Jul 01 2008

Five More Common Mistakes of First-Time Authors (#16-20)

This short article will help beginning novelists avoid another five common mistakes that will usually cause publishers to reject a manuscript.

You can read the first three articles in this series here, here and here.

16. Please try to avoid overloading readers with imaginary words, particularly in the title and introduction. The names of your fictional cities, kingdoms, races, artifacts, historical events, scientific mumbo-jumbo, etc. are almost certainly less interesting to us than you think they are.  Throwing around made-up words will probably drown us in a setting we aren’t yet familiar with. Remember, CS Lewis didn’t title his book “The Chronicles of Narnia.”  Instead, he carefully introduced us to four British children before using fictional words like Narnia and Aslan. Likewise, Harry Potter waited 50 pages before introducing alien concepts like “Muggle” and “Quidditch.” Please try to be gradual. This is one of the most serious problems in the typical fantasy manuscript.

17. Please revise characters that are Mary Sues. A Mary Sue is a character that is an idealized version of the author.  Some symptoms are that Mary Sues are typically very powerful, well-liked by the other characters (except for stupid or jealous ones), they lack significant flaws and are usually marked by a great destiny or unusual background.  You can use online tests to help diagnose whether your character is a Mary Sue. Mary Sues are poor characters because they are two-dimensionally perfect and are rarely complex or interesting. Because their authors won’t challenge them, Mary Sue plots tend to lack adversity and suspense.

Fortunately, Mary Sues are easy to fix.  For example, you can give your characters some interesting flaws and make her opponents/obstacles a bit more sympathetic and powerful.For example, if your character wants to be an adventurer, it would definitely be a flaw to have been born and raised to be an accountant. But reading about an accountant struggling to be an adventurer would be far more interesting than another half-dragon/half-demon/star-crossed farmboy/etc.  If your character has some unusual background, I’d recommend fleshing that lineage out and making it more of an obstacle. Maybe the werewolf gets a crazy urge to eat raw meat at inconvenient times and relies on smell and taste more than sight and sound.   

18. Please don’t draw the readers attention to something that the point-of-view character doesn’t notice. “Agent Black didn’t hear the assassin sneaking up behind him.”  If Agent Black is meant to be the POV, that’s disorientating.  If Agent Black didn’t hear it, whose perspective are we actually getting this from?

This is a tricky problem.  If you rewrote that scene 100% from Black’s perspective, Black will be sitting around until he suddenly passes out (when the assassin hits him).  Readers will be really confused why he suddenly passed out; it’s not intuitive that he was ambushed.  It would probably be more effective to describe Agent Black’s sensation as the assassin’s weapon hits him in the back of the head.  If a reader knows that Black has suffered a tremendous blow to the back of his skull, he could probably deduce that Black has been ambushed.

19. Starting stories with a character waking up is usually dull and ineffective. There’s probably a more gripping way to introduce us to the character and story than describing his daily routine. For example, why did you chose to start the story on this day? What does he do today that’s so interesting you want to tell a story about him? It’s probably not waking up.

20. Please avoid giving us play-by-play narration, where the narrator explains the character’s actions as he’s doing them. “I remembered that he had claimed to be out of Miami when the crime was committed. I only had to get him to admit that he was at the Dolphins game that night and he was sunk.”

Perhaps your readers won’t immediately appreciate why his strategy is crafty. If we won’t remember why it’s so important to get the suspect to admit to being at the Dolphins game, for example, then your character can explain his strategy to an ally beforehand. That’s a much better approach than trying to describe it to the reader as he’s trying to carry it out. It’s easier to appreciate his cleverness if we understand what the plan is beforehand rather than just get a piecemeal take on his next move.

This article was the fourth part of a series. If you’d like to read about how to avoid other common writing mistakes, you’ll find the links just below.

102 responses so far

102 Responses to “Five More Common Mistakes of First-Time Authors (#16-20)”

  1. Jimmyon 10 Dec 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi, I’m new here and I have a question about the Mary-Sue part.
    Okay, my thing is, my score came out out horrible…Well at first it did. I got a high score, but then I went back and realized I messed up a bit, skipping and such, and I came up with a 44, with by that is still bad.
    I just don’t understand how though…It doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve been told he sounds awesome and such, yet the test made him a Mary-Sue, or at least the guy version, Stanly or something like that. :3
    My character may be a ladies man but he has flaws and is definitely no Edward Cullens! lol My guy even has an annoying but sometimes helpful mental condition which if not kept in check can really make him seem like a loon.
    So I wanna know how I could change my guy. Think someone you can help meh out? =/
    Write back soon!

  2. PaintedSainton 10 Dec 2009 at 5:32 pm


    Like the Mary Sue Litmus test, you have to realize that these are hints of possibility that the novel is poorly-written, nothing in the test indicates the traits are 100% proof that the novel will be terrible. It’s just that inexperienced writers will have a harder time writing a decent novel with these plot devices.

    Also, it depends on whom you asked for input. One of my friends loves to write, and she’s been showered with praise all her life, and published several stories in anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul. So, I feel slightly uncomfortable editing stories, because she can be absolutely horrified with the criticisms I give her. As in, she was ashamed to show her draft to anyone else after I edited. So, she has lots of grammar problems, problems in the fluidity of the story, believability of characters, plot fluidity…yeah, so I suggest you post a bit more about your character, because perhaps your friends or family may not want to provide too much of a harsh criticism.

  3. Jimmyon 14 Dec 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Alright, I’ll post more about him. See, this the thing, I got the low score but most of those questions are straight forward. I mean, he can be liked by many people and such but there’s a reason why of course. his looks aren’t the only reason, for one, he’s a cool guy who treats people good, sometimes. He also knows how to treat a girl. He’s fun and can be random. (Not on purpose that is.) Also, he has ADHD, the hyper kind. Almost instantly, the readers see he’s not your average teen love interest. But I don’t reveal it til the second chapter.
    He’s also a fighter, illegally that is; plus he’s pugnacious and rowdy, mostly because of the ADHD.
    He can speak many languages, but only because of his special gift which he basically unlocks further into the story.
    I don’t really see why him having pets makes him a Gary-Stu…but he has one..
    When I kill him off, of course the people will mourn him, I mean, he’s gonna be a hero after all. I really don’t see how that makes him a gary-stu either. o.O That’s like saying Superman is a Gary-Stu for everyone mourning his death. Thou, he most likely is if his designer or whatever had taken the test on him. -__-;

    Now, I’m no novice in writing that’s for sure. I’m a FanFiction writer. I’ve let my Beta read everything about my story and characters. I even asked him if my main guy was a Mary-Sue. He told me the correct term is Gary-Sue, for guys that is, and that my guy isn’t at all. Quote, “Personally, I think no. I mean, it’s not like he’s perfect, and liked extremely well by everybody.” He’s a great writer too. I look up to him, even though he’s 17 and I’m 19 lol. Also, He’s a Straight-A student who knows more about Grammar and such then three of me! @.@ He’s corrected my Drafts many times showing my numerous mistakes in red letters. And to think, I’ve never met the guy face to face…Hm. Anyways, If that test had some like tips or suggestions depending on how you scored, That’d make it alot more helpful than just flatly laying out the score. Ya know what I mean? :3

  4. B. Macon 15 Dec 2009 at 6:23 am

    I’ve done my own Mary Sue quiz with explanations at the end. (Scroll down to the bottom after you get your score back).

    Is there anyone that dislikes him without coming off as some combination of stupid, mean, nasty and/or jealous?

    Does he have any personality flaws that are his fault (rather than ADHD)? The difference is important because mental issues are sometimes used to shield characters from being accountable for their problems.

    Does he make any decisions that you expect readers will disagree with?

    I agree that speaking with many languages and having unusual pets/familiars can be signs of being a Gary Stu. Being a linguistic ace can be kind of pretentious and having a strange pet(s) may be a sign of “Friend to All Living Things.” There are probably better ways to show the character is worldly or intelligent than giving him many languages.

  5. Lighting Manon 15 Dec 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Jimmy, don’t take this as a comment directed at your work specifically, just more of an observation.

    I’ve never understood the appeal of the power to speak all or several languages in works of fiction, I’ve seen it numerous times in fan fiction, but it never really made sense to me. The whole point of characters going to places where the language barrier is an issue is, well, primarily because the language barrier is going to be an issue, with a few exceptions in a few plots, and discounting fantasy works. Why send Captain Superior to China if the fact that he is an American-born superhero isn’t going to matter? Couldn’t he just stay home and skip a panel or two of flying? How is it exotic if he can just wander into any McDonald’s and order like it was any other Friday?

    When it is the power of Mary Sues, I’ve always wondered if it is simply that everyone must like the character, so they have to speak all the languages within the universe to avoid the language barrier getting in the way of being loved by all.

  6. PaintedSainton 15 Dec 2009 at 11:06 pm


    You seem to put emphasis on the ADHD. It somewhat reminds me of how my 8 year old sister describes her classmates:

    “His name is Ben. He has autism.”
    “Her name is Brittany. She acts out a lot, she comes from a foster home.”

    Whenever their names are mentioned by my sister, she almost solely defines their actions by their circumstances. Because there are a lot of other kids like Brittany who don’t come from foster homes, yet they are just as bossy and just as insensitive. And there will be loud children like Ben, who don’t necessarily have autism but still have difficulty in obeying the rules. Similar to what you’re doing, He’s

    I know this question might seem personal, but do you have ADHD? Or are you picking some form of mental handicap and turning it into a superpower?

    To the former, there’s an article on this site about writing about mental disorders I’d recommend you to check out. To the latter, as a personal opinion, mental handicaps incorporated into stories are better when left realistic rather than glorified. Psychopathy is a popular one nowadays, from Joker to Hannibal Lecter. However, psychopaths in real life are hardly ever murderers, have difficulty in forming friendships, and don’t cry at movies. Same with how autism(Mercury Rising, Rain Man) gives magical powers of memory and numeracy skills in Hollywood.

    I’m not necessarily against fictional characters with ADHD, and I’m poorly informed of it, but why do you choose to incorporate that into the story? If anything, mental handicaps are a burden to the person, not a blessing(thank god for schizophrenia!). But even with some of the schizophrenics I know, they have it under control, and they function normally in society, if not a bit shy. If you’re trying to make him more relatable and not your average ‘teen’, well, there are different ways of making an interesting character without introducing a mental handicap.

  7. Jimmyon 16 Dec 2009 at 10:02 am

    @ B. Mac ~

    Okay, I’ll check that out soon. Some of the questions were hard to understand for me as well on the other one, I was like Huh?? o.O I had never even thought about some of them! lol

    Is there anyone that dislikes him without coming off as some combination of stupid, mean, nasty and/or jealous?
    What do you mean exactly? Is this an good example of what your talkin’ about?:

    Solid Snake Codec Conversation

    * Snake: …
    * Otacon: Snake, what is it?
    * Snake: Something about that hedgehog rubs me the wrong way…
    * Otacon: …? Oh, you mean Sonic The Hedgehog? But everyone loves Sonic. He’s a big star. Do you have any idea how excited people are that he’s here in Brawl?
    * Snake: Yeah, yeah, I know, but there’s something about him I just don’t like.
    * Otacon: But…why? You must have some kind of reason.
    * Snake: …Nope, just don’t like him.

    Well, personality flaws, lets see, He loves ‘The Villain Concept’ or something like that, meaning, he’s all for the villain of a story or whatever. He’d rather see Joker kill Batman, Skeletor win against He-man and everyone find out his true identity. Get me? The also affects his judgment on villains and heroes. So as he’s the Hero of my story, he considers himself an Anti-Hero if anything. One ex is in the story, after this big final boss type fight against my villain, he decides to make a deal with the enemy before his partners make it to him and see. Zach wants to date the Daughter of the king (the villain). So if he “accidentally” lets the king escape to plot another day, he has to let him date his daughter and won’t interfere.
    Zach also is cocky and he’s pugnacious and doesn’t think about the situation before rushing into something. His mental condition basically doubles that plus a few other things. He constantly irritates one of his partners, but it goes both ways. Ripley, Once the main hero, was dropped in favor of Zach. Now…Imagine if you were in a HIGH position at your Dream job, and then suddenly demoted, forced to work as secretary for a New guy without Any experience who took YOUR job. Yeah…that’s how Ripley feels lol.

    “Does he make any decisions that you expect readers will disagree with?”
    That question I think was answered in the upper part.

    Well, he can speak multiple languages thanks to his Dragon ability, Since my story is a fantasy type, there are the usual talking animals and such. So Im sure some Dragons can speak many languages, talking to animals and people like. So if he has that power, for certain reasons, than it qualifies to me anyways. But the only pet he ever had was a German Shepard, and that was while he was on Earth. In the fantasy World, he’s pet-less. Does that help? Oh and he’s not worldly or intelligent, He’s got a normal Brain. He’s got the mind of an A,B,C,D student. ^-^ Mostly B,C,D. 😛

  8. Jimmyon 16 Dec 2009 at 10:10 am

    I know, just that, I want my guy to be awesome and if he needs work, than by the power of Odin, I’ll get the pencil and start the construction! But I need reasons why I failed the test in the first place so I CAN fix him, understand where I’m comin’ from Lightning?

    I also got where your coming from. But it’s not his fault that he can speak all kinds of languages. HOWEVER, since my story is in a fantasy world, he DOESN’T understand Latin, Japanese, Indian, Spanish (well he tried Spanish on earth in school and failed miserly) etc, only animal language! lol, so his special ability would be useless to him on earth, but in the other world, it’s an incredibly useful power, get it? Also, he sometimes doesn’t even notice when he’s understanding or even speaking another language. It’s like Woah, I’m talking to a skunk!?

