I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels
. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories
The authors that try to present political or religious opinions usually confuse their opinions with insights. How is your message different from what people have already heard about abortion? For example, your readers have already heard many people chant “abortion is good” and “abortion is bad.” Is your story just another voice in the chorus or will it actually add something? Why will anyone care about your opinion? Do you have any unique perspective on the subject material? Do you have relevant professional or scholarly experience? Are you personally affected by the issue? Etc.
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Authors shouldn’t tell cue their readers to laugh. Consider the following comedic exchange. “What’s the difference between the Yankees bullpen and Pizza Hut?” asked John. Mary shrugged. “Pizza Hut delivers,” said John. They laughed. “They laughed” cues the readers to laugh at John’s joke.
That’s insulting to your readers. If your comedy is effective, readers will know when to laugh. Reminding them to laugh at something that wasn’t funny to them will just draw their attention to ineffective writing.
Here are some situations that are usually examples of laugh-tracking:
- When a character laughs at a joke, particularly his own. Seriously, who laughs at his own jokes?
- When a character says something like “that’s funny.”
- In certain circumstances, when a character cracks a smile. (This is forgivable if the character’s reaction to the joke is significant to the plot).
- “I walked into that one.”
According to TV Tropes, the CSI Effect is “the growing tendency of juries to refuse to convict if the prosecution fails to provide comprehensive crime scene analysis, even in trivial cases,” because of the influence of forensic crime scene dramas. Now, prosecutors sometimes try to weed out jurors that have watched CSI. That’s where conversations like this one come from…
Prosecutor: Have you ever watched CSI before?
Prospective Juror: Yes.
Prosecutor: Do you think crime scene investigation really works like that?
Although I think the name comes off as a kitschy attempt at Real Ultimate Power, ultimately I think Dr. McNinja is far superior to RUP. Plus, because McNinja is a webcomic, it has graphics. Suitably badass graphics, of course.