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Free Spirit "Junkyard Stories" Talkback

Discussion in 'Platypus Comix' started by Peter Paltridge, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Despite my earlier plans, it doesn't look like this one is going to get finished before the holiday season slams the window of productivity shut. Due to moving and other complications I didn't have the time to build up the backlog over the summer they way I've done in the past. Sorry for such a scarce fall. But this is one I've been waiting to release for a long time.

    http://www.platypuscomix.net/freespirit/index.php?issue=10&seriesID=13
    There's also a new article on the way in a few hours. Somehing....parade-ish.

    It was the height of my initial brainstorm for Free Spirit and ideas were popping up left and right to me. Usually they would be a question and and answer: "What if they went here?" "If they went here, they would do this." I had to write down as many as possible because, from past experience, I knew eventually ideas wouldn't come this easily, and I would forget most of them otherwise. This was the summer of 2013 and while I was lost in the best brainstorm I'd experienced in a long time, my mother was very sick. I sketched out some of my better ideas in a hospital waiting room. You want to talk about mixed emotions....

    One of the most interesting ideas was this one: "What if they went to a junkyard?" "If they went to a junkyard Winnie would look at individual items and use her magic to find out the stories behind them." It came out of nowhere and it sounded great! I also knew it was going to take three times as much effort to write, because it would require at least three stories at once, all of them would involve completely new characters, and they would have to go through beginning, middle and end in a much shorter timespan yet still be satisfying.
    I spent months just trying to figure out why the Harpers would be in a junkyard in the first place. This is why you didn't see it until two and a half years later.
     
  2. TheMisterFree

    TheMisterFree Member

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    Winnie could've been dragging the kids along to fly with the SWAT Kats (they made their base out of the scrapyard they were forced to work), but they weren't there and they got distracted.
     
  3. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    • Like Like x 1
  4. Dsneybuf

    Dsneybuf Well-Known Member

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    How likely does it seem that the last chapter will appear before your next Summer vacation?
     
  5. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    It's more likely I won't be taking a vacation this year. It's also likely the last chapter will be appearing sometime within the next few hours. Keep watching.
     
  6. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Poor Thomas, having to wait six months to use the bathroom.

    http://www.platypuscomix.net/freespirit/index.php?issue=10&page=18&seriesID=13

    So....what you see here wasn't going to be the third story. Until a week or so ago, the third story was about a man who was dating two women at once.

    The object that creates this vision was never determined because it was the last thing I would think up. This was never drawn, but since I write the dialogue ahead of time....here's the last draft that exists (dialogue would have been refined further had this been completed):

    When a ghostly apparition with long flowing robes and a booming voice appears in the sky before Gregory, the kids suddenly realize it's Winnie, and the flashback stops.

    The story resumes.

    This was a great hook for a story. Unfortunately, I could not for the life of me think of a narrative that would measure up to the expectations of the setup.

    Winnie is obviously lying but the man doesn't know. And now, obviously, he's going to get his just desserts by letting this "prophecy" motivate his next few actions. To keep things interesting there also needed to be some kind of twist in the story at some point. Since neither one could be his true love (since he didn't deserve that), these were my options:

    He messes up his relationship with both girls, no twist
    One of the girls really does want to kill him
    Both of them are trying to kill him

    All these options felt forecasted from a mile away, and thus, wouldn't be interesting enough. I pondered for months on this story, not willing to give it up because I liked the basic idea. Finally, I said to myself "Six months for one cartoon is inexcusable, you need to get this over with and move on." I laid out all the possibilities, including a complete non-sequitur ending where Winnie broke the item and we never got to see the climax. But nothing was satisfying. I realized the true answer was...there WAS no answer. The story was a dead end and never should have been attempted in the first place.

    So I grabbed the first alternate idea that felt interesting and rushed it through. It's short because I figure people wouldn't want to follow this lady for long, and because I want this comic over with. I've got several other cartoons lying around in various stages of completion; you could be seeing one of them as early as next week.

    Sorry about this. Writer's block happens.
     
  7. Dsneybuf

    Dsneybuf Well-Known Member

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    While I initially felt disappointed to wait so long for such a short story, I found its ending cruelly funny. Reading all of them in a row, I don't think its status as a last-minute idea seems too obvious.
     

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