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Pick up the pace! Seven tips to keep readers engaged in slow scenes.

As a reader and creator of longform webcomics, I know there’s nothing more frustrating than stagnant scenes.  Many longform webcomics only update once a week, and those 4-5 pages only cover so much ground.  And if you’re writing a particularly extensive conversation, five minutes could easily take months.  I’ve written before about a few pacing hurdles […]

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Writing Simple Pitches with Personality

A pitch is one of the hardest things for a creator to write, but it’s also vital for grabbing the attention of an audience. A solid pitch can be the difference between a new reader and a lost opportunity. Yet time and again, I hear pitches that rely on featureless genre labels or vague mash-ups […]

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Writing to the Beat

When I begin writing a script, I first try to plan out the most important “beats” of the story. The beats are the key events and scenes that drive my story forward. I never begin writing until I have a solid idea of the twists and turns my plot will take. An experienced writer has […]

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A Scrummy Cartoonist

(Editor note: This is a guest article by John Bintz) Introduction When I first started making comics, I was working on a single series with a single product type — minicomics that eventually became books. I knew what had to be done in this case: draw comics, print books, make advertising material, go to shows. […]

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Mix tapes, comics and time

Authors note:  I wrote this post a  few years back for my site bobthesquirrel.com.  I’ve chosen to re-imagine it from a comics pespective because I think the parallels are pretty similar.  Plus, I fixed a lot of the grammar. 🙂 Enjoy! Those of you that were born in the mid-seventies like me, who were on […]

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Inside Bob the Squirrel…part 2

A few years ago, I bought a house. I looked at 13 different houses before finding this one.  Every house I looked at had trees somewhere, some in the front, some on the side, but only one had a tree in the back.  Not just any tree, a TREE tree.  This tree would be perfect […]

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1 Secret to Writing a Satisfying Ending

There is an art to endings.  They can make or break a story.  Good endings elevate a work and evoke a emotion that lingers for days.  Some endings leave you breathless, eager for more.  Others fill us with a deep sense of well-being and comfort.  Occasionally an ending will rattle us, prompting deep thought and […]

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What about Bob? A character’s perspective…

Too often we send time writing about things that directly affect and effect comic creators.  Is my site user-friendly?  Is the time I post new work the optimal time?  Should I even bother with eBooks? The biggest question that is ALWAYS overlooked is this: What about the characters?  Without the characters, none of that other […]

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Webcomic Retcons

(Note from Robin: This guest post is provided by Christina Major. Christina started her fantasy adventure webcomic in 2010 and loves reading, sharing, and connecting with the webcomic community. Her first comic is a Kickstarter Staff Pick, which you can check out at sombulus.com/kickstarter to help her reach her goal!) If you make a webcomic […]

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Snowbody knows…

I live in Central New York. Central New York is a place where the traditional four seasons do not exist.  We have two, two-and-a-half seasons: Snow, Road Pre-Construction and Road Construction.  We are hardened snow removers.  Some get massive snow blowers, some get plow attachments for their riding lawnmowers and some just look up the […]

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Drowning in Dialog

People put a lot of emphasis on dialog, to the point that we’re often drowning in it. A heavy burden is falsely placed on dialog’s shoulders to solve every writing problem and answer every question. It’s often bloated, dull, and ineffective. Like a garden over-run with ivy, dialog needs to be trimmed down to a […]

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The trouble with creating multiple book collections…

Have you been thinking about putting a book collection together but have been intimidated by all the work that might go into creating such an endeavor? The good news is that when you’re creating your first book, even though there’s a lot of work that goes in to it, it’s also a lot of fun. […]

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How to Overcome Excessive Exposition

Exposition: The Ultimate Story Tar Pit Exposition is a key component to establishing your Act One. Readers need to know the Who, What, Where, When, Why in order to have context for the events that will unfold. However, when employed poorly, exposition can bog down a story. Don’t believe me? Try reading THIS from a […]

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Managing Tension

A humor strip has a well-established formula for getting readers hooked, and it can be as simple as a Set-Up and a Punchline. Quick, easy to digest, and entertaining. If a person finds it funny, they’ll be back again, and they might comb through the archives for more chuckles and laughs. Done! Reader Caught! But […]

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Mail Bag – Chris answers your questions

  So for today’s Webcomic Alliance article, instead of writing about just one topic, I thought it might be fun to do an article that addresses a lot of different topics. The best way to do that was to see what topics you guys wanted to have addressed. Below is a random selection of various questions […]

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In praise of R. Crumb

I like to drink coffee, but I wouldn’t consider myself a coffee connoisseur. I limit myself to just one cup a day: large, black, one or two sugars. Many times, I’ll opt for black only.  People who know my coffee preference cannot fathom drinking it damn near straight like that.  No creamer?  No cinnamon? No […]

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it takes more…the discipline of webcomics

So, webcomics.  You want to start one, right? It takes a lot more than server space and a scanner to make that happen.  I mean, if you want it to last that is. As of this writing, I’ve been drawing Bob the Squirrel for ELEVEN YEARS.  That’s a one with another one right after it. […]

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In Praise of Journals

(Note: This Is A Series Of Guest Articles We’ve Requested To Spice Up Things Here At The Alliance. We Current Members Of The Alliance Are Working On Some Special Things This Summer And Will Announce Them Come September When Our Guest Articles Finish Up. Enjoy The Change Of Pace And Let Our Guest Contributors Know […]