Writing Comics Is Hard

Alternate title: “What I Wouldn’t Give to be Able to Draw”

It’s fairly easy to read a comic book in 5 or 10 minutes, put it down, and instantly judge whether it’s a classic or a piece of crap. And while we often give an artist credit (as we should) for the work, whether you really enjoyed a story or not, but we’re very quick to throw the writer to the lions. I’m certainly guilty of it myself, but I’ve been doing a bit more writing lately, trying to get some comics published, and of all the writing I’ve done, comics might just be the toughest.

I’ve worked on screenplays (although I only ever finished one), and I’ve done spec scripts for TV sitcoms, and they both came pretty easily. You’ve got to think about the same things, plot, pacing, character and so on, but if you’re thinking in terms of a 22 page comic book, it’s a whole other ballgame. Even if you’ve been reading comics for years, it’s no mean feat. There are a few reasons for this.

It might be just the way I write, but I work in fast spurts. I like to fly through dialog and conversations, and things happening. In a screenplay or TV script, it’s very easy to keep writing that way, because the rule is to use very little screen direction — the sentences that say what is actually happening. But when it comes to setting up a comic book page, you have to put in a panel description for every panel. Perhaps it would make sense to write out all the dialog and go back and divide it up later. But either way, it doesn’t come naturally.

There’s also the idea of balancing the pages. Each page, or set of pages, is it’s own mini story, and you have to make them work. If you’re going to make one page with 9 panels, the pages around it will look odd with only 2 or 3. I have a tendency to try to cram a lot into pages. I frequently justify this by thinking, “Well, Alan Moore did these in Watchmen,” and then I justify the 3 panel pages by thinking, “Well, Brian Vaughan does this in Ex Machina.” But they did what they did because it worked for the story and for the artist. And while I haven’t heard any complaints, I’m sure you can’t keep an artist happy by pummeling them with lots and lots of tiny panels.

Let’s talk about splash pages. I know why they do them. They’re the easiest pages in the world to write. My book is about a rock band, so my splash page is basically them playing a song. Which is on a silent page. You can see the conundrum in which I am placed. I actually try to avoid it, but there are definitely times where the script does call for it. I have to be careful not to overdo it, and I think to myself, “if I were a reader — a paying reader — would I be annoyed by that,” and that’s how I judge it. I can see how easy it would be to abuse that power though.

The first couple comic scripts I wrote, which were all single stories, not an ongoing series of issues, were fairly easy, but as I get into issues 2 and 3, I really get to appreciate the craft behind this. You’ve got to make each one work on its own, and make them all work as part of a whole, and yet a single thing which can also stand on its own. Just like when I had to learn how to letter my own comic, writing a series of issues has taught me to respect a whole new aspect of making comics.

Hopefully, as time goes on, I’ll learn to appreciate even more things, like losing money doing something you love (though I have some experience in that arena), or getting rejection letters (I’ve had some tastes of that as well), and finally, the one I’m really looking forward to, having something that people really like, and then being forced to keep doing what you’re doing, even though you’re not really sure how to do that, because you’re not entirely clear on what you did in the first place.

I’ll try to keep sharing things as I go through this particular journey, and believe me, I wish I could post some pages or something, but I’m counting no chickens prior to their natural emergence.

Comments

  1. Doesn’t time also kind of affect writing for a comic. Where in a novel you can talk about multiple actions but for a comic you cannot do that for one panel. So you cannot write something like, He grabbed his keys and walked out of the room.

  2. Josh it is good to hear that we have the same problems. I too am working being a writer for comics and i have found a couple of things that have helped.

    do your scripts in outline form and then in layout form. it takes a bit more time than thinking it all out but the advantage of just making an outline page of what you want to happen and then seeing how it would actually look on a page makes pacing so much easier.

    Layouts are harder than you might think to do but at the same time require nothing more than sticks and dots to denote what is going on and will give you a sense of what your pages will actually look like. if you really wanted to you can also just write in or around your layouts the dialog as i have seen Jeff Smith do when he writes a script.

    My artist had me do this to help him out in seeing what i wanted and i was very pleased with the results.

    I noticed that some notable people use this method too such as Harvey Pekar.

    the hard thing about being a comic writer is that we must be both writer and artist in that we have to have a full understanding of what the other would be doing with our words if we want to get our ideas across in a coherent manner. This helps you get some extra tools in your tool box.

    anyway if anyone wants to see that project that i am talking about here you can see it at http://www.myspace.com/lahopkins8 and josh good luck on your rock band book. i read your other things on your personal site so I am looking forward to the next.