    Oh and he’s definatly not loved by all! On Earth maybe yeah, he was eye candy for girls and such. In the other world, he’s like Harry Potter. The hero destined to save the world, if that is, he feels like it. :]

  9. Jimmyon 16 Dec 2009 at 10:32 am

    @ PaintedSaint

    Nope, I’m ADHD-less, BUT, I have a good friend who does have it. He takes medicine like everyday to contain himself, that usually makes him a boring sarcastic guy. But sometimes he wont take it and he comes to school fun and doing stupid things and making everyone laugh. Cool huh? That’s why I decided to put it in my story. Also, Trust me it’s no superpower. It’s just a normal mental thing that gets him into trouble all the time. He can’t even ask a girl out unless he takes his medicine. My Beta read the first few Chaps of my story and seen how it screwed him over when he tried to ask a girl out. He’s like in love with her and since he didn’t take the pills he embarrassed her in front of entire class, nearly talked her to death and kicked several people out of anger. The only time it helps him is when he’s fighting, it makes his moves random for the enemy. Therefor, you never really understand his fighting. However, he still gets distracted easily and can lose the upper-hand on his enemies. So he has to keep his task on his mind or he’ll lose it.

    Don’t worry, I looked this up and everything. It was once called ADD but they changed it to what it’s known as today. I wrote down symptoms and gave him a few; He has the hyper type. My Beta disagrees about the Gary-Sue stuff saying a guy dealing with ADHD is defiantly not your average hero. I’m not glorifying this or anything. It’s not gonna make him the most powerful guy ever, or most laid guy either. Thats for sure, for one he’s a virgin to a lot of things thanks to his religious backgrounds. He isn’t too fond of NO sex before marriage either that’s for sure >:]
    I’m making this as realistic as possible Mr. Saint, trust me, I talked to my friend who has it and everything. I’m in no way gonna make this his ‘secret weapon’ that’ll get him out of situations all of a sudden. I’ve been writing for too long to be that idiotic. 😉 I’ll be one heck of a burden! Keeping him up and nite and such. He’ll be a freak! MUA HA HA HA HA!! Laugh with meh! >=D

  10. B. Macon 16 Dec 2009 at 4:18 pm

    LM, I think that the part about characters speaking a bajillion languages that annoys me is that it’s typically a (lazy) way to TELL readers the character is sophisticated/knowledgeable rather than SHOW it. Also, when an author tries working with nonnative languages, hilarity can ensue. Dan Brown, your Chinese translator would like to have a word with you.

    I think that speaking many languages is one of those abilities that is far more impressive in real life than it is for fictional characters. In contrast, traits like cleverness and wittiness translate very well.

  11. B. Macon 16 Dec 2009 at 4:35 pm

    What do you mean exactly by “is there anyone that dislikes him without coming off as some combination of stupid, mean, nasty and/or jealous?” Are there any sympathetic characters that do not like him or do not get along well with him? If everybody likes him but a few (groan) sadistic bullies, angry teachers, deranged parents, jealous people, etc., the character probably needs to be fleshed out more. I’d recommend using some conflict between the hero and his friends/allies instead, hopefully a conflict that doesn’t end up casting either in a distinctly negative/unreasonable light.

    For example, in the first Harry Potter book, Neville Longbottom ends up becoming an unexpected obstacle because he tries to prevent Harry/Ron/Hermione from breaking the rules and getting Gryffindor further penalized. I think that’s an effective conflict because both sides have reasonable motivations and aren’t cast as two-dimensional villains or antagonists.

  12. PaintedSainton 16 Dec 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Hm, I’d have to agree with B.Mac on that, because the way you described your character is like, “An overall nice guy”. I’m not saying that he must be put at the very bottom of the social rung, or have greasy friends. Even speaking from my own experience, I know some who can be a nice person(help out with charity, bake cookies for friends, etc.), but I can be nasty without actually realizing(trash talking about others/gossip, lying, taking out anger on a friend). Is it possible that your character doesn’t have any outstanding flaws because you based some aspects of him with your friend?

    Also, I’m not a man.

  13. JLTon 16 Dec 2009 at 11:06 pm

    ~ Jimmy

    @ B.Mac

    Ah, I see what your getting at and actually, I really don’t know ^^; You see I’m not far at all in my story, sure I’ve visualized plenty, but typed it out? No…I have most of the big things stored in meh noggin’ but things like that, his mothers parents name or other minor or elaborate un-thought of things, well, no. But that can definitely be done. Like I said, he’s cocky and such, can be over-confident and can be a jerk. But I havent thought of characters not liking him for those reasons. BUT , It’s definitely possible ;D I’ll get my friend to check out what we’ve been talkin about and he can help me get a few characters for what your gettin at k? Now, What else can I do? Oh and just to let ya kno, I bombed your test just the same. I think the thing is, I may fail them, but there’s good explainable and reasonable reasons why I have that trait for him.
    And just so you know, I have not taken this to heart. I have a way of askin questions into order to improve my or another persons story. So when I ask them I like to get answers from whoever. If I need help even after explaining my character than by all means, here’s the ducktape. Lets get to work!! ^-^

    Here’s the score I got:

    Score » 68 out of 100
    Total Correct » 27 out of 40 correct
    % Score » 67.5 %

    Lets go over the questions shall we? =D

    Question #5
    Yes he’s a hybrid but you’d never guess by lookin at him thats for sure. He doesn’t even know til like near the end of the first book, well, it’s implied but no one finds out til it’s reveled to him after the big rescue. Plus, he’s not the only one of the race, well sorta. Oy.

    Question #6
    Yeah…that one threw me off at first. Well, it’s not traumatic to me…but hey you can say what you think. Okay, after Zach’s basically taken away from his mother immediately after birth (she doesn’t even get to officially name him or anything) she falls into a serious depression after crying and other mother stuff when they lose their baby through force or some event. And then she basically falls into the hands of the enemy, and gets ‘brainwashed’ into being an enemy of Zach later on. The father who was the hero gets captured while he was looking for his wife who vanished. His enemies then lock him away for years and basically it’s up to Zachary to find his parents. The first book is mostly about the father and the second well be about him needing to find his mother. He ends up fighting her and such since she’s the enemy. Also, she’s basically brainwashed into thinking this neutral copy of Zach is her son which in reality its nothing more than a magic-powered freaky puppet thing.
    Soooo, I think I ran off with this abit. Anyways, you get the deal. I don’t think it’s to dramatic…My mom (Who helped me out BIG TIME [I rewrote the ENTIRE beginning thanks to her] helped me fix this up and get rid of cliches and such making it as original as possible, or at least an idea that’s hasn’t been done fifty times.) But I think it’s quite nice and not all an angsty element that readers wont like.

    Question #11
    I didn’t really know how to answer that one to tell ya the truth, especially since in my world, there’s no parents for him to rebel against, no cops or real authority people. But I said yes anyways. I guess I answered wrong, oh well.

    Question #12
    Well, I already told ya how he can speak various languages and such. It’s gotta stay.

    Question # 21
    Whats wrong with naming a weapon? o.O The Bolt of Radiance is a sacred weapon that has a lot of meaning to it and it’s no normal weapon.
    Lots of cartoon things or whatever have weapons with names, look at Xiolin Showdown: Mantus Flip Coin, Monkey Staff, Blade of the Nebula (really cool btw!), Spear of Guan! Also theres things like the Wonderwoman’s lasso of truth or Batman’s million gadgets and weaons. I really don’t see the importance of such a question…But it’s your question so most likely you have a reason. Care to share? Help my mind out.

    Question #22
    Another I misunderstood like a total twit. Ugh, That dont count! I’m so slow, I shoudve read it better. Than again, Demons are more powerful than humans…IdkMBffRose @-@

    Question #24
    Alright this one was a bit strange for me. I got it but the reason threw me off. Whats wrong with an Orphan in Fantasy stories?? I gave the reason before why he’s clueless who his parents are. Their in a completely different world while he’s on Earth. Not too much, I mean, It’s not like their legends or anything like that. Besides, There’s a lot to his parents that I HAVENT told you…I LOT. Love, Hearts being crushed, immortality issues, curses and the works. Trust me, I got this thing wrapped around my wittle finger. 🙂 There’s no Cliches in this part. I’ve got an elaborate tale behind my story before Zach was even thought of.

    Question #26
    Alright, Yes, he wants to be with a Princess. But hey, he’s a son of a prince (What does that make him anyways? A Prince Junior?? Help on that please!) He’s allowed to fall in love with her. Plus she’s not even a real Princess (at least she doesn’t know that. Her life is a lie…Sad really. But thats how the cookie crumbles. Isn’t is something when a Princess falls in love with a hero who has no idea he’s a prince Junior? Just to realize that she herself, isn’t even a princess. If she marries im THAN she becomes a Princess, Ha! She’s gonna really hate her ‘so-called-Father’ huh? >:]) Also, my princess herself isn’t the average Princess. She’s will be…BIG. You heard meh! She’;s not a Princess of Size 2 or less. She is PHAT (Pretty, Hot and Thick!) She’s been drawn out and everything! So yeah. My guy will wall in love with a ‘Princess’ and fins out he’s a prince WAY Later on.

    Question #27
    Yeah, He’s got a secret relationship going on. Except both of the guys dont know it til later. Like WAY WAAAAAAY Later!

    Question #30
    He does have my beliefs, HOWEVER, that really doesn’t mean people are really gonna put them into their story turning them into Religion books. I’m sure everyone’s smarter than that.. :3 Well, I cant speak for everyone, but I know I am. Like I said before, he tries to keep his promise to his mom meaning no sex before marriage, no cussing, drinking, smoking tattoos and whatnot. He has to keep himself clean. That he does refer to at certain points when it’s called for. I even have demons in this. Their religious and all but hey, they make awesome enemies. Not the Generic kind either. But defiantly no Preaching will be in this, especially since their no Religion beliefs of Christian, Buddhism or anything else since it takes place in a world where none of those elements exist.

    Question #32
    Well, this one strikes against a large quantity of super people out there. I dont even know what to say about this one. Yes, he’s supposed to be handsome. But, I wont have all kinds of Girls swooning over him, why? Well in the real world, there are all types of girls, and they all have many different opinions of guys. Many not everyone thinks Zac Efron is a beautiful or good-looking guy. Some thinks he’s disgusting (its true…) So I based my story on that. Sure, a large majority might think he’s Smexilicious and so, but there are girls who think he’s alright, or easy on the eyes but they wouldn’t date him. There are those who think he’s repulsive as well. There are Black girls that wouldn’t date him in a million years and some who batt their eyelashes whenever he’s near. It’s whatever they’re into. I live with nothin but girls so I know all of this opinion stuff. Like my sister, she liked this tall skinny pale white guy and all her friends are like eww and stuff, but she’s like in love with him. See what I mean? I based him off that. He’s not an Edward or anything like that. There’s no Strikingly-White teeth or glossy lips, mesmerizing eyes or sexy voice/smell whatever. Get me? So of course I’ll always get that question wrong, but for all the wrong reasons. Besides, notably attractive is everywhere, there girls that are beautiful and guys that are handsome. Even some guys say Matthew Machonahay or whatever is a beautiful man (no homo) and I say, “Eh. I don’t see it.” Beautiful can be Hideous. Remember Types matter. They make all the difference.

    Question #33
    Impressed? Well I see what this can do, but Zachs not like that guy who can pick his nose and get a cheer from an audience lol. He can do impressive fighting when he’s off his meds, but thats usually pure luck or randomness at it’s best. I don’t think there’s anything thats really impressive about him…so maybe I marked that one wrong.

    Question #35
    Yes, he’s a prince from birth but like I said above, he doesn’t get to get the actually prince status til late in the first book or early in the second.


    There, finally finished. Whew! Fingers sure are hurtin’! Lets keep it up peoples! I’m seeing Progress and having a good time! This is better than MySpace! Oh and I’ve been tellin others about this site! I hope they like what I’ve been gettin’ ;]

  14. JLTon 16 Dec 2009 at 11:21 pm

    @ PaintedSaint

    Whoops! That was stupid of me, I don’t even know why I said that. My apologies! And defiantly not. Zachs a completely separate being in no way connected to anyone I know, spiritually, mentally and definitely not physically! ^^; Hunter’s definitely not boisterous, pugnacious or anything I said my guy was. I guess they way I talk about Zach gives everyone that idea. I dont have ADHD or want to be like Zach in any way.
    And Zachary can be a jerk. Yep. Him and his best friend constantly play pranks on each other that can cause bodily harm. Like an example I give in the first few chaps is that Zach basically crashes a brand new car of his Chris’s on purpose to get back at him for a previous prank (Chris pretended to take Zach on a road trip and stopped at a diner in the middle of somewhere and left Zach stuck at the place. He was forced to catch several rides and walk to get back to the city limits where he found chris saying, he ‘thought Zach was in the his car’) Chris got back at Zach at first by wrestling him to the ground then throwing his buddy over a high cliff into the water. It wasn’t a lethal cliff of course. And then seriously embarrassed Zach in front of a girl Zach’s infatuated with. These kind of pranks and such have been going on since they were kids so it never gets serious, well, seriously serious anyways. :]
    Though, other than him annoying Ripley just because, there’s no other serious flaws I can think of. Though I’ll get my Writing gang to help meh out (Hunter, my college friends and mom lol)

  15. B. Macon 17 Dec 2009 at 5:56 am

    I’m familiar with quite a lot of named weapons and armor in mythology (Arthur’s Excalibur, Cu Chullain’s Gae Bulg, etc). And a few in modern fantasy as well (indeed, Tolkien named so many weapons and armors that they have their own Wikipedia page). However, my impression is that first-time authors that name the weapons tend to do it pretty awfully. If you can execute it without inadvertently making readers (and, more importantly, cynical editors) snicker, great. But more often the names come off cheesy like “the Batmobile.” Hell, even the Batmobile has pretty much lost its name–when they refer to it in the movies, it’s just “the car.”

    On the question about political and religious beliefs. “He does have my beliefs, HOWEVER, that really doesn’t mean people are really gonna put them into their story turning them into Religion books.” If the character shares your religious and/or political beliefs, there is a reasonably good chance he’ll end up slipping into preaching. Additionally, there may be authorial distance issues.

    With the good-looking question… umm, yeah. Superior good looks are definitely, definitely a contributing factor to a Mary Sue (or Marty Stu if you prefer). Do you mind if I ask why you decided to make him that good looking?

  16. JLT45on 17 Dec 2009 at 9:54 am

    I completely understand why thats there, but don’t worry, I wont misuse it. I think thats the only weapon name I have right now actually throughout my entire story. ^^

    What do you mean about that last part?

