Lately, I've been listening to the ON THE PAGE podcast by Pilar Alessandra. It deals with the craft and business of screenwriting. I enjoy the podcast, and about 80% transfers nicely to scriptwriting for comics. In contrast, a few weeks earlier, I listened to a podcast on prose writing and found it wasn't helpful at all. Nope, I'm hooked on Pilar.
She keeps coming back to one bit of advice: You should take time to read scripts. I don't do that as much as I used to. I'm especially bad about reading comic book scripts, when people email them to me and want an opinion. It's odd considering when I first decided to write comics; I immediately bought the POWERS SCRIPTBOOK by Brian Bendis. Read it cover to cover in one afternoon. In fact, I have a whole shelf dedicated to scriptbooks. I've read the entire FREAKS & GEEKS series, THE OFFICE (BBC), BUFFY Seasons 1-3, ROYAL TENENBAUMS, AMERICAN BEAUTY, FARGO, QUEEN & COUNTRY vol 1, and FOUR FILMS OF WOODY ALLEN. I enjoy scripts, but recently I've been dragging my feet. In particular, comic book scripts. I need to break that habit. But many of them are so poorly written (sorry), it's near impossible to visualize what the writer had in mind or get a sense for the story.
I realize I'm opening myself up to all sorts of criticism. My scripts are available on this website. You are free to read them, and let me have it. I'm not trying to step on toes. Since a comic book script is an isolated correspondence between writer and artist, and there isn't much formal training for comic book scriptwriting, I think we've gotten lazy. A script should be so good it can stand on its own merit. And instead, we depend on the artists to carry our sloppy writing. That's a shame. Once again, I apologize for the inclusive "we". I'm writing this post mostly to challenge myself to fine tune my craft -- read more scripts, read more books on writing, attend seminars and workshops, teach a seminar or workshop, get some consultation or find a script coach, challenge people to challenge me. A year or two ago, I asked Nunzio and Christina to read my ASTRONAUT DAD script in exchange for designing their website. (Updates coming soon, N&C!) The feedback was helpful. The mentorship was invaluable. I need more of that. At the same time, acknowledge that these things can sometimes become deceptive distractions from actual writing. A subscription to CREATIVE SCREENWRITING does not equal an improved sense of voice and style.