Thoughts on Writing

Despite having two webcomics and various blog outlets I’m not much of a writer. Writing is the meticulous construction of thoughts and worlds using grammar and spelling in an attempt to not look like and idiot. Comics let me tell my stories without words sometimes. Think of all the meaning that’s conveyed in just a look or an expression. No think about how you would have to verbally explain that. That’s where I get tongue/finger-tied.

In fact, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the less I say the better a page turns out sometimes. I can spend an age having Terry explain what he’s feeling, or I can have him look crestfallen and become quiet. A look says so much more sometimes.

The biggest point of confusion for folks so far seems to be Mailbox Rocketship as far as story goes. Some folks are confused on just what’s happening. So’s Keith. Imagine for a second that you’re a normal kid who, after a short illness, found you no longer needed sleep. You also suddenly discovered you had super powers. Maybe your friend lives in the school and you don’t know why. Keith is just as clueless as anybody about what’s happening to him and why. That’s the fun part of writing for me, really. The mystery.

There’s something else I’ve realized. All the craziness, like the magic in EA an the oddness of Mailbox, that’s just set dressing. I’m not trying to tell a story about those worlds. I’m telling human stories of the people in those worlds. Terry and Delores could work anywhere. He could be an average white guy in our world and Delores could be black and they would still be rather charmingly awkward around each other and not sure about where they stand.
Keith could have no powers and Cassi could have brown hair and it could be a regular high school and they would have the same dynamic and I’d still get to tell a very fun story about a guy who can’t tell a girl how he feels.

I also never really learned how to write a story down. I keep notes on my stuff a lot, but soooo much of it is in my head. The few times I’ve actually tried to script something it becomes ridiculously verbal and it kills the spontaneity and fun. I tend to think in animation. The story happens in my head and I watch it. All my comics are and have ever been are storyboards for the cartoons in my head.

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