millarworld.tv Comics Creators

WRITERS: When did you know that this was the creative form for you?

#1

I love writing. The turning of a choice phrase. Finding the perfect words. But when it comes to that moment when I decided I was a writer…I don’t think I ever really find an exact moment. I think it was always just something I did. I’ve been writing stories all my life - and was lucky enough to be encouraged by teachers and friends who would read my stuff. Storytelling came naturally and I noticed when people would introduce me it would be “This is the guy who tells those cool stories” but I really didn’t even think of writing as a viable talent/skill until I realised I could make it my line of work (I wanted to be a fireman. LOL). Granted, advertising is a far cry from being an author/writer but it’s still writing and it’s still (somewhat) creative - and it seemed like the easiest way to earn a decent living doing it. And that published author/writer thing isn’t that far off, I think (gotta stay positive, right!?).

Anyway, what I’m asking is what made you choose this form and was it always something you wanted to do? If you’re just trying your hand at it for the first time (as it seems a lot of people are) how are you finding it? If you’re an exclusive comic writer out there, why writing as opposed to art? And did you ever have that moment where you stopped and thought: “WOW! I’m rather good at this!”?

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#2

I never DREAMED that I would be a comic book writer. EVER. I’ve been writing novels and short stories even when I was too young to type (my older sister would take my dictations). I later graduated with a BA in English Literature and have been doing writing and editing in the legal field for 5+ years now.

I followed Mr. Millar on Twitter, not because I read his comics, but because he was a successful creative writer who also dealt with the realities of having young kids (and no sleep). This is something I relate to (I’m a stay-at-home mom of two boys, with a little one on the way in a month or so). When he first announced the Talent Search, I dismissed it. I’d barely even read a comic front-to-back. But I couldn’t shake the feeling I should give it a try. So I did!

As soon as I finished that first script, I knew I was hooked. Script writing FITS me. It fits my strengths, it challenges my storytelling, and it excites me in a way that prose writing hasn’t for several years. This new passion has left me shunned by my “serious” writing friends and I have managed to weird out the in-laws EVEN MORE, but I don’t care.

So the last couple of months, I’ve read every comic I can get my hands on. I’m listening to Comic Experiences Podcasts and reading all the blog entries by comic writers I can (I recommend Jim Zub’s). I’ve written several more scripts and spend a couple hours every day writing more and researching more and gobbling this up.

I may not have won the Talent Search, but I feel like I’ve won a lot more than money or recognition. I’ve won a new passion, a new focus, and for that I will always be grateful to Mr. Millar and his team.

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#3

I still think of myself as a writer in general. I’m pursuing prose as well as comic book scripts. I think of both as distinctive challenges. For me, I guess it’s the challenge itself, the pursuit of the right combination of words. In prose, you can get away with being as showy as you want. In comic book scripts, I’m learning the art of economy.

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#4

I mostly think of myself as an engineer and writing is a newish/recovered hobby. I do some technical writing for my job and pride myself a bit on it. You would be surprised at how hard it is to read some technical documents not because they’re technical but because the person writing them is not skilled or concerned with that part of it.

I thought the script for the annual was going to be a one off thing. I was a film major for a short time in college and wrote some scripts. I understood story structure but really never could get the nack of writing. However, I wrote the script for the annual and it came pretty natural. I also have a few other ideas kicking around in my head now. I think I might give them a shot.

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#5

Not sure I ever want to be that comfortable with anything I’m doing and taking seriously. I’d be afraid of getting comfortable at my present skill level.

I started writing by accident, when I was working with a small studio. Turned out I was the only sucker member of the group that would sit down and get the concepts formatted for scripts.

At the time I figured, I’d script until we found a “real” writer. And when it never happened, I ended up in the habit of scripting my own projects.

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#6

Not really. I’ve had plenty of moments when I thought to myself, “This is where I get found out”. But I’ve had times when I’ve written lines that I was happy with, where I veered in a direction that I wasn’t expecting to and it worked out OK. Or someone responded to something I wrote with a laugh. Or got a round of applause.

I have really only got back into writing recently. I had a go at doing it on a semi-pro basis a couple of years ago, but a lot of personal stuff meant that I put it on the backburner. Also, working on the Steven King “did you get a cheque and use it to pay your light bill” test, I was an utter failure.

