hythrain asked: The other day I saw your tweets about how a lot of the female empowerment message is mediated through guys. I agree with this completely, but I'm also concerned. Why? Well, I'm a guy myself and I want to be a writer. For years I've been improving on my writing of female characters and trying to make empowered female characters and spread that message. What are things I should avoid to make the message come out more properly and not filtered?
I often get this nagging feeling that because I am talking about women and female characters and female creators so much, people might think I automatically have something against male creators.
I don’t. Every new writer is a blank slate to me, everyone gets a fair shot. Everyone is capable of doing good work until they show otherwise.
The gender someone calls themselves doesn’t bestow any magic powers or insight or ability. Some of the best writers of female characters identify as male and some of the worst do not. I would rather read a Greg Rucka female than a female by a merely average female author.
The fact that this is a concern to you is a good sign. Hopefully, it’s not JUST women characters that you want to represent well, because there are lots of other groups that have historically been marginalized and stereotyped as well.
It’s just that historically, a lot of the tropes of female characters have been repeated so endlessly that it is painful to the female reader.
Some things I hope people watch out for…
1) The Perfect Everything. Often, we see guys write female characters as without flaws. This isn’t really what we want…look at the books that have huge female audiences. We do not tend to embrace the perfect woman who never makes a mistake. You can make your females have flaws, just be honest about it and avoid making them similar to stereotypes of the past.
2) The Character With No Steering Wheel. Even more often, we see women who have no agency and no direction or motive of their own. These characters are solely dependent on following a man. I am not saying never write this person, but keep in mind if that is a character YOU would enjoy reading about.
3) The Mystery Of Woman is Bullshit. I hate this trope, the woman who is supposed to represent what mysterious, sexy, tantalizing but unknowable creatures women are. It’s a staple of noir fiction, and it always sucks. Women aren’t treasure maps.
There’s a lot more but that may help a bit. Good luck!
Anonymous asked: what's the best way to get into the comics industry?
Take a piece of paper, fold it up, draw a comic on it and sell it to someone.
I’m not being nearly as facetious as you may suspect. Comics’ democratic nature is one of its bigger pluses.
^fact. Actually creating and spreading comics makes you a comic creator and part of the industry. If you keep doing personal, interesting work - more and more people will notice.
I add a word of caution: If you just make carbon copies of things that are already out though, or try to emulate the generic default model of mainstream superhero books - your efforts will be more likely to get lost in the shuffle .
riftwarrior asked: As someone hoping to eventually write at least ONE book, I'm facing a conundrum... I had something I wrote last year, ended up not liking the way I wrote it out, rewrote it for NaNoWriMo, found it more acceptable and then I just... stopped. Any tips on getting over a hurdle like that? It's not that I don't have things to write for it, just that I can't get past this one annoying point... Feel like an RPG character facing a wall and my pathway is fixed so I can't just go around it.
I’m gonna kick your ass a little bit here.
Are you writing because you want to be a writer, or do you have a story to tell? Nothing wrong with writing for the sake of writing. It’s excellent practice. But it’s not always gonna be the best motivator for getting results.
I reeeeeeally want to be able to do the splits. I’ll work at it for a while, and then forget about it, because I realize I want to do the splits only if I don’t have to work at it. Really wanting to do the splits isn’t enough. I don’t have follow-through in that area. It doesn’t hold my interest long enough to accomplish it. There’s other things in my life I’d rather be doing.
But when it comes to my comics and writing, that’s what I actually want to do. I have so many stories to tell. I have something I want to say. I am willing to work at it, even when it isn’t fun. Because it’s often not fun. There are long parts of this job that are super boring. It gets done because I don’t stop. If something isn’t working, I find a different way to do it. There’s always another way to go at a story.
So first ask yourself why you’re writing this book. If it’s for the sake of being able to say you wrote a book, then just keep typing words until you have collected a lot of them and then write “the end.” But if you’re writing the book because you have something to say, then say it. Sit down and say the thing you wanted to say. It’s hard, but again, it’s work.
If you can’t write past this one annoying point, readers are even less likely to get past that point. If you’ve written yourself into a corner, back up. Keep hitting delete until you’re at a point where a character making a different choice leads to something more interesting that you actually want to write again. You might have to abandon some of the plans you had for its future. It happens.
Your path is never fixed when it comes to writing a book, because you can literally rewrite its history. Be patient. You’re not famous yet and there’s no editors hounding you with a deadline or fans demanding the next book in the series. You haven’t published anything yet so there’s no worrying about having to retcon something. Just write your story and don’t tell yourself these hurdles can’t be overcome. Don’t let yourself make excuses like that.
TWO SPACES LEFT in Heads, Hands and Faces
HEADS, HANDS AND FACES
DATES: Wednesdays, 7 – 10pm, March 12 – April 23 2014
PRICE: $325 (for students who have taken this class before, and would like to repeat it, the price is $275) Payment accepted by cash, cheque or PayPal (There will be a fee for NSF cheques).
REGISTRATION/INQUIRES: email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 905-822-2961 to book a space, and to make payment arrangements. Please note that spaces are limited for each class; registration is on a first-come first-reserved basis.
MATERIALS: Bring paper or a sketchbook, pencils and erasers. If you prefer to use a laptop for notes, bring that.
The complex anatomy of the face and hands made simple in this seven week workshop. We will cover the skeletal forms, muscles, movements, lighting and expressions of these often difficult body parts.