Sunday, March 14, 2010

Picking Up Trades

I got it in my head that I should write a comic book - excuse me, a graphic novel - so I phoned a couple of my friends to see if they wanted in. JD, a tattoo artist, said he was game. Donovan, an artist greatly influenced by his hip hop background, stated he had been wanting to start his own, but didn't have the story idea to go through it. Great, two artist friends with great talent wanted to partake in my venture. 

Only there was a slight problem: I didn't know what it takes to write a comic script. So, as it is in my nature, I went book hunting. I found DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, which I picked up but never finished. Never got passed the first chapter, to be honest.

I was at my wits in. I've written numerous short stories, a few personal essays, a one act play - that was back in high school, so there was a great chance it isn't any good (it isn't good) - an a few articles for an alternative newspaper. However, writing a comic script seemed to be quite difficult. Something a person with a short attention span shouldn't venture into. But I'm hardstrong. I continued hunting. 

Then came Alan Moore's Writing for Comics, an essay on the craft. Like most real writers writing about their craft, Alan Moore doesn't beat around the bush. It's certainly impossible to teach someone how to write. Ask any creative writing professor. Alan Moore simply gave us the tools to make decisions about our writing, not attempting to teach us how to write like him, or like the next Stan Lee. He doesn't give us the conventional wisdom of comic books that have padded out childhood, but to learn how to grow within our own realm. 

Writing for Comics isn't only "the rules" for storytelling in the graphic novel world, but storytelling in general. Even if you're not attempting to be the next Frank Miller or Alan Moore, the book will help you out with literary pieces - meaning prose. Highly suggest all writers and would be writers to pick up a copy. It isn't expensive and you'll impress your audience.

As for me, I'm going to give The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics another try. And hopefully start working on some notes that will lead to an idea that would lead to a plot that will lead to a script that will lead to a comic. Wish me luck. Seriously.

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