Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Karl’s Handy Guide to Writing Part#1

I wouldn’t consider myself a great writer.

I don’t flip words with delicate ease and I don’t describe a situation with a mastery of prose.

I do feel like I can spin a good yarn.

Tell a tall tale…

And keep people interested in what I’m talking about.

Over the years I’ve found there are a few concepts that will help you write/ tell an interesting story.

I don’t claim to know how to make you or me a better writer.

I just have a few tricks you may or may not have heard.

Hold on here we go.

#1 Know your characters. You’ve heard writers say. “the character writes itself”..there’s a reason they say that. You need to learn “who” your character is in order to have them act through you to tell the story. Hmm sounds crazy? Well it’s easy actually. Just start asking your character question. Where and with who did you have your first kiss with? How many people are in your family? Where were you born? What’s your favorite food? Have you ever stolen some thing? Have you ever cheated on a test? Ask questions both intimate and mundane. Be creative in what you ask and you will be surprised how the answers mold the characters in your mind. Soon that character will begin to write it self as you imagine how they would act in a given situation

There is no set amount of questions you need to ask. Just ask as many as you need to feel like you know the character. Think about how well you know your siblings or your friends. You should try and know your characters better than that.

#2 Jeopardy/ Conflict. It’s not just a game show it’s an important part of a good story. Why are the characters in conflict? What keeps them in conflict and why does any of this matter to them? Answering those questions will create the drama your story needs to keep in interesting. It could be glory or greed or revenge. Motivation/conflict and Jeopardy.

#3 Big and Small it’s all worthwhile. When you look at the plot of a story it needs to work on a both large scale and a small scale. Many writers focus on one end or the other too much.

Think of Harry Potter. On large scale it’s giving us the viewer a look into the secret world of magic. Where the battle between good and evil is raging.

On a small scale it’s Harry and his group of friends getting along and growing up and learning to become adults.

It works because we see the small moments between the characters that make us care about them. When they are challenged in the larger story we feel a sense of jeopardy for their fate. Therein lies the drama and the beginnings of a good story.


That’s it for now.

Happy Holidays and Good Writing!!!

KA-lifornia.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

All I want 4 X-mas is....

Ok..so everyone knows it's all about "goodwill towards man" and "peace on Earth"...

but let's get down to da real...

What do you want for Xmas?

when I go down to my pagan inspired winter solstice tree on the 25th...I'm not looking for UNICEF..I'm looking for some dandy gifts that will keep me warm all winter long..

DVD's
Graphic Novels
Ipods..

Greed is good!!!

Show me the money!!!

It's better to give than re....uh wait..I mean it's better to receive!!!!!


ok..I'm just being a Mr.Scroodge Mc Duck...I guess I feel the Xmas spirit is lost in all the mad dash to spend money...and that's what it all about..spending money...for what exactly.?

How does that honor anything..I guess it keeps us all employed because it boots the economy..but what does it really do for us as people...

that being said...


I'd like an Ipod Nano...

some 89 Retro Jordans

a new Wacom Tablet...

hehehe..



Santa K

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Down Time

I got some great feedback on the OGN pages I posted...but now they are down and back in Ole St. Nicks shop..

Getting retooled

Remade

and my fave..

Reinvented....

In other news...

Things are hectic at work and I'm finishing up some freelance jobs.

"The Blog will not be operational when your friends arrive"

Meaning I won't be posting till Monday..

but I will leave you with this...

some titles of upcoming blogs.


"Post Tramatic Comic Disorder"


"Not Your Dad's Hero"


"5 Ways To Make a Profitable Comic"

Until we meet again...


Stay Classy San Diego!!!


KA-lifornia

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Revenge of The Non-Creates

I wrote a blog a month or so ago..called "Non-Creates"

it's located here

http://karlaltstaetter.blogspot.com/2005/08/non-creates.html

sorry for the cut and paste..but I don't have the links in the page/blog thing figured out...

The basic idea of the first post was that as creative people we are more and more asked to copy things rather than create things as well as deal with the overall lack of vision in the corporate/creative world...

I got some feedback from some other artists and here is my reply to them...

and if you have followed all that and you are still reading..god bless you and I hope you enjoy the read


Revenge of the Non-Creates Or the Debate Strikes Back

This is a bit of a ramble...but

I get what you are saying and I agree with the “investors/money first” mentality is running shit.

I understand that as a huge company it’s a numbers game.

They want the most money from whatever they produce and they want the best chance for it to make money.

Which is sound business...

...but at the same time they are not developing anything new or developing the creative voices of the artists. Which it seems most corporate people have forgotten is the basis for all their merchandising and profit sources..

you can’t make video games and underwear and action figures and backpacks off of a concept nobody likes and or does not exist....so as much as they want a sure thing..they need to spend the money to develop the talent and the ideas to get them those larger properties..

The Sponge Bobs
The Teen Titans
The Harry Potters..

people dig those for a reason..they are good well executed ideas...

At some point an artist or a group of artists had to create them...

It’s like the egg before the chicken...I see it as these companies don’t exist unless we as artists create things they can sell...and to create something that really is the best it can be..you need to take a creative risk...

How many times have you seen some shit on TV and said “damn that shits weak as hell”...or “I’ve seen some Anime shit that tears this up”...
You know what’s good..but how often do you really get good shit?

I think people are starving for interesting new material..but the corporate cat’s have the avenues of distribution sewn up. It’s the same in music..it’s the same in comics...(look at the discount structure with Diamond..it’s anti indie)

...but if Harry Potter proved anything..if you do something good people will show up for it. Before that came along..people were saying “kid’s don’t read..they just want video games”..or “kid’s won’t like that..it’s got too many characters..or too much story”...

The truth is these producers/art director/corporate cats...just don’t know what’s good...they don’t follow their instincts because they don’t have any...That’s not even a diss on them..they just don’t have their ear to the ground..they don’t follow creative shit to it’s source...they just follow what’s floating on the surface...and by that time it’s over..it’s already been done..

it’s following a trend..not setting one...

I remember pitching one of my comics as an animated TV series..and the producer was talking to me about it like I didn’t create it...Telling me about “the world” and dropping all those handy producer buzz words they have....

...and that was the first time I saw how these producers see the game..

They see the artist as expendable once they get your concept...they don’t want to develop the talent to get a wealth of ideas..they just want the ideas so they can exploit it..there is no true creative partnership...they want your idea for the least amount of money and the least amount of your involvement...

and for the artist ..they are trying to make a buck off something they created so they are forced to play ball..

But what artist want's to be "one and done"...a creative one hit wonder...but just like the music industry..they don't see a value in long term development of talent..."Why should we contribute to their equity"..as I heard one corporate peep say it...


I heard a rap lyric where this cat said..he’s thinking about how he could be the best MC on the underground..but all it gets him is a ride on the train...you don’t get paid for being a good artist...you get paid if you help them make money...

That being said..I’m still going to come out with my own concepts... because for me..It’s a source of pride and if ten people show up or ten thousand..I’m still going to say the stuff I want to say...
I think in the future through the internet..print on demand and shit like that..you are going to be able to make a living creating stuff and distributing directly to the consumer...

That’s why I like My Space..and blogs..it’s puts you in direct contact with other artists and people who appreciate art...it puts the distribution of your art in your hands..and I’m all about that.

...but in the meantime..I’m hold’n down the the 9-5 for the man...

but he don’t know what I got planned...

hehehe

KA-lifornia

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