  3. In contrast, I asked my artist if he wanted me to do that, to save him time, but he likes the process of laying out the page, and I like to give him the freedom to do that, and leave it up to him whenever possible.

  4. I’ve been working on a comic book of my own… I know I have some talent on the art department and some kind of good Ideas, but on this process I’ve found this is not nearly enough to make a good comic, giving meat to a good Idea, not making it to cheesy or to damn serious and obnoxious, pacing, rhythm, in other words, making it a good read. It’s hard work!

    Still, I think the secret is to be patient and be open to valuable criticism.

    Thank god for podcasts and websites like this.

    Good luck with the comic Josh, Let’s hope we can exchange some notes on the future.

  5. This is a very interesting insight into your process Josh. I heard Skottie Young say in an interview recently that his biggest pet peeve is when writers have multiple actions per panel. It sounds like you are dealing with that limitation of comics.

    I have a question tho–when you are writing your stories do you picture the story in terms of the sequences of images? This to me seems to be a big challenge in writing comics.

  6. I could give you advice, if you wanted, but the best thing I could tell you…

    Beat Sheet.

    I learned one thing from Axel Alonso, and it is the importance of a beat sheet. Basically, you write down one side 1-5, let’s say, which represents the amount of issues. Here’s your overview…beats you want to hit in the arc. Then, on a separate page, you write 1-25 (however many pages) and you take that point from the first beat sheet, put at the top, and work through every page, hitting certain beats as you go. You’ll find sometimes that the beats might work better on another page or in another issue, but i have to tell you…beat sheets work.

    If you ever want to see one, let me know.

    -V

  7. I’m in the process of writing and drawing my own comic so my problems, er challenges, are multiplied. I wrote two young Hellboy stories for the Dark Horse Hellboy Animated digest but the process was complicated by me being the producer of Hellboy Animated. I held back from expressing my preferences in the first one because I didn’t want to overstep my bounds. Of course, I didn’t know my bounds. The I wrote AND drew the second one which I think worked better, yet I didn’t use my natural style so the result is sort of stiff. But in all, working with someone else’s character was easier.

    Doing my own comic is a never ending series of decisions even before I write the story. Unlike live action scripts, animation scripts require that you describe every shot, often even down to the camera angle. I thought I’d write myself a script then illustrate it. But I the writing HAS to fit with the style of the artist to be successful, even if it’s yourself.

    But I have to find my style because TV animation requires that you be a chameleon in both writing and design. If you only write one kind of show or draw in your own style, you usually won’t have a long career… until you become the boss.

    So I’ve spent a couple of months with the lead character while sketching story notes and writing script pages which have been modified or thrown out depending on how my style was developing… because the third style I needed to settle on for this comic was my style of storytelling. I had to find what would make a Tad comic fun and even though I was telling a more dramatic story, I wanted to capture the life I put into a silly Hellboy Junior comic that was posted to the net. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/lyndonw/strips/tad.htm

    So with the first issue’s outline in my head, I jot down the beats I need to accomplish on a page then thumbnail them out to make it the page an interesting graphic statement of the story, making the page visually good enough to hang on a wall on top of telling the story. Some drawing are tight, others are miniscule but I didn’t get anywhere until I gave myself permission to tell the story any damned way I wanted. That way it will be uniquely me.

    Sorry, for the long post Josh. I’ll swap creative discoveries any time you want.

    I’ve also found that 30+ years in animation gives me no confidence at all.

  8. Like most comic book readers, I have tried my hand at writing a comic book story. I’ve tried several different ways; all of them ending disastrously. The main problem I have is this: I’ll get an awesome idea, I’ll picture the images in my head and I’ll want to write them down. I get really jazzed, but by the time I sit at my computer and start writing, I have zero ability to describe what’s in my head. And I have zero drawing ability, so it’s not like I could sketch it out.

    I also don’t have someone to collaborate with and shoot ideas around….oh and my 12 hour days at work and my comic and video game habits really cut into any real side projects.

    But really, the main problem I have is getting my ideas down onto paper. Somehow, my brain never developed this ability. And when I get things down sometimes, I find that what I wrote doesn’t sound as cool as what’s in my head.

