I’ve been busy.
Trying to power through a complete draft of my novel by Draft Day (7.1.12) leaves little time for much else. I have been doing some reading, though, especially of graphic novels and comics. I’ve really gotten into DC’s New 52 (the reboot of all 52 DC titles that started late last summer. Which in turn has got me interested in revisiting old DC titles, like my Death of Superman collection from the early 90’s and some classic Batman graphic novels (especially those penned by Frank Miller, like The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One).
And I’ve found this reading quite helpful with my writing.
Comics make me think about crafting scenes visually and keeping dialogue sharp, fun, interesting. The serialization aspect is important, too. Dickens used to write in a serialized form (publishing pieces of a story every few weeks) so there are several "cliffhangers" in each of his novels. Most comics are the same way, because publishers want you to buy the next issue to see what happens (and the next one after that, and the next one after that…). I happen to be writing a suspense story, and ending scenes or chapters with a hook—something that will pull the reader into the next chunk of the story—is extremely important. Great comic writers are masters at this.
Well, back to work! Or am I...?