However, I don't think I'll ever go back. I had a bit of sympathy for the artist when she claimed she wasn't updating regularly because she had a new job, but when her "weekly" comic began to go months between updates, and when she began to post enthusiastically to the forums about how much time she was spending with her new game console, I decided that she really wasn't committed to the comic and gave up on her.

jami
2007-03-11, 10:12 PM
You know what? I'm a fool for even bothering to interact with the Erfworld community anymore. If I have something to say, I'll say it to Rob or Jamie directly. Won't that make all of you so very happy :)

Right, cause telling someone that something they spent hours to create and give away for free sucks is the first thing I do to get someone to listen to me.

Oh, wait...

Sebastian Bux
2007-03-12, 07:07 AM
Right, cause telling someone that something they spent hours to create and give away for free sucks is the first thing I do to get someone to listen to me.

Oh, wait...

I'm not saying that at all, but that's all you and everyone else can ever hear anymore. If I said the sky is blue, you hear "Erfworld Sucks". Really, what's the point. I'm certainly beyond the point where anyone respects my opinions so...

Maurog
2007-03-12, 07:32 AM
"If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it."

Erk
2007-03-12, 07:44 AM
I'm not saying that at all, but that's all you and everyone else can ever hear anymore. If I said the sky is blue, you hear "Erfworld Sucks". Really, what's the point. I'm certainly beyond the point where anyone respects my opinions so...

"Gentlemen, I have now sent you several posts of the most amiable nature, detailing how my webcomic is to be run. You have not followed my instructions. I shall give you one last chance... I shall watch the next update from my normal seat at Monitor Five, which will be kept empty for me. Should these demands be ignored, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur. I remain gentlemen, your obedient servant, S.B."

Sebastian, as you know, I've watched you post for quite some time. You always talk about how constructive you are and how misunderstood you are, yet you always write like Erfworld owes you something, and if Rob and Jamie don't follow your advice they will continue to spiral into a flaming wreckage, relying on heroin and unicorn blood to keep them alive. Also you post in a forum inhabited almost solely by fans of a comic, as a detractor to that comic, and get amazed and offended when people disagree vehemently with you.

I PMed you about it at length some time ago, with a reasonably detailed explanation of how you could voice criticism constructively. Since you ignored it (and are now here complaining about having your own far more difficult-to-follow advice being ignored or refuted) I think it's fair to decide once and for all that you really are just a troll, and not in fact interested in constructive critique (I run a critique-based forum with 13,000 members, so I like to think I have a pretty solid idea of the difference between "criticism" and "trying to get people to attack you"). I heartily recommend other users to follow suite and add you to their ignore lists :smallamused: Good night!

[PS: for the sake of clarification, let me say that it is not your initial suggestion/comment that was the troll. It is the way you clearly state it as though anyone who disagrees with you is either a wrongheaded erfworld fan trying to brand you as a hater, or just ignoring you and not reading your words... likewise the authors are just ignoring you because they are not following your advice. It couldn't be that they have their own minds and plans and just don't agree with your voice of dissent.]

Sebastian Bux
2007-03-12, 03:11 PM
You and everyone else is right and I am wrong. There, that's not so hard, now you don't have to worry about me anymore! :) Everything is right with the Erfworld again.

Roland St. Jude
2007-03-12, 03:36 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Okay, please keep it civil and within the Rules of Posting. No attacking, insulting, or belittling others, for example. Thanks.

Draz74
2007-03-12, 05:21 PM
IMHO, most of the comments about both the pacing and the subplot-switching seem out of place when I consider Erfworld as a Graphic Novel.

These things would be true if Erfworld, once it's finished, was intended to be a comic book. But it's not; graphic novels are a different style than comic books. Not that I'm an expert on the subject; but I have read a couple graphic novels, and Erfworld matches what they were like (with its pacing and subplot switching) much better than OotS.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-03-12, 05:32 PM
And the dead tree edition will be even more like a graphic novel.

I think the intercutting is marvelous as it is. It's only annoying when you realize you may have to wait another two or three weeks before getting back to a particularly interesting scene.

So, yeah, I think the archives and print edition are the last places from which you should be removing those jumps.

dauvis
2007-03-12, 07:05 PM
...I've been planning to keep scenes together a bit better than this in the upcoming pages...

We may even alter the page order in the book to put the interrogation scene pages together, etc.

This is pretty much what I would recommend as feedback about the pacing.