Friday, April 20, 2012

Happily Ever After

You should always be willing to help make a marriage work!

So Evie made me this cute poem caption.  I had seen several of these now, and wondered what one for me would look and read like.  But even having given it some thought, I was blown away by Evie's version.  So of course I had a debt to pay back, but more than that, she's been commenting quite a bit here.  So I didn't want this to be just a 1:1 return.  I wanted to make her something special.

Now the previous cap I made for her "Experience Everything" had a couple things working against it.  First, I was still feeling Evie out, as it was my first cap for her.  I had already made a few caps that day so my creativity wasn't as 'high' as it should be.  And I had already been looking at those images and really kind of shoehorned Evie's preferences onto them.

The one big thing in her preferences that I tried to skirt around was that she doesn't like humiliation.  Now you all know I'm a humiliation aficionado.  So while I don't spell it out in the cap, there is the heady scent of humiliation all over that cap.

So this time, I didn't want to come any where near humiliation.  I carefully read over Evie's preferences and found several things that I could dig my teeth into:

"You can be as explicit as you like."  Yay!  "I quite like seeing a hot woman fully clothed, but I also enjoy seeing them do dirty, dirty things."  YAY! "I like to experience the change and also have my personality transform eventually to complete acceptance.   One scenario I really like is getting the benefits of magic intended for someone else. Elixer is always good, being corrupted and corrupting others really does it for me."

She also likes being blonde.  So I kept these preferences flowing in the back of my head, and went in search for images.  Really I was looking at every 'dirty' image involving a blond woman in it.  This was probably the third of fourth set I looked at.  The image that caught my attention first, was the one used in the second panel.  Yes, its not as dirty as I normally like, but I loved trying to figure out why Evie was screwing her friend's husband.   I know it could be a lot of different things going on there, but that's what I came up wtih.  It helped that there were pictures of 'Evie' having sex with the man and the woman both.

So I picked out these three images and tried to just free think through to the story.  Both back and forward from that second panel.  Evie mentions elixirs in her preferences, so why not start there.  I can even put in that the elixir is for her friend, but Evie (or Adam at this point) drinks it by accident.  So why does Evie's friend want to change into a sexy blonde?  Hmm.... maybe she is trying to save her marriage.   Good starting point, so they somehow work together on the elixir, and have to wait for Evie's friend to drink it.  But they pass the time getting drunk, and Evie drinks it herself.

O.k... I liked where that was going.  I had touched upon Elixir, accidental change, getting the benefits intended for something else.  And now that Evie was in her friend's ideal body, she could corrupt the husband and her friend both.  But as I tried to focus on the 'corruption' part, I just didn't come up with anything satisfying.  I've already established Evie as a friend... so why would you want to corrupt your friend.  Ah HA!!  Her friend's marriage is on the rocks, because she is bi-sexual, and while she loves her husband, she isn't sexually attracted to him.  The elixir would make her not only attracted to her husband, but be a reminder of her past, and be modeled after a 'college roommate' that she fell for!  So Evie could 'corrupt' the husband by making him attracted to her new body, and she could corrupt her friend by doing the same... making her attracted to her new body.

So I started to write... but I quickly found a problem.  The first image is about halfway into the story.  The 'intro' would have to describe Adam helping Evie prepare the elixir, get drunk, transform into this body,  and then go to her friend's house and get the husband to fuck her.  That's a lot to put into one cap.

So I sat back and kind of story boarded the whole story out in my head.  I realized that really I had a couple paragraphs per cap, but then nearly double that in intro.  I could probably cut about half of the intro out... but the first panel would still have to include that, making it very text heavy compared to the next two panels.

Now I don't remember where I used it, but I know I've used this story telling technique before.   Telling the 'past' as well as telling the 'present' at the same time.  It's not the easiest thing to do, as you really have to make sure the text of the past looks completely separate form the text of the present.  Color/Font/TextBoxes can all be used for that.    But those are also the methods I use to distinguish people talking.  So if I did this, it couldn't be a dialoge style caption (which is how I started to write it).  It would need to be either narrated, or told from Evie's point of view.  I figured I could make that work, and to even it out, I wouldn't cut the intro down, I would actually expand upon the rest of the story.

