Writing Rules + David Lapham

David Lapham is a hell of a writer and a pretty damn good artist. If you’ve never read Stray Bullets, you’re really missing out on some fantastic crime fiction. I had the pleasure of working on an arc of The Darkness that he wrote at Top Cow a few years back. I was low man on the totem pole at the time, so all you can really compliment or trash me for is the lettering placements. All me, baby!

Yesterday was a day filled with a lot of reading, a lot of notes, and me reminding myself of a couple of writing rules. I posted the following writing maxims on my twitter:

Certain writing rules can never be stated enough: “Action is character.” “Show, don’t tell.”

I thought I was just doing my thing, stating the obvious. They’re such basic rules that it’s really hard to find fault with them. But that’s the novice in me speaking (out loud, on the Internet, forever). As much as I like to think of myself as a pretty good writer, I’ve got miles to go before I proverbially sleep, and there’s ALWAYS room for improvement. I’ve got a ton to learn.

David, having written or written and drawn more books than I’ve edited (I’m guessing) chimed in with the following advice, and he is absolutely right.

While they essentially say the same thing I like the first and not so much the second saying. The second is dicey for two reasons. One is space. For practical purposes sometimes shit needs to be told to conserve panels or time. Second and more importantly. Characters have dialogue and in good writing every word of dialogue is telling.

So there you go. It’s late and I won’t remember any of this in the morning. G’night.


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