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Writing Anime: Pokemon Go

  • Posted on July 23, 2016 at 5:13 pm

So, like most others, my life has been taken over by Pokemon Go, an altered reality game where you catch cute as hell pokemon and run around like a crazy person. Altered Reality Games are defined as ” an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players’ ideas or actions.” What this means is, it’s interactive and fully user-based. In this case, it involves walking and jogging around town to different landmarks, collecting items from those landmarks, and catching cute pokemon that spawn through out town.

Now, what does this have to do with Writing? Well, it explains a lot about fandom and how interacting with it works. We’ve seen a lot of examples of fandom interactions between those of us who create, and those who consume. Often times, those that interact with their fans generally make more sales, and also have more material with which to work. After all, what better engine of creation than several hundred rabid fans all coming up with theories like breathing?

In fact, some artists interact with their fandoms solely for this reason. Others, however, have fun with it, and generally just interact with their fans for entertainment. Then there are those who fuck it up royally while interacting, and somehow get accused of being predatory towards their fanbase (here’s looking at you, John Greene).

One of my favorite examples of an author who interacts with their fanbase is Andrew Hussie, creator of modern day Illiad Homestuck and Problem Sleuth. This is a man whose work has garnered him a fanbase capable of pulling together 1.2 million dollars in TWO. WEEKS. I saw the kickstarter (and donated to it myself) go from 0 dollars to $500,000 in 24 hours, all in anticipation of a videogame.

How did he do it? In-jokes. Good writing. MASSIVE character base. He opened his twitter and several other places for questions to his fanbase. He allowed them to interact with him, and they did. It was massive. In fact, there’s an entire in-joke within the fandom (Fat Vriska, for anyone who knows it) that was started when someone on Formspring asked him about the weight of one of his characters. Eventually, he was asked about Vriska. Which concluded in this glorious manner:

In one of the most glorious fuck-you’s I’ve ever seen, he declared this, and the fandom ran with it.

For more of these absolutely hilarious happenings, you can, of course go to Knowyourmeme.com, and read up on all of them. Or, you can attempt to track them all down. That could be a fun scavenger hunt!

Speaking of scavenger hunts, have you heard of CipherHunt? Well, the fandom of Gravity Falls has. You see, Gravity Falls is a disney show that made it’s fandom massive through the use of ciphers, mysteries and the sorts of things that make those particular fans go crazy. That is, an omniscient Dorito demon who makes bad deals. CipherHunt is creator Alex Hirsch‘s way of making his fans happy one last time. Even though the series has ended, he’s provided them a series of clues, and told them, go on, get hunting.

At the end of each clue is a souvenir/next clue. Now, this isn’t possible for ALL authors, obviously, especially if you don’t have DISNEY backing you. But the fact that he allows it, even though his series is over, shows you what kind of person ends up with a fandom that large. Playful people who love what they’re doing.

Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, is another playful person who loves what she’s doing, and in so doing, interacts with her fandom. But she does it quite a bit less than the others on this list. Honestly, she just keeps an eye on what her fandom creates and says, and then sometimes makes nods to it in her show. This is the bare minimum, but because of the way her show works, it does wonders.

So, you might be asking, how can I become this sort of creator? What do I need to do to woo my fandom beast? Well, first of all, find the fans. If you have work out already, look at who bought it, and who likes it. Encourage these people to talk to you. Encourage them to create, whether fanfiction, fanart, or fanmusic. Encourage creation, and it’ll create itself around you.

Then, remember, no matter what you do, it’s not going to be perfect. Laugh about your mistakes with those who point them out. Or, like Hussie does, make them into injokes. Have a sense of humour, and openly enjoy the community growing around your works. Even if it’s only a few people.

And finally, be accessible. Don’t hide yourself away, because while that may work for people like Steven King, or George R.R. Martin, when you’re writing for the sort of demographic that likes Anime and Manga, you really can’t afford to.

Who knows, if you succeed, you just might end up like Ishida-sensei, the creator of Tokyo Ghoul, who got to share his joy at his new Pokemon with the fans of his work.

 

Imagine Your OC – Practice Drabbles 1

  • Posted on October 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm

In the spirit of NaNoPrep, I’m taking some time to build my characters! And in doing so, apparently, I am avoiding all responsibility by surfing tumblr. Anyway, I found this post here, entitled ‘Things to consider when making your OCs” and I realized, honestly, they’re some pretty amazing prompts! So here we go! I’ve picked random characters for each prompt, and will flesh them out some! This should be an adventure, yes it should.

~*~*~*~*~

How would they react upon accidentally walking into a glass door?

The pain was nothing to the embarrassment. Knocking into the sliding glass door only caused a slight ache in the bridge of his nose, but Dirk’s pride? Now, that was bruised beyond repair. With Yumil laughing in the background, he groaned, rubbing the sore area. Stay calm, Strausson, stay cool. No need to let the normally-unflappable idiot you hang around with take the wind out of your sails.

