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“Velia, Dear” going rogue without script

Tina’s Groove creator Rina Piccolo has written that for the next story-line in her webcomic Velia, Dear, she’s experimenting with starting a story-line with no end in mind.

What am I getting at? It?s this ? the next story line is one that I am writing without a clear end in mind. This is a very shaky, and scary way to write a story, but you know what? ? this web comic began as an experiment, and so experiment I will.

So for the coming weeks I?d like you to read ?Velia, Dear? as a sort of work in progress. I?d like you to read it knowing why I?m doing it at all: to learn a few things about writing fiction, to get better at drawing graphic scenes, and to get myself ready for my next creative project.

I used to do this experiment all the time, but not intentionally. I was just lousy at working ahead of my deadlines.

Community Comments

#1 David Jones
November/11/2011
@ 11:18 am

The current story I am working on had no ending written until last week. I often write stories that play out for months. I stated writing this one 5 weeks ago or maybe more. I wonder if people like strips taking that long to tell a story or if the readers prefer short gags without a long mess of a story that they have to try and keep up with… I like the long stories myself.

#2 Howard Tayler
November/11/2011
@ 5:42 pm

It’s called “discovery writing,” and it’s wild fun. It’s ot for the faint of heart, certainly, and it’s all the more intimidating when you don’t have the luxury of revision once you’ve decided on an ending. (Many novelists will discovery-write their way through a book, and then go back and tighten it up in revision.)

My advice:

1) identify anything that might be a “promise” to the reader, or foreshadowing.

2) Acknowledge that some of those things might be red herrings, and some might be resolved or fulfilled in later stories.

3) At about the 2/3rds mark (you’ll probably know it when you hit it) try coming up with an ending that fulfils the promises, is adequately foreshadowed, and has left some folks guessing wrong because of red herrings.

#3 Mike Cope
November/11/2011
@ 8:04 pm

In some ways, this is analogus to the long-term evolution of a comic strip. Most cartoonists have no idea how their strip will end, let alone, what their characters will be doing in a few years or months. When you deliver daily, it’s a constant pursuit for something new.

Writing on the run will certainly give Rina a creative rush, but considering her experience as a cartoonist, us readers will likely enjoy a story that flows with natural rhythm. Nevertheless, should be fun knowing that it’s a “work in progress” rather than something just filtering outta the pipeline.

#4 david Jones
November/13/2011
@ 6:24 pm

I actually have a ten year plan for both Charmy’s Army and for Just Say Cheese. Both strips will have major storyline twists every few years to keep the strip fresh. I only when for ten years because I figure after ten years all teh newspapers will be gone and my strip would be cancelled…..

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