This is an incredibly useful book for someone who may want to break into writing comics, for a prose writer to get an interesting perspective on storyThis is an incredibly useful book for someone who may want to break into writing comics, for a prose writer to get an interesting perspective on storytelling, or for comics writers to use to help them think beyond their own word and be a better collaborator. Great interviews and solid advice. Pretty dude heavy on the artists given interview space and the emphasis is often on superhero work, but the script samples and the nitty gritty advice about being a writer in the current market is worth picking it up regardless....more
This was an adaptation of a speech she gave. It still holds up pretty well, although there's some unnecessary binary framing, especially around virginThis was an adaptation of a speech she gave. It still holds up pretty well, although there's some unnecessary binary framing, especially around virginity. If you take her line about it, "the loss of virginity usually involves two people of opposite genders" ,and try to unpack it. "Opposite genders" buys into a binary system of gender that doesn't exist. Virginity, also, is a social construct. You can critique that system without buying into a harmful binary about gender and presenting it as a fact....more
Pretty straight-forward overview of a certain subset of fannish culture (very influenced by Tumblr -- there's very few nods to Livejournal culture atPretty straight-forward overview of a certain subset of fannish culture (very influenced by Tumblr -- there's very few nods to Livejournal culture at all). Pretty good!
The only part that made me RECOIL in AGONY was when the author legit advises people to leave constructive criticism on fanfic, like so: "when you come across a fic that you love, or one that you think could use some constructive criticism, leave a helpful, positive comment." These are TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT situations! The first is fine but the second made me cringe hard. "helpful, positive comment" to one person is "soul destroying crit that makes ruins entire days" to someone else. Do not encourage new fans to go around critiquing people "helpfully", book! You are creating an ocean of tears. ;_____;...more
I appreciated the concepts here much better my second time through. My favorite chapters were on lines and time, and how we use gutter space between pI appreciated the concepts here much better my second time through. My favorite chapters were on lines and time, and how we use gutter space between panels to do our own world building and characterization of the people we're reading about. He covers a little bit about Japanese manga, too, which becomes revelatory when compared to mainstream US comics.
(But the gender essentialism and implicit sexual assault cartoon at the end of the book were still pretty gross.)...more
I originally picked this book up because of an excerpt I caught about how the author read, and I thought, "wow, that kind of sounds like the anal reteI originally picked this book up because of an excerpt I caught about how the author read, and I thought, "wow, that kind of sounds like the anal retentive way I read things!" I think the part that stuck with me the most was how Prose talked about how students read in some of the classes she taught. It was all about what the authors motives were instead of the words the author provided and the story. I suffered through this, especially with Kafka in World Literature a few years ago. The book breaks down quite a bit of literature I've never read. Plus side: I got more book recs! The other side: I was afraid I didn't get quite as much out of the examples as I could have if I had read the pieces beforehand.
This isn't a book that has a lot to do with writing directly and I don't think much to do with learning how to write. It's geared toward classics (and maybe a few contemporary pieces). If I hated reading book excerpts, I wouldn't have liked this at all. And the entire book is excerpts, where Prose takes pieces of various works to show how authors formatted things to flesh out a story. My favorite sections were "Close Reading," "Words," and "Narration" and all of these occur very early on in the book, which says it all. Other sections the examples given lost me. Prose complimented a sentence I read over ten times and couldn't understand, saying that "careful readers would have no problem understand this."
I think that means I've met my match in close-reading. Hee.
I wish there had been nonfiction, too, since it was mentioned in the excerpt I read. But every one of the books explicated is fiction. There's a lot of wanking of the "greats" here, which is sort of the biggest disappoint for me because I expected, "This is why I think this works." and not "This works because Author A is great at writing amazing sentences."...more