Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm Not a Real Writer, I'm Just Making This Up!

When I first started Think Before You Think, I didn't feel like I was a real writer. I was just making everything up as I went along. I didn't put much thought into the plot or the storyline, I just let stuff happen spontaneously. And I still do that - that's the way my comic is written.

Before a few weeks ago, writing my comic was something that I had to put effort into in order to keep up with my schedule. I wasn't inspired to write very often, and when I was, I had to really milk it. But lately I've been overcome with this unending, uncontrollable inspiration to write my comic. I've written over a year in advance, and material just keeps pouring out of me with no effort. And I'm starting to feel like I relate to what other writers say when they describe what writing is like for them.

I'm starting to really feel like a writer! And it's not like I write plot outlines now or anything, I just think about my story more and stuff just comes to me, and everything fits together however it falls. I think I'm driven most by my love for my characters, and the more I get to know them, the more I love them.

If you're a writer, have you ever experienced some kind of shift like this?


  1. When I started writing Baujahr (in small doses), it took me a while to get a feel for it. Both getting the voices of the characters, and also trying to fit the format Levi had set up (two panel strips in an ongoing story). It was a challenge then, and is still challenging now, but I did eventually start to loosen up a bit, because Levi, I think, had a similar style to how you did when you started. But that's how he works, and he does it so well... I can't compete with his craziness. I had to find a balance between that, and with how I do things, which is a little more planned (sometimes too much planning), a little more plot-driven. That's why "Middle Ground" (before it stalled) was meant to be a somewhat self-contained, but more epic storyline. It was to change the feel of the strip for a while, and to give Levi something new to try out (he was getting a little bored at the time), and to inject some things long-term that he and I had been talking about.

    I still write a lot of my own stuff off the cuff, I just sit and spill contents onto the page and see what happens. And that's often my better writing, but it also stalls along the way, because I get into a corner or I just forget what the point was.

    Some day, I'll hopefully find the perfect medium between the two. What I imagine will have to happen is that I'll allow myself those times where I run rampant all over a story first, and then I'll put it away for a while and come back to it when I have more framework and piece it all together.

    1. So you and he work together on it? I think I'd have a really hard time co-writing with someone. I can handle bouncing ideas off of people, but I would want one of us to have full control over the project.

  2. :D This is, incidentally, just how I write. I can't do outlines, I can't force myself to sit down and have an entire plot planned out in advance--- because then I lose my drive. Everytime I start a project, that's exactly how I have to start it. Just begin writing and hope it takes me somewhere.
    It brings an excitement out of me, feels me to the brim with inspiration because I'm not sure what will happen next and I'm anxious to see what I'll put down--- what my characters will drive *me* to do.

    :) :D So I definitely identify. It's not until half way through a story that I usually found myself seeing into the future and having some idea of where things are going. But that's exciting for me.

    1. Yeah, I love the excitement of not knowing what's going to happen next!