    Hm, ya know what, I have see the light! Ya see, my camera died and I lost my light, however, you have just provided me with the charged batteries that I have been longing for! Now I have the light once again and changed Zach’s appearance! Somewhat anyways. I mean, there’s obvious reasons why I would want Zach good-looking but I went further saying he was noticeably good-looking without fully understanding what I was saying. Sooooo, How about this, he can be handsome but not overly handsome like before. He can gets girls but not swarms as if he was gorgeous or beautiful. He’s just a normally good-looking guy. No special attractiveness or anything. An 8 or so on the meter of some girls. That sound okay to you?

  17. B. Macon 17 Dec 2009 at 12:11 pm

    “I mean, there’s obvious reasons why I would want Zach good-looking…” Could you lay out a few of those?

  18. JLT45on 17 Dec 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Well, he’s the hero. The guy who will make my story a success or failure. Well, one of them anyways. If he’s a hideous than girls won’t like him or something like that if they read it. Basically good-looking is good and bad-looking is bad. Thats a reason why most heroes in stories super or not, are usually good looking, like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark etc. ya know? ALTHOUGH there are more elaborate reasons why I want him to be handsome.

    He’s a prince and princes are usually drawn to be nice looking, like Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog and most other Disney characters for that matter. Also, it’s like how movies have handsome and beautiful women playing villains or heroes instead of some guy no one cares about. So go that approach for a certain reason though. I mean, thats why Jason Statham gets so many action roles, because he looks good for the women and kicks butt for the guys who want action– I mean, come on, his shirt comes off in pretty much every movie he’s in. 🙁 (I really don’t like him. Why? He’s the same guy basically in every freakin movie he’s in). Anyways! Yeah, I just wanted a guy girls would say oh he’s cute or something like that.

  19. PaintedSainton 17 Dec 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Most main characters are good looking by default, but it’s rather grating if his looks get mentioned too often. You already have your love interest, a passerby girl commenting on his attractiveness is not as necessary as you think, it doesn’t need to be pointed out to the reader.

    Also, I find the realization of his royal blood a bit too convinient, especially when his love interest is also a royalty, even if it’s a sham. Because really, just because he happens to be a prince, and she happens to be a princess, doesn’t mean they automatically get wed, not when the princess’s lineage has no honour, and it doesn’t benefit either family. Somewhat how convinient it was for in the Disney adaptation, Aurora and Phillip met, fell in love after a musical number, and found out that she was in hiding and didn’t know she was a princess.

    It’s ok for him to have your beliefs as well, but the one of the few ways you can stop your story from veering into social commentary territory is to play the devil’s advocate. It adds to realism if your character is wrong sometimes, and even you, as an author, might have religious or political beliefs that stem from poor judgement. So, preferrably, don’t making him an omniscient being amongst strawmen.

  20. B. Macon 17 Dec 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I think that the visual appeal of a character is far more important in a visual medium (movies, TV and to some extent comic books*) than in a novel. I don’t think that the character’s attractiveness will make a big deal… it certainly hasn’t convinced ladies to read Superman comics. Unless this is a pulpish romance (like a Harlequin romance or Twilight), I don’t think that the character’s appearance will excite readers or much contribute to the reading experience. However, the good looks may reduce the character’s relatability by creating mental barriers between him and the readers.

    *I don’t think that it’s all that important to make male** protagonists really attractive in a comic book, either. Just thinking of a few characters off the top of my head, some of the best-selling superheroes introduced in the last 30 years are Spiderman, Wolverine/X-Men, Fantastic Four, Ironman, Deadpool and Spawn. Of those, at least five have been beat up and down with the ugly stick (the horribly scarred Deadpool, Spawn, Beast, Nightcrawler and the Thing). I’d venture to say that Spiderman, Wolverine, Mr. Fantastic, Tony Stark, and most of the X-Men are not notably attractive. For example, Wolverine is muscular but short and his hair has typically been portrayed as outlandishly nasty. The Incredible Torch does look good enough to be on Baywatch, though…

    **Publishers probably view superheroines differently in this regard, but I don’t have enough time to venture down that particular rabbit-hole.

  21. JLT45on 17 Dec 2009 at 3:17 pm

    @ PaintedSaint

    Yeah, I got cha, It doesnt get mentioned to often as of right now, before I downgraded his looks a bit, they were. Now I read a book called Powers, it’s about a boy who reads minds and a girl who has psychic dreams. They dont start realizing this until they actually meet and their power grows. The book is seen through their eyes. Ya see, he’s the hot guy who gets girls like crazy. The story constantly compliments on his looks. The girl sees herself as fat and stuff always wearing drab clothes and stuff. She calls herself a watcher and comments on how she watches him and how he flirts with girls using his looks and stuff to gt girls. They bump heads almost instantly too. She dislikes him and vice versa. But I really don’t mind how the story says how he looks this and that but I’m not sure about others out there. I liked the book and stuff too. So I don’t know if pointing out to the readers how good-looking a guy or girl often is bad, but it depends if you ask me. So idk. But I wont overdo it, that I get.

    Also, they dont like get wed or anything…thats too far don’t ya think. Now they do fall in love but thats about it. ^^; No destined love.

    Elaborate for meh a bit please? I read a book called that (I think?) but I dont get how your referring to it. But he isn’t a straightup saint, DEFINITELY! Ha, thats funny though picturing him like a saint. 😀 He’s not into Christianity like most people are. He’d rather skip church for a football game. He doesn’t try to rebuke people or cast out demons. No speakin in tongues or prayer oil in his pockets. He’s just a teenager who knows right from wrong and walks a bit on the line.

  22. PaintedSainton 17 Dec 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Assuming you don’t know, a strawman is any caricatured and ‘deliberately-crippled’ version of an opposing viewpoint that the author uses to try and support their position. It is possible for the protagonist to be a strawman – if someone writes a story about Bob the Foolish Liberal (or Bob the Foolish Conservative or whatever) doing nothing but foolish things in a way intended to make Liberalism/Conservatism look bad without really representing it honestly, it’s a strawman – having someone in there telling him he’s wrong (or even having any characters in the story that disagree with him) is not necessary as long as the author plainly disagrees with the philosophy that they’re trying to attack.(taken from TV Tropes, there’s a link on this site to them). People tend to get a ‘high’ when they read or view something that caters to their needs, agrees with their beliefs. This leaves no room for the opposition to have a fair chance, leading to poor judgement.

    So what I’m saying is, your story won’t become a social commentary if you are fair enough to see the opposing side. Zach can be wrong, the people around him, and including villains, can point out chinks in his armor. I wasn’t really referring in a religious aspect though, but making Zach someone who’s always morally superior to everyone else and rubs it in their faces is not much more than a biased social commentary. Also, Mary Sue territory comes here, when all of the villain’s beliefs are pushed down easily and poorly justified.

  23. B. Macon 17 Dec 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Hmm, Powers the series by Brian Bendis? Or I am thinking of something else?

  24. Lighting Manon 18 Dec 2009 at 9:02 am

    Something different, he’s talking about a novel I saw a Query for on SharkQuery (I think that’s what it is called) then a review for on Sci Fi (now SyFy) Network’s new’s site. I’ll try searching and see if I can find the author name.

  25. Lighting Manon 18 Dec 2009 at 9:10 am

    I think, at least, I sounded overly sure in my first post and apologize for that.

  26. B. Macon 18 Dec 2009 at 10:34 am

    Don’t worry about it. On a website about how to get superhero novels and comic books published that’s run by someone who’s done neither, no one will call you out for sureness. 🙂 (Speaking of which, my script & sample pages go out in February… so far they look pretty kickass).

  27. JLT45on 18 Dec 2009 at 4:14 pm

    @ B. Mac

    I understand ya, though thats never happened with me but hey, I’m not one to care about looks anymore. My Bad-self esteem days were left behind in Middle School. 😀

    Whats with the asterisks? 8/ Are they in place of quotes or something?
    Wolverine? Short?? I never noticed…Than again, I mostly only watch the superhero movies and new versions of their cartoons. I agree with the torch, but mostly the movie version. Well all the movie versions of most of the heroes are supposed to look good I guess; which ties in with your point of media differences.

    Probably? Ha! I haven’t seen an ugly Shero yet! Even that cheetah women from the Injustice league has something sexy about her! @.@

    Here, this is Zachary, this how I drew him, it isn’t new. Click the link on the page to be connected to the colored version. The colored version will be changed once I finish the re-edit of it. The eyes will be brighter, the chin more square and like everything will basically ‘Pop’ with color! ^^


    ~~ Also, to Lighting and Mac, the Book I was talkin’ about is called “Powers” by Deborah Lynn Jacobs. Elaborate detail on the main guy, Adrian that’s for sure, made him sound like a god compared to Edward!! XD

  28. JLT45on 18 Dec 2009 at 4:22 pm

    @ PaintedSaint

    You assumed right 😉
    I actually cant say anything about Zach concerning any of that straw stuff. I haven’t gotten far into the writing to even think about something like that considering their a whole new set o0f religions in my book that has nothin’ to do with his. What can I say? I guess he can be open-minded to the new ways of this place? 83

    Oh…ya see, I didn’t read the entire comment before writing the one above. I’ll leave it though. But of course, that’s a definitely. I don’t think I’ll be stomping down any beliefs my baddies have though. I haven’t even introduced any yet besides Zach’s. Also check out my image of Zachary! and everyone else in my story ^^


  29. JLT45on 18 Dec 2009 at 4:35 pm

    If you have an account PLEASE comment! That would be Awesome! =D

  30. JLT45on 22 Dec 2009 at 9:49 am

    Left Behind…

  31. Lighting Manon 22 Dec 2009 at 11:28 am

    Left Behind was terrible, just bad.

    Worst Science Fiction Christian book since Jurassic Park (the dinosaurs were genetically engineered to not produce lysine or worship traditional western religions, weird, I know.)

    I don’t think bumping to redirect attention is popular here, and don’t take it as a criticism when the conversation dies down, it’s just the natural progression of things and it is a very busy time for most people, finals, then Christmas, then New Years, very busy.

  32. JLT45on 27 Dec 2009 at 5:06 pm


    Well, I figured everyone would like to see my characters ya know? Though it would help…I guess not. Oy

  33. JLT45on 27 Dec 2009 at 5:21 pm

    @ B.Mac

    …..What? o.O lol. I’m soooo confused by what you commented dude. Also, I’m gonna direct a friend from DA here to this page to discuss ALONG WITH MY GUY, her character.

  34. B. Macon 28 Dec 2009 at 2:12 am

    “I’m soooo confused by what you commented dude.” I’m sorry… I’d like to explain the comment in question but I’m not sure which one(s) you’re referring to. What did you find confusing?

    If it was my most recent comment at 4:01 pm on December 22, I was trying to build on Lighting Man’s comment that “[you shouldn’t] take it as a criticism when the conversation dies down. It’s just the natural progression of things and it is a very busy time for most people, finals, then Christmas, then New Years, very busy.” Right now, I’m focused on (in order) enjoying my family’s company for the few days I see them, job interviews, getting a new apartment, hosting SN and getting published.

    Anyway, here are some comments about your art.

    1. Unless you’re actually doing the art for your own comic book, you don’t need to do your own art and it may well scare away publishers. Very, very few people are professional-grade in writing and art. So if I’m right in thinking that you’re planning to get your own artist eventually, I’m not sure that discussing it here would be the most productive use of your time. But let’s assume for a moment that you’re planning on doing your own art and let’s pretend I’m evaluating this like an editor would.

    2. The hands look really good. I feel that the face and hair need a lot of work and would recommend practicing those subjects as much as possible.

    3. I think the legs could use the most work. The upper muscles are angled very strangely to me. His feet are about six inches apart. Try standing with your feet six inches apart, preferably in skin-tight pants, and look at the position of the parts of your legs. A photograph of yourself may serve as a useful model. In particular, I think that the main issues are the width of the legs and their orientation. His legs strike me as very thin relative to the rest of his body. In part the issue is that the chest is very, very wide.

    4. His arms are not equally long. In particular, his left arm (on the right side of the drawing) is probably not long enough for a man of this size. If you try dropping your hands at your side, you’ll probably notice that your hands reach a few inches above the knee. His left arm barely reaches his groin.

    5. The thinnest part of his chest is the waist. However, in real life (MILD CAUTION: scientific nudity akin to a textbook), I think that the waist is actually one of the two thickest points on the torso. The thinnest point is actually about halfway between the groin and nipples.

    6. I think his arm is about as thick as (or possibly thicker than) his head. I know he’s supposed to be buff, but that’s pretty over-the-top. I’d recommend bringing it closer to what a buff guy actually looks like. Check out this picture of boxer Manny Pacquiao or this picture of Mike Tyson. Seen from the front, their arms are about half as wide as their heads. Proportionately, your hero’s arms are twice as wide as Mike Tyson’s.

    7. The sword appears to be about as tall as he is. That’s probably a conscious stylistic choice, like Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 or a few other video games, but I suspect it would look a bit goofy to the editors evaluating the submission. Are you familiar with a few comic books or manga that use weapons this large? Which publishers work with that style?

    8. Are baggy clothes suitable for this character in-story? In particular, it seems like his shoes are stepping on the pants. It makes him look less credible as a warrior.

    9. The hair and face. Umm, hopefully this doesn’t come off as unduly harsh, but I’d recommend starting from square one on this. In particular, the spikes starting at the forehead make him look a bit like a cockatoo. Also, I’d recommend a shorter hair style unless you can find a few examples of comic book publishers working with this sort of Sephiroth-style long hair.

    10. Accessories and ornamentation. I can sort of see the reason for the stripe-like zigzags on the shoulders of his shirt (to draw the reader’s eye to his extremely buff shoulders). However, some of the other ornamentation seems a bit more questionable. One of the major focal points of this drawing is the belt-buckle. I don’t think that drawing the reader’s attention to the waist with a gaudy buckle is a great idea.

    In summary, I would like to encourage you to hire a professional artist as your partner rather than try to illustrate it on your own. I feel that your art is at least a few years of practice away from being ready to publish.

