Vroom at 25%
The day I signed my book contract in September, it hit me. All the celebration was done after a gulp (or twenty) of Guinness, and I had stumbled to bed (couch). I laid there and one thought careened into my head:
“Oh fuck. Now I have to write this.”
So, from the next morning until yesterday afternoon, I wrote, churning out over 100 pages and 26,000 words. I covered transmedia, story, fragmentation, interplay, depth, choice, world building, the pre-Golden Age of Comics, the concept of mytho-canon (word I made up), the arrival of Superman and Batman, Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey,” the societal landscape that led to comics becoming a phenomenon (during the war, Superman and Captain America Comics were selling upwards of a million copies an issue — contrast that with the ecstatic reportage of DC selling 200,000 copies of three titles during the “New 52″ relaunch), comics as propaganda during the war, and exploring comics concepts like crossovers, team books, sidekicks, and fan clubs from the perspective of a transmedia producer.
In the hours between scribbles, I took part in #ideachat, finished another draft of the Whiz!Bam!Pow! novella, reclaimed my old job as Executive Director of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, started doing corporate writing, said goodbye to Psycho Terrier, helped my mother cope with the loss of her husband, quit smoking, and met someone very cool. Oh yes, I also played a fuckload of Batman: Arkham City (which is a huge part of the book — if you have an in with Paul Dini (@Paul_Dini), I want to interview him – let’s make this happen!), and screamed “I AM BATMAN” (also, “I AM THE GODDAMN BATMAN,”) numerous times.
Yesterday, I turned in those 100 pages and 26,000 words as my first 25% drop of the book to my editor. Terror seeped in… “what if they hate it? What if they take it away from me? What if I suck?” This terror, no doubt, stems from this being the first time in a long time I’ve turned something in that I truly care about (not that I don’t care about all of my writing, but for fuck’s sake, this book is the culmination of 20 years of comic book geekery and passion). But then, I went back to something resembling a zen state, like when I was gulping back the Guinness. I turned in the book that I’ve written to the best of my abilities, and I want the criticism. I want to make it better. I’m frothing at the mouth to incorporate Carlin’s comments and become a better writer so that the next drop will be even better.
And now? It’s back to business as usual. I’m heading into research on the Post-War era and the near-death of the industry at the hands of the nefarious villains Frederic Wertham and Joe McCarthy. Then, it’s time to rock the Silver Age. Next 25% is due one month from today – December 15, and I’m determined to kick its ass.
Here’s to another breathless month!