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Taking a quick break – got questions?

About to plunge into the night shift. But if you have questions, I’ll try to answer!

As usual, I’ll just ask everyone to avoid spoilers and to please not pitch projects or stories – I can’t read or respond to those!

Also, life is short, so rudeness, nastiness or personal attacks against anyone automatically get deleted.

Thanks a ton, and fire away!

14 Comments

  • 1
    Murraypalooza
    2013/08/25 - 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I find listening to movie soundtracks helps me get into the writing mood – do you have anything that sort of kickstarts your imagination and gets you in the writing mindset?

    • 2
      2013/08/25 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Having a hard deadline or an artist who needs pages tends to be the best kickstarter. 😉 Day in and day out, I just have to do it, so that’s what I’ve gotten used to doing.

      That being said, I do find that certain things help me focus at different times. Sometimes printing out what I have so far and editing by hand on paper is exactly what I need to do. Sometimes I sort out tricky plot points while taking a shower (seriously, showers make for great thinking time). And for whatever reason, the subway is one of the best places for me to concentrate and edit.

  • 3
    richcapo
    2013/08/25 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Having now worked on Superman, do you still think he stands no chance against your World Breaker Hulk?

    • 4
      2013/08/25 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Ha! I ain’t going there. 😉

      • 5
        richcapo
        2013/08/25 - 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Aww, come on. Fanboy questions are the best questions there are!

        • 6
          2013/08/25 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Okay. Let me think… Worldbreaker Hulk could totally destroy the Superman in the first story arc of “Batman/Superman” — because that Superman is a young Superman who’s still figuring out the extent of his powers and how to use them.

          Worldbreaker Hulk versus an older, stronger version of Superman? It all depends on whether Superman just goes for a simple test of strength or if he tries to reach the Hulk on another level. If Supes can reach him and calm him down a bit, he wins.

          • 7
            richcapo
            2013/08/25 - 10:44 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the reply.

  • 8
    Michael Schwartz
    2013/08/25 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Just started teaching 10th grade English classes. Do you have any life advice for any of them?

    • 9
      Michael Schwartz
      2013/08/25 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Also, any writing exercises you might recommend for beginning writers?

      • 10
        2013/08/25 - 10:53 pm | Permalink

        I found some old notebooks a while back and was intrigued to remember that I’d written a ton of short stories as exercises. I wasn’t that comfortable or familiar with mysteries, so I’d assigned myself the task of writing a short mystery, for example. I think that’s probably a great thing to do — figure out what you’re not so comfortable with and write a super-short story to exercise those particular muscles.

        Another thing I highly recommend is to write something every single day. Ray Bradbury famously assigned himself the job of writing a story every week. My friend Jonathan Coulton did the same thing with songwriting for a year — song a week. We’re all terrible when we start, and the only way we get better is by constantly working on it. So getting into a rhythm of always writing something is critical.

        Finally, I’d highly recommend writing very, very short things that you can actually finish. Sure, if you have that epic novel in you, keep plugging away at it. But churn out those two page short stories so you can have that experience of finishing something with a beginning, middle, and end, sharing it with folks, and getting feedback. I did that in film school and immediately after film school — made tons of short films. And I learned a huge amount from that.

    • 11
      2013/08/25 - 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Whoa. Huge question! Biggest and possibly most boring but probably truest little nugget that comes to mind is that there’s no such thing as overnight success in creative fields. Ongoing success depends on constant hard work — usually at least ten years of hard work. That sounds terrible — who wants to wait ten years? On the other hand, it’s liberating, because it means yes, we’re all terrible when we start. And that’s just fine! We just have to work and work and work and figure out how to get better.

      • 12
        Michael Schwartz
        2013/08/25 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

        Thank you very much. On a personal note, I’m a huge fan of yours and I really appreciate your responses. I know many of the students are into comics like I was and still am. Something coming from you will mean a great deal to them.

        • 13
          2013/08/25 - 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the kind words and for the questions! Please pass on the best to your students for me!

          • 14
            Michael Schwartz
            2013/08/25 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

            Will do. I’ll show them these posts in class tomorrow. Thanks.

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