Archive for April 18th, 2009

Apr 18 2009

Susan Boyle and First-Time Authors

Published by under Getting Published

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.

Susan Boyle is a 47 year-old, unemployed singer that is on the latest season of Britain’s Got Talent.  She is astonishingly talented.  Watching her compete in this contest will probably be like seeing Michael Phelps– or an alligator– participate in a high school swimming meet.

I bring up Doyle because I think that first-time novelists and comic book writers, especially young ones, face similar challenges.  Doyle doesn’t look like a singing sensation; teens don’t look like they’re worth publishing.  Doyle doesn’t have singing credentials; young authors are unpublished and often lack a college degree. When a publisher’s assistant reads through a young author’s query, there are twenty different sirens going off in his head, all screaming “this guy has no talent.”

Your window of opportunity to demonstrate your talent is exceedingly brief.  If your query is forgettable, the publisher will reject you without even looking at the sample.  If your first page is forgettable, you are done.  Etc.  If you have any reservoir of freakish talent, tap it sooner rather than later.  If your first paragraph is poor, it doesn’t matter how awesome your ending is because no publisher will read that far.

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to something Simon asked Susan.  “Why hasn’t your singing career worked out so far?”  That’s similar to the question on every publisher’s mind: “do you have an audience already?” If not, why not? If you were good enough to have an audience, wouldn’t you have one already? Publishers would much rather work with an author that has already established he is good enough to draw readers.  Who would want to spend (at least) ten thousand dollars publishing a book by a completely unproven author?

The two easiest ways to build an audience are to either start a blog and/or write for some professional outlet (like a magazine or newspaper).  That will help you prove that you are worth reading and that you are already producing at a professional level.

18 responses so far

Apr 18 2009

Michael Bay’s stab at a Dark Knight script

Published by under Comedy,Michael Bay,Parody

Spill.com did a mock script showing how Michael Bay (the guy who did Pearl Harbor and Transformers) might have tried The Dark Knight.

I recommend that you read all of it, but this is my favorite part.

BRUCE WAYNE is standing in front of a mirror, flexing his sculpted, shirtless torso.

BRUCE: Let’s do this.

Cue AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”  A series of quick shots show BRUCE gearing up: putting on the boots, slapping on the gloves, a brief glance across those beautiful pecs.  Finally, there is no longer BRUCE WAYNE, but BATMAN standing before us.

BATMAN: Back in black.

Pyrotechnics erupt in the distance.  Wailing guitar solo.

6 responses so far

Apr 18 2009

How would you fix this book?

Today, I came across a self-published book called Superhumans.

Here’s what it says on the back-cover:

Seth, a college student, is accidentally exposed to an experiment that gives him incredible powers. When he and his friend, Chip, try to unravel its secrets, they discover a threat to the world unlike any other. And soon, Seth will find himself faced with one obstacle after another as he tries to live a normal life with the woman he lives and their daughter.

I’ve posted the first page below the jump.  If you’d like a writing exercise today, please rewrite the first two paragraphs of the chapter so that they’re interesting.

Continue Reading »

20 responses so far

Apr 18 2009

A hilarious summary of the Shawshank Redemption

Published by under Comedy

(PG-13 for minor nudity)

One response so far