Friday, October 7, 2011

(Wo)man of La Mancha .. and questions

A few "questions" to get to today.

First up is this one ..

Which would make you happier to create? A cap that you don't think is very good, but is VERY well received, or a cap that you think is great, but receives no comments whatsoever?

  Well, I thought that Simone gave a pretty good answer on her blog, though for the life of me, I can't remember exactly what she said. That's actually a good thing though, because I don't want to rip off her answer.

I like this caption, quite a bit actually. At the Haven, it only received one comment, and that was from the recipient, Kaitlyn. I don't mind though, because I don't think it would appeal to anyone other than some other captioners. It doesn't have a typical plot, and other than Kaitlyn's name, I went out of my way to only use some monologues from "Man of La Mancha". I really made this for myself, and since Kaitlyn is someone that enjoys the 'art' of caption making, I think she realized how hard it was to do.

I really think that if you want to increase your skill, in no matter what you do, you have to think outside the box sometimes, and rage against conventional thinking from time to time. This was my way of restricting myself, hoping to push my creative boundaries. I wanted to take the words and apply them to a TG story and make them at least feel organic. Part of the story is based on "The Impossible Dream" and for many people, becoming what they truly are is just that .. and that they are "really just tilting at windmills" to relate it back to the caption. I tried to tie that all into this caption, without much explanation, and stay true to what I was making.

Happiness is twofold in the way I make captions, since 99 percent of them are created for another person.

The main thing is that if the recipient doesn't like what I've created, then I can't be happy about that. I must say that I have created crappy captions (in my mind) that the recipient LOVED, along with many other people. I KNOW they are crap, but they are right in the wheelhouse of many other readers. It makes me happy that people enjoy it AND perhaps they'll check out something more oddball or offbeat I've created that could blow their minds and make them think outside their normal realm, all because they remembered me from that other work I created.

The other sort of happiness is when I feel that I have set a goal and accomplished it. Using an odd picture that no one else would think to use, or picking a topic that most would NOT even touch (for instance, the JFK assassination, or 9/11). Something that will stretch my captioning prowess and keep me interested in doing this. I've made over 1k captions, and somewhere around 1300 panels. I've done that consistently over the last 3+ years, without little in the way of burnout or many leaves of absence. I try not to repeat myself too much, so it is the twists and turns that keep me from falling into a rut. When it stops being fun, that it when I'll step aside. God bless those that can crank out hundreds of captions all dealing with the same theme! I need to wander around the landscape or my ADD will kick in!

Here's two that I combined into one ...

I LOVE HYPNOSIS!!! PLEASE DO MORE!!! This is the same random hypnosis fan, and I can truly say I love it. A change on what I'm used to, but I look forward to more hypnosis from you :)

There will definitely be some more on the way, but I was sort of disappointed in the lack of response to an offer of literally, "I will MAKE a caption if you give me a idea I can work with, specifically in one of these genre's that people keep asking for." If any of those people in the left column said to me, "Hey Dee, got any ideas about a caption you'd like to see?" I would probably jump all over that and probably reply "Well, I've never seen a caption based on welding, how about that?" Honestly, I thought this was the perfect time for someone that hadn't made a caption before to get a first hand look on how it can be done. Oh well!

There is one question left in the queue, which is Alectra's .. a posting all its own, and one that I am going to have to go through the archives to pull out a few captions that will illustrate what I want to talk about. Since it is quite a bit of work for that, it will have to wait for another day.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Can you appreciate a caption for what it was trying to do, even if you didn't really enjoy it? Also, what is the best way to handle a caption you've received that you just had no connection with? Should you tell the person in a comment, an instant message, or just parse your words in such a way that it sort of seems like a compliment but with less conviction?


  1. Uhmmm interesting post.

    Themes to avoid... that should go into a whole post to explain that. I don't care (with all due respect and not saying it in a bad way) as much as you about New York 09/11/2001 as you can care for Madrid 03/11/2004 from my point of view (Those are related) so I try to avoid any kind of similar themes that have the same impact.(Doesn't have to be a bad date ^-^ )

    Answering to your last question:

    I think I've done some caps that falls into that last category, where I had to explain myself and to the receiver because there was some background needed to understand the work behind the cap. Mostly when I started captioning and more rare now!

    For being in the receiving end as far I remember... Nope! I appreciate the work done to me most of the time and maybe I will say a thing or two whether in the final execution of the cap or how the story was done.

    I'm a bit picky with some minor typos but, no so much and I'll consider appropiate to sent a message to anyone that has made them as well as I'm open for anyone to tell me so on that part too "giggle".

    OKAY If there is latex involved you know you'll get super points "giggle" but not always as long as you include... PVC, leather, Rubber, Vinyl, Plastic, Spandex errrrr well that more like the same material but in one word "Shiney!".Then again I'm joking as the pic is not that important as a well told story just as long as the pic doesn't gross me out!

    For the hypnosis part: I Know I want to do a cap or two following that but, I don't want to fall into the crappy line - "You are sleepy very sleepy" - I want to create something different yet not so far from the main theme. Maybe one day who knows...

    And finally well... a whole post for my question?! "giggle" now I know I can get a bit complicated on questions XD

    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

  2. Hmm... I believe I can appreciate a caption for what it is trying to do, so long as it is clear enough. I've seen some that I thought were just plain sloppy execution, but once I was let inside, I thought were excellent.

    I think the best way to handle a caption that you've received that doesn't work, is to send a message in private. Most people are hard on themselves, and seeing public criticism bring about a hurt feeling. Now I don't feel that way about my work... I WANT all the negative criticism out in public. I may not be happy with it at the time, but I would rather someone be honest with me, and let me imporve that be 'polite' and let me continue to think I did a good job.

    Now while I think both of these things... I often will fall back to thanking someone for the cap, but not commenting on what I think about it. I do honestly want to thank anyone that takes the effort to make a captioned image for me. Hit or miss, the work is appreciated. When I offer cridisim, I often come across as harsh, and I really hate the idea of being honest, but coming across as mean.

    There are a select few caption artists that I will be honest with. If I like it (and I've read it), I'll say so. I'll even try to say WHY I like it. If I don't like it, I'll let them know, and try to offer specifics, so that it isn't just a 'whoa girl... that sucked'.

  3. @ Alectra

    Well, for the hypnosis part you were referring to, it is called an induction. It is all the background work that goes into establishing a trance state. Its cliche to use a pocket watch, etc ... The "you are getting sleepy" thing isn't used that much anymore, since its been overused. Now they tend to use "Your eyelids feel heavy" as a suggestion, as "sleepy" implies that you are not alert, and in trance, you can be HYPER-ALERT, but mainly on whatever you are told to focus on.

    The induction protocol can be a fetish within the stories/captions .. I've noticed that whatever a person likes when it comes to TG captioning .. is what they like to see focused on. For instance, you like latex, so one thing you would probably focus on is how tight and restrained the fabric feels upon the body and how shiny it appears when you look in the mirror.

    @ Caitlyn

    I will always thank someone for making me a caption, with one exception. When it seems like they put no effort whatsoever into making that caption for me. What I mean by that is to at least do a cursory viewing of my preferences, and at least proof read it ONCE! I am not looking for necessarily PERFECT spelling, but transposing letters in common words. "waht I wnat" instead of "what I want" SHOULD be caught by just about anyone looking at their text a second time. The worst one I have ever seen for me had literally 25 words, with half of them transposed, and they didn't even get MY NAME right!