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Result in thread: The ceiling feels heavy.
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29th Jun 2018, 8:46 AM #1
melaredblu

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It's been a while since I bumped this thread, so let's do a bump, just in time to catch that rare ray of sunshine.
Image: http://hereilieawake.webcomic.ws/files/hila_teaser.jpg
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Result in thread: When to censor swearing
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20th Apr 2018, 1:37 AM #2
melaredblu

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When it comes to cursing, unless it's for comedic effect (as others below has already discussed), censoring usually is a bad idea because it kind of takes the reader out of the moment. See, if a character swears because they're just generally crass, then the idea behind the swearing is because it's just a natural part of the dialog. Wordsmiths of the four-lettered words, you might say. But when you obscure the swearing, it doesn't sound natural anymore. Instead, it comes off awkward and weirdly drawing more attention to itself than it would if you had just had them say the word.

On the other hand, if you have a character who doesn't usually swear let loose with an expletive, it's generally because the situation calls for it (extreme stress, fear, anger, etc.). In which case, censoring the word greatly diminishes the impact it ought to have. You might as well just render them speechless if you're gonna go that route.

Of course, if you want to cut back on the cursing but not eliminate it altogether, there are ways to do that. For example, cutting the curse word short can work in both dramatic and comedic contexts. If somebody is muttering a string of expletives under their breath, you can represent that with a cloud of vaguely grawlix-like scribbles that represent both cursing and the muffled sound of an indistinct voice. Again, depending on how it's drawn, it can be used in a serious or silly way. And there's always the option of foreign or even outright made-up swears. So while it's not really advisable to use grawlix unless you're trying to be funny, you can still having cursing without the actual curse words with a bit of creative tweaking.

If this new comic is like the one you have now, you could probably use grawlix without it being too awkward, I think, but the question isn't really "can I get away with this" so much as "why should I." Along with a couple additional questions, such as:
What is your target audience?
What is the age and background of the character?
Can you rewrite the dialog with no swearing at all without losing the desired tone?
Is the swearing in general supposed to leave a big impression on the reader, or is it used in a casual way?
Do you really need to use the strongest swear words available, or can you save them for particular moments and use mild swears for the average scene?

Those are just a couple things to think about when you're trying to gauge using strong language in your writing. One more thing: dialog with loads of f-bombs can easily go from "realistic and gritty" to unbearably wooden, so even if you do decide to not hold back, you still want to consider whether the dialog sounds good in the first place. AVGN is a good example of a character who swears like a sailor, yet the dialog stays fresh because his use of language is varied and articulate.
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6th Mar 2018, 4:53 AM #3
melaredblu

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Stripped screws. So annoying.
Fax machines, increasingly, and hospitals that insist on continuing to use them when a lot of people don't have one at home.
Retractable umbrellas that always end up breaking off.
Choose-you-own-size paper towels that give you pieces way too small to clean up anything.
That page that comes up when your internet won't load that offers to "diagnose the problem."
Novelty eraser caps. They're pointless and they don't erase anything.
Apricot seeds. They're poisonous. Don't eat them.
Gluten-free labels on food that's inherently gluten-free anyway.
Zippers that won't stay locked.
Fake pockets on clothes. Just...why?
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2nd Mar 2018, 4:49 AM #4
melaredblu

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Dark? No. Whether a story has a mostly positive or negative outlook has nothing to do with the quality.

Mature on the other hand...maybe. But it depends on what you mean by mature. Do you mean something that's intelligent and nuanced? Do you mean that it's written in such a way as to provoke thought and explore complicated subject matter and/or themes?

If that's your definition, then yes, I would argue that a mature story is likely to be written with some degree of skill (though such stories can be prone to pretentiousness).

However, if your definition of mature is simply "contains explicit material" or "grimdark," then the answer is no. In fact, a lot of "mature" movies and shows are among some of the most immature things I've seen, whereas cartoons and stories made for younger audiences can demonstrate a surprising degree of maturity in the writing.
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Result in thread: Cultural appropriation?
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9th Feb 2018, 2:25 AM #5
melaredblu

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There are two definitions of the term in my mind.

Definition 1: Your culture created this, but we won't let you have it. That won't stop us from consuming the parts of it that we like, however, and we're not going to give you any credit for it.

