I spent most of my time since Christmas writing the next comic – graphic novel, whatever people care to call it anymore.
But this one is going to take a while – even though I have most it outlined, mostly scripted, and I have roughs for the first chapter.
So most of the work I have done on the book has been writing – I always save certain bits of dialogue for the last phase before the book is done and sometimes that has caused a few typos to slip through the cracks. But when working on the more tedious parts of production, little bits of lines here and there get tweaked as I spend more time with the work.
This book is going to have a lot of internal monologues – thoughts and information presented in a style a little different than I am accustomed. I wanted to experiment with storytelling that comes across almost completely as data – with meaning and weight that makes sense only when attached to the events portrayed in the imagery.
One of the general weaknesses of mainstream comics, one of the biggest things that bothers me about the medium as a whole, is the level of dialogue. Basically, I just don’t feel like the adults in comics sound like adults. While comics aren’t the best medium for drawing out conversations, no pun intended, the vocabulary, meter and weight of some of the actions depicted never seems to have a matching weight in words.
I get it though, for the most part. You write for the audience in mainstream comics or any medium. Some people say you have to write for yourself, or some version of that axiom. I prefer to say that I write to explore ideas and the world that supports those ideas.
Some writers are great at this. The characters get written with a careful attention to personality and education. But one thing is obvious, and it’s that when a writer who is not as smart as they want their characters to be tries to write those characters doing something very difficult, personal or remotely interesting.
If it’s out of your experience as a writer, it’s your job to seek out a similar experience, someone who has that experience or anything to get you closer to it to have a genuine response for your characters. Short of anything illegal, dangerous or impossible – you have to find something analogous. Then you have to be honest about it.