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Dio Story Telling; A How-To!
Old 03-07-2008, 03:07 PM #1
ender098
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Default Dio Story Telling; A How-To!

As I said in one of the threads, here, I once tackled this from the photography aspect. Now, I wanna hit it from the “Story Telling” angle. Lemme know if I missed anything!


Basic guide to writing Dio Stories;

We all have read stories, from novels to short stories to comics. Some we like, some we don’t, and they are as subjective as the types of television we watch. I am not going to try to go TOO in depth on how to write a story, I’m going to try to give you the basics and cover some of the pitfalls out there.

For Starters, there’s PLOT. Plot is quite simply, what will your story focus on? Being that this is JoeDios, I’m guessing the battle between GI Joe and Cobra. But that’s NOT ENOUGH. What are there objectives? Cobra’s main objective, if we go by the cartoon is that they are “Determined to Rule the World”. Quite a lofty goal! But how does one achieve that? If you follow the Cartoons and Comics, they always try to find an edge. A weapon GI Joe can’t counter. From Terror Dromes in Fruesenland to M.A.S.S. Devices and Weather Dominators, Cobra is like Pinky and the Brain, figuring new schemes to conquer the world.

Maybe Cobra’s objective in this dio isn’t to take the world, maybe just a building. (Let’s use that for the sake of argument). Ok, Why? Because there is a Computer in the building that has specs to a weapon or has Dirt on a Politician, or maybe Jimmy Hoffa’s remains in the basement. Now…do you have to tell the reader this in the first few frames? NO!! This creates a second plot DEVICE called “Suspense”. If you’ve ever seen film “The Usual Suspects”, you know how great suspense can get! Even have the Joes outside the building ask one another “What does Cobra want with THAT building?”.

Ok, now on the inside, Major Bludd is trying to figure out how GI Joe found about this mission. And the Interrogator called them because he wants Bludd to fail so he will be disgraced and Cobra Commander will give the Interrogator command of the next mission. How far will interrogator go? Will he try to kill Bludd? Sneak and open a back door to let the Joes in? This is called a SUBPLOT!! Another mini-story or “thread” running along with the main plot (the takeover of the building). Careful not to include too many subplots! Wanna see how too many subplots ruin the story? See “Pirates of the Caribbean; At Worlds End”.

Ok, Enough about Plot and Sub Plot. Now we get into “Character Development”. Not as easy as it sounds. We want to get a feel for these characters. Why does the interrogator hate Bludd? Is Bludd a jerk? Does he kick his subordinates? Is he incompetent? Don’t just have a character explain this. Bludd slapping a bunch of blueshirts around will illustrate this as well as any dialogue. Or Bludd telling someone to leave behind a heavy MG because “we won’t need it!”. Like SubPlots, you need to develop more than one character. If your focus is only on one character, your story will be very short indeed. It’s ok to FOCUS on one character, but don’t neglect the rest! (That’s where “Greenshirts” evolved from!)

As a Caveat, don’t try to include 1,000 characters and expect your dio to run 3-5 pages. Too many Characters to develop is like too many subplots…it can ruin a good story!

Some other points to consider;

1.) BELIEVEABLITY. Nothing wrong with a Science fiction theme. But don’t start out as a hard corps story about the current modern military and out of nowhere there are Dinosaurs, Dragons, aliens and ninjas!

2.) Think It Through. Don’t start a story that has no logical end. If you’re doing chapters, think a few chapters ahead. Where do you want this to go? What is the end state I want to achieve? Don’t paint yourself into a corner! Two Movies I can think of that didn’t “Think it through” when it comes to asking “how are we gonna make a sequel to this?” Is “Chronicles of Riddick” (Now how is gonna go back to being the bad@$$ Loner when he just became ruler of the Necromongers?, I’d like to see the writers explain THAT one!!!) and “UnderWorld:Evolution” (Ok, now the king Immortal and both his sons, the First Vampire and the First Werewolf are dead. Who is gonna come after Selene and Michael now?? Figure that one out Mr. Overpaid Hollywood writer!!)

3.) Keep it simple,stupid! Can one simple frame of action, one photograph convey what will take a paragraph of dialog to explain? If so, go with the picture! If it would take 50 pages of photos to tell what a character can explain in a paragraph, go the other way and use dialogue!

4.) Humor not goofiness! If you’re trying to tell a serious story, think about the people around you. Are their really any people you know who are like the cartoon characters? Who are jokers 24/7? Or are there people who are serious and use humor to make it through hard times?

Ok, this is an ongoing Project. Add and Detract as you like………
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:09 PM #2
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Hey man thanks for putting this up.
it'll help out a lot.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:46 PM #3
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In terms of coming up with a plot, there are two things I always remember. The first is the old standard; before you start taking the pictures and especially posting anything, make sure your story will have a beginning, middle and end, and you know at the very least what the beginning and ending will be.

The second thing was said by the late Mark Gruenwald, a writer/editor at Marvel who wrote Captain America for ages: pretty much any plot can be boiled down to one thing -- somebody wants something. You just need to figure out who it is, what it is they want, and how they're going to go about getting it.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:00 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormer
In terms of coming up with a plot, there are two things I always remember. The first is the old standard; before you start taking the pictures and especially posting anything, make sure your story will have a beginning, middle and end, and you know at the very least what the beginning and ending will be.

The second thing was said by the late Mark Gruenwald, a writer/editor at Marvel who wrote Captain America for ages: pretty much any plot can be boiled down to one thing -- somebody wants something. You just need to figure out who it is, what it is they want, and how they're going to go about getting it.


Thank you for quoting the late, GREAT Gruenwald, and what an excellent quote to use. That's just a great starting point for a story-teller. 'Nuff said!
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:01 PM #5
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Thanks for this post... some great points in here.

I should have read this before doing our short-film dio! Looks like I made a few mistakes ;-)

Cheers! ~ Paul.
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