Continuity

There are different kinds of continuity. One is a surface continuity. Has that broom Lovo is holding suddenly switched hands? Is the fireplace the same size in relationship to the room? I call this, “Logistical” continuity. I feel more like a fact checker than a creative person. I much prefer the continuity that lives UNDER the surface. This is a lot of fun to play with. I liken it to musical motifs. The story can be told without it, yet it adds solidity and care to the story, enriching its resonance. Some examples: There’s a place in the story where Lovo trips over a small stool, dropping and breaking Papa’s medicine. It’s a crucial point that sets the rest of the story in motion. But it doesn’t occur until the third chapter. In the previous pages I have taken care to introduce the stool, showing Lovo sitting and standing on it, so it’s already associated with her. It’s a bright blue color which doesn’t appear anywhere else in the room. This way, the stool becomes almost a supporting character. I could have had Lovo trip over a random stool, maybe different from the one she sits on, and it wouldn’t have harmed the plot; but by giving all the components a place and a purpose, the world of the story feels unified.

I employed another variation of continuity in the Mitzi Blitzi sequence. Mitzi is only in the book for seven pages, but I wanted her to feel really fleshed out – a challenge to create a strong character in so small a window. Another way to strengthen her was to add continuity, but this time I did it differently. When we first see Mitzi, there is a sign behind her pointing to the town of Puttyville. At the end of her sequence, there is another sign also pointing to Puttyville, but now she is going towards it instead of away from it. I like doing panels where the character’s face is so close up that you only see half of their face. I used this idea on one page of Mitzi’s sequence, then on the last page of the sequence, I repeated it, but this time her direction is different, so the left rather than the right side of her face is shown.

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