Girls show their breasts to guys who write!
Well, no they don’t, but your interest is grabbed, right? You’re compelled to read on, am I right? You can’t wait for an explanation of my opening statement, or perhaps just a recurrence of the word “breasts,” right?
Well, fanboy, that’s called WRITING.
And we here at the Wizard staff are here to give you the inside scoop on writing–what it is, how to do it, and how to make big $$$ just like your favorite pros. Not once during this entire article will the word “integrity” be mentioned, so sit back and prepare to have your daydreams pandered to, because DC and Marvel are just DYING to give their top books to guys who “plan to submit” their ideas, “someday,” when they’ve “got more free time.”
You may have thought to yourself, “But I’m a goddamned moron! How can I write as well as someone like Brian Michael Bendis or Joe Kelly or Brian Azzarello? I’m too stupid, aren’t I? Also, aren’t I just too lazy and ignorant? And what about this offensive odor? I mean, that’s got to be a career impediment, doesn’t it?”
That’s just what we thought, and now we have a national magazine!
Besides, it turns out that writing is WAY easier than you could ever dream–all you have to do is follow these simple steps, and you too will be putting things in Peter Parker’s mouth, especially words!
It’s as easy as painting a fence–just follow the simple steps below. Best of luck!
STEP ONE: THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE!
Wanna be a barber? Go to hair school.
Wanna be a lawyer? Go to the lawyer educational college.
But…what if you want to learn to be a writer? Schools don’t teach how to use commas and colons and stuff, do they?
COMIC MYTH #1: ” I have to be born with an innate understanding of punctuation and grammar to ever be able to write, right?. Doesn’t it have to be imprinted on my brain at the moment of my delivery, like the instinct to breathe? Plus, aren’t most writers grown from some sort of special sperm or something in a clone lab somewhere in Central America? My friend Elton says that writers come from the moon, but I don’t believe him, do I?”
HA! You may be surprised. Most writers are in fact “people,” and learning grammar may no longer be an impossible dream, even for idiots! Writing is hot hot hot and becoming hotter all the time.. some colleges have gone so far as to experiment with “English” classes and even “Creative Writing” courses. That’s right. You can now actually attain school credit for “writing!”
Obviously, education isn’t for everyone. But it IS increasingly becoming a breeding ground for people who like words and the use of same, in a dramatic context. In any case, we can’t overstress this enough : LEARN WHAT WORDS ARE AND HOW TO STICK THEM TOGETHER. This is absolutely crucial, if writing be your destiny.
BAD WRITING: “Pom-poms, are those Black Canary, nice?”
GOOD WRITING: “Those are nice pom-poms, Black Canary!”
BAD WRITING: “HULK TARNISH!”
GOOD WRITING: “HULK SMASH!”
BAD WRITING: “I CAP AMECA PUT DN W, E.”
GOOD WRITING: “THIS IS CAPTAIN AMERICA! PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPONS EVIL-DOERS!”
Study the above examples every day for fifteen minutes. That should give you a solid foundation from which to work your word-mastery! Then, it’s on to…
STEP TWO: IDEAS AND WHERE TO GET THEM!
Imagine a visitor from the stars, last survivor of a doomed planet, granted amazing powers! Is it the latest science fiction blockbuster from Hollywood?
No, It’s the concept for SUPERMAN. Bet you didn’t recognize it when we said it like that.
All great writing starts with a great idea. If YOU think of a great idea in the bathtub, (no, not that idea, pervo), then there’s no reason why you can’t turn it into a comic. That’s just how Watchman started. (Just kidding. Alan Moore is afraid of water.) Hey, Slow down! Towel off first, Einstein!
We asked one of today’s hottest writers, Mark Waid, how he came up with such great ideas as Kingdom Come. He hung up on us, so we called him back, and one of our interns, I swear, can make his voice sound just like Eric Cartman on South Park, and we had him ask Mark Waid if he liked pie. Ha, ha! Touche, mother******!
So, lesson one, ideas are real important.
STEP THREE: FAMILY PLOT
If you want to get somewhere, you should have a map.
But if you just wanna tell kick-ass superhero stories, screw that, it’s FIGHT SCENES that put asses in the seats.
