Thursday, August 23, 2012

Holiday Experimentation

A collaboration between Anne Oni Mouse and myself

This cap is a result of my request for help in "A Collaboration between me and... you?".  That post got FAR more responses that I ever dreamed it would, and honestly I'm having a tough time deciding on which ideas to pick up on.  Thankfully Smitty took his suggestion and made a great cap out of it called "What was that?", and Britney even came up with a stellar cap called "Relax".

Even with Smitty making a cap based on his own idea, I still have five more stories, one partial story, and four more ideas.  If I made all of them into caps (I did play around with that thought for a moment), it would take me forever to make them.  So I had to narrow it down somehow.  The first thing I did, was eliminate any of the 'idea' submissions (Sorry Panty LisaAnn, Kesari, Anonymous and Dee).  These are comments that people left with a suggestion on the type of story to make.  They were all great, but the actual part of the cap making process I'm having trouble with is taking an idea and making it into a story.

That took out four, but still left six stories.  I eliminated the partial story from Anonymous, as finishing it would be as difficult as writing out the ideas.  That get's me down to five.  I love all the stories, so with no other criteria to pare them down, or select one over the other, I'm decided to start with the first submission from Anne Oni Mouse.

I immediately recognized that the story was too long for most of my layouts, so I pulled out this 'long form' cap.  But even at this size, Anne's 911 word story still didn't fit.  Instead of chucking it out though, I did what I would do when I over wrote... I edited it down.

Now I have to admit, I figured this would be like any other editing process.... I would work at it for about 30 minutes, and that would be that.  I would have it small enough to fit into the cap.  Yea... that didn't work out. I can do that to my own work, as I already have it clear in my head, and know the exact scenes that could be pared down.  But this was someone else s writing.  Not only did I know have it all clear in my head, I also didn't know what the most emotional parts were for Anne.

So I more or less had to start at the begining and re-write the cap.  I more or less wrote it from the beginning following every point Anne made.  Each sentence I wrote, I tried to tighten up, leaving out certain phrases that I felt were not needed, or that were repeated earlier or later in the story.  That took about four hours... but to be honest, I was chatting away with several friends all that time.  I would guess that it would take me about an hour to do it if I didn't have anything else to distract me.

As long as I was re-writing it, I also changed up the ending a little bit.  I loved the ending Anne wrote but figured just flipping around the hero's note to the last paragraph made it a little punchier.  Gave it the best 'Zing' ending.   I was fairly happy, and did a word count, hoping that I had eliminated about 200 words....

I now had the story UP to 924 words.  Think about that for a moment... to edit down a story, I ended up making it LONGER!  I guess I can let go of that dream of becoming an editor at a major publishing house!

But now I had it written myself... I knew the ups and downs of the story and felt more confident of what had to stay, and would could go.  It wasn't easy, and I hated doing it to someone else s work, but I eventually got it down to 760 words.  It only took a little font tweaking to make it fit.

Now I was ready to tackle the design.  Before I wrote I had already started with the 1000x1500 canvas.  I knew more or less how the major elments (title, photo, story) would be laid out, so I had added in a blank title bar, put in the photo and tilted it around.  With the story taking up its place, I sat back and considered a title.  'Playing around on Vacation" was my first thought, but it didn't look good.  "Holiday Experimentation" not only looked better, but fit the space I had perfectly.

I went online and found an image to use as the background.  I didn't have something specific in mind, so I just found an abstract background that would work.  The only problem was the color:

I liked the pink, and figured I could mute it down to match her dress... but the light and white background wouldn't quite match with the darker story.  So I inverted it, and colored it back to pink (inverting it changed the pink to green... eww).  I reduced the opacity down until all the white text above it could be clearly seen.  I then just matched the colors of the title font and text box to match, added a shadow to the title, and added a glow to the photo.  The only thing standing out as wrong then was the photo itself.  It wasn't 'bright' by any means, but it was the 'lightest' thing in the cap.

I played with the idea of making the image black and white, but that would make all the colors everywhere else irrellivant.  So instead I selected the area surrounding "Bob's" face and body, then darkened the remaining areas.

Now the image looked like it fit in with everything else.

If I had written this story, I would call this cap good.  Well.. I would fist pat myself on the back for writing this good of a story, but I would then call this cap good.  I'd be ready to move on to my next project and await hearing if anybody liked it as much as I did.

But this isn't my cap.  Or more appropriately it isn't JUST my cap.  It's both Anne Oni Mouse's and my cap. So while I still would like to hear what everyone thinks, I'd REALLY want to hear what Anne things.

Anne... the stage is yours.  I obviously hacked quite a bit of your story away to make it fit, so you tell me how I did.  If you think I cut something that made the story better, let me know.  If you think something else should be cut out (to match the edit's I've done), let me know.  If you don't like how I messed with the ending.... you get the idea.

But Anne, don't limit your criticism to the story.  As this is OUR cap, I want you to be happy with the design as well.  Tell me what you think in both broad and specific terms.  Would you prefer to see the title with a 'glow' effect like the photo?  See the photo with a shadow?  A different background?  A different color scheme?  Is it too 'dark', or not 'fun' enough?  You let me know, and I'll continue to work on it.   I won't be fully satisfied with it, unless YOU are fully satisfied with it.


  1. Oh sweetie! Only YOU could edit a story for brevity and end up with more words than you started with!

    I think it looks and reads fine!

    1. *blush* Not exactly my finest moment! But going through the process will help me in future endeavors!

  2. No worries, and certainly no apology needed. Hopefully all of this will shake you out of your funk and you can get back to your usual great storytelling.


  3. I like it! I think you held to her story really well for trying to do a complete rewrite.


  4. Great job both of you. A lot of attention to the little details which builds up to a satisfying climax. and even in long form it looks great. But if I had to pick my favorite thing about it, it's how ordinary it starts. Just a boring couple watching porn together. With all the far fetched stories out there, including most of mine, it's nice to see one so grounded in reality like this. It really helps sell the fantasy later.

  5. I really like it. It may be long, but it doesn't read that way. The story gabbed my attention and didn't let go. I really like the background. It gives the piece a polished look, and manages not to fight with the text for attention while it's being read. My favorite part of the story is the multiple facets of the stranger who's character appears as a chivalrous knight and evolves to an ever darker place...or at least, that was the impression that I got.

  6. Congrats to the two of you, it truly is wonderful to see you getting so many responses for help Caitlyn. Its wonderful to see how much of a family we are around here.

  7. Amazing caption, start to finish :) The devil is in the details and it's in the little adjectives that the story comes alive.... I'll echo the sentiments of a couple of posters above... While the story IS long, it doesn't read that way... And the mundane, ordinary "set up" of a couple just randomly watching porn in a hotel/motel really grounds the story, and makes it believable.

    If I had anything remotely resembling a "complaint", it would be one single thing... "a back handed slap across the cheek"... That's harsh... that's whole LEVELS above slapping an ass or a cock... A backhand means knuckles hitting face. It took me out of the story for a moment, because it was truly, in my mind. "out of character" for a couple experimenting and having kinky fun...

    It's small thing, and it's probably only me :) the story as a whole is marvelous, and I adored the note on the card at the end.... Of course, based on my own captions, i find the implied/future sex just as hot as actually describing it....

    Wonderful stuff, and I can't wait to see what else you and your team come up with!