Thursday, March 31, 2011

Never Trust an Exchange Student

The dialog rambles a bit here, and that is by design. If you've ever heard teenage girls talk back and forth, they use their words like weapons. There are quick bursts of rapid-fire declarations, and then rambling treatises on whatever it is that happens to come into their minds at the time, bashing you over the head with an innumerable amount of syllables, all slammed together without pause. I couldn't write that out officially, since over multiple lines, it would be something like:


Instead that first sentence in the caption is more of an exercise is throwing a bunch of prepositional phrases together to imply that Nadine is thinking a bit more like a girl, specifically a late teen.

Another element I wanted to through in there is how SAVAGE teenage girls can be. Of course, they can be best friends, but that doesn't mean that a friend can't swing right into that BIGGEST ENEMY EVER!! mode and its fun to watch how passively aggressive they can get. There is a bit of that in the envious tone that Dee strikes. Notice that Nadine doesn't dispute the assertion that she has better legs than Dee, and probably has sized her up as competition already, something that Dee seems to have already done.

The whole caption was built around an exchange of dialog I had in my head, that of the "You're not helping! with "I'm not TRYING to help!" I had sent it to myself in email to remember, but didn't use it until I found an appropriate picture. This one has the perfect pose and look on her face that screamed to be captioned. From there, I worked up the angle of doing a favor, but the person that asked is no longer around to resolve the situation. I thought the idea of being trapped and then being "helped" out by a female friend had some great possibilities for fun.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: If you are making a caption, do you usually have BIG PLANS and then fill in the details? Or do you have little things, and try to make a BIG PICTURE out of them? If you are a reader and not captioner .. do you prefer captions that are constructed like a story (ie beginning, plot, ending all tied in a bow) or more of a "slice of life / moment in time"?


  1. Well with all the plot twists, ongoing sagas, and huge multi part series I do, it probably isn't any surprise I have big plans and fill in little details. But I also have to plan out little details to some degree, call back lines and things like that I have to set up in the first part.

    I'll still do the occasional make it up as I go along cap, but those are rarer. My mind narrates pretty quickly though, so it's not as if the story skeleton takes too much time. As usual the Devil's in the details.

  2. I do a combination of those.

    I try to start off with a little idea like 'gets changed into a pretty little goth girl'.

    I look for the photo and it gives me a Big ending like 'Little Goth Girl gets her hair dyed blonde'.

    I then move into Big Plans like 'Damien finally get a potion to change himself into his dream goth girl, but meets up with some girls he knows, who drag him to the mall and start giving him a preppy girl makeover'.

    Then when I have that part, I start writing, moving through the Big Plan and add all the little conversations and details.

  3. I tend to start with the picture first or with the basic concepts of what the person likes that I'm creating the cap for.

    I then play out a few versions in my head and decide on the major course of the plot and fill in the little pieces as I go.

    However, many times, the little pieces end up building something where the course of the cap would be better if changed, so I try to remain flexible and let the story go where it needs to.

    The difference is where I'm making captions for myself when I typically want things a more specific way from the offset, which is the reason for creating the cap for myself in the first place.