#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on - it’ll come back around to be useful later.
#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
FANTASTIC FOUR #72 (March 1968)
Cover Art by Jack Kirby & Joe Sinnott
The Surfer, disgusted by the greed, bigotry, hatred and oppression he’s seen while traveling Earth, decides to attack humanity. Hoping his actions would unite the people of Earth against him and maybe start them on a path toward world peace.
You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have a bacterial infection that will never, ever go away. It will literally eat away a crucial part of your digestive system unless you do a chemical treatment twice a day, every day, and do painful semiannual follow-up treatments with your doctor … for the rest of your fucking life. Sure, it’s not a death sentence, but the sheer weight of it kind of makes you want to give up — you can just see this burden stretching out in front of you, forever.
But, of course, I’ve just described brushing your teeth.
You don’t regard dental care as a crushing burden, because you don’t sit around every day contemplating the unfathomable mountain of teeth-brushing you must scale before you die. You only think of it as that thing you do in the morning because you have to, because you don’t want your teeth to fall out. You manage the long-term goal (having teeth) by thinking only of the very manageable daily goal.
Well, guess what: If you can apply that technique to other things, you can conquer the motherfucking world.
Original cover painting by Charles Vess from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust #2, published by DC Comics Vertigo, 1998.
Cash raised for killer Mo. cop now surpasses Brown donations
August 24, 2014
Online fundraisers for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson surpassed the amount of money raised for Michael Brown’s family as the officer’s supporters gathered at an afternoon rally Saturday.
Supporters of Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., came toBarney’s Sports Pub in south St. Louis.
"Many of us have received death threats toward ourselves and our families," said one speaker, wearing sunglasses, paint beneath her eyes and a baseball cap. "We will not hide. We will no longer live in fear … If you support Darren Wilson, make your voices heard."
She refused to give the media her name, saying “You want my name? I am Darren Wilson. We are Darren Wilson.
The media has shown a strong bias against Wilson supporters, the speaker said, drawing loud applause from the crowd.
"We share the united belief that officer Wilson’s actions on Aug. 9 were warranted and justified and he has our unwavering support," the woman said.
A crowd-funding page created for Wilson raised $235,010 from 5,902 people before organizers stopped accepting donations Friday after surpassing their goal of $100,000 in four days. The group then opened a new fundraising page, which already has more than $104,000.
This amount surpasses the more than $214,000 raised in support of the Michael Brown Memorial Fund. According to the page, which was set up by Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump, “the funds will assist his family with costs that they will acquire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf.”
The Support Darren Wilson group, which has more than 58,000 likes on Facebook, encouraged supporters who could not attend the rally to “blow up some Twitter accounts” with photos of supporters and the hashtag #iamdarrenwilson.
Disheartening (though unsurprising) and thoroughly disgusting!
As the situation in Ferguson continues to be horrible, this is just one of many things that… You know what, is just so awful. It’s so awful. There is no reason to be financially or emotionally supporting a murderer, no matter your political or religious stance. I want to say I “can’t believe” it’s happening, but of course I can. It’s just awful. How can people be so cruel?
Like most, I’m just watching these events from afar, feeling helpless, donating where I can to help Ferguson and its people. It never feels like enough, though.