9 Steps for Adding Genuine Depth to Your Story9 Steps for Adding Genuine Depth to Your StoryJosephBlakeParker
(Or Ridding Your Story of Pseudo-depth)
When writing a story, one of the most important aspects to the writer will be the themes. In other words, the message you want to tell the world through your characters, plot, and struggles. However, even stories with a good message often fail on a number of levels, or else try to be deep but come off sounding ridiculous. Today, I'm going to talk about how to create genuine depth in the themes, characters, and dialogue of your story, without turning it into a sermon.
Step 1: Focus on the story and perfect it, long before you worry about the themes.
This is the single greatest failing of most stories with messages. The writer is so focused on them, that they forget the medium altogether. And as important as you think a message is, it is worthless if devoid of a concrete story. So craft your story around something tangible and solid—something that would be wonderful if there were no message whats
Watchers may have noticed I''m a tabletop RPG nerd. So I figured it was about time to draw up a few of the characters I've made.
Left side: Azathoth, the nuclear demon sultan. Yes, loosely based on the one from the Cthulhu mythos, because I love bad puns. A wild sorcerer and a blast to play, came from a caliphate that ended up detonating in a freakish elemental-chaos based accident, leaving him the only survivor on the other side of the planet.
The artwork was an attempt to shade via pen and not Photoshop, and I succeed with the exception of the right hand, which just looks burnt.
Top right: Seth, made for a mouse guard session. A character ripped from whole-cloth because I thought using a fishhook as a weapon would be awesome. Huge pathfinding stats and no map-following skills, so he could find his way anywhere but not necessarily the SAME way each time. Owes the dock-master a ship, despite attempts to make a boat out of the body of a shrike.
Bottom left: My current character for a mechwarrior campaign. Was ORIGINALLY based on Satima from one-punch man, but who has since diverged quite a bit, with the exception of looking impressively generic. He picked up his mechdriving and repair skills from the draconis combine and since left them for a mercenary company due to irreconcilable philosophical issues, such as "your liege lord is basically god" and "seppku is the solution to all of life's dishonours." Shown here waiting for an opportunity to raise hell in a phoenix hawk.
A more successful experiment this one, involving lighting from multiple sources.
I've returned from Vietnam/Cambodia with a bunch of drawings under my arm!
Ironically most of them aren't relevant to either of those places.
1. Similar to 5b, a sort of cybernetic rendition of D&D's Stigia.
2. Sun Wukong. The lines on the staff are meant to be like ruler measurements, because according to the myth it was originally used to measure the oceans. Yes, this means he beats people with a 7,960 kg, size-changing ruler.
3. A super-villainess who somehow ended up as dark phoenix. I have mixed feelings about spandex: Sure, it looks good, and it screams iconic superhero, but I doubt it's practical and it's been done a lot: there's only so many designs possible with spandex alone.
4. Just some beast head thing that ended up looking quite good.
5. a cybernetic Reinterpretation of a pit fiend. just tryign to get as many designs as possible. Was fooling around with reversing the bits that are usually cybenetic (the arm cannon, one of the eyes) and those that are usually organic (1 normal arm, massive fleshy pecs.)
6. A cyber-Molydeus, same vein as 5 and 1. The designs of the fiends of D&D don't make much sense until you realize they're probably made to seem similar to the Ars goteia and it's weridos:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_K… Then suddenly, it all makes sense.
7. An angry false-Budai (not Buddha, Budai. Budai was A budda, not THE Budda.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai ). The huge lobes you see on any Buddhist stature is supposed to represent longevity, as your earlobes grow throughout life.
8. Some skeletal Armour. I like how it came out but the skull-flail is pretty awful. If I redo this, I'm getting rid of that.
9. A mimic. Their new posture in dark-souls 2 is creepy, sure, but I like the way the DS1 one stand up and actually kick at you.
10. Sea-chariots. Yeah, none of those would y work but it's worth a shot.
11. A demon embedded in ice.
12. A meeting with a Chinese dragon in HA long bay. Beautiful place, and a drawing i'm probably going to ink and color.
13.A Giant hand vs Chibi samurai. I'm betting on the one with fingers.
13.b. Yep, had demons on the brain these holidays. I do like the design of the "unicorn knight" however, and will probably reuse it.
14. A magus of some sort. No, not that magus. No, not the other one either. Was drawn on a rather cramped overnight train, although all things considered it could have been much worse.
15. The Catarina Fatman. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLabhW…
16. An interesting picture. I like each of the designs of the weapon, mask and armour on their own, but together they look kind of bad. In particular, the mask is the bastard offspring of the immortal's masks in 300 and the archetypal Tengu mask.
17. Depressed dark lord. If I was hated that much, I’d drink too.
18. An image of one of Grimtooth's traps.
19. Artists block. Was running out of ideas on the plane.
20. Another O.C; a gregarious explosives expert named Saul. (Yes I actually have more than one of those. Hooly sheeit.)
21. Sort of a paper-marioish style. B is Guan Yu.
22. Another maniacal beast head.
23. One-armed Bandit. Yes, I know borderlands did it first.
24. A đàn bầu hero. Saw a few traditional performances in Vietnam and both the appearance and sound of this instrument struck me.
25. Dwarf in a bolthole. Based on a similar one in the Cu chi tunnels ,which was practically invisible when closed.
26. Surprise lesbians.
27. Another design process, this one for a horseman of the Apocalypse. Pestilence was not one of the original horsemen: it was instead conquest that was first, complete with crown and bow. I decided to merge the two.
28. One of the nagas at Ankor wat. Just a simple sketch, very little reference.
29. First drawing of 2015: skankish dragon lady.
30. Some sort of nose worm thing?
31. An image of Magdeline, see 38.
32. Last drawing of 2014: Charon, the boatman.
33. Tea fairies. Censored because nipples.
34. Unfinished but still hilarious sketch base on a painting of the Ramanya I saw in Cambodia. Hanuman's a hell of a guy; and an even better bridge.
35. Giant Cannon.
36. Some random warp rip and Gertrude, another O.C. She's in the same pose/expression as Abaddon in this picture vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/w…, because like the latter in fanon, she's quite incompetent but so powerful and fecklessly, pettily evil that she's still a major threat.
38.Magdelne. Bellicose, boisterous, ridiculously strong, and going to hand that cockatrices’ drumsticks back to it on a platter made of it's own skull.
39. A poorly drawn martial artist, and Famine. Think "matter eater lad." Note it's swallowing the beam.