    I think writing as a whole is just damn hard, and I give all the props in the world to the guys who do it professionally. There’s an occasional day when I’ll tip my hat into the realm of writing, but for right now, I’m just enjoying what others make. Although, it would be really, really, really kick ass to write and publish a comic.

  9. I have no regard for the artists I work with. My opinion of myself is so high, that I’m now going from vaguely descriptive – yet pendantic – scripts, to drawing my own layouts.

    I am a bad human being.
    But please, someone buy my comic from my website.

    I think the writing will definitely come easier.
    I’ve read comics my entire life, so I shouldn’t take an education of familiarty for granted, but still, I think when you’re approaching it from the INSIDE-out, it’s one of the easiest artforms to write for.

    I think the SPECIFICS of it are actually one of the great advantages, and I think you are affored opportunities to control time and space however you see fit. The logic bends and stretches that way.

    Something I struggled with early on was bridging flowing, filmic motion to static panels. I think that’s a barrier broken down with practise, but even if you pick your reference points.

    Something popular in a post-Matrix scene was Japanese animation, and the Japanese tendency to experience the understanted, and savour moments of anticipation and time.

    Thinking in those terms might help with the breaking down of a scene, and the science of integrating techniques and layouts.

    Imagine a nine-panel grid of close-ups, each band member ‘mounting’ their respective position with instruments in hand. Each member might be rimlit by peculiar lighting, using tools OTHER than words and objects to reference time.

    Then you open up to a full page fish-eye look as the guitars grinds the opening chord, and the frontman steps up to the mic.

    Then follow with a three panel ‘pan’ across the stage, from one side to the other, surveying the free flow of activity with your dialogue or narration.

    A logical, technical marriage of styles that savours the moment of anticipation – holds on the exploding moment of ignition – and then casually levels out in the middle, taking an almost non-chalant approach to the scene.

    Not that I presume to be telling you what to do, how to write, or professing myself as the greatest understander of modern comics. I just don’t believe in RULES of writing comics, and think you can clash any kind of style together, any kind of layout, any kind of rythmn.

    You could just as easily take the layouts I mentioned, and flip them around, shuffle them, and recalibrate the same scene with similar, but different emotion.

    Consider this, just further discussion on, what I think, is always a delightful and interesting topic of discussion.

    Like you (and many others, I’m sure), I like to get a lot of work done in one hit. I think when you begin to master layouts and the grammar of the visuals, this is the most powerful and emotionally efficient way of writing.

    To hell with writing programs, too.
    Pen & paper, or Notepad – y’pampered nancys!

  10. I haven’t tried writing a comic script yet, and for the same reasons you’ve been having trouble with it. Like you, I’m big on dialogue and not so hot on action writing. And that’s not as universal as you might think. I know plenty of writers who hate writing conversations and wish they would write action all day.

    Vito is correct. Beat sheets or outlines are the way to go. I also find it helpful to do an outline of an existing script, based on the script itself or the final product. Monkey see monkey do. When painters learn their trade they start by copying the classics. Once you can do that you can start experimenting with your own style.

  11. pampered nancy indeed. I’ve almost completely devolved actual hand writing out of myself. Besides, I’d just have to type the thing back in, unless I was going to mail it to the artist.

    I did something like a beat sheet for last issue. I knew the bits I had to hit, and I paced out what happened on what page. Except what happened was, some scenes ran longer than others, and I got to the end of page 22, and didn’t have room for the last page. So now I have to go back and take something out, and rearrange.

    Personally, I avoid that decompression of story where a whole page takes place in a moment. Sometimes, as a reader, I feel cheated by those kinds of pages. They’re lovely to look at, but my goal is to constantly move the story, or at the very least, have some character development.

    Btw, thanks everyone for the thoughtful, intelligent responses. It’s a great learning atmosphere.

  12. Well, I think those pages are what you make of them. There’s no reason they can’t be thick with character development and plot, particularly if you’re including narration, or dialogue in those pages. You ARE allowed to have words over an action sequence, or a pause.

    What I meant to suggest is that, if you’re having trouble feeling your way to a statisfying result, you’ll certainly get more out of ‘live’ exercises than contrived ones without the same importance or investment.

    I would also say the degree of detail is yours to decide. In the case of a ‘splash page’ they’re only the easiest page to write if you’re focusing purely on the singularity of the expected subject.