So I started writing again.   And to make sure I kept enough suspense and paced each cap well, I wrote it just how you see it.  I didn't have the end of the 'past' (which would need to line up with the beginning of the 'present') written until I had all of the 'present' written.  I think it worked out fairly well... but I'll be honest, I struggled when Evie told 'Kayla' what was going on.  I so SO wanted to use dialog.  But I felt that it would just muddy it up.  If I played my cards right, I could end with dialog... but I didn't think it would flow visually if I used it before hand.  I actually started running out of material for the last panel, so that's when I added in Evie wanting to save their marriage.  I know it takes away from the 'corruption' but I think the point still comes across o.k.  Plus its a little sweet... kinda like Evie!

And once I set into designing it, I didn't exactly have it easy there either. I started by putting the first four paragraphs into one text box.  But I couldn't find a combination of bold/italics and fonts that worked well together design wise, and still felt separate from each other.  It didn't help that I would have two text boxes that way (one for the first four paragraphs in the upper left, and one for the last two paragraphs in the lower right.  So I had to back out of that and make each paragraph its own text box.  The font never changes... but I think the black italics over a light text box contrasted well enough with the white bold over a dark text box.

Since the text boxes were separate, I didn't see any reason to keep them all the same width.  Instead I placed the first and last paragraphs in their corresponding corners, and then let the other ones lie where they may.  I was now happy with the layout, except for the title.  I had already decided on "Happily Ever After", but where to put it?  I normally like to put the title in one place that will fit all panels.  But I couldn't find a place that worked like that between these three pictures.  The focus of the attention moved to much in each picture.  So I think its my first time that the title moves in between panels.

And then like an extra karmic cherry on top of everything, I found an issue while I did a list minute design check.  You see when I have multiple panels, I always look over them one last time to make sure all the boxes are sized right, all their opacities are the same, that the graphics for the title is the same... stuff like that.    I had the opacities of each text box set at 59%.  It let quite a bit of the background come through, but the text was still legible.  Except for one.  The third paragraph in the second panel.  It was right over a busy area of the photo, and all that 'action' in the background made it hard to read the text.  To fix it, I had to take the opacity up to 79%.  Which made ALL of the text boxes stand out more than I wanted.  But unless I wanted that one text box to look different (and I didn't) I would have to accept that compromise.  I think it throws the balance off a bit, putting more emphasis on the text as opposed to the photo (it doesn't' help that I'm covering up quite a lot of the photos), but it isn't a deal breaker.

I briefly considered starting over with how I presented the text... but realized that at minimum I would be throwing an extra half hour in.  And more than likely a LOT longer.  So this is one of the times that I let 'Good Enough' sate my desire for 'Perfection'.   I don't like doing that, and especially don't like doing it when I wanted this to be a little more special... but I had already put more time into this than I thought it would take.

Anyway... I'm obviously too close, and can only see my compromises.  Hopefully Evie will like it, and hopefully you'll like it as well (that is if you aren't Evie... if you are Evie, then just ignore that last part of the sentence.  And um... this explanation... ohnevermind I hope you all like it!)


  1. Oh I love it! There's several things I love about this caption series, let me heap praise upon you and tell you what they are...

    First I love the storyline. It has all the things that turn me on in it, getting changed, becoming sexier, giving into temptation, seducing others. I love the idea of being inserted as a sort of third person that the couple are both obsessed with, so selfishly I can save their marriage whilst enjoying all the pleasure I could ever desire.

    Second I really really like the storytelling technique you've used. Having the present and past on the caption is an intriguing and sexy way of telling the narrative. Not only that but you write so well that it really brings the caption to life!

    Finally I love that you've put so much thought into it, thanks so much. I really appreciate all the time you took to make this and it's clear that you had a few obstacles to overcome at first, but the good news is hun it's amazing! I really, really, really love this series! Thanks!

  2. I love the mix of past and present narration. The picture set is great and the story is fantastic! It's nice to see Evie saving a marriage for once ;)

  3. Caitlyn, I absolutly loved the cap, being new to this, It took me a second to realize the past and the present but once I got it, I loved it, so wonderful...keep up the good work