Jan 30 2014

New Comic Sneak Peek, Page Thirteen

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New Comic Sneak Peek, Page Thirteen by the-gneech on deviantART

I don’t know why I find these progress shots so fascinating, I just do.

-The Gneech

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Dec 29 2013

I Hear His Theme Music, He’s Around Here Somewhere…

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So @EpicBirdbrain on Twitter did this in response to a silly conversation we were having, and I pretty much love everything about it…

DEET-doot-doot, deet-DEET-doot-doot...

Thanks, buddy! :D It’s awesome. And I plan to use it early and often.

-The Gneech

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Dec 14 2013

Princess Spylestia, For No Good Reason

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Princess Spylestia, For No Good Reason by ~the-gneech on deviantART

I have no idea what I’m doing.

-The Gneech

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Dec 11 2013

Ponies vs. Daleks, Season Two: The Cutiemark Crusaders!

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Ponies vs. Daleks Season Two: Cutiemark Crusaders! by ~the-gneech on deviantART

It’s been a while, I know, but we’re back in business as the CMC try to get their timey-wimey cutiemarks! The dalek might actually stand a chance, this time…

…Nah.

-The Gneech

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Dec 04 2013

Is That Mumbo? Or Jumbo?

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Back in 2006, when SJ was coming to a close and I was looking at the whole writing thing, I invested in a copy of Dramatica Pro, a piece of software that hails itself as “the ultimate creative writing partner.” I banged around with it some then, with mixed results… and by “mixed” I mean “not very much in the way of useful.” I did write a lot of stuff– 1200 words detailing the childhood of a character who ended up being cut from the book for instance. Oops. But I didn’t get much actual story from it all, among other things because I kept getting hung up on all the jargon the program was throwing at me.

The software, you see, is based on the “dramatica theory” of storytelling, which is a slippery hodgepodge of narrative structure and pop psychology meant to appeal to the kind of writers who think The Hero of 1,000 Faces is the One True Book of Writing. [1] So to get the most use out of the software, you have to A) understand, and B) buy into the whole dramatica model, which treats characters as “types” and lays out all stories as an interplay of relationships between those types (and gives you the prescribed “right answer” for said relationships). It’s all very abstract, which it would kinda have to be as a unified field theory of plot, and at the same time comes off as a straitjacket. “If your protagonist is a Perceptive type, then the opposing concept is Fate.” That kind of thing.

…Meh.

As far as the actual plotting of the story goes, it seems to mostly be a modified snowflake method, starting with a one-sentence tag line, expanding to a one paragraph synopsis, and so on. However, I never actually got that far using Dramatica Pro because I always got bogged down in the character section, trying to shoehorn one character into the “Impact Character” role, another into the “Guardian” role, etc. Instead of just a relatively simple list of who the characters are and what they’re about, mapping the characters to the various types is supposed to show how they relate to each other later, guiding the story structure and blah blah blaaaahhh forget it.

There is a newer version of Dramatica Pro only for the Macintosh; since my new Mac lappy is my “writing machine,” I downloaded a demo to give a try last night, wondering if it might be more useful, or at least a little less of an uphill climb. Verdict: It’s a little more fun to play with just because it’s not stuck in 1999 in terms of user interface, but all the core problems are still there. Lots of jargon, little in the way of nuts-and-bolts story creation. Being able to give your impact character a clipart character avatar doesn’t make your impact character any less obscure a concept.

So for now at least, I’m sticking with the snowflake method. It worked pretty well for my NaNoWriMo novel, I just need to get better at thinking in terms of more “novel-length” stories.

-The Gneech

[1] For the record, The Hero of 1,000 Faces is a great book and has a lot of useful insight. But it’s a scholarly study of world mythology, you’re not supposed to use it as a paint-by-numbers formula for screenplays, everyone in Hollywood. ¬.¬

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Nov 10 2013

The [Social Identity Group] Anthem

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We’re [social identity group] and we’re here to say
we do things in a whole new, different way
We’re [social identity group], you’ll hear us shout
that [feelgood catchphrase] is what it’s all about!

You can look the world over but you’ll never see
anybody like [social identity group], ‘cos we are free!
We stick together loyally
that’s the way it’s meant to be

[social identity group] works together through thick and thin
that’s why [social identity group] will always win
Did we mention yet that we are free
thanks to our [social identity group] identity

We’re [social identity group] and we march in time!
To be disloyal to [social identity group] is the only crime!
We love [feelgood catchphrase] with all our might
and [social identity group] never backs down from a fight!

Ooooh yeah, we’re [social identity group]!

-The Gneech

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