On the other hand, I did get to write a bunch of plays and there were a couple of good moments here and there. I tend to be quite specific about how my lines are spoken, so one of the biggest thrills for me was hearing an actor pick up the right rhythms and say the lines as I heard them in my head from the beginning.

For the record, an actor told me that as a director, I made a great writer. So as Clint Eastwood said, A man’s got to know his limitations.

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#7

Even though i write stuff i don’t consider myself a “writer”. I’ve always been more interested in storytelling, and since I come from a visual arts background, working as a professional graphic designer, and in comics i’ve drawn and lettered my own work. I write the stories i want to tell, but for me its about the big picture.

Also i don’t own any turtlenecks or tweed jackets :slightly_smiling:

This is my personal hangup, but i don’t like those types of labels that pigeonhole you into being a specific type of content creator. Its like a weird tradesman kinda thing where people expect you to only be able to comprehend one specific task. I’m more of a big picture guy, so ‘storyteller’ or ‘creator’ works better for me.

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#8

It’s just the medium that I’m most involved in as a consumer (that is to say, someone who consumes the material, not in the economic sense). I watch TV and film and all the rest, but not with the same fervor.

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#9

Well, I wanted to be a writer and I love reading comics although I graduated as an IT. So, the annual was the chance for me to test out and to dive into unknown territory. The experience has been great so far. I’ve got a lot to improve though. And also, I suck at drawing or art stuff so writing is my way of doing something creative. :smile:

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#10

Well… Still don’t consider myself a writer, missing that "paycheck"part. Long story short though. I minored in English Lit. while doing pre-law. Loved writing so much that I dropped out of law school to get a master’s in Journalism. My practicality got the better of me though so I got an MBA in advertising instead (figured I could go the copywriter part). Got a job in real estate finance right after graduating and after a couple of years realized it pays much better than copy writing, all the while sucking out your soul. With a wife, kid(s) and responsibilities though, free time is difficult. I’ve been trying to bring writing back into my life through scripts, blogs, etc… According to my wife, I’m a completely different person when I’m writing, happier, more creative, greater sense of self worth… Have to stick it out with the corporate job for the foreseeable future though :frowning:

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#11

I think that is a reality for a lot of people. You do the job that pays the bills and what you want in your free time. I’m very blessed in that my day job is very exciting to me even though it might be boring to other people.

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#12

I do think of myself as a writer (get paid to do it, but in fundraising). Started in middle school wanting to write fantasy/sci-fi novels, but made friends with an artist and we ended up making TMNT knock-off comics instead. The Gung-Ho Goblins! Trust me, they were awesome, no drug dealers were safe. So I’ve been interested in making comics for years, but never approached it with the seriousness necessary to make it a career. This forum - meaning all you guys - is helping to change that, which is pretty cool.

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#13

No, but I had the moment when I stopped and thought “WOW! I really suck at this!” :laughing:

Like you, I’ve always been a storyteller and I couldn’t say when it started. I remember writing Famous Five fan fic when I was six or seven. I used to make up stories for the other kids in the playground. Whenever there was an English assignment that could be mis-interpreted as “write a story”, I did. I used to believe I was pretty good at writing.

Then by accident I drifted into technical writing – and on my first job, worked with an editor who took my writing and had it hung and drawn and quartered and whipped and boiled and then chopped up to little bits, and then took all the bits and jumped on them and carried on jumping on them until she got blisters or could think of something even more unpleasant to do.

That’s when I realised I was a really bad writer. If I look now at any stuff I’ve kept from back then, I can see I was actually a really, really bad writer. I still think I had some great story ideas – I just couldn’t write. (And what’s worse, didn’t realise the fact. Writing is actually a skill you have to learn. Who knew???)

So I’ve spent the last 20 years practicing how to be a better writer.

I hung on to that editor, too. And if I manage another 20 years with her, I might even become good :slightly_smiling:

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#14

I tend to agree with David.

If you’ve convinced yourself you are a “good” writer, chances are you’re far from that and your overconfidence may block development.

You might be better than those taking a college class, or better than some crappy stuff that has been published, but that doesn’t mean you’re “good”.

To answer the question: I knew this was the creative forum (form?) for me when FOX contacted me with an 8 mil offer on my spec script about mutant light-wave controlling fireflies.*

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#15

*May not have actually happened.

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#16

But you’ll never know…

#17

Or will you?

Probably not.

#18

Well now I just don’t know.

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