This is a blog following the production of "Merry Melony", an interactive graphic novel about a girl in a surreal dream-like world.
I'm Eric Drobile, Lead Animator at Reel FX Studios and cocreator of the worlds most fattening webcomic, Hatefarm. Hope you found this blog helpful and/or entertaining! If you have any comments, questions or crits, don't hesitate to use the "Ask Me Anything" link below.
I want to keep this post somewhat short, mainly because I want to supply this link as supplemental reading.
What is your story’s genre? Reading further into the excellent book “Save the Cat” I found 10 genres the author has cooked up that can describe pretty much every story ever. This may be oversimplification, but regardless, it is incredibly helpful oversimplification because this allows you to:
A. explore other movies/stories in your genre
B. see the patterns in the beats, themes and characters that make these stories work
C. Reel yourself back from trying to do too many genres at once (something that I am sure I was doing prior to reading).
In the above link, the information is simplified and not all the genres are listed, I think, because they probably still want you to read the book. But it’s still good info for those that are interested.
So I have come to the conclusion that Merry Melony is most definitely a Rites of Passage tale. There are elements of other genres in there, as all stories will undoubtedly have, but in these early stages of writing, simplification is key. I feel like after much stagnation I am finally starting to figure out the character of Melony, thanks to finding my genre. The Rites of Passage story is a tale of pain and torment from the viewpoint of life. It is a story about a flawed character who is avoiding her real problem by chasing something else. In this genre, everybody but her is in on the joke, and it must end with our heroine surrendering to the facts of life, growing, and then finally being able to smile again, with all of her previously negative coping mechanisms fully disarmed.
This is just the core of it. If we’re talking face-value genre, Merry Melony is considered a surreal, sci-fi, apocalyptic thriller adventure. Like I talked about, I have so many cool bells and whistles, twists and turns, symbolism and metaphors planned. But they need to take a backseat and shut the fuck up for now.
As part of my homework, in addition to having 10+ books on storywriting and comic making to read, I now have to watch a shit-ton of Rites of Passage movies. Here is my list, I may or may not watch them all:
Days of Wine and Roses
Stand By Me
When A Man Loves A Woman