In a very early draft of Earthguard, I’d purposefully left it ambiguous as to whether or not the things that happened to these characters was real, or if it was a fantasy (like Ralph Phillips) but as I continued to write and build concept for the story it became more and more clear to me that if i wanted to build a world that could continue on for more than a short story or two, it would have to be real. Still, I decided to keep some of the day-dreamy aspects of the story, hoping to evoke the feeling of childhood make-believe in a couple places, that you may be able to spot if you look for them.

Also, I’d like to point out some of the differences between eastern and western storytelling techniques. In Japan, the first few pages of a comic tend to establish a base concept of what you’re about to read. By page three in One Peice, we’ve been told about Gol Roger and Luffy has stabbed himself in the face to demonstrate his determination to become a pirate. By page three of Naruto, we’ve been explained some brief history of the ninja world, and Naruto himself has been painted in broad strokes as kind-of a punk kid. In Rurouni Kenshin, they’ve explained the war, and shown Kenshin to be a skilled fighter but kind-of a dope. This is a typical format in eastern comics. Look for it yourself in the first chapter of your favorite manga. Usually there is one page of (mostly) text that summarizes the world, and then two pages that quickly show the major characteristics  and/or primary motivation of your hero. This is good short-hand for the reader to quickly get them up to speed in the kind of story you’re going to tell. You can usually tell if you’re going to like a manga from the first few pages. For eastern writer’s the plot is often less important than the characters, which is why they don’t introduce a plot at first, they introduce a character. Western writers tend to favor the opposite approach. They like to introduce a plot, and allow their characters to show their personalities through how they react to that plot. And the best way to introduce the plot is not through broad brush strokes, but developing mood. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. As a western fan of manga, it’s ultimately my goal to put together a story that takes the best of both worlds, and appeals to manga and non-manga fans alike. Something that takes the best part of both writing styles and combines them while discarding the biggest weaknesses. And so, instead of telling you everything you need to know up front, I’ll be slowly showing you over the course of all (hopefully) six chapters. And hopefully build in a complete story arc in an interesting way.

Wow… that’s more explanation into writing theory than I expected to get into tonight… Maybe I should drink while writing my blogs more often ^-^