Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It Seemed So Reasonable

How far would you go?

So Petra has made me two wonderful caps on the Haven.  I'll admit that I'm a little confused on the proper etiquette.  The first was a 'reward' for me donating to the haven.  I had requested that my reward be put off as donating to the Haven was reward enough, but Petra made me a very good cap series.  And then in late January she made me a wonderful birthday cap.  Now I don't know if birthday caps are 'gifts' or 'trades', but after receiving two great caps, I just needed to make her one in return.

As has been discussed, making a cap for Petra is just like making a cap for myself.  I'll admit that I barely look at her preferences any more, as I just make a cap that I love, and am fairly sure she will like it.  Now I'm still not flowing in my cap making so I decided to make a short cap this time.  After the longer caps I recently made for Petra I figured this would be a nice change up.  So I found this image after a bit and just fell in love with her green eyes.  And her expression told me that she wasn't entirely happy, but that she didn't think this was a step to far.  Almost as if this was a reasonable thing to do.

And that spured the story.  Now having a basic outline in my head for the story (Pete helps a girl with a photo shoot, while taking small steps from him making out with her to him giving a bj to a guy) didn't mean writing was easy.  I had a few false starts, but the gates did finally open up.  And as normally happens when the gates opened I realized I was on the second page of text and no where near the ending.  Instead of doing what I have done the last few times this happened (finding another image to go in the 'first' panel and ending with my original image in the 'second' panel), I figured I could try out some more forceful editing.  I wanted the pace to speed up instead of going into as much detail as I was.

I left the first few paragraphs the same, but cut this portion out (yes... I saved it just to share here!!!):

The day at the salon was nerve wracking, but harmless.  The photo session was again hot, but now that everything looked professional, Amelia was told that Pete wasn't right.  She either needed a hunk, or a girl.  As Amelia was nervous about bringing someone new into this endeavor, and Pete would never look like a hunk, Amelia asked if he would mind getting another makeover.  As it would just be neck up shots, he didn't need to do anything other than have his hair styled and wear some women's makeup.  Pete was nervous about looking like a woman, but he had already had a makeover so it seemed reasonable.  

The evening at the salon was again nerve wracking, but having finished after they closed no one saw Pete made up like a woman.  The photo session was very hot this time.   The next day Amelia came back in tears.  They told her that she needed more than head shots.  Amelia asked if he would mind dressing up a bit for another session.  Pete was nervous about dressing like a woman, but he had already worn women's make up so it seemed reasonable.  

Putting on the clothes was difficult but fun.  Corsets padded bras, panties , skirts, stockings and frilly blouses.  They all turned Pete on.  The photo session was beyond hot.  The next day Amelia came back in tears again.  She couldn't talk and just threw down the photos.  At first Pete didn't see a problem, until he noticed his erection tenting the skirt.  They told her that while her making out with a woman was just right, that making out with a man in drag wasn't.  Amelia asked if he would mind dressing up again, but wearing something called a gaffe that would keep his erection down.  Pete knew that it would be uncomfortable, but after dressing up last time it seemed so reasonable. 

Wearing the gaffe was frustrating, but the photo session set his loins on fire (safely tucked away this time).  The next day Amelia returned with a frustrated look.  It seems that after the first set of photos 

I liked the text, but it was just following a pattern.  Take the step, have the shoot, find out what is wrong, figure out a 'reasonable' step.... rinse and repeat. I really liked the repetition.  I felt that it set up that each step wasn't to far beyond what he had just done.  But if I kept that repetition it may end up being two or even three caps.  I didn't want to struggle and eventually be disappointed by the design.  So I traded calming repetition for speed and pacing.   

I'll say that I'm happy with the change.  It isn't the 'same', but it is just as good.  Just a different flavor.  

So once I pruned and wrote out the quicker bullet points into the story I went to design.  Now something that I've seen in sevreral caps is putting the title over a faded out section of the background.  You can see that I've more or less started using that for my 'Question' posts.  I haven't used that in a cap, so I figured this would be a fun cap to try it out on.  

I really like that look.  It may be that it is just 'new' to me.  But I don't think so.  And I don't think 'borrowing' this design cue takes away from my own style.  I think it is just a natural progression.  A baby step.  Time will tell if I start using it more. 


  1. The style of writing is so top notch. It's the key and the picture puts it over the top in my eyes. Also love the visual style. It gives me my own ideas to play with.

  2. Once again, you write captions for Pea so well. I KNOW she'll love it, and I bet that you love it too.

    Glad to see that you are showing people how you edited and why. I think it is great for the learning process, that others can see the finished caption, and what you did to get it where it was.

    I wish I could do that on my blog, but I don't write things ahead of time. I just punch up my layout in Photoshop, place a text box, and write on the fly. I'll edit, swap, and change things around, but its mostly to make sure I have enough room (or flesh out if I haven't written enough. Don't laugh, it's happened often to me!) for most of what I want to say.

    I think I'll just start referring people over to your site for more examples when I want to emphasize things!

