A moan about pacing

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A moan about pacing

Postby Steve-D » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:59 pm

Yes, I know its cheap to whine about the delivery of a free webcomic, but I think we've been here before.

Book 1 suffered from having a steady slow-down in delivery as it built up to its climax; Book 2 has gone much the same way. We started with regular updates; 2 strips a week. And then Rob admitted they were struggling to maintain the pace and cut it down to a strip and a text update a week, and now post-illness we're down to one update a week.

I know there are valid reasons for why, I just want to say that as a reader (and long-term subscriber, not that it makes a big difference), its really frustrating to see the momentum of the story cut away just as it builds up to the big finish. Our brave hero has spent almost three long months now in a hole in the ground, and last week just when it seemed he was going to plunge through the portal and bring the story to its big finish...he returns to the hole in the ground.

The other big storylines; Ansom/Jillian, Awsomer/Tremanis/Slately...they've come to an abrupt halt. I might be on my own here, but I'm starting to loose my grip on the story. It needs to move forward.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby msb » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:19 am

Are you complaining about update pacing or story pacing?

If there's one thing that Rob has definitely proved, it's that one should trust him with story pacing.

If you saw the David being revealed at 1% per week, of course you want it revealed faster, but you can't complain in the middle that it's a sculpture about a penis and that the overall posture and musculature has dropped out.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Steve-D » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:00 pm

msb wrote:Are you complaining about update pacing or story pacing?


Both.

And I disagree that he's proved that. Book 1 received similar complaints about the meandering course it took to conclude.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby ftl » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:41 pm

Steve-D wrote:
msb wrote:Are you complaining about update pacing or story pacing?


Both.

And I disagree that he's proved that. Book 1 received similar complaints about the meandering course it took to conclude.


Yes, and in the end Book 1 turned out to be a pretty good finished product.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby msb » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:54 pm

Steve-D wrote:Book 1 received similar complaints about the meandering course it took to conclude.

Yes and all those complaints were invalidated by one single brilliant page, the uncroak-the-volcano page, that showed how every meandering-seeming thing was necessary and brilliant.

If you disagree I'm not sure why you're still following Erfworld.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Tensor » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:34 pm

msb wrote:If you disagree I'm not sure why you're still following Erfworld.


Probably because he's a tool. Y'know, it is possible to disagree and complain about something and still like it. Without such, you just end up with a bunch of zealots that simply cry BEGONE! to all that dissent.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Sieggy » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:43 pm

I just be jonesin' for my next fix o' Erf . . .
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Beeskee » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:03 pm

I know, Erfworld is like the crack cocaine of webcomics.

On the other hand, if it wasn't so damn awesome, nobody would care how quickly it updated. So folks complaining about the update speed is kind of a good thing, in a sense. :D


I'd love to see this update 3 times a week like Girl Genius, but that's just not possible for every webcomic to do.




Tensor wrote:Y'know, it is possible to disagree and complain about something and still like it. Without such, you just end up with a bunch of zealots that simply cry BEGONE! to all that dissent.



Shun the nonbeliever! Shun! Shuuuuuuuuuuun!



Edit: So my post has actual content: There are things Rob can do, other webcomic authors have written excellent guides on how they manage to do things. Howard Taylor, author of Schlock Mercenary, recommends building up a buffer, so that authors can take a break to go to conventions or deal with personal issues like family events or illness without their readers experiencing an interruption. I'm sure the Foglios, authors of Girl Genius, have offered up various advice at one time or another too, it's probably on their site or in their various posts or webcasts. The one recommendation of theirs that I remember is to work on side projects when you start to feel burned out on the main project.

We all need to remember that Rob is not some webcomic-excreting machine, he's a human being. :D It's fun for us to read Erfworld, but it's work for him to write it. Just as much work, if not more, than any regular 9-5 job. I'm sure a buffer would help with that, if Rob knew he could take a couple weeks off without anyone even noticing let alone complaining then that would probably help alleviate some of the stress.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Sieggy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:45 pm

Well, it kind of helps that Phil & Katja are just posting the colored versions of works released long ago (and I very much enjoyed it just in pen & ink!) When all you have to worry about is coloring, it makes it MUCH easier to keep to a production schedule. Rob doesn't have that option, unless he announces that he's taking a year's hiatus from posting in order to get a sufficiently large backlog, which would result in the Screams Heard Round The World . . .

You can't rush quality. The old saying is quite true - there are only three factors involved here. Fast, Cheap, Good

Want it fast? Won't be cheap or good.
Want it cheap? Won't be fast or good.
Want it good? Won't be fast or cheap.

Given that it's free (and ya don't git no cheaper than that, buckaroos!), and Rob quite correctly (IMHO) insists on good, then by definition it's not going to be fast. You don't rush a souffle, and as much as you'd like to get it bloody over with, a baby comes when it's damned good & ready.

If you want to read it all in one huge, juicy chunk, unsubscribe and wait for the books to come out in dead tree form so you can guzzle it all down in one big shot. As frustrating as the pace may be, think of it as literary edging . . . it's not the culmination, it's the antici . . .
.
.
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pation . . .

Oh, and just for grins & giggles, I recall reading some of the readers letters to the Strand magazine howling about not getting their latest fix of Sherlock Holmes and WHAT THE DEUCE WAS DOYLE'S PROBLEM ANYWAY?!?!?
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Steve-D » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:30 am

I'd like it consistent, if possible.

I perfectly understand the difficulties involved in work like this, but I can't help but be disappointed when I log on in the evening to find the strip still not up.

ftl wrote:Yes, and in the end Book 1 turned out to be a pretty good finished product.


It was a superb book, no question. But as a webcomic? It had its ups and downs.
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby drachefly » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:28 pm

Sieggy wrote:Well, it kind of helps that Phil & Katja are just posting the colored versions of works released long ago (and I very much enjoyed it just in pen & ink!)


All of Girl Genius was written long ago?!?!
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Re: A moan about pacing

Postby Godsire » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:51 am

Steve-D, I agree.
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