Last weekend I attended the Smallville ComicCon in Hutchinson, Kan. It was my first time attending a ComicCon and, because this was a smaller convention, I thought it was a good way to experience a ComicCon for the first time. Plus, it helped that it was just 40 miles away from where I live.
Among the guests at the ComicCon were Marv Wolfman, a longtime comic book writer who had two sessions: one about the characters he's created and stories he's written and another about his writing tips. Most of the information he presented is information you hear from the majority of writers, but it was still interesting to hear his thoughts, particularly when he used his own characters as examples. His explanations about relationships between characters was a good reminder about what makes writing work.
Another guest was actress Helen Slater, whose best-known role in the world of comics may be playing the title character of the 1980s film Supergirl. It was fun to hear Slater's thoughts about playing that role and how, at the same time the film was released, DC Comics issued a comic book in which Supergirl died (a story written by Wolfman, in fact). She also shared her own experiences when she was asked to write a Supergirl story when the character was brought back many years later.
I also joined a session in which two authors, James Young and Susanne Lambdin, shared their own advice about writing. They each had 10 tips and bounced their thoughts off one another about what makes for good writing. Young had good advice about not worrying about whether somebody has done your idea before, but each writer has an original spin about that idea. Lambdin had good advice about not being overly descriptive with characters and setting, because it can drown the reader in information. Of course, no one piece of advice may apply in every case, but it's good to listen to what other writers have experienced and learn from them when you go about your writing.
In the meantime, I have started writing the planned second book in my Six Pack series and am up to more than 16,000 words. My goal is to complete an individual scene each day. I'll admit I haven't quite accomplished that, but I'm still on track to finishing the first draft by the start of July. I have 26 scenes and 12 are finished. I've designated each scene as its own chapter, but that will change as the book evolves. I want to focus on getting those scenes out on the comptuer screen in the first draft, then get things organized with the second draft.
As for the first book, I've held off on queries for the time being because the next Pit2Pub Twitter pitch party will be July 13 and I'm planning to participate. I'm excited about Pit2Pub; all I need to do is figure out the best pitches to use to promote my book.