Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dream Up the Next DC JLA Event -- A Fan Roundtable

Last week, I asked for DC fans to plan the next big JLA-focused crossover. And boy did we get some cool stories.

Here's the original post:

Dream with me DC fans. Together we're going to plan the next big company crossover. Trust me. You'll like this one, because you're the boss.

The gist: The Justice League splits and goes to war, with each member of the core team (n52) putting together his or her own team of seven to battle the others. Why? Let's blame a villain we haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet.

And some of the coolest responses are posted below.

Craig Fletcher:

So my idea is Mister Mxyzptlk causes a time rift which causes the Justice League to fail at defeating Darkseid which in turn the blame game is paid and a fallout occurs. Each member then creates their own team to show the others that they are more superior. The teams are:

Batman, Nightwing, Blue Beetle, Red Robin,Red Hood, Huntress, Catwoman

Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Lobo, Shazzam, Steel, Hawkman

Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl(Donna Troy), Wonder Girl(Cassie Sandsmark), Katana, Batgirl, Red Tornado, Steve Trevor

Flash, Kid Flash(Bart Allen), Booster Gold, Vixen, Impulse, Flash(Jay Garrick), Guy Gardner

Green Lantern(Hal Jordan), Green Arrow, Kyle Raynor,John Stewart, Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris), Blue Lantern Saint Walker, Martian Manhunter

Aquaman, Mera, Aqualad(Jackson Hyde), Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, Vibe, Green Lantern(Simon Baz)

Cyborg, Static Shock, Speedy(Roy Harper), The Atom(Ray Palmer), Zatana, Icon, Rocket

Over time they start to realize that something happened and they find out that Mister Myxzptlk had something to do with it. they realize being in competition with each other is stupid and they would be helping each other. While all that is happening Darkseid returns and once again tries to destroy the universe. The Justice League reform with all their brand new allies and stop Darkseid. After all of that they get back together and make their allies honorary members of Justice League. The League then goes after Mister Myxzptlk and stop him and lock him in another dimension where he would be held for a very long time.

Lee Houston, Jr.:

Superman forms his team with Supergirl, Superboy, Jonn Jonzz the Martian Manhunter, who suggests Apollo. Then he goes to recruits Power Girl, who won't join without The Huntress.

"Why me?" Helena asks Karen.

"Something fishy is going on around here. Superman needs our help, but won't tell us who the villains are? I need someone I know who's not only on my side, but will keep us grounded in reality," replies Power Girl, or words to that affect.

Batman rounds up the usual suspects: Robin (Damian Wayne), Nightwing, Batgirl, Black Canary, Katana, and Catwoman.

Wonder Woman forms an all female team with Starfire, Poison Ivy, who insists on bringing Starling along; Fairchild, Zatanna, and Pandora. The last two know something is wrong and vow to get to the bottom of things.

Flash, not knowing that many heroes outside the Justice League to begin with, recruits the Element Girl, because the scientist in him finds her interesting; Black Lightning and Blue Devil, Kid Flash, wondering about any possible connection between them; and Captain Atom. He's still searching for a seventh when the Phantom Stranger suddenly appears and volunteers; for he, like Zatanna and Pandora, know something's amiss.

Green Lantern Hal Jordan naturally starts with the other Earth based Lanterns: Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. But he rounds out his team with Green Arrow, Arsenal, and the Red Hood (Jason Todd).

Aquaman will fight with Mera, but realizes he needs more power at his side, so recruits Firestorm, Hawkman, and Captain Marvel (Shazam!); but winds up rounding out his team with Hawk and Dove, not realizing Deadman is with them/her.

Cyborg is the wild card in all of this! He intended to use his built in boom tube technology to start rounding up allies/team mates, but accidentally winds up on Earth 2! Realizing what a treasure trove he has, Cyborg recruits Mister Terrific, Doctor Fate, the Spectre, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Flash Jay Garrick, and Wildcat. Yet being away from his Earth, Cyborg fall out of whatever is influencing the others, and warns the Justice Society members about what's going on before he teleports them back to his Earth.

Meanwhile, the Superman and Batman teams are already starting to face off. Power Girl and Huntress quickly realize something isn't right upon discovering that their opponents are other heroes, especially when everyone is so quick to fight each other. Her husband's soul within the sword warns Katana something is amiss, but she isn't listening and she joins the fight. Husband keeps exerting whatever influence he can to make sure Katana doesn't deliver a mortal blow as the Green Lantern and Aquaman teams arrive and start squaring off against everyone else.

Then the Wonder Woman and Flash contingents arrive. The mystics and those with magical influence (Zatanna, Pandora, Phantom Stranger, Blue Devil, Captain Marvel) quickly start comparing notes, notice Power Girl and Huntress are "different" because they originated on a different Earth, and start to work on a counter agent/spell to whatever is influencing the others. Deadman, possesses Wonder Woman so that they can use the magic lasso of truth to make her see what is going on. Once unpossessed, she is angry about being used and vows to help free the others, but they're not listening and Wonder Woman can only lasso a couple of opponents at a time at most.

When Cyborg's team arrive, Doctor Fate and the Spectre are quick to act, and together with the other mystics undo the evil that was causing everyone to fight.

Meanwhile, despite the new costumes, the Justice Society recognizes their Supergirl and Robin and introduce themselves.

Together, all 49 heroes (50 with Deadman) go up against and eventually defeat the Big Bad Villain, although it takes brains as well as brawn, so Batman, Mister Terrific, and the Flashes get a moment to shine. The Justice Society offers to give their Supergirl and Robin a lift back to Earth 2, but Karen and Helena realize that besides the fact their Earth is in good hands, they like being Power Girl and the Huntress, and decide to stay on their present Earth.