COMIC MYTH #2: “Stories should have events and twists and stuff, shouldn’t they? And aren’t plots really expensive and unwieldy and hard to maintain? Isn’t writing actually a kind of magic that requires blood sacrifice? It’s voodoo, right? I knew it was voodoo. My head hurts. I’m hungry.”
Well, we here at Wizard say, “SCREW YOU, complicated plotting!” And to prove it, we’ve analyzed the DEFINITIVE top ten best comics in HISTORY as decided by our production staff over a gyro lunch. Guess what? THEY ALL HAD A FIGHT SCENE.
Here’s an example. Say that frickin’ Wizard Bunny gets into a fight with Galactus. Now, what would you rather buy…Wizard Bunny Vs. Galactus or Long Story Featuring Aardvark?
That’s what we thought. Screw you, Cerebus. Loooooser! Ha ha! Shoulda had more FIGHT SCENES, Canadian Pie-eater! Twenty years of work down the drain, oh, boo hoo! Hahaha! WIZARD RULES, Canada!
Which just goes to show you that black and white books suck. Now that you’ve learned that, you’re ready for…
STEP FOUR: KEEPIN’ IN CHARACTER
Characters are popular additions to any story, and here’s what you need to compete in today’s market: Lesbians, lesbians, lesbians! No one ever went broke betting on lesbians! Gorgeous babes who love babes, with ATTITUDE!
STEP FIVE: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Add more lesbians! Spunky, trash-talkin’ girl/girl lovers! It’s adorable when they flirt and cavort! Oh, look! They’ve accidentally fallen in that mud puddle! Caper for our amusement, fictional daughters of Sappho!
STEP SIX: DIALOGUE=TALKING
Tennessee Williams once said, “Dialogue is what we wish we could say. It’s truer than what we’re capable of in real life.”
So avoid it when possible. (HINT: For good talking, watch movies. Did you see Gladiator? Man, did that kick ass.)
COMIC MYTH #3: “But, isn’t dialogue how characters reveal themselves to the reader?”
Short answer? No.
STEP SEVEN: WIZARD MAGAZINE, YOUR NEW BIBLE
COMIC MYTH #4: “Honestly, isn’t this whole article just a blueprint for mediocrity? You’ve taken soundbites out of context from writers who wouldn’t follow this canned approach on a bet, and combined them with the most crass and cynical “formula” for cranking out a hack script that it’s ever been my displeasure to have read. Never once do you discuss staying true to yourself, the characters or the material… Instead, you glibly suggest would-be writers should read novels, as though somehow depth and subtext will come from a kind of literary osmosis, and then you go on to provide a chillingly generic mathematical formula for script-writing with the passion one might give a Paint-by-Numbers kit of Garfield the Cat. Isn’t this really just a sad and somewhat apocalyptic viewpoint for the country’s best-selling magazine about comics to maintain? Can you honestly believe that this bland, tepid recipe could produce work of value, or are you so in contempt of your own readers that you simply don’t care? ”
Both of those.
Plus, crossovers can really spike the sales up. Also, it’s always funny to have Santa Claus carrying a machine gun. Try to stick that in, somewhere.
STEP EIGHT: MAKING THE PITCH
It’s a well-known fact that most comics editors are so high most of the time, they pass off your story submission envelope to whatever pimp, mailboy or janitor they can reach without getting up from their urine-stained couches. So, it’s best not to try too hard to impress them with your submission, they won’t remember it anyway. Mostly, they just see spiders everywhere.
If you DO manage to get into an editor’s office while he or she isn’t jonesing for a fix, just say the words, “Iconic,” and “widescreen,” a lot, and at least once say, “Morrison-esque.” Try to wave something shiny back and forth in front of them. Usually, even if you don’t get a job, you can at least swipe some good stuff.
STEP NINE: SO NOW YOU’RE A WRITER, EH?
Is there any way you could maybe help me get a job? I have some KICKASS ideas for Gambit. I’ll do anything, man. Next month they’ve got me doing the photo captions for ToyFare. There’s only so many hooters jokes you can make about Tomb Raider toys. I didn’t want to write this. They MADE me do it. Please, help me. Help me.
Vlad Trumple is a drama major at his local community college. He embodies the very spirit of perpetual virginity, and enjoys pie.