“I meant to do that.” Dirk stumbled, saying the first thing he could think of. This, of course, only increased the howling of laughter from Yumil.

Jorgan, sweet, innocent Jorgan, took the handle of the door, and opened it. “There you go!” Dirk knew letting Jorgan hang around his older brother was a bad idea. Look at that tiny smirk. Yumil was a bad influence. Giving up, the mahogany skinned man slid past Jorgan and out into the yard, ignoring the burning of embarrassment in his ears.

*~*~*~*~*~*~

How do they react to having their name spelled wrong on a Starbucks cup?

“…Excuse me. This…” Dirk was holding a cup, on which his name had been… well… The letters in scrawled sharpie clearly emblazoned the word “DICK” instead of Dirk. He stood at the counter, as the person behind the counter stared placidly back. Before he even finished, he realized he’d already lost this battle. However, Dirk was never one to give up.

“This is unacceptable. This kind of profanity is unprofessional.” He managed, fighting through annoyance and embarrassment. Everyone was looking at him at this point, but Dirk had to make a point here. What if this had been for some impressionable preteen? What then? “I’d like to speak to your manager.”

“Sir, I am the manager.” The employee intoned, soulless eyes staring sightlessly. “If you’d like to register a complaint, you can go online-” This was where Dirk sighed, giving up entirely. Maybe if Yumil had been here, he’d have gotten somewhere. His partner never turned down a challenge. Although that might end in the Starbucks being burnt to the ground… Best he wasn’t here at all then.

“Excuse me, sir? My name is Dick Dickerson, and I believe that’s mine.”

*~*~*~*~*~

What kind of vines do they make?

“Wait, why am I holding a pot again?” Dirk asked, possibly for the third time. He couldn’t quite remember. He honestly was trying to convince himself that what he kept hearing WASN’T incredibly stupid. But of course, this was Yumil, with his sidekick Lette he was talking about, who tended to bring out the worst in each other. He looked at the odd old-fashioned crock-pot he was holding, and wondered, again, why it was filled with fish.

“Just don’t move, alright, and keep still.” Yumil hissed, holding the phone. “Alright, go ahead Lette!”

Lette grinned into the camera, making a peace sign with her teal-painted nails. “Hi, I’m Lette, and this is jackass!” Then, she turned around, and Dirk got to see what she was holding. A bat. Oh god. He flinched back immediately, and the crock-pot went flying. Water and fish flew everywhere, and he stared at Yumil’s  laughing grimace, realizing that he, perhaps, did not have the best of friends.

*~*~*~*~*~

What would their reaction to your favorite character be?

He really didn’t understand this show. He supposed he could understand the characters. Leon, he was an officer of the law, and someone Dirk respected. Well, despite the fact that he acted like an eighties thug. But he really did want to stop people being hurt. He didn’t really understand the other character though. D, this so called-count. He was reminded of someone, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

“God, could Leon be any more stupid? of COURSE it’s a mermaid!” Yumil shouted from an armchair, painting toenails pink again. Long black hair was piled high up on the back of a pretty head. While D was incomprehensible, it was Leon he understood perfectly.

After all, his own incomprehensible idiot sat right across the way from him, didn’t he?

*~*~*~*~*~

How would they play the Sims?

Dirk checked the meter once again, and then smiled. Good. Every single one of their meters was alright. Although, little Eamon looked like she was going to end up peeing herself if he didn’t get her away from that computer. He clicked on the toilet and got her to head that way. He intercepted little Yumil from trying to set a plant on fire, again, and sent him to the library to study next to little Dirk.

He liked it best when everything ran well. Little Yumil is a scientist, and little Dirk is an author. little Jorgan is still in school. He ended up having to make him little Yumil and little Dirk’s kid, but it was worth it. Little Eamon was a cop and Little Anelace her partner. Little Lette was a movie star, and little Espin was the chore-boy. But he seemed happy enough that way.

Dirk saved, just to be safe, and started adding on the new wing of the house. After all, pretty soon little Dirk and little Yumil would be adopting some kids. That’d certainly keep them busy, wouldn’t it?

*~*~*~*~*~*~

What would their finishing move be?

“YUMIL!” He roared, cutting through another enemy to get to the summoner. He could see the summoner trying to call down Ifrit, his favorite summon, but he knew it would be too late.  The behemoths were quick, despite their large lumbering forms.

Things seemed to slow. His feet pounded the floor. His breath slowed. He felt it, then. Something powerful. He roared, leaping. Into the air he went, his sword raised high. Down, it came.

“EXCALIBUR ARCH!” A blaze of blue light, and the behemoth threatening their summoner dashed into a thousand shimmering pieces. Once it was done, he whirled, and Yumil’s back touched his, a renewed sense of purpose washing over him. “Everyone, REGROUP!”

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