  35. JLT45on 28 Dec 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Ahh, now I understand, B. Mac. I got it. Now to your points…

    1. Heh, doing my own art would be a hoot…The album of characters I have is mostly just images of how I want them to look, ya know? Also, if anything, it’s because of me drawing the characters and such, that I even have the story in my mind. For some reason I always draw the characters out to show people who read my story what they look like. I’m good at describing but I just love drawing them. Anyway, thanks for looking at Zachary.

    2. Thanks on the hands but the face…I don’t know. It could look more realistic and such, but I’d like to have a mix of realistic and cartoon styles, ya know? I should post the re-edit on his face. It’s much easier to tell what’s going on with his colors and details.

    3. Yeah… 🙂 . A lot is a bit messed up considering I didn’t use an actual muscle body model guy person thing. :-/ HOWEVER! Adam (The Mystifying Guitarist in my album and Ripley) look a lot better in body size and muscle. Mostly because I did their pose. They both came out a bit better, though Adam is the most realistic of the three. Along with my Witch, they’re the most realistic looking guys their so far, maybe Dex… (besides the extras).

    I actually don’t remember posing for Zach…I don’t know where his pose or stance came from. Oy. But if I ever revamp, he’ll look way more realistic! But still within the cartoony style, NOT anime! I really tried to stray from that style! 😛

    4. I just noticed that too, thanks. A simple proportioning mistake I make over and over. Once again, he’s the only guy I’m sure came out this bad in the way of detail. Good job, Eagle-eyes. 😉

    5. You mean where the abdominal region is? That’s the thinnest?

    6. True, not thicker, but roughly the same size. Eek. Note to self…buy paper for notes.

    7. I haven’t a clue. I just know swords of that size are used in like you said, the Final Fantasy games and kingdom hearts, plus the Soul Caliber games. I’m sure there’s more but I’m lazy and would prefer to get some fool to do my work. 😉

    Do you think I should re-design it? I mean, I want to keep it that size but give it a more exotic look. I mean, it has to look cool and stuff but not so normal looking. The base or whatever is awesome but I might change the actual sword a bit.

    8. I wanted baggy pants, but when I was drawing him he looked a bit puffy thanks to his jacket so I thought, thinning his pants would show he’s not too big. But, he came out a bit like the stereotypical big guys out there. Huge arms and small legs. I wish I could go back in time…but sadly, I cant. The shoes weren’t meant to look like that, though.

    9. I guess different people have different opinions about the face. I’ve received compliments on his face, then again, it’s mostly on the re-color where everything’s glossy and brighter. The people I’ve asked say it’s way better. So it all depends, I guess. Besides, you’re a guy. You’re not gonna say he’s a 10 outta 10 or even close! But the females I’ve asked beg to differ. Man, I need to put the new version up!

    The hair, though, I don’t know either. I’ve always had mixed feelings about it ever since I first drew him up as a younger looking 16 years old. However, I’m sure it could work, yet I’m also thinking of how it would look on an actual person. I might change it a bit…or at least on the make it a lot more realistic. And besides, they say his hair is cool! It’s different, like a spiky fan! Also, there is a reason why he’s got such a strange cowlick…nothing’s without purpose in my story…heh.

    How short are you talking about? Like a buzz cut? And Sephiroth-style? That’s a bit extreme, don’t ya think? That dude’s got more hair than most women! Zach’s hair isn’t long at all…Also, if you ever noticed, there’s an actor named Alexander Ludwig who sported a similar hairstyle to Zach in a movie called The Seeker. Seriously, B. Mac, it’s a simple hairstyle. The character had almost EXACTLY the same style.

    Examples on his similar style of hair.

    10. Oh how wrong you are my clever friend… :] The ‘zigzags’ are cloud designs. I could care less about his shoulders, as longs as they’re sized correctly, haha. If you happen to be drawn to them, than…well, I didn’t plan on that happening.

    What!? You despise the art that is his buckle of belt!? Holy Cannoli!…I figured it would be loved by all! NO ONE had ever commented on it. Not one person has been drawn to it enough to compliment or critique it. I figured it was just there for my wanting. I like it, it signifies the combination of Fire and Lighting! HUZZAH! It looks flashy man! I gotta keep it!

    I already decided it would be best to hire a artist. So I drew them out so the person would understand how I wanted them, exactly. I even tried to make a manga!…Didn’t go so well. My art style would change and my comic would change along with it. Like my first few pages started out very anime-looking and as I continued it slowly became more realistic and started making everything look outta whack. That’s what really made me decide to hire an artist. Don’t forget though, partner, everyone has their own unique style.

    Also, thanks, B. Mac. Could you possibly critique my other characters in my profile? That’d be awesome, thanks. That would help me when I try to draw them all in an interaction scene soon! =D

    Good luck getting published. What are you trying to publish?

  36. B. Macon 29 Dec 2009 at 12:27 am

    $522 is not too bad, depending on your pay and where you live. In Washington, DC I’ve been offered apartments from $450 (in Greenbelt, a very dangerous area) to $900 (Silver Springs, an okay area about 45 minutes from work) to $1200 (Bethesda, a nice area about 60 minutes from work) to $1500 (Georgetown, a nice area about 10 minutes from work). Each of these figures assumes that I have one roommate; taking a single for myself would probably cost about 50% more.

    Right now, I’m wrapping up my work as a communications contractor for a government agency. I’m looking for a full-time job in communications, research and/or multimedia/video-editing. Eventually, I’d like to go into publishing or teaching.

    The comic book I’m working on is tentatively titled Superhero Nation. It’s a wacky mix of an office comedy and a national security thriller. Two unlikely secret agents, an accountant and a mutant alligator, have to save the world. From themselves, mostly. If you’re interested, you can read pages 1-9 of the rough draft here and pages 10-17 here. When I’ve finalized all 32 pages and have five sample pages illustrated, I’ll send it off to publishers. (The sample pages aren’t ready yet, but you can see one of them in an early stage of development here). I anticipate the first responses (or, more likely, non-responses) from publishers by April.

  37. B. Macon 29 Dec 2009 at 1:24 am

    When it comes to the artistic/visual side of your product, I’d recommend focusing more on concepts than particulars. For example, if the concept you’re looking for is a “badass young warrior” or whatever, a professional artist will probably come up with details that display the concept better than a professional writer would. I’d recommend giving the artist first crack at designing the look of the character and then asking for adjustments as necessary. I’d recommend holding off character design until the first issue’s script is ready for submission because the characters will probably fluctuate a bit as you flesh out the script.

    With regards to #3… I’d recommend using photos of yourself or a friend to model scenes until (at least) you’re practiced enough as an artist to do it mentally. I think that will help you practice human anatomy, proportions, limb orientation, etc.

    I have some idea what a “cartoony” style is (as opposed to “anime”), but what do you think it is? In particular, the reason I ask is that the length of the sword and the length of the hair led me to believe that you were trying to publish this as a manga rather than a comic book. If you’re going for a comic book, what are some comic books with a similar style to what you’re trying to publish?

    With regards to #5, I think the thinnest area of the torso is a few inches above the belly button. For example, here’s a shirtless picture of David Hasselhoff. (Ick. That is the LAST time I search for “shirtless actor pictures”).

    With regards to #7, the size of the sword. “I just know swords of that size are used in, like you said, the Final Fantasy games and Kingdom Hearts, plus the Soul Caliber games.” I’m not sure how useful those examples will be to you. First, they’re all video games. Second, they were developed by Japanese companies with a particular style. Unless you’re fluent in Japanese, you’ll be submitting to English-language publishers that may have different tastes than Japanese game companies. This is one reason that it is REALLY important to find successful works in your field that are stylistically comparable to what you are trying to submit.

    I get the impression that you need to put a bit more time and effort into market research. It may not seem relevant to you what comic book publishers are putting out right now, but it’s really relevant to them. Publishers are traditionally risk-averse (profit-margins are too low to be gutsy) and it’s hard for an editor smitten with a new type of product to say something like “I know we haven’t done anything like this before, but I think we should go with it!” to the acquisitions committee. If and when a publisher does decide to try something very stylistically different from what it’s tried before, it will probably turn to an experienced author with a history of success.

    So, massive swords. I’m not that familiar with fantasy comics (as opposed to superhero comics), but I’m sort of drawing a blank on publishers that work with styles similar to this. I suppose Abacus Comics’ Lullaby series is vaguely similar. You can see one of the issues here. Also, Dark Horse does Conan the Barbarian, but the style strikes me as much more Western than what you are working on. In contrast, the style of the character (particularly the sword and hair) strike me as more manga-like. Either way, it’s not a huge deal if your art is Western-styled or manga-like or anime-like IF you can find at least one publisher that likes working with stuff similar to your style in your language.

    With regards to the hair… check out more series of comics from a range of publishers. (In particular, focus on publishers besides DC and Marvel, because they don’t take unsolicited submissions from first-timers). Can you find a few series that have hair remotely similar to Zach’s? If not, I suspect that you will have trouble getting the style published. My gut impression is that the cockatoo-like spikes will raise a lot of eyebrows. By the way, I’m looking at the pictures you’ve provided from The Seeker, and I think his hair is totally workable. It’s pretty close to a conventional length for male hair (rather than shoulder-length) and the spikiness towards the front is MUCH less prominent than Zach’s.

    Could you provide links to the works you’d like me to look at?

  38. JLT45on 29 Dec 2009 at 2:18 pm

    This is the Gallery! It has my guys here! I’ll reply to everything you posted soon! Got to go Job-Huntin’. Oy…
    Here’s the Prisma colored version of Zach, bout the same, but better all around! 😀

  39. B. Macon 29 Dec 2009 at 3:40 pm

    First thing, the art does not matter at all. You’re not an artist and not trying to become a professional artist. But if you were, I’d recommend keeping your portfolio more focused. The editors that are interested in seeing your fantasy work will probably be put off by your Baby Bowser, and vice versa.

    Putting a watermark on some of the art seems kind of presumptuous… I’m put off by the women, in particular the one titled Dominatrix. I would have insta-rejected you right there because it’s a bit creepy and speaks poorly of your professionalism. The grasp of anatomy seems limited and the proportions are very off, which is not unusual for a beginner.

    My brother, a small-time comic illustrator, would like to encourage you to “go to the beach and look at some women now. Also, an art form class. But that’s less fun.”

    “Practice your depth of field. If a guy is holding a limb or object towards the viewer, it should be a bit proportionately larger than the rest of the body.”

  40. JLT45on 29 Dec 2009 at 5:37 pm


    522 is a lot to me, just for half a room and a shared bathroom! -__- I need a cheaper place.

    Have you gone to a college specifically for what you want to do?
    I’ll check ’em out later tonight, I’m supposed to be filling out applications instead of replying back to you lol. Ima reply and go straight to the jobs online!

    I agree with ya on that point. Though I would hold off on the designs, but if I were to do that…the whole idea would fall away and I’d forget everything I’ve done. It’s happened before. I have to have it constantly in my mind or it’ll seem less important and I’ll move on to other subjects.

    I already do that. Though I’ve never done a full scene, I have used models for drawings.

    Cartoony style is everything that isn’t real or anime to me. Sonic X (Anime?), Spongebob, Avatar, Some shows on 4 Kids Box (or whatever theyre callin it these day), Disney & FF, the Bone series whatever is on Saturday morning these days.
    Ha ha, I don’t remember saying I was making this into a Comic book, but that would be cool. I’d rather have someone do it for me though. I want to make a novel or something similar. I draw the characters for me not my story. Sure I’ll say these are the guys in it but it’s only how I see them when I write them out on the computer.

    Me Gosh! You’se correct bout that! Darn it…I actually drew a character is almost correct muscle anatomy. It was just like what you said, the thinnest part was where you said, however, he wasn’t sized right.
    That was the Hoff?? Looked like it could be his son or somethin.

    I’m in college for Videogames and such (International Academy of Design and Technology) but I want to write..I decided to make use of my staying at this school and decided to try and make it into a game. I may want a novel, but games are easier to sell and they can be more fun to make with others to me. So I’m gonna do both. Does the game-making change anything bout the sword style? Next time I draw Zach thou, I may Thin it down a bit. Just for you lol

    Man, I didnt realize that you though I wanted a comic…I guess I led you on when I said I tried to make a manga a while back. I’ve learned my lesson about that.

    The hair, I will change….a slight change. Just make it look a bit realistic as if someone could style it that way and make it look coral. Thou ya gotta admit, guys do style their hair in crazier style than Zach has his. Some just let it look crazy. Also, there are actors with crazy styles (Mr. Robert Patterson[or however you spell his name]) Plus theres the FF series along with the KH series. And since I plan on making my story a game not a comic, than that would mean I could keep Zach’s style on the sword, hair and everything else. I think, but I most definitely will change his hair.



    ~ _ ~

    Yes, that I already know about. I have to take a class on how important they are and such, besides dude! Thats my Deviant art account meant for the viewing of passerbys! I haven’t fixed it up for any one in particular. I already know to classify and such. And it’s Bowser Junior…ever get those two confused or their fans will poison your soup lol

    Well, I was told to do that by everyone on their if I want it to stay mines…I care about them enough not to let them get stolen by some bum.

