We’ve never had anybody win four times before, though we’ve had a few clever writers thumb-wrestling for the honor. Still, someone had to go first, and we couldn’t be tickled pinklier (of course that’s a word!) than to have the First Time Fourth Time Winner Award go to Betsy Streeter.
Normally in this Sixty Seconds space we ask a few routine questions, and we get a few brief but fun answers.
Today will be anything but routine.
It will be anything but brief.
But darn it, it’ll still be FUN!
Now for the official blurb: Our latest Flash! Friday winner is Betsy Streeter. This is her FOURTH Flash! Friday win since its inception in December 2012 (2013 interviews here: April 10, May 15, and Aug 7–it’s been a while!). Read this week’s winning story, “Fear of Flying,” here, then take a couple of minutes to careen through her brain with me and find out what she’s been up to. I’ve asked her to Wax Eloquent on her writing/drawing process and have (gasp!) given her the floor!
I’m apparently a method writer. I have to feel things – even if that means doing some acting. For “Fear of Flying,” I knew I was ready to start writing when I had a heavy feeling just below my rib cage. Maybe your feelings sit somewhere else.
I also make facial expressions and poses when I draw them, which must appear interesting.
Read your writing out loud. If it doesn’t sound good to you, it won’t sound good inside your reader’s head either. Don’t make your reader’s brain trip over words.
Take things out. Every shot in a movie is as much about what is not in the frame as what is. Same goes for writing. This is also very true for comics. Even if I think I wrote something clever, I am still brutal. After my first pass at “Fear of Flying” I ditched half of it. In comics, I tend to start too far away from my subject and have to crop down my drawings. Treat writing like zooming in.
Sometimes what your story is actually about will sneak in there and you won’t see it until you’ve put quite a few words on the page, or even a whole story, and that’s okay.
Ask yourself every thirty seconds or so if you care about what is happening in what you are writing. This goes back to that first point. Can you feel it? Include emotions and physical senses. For “Fear of Flying” I kept that relationship between parent and child, coach and athlete, stuck in my ribcage.
Build your vocabulary. I am ashamed at how narrow my vocabulary is. I need lots more words. Argh.
A while back I ran a successful Kickstarter to develop a science fiction comic called Neptune Road, about people living on Neptune with all their issues. I’ve used the funds to hire a second guest artist to draw a comic (it looks GREAT), and illustrated another one myself. Neptune Road comes in comics, single panels, even short stories. I may go so far as Tweeting a story.
I combined some of the funds with my own money to create a print edition, which has three comics and two stories in it. I’m taking that to East Bay Comic Con in Concord, California February 16th, along with my adorable nine-year-old booth dude and son, Sean.
The latest Neptune Road comic is appearing exclusively at Perihelion Science Fiction (the Comics page) today.
That’s what’s fabulous right now! I continue to draw weird things with heads of birds dressed in historical costumes.