Wednesday, April 01, 2009

the story is the boss


so, now that i'm on facebook as well as myspace, i've been friending a lot of people, mostly because of spider-man or impulse or tellos or, hey, even the perhapanauts! it's great to "meet" these people (i say that i've "intermet" them--can i coin that phrase, make it mine? trademark it like pat riley did with "three-peat?" and when they say "coin a phrase," can i actually make any coin on it?)

anyway, it's nice to be known. and even nicer to be known by such nice people.

i try to respond to comments, messages, and questions, but sometimes it's tough--that there are so many of them or so little time (i'm working on a lot of stuff right now...)

one question i get a lot is "how can i become a comic book writer?" or, better still, "how do i become a good writer?"
(i always say, i don't know. when i become one, i'll get back to ya...)
i replied to one of these the other day and while i was writing, i thought that maybe i could post this on the blog and not have to rewrite it so often. that or at least have something new to use for today's post.

either way, here it is.

mike asked "I was wondering if you have advice that you could give me about writting my own comic."

hi, mike~!

good to hear from you--hope things are good!

here's what i always ask/tell people when they ask me about writing; what's your story?
now, i don't mean that I wanna know the story, i wanna make sure that YOU know the story.
'cause the story is the boss.

people only read (comic books, novels, short stories, etc.) for one thing--they want a good story. as a writer, you are there to be in service of the story, you are responsible for presenting that story in the most interesting and unique way you know how. it should be clear and it should feel new. that's your job. the story is the boss.

so, i ask you--do you know your story? are you ready to tell it? is it a COMPLETE story (with a beginning, a middle, and and end)?

that's what you gotta know.

it also helps to take a writing or story structure class, not a whole semester, but if you check out the adult ed or continuing ed flyer that your local high school or community college sends out, you can probably find a night or weekend course that covers the basics.

so--figure out your story.
don't let it be too long or overwhelming.
make sure it's a complete story.
and then just have fun!

hope that helps!
good luck!


here are a bunch of cool pictures that i was sent the other day and thought i'd share.
i dig this first one 'cause i'd love to lean against water.


right after i mentioned him and his wonderful new comic the other day, kelly sent me this cover to amber atoms #3--so you'll know what to look for!

have a nice day!
smell ya later!


Brian said...

Great advice Todd.

As for the photos, I love the shot of the frozen water under the dock.

LegendsCrazy said...

I think it would be a great addition to the blog if you could tell us more about the processes involved with the development of a comic book, either Perhapanauts or with other companies like Marvel and DC. An insiders look at the writing, art and production process. Maybe some guest posts with Craig telling about his side of the process too. Just a thought...

Matt Wieringo said...

I think that's a great idea! I know I could use some advice. Todd's been in the game long enough that he shouldn't feel bashful about sharing his insights.

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