    And whats wrong with my ladies!? No one, not even my expert Artist Teacher person in my school said anything wrong with my witch! He only had one comment when I drew her and that was on her Breastses. I fixed it though. He says shes beautiful and he’s a teacher who did work at Disney! Or was it Universal…Seaworld? Anyways, the only character you better be put off by is the Fat witch. If she doesnt putt you off than somethings wrong with you! XD
    Now I did notice a mistake on Dex’s left leg…I cant fix it though…Its to late. If you happened to notice that, than good job, it’s been unnoticeable for a while now. But how could you be put off by them? You mean you don’t like their look? Or just the body proportions? I mean, not every single person in the world has the perfect proportions dude, my head for example is large and shaped like a friken peanut -I blame my mother- All my life I’ve been joked on because of it. It’s big and I agree. I’ve gotten over it but it made me realize that proportions arent always perfect. Some people have long legs and shorter than average legs, some, large un-natural noses or nostrils (I’ve seen this, disgusting) You get the point. The model of the pretty witch is the EXACT model of my mother. >> I got her to stand in her kitchen and take the pose for me and I used the exact stance to create Dex (I only enhanced her a bit to make it into a Latina’s body). So if Dex is ‘puttin you off’ than blame my mom’s body. As for the witch, she’s also an actual person. I got the pose down to the nitty-gritty. Besides, they came out great. I’ve gotten plenty of opinions from people and they all give me my props on the characters. And what do you mean limited anatomy? If by limited, do you mean my all skinny characters or muscle or thinness? Cause if you havent noticed, I do have three characters there who arent limited anatomy or whatever. The King, his daughter and the witch’s mother. All different in stature and have received good compliments. Especially the King. By teachers at my school and people that walk by me when I have him out for references or any other reason. Another thing, I’m NOT a beginner. I may not be the best artist in the world but I’m no novice to writing or drawing. Also, tell your bother that I don’t think thats a good idea in the least. Why? Well, it’s obvious, everyone is capable of movement. It’d be a shell of a lot easier to just google a picture or go to posemaniacs.com to find a pose or picture of women. The internet is whole easier to do anything like that, especially when I can simply google a nude picture of a women and draw her features than follow a woman around on a beach drawing her constantly moving features.

    And yes, yes yes…That I already knew. Though when I was drawing that guy I was posing at a gas station holding a window cleaner thing. I wasnt trying to get anything right there. I was just trying to get a good pose for Ripley before getting back in the car for a long road trip to orlando.

    Man. It isn’t easy to shut your emotions in a bottle when being critiqued…I’m trying to keep a calm attitude but it’s not easy at all heh. Did you close look at them or just glance and move on? I mean, I still give them good look overs when I view them thats how I noticed some mistakes after I drew and colored them. But all in all, I havent gotten a single bad remark or critique about any of them…until you looked over them…Oy, I hope you are taking your time with them. I mean, you havent even told me any good things about my work…I like the bad as well as hearing what a person thinks about them other than just the proportions arent working or anything I cant fix. You also havent said what on them is ‘putting you off’. It’s like the Mary Sue Test (Which needs to be re-named to ‘The Sue test’ or ‘The Mary/Gary Sue Test’) at the top. It tells you if it is or isn’t and thats just that. No explanation on how to fix the problem. Yours had them but they werent very elaborate. I had to ask you personally because I didnt get what I wanted. I re-entered Zach and he didn’t even get a mention in your comment. His chin is easier to tell is square and eyes clearer, face as well, though I wish his lips were like the once from the first version though. His outfit waaaaay better in color and design. Also on Dex and the Princess, both needed help and you didn’t even comment on that. Geeze…Thanks but I need more. I hunger for mooorrrrreeee…Like Jacob hungers for Bella, sexually anyways.

  41. JLT45on 29 Dec 2009 at 7:41 pm


    I just noticed, How does a Beautiful Dominatrix creep you out? It explains what she is, she enslaves men and uses them as minions as she tries to rid the world of them. Once she has the power to, she’ll kill all the males in the world making it so that females rule. She however doesn’t engage in any sex acts with any of her slaves, ANY OF THEM. She just puts a curse on them using infatuation to bend them to her will. She doesnt dress in like one to. The name fits her to me as she forces people to call her Mistress. She’s an awesome character dude, looks and character-wise.

  42. PaintedSainton 29 Dec 2009 at 8:26 pm


    Wait, what?

    So, this Dominatrix character is a misogynist? Sorry, I don’t see the logic in this, but then again, bra-burning feminists do exist. In any case, your character description of her is a bit goofy, because what I can see is that she’s being evil for the sake of being evil. Especially if she was devious enough to manipulate her minions like a second nature, I would assume that her intelligence is well above average. If anything, someone who is a natural manipulator, charismatic, and has a legion of brain-washed followers is probably a cult leader. Or a politican.

    Also, the first problem to her utopia is that women are not asexual, and homo sapiens would die off unless if we venture into disturbing territory, *cough*bestiality*cough*sperm bank raids*cough*. Whether or not it’s intentional, the ideology behind it too flawed. As in, how can one get rid of roughly 50% of the world’s population? How many concentration camps can be built, until she is finally satisfied?

    The second problem poses with the women themselves, exactly what are they ruling over, if men do not exist?

  43. JLT45on 29 Dec 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Aha! I just noticed this! How does titling my witch a Seductive Dominatrix speak poorly of your professionalism when it makes complete sense??

  44. JLT45on 29 Dec 2009 at 8:47 pm

    @ PaintedSaint

    Welcome back Ms. Saint ^^

    I’ve never heard of that word so I had to look it up, and I guess not? o.O Still don’t completely understand it. But she does hate men. And NO, she’s not Evil just for the sake of being Evil. I gave a link to my gallery which has her picture in it, it explains that she had a horrible breakup that caused her to have a severe hatred for men. So she plans on wiping out all the ‘Dogs’ and letting the women rule as the Dominat species. And since my world has talking animals, half animal human freaks and such, bestiality would be welcome lol. However, since she plans on kill ALL males, male animals are dead too if she gets her way. To get her plan rolling, she uses her abilities to enslave men only to do her evil (finding artifacts that will help her dreams come true, fight for her and such)
    She or me for that matter, don’t believe in flaws >=] …I think…Okay I do, I did though know of this and have come up with the simple idea of instead of killing them, she’ll truly enslave the men and make each and everyone a slave to each female. They can do whatever they wish to do with the slave. If they want to have a little fun with them, then by all means, go at it. The men will raise the kids. Therefore the women will in fact rule the world under Cassandra’s power.
    Concentration camps eh? Heh, I was going to have her kill all the men with a simple wind of death like in Exodus in the Bible…but that sounds worse and at the same trime, more fun to try. But I’ll keep them alive for the famels pleasure I guess. As long as they stay away from the Witch’s sights. She would probably kill them instantly. Such pain she went through. Her reason for wanting males dead or under the females feet is deep that involves Zach’s dad, mom and Immortality.

  45. B. Macon 30 Dec 2009 at 2:24 am

    Umm, the reason I think it’s unprofessional is because the people evaluating art portfolios are generally businessmen (in the world of comic book publishing, mainly art editors). Generally I’d recommend leaving the kinky stuff out unless you’re applying to a publisher that is equally kinky. Know your target audience.

    Also, the editor may be evaluating portfolios in a semi-populated place like a computer lab or an office. (I do). So sexually provocative works could create a potentially awkward situation for the reader.

    If an artist really needs kinky stuff in his portfolio, I’d recommend putting it in a separate folder that is properly labeled. (That way, the only editors that see it are those that are actually interested).

    Also, I think that it would help to think about who you might be working with. For example, both my inker and colorer are women. If we were collectively evaluating someone to do the pencils for our team, I think they’d be put off by the dominatrix stuff.

  46. JLT45on 30 Dec 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Well, my Target audience is T for Teen. I will have kinky stuff, crude jokes, blood, and sexuality (no nudity or actual sex). I would have cussing but…my mom doesnt want me to add any swearing. I don’t want kids or young teens readin this or playin the game. I want this to be like soul caliber or whatever, something big teens would love. So if I want my stuff published or made into a game, I will make sure I get someone who is fond of that kind of genre. Not nintendo or some child book publishin guy. Besides, that isn’t my portfolio…I dont even call it that. I havent taken a class on it and until than I will not label anything I have that. If anything, its just a house for all my drawings that I will put up. Also, I didnt expect you to call my DA account my portfolio and expect it to be classified in separate folders. When I have graduated or whatever, I will make a site that I will turn into my portfolio. Devianart is a place where people can showcase their art or any other thing. I only want comments from normal people liking my drawings. Not a Editor or whoever. Im not ready for them…I just started IADT! lol Though if you can give me a different name other than Dominatrix that still means what she is, I’ll change it. Another thing, I seem to only be put off by her title. Ya make it seem like it’s the reason you dont like her, or my other women for that matter, which I seriously dont see how you couldn’t. Dex? I guess you just dont like Half-Breeds, but Felicity? Their nothin wrong with her…she’s pretty, fat and not your everyday thin and bony princess. Definitely a step away from the typical Princess! And yes, I’m sure someone if not you will ask, she’s the type of girl I like. BIG, taller than me and curvaceous. Ex, Queen Latifa, maybe Mo’nique, Kirsten Alley(before she got morbidly obese), Raven Symone and…well, you got the idea. I made Zach have the same taste in women as me. If it’s a Gary-Sue trait, than sue me! Just don’t expect to win much money 😛

    Why did you completely ignore the response on 29 Dec 2009 at 5:37 pm? It’s more important to me than the ‘Dub the Witch’ talk.

  47. B. Macon 03 Jan 2010 at 12:34 pm

    JLT, I don’t know anything about game-design or the making of video games. This is a site about writing comic books and novels. Since you’re not doing either, you’d probably be better off finding advice more specifically geared to your areas of interest. For example, a site run by a video game professional or something.

    Also, your teachers would probably be a good place to start. Failing that, maybe the forums at Gamefaqs. For art design questions specifically, I bet there are sites specifically devoted to that sort of thing. More generally, I use LinkedIn when I need to get feedback from designers.

    If and when you need advice about how to write novels and/or comic books, you know where to find me.

  48. PaintedSainton 03 Jan 2010 at 1:22 pm

    DeviantArt is actually pretty terrible for advice, it’s somewhat the equivalent of taking fanfiction.net seriously for comments/criticisms. I do think that you have some talent in using the pencil colour medium, but there needs to be a lot of improvment in your anatomical proportions. For example, “Envious Sidekick”, either the legs are too short for the body, or the arms are too large+long for the body. I’d actually like to see if you have more dynamic posing for any of your characters, or if you have any grasp on how fighting is paced, since most of what I’m seeing is just your characters standing and looking ‘pretty’. Asking your teachers for advice is better than asking people on the internet, actually.

  49. B. Macon 03 Jan 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Yeah, I think DA and (particularly) SheezyArt are not well-stocked with professionally-minded users. However, I’m familiar with a few Gamefaqs users that are professional game designers. For example, my best friend’s brother works for a game company and he pretty much lives on Gamefaqs.

  50. JLTon 03 Jan 2010 at 9:55 pm

    I knew that awesome quote would put me back out there lol.

    @ Both

    Mac, yo may not know anything both that stuff, but you’ve helped me more then any other person out there. ^^ Though it wasnt easy taking the truth, I did it! 😀 Now, even though most of my questions were answered and some weren’t (it’s cool, you probably just didn’t know how to answer) I’m glad to have had someone who actually knows stuff to help me. Also Designing Games, writing novels and making movies are all connected. There are books turned into movies than games are born. Or any other order of that. They can be good or bad. Say the Harry potter series, Alex Rider whatever, they have something in almost all, Alex Rider does anyways, a movie, book series, game and graphic novel (is that the same as a comic?) and a script book, video recordings, lions, tigers, and bears oh my! lol I wanna be like that, I want to reach all media in an explosive (good) way. And…even though I said it was ok if you didn’t know how to answer or fix my problems in that comment from December 29…it would help me big to know the answers to the questions I needed most…
    And just to let cha know, I have taken everything you said to heart and Zach has been changed. I changed him in a large way, mostly changing his face and actually using a model this time. (I dont know how I can up with his stance for the one you’ve seen @-@ did I just pull it outta nowhere? It was so long ago…Oy) He looks natural and has straight yet wavy hair, sorta like the dude from the Supernatural series except way cooler. The blade of the sword will be drastically changed, the hilt may stay but shrink to fit the sleeker thinner look of the sword. Zach’s clothes will change to something darker to fit is darker hair too. He’s muscular still, but more to the size of say…Ryan Renolds. He looks nice right now, at first, wow, it was super hard to get his face right! The hair was easy to design but putting the eyes in and overall face was aggravating. But I finally finished the face, not I just need to perfect everything.

    SheezyArt? Sounds nasty lol. Deviantart, well, I havent gotten any advice for my pictures..thats why I needed you guys to assist me. That place is just there for me to show off my pics, not for professional reasons at all. I could care less who saw them. I definitely would send a professional there without fixin it up and such. Anyways, yeah, Ripley? He’s a simple screwup. Thats actually my pose. I dont know what happened…I’m looking at him right now and well, it’s far to late for me to change anything. I’ll just have to re-draw him. I wont re-vamp him like Im doing Zach, but I’ll re-draw him one day. Maybe…but it’s the length not the size on him. His arms are thinner than how Zachs are on purpose. by comparison to his body, his arms seem kinda thin to me, but is the length and placement to..I messed up and realized to late. Aye..he came out good in color though.
    As for dynamic stuff, well, I REALLY want to try that! I’ve done an entire movie poser thing idk, but it was awesome, I’ll scan it this week and post it and give the link 😉 It’s full of mario characters doing different things. It was good but I never finished it. I even managed to erase a hole in it, right where a characters eye was supposed to be. I was planning on doing action poses when I finished the main guys, and I’m almost done! =D Well, almost. Gotta re-do Zach and finish my Princess who still needs a design and such. I wanna do a fighting scene too, good thing I didnt though. Just like Mac said, the more I draw the characters may fluctuate and stuff. Which they did, after all Zachs getting a make over. If I had already did an awesome fight scene than It would be like, well idk, just bad I guess. I do both, since I’m not in an Art class right now, I need advice from people who know this stuff. This place is great, even I sometimes feel left behind.. >:3 I like this place very much.

    Whats the difference between Gamefaqs and other sites like Ign?

  51. B. Macon 04 Jan 2010 at 4:16 am

    I think that discerning video game nerds, or at least the ones I know, tend to look down on IGN because it’s poorly informed or less classy or something. “You can’t spell ignorant without IGN.” I don’t know enough to have an opinion there.

  52. B. Macon 04 Jan 2010 at 5:50 am

    Umm, okay, prefacing this with the warning that video games are really, really not my thing…

    “I would hold off on the designs, but if I were to do that, the whole idea would fall away and I’d forget everything I’ve done… I have to have it constantly in my mind or it’ll seem less important and I’ll move on to other subjects.”

