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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kreistor's Avatar

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    Hey, lemme say first the good things.

    Great art. I like the style.
    Good world. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.
    Good characters. A lot of readers will relate to the protagonist, and bad guys on the good team are very in vogue right now.

    And now the bad things. Well, thing, really.

    Sllllooooooooowwwwww. Strip #37 was completely wasted on nothing. There wasn't even a punch line. Just hints as to what might happen and what we and the protagonist might learn (about nohting really important anyway) in future strips. No development. Nothing learned. Pacing is vital, and Erfworld's pacing is coming across as very inconsistent right now. There are too many strips where nothing really happens, but unlike other strips, there's no humour to make up for it.

    Right now, the strip isn't daily passing the "Why did I write this strip in this way?" test. If you can't answer that question, then you've got a strip that doesn't need to see the light of day.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    TigerHunter's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
    "Why did I write this strip in this way?"
    Because I, and a lot of other people, love it?
    The above post made a lot more sense in my head.

    Epic avatar by Mr. Saturn. Thanks Mr. Saturn!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    this is fairly...foot in mouth

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    Magnificent Boop in the Playground
     
    SteveMB's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
    Sllllooooooooowwwwww. Strip #37 was completely wasted on nothing. There wasn't even a punch line. Just hints as to what might happen and what we and the protagonist might learn (about nohting really important anyway) in future strips. No development. Nothing learned.
    I don't know about that....
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    The walnuts in the pigeon pie (that Bogroll didn't put there) look like a gun hanging over a mantel to me....

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Cobra_Ikari's Avatar

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    It's cool that you want to give feedback. That said...I hope nothing changes in the way Erfworld is. I love it to death, and I wouldn't want it any other way. These strips you say mess with the pacing really just get me excited and antsy at watching the plot develop and waiting for the next strip. Erfworld isn't all fun and games, and I think that's one of the reasons I like it so much.

    Of course, when the fun and games hit, I'm laughing my ass off. :)
    Cobra Avatar by the lovely Miss Nobody. *hugs*

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    Whenever I see a post by Cobra I think of the kitten sitting on a pillow that hugs everyone... everyone
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    Zergling Ikari rush! I'm in ur base, hugging ur doods!

    Playground God of Hugs and Other Physical Affections. *snuggles*

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    pclips's Avatar

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    I encourage and appreciate the feedback. I did post something about the pacing a few strips ago, on the order of "I feel your pain but this is the way the story needs to be told to get it across the way I imagine it."

    Believe me, I agonize over this issue, but it's a problem with the whole medium of story webcomics. Telling an 80 to 90-page story at the rate of 2 pages a week is just bound to leave a lot of people frustrated, but there's no real way to adjust for it.

    Since we're talking about craft, though, I'm willing to open up and talk a bit about the choices I made on this particular page. Potential spoiler follows, but not so bad. Mostly a sausage-making lesson you might not want to watch.

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    Yes, I did sit there and stare at that last panel for a long time. "This has no punchline," I said to myself. "This page has some funny stuff on it, but it ends with nothing. Is that what I want?"

    I considered two possible changes. I could force a punch on the last panel, but any little throwaway I came up with just didn't have as much oomph as the stuff that came earlier. It would have felt forced. Anticlimactic.

    I could also have dropped a drama point there, by having Bogroll explicitly point out that if Parson failed to show up in the Situation Room at dawn, he'd have disobeyed Stanley's order and would die.

    I almost did that, but in the end I decided not to. Reason: Parson already knew it (and isn't really taking it seriously), Bogroll certainly knew it (and is taking it seriously, which shows), and the reader should know it already, too (and should be withholding judgement).

    It would be a heavy-handed mood change in what was meant to be a light and personal scene. It would also be petty drama for nothing, since I had every intention of having Parson show up on time. We've got enough "DUM, dum, dummmmmmmmm!" in this story for now, relating to real plot points. No need for pointless foot-dangling when the whole story is set on a cliff edge.

    So, in the end, I went with the natural "more to follow" panel that I think will flow quite well in a few months, when the story is one complete block. It wasn't exciting, but it did the job and it was exactly what Bogroll would say and do.

    Sorry it wasn't fireworks, but this page really did a lot of necessary stuff. It established the Bogroll/Parson dynamic, did the costume change, began to answer some of the basics of daily life, and helped set a mood/tone we're working hard to establish. We want the comic to have that mundane feel of reality, even against a setting as bizarre and surreal as Erfworld. Jamie, I think, is doing a fantastic job at conveying that with his color choices (orange firelight before, and now ashen pre-dawn chill) and little visual details (the crumpled golem-skin on the bed).

