April 22, 2011

THE WAY OF THE WRITER: Some Under 140 Character Thoughts on Writing

Here's a collection of some of my Tweets on writing. I'm @whisperingloon on Twitter, and I usually tweet about writing, comics, and movies. You know, geek stuff.

As a creator, don't ignore negative criticism. Ignore negative critics. There's a BIG difference.

I've found as a comic book writer, I learn MORE from actually drawing my simplistic little comics. 24 Hour Comic Day was a GREAT boon to me.

Drawing, however awfully, pushes me to think like an artist. So when I script for an artist, I've walked a few miles in their shoes.

Ugh. Not a good sign when the WRITER is bored by the story ... time to take a step back and start over, methinks.

Best tool for great comics: EDITORS
Dragons! Big 'splosions! Swords! Mechanical armor! I love my job! Some days more than others. This is one of those days more than others! :)

In the days of ink and scroll the only hard drive crash you had to worry about was a club to the head or insanity. So I guess I have it good

Worst part about freelancing: Being told outright you don't get the job A. b/c you're not good enough or B. b/c you're not important enough. <-- That tweet followed by this one --> I should have a thicker skin by now, but I still don't. <-- which was followed by this one --> There's got to be some sort of cream that can do it. Probably prescription only, tho. :)

These were all posted on the same day:

To writers: If you give a character dialogue in a panel make sure to actually mention that character in the panel description. <-- That tweet followed by this one --> To artists: writers are sometimes forgetful, so remember to look at the dialogue to see if you need to draw someone in a panel

EVERY page should end in a "mini-cliffhanger" to take readers to the next page.

The page doesn't have to end with someone's life in danger. Just give the reader a reason to want to know what's next.

Your page could end with a question in dialogue. An unexpected event. Something to push the reader to keep reading.

Think of the end of each page (esp. odd numbered) like the commercial break of a TV show. Make readers curious what's next.

And these were also all posted on the same day (it's about writing for comics, but there's a lot that can be applied to prose and film):

some people say a comic is like a movie mixed with a novel. It's not.
a comic book is like a movie mixed w/ poetry. Make every word count. Each line should push your plot forward.

each action and line of dialogue should reveal something about your characters.

long conversations are easy/lazy. Edit yourself. Push yourself to reveal the same thing in fewer words.

& make sure something visual is going on. Movement, setting, or action. Point OR counterpoint to the dialogue.

Long dialogue? Short? There is no right or wrong. What's best for the story? Strive for that.

You may love a bit of dialogue, but let it go to serve story/characters/pacing. That's what readers care about.

Edit yourself. Push yourself. Have someone else edit you (very important!). Ask & answer hard questions. Repeat.

Back to solo tweets:

Overweight. Scruffy. Wearing a black t-shirt ... w/ a comic book character on it. I'm not doing the comic book writer stereotype any favors.

And from my alter-ego, Professor Negatron:

Tip #1: The bigger the explosions, the less character development you actually need.

Tip #2: Snappy, semi-witty dialogue is easier than character driven dialogue, so use it often. Or only!

~ Ben 

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