Welcome to the fourth installment in my series of blog posts that will highlight the various issues and obstacles that confronted me on the road to creating my first ever comic book series.
Hiring a story and script editor is one of the things that I really got right early on in the writing process. My story outline and script improved exponentially after my editor ripped them apart. I know editors aren’t always cheap but the potential value they bring to your work far outweighs their rate and.when it comes to plot and story, it really is best to hire an editor with industry experience. This is particularly important for beginners. Although I hired an editor to review and edit my story, what I got back was actually double, as she pretty much handed me a lesson in comic book writing 101.
Here are some of the positives my editor brought to my project:
Geez where do I start with this one? Editors and other reviewers bring distance and objectivity to their story reviews, something I had lost after having my head buried deep within the story for six months. Even though I had re-worked my plot numerous times and had several different reviewers look at it, my editor was still able to find a bunch of plot holes that had slipped through the writing process. Thank god for that because you know how much us comic book nerds love finding plot holes!
My editor was also an immense help when it came to mapping character arcs and motivations; which are all essential to being able to engage the reader.
While story is important, it is my scripting that made my editor really work overtime. I’ve been writing a novel for a few years now so I’m relatively comfortable with story structure but this was my first comic book project. My editor ripped into my script; hammering the flow, format, panel descriptions,and continuity. I feel that I have now really grown as a comic book writer and will be able to take it to the next level with my next script.
INDUSTRY INSIGHT AND CONNECTIONS
This is often overlooked when hiring an editor. Most editors will sharpen your story and script but an experienced editor will also give the writer a healthy dose of industry insight.
Industry connections are also important. When I was hunting down a suitable editor, not only did I assess their writing experience and skills but I also ascertained how well entrenched they were in mainstream comics. Why did this matter? My editor has written for DC, Dynamite and other mainstream publishers and has worked with some amazing talent. She was able to recommend some of her former collaborators to me that she thought were a good fit for my project. Using her recommendations, I approached these artists, who are now working towards making my project less of a fantasy and more of a reality. Who knows if these creators would have been willing to work with me without her recommendation.