    It might be worth finding your way to a mindset beyond the obvious, to write everything that’s AROUND the splash subject. That might involve layering more in the anticipation, or might be the scene itself.

    Young writers tend to, by conceit or ransom, sell themselves short in a script in the name of the collaborative process. But you can solve any problem by writing it, and so while I was tongue-in-cheek, it might be worth disregaring your penciller while developing your way through some of these problems.

    Evoking forward momentum and action is a primary desire of comics, but at the end of the day it is a static artform. I don’t think we should feel ashamed to present work justified as a still piece of art.

    Flat background, hero-kicks-villain splashes in superhero comics have given the splash a bad name, but like any of this, it’s as powerful tool as you make it.

    A ‘splash’ affords you a canvas of great detail, and it’s an advantage to the writer as much as the penciller. You can probably find a lot of solutions in there, without being as broadly rigid as ‘9 panel’ versus ‘3 panel’ versus ‘pin-up’.

    I guess if I have any kind of point, it’s to abandon the pursuit of rules and polite consideration.

    And also, death to the surface dwellers!
    Anarchy in the UK!
    Humans, yes! Mutants, no!

  13. “I knew the bits I had to hit, and I paced out what happened on what page. Except what happened was, some scenes ran longer than others, and I got to the end of page 22, and didn’t have room for the last page. So now I have to go back and take something out, and rearrange.”

    The easiest way to avoid this is to write the ending first and then fill in the other scenes as they come to you. I think that’s the way a lot of professional comics writer do it.

    Personally I never write from page 1 to page 22. I tend to jump back and forth between scenes as I come up with new ideas and then go over the whole script to make sure the transitions between scenes are smooth. Or contrast, depending upon which effect you want.

    I think the best way to work of your script writing skills is simply to write a lot of scripts. The worst thing you can do is to just polish the same old script over and over again. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and so on. Over at millarworld we have these Write-Offs every six weeks or so when a few of us (including Mr Haseloff) write scripts after a given topic and then vote and comment on each others stories. It’s a great way to force yourself to meet a deadline and to come up with a story involving something you normally probably wouldn’t write about.

    And if you don’t want to hogg Millarworld, you can always start a Write-Off at the Revision 3 forum.

  14. The easiest way to avoid this is to write the ending first and then fill in the other scenes as they come to you. I think that’s the way a lot of professional comics writer do it.

    Sometimes I don’t know what the ending is until I get there. Everyone’s got a different process.

  15. Everyone’s got a different process.

    The vaguest justification for my broadly anti-convention status.

    When the only requirement of the words and pictures (scripting AND product) is to communicate ideas and entertainment, no one should feel like they can’t pioneer their own method.

    And also, I wasn’t loved enough as a small child…

  16. Whenever I write I try to build solid characters and a believable environment, so the natural flow of things dictate the ending… That’s what I’m hoping right now… sometimes I have a “punchline-y” ending but those are the stories that interest me the least.

  17. The best way to stay on time and be creative is to keep a sense of optimism and enjoy the process so that the actual creation is fun.

    That is until you listen to a podcast that repeatedly points out that comics is a young man’s medium as is almost every creative endeavor, then it my process mostly involves telling stories to my friend Jack Daniels and fingering the trigger of my Smith and Wesson 38.

  18. Talent is ageless. It’s only the excitement that people lose.

  19. Talent is ageless. It’s only the excitement that people lose.

    Except where one-hit wonders are concerned, because dumb luck does exist.
    It’s origins lie in Belgium. It’s science.

  20. After far too many years of feeling lost at sea with regard to my writing, I found great liberation in the “structure” (or rather method) mapped out by Robert McKee in his book “Story.” If anyone doesn’t understand references to “beat sheets,” then I highly recommend the book. And if you are having problems with your writing I highly recommend the book. I think you can still maintain your personal style, avoid “convention,” but become much more productive after reading the book. It was tremendously helpful for me.

    As for writing the ending first, or deciding as you go, I suppose the question is: just what exactly is the deeper message you want to communicate to your readers? If you know what you want to communicate without having the ending spelled out, then fine. But if you are just writing and not quite sure where it’s all going, then maybe its time to take a step back and think about what you really want to say. Not the clever dialogue or quip, or this or that visual moment, but the underlying statement running through the entire story about life (or whatever) that will resonate with the reader on a deeper level.

