Monday, March 21, 2011

The Staredown .. with a question answered

This question comes from Alectra, via Formspring:

How can you describe a person in a cap without turning out overdescriptive?

I searched out for a random caption I posted to Rachel's Haven. This ended up being what popped up. I think this will work in answering Alectra's question nicely.

Since the picture is for a post-transformation, I really didn't need to go into much detail as to what Mark looked like .. other than to describe his face as "stern and cold" which is more of a character trait than a physical appearance. The only other thing I needed to set up was the gun in his pants. If this was a story, I could describe the type of gun and the caliber, then talk about the style, cut, and color of the pants, etc ... however, in captions we need to only supply what is absolutely necessary. What was necessary to the setup was Mark being a rough dude that was packing serious heat.

During the transformation, I focused on the mental part of the transformation first, which made Mark more mellow and feminine, then the physical transformation came next. Once again, I didn't really have to describe anything as the picture conveyed what was transpiring. What you see is what the guard is seeing. To finish off, I described the vibrator and booty shorts (the aforementioned gun and pants) and then tied it all up with the stinger at the end, which references the 1st paragraph.

To tie this into the question .. If you make an outline of what is happening in the caption, you should be able figure out anything that isn't needed. Things that aren't needed are those that are already seen in the picture (unless you want to REALLY highlight something there) and extra plot devices that don't serve the main story.

For instance, the staring is what drives this caption, so the picture is focused on that. If I had a full length picture, I'd have cropped it to what is in the caption, as I don't need her body .. in fact it would probably distract viewers from the look she is giving here. There is also no reason to talk about an accomplice, or a second security guard ...since this is a ONE ON ONE situation. Anything else would keep it from flowing directly from the beginning to the end.

DISCUSSION SUGGESTION: Go back and find a caption that you've created that you'd like to edit down. Do a quick outline of exactly what is going on. Then try to edit out, and tighten up anything that seems like it doesn't get you from the beginning to the end in a timely manner. See how much you can remove and still have it be a complete story. Perhaps you can get the text down to 50 percent of what it was. If you aren't a captioner, find a short piece of TG fiction you enjoy and carve out the extraneous bits. Post in the comment section if you were able to trim it, and how much you could. This is something that anyone can do, so go for it!


  1. Thanks for your words of wisdom Dee, you really helped me out with this answer, sometimes i have found captions that describe what you are already seeing and others that don't so that got me a little confused, i'll try to take your suggestion sometime later...

    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

  2. @ Alectra

    Glad I could give you a hand. It is what this blog is all about, trying to get people to think about captions in a different way.

    @ Everyone

    Must say that while looking at this caption, it really does help any story when you have great source material for a picture. While I think it is pretty well written, with a lesser picture its just an average caption.

  3. Hey Dee, great discussion topic. I didn't reply upon immediatly reading this as I wanted to post a link to my 'project'. The problem is I never got a cap down by more than a few words.

    I think while editing down holds true to many captions, there is a distinct other category... the illustrated story. And I think many of my caps fall into that category. I actually tried editing down one on my blog a ways back: S.W.A.T. Whore. I broke it down from a 3 panel cap, to a single panel cap editing out as much as I could, and even changing parts of the story so that the extra detail wasn't needed. It wasn't bad, but the longer version was better.

    Now that's not to say that I shouldn't be editing down for tightness. And lately when I am making single panel caps, I am doing just that. I try to get rid of what isn't needed, and keep in only what is necessary to tell the story. I still fight the philosophy that 'if you say something with one word that could have used three, then you just aren't trying hard enough'. That works sometimes, but it isn't an axiom to be used all the time.

    I think I'm fairly good at the longer form caps (the illustrated stories). And while I won't give up on making good single panel caps, I know that it is not where my skill sits. Given a choice of making a longer cap (that is still tight) or a shorter cap, I'll almost always choose where I can shine... the longer cap.