Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Newb on Writing Comics...

I've jumped feet first into figuring out how to write comics. As a person who has loved comics her entire life, this has always been a dream. I always knew it was a tough thing to do, but has that swayed me? Not at all. The past week I've really been actively researching and exploring the world of comics publishing and writing. It's amazing what one can learn in just a week.

I always knew it was a tough field to break into, but I never realized it was *this* hard. Most publishers don't just want your script, they want to see drawn pages, which means hiring an artist. Or that's what it means for me since I couldn't draw if my life depended on it. From what I can tell, a lot of agents are the same way. I could be wrong about that one, though. Still looking into agents who rep graphic novel and comics writers. There aren't as many as you'd think. And if you want to write for one of the Big 2 (DC and Marvel), GOOD FREAKING LUCK! I'm personally not interested really in writing established books so the fact that DC and Marvel are off the table doesn't bug me too much. What does bug me is how closed they seem to be to new ideas and new talent. But, whatever.

And then, there's the actual writing of the thing! Go google "comic book script examples". Go on, I'll wait. (I would have just shown you some here, but I'm paranoid about copyright infringement...)

Do you see what I mean? Do you see how intricate that stuff is? Similar to a screenplay and yet different. Instead of shots, you have panels. There are tons of terms to learn, too. And if this book is a series, where do you end the first book? Is it like chapters in a novel or not? I mean, maybe... I guess. Wait, no, not really, but sometimes... *sigh* There's so much, it all just makes my brain hurt. But in a good way, if that's possible.

If you came here looking for advice on how to write comics, I'm sorry, but I'm in the same boat you are. I do, however, have some links and recommendations that I've found extremely useful:

Gail Simone wrote this: A Real Tip Just From Nowhere

Neil Gaiman's FAQ page has some advice and some reading recommendations.

One of the books Gaiman recommends is Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud and, guys, GO FREAKING READ THAT RIGHT NOW! I don't care if you've never had any interest in comics ever! Seriously interesting stuff and so well done. I mean, a comic *about* comics? Genius!

Another rec from Gaiman is Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art which I will begin reading in the next couple of days as soon as I get over the book hangover I got from Understanding Comics.

The forums at look to be informative. I just joined and will be perusing them. I know forums were very important in my journey to becoming a published YA author. I'm a fan of forums.

I'll continue to update this post with more links and things as I find them.

Despite my bitching, I'm really excited about this. I'm a learner, I love to learn, so this endeavor is right up my alley. I'll keep you posted, ya know, if you're interested.

Do you have any recs for me? Have you attempted comics writing? Post in the comments!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bye bye 2013, Hello 2014!

Listening to: Ray LaMontagne
Reading: Not sure yet. Will pick something today. Suggestions?
Watching: Will be watching the new Sherlock once I write at least one chapter.
Playing: Puzzle and Dragons (SO ADDICTIVE!)

So, 2013 was a fantastic year in some respects and a not-so-fantastic year in others. My debut novel, THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, released on May 7, 2013 which was as exciting as one could imagine. So much awesomeness there, I can't even. I learned a lot from the whole experience of writing, editing, and waiting on pins and needles for that book to come out.

One of the big things I learned was first drafts are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy in comparison to editing. With a first draft, it's just you and your imagination and your characters and your lava lamp and a beer. But with editing, it's more like you and your editors and stress eating and the ever looming question of "Will people even like this???"

Since coming to this realization, I've been sort of stuck writing-wise. Because, as I'm sure I've stated here before, I'm a worrier. Worry, worry, worry. I worry about everything. What has happened, what will happen, what won't happen. It's all fair game for my worry habit. And every time I'd sit down to write something, I'd be really excited! At first. Then the worry would set in and "Nope, this is all crap. Better try something else. Or better yet, let's just watch ten episodes of Supernatural in a row. That'll make everything better." (Because, as we all know, Supernatural is the best thing ever.) But, SURPRISE SURPRISE, that strategy didn't work.

So here I am, in the same spot I was a year ago except with a lot more book ideas, a lot more unfinished stories, and a lot less Supernatural to catch up on. That's sounds pretty pitiful, now that I look at it. BUT not to worry! *says the queen of worrying*

Seriously though, there comes a point where I have to get over myself. I have to stand outside myself and take a good look, pretend like I don't know this silly girl in pajamas who never leaves home without her sonic screwdriver. And, as an observer, I need to give that geeky girl some advice:

Shut up with the whining, put on your big girl panties, and boot up, honey. Because things aren't going to get any better on their own. So, buckle down, focus, put on some actual clothes and GET TO WORK!... Okay, maybe keep the PJs because they do look comfortable.

There you have it. That's my main resolution, if you want to call it that, for 2014. To stop worrying so much and get some sh** done!

Are you with me? Bring it on, 2014!


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