    So, let me get this straight. You’re trying to write your own video game. In that case, I’d recommend focusing on the writing (the concept, the setting, the plotline, etc) rather than the character design. I feel that talking about the art would probably be a distraction from the work that is actually expected of the writer. You’d know this better than I would, but I would imagine that video game writers aren’t hired based for their ability to do concept art. The artists do that, right? I don’t see much of a benefit for discussing and improving your concept art. Is it relevant to the job you’re trying to do? If not, I don’t feel like it would be the best use of our time.

    My guess is that it would be worthwhile to stay focused on one project, which for you would probably be the video game. I can only speak to the world of publishing, if that, but my guess is that video game companies probably don’t care that much about the potential for novelizations or comic book spinoffs. I know that editors would laugh at me if I tried claiming that one of the strengths of my novel manuscript was that it could be made into a video game (or a movie, for that matter).

    The sword may well be similar to what is currently selling in the field. If so, keeping it that size might be logical. My guess is that your artist would be a better person to ask about that than me.

    I have no idea about what’s typical in video games in terms of hair. If the sword is really enormous, in an over-the-top anime style (like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, etc), I suppose it would make sense if the hair was also a bit wacky.

    “Thou ya gotta admit, guys do style their hair in crazier style than Zach has his.” Hmm… not buying it. I don’t know what the guys near you wear, but I would feel pretty comfortable saying that the hair is easily goofier than 99% of male haircuts in Illinois.

    But it’s not like it matters. Umm, I’ve never seen anyone with hair like Sephiroth or Cloud, either, and those seem to be mostly accepted by video game fans. Different media have different conventions. This is one reason that you’d probably be better off finding someone else to ask for advice– a video game expert will be much more familiar with what works in the video game industry and what gets picked up than I would.

    “But how could you be put off by them?” It doesn’t really matter, given that I’m not evaluating your art and you’re not an artist. But the first two drawings of women I saw in your portfolio were a pretty scantily clad Neko and a “Seductive Dominatrix.” I don’t think that the work is outlandishly lewd but I’d recommend presenting it in a way that’s more professional and makes it sound less like you’re a 13 year-old. In particular, taking out the word dominatrix could reduce the fetishy vibes. Also, I’d recommend doing some women that aren’t sex kittens or hags.

    “Oy, I hope you are taking your time with them. I mean, you haven’t even told me any good things about my work.” Actually, I complimented the hands and a few other things. But I think it’s fair to say that I found more things to criticize than praise. I’d say that I have very, very high standards for art. I work with professional artists on a comic book team.

    Your art is, umm, not professional-grade. And that’s not a problem! You’re not trying to become an artist. It would probably not surprise you to know that my video game writing skills are pretty crappy, and that will have no effect on me whatsoever. I’ll never be asked to write video games and you’ll never be asked to do art.

    Also, for the record, I spent about 90 minutes looking at the drawing of Zach, comparing the anatomy to reference materials, and writing an 800 word review. How much time did they spend? Speaking from experience, I would venture to say that there is ALWAYS something that can be improved. If your peers didn’t give you a single bad remark or critique, how closely could they have been looking?

    (Sometimes I like to insert a few typos into a piece I’m giving up for review– if the reviewer catches the typos, that’s a pretty good sign that he was actually paying attention).

  53. JLTon 04 Jan 2010 at 10:54 am

    @ B.Mac

    I’ve heard that, they say they give poor reviews that most of the time annoy people who like the games and such and there 25 greatest things or whatever, arent always liked. I’ll see about Gamefaqs though.


    How come? Do you play videogames? Some people dont, which is, well, strange, but hey, I dont like sports which is weird in another persons mind lol.

    I do, I’ve taken a class on that called Intro to Game Design, and at the same time I did a class of Drawing for Game Design. So I did both. When I’m bored in class or away from a computer, I draw my characters or read a book, but when I’m on a computer I do my game writing stuff. I’m still trying to fix up plot holes, not easy to do.
    It all depends in my opinion. I’ve seen both on that subject of artist and Videogame writers. What I want to do in my school is Make Concept art and model the characters in computers and maybe…level design, that might be cool to do. But the other stuff, thats a lot more technical and need math, I’d rather get someone to do. ^^; So, writing, 3D modeling and Concept Art seem to be what I’m trying to do.

    Oh I was just using those for examples, Usually when ya make a movie it spawns a game, or now-a-days, vice-versa. Comics are being made into movies and vice-versa, and Books are becoming movies and then maybe a game. If I make a game, it would be awesome to see a movie or book, or any other way they take it. It would be cool, but thats not something I’d tell them upfront.

    I guess, I’m still changing the sword though…maybe, hmm, I might make it how I first had it. Two swords combined into one, designed in that way coming from one hilt and fused at the point in a cool way. First I’ll finish Zachary then figure out I suppose.

    Not anymore, hmm, it’s too late to go back. I like his new hairstyle now. Thanks to you ^^

    Didnt you see those hairstyles I sent you? All those were cool and wild, way more outlandish than Zachs, AND they were real people, what’s not to buy? I…wouldn’t know about Illinois…never been there lol.

    I’m sure if you go to Japan or whatever, you’ll see hairstyles in that form heh.

    What am I then? If I’m not an artist…Am I a Videogame Concept Artist? Or just a guy that draws? I mean, I draw more than just my characters which I’ll show this week. I’ve drawn a lot of different stuff besides, people in my game/..thing.
    Yeah…the Neko’s design was given to me by the girl who wanted it. I had no real power over how she wanted to look. Dexray, wanted a character who looked like that. The first design was a blue outfit similar to that except with ripped ends and well ^.^; Claws on the chest part like there holding her breast…I well, didnt want her to go that far, this was the best I could do to keep it a little less ‘kinky’. The witch’s title, fine. I’ll change it, just because of you though. I guess I could change it to the Seductive Mistress :/ But I will put that she’s a Dominatrix of sorts in her description. After all it describes her. She’s simply a sexy slave-owner of males. She’s like half Dominatrix, she just doesn’t do anything sex-related to them. Hm, that means she’s been abstinence for a looooong time lol. I even told my mom, at first she was like you, but then I explained how much sense it makes, however it was only when I explained that she doesnt treat them like sex toys, that she finally saw it my way. She’s not kinky or dress in leather or anything revealing, she’s classy and acts like a grown women who demands respect. She is in no way revealing to anyone, you’ll never see to much skin, unless she’s at a beach, which, she wont be going to no-time-soon lol. Another thing…the only reason you were put off were beacuse of how they looked? Well, thats good I guess. I can easily change their outfits. You had me thinking it was their proportions and stuff, the only thing I saw really wrong with my neko, was her thigh, which you didn’t point out…and my witch’s back. I think the arm holding her not important staff is also a little mis-proportioned. Though you didn’t report that to me. I expected you would have noticed them…With your brother saying I need to go Women-drawing on the beach and all. >3 Oh well.
    Also, have you ignored The princess completely?? She’s none of what you said. She’s pretty and classy, no sex-kitty stuff and definitely no Hagging either. There are other characters just like her, after all, not everyone in the world is beautiful or sexy. I told you, I’m using the real world for references. Of course I’ll have women and men who arent gods or goddesses, they wont be models or even higher then a 6. They will look like your average person, just a bit different. I may not be an ‘Artist’ but I do draw as much as I work on my game, it’s almost a requirement. Knowing mistakes on pictures is helpful for the next time I draw them, in like well, an action scene or them in a scenery picture. It does matter. And It’s NOT my portfolio. It’s just a place I have my pictures to if I ever need to have a backup, which I hope I never need.

    A few other things? Not rly dude. Those hands on Zach, that was really the only complement and it was on 1 picture, I ‘ave a lot more that 1. Here’s you compliment on Zach.

    – 2. The hands look really good. I feel that the face and hair need a lot of work and would recommend practicing those subjects as much as possible –

    Besides, I’m not really fond of them anyways, that hands werent good to me. They seemed as bad as his feet. Thats my personal opinion though. I think the hands on my other characters look so much better and not so blocky. The hands on New Zach are WAY better. Cant wait to finish him! 8D
    Are you for serial!? 90 minutes on him??! Him?! Why?! o.o My goodness…I never wouldve thought anyone would spend almost an hour and a half on..him. I wouldnt spend that much time. I mean, he’s badly proportioned, his face is well, somewhat messed up, of course in color he looks better, but still, his feet are all screwed up, his muscles are kinda big, the way he’s holding the sword seems off and etc on what you said. Plus his nose is barely there. I really hate noses but they complete a realistic face, no matter what. Thanks I guess, but ya really didnt need to spend all that time on..one individual, already replaced picture that I knew was a mess in the first place, instead of splitting that time and sharing it with the better pictures lol. King James 29th is known as the crowd favorite, him and Cassandra. Her mother’s my favorite drawing though, strange huh? Anyways, I just, didn’t want anyone to really notice the mistakes on Zach, so far, no one had but you and my teach’. Good job Eagle Eye.
    Yeah, I understand that. I hate it when a person reviews my art and all they say is wow or something. I be like do you see anything you think I should change? Any disproportions? Hair out of place?? I guess it just depends on the person. And yes, there’s always something that can be improved, thats why I used to try to improve a finished piece and end of erasing a hole…through their face. Oy, the worst thing, especially if you haven’t made a copy of them. I have high standards to, but I lower them when it comes to a friend whose drawing are..less that average. I just cant criticize a friend. It’s not easy. Thats a reason I ask friends and people on the internet who dont care about that kind of stuff, they tell you whats what on my story, game ideas and drawings. One day I’ll finish my first chapter of my novel (If I ever stop getting distracted) and let anyone hear read it. M mom is very helpful, she may not be a hardcore critique, but she’s changed my entire first chapter in on night. I really love the new flow too! She helps me a lot, I made every character have in depth backgrounds, reasons for how they do things, thanks to her, especially my villains, like Casandra.

    Yeah, I’m with you on that. I’m not an artist who like does artist things. I cant stand being forced to draw things like shapes and 3D stuff like shoes and such, but that was in school and well, it got me where i am today. I learned shading and well, people say im an awesome shader. You havent seen my shading, i dont think. But I’ve gotten great compliments. I dont shade any more though. I’ve stopped because I dont have to. Ya see, I used to do three-step drawings. 1st, I’d draw the character, make a copy. 2nd, shade the copy, then make a copy of that copy. 3rd, color the copy of the shaded copy and Wallah. My picture would be shaded and colorful with shadows. Now though, I’ve decided to skip step two and just shad with my colors by using a darker color to make the shadows. Such as black or like, a darker red on an already red part, ya get me? I dont know about the never though. As I say, Never say Never. I plan on doing Concept Art.

    Hmm, you do eh? Well, I would follow your lead however, heh, I already have so many involuntary grammar screw ups and mistakes that there’s no need lol. Sm,art though. I even misspell things that are soooo small, my reason? As people get older, hey may forget the spelling little words but gain the spelling of much bigger words! I believe it to be sorta true considering I’m not the only one to ask a friend or so how to spell words that you’ve learned in elementary or middle school xD

  54. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:38 am

    Wow..6 days and counting…Must be because I’m black :/

    Btw, To show I have been listening to you and that I wasnt just being a stubborn mule…Here’s the New Zach. Hope you can actually give me more compliments than criticisms this time. Oy, I’ve already shrunken body parts and such from interesting criticisms from friends lol

    And if you look at the Witch in the gallery you’ll see she’s no longer known as a Dominatrix and that word isnt even mentioned. In fact I’ll have it that she takes an offense to the word when ever compared to one.

  55. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:39 am

    And of course, I’m joking about the black statement. -__-;

  56. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:40 am

    Oh and his colors are mainly going to be Black and Red. Hoo-ray for Anti-heroes who are also the Main Hero! Woo!

  57. Ragged Boyon 09 Jan 2010 at 9:34 am

    I suspect I’ve jumped into this conversation a little too late. JLT, you tend to ramble a bit in your comments, which makes it difficult to discern what you want help on. I think I have a little more experience with video games than B. Mac so I might be able to help. I also draw, not professionally or anything, but well enough to know aspects and offer advice as a fellow artist. What I need for you to do is to clearly list what you need help on, leaving out unnecessary details.

    I’d also be careful about making jokes about race. It could get you into quite a bit of trouble even if it’s just a joke.

  58. B. Macon 09 Jan 2010 at 9:41 am

    I think Ragged Boy’s comment is quite astute. I’m not really sure how you’d like me to help you, JLT.

    “What I want to do in my school is make concept art and model the characters in computers and maybe level design.” Hmm. If I were interested in trying to become a concept artist, I’d probably practice the hell out of speculative art, particularly in fantasy and sci-fi. (I’m guessing that games that are neither fantasy nor sci-fi, like most sports and puzzle games, don’t need much concept art).

    However, in the event of any sort of stylistic disagreement, I would imagine that the artist’s opinion usually takes precedence over the writer’s because the artist is much more skilled at visual design. If you want your concept art to be taken seriously by the person making the decisions (the art director?), it has to be seriously good. I don’t think you’re there yet. Professional artists are usually quite good. For example, Emily did this fantasy heroine, Rebecca did this Cowboy Bebop art, and Dustin Nguyen did this Bruce Wayne. (Emily does the colors for the Superhero Nation comic book and Rebecca does pencils and inks).

    Dragon and the Maiden Collab by =Foxbane on deviantART

    In comic books (and possibly video games– I don’t know) the writer has some role in creating concepts but it’s usually up to the artist and editors to decide how to depict it visually. For example, if the protagonist is an acrobat, then the writer can say something like “please make his armor look light and agile.” Or “Jane uses her rifle for long-range assassinations AND close-range standoffs, so please use something like an SR-25 or M468 as the reference.”

    “I’m sure if you go to Japan or whatever, you’ll see hairstyles in that form.” When I went to Nagoya and Gifu this summer, most of the people I saw on the street and subway wore pretty mundane hairstyles. (Check out the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program’s Japanese students in the slideshow on its homepage— particularly the fourth frame). Then again, maybe it’s different in Tokyo. UPDATE: Nope from Tokyo.

    “What am I then? If I’m not an artist… am I a videogame concept artist? Or just a guy that draws?” I don’t know. I wouldn’t say you’re a concept artist until somebody is willing to pay for your concept art. I don’t know if you’re there yet. If your school does career fairs, I’d recommend speaking with a video game professional and asking him what role he could see you playing in his company’s artistic process. (If you think that any part of your job might entail doing art, bring a portfolio, of course). Also, maybe you could ask him to clarify the role that writers have in the artistic process.

