Thursday, May 28, 2009

How I Make the Comics 7: Story

How I come up with the story? Uhhh.... out of nowhere, really.

The comic started off as a short fan-fiction. That should be believable enough, what with all the walls-o-text I've been throwing at you all, heh. But, terminally shy as I am, I decided not to post those fanfictions. And, after finding RO sprites online, I figured I could make the story a comic.

The very first comic was just Kethios playing with porings. I honestly wasn't even sure I'd make more comics after that!

It's really hard to remember where ideas came from. It was almost 5 (many, we started in 2005) years ago when I came up with the original stuff.

Well, let's see. Ideas must have started coming to me while playing RO. My very first character was Benedict Solor on iRO Loki. I thought it would be really cool to have a first AND last name for my character, hahah. I knew I'd be an acolyte since they looked cute. The last name came from an online translator. I put in "support" and translated it into other languages until I came up with something that sounded cool. I could go on forever about the origins of my character names, but it'd be way too long. Maybe another day!

My first RO character, Bene... lol. Not any different in the comic. He became a priest when I made him on oRO.

Playing as the characters helped me grow attached to them. Bene's pet on iRO was indeed Fwuffles, by the way :)

Kethios was my battlepriest. He -did- get to priest in-game, but battlepriests are hard to play, so I didn't use him much. Also, everyone loved Bene since he was full support. In the comic I made Kethios bad with magic because he had 1 int in-game.

But, that doesn't explain my female characters. I have no clue where they came from, honestly. I can probably point out some inspirations, though: Vesper Holly from Lloyd Alexander's adventure series. She was smart, courageous, pretty... I was so pissed when the author had her get married and pregnant in the end of the story. Sigh. Strong, independent women are a no-no. Ack, I'm ranting.

Anyway, the question was on story. I basically think up one chapter at a time. I have a general idea of where I'm going with the chapter, and then come up with the comics on the spot to get to the end.

The underlying goal for prologue was Ellsy chooses a job.
Interlude - no goal, just having fun
Chap one - Carl gonna leave
Chap two - d-d-d-drama, which is why it took so long for me to get motivated for it

I almost -never- write things by hand (I did in the -way- beginning, but not anymore). For the most part the comic is not scripted at all. Sometimes I write notes to myself in a small text file, but I usually ignore it in the end. Maybe I'll post up chapter 2's text file when it's over in a few months. It's so worthlessly vague.

I actually do write stuff, but only in the form of dialogue. I don't write it panel by panel. I write the dialogue first, then try to fit it all into the comic as I'm making it. Often I have to reword the dialogue or cut out sentences for shorten it to make it all fit in an acceptable amount. If you are making a comic, I suggest using larger panel size than my 250x250.

Ideas for characters and stories come to me randomly. Like, in chapter one, I knew Carl was going to leave in the end, but I wanted to show him and Bene and Ellsy having fun before he leaves. And that's where the Golden Thiefbug story came into play. I also vaguely remember discussing GTB with someone, about how he's listed as passive on databases. Like, hey, wouldn't it be funny if they ran into it and it didn't attack? Tada. A nice storyline.

Sometimes I come up with stories in the middle of the night. (This is probably why I never get good sleep and am tired all the time --- I keep wanting to think while it's peaceful). Edgar and Lavian came from that, I think, as well as some characters we haven't met yet (Lily, Gwynneth).

Also I randomly come up with ideas for jokes and stuff when people talk to me on MSN Skype. This is happens with the holiday comics, at least.

I do keep my storylines in my head, though I've made some rather vague outlines in an attempt to get the timeline of events correct, and written dialogue for chapters that have yet to see the light of day.

By the way, due to all of these random inspirations, I have storyline already set up for a loooooong time. I don't need any more ideas! I just need time to make comics with the ideas I have.

HOWEVER, I really don't have an ending to the story. I, uh, hope it'll just come to me when/if we get there!

Also, something interesting to note is that I do not make comics on the spot. I tend to take a weekend and make many comics. In fact, I like to have a very large buffer of comics ahead of what the current comic is. 50 comics is my goal. That way, I can tweak the comics to come if I get new ideas for a dialogue or event. The Baphomet scenes in chapter four, for example, were very lame originally until I talked with a friend and became inspired to remake them into what they are now. It's a good thing the comics were made so far ahead of time that i had the time to fix them!

Well, that's all I can think of to say. if you have more questions on this, go ahead and ask!


  1. Sorry if I caused any trouble for you. _ _' I didn't want you to work more just for me.
    But it's a really interessting insight in how you create this comic. I see it as an living, developing 'being' and it's fantastic to know how you work everything out so well.
    As I understood it you have the story roughly planned out but add to it through ideas you have or duo to certain conversations with people.
    Thank you for answering in such a detailed way, I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was eager to know you pull all this of without seeming lost ones. Keep up the good work!

  2. I'm sure some others were curious too, hehe.