I recently had the pleasure of attending my very first Comic Con (C2E2). I have a large inner nerd and I’m very proud of her. No, I didn’t do any cosplay this time around, I much prefer to be the silent watcher and observer. It’s a symptom of my introverted personality and being a writer. As a writer, I like to watch the world and Comic Con was a perfect opportunity to observe.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to walk by a troop of Star Wars characters?
Besides the amazing costumes, fantastic artists, and geeky toy stores, Comic Con is filled with amazing panels. What I loved most about these panels, is the inspiration they provided.
Writing for Video Games
This was the first panel I attended. It was NOT what I expected. First, I had never considered that video games needed writers… It’s just not something that crossed my mind. And to be honest, after the panel it’s not an area I want to break into, but the panel made some good points.
- Start small. If you want to write, you don’t have to start with a book contract or a major video game release. You can write a short story and try to get it published in an online magazine. Write a few blogs. Submit a news article. Etc. You don’t have to start at the top. In fact, to get to the top, you need to start at the bottom and work your way up.
- Decide what you want and then go for it. If you know you want to do a certain type of writing, then figure out the steps you need to take to make it a reality.
- Know your industry. Writing a video game is different than many other types of writing. It’s script focused but it’s also hugely budget focused. One of the panelist explained that for his recent video game, his script was over 1,500 pages long—that’s 3 reams of paper—and due to budget, he had to rewrite and change the script multiple times. If that type of writing isn’t for you, then don’t write for video games.
Breaking Into Comics
This panel, although not specifically about writing, had a very strong written element. Many of the audience members wanted to be comic book writers and so writing was discussed for a good portion of the panel. The main thing I took away was, “If you want to be a comic writer, then start writing comics.” Simple right? Well, it applies to everything. I you want to be an actor, start acting. If you want to write a book, then start writing a book. If you want to run your own business, then start your own business. You’ll never reach your goals or your dreams unless you start them.
Badass Women of Marvel
Okay, this was just fun. I love the TV show Agents of Shield and I’m looking forward to watching Agent Carter. The two main female actors from both TV shows hosted the panel. There’s nothing more inspiring than listening to two strong and successful women talk about their careers and give advice to other women. The key here: always kick ass.
This was may favorite panel. A group of 5 fantasy novelists, including Patrick Rothfuss, talked about what it is like to write and publish fantasy. I’m a big fan of fantasy, of all types, and it was wonderful to hear from authors who have experienced success in the industry. The best advice:
- There is no such thing as writer’s block. GASP. How could they say this? It’s simple. It’s the truth. Let’s say you are a carpenter, do you have carpenter block? Is there a day where you just can’t build something? No. Or if you’re an accountant, can you just not do accounting one day? No. Although writing may mostly be mental, you can write no matter what. Somedays will be easy and somedays will be difficult. What everyone could agree upon, is that whether it’s an easy or a hard day, the quality of your work will be the same. There’s no such thing as writer’s block.
- Build your world and build your characters. You can’t build a story with just an amazing world and no characters and vise versa. You have to know what your world is and how your characters fit into it in order to have a story. Different types of fantasy can have a different focus, some are much more world focused and some are character driven, but every story requires both.
- Write every day. A writer writes. That what they do. Good days and bad. If you want to be a writer, keep writing.
I had a blast at Comic Con. I got to spend time with some close friends and I got the chance to dive into a brave new world that I’ve always wanted to experience. I’ll be back again one day, maybe at the San Diego Comic Con. Have you ever attended Comic Con? What was your experience?