Storytelling Specter 6 – Writing for Production

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Welcome back to the Storytelling Specter, which I was going to cut from the rotation of columns but have decided to include into a “random thought” appearance of the column like the Life Imitates Wrestling column that keeps hanging around. Let’s get this thing rolling, shall we?

As the title indicates, I’m going to be talking about writing specifically for producing something. I don’t know if I’ve officially mentioned this on my site, but I have started writing scripts for comics. I am finding that a little easier to tell the story and I can tell the story in smaller chunks, which is something else I’m discovering I need to do (instead of trying to tackle the full on 100,000 word novel that I’ve been trying to hammer out). That is one thing that I’m working on writing to produce, but that is only the first thing I’ve started in what I want to be working on for the near future.

Let’s start with the comic scripts, though.

For the better part of two decades, I’ve been slowly working on my own shared comic book universe (similar to the Marvel/DC shared universes). I like super heroes and they are included as part of my shared universe. While I’ve gotten a nibble here and there on the offer to allow others to play in my new universe, I haven’t gotten anyone interested enough to actually dive in and start helping out… that’s fine, because what I’m doing with the project now is going to change how others interact with the universe.

What I have decided to do is what I’m calling a “single line of storytelling.” I am going to write the script for a single monthly comic book, 22 pages per book, that will tell the story of a team of individuals uncovering the hidden super heroes and their backgrounds that are going on all around them. This monthly will be my “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” to my “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Yes, that means the monthly will periodically be interrupted by a larger feature (i.e. graphic novel), concentrating on a piece of my shared universe. I’m working on “issue 0” right now, which will be an eight page primer, then I’m going to bust into doing the first issue. I’ve toyed with the idea of completely producing the first issue myself, too, as hiring artists is an expensive endeavor… we’ll see about that as time goes on, though.

I also want to produce something to be narrated in an audio format.

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing small chunks of a story and releasing them in a serialized audio format. Since I’m a one man show, that would be narration with some possible sound effects and music, but basically I’d be telling a story in 15 to 30 minutes chunks on a weekly basis for a stretch of about 10 to 13 weeks at a time. I like the HBO episode format, so I’d also like to try to take “seasons” into account rather than do 52 episodes per year. I have a life, y’know.

All in all, I’d like to write for production… which means I need to write for a deadline. That may be the next specific subject on this column, and that is something I haven’t been able to do yet… here’s to trying to get better!

Write on.