Tuesday, August 16, 2005

An Eyeopener - Part One

So I find myself with my writer's cap on again. And I'm not just talking about this blog. After three months of self-imposed unemployment and vacationing, I've come to the conclusion that I've been away from comics for too long. I've decided to get back in by returning to my first love... writing. And I could not be happier.

Before I joined Marvel full-time as a editor back in 2001, I was making my living putting pen to paper, so to speak. I was adapting and rewriting manga and anime scripts and stretching my wings into more creative areas. After writing a few independent titles, a couple Star Wars stories for Dark Horse, and selling some ideas to Marvel, I had my foot in a door that was only opening wider. But when Marvel came knocking for my editorial services, I put that part of my comic career on hold for a steady paycheck and the opportunity to work across the entire Marvel line.

I think the best piece of advice I heard when I went from being a writer to an editor was from Diana Schutz. She was commenting on how writers sometimes make the worst editors because they're too creative, that they always want to add their own opinions and ideas and infuse the stories they're editing with their own personal flairs. She concluded that editors had to be able to remove themselves from the stories on a creative/personal level and force themselves to be objective and not try to leave their mark on someone else's work. It made perfect sense to me and was something I always remembered and made myself to do over the years.

Now I'm trying to come up with some advice for myself in this new situation, from the positon of an ex-editor going back to being a writer again. As I sit down to write scripts, I'm finding myself a little too... emotionally detached, for lack of a better word. I find myself being too overly critical of my words and storytelling choices. I'm second guessing myself about creative decisions I'm making in MY OWN BOOKS. Crazy, isn't it?

So there's a balance that has to be achieved that I'm desperately searching for. I need to force myself to get personally involved in my own stories again. Am I making any sense?

I know what I want to do with my work. I have the ideas. I have the beats and visuals all worked out in my head. I just have to let myself go and start writing from the heart again.

1 comment:

Scott Sackett said...

Interesting post.

I am learning being an 'artist' requires more then just being 'correct'; that is, it is not just hitting all 'the beats'. It also requires a 'vision', something extra.

In other words, I can draw a 'perfect' hand, but the 'artist' part is putting my spin on it and making it appeal to fans.

I guess, to put it into art terms, what you are saying is you have to find your own style.

Good Luck! I am struggling with the same thing.