    Let’s not get confused here–what I think about your art doesn’t matter at all. It matters what the people hiring in this industry think. They’re the ones with job offers and, even if they don’t have job offers, they know more about what it takes to get a job offer in your industry than I do. Talk to them. As many as possible– you only need to impress one professional to get a job, right? offer. In my experience, people LOVE talking about their work and you could get to know some people in the field by asking video game professionals for informational interviews on LinkedIn. For example, “what sort of art skills are expected of writers?” (None, I would imagine). “What role does a writer usually play in the artistic process?” (Very little, I’d imagine). A few questions to build a rapport and establish your interest in their work (like “what sort of work do you do day to day?” and “What does a person in your position need to be successful?”) Then, after you’ve established the rapport, I’d recommend introducing your goals and asking for professional advice. For example, if you really wanted to be a concept artist, send him links to a few of your best pieces of work as though he were actually considering whether to hire you.

    “Are you for serial!? 90 minutes on him??! Him?! Why?! o.o My goodness…I never wouldve thought anyone would spend almost an hour and a half on..him. I wouldnt spend that much time.” Umm, because he was the one you asked for? In your first comment introducing your art work, that piece of Zachary was the only one you mentioned. Also, I’ve already spent several hours explaining my opinions about your art and I have to ration my time. I run a fairly busy website (250,000 readers and counting) and I have a lot of other people to work with. If you would like, I could offer further opinions at my discounted rate for noncorporate clients, $10/hour.

  59. Ragged Boyon 09 Jan 2010 at 11:50 am

    JLT, I’ve recently posted a comment on your Deviantart on your revamped drawing. I’d like for you to read over it.

  60. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:04 pm

    @ Ragged Boy
    Oh yes…you’re pretty far up lol. I mean, B.Mac has been able to keep up with meh along with Painted Saint, I think it’s more on having been here since the very beginning. ^^; I know I have been rambling on and such, but hey, it’s not like I’ve completely derailed. That’s Zachary’s department lol. So yeah, your welcome to assist. Though it’d be best if you tried to skim through the past comments to get up to speed with everything. Or, just dive in! The water’s a bit choppy but otherwise, fine 😀

    Now, I needed a lil examination of my re-do of Zach from Mac here, but unfortunately, he sorta over-did the first examination of the old Zach with research and comparisons and all that. I didnt expect it, but I’m happy he did, well, I was until his comment on 09 Jan 2010 at 9:41 am, Oy. Anyways! Think you can follow the one I posted here? on 09 Jan 2010 at 1:38 am I’m afraid if I post an external link I’ll be left high and dry for the 4th… time. =__=; Also, dont over-do any examinations unless you want to k? I cant be held liable for broken fingers, sweaty palms and or diarrhea. xD

    Preposterous! (love that word) I cant get in trouble on race jokes like the one I made, ya know why? Because I am of that race, meaning, I can make jokes about my own race and get away with it! I’m ‘G’ boi!…. Note to self, never type like that again, it’s soooo ‘ghetto’ lol

  61. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Astute…Gotta write that down.

    Well, I did just post New-Zach up finally after taking your advice…but never mind about him. You’ve done enough. You deserve a well-needed rest.

    You’re most likely guessing right.

    Hmm, I seriously need to show my skills on my concept landscape drawing, if I ever freakin’ get it back from my teacher! Ugh. I drew an awesome picture in Drawing for Game Design. We were supposed to combine two different land types from actual pictures and make our own landscape piece. I did mines off a large tropical beach and two giant flat plateau mountain things. I didn’t think it would come out good but to my surprise, it was amazing! It looked strangely space-like too! The shading was so good I shocked myself! The teacher loved it! I was so happy that day. 🙂 Im definitely gonna post it on DA as soon as he gives it back to me. Though, it’ll be incredibly hard for me to scan it considering its huge size…oy. What I’m saying (not rambling or prattling on about nonsense) is that, you think you’ve seen my skills just because you’ve seen simple character designs. I may not be awesome in characters but if I were to show you my actual art and landscape piece, you may just change your mind… >=] Don’t forget, Mac, I draw in that style ON PURPOSE, it’s how I -want- my characters to look. Just because it’s not realistic and lacks a background and action pose and one of the earlier pictures aren’t proportionally correct (Zach), that doesn’t mean I’m a less-than artist ‘who isn’t there yet’. And I know it’s in your opinion. But to others I AM an artist. Maybe not the definition you have in mind, but one I have in mind. Now if you go to a random person on DA whose art is less than mine or even the same, and say they’re not artists ‘in your opinion’, they may cuss you out, no matter how you type it. I mean seriously, what about the “artist” who drew the weird ugly freaks in paintings, like The Scream and his others? I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. [EDITOR: Edward Munch]. In my opinion, those pictures were hideous yet people love them. I don’t see why, but hey, he’s an artist to you, right? Is it his perfectly proportioned creatures? Their anatomy? In-depth realism? Do they put you off in any way? (I’m j/k, no need to bring the wrath of a professional on me).

    Then there are some artists that just make a mess on a piece of paper and call it art and what happens, they get paid a heck of a lot of money for a dastardly paint spill. Here’s a few examples of Artist who I think are less then average but make money.


    Also, so you know I’m not just getting off subject, here’s an example of Character concept art for a beautiful game. It started out weird but ended up awesome IMO.
    It’s not seriously good in any way. I read different comments on these pics in forums and people were like “What? O.o Chip looks so retarded!” and “Sonic looks like a yeti! I’m so glad they changed it to what it is now.” I definitely wouldnt say those pics were ‘there yet’ at all, in fact, I’ve seen WAY cooler pics of Sonic and any other character of a movie, show or game on DA! Way worth money!
    My art is just like those pics of Sonic and chip except a different art style. Everyone has a different style remember? When ever I say to someone, “Wow, your art is waaaay better than mines!” They usually say to me, “That its because we have different styles” Which couldnt be truer! I draw with a mixture of Realism and Cartoonism, some draw, straight up Realism and others Cartoonism. I’d say the banner is a mixture as well, but, it’s a different style of it. So not all concept art is beautiful because, it’s concept art, not finished, just trying to get the character or level lookin’ good and having people decide what needs to be changed. Like muah. So I’m a concept artist as well as a Artist Period. That’s why I get A’s in my art classes. Except one…the teacher hated me, well, everyone for that matter…

    Also, I kinda like this picture…it really cool how this person drew this in the same way as the original, sure it’s funny and such, but really good in terms of re-drawing. IMO that is. Unnecessary but I like it.

    I’ve never even heard of such places. =.= But if your correct than bless it be thy name lol. I’ve already crossed that bridge in the Re-vamp of Zachary. Which you dont need to check out and give me hour and a half review. Just nod ya head and pass on through.

    And im not offended by what you said. I’ve learned not to have my feelings on my shoulders and to not care what a person thinks, especially if it’s 99 to one or whatever the odds may be. Arent you happy lol. My writing may seem like I’m gettin’ hurt by your words, but my face is content. Your opinion’s more professional so you matter more than friends and family, I mean, I changed my main guy thanks to you and he came out awesome! I cant find any real proportion issues since I used an actual person to model for me and I used several body builder pics and Posemaniacs to give him correct anatomy. Though I’ve learned that nothing’s perfect and that everything could be better. Pl;us everyone has their own opinions on things. Zach’s new sword has gotten all positive reviews, onl one disagrees and thats only cause he’s a negative guy. Literally, Im not just saying that cause he thinks something different. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s just well, you’d have to know him like I do. But he thinks the swords a copy of something, but he doesnt know what, he just says it because it’s big. A typical answer from him. – ~ – Everyone else though, says it’s perfect and one guy gave me the awesome idea of putting a made of language on it! Which, I’ve already completed! Really cool lookin’! ^-^

    Anyways, I may try that site. Sounds intriguing! LinkedIn…Oooooh

    Now B. Mac..Mac…mac..I never told you to put so much effort in one piece. And I figured you would check over my other artworks in the same gallery out of curiosity like most people who go to my gallery and favorite things and then you’d tell meh bout them. I mean, your a first definitely…9o minutes…at least you take your self seriously. And the last sentences of your comment…yeah…No thanks. I’m not known for my ability to carry money. Heck, if anything, I spend it all on candy. [News Brief! JLT has just recently spent $9.59 on Sour Candy!! The most spend in a single visit to a dollar tree buying sour candy: A whopping $12.00!! UNBELIEVABLE!! O0O!] Leave me alone! I’m allowed to be random when I want to! T~T

  62. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:06 pm

    @ RB
    Thanks for the Review! I’ll check it out right…Now!

  63. Ragged Boyon 09 Jan 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I suppose your logic behind your joke makes sense. However, I’m African-american as well so don’t think no one can be offended by your humor. Just watch your back.

  64. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 2:12 pm


    Gotcha! My back is now on Neighborhood Watch.

  65. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Oh and I finished my reply.

  66. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 2:13 pm

    What in the world? 2:12? It’s 4: 13…Hmm..

  67. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Ah, Thank you. I wondered what it was since im in the Sunshine State and such

  68. Ragged Boyon 09 Jan 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Hey! I’m in the Sunshine state, too! Anyways, I’ve replied to your reply.

  69. B. Macon 09 Jan 2010 at 5:38 pm

    “But to others I AM an artist.” Well, if you can convince enough of them to pay you tens of thousands of dollars a year, then you can go pro. Please let me know when you do; I’m always eager to celebrate success stories in competitive fields.

    “Now if you go to a random person on DA whose art is less than mine or even the same, and say they’re not artists in your opinion, they may cuss you out, no matter how you type it.” Possibly. But if they asked for my opinion, I think that cussing me out for offering my opinion would be wildly silly and immature… If “could you give me your opinion” actually means “could you tell me how awesome I am?”, the question isn’t worth asking.

    Also, if they asked my opinion and are offended by my opinion, they probably need to grow a thicker skin. Most creative endeavors are very, very competitive. If “you’re not there yet” makes an artist upset or angry, (s)he may react to a genuinely distasteful comment from an editor in an unprofessional manner. For example, the possibly apocryphal editor that told an artist “I’d tell you to burn the portfolio, but the leather might be worth something.” In comic books, editors definitely tend to be cynical professionals that are perpetually strapped for time. Sometimes they get annoyed when they feel that someone way below their standards is using up the time they could be using on promising candidates. I’m not sure that it’s like that in video games, but I couldn’t rule it out.

    I have no idea what question(s) you’d like me to answer related to the Sonic paragraph, so I’ll leave it at that.

  70. Beccaon 09 Jan 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Yeah, I’m in Pacific Time Zone and the SN clock is always an hour ahead. According to this, B.Mac just posted in the future.

  71. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 10:12 pm

    @ Big Mac

    Woah now, I’m not up for profit and such! I’m a humble ‘man’ (I dont know If I can consider myself a man yet…even though I’m 19 and out of home in college…) who wants no money! Though I have charged for pictures before, I got 30 bucks to draw for my pastor just recently. However, I dont freelance anymore cause, well, I hate it. Annoying to me. But thats just me. I’ve been freelancing since middle school, back when I did nothing but ‘trace’ pictures for 10cents (not literally tracing, but the version of drawing a pic down to the nitty-gritty of detail, like copying an image about five times smaller of from a magazine or game guide, and blowing it up on computer paper than coloring and such. Ya gotta see the Pocahontas I did! Beautiful!!) They were perfectly good. I dont do that kind of tracing anymore though. I got out of that as quickly as I could.
    Heh, I’m post all my best normal-sized pics up from as far as I can remember, of course anyone here can simply find a link on this site from this thread if they ever want to see my past works and how far I’ve improved in my ‘decided’ choice of style in art.

    “Now if you go to a random person on DA whose art is less than mine or even the same, and say they’re not artists in your opinion, they may cuss you out, no matter how you type it.” Possibly. But if they asked for my opinion, I think that cussing me out for offering my opinion would be wildly silly and immature… If “could you give me your opinion” actually means “could you tell me how awesome I am?”, the question isn’t worth asking.

    Hah ha, dont forget Mac, everyone has different personalities, they may get made and act immature either way. I’ve seen it in person! My friend would ask the negative friend of mines his opinion on his picture, (lets call him Sam) and Sam would tell him all the negative things about it, well me anyways. He’d come to me and tell me how awful my friend is at drawing. I cant say much cause everyone has their style. Unless its anime. Or DBZ -_- My friend would always get offended and try to defend his picture of whatever it may be and they’d get into a small disagreement. But it all depends on the person asking the question. I think I handled myself quite nicely with your reviews, even if I got only one, good thing on old Zach lol.
    True on that. I definitely had too, aye, my past isnt so great in the whole self-esteem subject…
    Yeah, that would be wow, very harsh. But..if they can give something that can give the artist something to give them faith that they could get better and not just throw them out with a hump, then I’d say the editor did a good thing.

    I though…I explained it right…I was giving you examples on Concept art and that If anything, I’m a concept artist for my maybe videogame. I mean, you basically said that in your mind, I’m not an artist but more of a guy who draws. Those pictures I gave you were nothing like you said concept art should be like. But hey, they helped make an awesome (to me) game! Not all concept art is at first glamorous and I’m quite sure those guys were professionals and those pics sucked, bad. But, they did what was needed to be done. They showed people how they saw the characters or landscapes, right? They wanted to see what needed to be changed, how should chip look and so on. So I’m a concept artist as well as an ‘amateur’ artist like the main majority of the world of good drawers.

  72. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 10:15 pm

    @ Becca
    Hey! You made a funnie! The first one I’ve seen from a regular! xD
    I think Mac can tell the future..O.O Maybe I should ask him for the winning numbers to some lottery tickets lol.

  73. JLTon 09 Jan 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Oh and I looked at your pics and gave my opinions. And replied of course.