This, of course, is infuriating and unjust. I don't blame people for railing against it, and there are countless instances throughout global history of this happening. However, the second definition...is less than helpful with this problem.

Definition 2: If you weren't born and/or raised in the culture that created this, then you have no right to participate in any of it. It only belongs to X group and it's not for you.

I don't think I call roll my eyes far enough in the back of my head to truly express my disdain for that attitude.

But there's a better way to handle this. I like to call it "cultural appreciation." It's where a person, regardless of whether they were born and/or raised in the originating culture, is encouraged to explore, study, express, and participate in any culture or tradition they find intriguing or that resonates with them personally. Note that one can appreciate a culture that is their own, or another's. Doesn't matter which, as long as it's appreciated.

I'm not going to touch on the sociological definition because the last thing I'm in the mood for is a debate
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28th Jan 2018, 10:49 PM #6
melaredblu

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Mutts rule. I've never liked that whole purebred thing. Every dog I've ever had was a mutt and they were all wonderful.
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Result in thread: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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23rd Jan 2018, 4:58 AM #7
melaredblu

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Steven-Vincent:


Honestly, I don't disagree with many of your points. Like I said, there are some aspects of the movie I don't like and do agree are unjustifiably dumb. And I did admit in my comment that I really don't know if the writers intended it that way or if it's just me trying to find a pattern that makes the movie work. My friends certainly disagree with me. Having only viewed it once, I can't delve into a deep analysis of the film to see if my theory holds up and some of the points you make do poke holes in my theory.

I think that failure and bad choices having bad consequences could realistically be *an* intentional theme because the movie does explicitly bring up the subject, but I suppose it's fair to say that there's just too much stupid overall to claim it was *all* on purpose.

Space Leia was dumb either way. No arguments there.
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Result in thread: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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23rd Jan 2018, 2:27 AM #8
melaredblu

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I feel like my interpretation of the Last Jedi was a little different than some people I know. Namely, I 100% acknowledge that the movie was full of incredibly stupid character decisions, but I thought that was the point. Luke makes an awfully big deal about Jedi failure and (paraphrasing here) tells Rey that their legacy is failure. I felt like failure and defeat at the hands of poor judgement, hubris, or absolutely guano-crazy miscommunications was sort of what the entire movie is supposed to be about.

The problem is, I think the writers did that on purpose while some of my friends think the writers just managed to vomit out a blitheringly stupid plot. I'm not sure if these writing choices are intentional or not, but it's how I choose to see it because it's thematically consistent and sets up for the second movie having themes of redemption, atonement, and triumph over failure. Both the rebellion and the First Order had characters whose hubris led to disaster for their side. This next movie could be the one where those who made mistakes out of hubris or just stupidity learn their lesson, or failing that, other characters learn from their example what not to do. Also, Rey and Kylo Ren were my least favorite characters in the first movie and this movie did a much better job of developing them and making them feel like real human people instead of Darth Fanboy and Chosen One 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Not that I think this movie is without its problems. There are plenty of things I didn't really care for. I just choose to see this film as one that is highly driven by (bad) character choices. As a second movie in a guaranteed trilogy, it does its job of getting me hyped for the final movie, though I wouldn't say it holds up too well as a stand-alone movie. Personally, I consider that its biggest flaw, not the bad character choices, but that's unfortunately a problem with a lot of Part 2 of 3 movies.
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23rd Dec 2017, 12:14 AM #9
melaredblu

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I used to feel like an impostor when I thought my goal should be to make my art look professional, but when I realized that "professional quality" is a mostly meaningless term, I started focusing more on challenging myself to improve my own weak points, being more bold and expressive, and trying different styles and techniques on for size. I get mixed results because of that; some things I draw turn out looking amateurish, while others end up better than expected. Art can be serendipitous sometimes, and that's one of the things I enjoy about the process.
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Result in thread: The ceiling feels heavy.
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15th Dec 2017, 9:27 PM #10
melaredblu

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A little bump for Here I Lie Awake. It seems bad feelings isn't the only problem our troubled heroine faces...

Image: http://hereilieawake.webcomic.ws/images/comics/142/38092a1509663512f1921525334.png
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Result in thread: The "fite me" thread
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11th Dec 2017, 9:33 PM #11
melaredblu

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You say that, but we greatly rely on shipping in this modern age, such as for the delivery of goods. I'll admit that the war between UPS and the US Postal Service is getting much too fierce, however, especially with contenders like Amazon getting involved.