    My question is this: Why do certain people place the titles of the captions right in them? I know you do it, and I think that Simone does among others? For me, I don't usually name the caption until I'm posting it for one thing, and for me, I'd rather have the extra space to perhaps add a few more words to possibly make the caption more descriptive.

    What's your take on that?

  3. Oh yea...I love it.

    I'll admit that I didn't start out with the idea of saving the edit.... but I left word open and could 'undo' my way back to that text. I figured that since it was such a big edit for me that I wanted to mention it.

    Wow... I don't know if I could write the caps in Photoshop. With just pure 'fat finger' errors I would be spell checking far too much. I love that word does it on the fly and then underlines misspellings in red and even grammar errors in blue. Once I'm done, I just select all, copy, go into the Photoshop text box I previously pathed out, and paste. I wish I would do it more often on major edits (and I'm trying to do that!) and other people would show what they do for edits. I find the thought process during any creative endeavor very interesting. And sometimes you can get a little bit of insight that changes your own process.

    As to the titles... I really don't know what got me to start doing that. I know I didn't do it in the beginning, and that I had seen it in caps from other authors. I can tell you that I have had a long love affair for titles. Whether they be creative or a teaser, I still find it interesting. Inception (the movie) comes to mind. Until I saw the film, I had no idea how the term referred to the movie. But after seeing it, it makes sense. In the deepest part of my ego I consider people doing that with my titles.

    Like in this one "It Seemed So Reasonable". Well I know that they can see the picture and title before reading the text. But how exactly does giving a blow job seem reasonable (with the understanding that it is a TG/Cross Dressing cap)? Especially worded that way. It isn't reasonable (the original title I played with), it just SEEMED so reasonable. Little things like that get my creative juices flowing. I know that most people could care less what I call this little art project, but its part of my enjoyment making it.

    Sometimes nothing hits me and I just pull some of the text out that makes some sense (The Red Flower, Hold that Pose...). I never really think about it taking up much space. In most of my caps its about 5-10% of the space (a little more here). When I finish pasting the story in, I always tweak the text size so that it lines up just right (Hmm... 18 point? 18.5? 18.3? AH-HA 18.42 point!).

    Another side reason for the titles is just naming the files on my system. For example I recently remade a cap with a different person's name in place of the original names. I may not have remembered who the original cap was for (the old way I named them), but just a single look at it tells me the name, which tells me the file name. Posting some of my old caps here on the blog was a pain as I had to actually search through my collection to find it visually. I had no idea what i had titled it. Since I keep all the Photoshop files, sometimes several variations on caps, sometimes the word documents, and occasionally the original raw image I have 421 files to look through. If I keep this up and make as many caps as you have? Wow.. I would have thousands upon thousands of files to look through. Titeling it just makes it easier. Open the file browser, start typing 'itseemedso' and the file is selected.

  4. Well Caitlyn, both the donation reward and the birthday captions were gifts, so this cap was not necessary. That being said, I loved it and I was really glad to see this in my trade folder today. Thank you again for it, and I'm glad that it got some of your writing juices flowing (if even for a few minutes).

    I have to say that I'm with Dee. I do almost all of my writing inside of the image as I'm working on it in GIMP. I have tried writing in Word or TextPad and it never works for me. I end up with way too much text and can never fit it into the image.

    I also think that my writing is better this way. I end up being restricted in the size, so I have to make my stories succinct and choose my words carefully. If I didn't have that constraint I would ramble.

    I think in the end you made a really wise choice with this one in chopping out the text that you did. It was really interesting and fun to read, but it didn't move the story forward any more than the "bullet points" did. All in all, a great cap.

  5. I've only used a title for one of my caps. It was an attempt at Smitty's style of captions and I thought it worked. Most the time I do what Dee does though, if there's any Room left I try to fill it out or fix the lay out.

    Like Petra and Dee, I do all of the writing for my caps in comic life. I have done that from the start, even with MS Paint captions. I just want to make sure I had enough room for the story and the picture.

    Seeing the process for others is interesting, and I've even experimented with trying my hand at their method. It was a fun learning experience and I hope what I've been doing lately is coming through in my work.

    I have enjoyed discussing Making caps with Smitty and on Dee's blog. I feel it's helped me try some new things. I was always on the look out for trying something different for all of my caps, but getting to discuss it before hand has helped a lot.

    And killer caption Caitlyn! You took a simple idea and made it into something smoking hot!

  6. Is it just me or did that ending seemed reasonable to everyone as well? ;-)

  7. I write all my caps in either google docs or open office. Back in the days when I had some lovely betas*coughdeecough* I was perhaps more lazy than I am now. After teaching, I learned to check my own work more carefully and it's carried over. I still have the slip up here and here, but I edit more for tight writing than anything else.

    As for Titles, I usually come up with them as I'm writing or after. I usually put titles left, but lately i've gotten into trying to incorporate them into pictures. I also like to use titles are a boarder, but I'm playing around with more ways to fiddle with things.

  8. @Sasha - Of course it seems reasonable to a bimbo like you :P ;)