    There is also The Torture Part – let’s face it, not every scene any of us writes is gold, or serves the story as a whole. Hard choices have to be made, and scenes will have to be torn out, ripped apart, rewritten, or (if you are lucky) rearranged to serve the greater story. Here is where an outline of a sequence of interactions that tell the story as opposed to “mere events” or “non events” can really be helpful (that would be your beats). Maybe this or that page is gold, but if it does not advance or develop the larger story, it may have to be knifed, with great pain, but with a much greater feeling of satisfaction after the larger story all comes together and actually gets finished.

    I would also question the idea that script writing and comic writing are very different. Let’s take a good example already mentioned:

    “he grabbed his keys and walked out of the room.” This becomes:

    Panel One –
    he grabs his keys
    Says: “this and that”

    Panel Two
    he walks out of the room
    Says: “and this other thing too”

    So who is he interacting with (the room?), and how is this action important to the story and illuminating as to who this guy is? Maybe the subtext will become clear as the script progresses, but if you have to spell out every detail of a picture to the artist, you are running the risk of being a writer that feels like he/she has to spell everything out to the reader, like they need to be spoon fed, and readers tend to dislike that.

    I guess I’m making the point that a comic writer who gets too worked up about every visual detail in a single panel, dictating every this and that to an artist, is like a screen writer who says, “Well, I obviously need to direct this movie for you, the director, and the cameraman, and the editor, so here is exactly what you have to do…” and guess how screenwriters like that are regarded? In simplicity of just saying what a simple action is, or writing the dialogue, you should be making your point as the story progresses, and the artist will get that, and add to your vision in a satisfying way. “Don’t tell, show” as they say, and very simple active tense sentences that describe an action in a location in a very minimal way can do that. If the pictures don’t feel right, or if the artist is not getting what you want to get across? Maybe its time to revisit the script because the reader may not either, and the reader should be number one. I think iFanboy is all about that last point.

    Otherwise, too much description of a panel is the same kind of dangerous territory as too much exposition and dialogue where people always reveal their most intimate feelings and personal stories all at once, without much reason, and not much like real people (subtext, subtext, subtext!)

    yeah, I’m with the “beat sheeters.”

  21. Ahhh, writing discussions. What’s finally prompted me to post…:)
    Everyone’s got a different process.
    Amen. I came from English/Creative Writing classes where writing was all about digging in and figuring out what you were trying to write. Then I moved to LA, and it’s all structure-this, McKee-that. And so now I’m sort of a mix of both.

    When the only requirement of the words and pictures (scripting AND product) is to communicate ideas and entertainment, no one should feel like they can’t pioneer their own method.
    This is both the great strength and possibly the greatest pain of comics. Like Josh said, I’ve written prose, screenplays, and I’m even currently working in an audio-only format. But with films, you’re kind of told “don’t put the camera there, that’s the director’s job.” In comics, you’re the director, too (unless you’ve established that the artist is the director, but I don’t think most writers work that way today). In a way, the screenplay is liberating — you’re just all about the story and the characters. You accept that it will be interpreted. When writing full script in comics, you’re thinking about the page layout and the angles and the range of the shots…you’re directing. And as you said, there are many different styles of directing.

    I found great liberation in the “structure” (or rather method) mapped out by Robert McKee in his book “Story.”
    I found McKee useful, but I also found that you need to watch Adaptation a few times and allow yourself to say “Oh, who cares what McKee says?” 😀

  22. David, I am totally with you on your take on McKee. I came from a highly conceptual art type background, where I felt both “free” and “lost” all at the same time. I think the term might be something like “finding ways to release your natural creativity, don’t be bound by any structure whatever” or something like that. Or, as I now see it, “lost at sea.”

    But McKee, I think, provides the other side of the coin, so to speak, and I really appreciate his extremely strong advocacy on behalf of people who read or view art. In my experience, Conceptialists talk lots about “leaving things open to interpretation,” but I’ve seen that line being an excuse for artists to be too self indulgent far too often. All and all, I don’t think he mandates a formula, but rather a helpful process for people that are are stuggling with writing drafts that tend to meander off into unfinished drafts or scripts that others can’t get interested in after the first page (probably filled with tons of unendiing expostion). And that’s not good for writers that want to improve their craft any more than the “pure conceptionalists.

