Archive for the 'Imagery' Category

Sep 18 2010

Please Don’t Flood Readers with Mundane Visual Details

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.

1. Everything in your story should advance the plot and/or develop something important about a character. Please don’t stall the story with irrelevant details.


2. 99% of the time, it doesn’t really matter whether a character’s eyes are blue or green or whether her hair is brown or blonde. However, such details could be used to create an impression that does affect the plot and/or characterization. For example, if you wanted to suggest that a character looked mysterious and perhaps a bit dangerous, maybe you’d say that her eyes were a smoky blue, whereas the villain’s eyes might be a sickly or poisonous green. Or you could use some aspect of a character’s appearance to create a mood for a particular scene.  In such cases, I would recommend introducing these details only as soon as they contribute something and not because you think readers are wondering what color the character’s eyes are. (Trust me, they aren’t*).

*Of all the hundreds or thousands of characters you’ve ever read about, how many have eye colors you can remember? Any?

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Oct 03 2008

Now you can find visual references more easily

On art-sites like DeviantArt, if you do searches for things like “superhero” or “book cover,” more than 90% of the results will be utter garbage or half-past-strange.  If you think that searching for visual references shouldn’t feel like a creepy waste of time, you might like our new DeviantArt wall of favorites. You can use that to check out hundreds of visuals we’ve found impressive.  We have separate folders for superhero stuff, fantasy and sci-fi, depending on what you need your visual for.

You can also see some of the artwork we’ve had commissioned for our novel and webcomic.

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Aug 02 2008

Writing Tip of the Day: Try to Avoid Striking a Pose

Published by under Imagery,Writing Articles

A character strikes a pose by doing anything that’s primarily designed to give readers an interesting visual. Unlike well-executed visuals, poses are usually distracting and rarely add anything like character development or immersion to the story.  It’s usually more effective to rewrite the visual to show us something about the character. For example, a character that admires his weapon is striking a pose because he’s not telling us anything interesting about himself.  You could fix that by having the character run his finger across the blade to test its sharpness. That helps develop the character as a competent and tough swordsman. In contrast, someone who just admires the weapon probably fails to show any of his own traits and is offering a visual only for its own sake.

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