    I think I managed to do all of that, and still throw in three pretty decent gags. It just happened that none of them came at the very end.

    I really don't intend to make the whole Erfworld writing process transparent like I do with PartiallyClips. But I hope you guys can see that I'm actually giving a lot of thought to these choices, and I'm making the best calls I can.
    Rob Balder, Erfworld author/co-creator, and creator of PartiallyClips

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kreistor's Avatar

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    Thank you for the reply. I know that you want to hear this sort of thing: that's why I risked the expected flames for being honest about my view of the comic. The above posters mean well, but their feedback won't attract more and new people to the strip, nor keep those that may feel like me from potentially abandoning it. If you don't get things from people like me who are dissatisfied, you'll never know what to change in order to broaden your audience base.

    Said my piece. I will keep reading the strip.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Cobra_Ikari's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
    Thank you for the reply. I know that you want to hear this sort of thing: that's why I risked the expected flames for being honest about my view of the comic. The above posters mean well, but their feedback won't attract more and new people to the strip, nor keep those that may feel like me from potentially abandoning it. If you don't get things from people like me who are dissatisfied, you'll never know what to change in order to broaden your audience base.

    Said my piece. I will keep reading the strip.
    For the record, I wasn't flaming, just offering my feedback on what those strips felt like. :)
    Cobra Avatar by the lovely Miss Nobody. *hugs*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Whenever I see a post by Cobra I think of the kitten sitting on a pillow that hugs everyone... everyone
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    Zergling Ikari rush! I'm in ur base, hugging ur doods!

    Playground God of Hugs and Other Physical Affections. *snuggles*

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    It's cool to see your process a bit, Rob :) as a bit of a fanboi I didn't question the pacing so much... it's clear this is a connector-strip that enhanced a lot of the story, but was paced to be part of a larger whole. I can see where Kreistor is coming from in the short-term but Erfworld isn't a short-term comic. It's a pity there isn't an easier way to keep it from being judged as one right now... for the fans who know how it rolls this is the best way to do it but I wonder how many new readers just don't get it.

    It certainly helps to have enough comic written that they can probably get a feel for the pacing now, though.
    Last edited by Erk; 2007-03-28 at 08:05 PM.
    "River" cancels eat: Food is problematic.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    dakiwiboid's Avatar

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    I'm looking at Erfworld as a novel, not something with quick arcs, which is what I think the people who are disappointed with the speed of its development are missing. I'm seldom a fan of graphic novels, which is why it's so remarkable to me, at least, that you've won me over so completely. At any rate, I enjoy the expository posts. By the way, although I'm also going to enjoy the klog posts, I liked the way you were handling the exposition to begin with, and hope you aren't going to abandon strips like this one.
    Baby Pink Dwagon by Dr. Bath.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Hilary Moon Murphy's Avatar

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    I also love the author view on storytelling. Have I told you that I can never resist the special features on DVDs? Knowing how a story I like is made is almost as cool as the story itself.

    Hmm
    Thanks to Urodivoi for my Avatars!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Yes, I think the real issue is that unlike most webcomics, this is really a graphic novel, and therefore does not always work very well reading 2 strips per week. On the other hand, reading a bunch of them at a time is really enjoyable
    Supreme Commander of the Fan Club,
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Hero in the Playground Moderator
     
    averagejoe's Avatar

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    While I antagonize during the moments when I have to wait for the next one, and would love to have the whole story right now, the craft of writing is as important as the events and ideas. The pacing is just as fast as it needs to be; if the pacing was faster than it wouldn't be Erfworld, and, while individual strips would likely be more entertaining, the series as a whole would suffer. This strikes me as something that's much more timeless than the average webcomic, something that I'll be able to read straight through after it's all over and get something new out of it. Maybe there wasn't a lot to #37-which is debatable in and of itself-but I very much doubt that it should be any other way in terms of the story. Sometimes you just need to spend a page setting the scene.


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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Azrael's Avatar

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    No punch line? Pizza stains on armor, cuddly teddy bear hide blankets and a mysterious pigeon pie with walnuts? Man, that right there is my kind of humor.


    Shadowy Goodness since 1892.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Death, your friend the Reaper View Post
    Now we head around under the cover of night looking for threads that will most likely be locked, directing people to the new members thread, and fighting crime.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Zephra's Avatar

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    what he said^
    it's funny, and the plot is good. I really like it!
    and it blows my mind. wanda and jillian??!?
    arrrrggg! *head explodes*

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