Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Writing Stories

I've always thought comics were one of the most interesting mediums and learning to read off of them has predisposed me to the form as far as creating goes. Now as much as I would be forever happy with my life if I was a talented artist and could spend my time drawing comics for sustenance, this is, alas, not the case. Luckily I'm at least a decent writer and so I find myself composing all sorts of comic book stories in my head. I've written without a comic book format of course, countless essays, character backgrounds and a few short stories - but the medium I keep wishing to work with is comic books - the place where you have art AND story working together to accomplish something more by combining means of expression.

A few years ago I worked with a friend of mine to try and create a comic book - my comic book - Legacy. Unfortunately my friend wasn't quite as passionate about the project as I was and we never went anywhere with actually bringing the story to the public. I still have all the work I've done on the story as well as a lot of the character art so that one day I can find an artist who shares my love for comics and wants to bring Legacy to the public.

Not too long ago I re-read my initial work on the book. Usually when I go back to something after a few years I tear it apart and rework it from the bottom up. I've always been a fairly harsh critic of my own work and as such can find a lot I want to improve on in my older work. Not so with Legacy though. I was surprised how much I really put into just the first issue.

I think the comics medium is my favorite because I have such vivid mental imagery when I write. While I am fairly good with description it translates better (to me anyway) with art alongside of it. Sadly it's hard to find someone to draw out my stories (unless I could afford to pay them of course) so it's not a medium I can do too much with.

Even more recently I've discovered I can write more easily when I stop worrying about how "good" my work is - when I just write to have fun. When I spend too much time trying to make my writing perfect it never goes anywhere. In my spare time I've been trying my hand at writing a fantasy/sci-fi type book - but just for the fun of it - and I've found I write a lot more when I'm just doing it for fun rather than with any expectation of where it will go.

I'm not writing this to make any specific point - this was mostly to get a lot of my thoughts on "paper". But what I would like to know, is what do you think makes a good story? This doesn't have to refer to comic books, but any medium for story telling. Also, what creative medium do you prefer for telling stories (both from a creator and recipient perspective)?

1 comment:

  1. What makes a good story? Don't go with any softballs or anything, eh?

    Stories can run the gamut in topics and method of presentation but I think what makes a good story is one that creates a world that so envelops the reader that the reader feels it's "real". Create a world and characters who are engaging and evolving and be careful not to do something jarring that takes the reader out of the willing suspension of disbelief. Unless that's your goal in that particular story, I suppose.

    And make sure you have a good editor. Nothing worse than grammatical and typographical errors to ruin the story.