*finger guns* ayyy
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Result in thread: The "fite me" thread
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11th Dec 2017, 9:27 PM #12
melaredblu

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Shipping is stupid. Ship wars are stupidest.
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11th Dec 2017, 4:04 AM #13
melaredblu

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Hey, it might be cringey, but if it's for charity, at least they're trying to do some good in the process. There are worse things. Cut 'em a little slack, man.
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22nd Nov 2017, 4:53 PM #14
melaredblu

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Well, as a kid, I had no clue that it was meant to be held different ways. I found the PS1 controller, like the SNES controller before the N64, fit in my hands better in general. Obviously, though, the controller certainly didn't stop me from playing and I was being at least a little hyperbolic when I called it hot garbage. I will concede that yes, for the time, it was innovative. But from the point of view of a kid with small hands who didn't really "get" the design (meaning I thought I was supposed to use my right hand to press buttons, stretch my left thumb all the way across to the analog stick in the center, and somehow still use both hands to reach the shoulder buttons and the elusive Z button), it could be unwieldly. I liked the configuration of the Gamecube controller that came after it much more.
As for the Playstation controller, my main beef with it was just that I was so darn used to A and B buttons that sometimes I'd be tripped up by the [] ^ O X setup they had. Not really a fault with the controller, just something I never got the chance to get used to until years later when we got a PS3.
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22nd Nov 2017, 5:08 AM #15
melaredblu

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I tend to prefer the N64 mainly because that's the console I actually played on and have fond memories of. We only had a PS1 for a really short amount of time, but I do remember liking the game we had. It might have grown on me if we'd been able to keep the console.

[spoiler]Regardless of which one is better, we can all agree the N64 controller was hot garbage.[/spoiler]
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15th Nov 2017, 8:40 PM #16
melaredblu

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Image: http://princesschromabonusreel.webcomic.ws/files/threadnecromancer.jpg
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9th Nov 2017, 11:07 PM #17
melaredblu

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MissElaney:I'm generally not a fan of Thanksgiving because my grandmother died of small cell lung cancer a few years ago and living at her house to help take care of her turned into sleeplessly and helplessly watching her starve to death and drown in her own lung fluids which we drained multiple times to alleviate her symptoms but we could not cure her. Thanksgiving was her birthday. Since it's been only a couple years, it's more of a sad and empty reminder than a holiday. As my family fractured from that point, Thanksgiving is also a reminder that some of my relatives are rather petty.


That's terrible. My condolences, I'm sorry you went through something like that.
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Result in thread: three-word story
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9th Nov 2017, 7:52 AM #18
melaredblu

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made of pizza.
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Result in thread: First webcomic you read?
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8th Nov 2017, 7:07 PM #19
melaredblu

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The first webcomic I was exposed to was Brawl in the Family. I didn't even know webcomics were a thing before that! I was pretty sad when the comic ended, but I still read the archives on occasion. As far as I've seen, the creator is doing well and moved on to bigger projects, and I'm happy about that. He seems like a pretty cool guy.
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7th Nov 2017, 6:07 PM #20
melaredblu

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I am just...such a sucker for the Tragic Backstory(TM). I don't care if it's cliche. I demand angst. I demand suffering. There's not a force in the universe that will convince me that this is cringe, nor is there a single, solitary chance I won't be lapping it up while rooting for the character to overcome said past, because darn it, I love characters with terrible pasts fighting their way into a happy future.

I'm also a hopeless sucker for pretty much every version of the "mysterious character" archetype. Roguish fellow clearly hiding something? Mystery guide who speaks in riddles? Emotionless girl with inexplicable powers? Strong, silent man who broods over a campfire when nobody else is watching? Obviously sapient animal that can't speak but has intelligent eyes? That savvy-looking woman in black with the sly smile sitting at the bar? The team ninjaspy? The cold, calculating team member whose tactics border on ruthless, if effective, making you wonder how they got that way? That one shadow-themed villain nobody can wrap their head around? I don't care if every last one of these is a cliche. Odds are, if you have a character remotely like this in your story, they're probably one of my favorite characters.
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