High and Lows

Creating the highs and lows of the emotional roller-coaster ride is not done by contrasting flat, dull panels against exciting ones. <<which is what most people think>>

It’s done by contrasting different emotions, different narrative elements (tension, conflict, action, suspense, etc.) and adjusting the pace and timing of how these elements come into play.

For example: In the “Kings” graphic novel I wrote for incarnate games, the book starts off on the high seas with one of the MCs on a boat in the middle of a fight with a giant monster. It’s an intense scene with a lot of action. The roller coaster is dropping. Woo-hoo!

To get the roller-coaster climbing again. The following scene takes place deep underground where a dark ritual is taking place. Another MC is sacrificing someone. (yeah that’s the incarnate page header art 🙂

The second scene has a high level of tension, drama and emotion. It’s hardly flat or dull. But it works to play off the previous scene because its working with different emotions, in a different setting, at a different pace… etc.

After the roller-coaster drops, don’t go to a dull scene like, guys sitting around a table, drinking and discussing politics without low levels of emotion. That’s not sending the coaster up again, that’s killing the electricity and leaving the audience stranded.▪

About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.


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