Tag Archive for comic book bootcamp

Final Thoughts on Writing for Comics, Part 2

I meant to make a post about how my final class for “Writing for Comics, Part 2” went — I was pretty pleased with the final class, and I can’t help but wonder if my complaints about class number 6 had more to do with me and my state of mind than it had to do with the contents of the class.

I think that one way to evaluate the overall course is to look at what I got out of it. And there, I think, I hafta confess that I got some pretty good tools for putting together a whole comic script. Here’s what I have today:

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Pitch Night

Tonight was “pitch night” at Writing for Comics Part 2. We were instructed to bring 3 ideas for new on-going series (or, perhaps, a longish graphic novel), and we’d each pitch our ideas to the class. Ty gave us a bunch of key things that our pitches needed to cover off, and he’d critique how well we “sold” the ideas, and the class would ultimately vote on one of the three pitches. The winning pitch essentially becomes the idea you hafta run with for the final two classes (and final writing exercises).

Some of the ideas were grounded in exercises we’d done in other classes. For example, one of my favourite ideas from a classmate involves a group of Catholic priests/exorcists who fight demons and perform martial arts. The guy who presented this idea had sketched out elements of this particular story world in the world building exercise, and fleshed out some characters for the world in our character archetypes exercise. Tonight, he pitched it, more formally, as “The Exorcist from U.N.C.L.E.” and it’s the one I voted for (and, conveniently, the idea of his that “won”, so I look forward to seeing the actual story).

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World Building

The course description for my Monday night “Writing For Comics, Part 2” class reads thusly:

A master class on practical writing. Students will learn the standard applications of tropes and genres, the rules of pacing and scene work, the secrets of world building, character bibles, supporting casts, sub-plots, comedy writing, ongoing series and much more.

So. “Standard applications of tropes and genres.” That could be a very freighted thing. Last class we were freighting World Building.

As I said, before, Ty’s approach to teaching writing is very much about, “here is the template; fill it in, and you’ll have a sturdy foundation for your story.” His approach to world building for stories is no different. We spent the first third of the class working on the Successful World Building Formula. He wrote nine points on the board, and said, essentially, “make interesting decisions around these nine points that really speak to the story you want to tell, and you’ll have a compelling world.” Points number four and five were the ones that I thought were interesting.

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