  74. B. Macon 10 Jan 2010 at 12:32 am

    “Hah ha, dont forget Mac, everyone has different personalities, they may get mad and act immature either way.” Unfortunately true. However, in my limited experience, the jobs in the field go to the people that react to adversity and unpleasantness with poise and an enthusiastic/cheerful attitude. I don’t think defensiveness is a helpful trait for a writer, particularly if (s)he is inexperienced and/or unpolished. Companies will accept more mistakes from an employee that has demonstrated a desire and capacity to improve. And the ability to get along with people, even those that can be difficult and/or prickly, is a major job skill in pretty much every field.

    “Yeah, that would be wow, very harsh. But..if they can give something that can give the artist something to give them faith that they could get better and not just throw them out with a hump, then I’d say the editor did a good thing.” Yeah, but it’s very hard from a business standpoint. If you’re looking at 100 or 150 applicants for 1-2 jobs, you’d have to divvy up most of your time for the 5-10 best applicants. There just isn’t time to coach the candidates that aren’t yet professionally polished. When I received 100+ applicants for my colorer position, it would have taken me nine hours to spend five minutes writing a personalized rejection letter for each one. That’s ridiculous, particularly given how many of the artists clearly copy-pasted my name into the same letter they sent to every other art contractor they applied to. Of the 100 candidates, perhaps eight introduced their portfolio with a letter linking their strengths to my proposal. I gave each of them a personalized rejection and sent a form-letter to most everybody else.

    So, if you’re looking for individualized attention, I would HIGHLY recommend demonstrating that you have given THEM individualized attention. For example, if you use LinkedIn to reach professionals, I think it’s really important to develop a personal connection BEFORE you ask them to look at your portfolio. Otherwise, if the guy sees the portfolio and thinks “oh dear God, there’s no way I could work with this guy,” there is NO CHANCE he will give you anything but a form rejection. However, if he likes you, he will want you to succeed whether or not he’s confident in your artistic ability. So he may care deeply enough about your success to offer you advice.

  75. Ragged Boyon 10 Jan 2010 at 7:04 am

    JLT, I’ve responded to your comments on DeviantArt.

  76. JLTon 10 Jan 2010 at 12:24 pm

    “Hah ha, dont forget Mac, everyone has different personalities, they may get mad and act immature either way.” Unfortunately true. However, in my limited experience, the jobs in the field go to the people that react to adversity and unpleasantness with poise and an enthusiastic/cheerful attitude. I don’t think defensiveness is a helpful trait for a writer, particularly if (s)he is inexperienced and/or unpolished. Companies will accept more mistakes from an employee that has demonstrated a desire and capacity to improve. And the ability to get along with people, even those that can be difficult and/or prickly, is a major job skill in pretty much every field.

    Hey! Thats good for me! I’m one for people! I love people! (Not as much as I love candy though…>>) Im all for making friends and such. So I’ve got that part covered. And I see how you mean, an example would how the main character acted at the beginning of the Stepford Wives. How she was being fired and she kept a smile and her dignity as she left the job. Til she exploded in the elevator lol.
    Ah, I forget about that part of rushing and such. It would suck soooo bad though if everyone including teachers, professional people like you and everyone who cares said your portfolio was amazing and there were no drastic mistakes and then all of a sudden an editor or whatever just says your horrible and sends you on your way after like a second glance at not even half of your pics that you slaved over. That would be a terrible thing to happen to anyone. Especially if they dont tell you why your horrible. You’ll never be able to improve because you werent what they were looking for. I’ve heard stories like that too. Awful really.
    But that was nice of what you did. ^^

    Its always good to try to get on the friendly side of anyone, professional or not, thats why I like to make friends with everyone and not just business associates and such. I’ll try the site though when I actually feel ready to show off any work to anyone other then friends.

  77. JLTon 10 Jan 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Darn it, I forgot to delete Macs paragraph. Oh well lol

  78. JLTon 10 Jan 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Oh and RB, I finished with a vengeance!

  79. B. Macon 10 Jan 2010 at 1:39 pm

    “Especially if they don’t tell you why you’re horrible. You’ll never be able to improve because you weren’t what they were looking for.” Well, I think that becoming a successful writer usually requires the ability to self-edit without feedback from publishers/editors. Feedback is really helpful, particularly if the writer is inexperienced and/or raw, but the people that need it the most get the least.

    I would imagine that it’s pretty similar in the video game industry. Maybe even worse. A typical first comic book or novel probably costs a publisher somewhere in the low five figures. In contrast, I would suspect that most video game companies spend considerably more than $10,000 or $20,000 producing, distributing and marketing each game. I’d bet that creating a video game requires a much larger budget for specialized labor (like programmers). So I would imagine that comic book publishers could afford to be a bit more adventurous with marginal proposals than video game companies could be.

  80. JLTon 11 Jan 2010 at 8:02 am

    Ah, that’s a good reason! That’s why I wouldn’t let any professionals see my “novel” in progress, only my friends and mom. I already told you how much help she turned out to be! ^-^
    I bet that’s what is too, even though I haven’t a clue about marginal proposers. [EDITOR: A proposal that is nearly good enough to get accepted is marginal].

    Also, I’m through. If we go any farther with this conversation, I’ll get confused with the talk of business.

    Another thing, I simply want to entertain you guys with this blog I did on my Myspace. It’s purely entertainment and requires no reviews– it does have a few mistakes but I don’t care since it’s just for fun. So check it out if you’d like to! If you like the Mario series, that is…

  81. esnippleeon 29 Jun 2010 at 6:19 pm

    16. i do have to name his species… i think…
    17. i got 28. “Some definite Sue-like tendancies here. A little polishing might be in order to put original fiction and RPG characters back into the balance, especially if Kirking is involved. Fanfiction characters should probably have some work done. ”
    18. i did that a little. … there. scraped the sentence.
    19. as i said in another, the /secondary/ start is him waking up. the start is him having a pretty minor accident that turns out to cause the rest of the story. does that build enough tension?
    20. i’ll keep it in mind

  82. Blonde Emoon 06 Jan 2011 at 1:00 am

    Hah! I can’t imagine my characters being Mary Sues. I’m not trying to brag or anything. More like the opposite: “This character could be me if I became a junkie, clinically depressed, hated by everyone I ever knew, and had a funny last name.”

  83. JLT45on 24 Jun 2015 at 10:52 am

    Is my comment seen?

  84. Saithorthepyroon 30 Sep 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I actually want to say that I feel that Common Mistake #16 isn’t always something that can be detrimental. Having words unique to your universe in the opening chapter can add mystery and build a person’s interest in your book if used correctly. One of the best examples I can think of is the first two chapters of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, which in those two chapters introduces the words and concepts of Radiants, Lashings, Shardplate and Shardblades, Spren, and several others. He does explain pretty well what each of those concepts is except where naming it would be spoiling the story, so if what you meant was when the concepts and words are not explained, then I apologize for the criticism.

  85. Tomason 11 Apr 2016 at 9:31 am

    Is it okay to start a chapter with the character waking up if the previous chapter was a dream sequence???

    Also, I tend to use routine as a means of contrasting it with the supernatural event that happens afterwards.

  86. B. McKenzieon 11 Apr 2016 at 6:00 pm

    If the character is waking up under unusual circumstances, it might not be uninteresting. I’d be more concerned if it were a routine morning. “I tend to use routine as a means of contrasting it with the supernatural event that happens later.” Okay, is it at least an interesting routine?

  87. Tomason 11 Apr 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Well, technically it starts not so normally. As soon as she wakes up, something unusual (tied to the dream) already happened, but a)she is in that zombie-like state that you are when you just woke up and b)she has grown accustomed to it and she does not bother to find an explanation (“because, of course, rocks don’t move on their own”).
    Also, her usual routine is interrupted by a teen romance issue that becomes pivotal in triggering her powers (let’s just say that people who wrong her friends don’t end up well).

  88. James Dakotaon 01 Nov 2016 at 4:23 am

    “19. Starting stories with a character waking up is usually dull and ineffective.”

    Is it alright if we start our book the day Mercedes goes blind?

  89. young grasshopperon 01 Nov 2016 at 6:46 am

    Hey James, B.Mac already has a couple articles that tackle starting a story. I recommend that you read those, as they are really good.
    As a reader, I love action openings where you get thrown into the thick of things and then get the explanation shortly after the action. I would personally love opening the first couple page seeing the main hero in a situation WAY over his head where he ends up getting seriously injured, and then maybe the story could backtrack a little bit to explain how Mercedes gets into that situation in the first place.

  90. James/Dakotaon 01 Nov 2016 at 7:29 am

    Thanks, I will certainly check those out.

  91. James Dakotaon 02 Nov 2016 at 4:19 am

    So, should it be in first person or third person?

  92. (o_n')on 02 Nov 2016 at 6:54 am

    I recommend look at 1. Person, 2. Person or 3. Person as tools. It is more matter of preference to your personal taste, work best with or best suited to the story. Just be stick to one of them in a story. Anyway you can always change it later. But you might hate doing it, when you are a couple of hundreds pages into your novel.
    In comics it is most common with 3. Person, I have seen 1. Person, but they are incredible rare.

  93. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2016 at 6:59 am

    “So, should it be in first person or third person?” Either one is fully workable. I don’t think most novel publishers have a preference.

    Some advantages to third person:
    –Makes it easier to bring in information that your POV character(s) don’t have access to without being jarring. E.g. there may be plot arcs developing or characters you want to introduce that couldn’t naturally be covered by the perspective of one of your perspective character(s) yet. Less substantively, it’s challenging (but usually not impossible) to naturally describe what a POV character looks like (using a mirror/reflection would be tacky if the character doesn’t have a reason to study his reflection besides showing characters what he looks like).
    –I think third-person narration is less vulnerable to issues with telling us what a character feels. Also, when they do come up in 3PN, I think they’re less noticeable.
    –Personally, I find it easier to execute highly emotional scenes with a third-party narrator.

    Some advantages to first-person:
    –I think it’s a more natural way to handle an unreliable narrator.
    –I think it’s a more natural way to handle a character making decisions that appear illogical or morally wrong at first glance.
    –It may be useful for establishing empathy with a character, particularly a disagreeable character.
    –Using a character as the narrator could probably offer opportunities for character development that might not be as clear if the narration was delivered by a third party.

    –You don’t really have a great reason to use second-person narration. You’d probably find it gets annoying pretty quickly. Line after line, you after you, you’d probably want to murder the author after approximately 150-300 words, and then there’s the narrative clunkiness of trying to narrate scenes that you aren’t actually a part of. Only recommended in highly experimental works, particularly flash fiction. It’s highly intrusive and will call a lot of attention to the narrator, so probably only suitable in cases where you’re unusually confident the narrator’s voice and/or personality is a real winner.

  94. James Dakotaon 02 Nov 2016 at 7:44 am

    I was thinking that if I did do 1PN I’d use Merc as one of the POVs, and if I did it could create an easy way to describe new characters–he’d just ask someone what the new guy looked like. Also, since Mercedes is blind he wouldn’t know what all was going on around him (or at least until Sara heals his eyes. Then he can see) so I’ll probably have to have at least one more POV person to tell the audience what’s going on. Most likely it would be a girl, not one of his sisters but Tori (someone on the hero team) or Sara. I think it’s a good idea to have one boy and one girl narrator.
    Your thoughts?

  95. young grasshopperon 02 Nov 2016 at 8:37 am

    it doesn’t quite make sense to me for a blind person to ask what someone looks like, unless that person really misses their eyesight or something. I would find it more likely that someone who loses their sight would start to pay a lot more attention to the way people sound in their voices and footsteps (does a character take deliberate paces or drag their feet? Things like that can provide great insight into a character’s personality). As far as having one boy and one girl narrator, I think that’s a great way to provide two very different perspectives. I could see it being very funny to read one scene in the girl’s perspective, and then reading how the guy looks back on that scene afterwards (or vice-versa).

  96. James Dakotaon 02 Nov 2016 at 12:57 pm

    B. Mac, could you set up a review forum for me please? If you don’t want to you don’t have to. It’s just I’d like to hash out the details of my book and get second opinions on a few of my decisions. And I have zip on the personality of a certain Jasper Ontario. My plot needs to be refined and worked on, and lots of other busy work.

    Thanks ahead of time.

  97. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2016 at 5:25 pm

    “B. Mac, could you set up a review forum for me please?” Ah, sorry, I’ve stopped doing review forums. I’d suggest a writing workshop like Critters because they have the manpower and technical infrastructure to make it work well. (It’s also more private, which would be advantageous when you’re ready to publish, compared to having large segments of your manuscript publicly available to a Google search).

  98. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2016 at 5:31 pm

    “In comics it is most common with 3. Person, I have seen 1. Person, but they are incredible rare.” I’d agree it’s not generally as major a narrative feature in comics as in novels, where reworking a narrator would be a SERIOUS undertaking, but I think it’s not uncommon for comics to have narration. Off the top of my head, I’d recommend checking out Watchmen (Rorschach’s journal entries), Kick-Ass (“That’s not me, by the way” on page 2, as he’s narrating/explaining the death we saw on page 1), Batman/Superman, and Deadpool.

  99. James Dakotaon 02 Nov 2016 at 5:53 pm

    How do I get a Critters thing?

  100. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2016 at 6:03 pm

    They have a Join page.

  101. (o_n')on 04 Nov 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I did mean 1. Person are uncommon in comics. Older work tends to have a lot of narration. Those wall blocks of text. I am not always the biggest fan of them, especially then they take up the most page, first is visual part of it if you aren’t careful and secondly they force me read slower than I would read anything else in this world. And I am a fast reader. On other there is cheesy short ones with later, meanwhile etc. Unless it is several years or explaining Superman did go to Antarctica in two seconds the first he did it. I rather be free of short ones if they aren’t relevant.

  102. Kivon 13 Mar 2018 at 2:15 pm

    16: Um, seeing as Liz is an amnesiac she doesn’t know any of the weird name/words for things.

    17: As far as I’m aware none qualify. Others may have a different opinion however.

    18: I try to avoid this as Liz is the POV and therefore shouldn’t know certain things. So she doesn’t know certain things.

    19: But that if they’re waking up strapped down to a table with a robot repairing the mechanic arm they didn’t know they had and they can remember nothing of their past nor how they came to be in this situation?

    20: Wasn’t aware of this, I shall be revising…

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply