Questions about Tareth (and other RW characters)

3 min read

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Shazzbaa's avatar
Oh man, you guys, I've been really enjoying the feedback I've been getting on Runewriters. I can't tell you how cool it is to see you guys already being really interested in these crazy people!

I've been seeing several commenters ask a bunch of stuff about Tareth (especially on the website), which sort of makes sense! We haven't seen a whole lot of her, but we have seen enough to have put together that she's Deaf, which raises a lot of questions all by itself. And a lot of times I don't answer these questions (or I say something unhelpful like "you'll see!"), but I did want to say somewhere that... it's not that I'm ignoring them, or that these things are necessarily spoilers. Honestly you could know Tareth's entire life history and I don't think it would spoil the rest of the comic.

But I sort of look at the first bit of this story as being similar to meeting someone new. Sometimes you're in a situation where it doesn't even feel polite to ask "oh, um... are you Deaf?" -- you just hear someone talk, and you think to yourself "whoa, hang on, that sounds like a Deaf accent" and then you sort of try to work it out by watching them without looking like a creeper. You can't figure EVERYTHING out just by watching; you don't have enough information. But you put together what you do have and guess in your head, even if your guesses aren't quite certain.
At least this is what I do! I pay attention to people and try to figure out things about them... so my process of getting to know people is very slow, because I tend to wait for them to show themselves to me rather than asking outright. I also am not able to grab the narrator and ask him to explain, but that's another matter. xD

For this first chapter at least, everyone is just meeting Tareth and Severian. You don't know quite how his magic works or how long she's been deaf or, at first, whether she could talk at all. I could've said so to the first person who commented "oh man, your main character is mute?" but I think it's more interesting to get to know her than to have the narrator barge in and "set you straight." At some point I'd love to do a question-and-answer for the characters of RW, where you guys get to ask them questions directly, askblog style, but I feel like I want to let you meet them, the way I would, first.

So feel free to ask still! Sometimes I do answer stuff, or try to clear things up if I hadn't meant them to be ambiguous (like the fact that dragons aren't aberrants, whoops). And it's really cool, for me, to see the sort of things people are turning over in their minds. But sometimes I won't give you a straight answer. :3 And this is why!
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S-R-Schauer's avatar
I'm actually surprised to find that people...didn't get that that was your aim - to slowly introduce plot, history and characterisation, rather than "info-dumping" in the first few pages. I actually liked this approach a lot. For me, it makes the characterisation a great deal richer, the character interaction more interesting and the story overall more intriguing. I hate when an author or artist "insults" my intelligence by unloading all the characterisation in the first few pages. It takes away that joy of discovery and the incentive to keep going. And makes the characters very two-dimensional.

I found the way you handled introducing Tareth (her nickname makes me giggle, since I have a little Victorian character called Tari - also blonde XD ) very well done. Your characters react to her in an appropriate way - ie: they know something is wrong, but they're not sure what. They "discover" her disability in a natural way, just like any of us would, without outright asking "are you deaf/Deaf?". The latter is just not believable. You never go up to another person and demand to know what's wrong with them - you usually make a social gaff, like Mr. Shoutypants, and then get awkward.

So, long ramble short - I think you're unfolding the story well and you're handling the characterisation very well. Unfortunately...some people are just...very dense >.>;