    In all things, balance, a mix of views, right?

    As for Adaption, so far as I know, it’s about Hollywood executives mandating that a best selling novel be made into a film, but the novel itself is of the “pure literary type,” the type of novel that McKee says is absolutely the most diifficult to adapt in his book, due to the extremely different nature of the novel as a medium and the film medium.

    The problem is then the studio executives – who are not McKee, but people Mckee rails against for constantly optioning novels due their success as a novel, without much regard for the feasability of being able to adapt certain types of novels — they just care about making making money, maybe without even reading the book itself. This then is the dilemma for the writer.

    Do I have that write? I think we are basically on the same side — can’t take one man’s words as gospel, but I think McKee is many times accused of being ” the propagator of formulistic writing” when he really is not. I would just suggest people do what we both recommend – watch Adaption, read McKee, and make up their own mind.

    Comis, I think, are definitely closer to the film medium that novels. Bendis is a big McKee nut, while at the same time acknowledging his disagreements at certain points with McKee (the amount of exposition in Goodfellas, for example). Bendis is also a big proponet of working closely with an artist, picking the right guy for the right project, and hashing out on the telephone as much as possible what they are working on as a team. I would bet this is one of the big reasons for his success – Bendis respects artists, and works with them, not dictates to them. Bendis has also published publically that he is a bit dismayed at the number of writers that follow McKees methods quite closely, but then keep it some top secret, claiming they write some other way, when they are not.

    So, I don’ think we are far off in views. If McKee was just a bogus How-To book, I’d toss it it into the trash. I value him as a providiing useful methods of developing a script, but not the ultimate authoriity. I suggest poeple read “Story” and make their own judgements.

  23. Wally,

    You absolutely hit the nail on the head: “I suggest poeple read ‘Story’ and make their own judgements.”

    I’m with you. You’re right; we’re not far off in sensibilities at all. My process is basically a hybrid, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m blowing off McKee…I’d say I’ve learned as much AFTER college about writing STRUCTURE as I did about writing TRUTH while in college. It’s a process that works for me. I’m always trying to stay aware of structure while allowing myself to root around in the mud a little, too.

    Keeping the subject on comics, I also agree that comics are closer to film than to novels (incidentally, I wasn’t suggesting anything about Adaptation other than it’s funny to me to see a talented writer like Kauffman put McKee in his place — I think he actually appreciates and denigrates McKee at the same time in that movie, though it’s really hard to tell what’s brutal emotional honesty and what’s a ‘wink-wink’ to the audience). Hollywood is all about structure, and honestly, comics writers — by the very nature of the limited space and the construction of the graphics in the medium — need to pay attention to that. I think whether they’re serialized or episodic, you need to understand structure in order to pace a single issue with the limited space you’ve got. You’ve got to make that single issue feel like a solid chunk of story.

    Also, genre tends to work best in a structured environment, and most comics fall into a genre (oh god, now I’m thinking about Adaptation again…LOL…”my genre is the thriller.”)

    But to me, the danger is becoming only a by-the-numbers structural cliche. So we, as writers, have to push to ensure that we’re still using that structure to creatively express emotional honesty and seek out the Truth.

    Wow, that sound pretentious. LOL. OK, forgive me rambling…talking about writing is sometimes more fun than writing itself…;)

  24. David – You don’t sound pretentious to me at all. Comments on the podcast about Mouse Templar really hit home with me because much of what Ron and Conor describe as their problems with the book really hit home as far as what I tend to do in my own writing, and how McKee showed me ways to overcome that yet still be true to myself (without following Mckee like it’s color by the numbers). Characters that are difficult to distinguish by personality when they interact (whether simply drawn mice or people), too much frontloaded backstory (or stuffed in an index page or whatever), too much exposition/narration, big confusing new world that does not unfold in a way the reader can follow smoothly, etc. Don’t want to spoon feed a reader (they tend not to like that), but dumping too much all at once ain’t so good either.

    These are my flaws, and McKee actually got my creative juices channeled rather than stifled the way they many times are.

    (OK, I’ve hawked this book the last time, and that’s it). I would suggest people read it to at least get an idea of what people mean by “a beat” or a “story turn” or climax, act one, inciting incident, real meaning of protagonist, etc. It’s also a good read, just as a book to read.

    And I am definitely interested now in seeing the movie Adaption.