But it is a great big multiverse, and while defeated, there is nothing preventing the Big Bad Villain from licking his wounds and starting anew somewhere else, initiating a new Crisis. Maybe upon this mysterious Earth 2...

The end?

In the eventual sequel, the Justice League would return the favor by rescuing the Justice Society, for the Big Bad Villain captured all their mystics first before starting his (her?) new plan.

But when the Big Bad Villain tries for a third round upon yet a DIFFERENT Earth, the Spectre realizes the only way to stop BBV once and for all is to reunite ALL the dimensions back into one coherent whole, sacrificing himself in the process. This would give us a DC Universe somewhat pre-Flashpoint continuity wise, visually New 52, but will start everything over with new first issues once more.

Yet this new entity would concentrate more upon story quality with a more compact core group of books than trying to maintain 52 monthly titles.

Who knows, maybe the third round could take place in the Marvel Universe as Warner Brothers buys that comic book line from Disney and publishes everything from that point forward under the DC banner?

Hey, if you're going to dream, dream big. That way, you're not as disappointed when they don't come true.

Mark Allison:

"I'm gonna fight them all. A seven nation army couldn't hold me back" -- The White Stripes

The tension between the core members had been building for weeks. At this point they couldn't remember what started it. At this point it didn't matter why. What did matter is that the world was no longer big enough for the Justice League. Each of the core members took it upon themselves to form their own teams to take on their former comrades.

Superman did not have to look far to form his team, The House of El:
(1) Superman
(2) Supergirl
(3) Superboy
(4) Powergirl
(5) The Eradicator
(6) John Henry Irons
(7) Natasha Irons

Batman had as many allies as Superman, but for this battle chose to recruit based on who he would have to fight rather than the allies he has already made. Besides someone still had to keep an eye on Gotham. The Shadow League:
(1) Batman
(2) Black Canary
(3) Azreal
(4) Wally West
(5) Firestorm
(6) Zatana
(7) Solomon Grundy **** Batman Has Zatana Raise and control Grundy ****

Wonder woman knows the only ones she can count on is her Sisters, The Wonder League:
(1) Wonder Woman
(2) Artemis of Bana-Mighdall
(3) Donna Troy
(4) Wondergirl
(5) Big Barda
(6) Grace Choi
(7) Catlin Fairchild

However Diana is not the only Warrior born on the team. Diana may be a princess but Aquaman is King. Royal Justice:
(1) Aquaman
(2) Mera
(3) Lady Maxima
(4) Hawkman
(5) Hawkgirl
(6) Apollo
(7) Midnighter

Flash understands the importance of having a team with a public face. and now he can name the team as well, The Super Seven:
(1) The Flash
(2) Captain Marvel
(3) The Atom
(4) Elongated Man
(5) Green Arrow
(6) Black Lightning
(7) Beast Boy

Hal knows if hes going to take on such heavy hitters he better use his status as a Green lantern to deputize some out of the area help, The Darkstars: 
(1) Green Lantern
(2) Martian Manhunter
(3) Jemm Son of Saturn
(4) Starfire
(5) Killowog
(6) Icon
(7) Lobo

Vic Stone the only way to know who's on your side is if you program them yourself. The Justice Machine:
(1) Cyborg
(2) Spartan
(3) Red Tornado
(4) Thinker
(5) G.I. Robot
(6) Robot Man
(7) Indigo

The battles that formed from these teams colliding were as epic as they were destructive. Half of coast city was sunk into the ocean as Marvel and Icon fought Superboy, Supergirl, and Powergirl. Aquaman claimed it as the newest province of Atlantis. Wonder League and Royal Justice fought viciously over that with both sides suffering, most notably Artemis with a near fatal wound from Maxima and Midnighter, having both arms shattered by Barda. That made Apollo leave the battle, getting Midnighter to safety.
The Darkstars found themselves at a great disadvantage as Justice Machine took over Star Labs super computer, turning national defenses against the alien threats though Darkstars did not care when Supergirl was captured as an alien invader. It was a different story when Cyborg promised Lobo all the gold in Fort Knox to take out Green Lantern, throwing them into chaos.
Superman, enraged at Kara being dragged away by machines, flew through Star Labs, ripping Cyborg's weapons off him -- may have even killed him if the Shadow League hadn't used this distraction to attack in force. West, Azrael, and Firestorm made short work of the Justice Machines as Zatanna, Grundy, Batman, and Canary all attacked Sups with sonic screams, magic, super strength, and a piece of Kryptonite  that Batman acquired.
From the beginning of this whole escapade, Flash could not shake the feeling of familiarity he had. It wasn't the scenario, it was ... Good God! At super speed  he was able to pull Wonder Woman and Aquaman apart, K.O. Lobo and grab GL and tackle Batman before he could deliver a deathblow to Superman. Grabbing the Kryptonite he closed his eyes and threw it toward the nearly inaudible hum. Striking an invisible form, he caused sparks to fly and the cloak field to drop from in front of them to reveal Brainiac, Psycho Pirate, Dr. Psycho and Gorilla Grodd -- who had been using their combined powers to manipulate earth's greatest heroes.
At that point they all did their part to take out there respective villains, and all the teams helped to rebuild. It was still no question. The Flash, who had recognized the influence of Grodd, was the real hero that day

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Whedon!

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop Howdy!

Your friend and mine -- the Jackalope!
Official mascot of blog hops everywhere!
Hey there and welcome to my blog! For my regular readers, I beg your patience as I participate in a blog hop.

For those of you new here, you’re likely here thanks to a link provided to you by my friend and colleague, author Roland Mann. I want to thank Roland for inviting me to participate and for encouraging you to check out my page.

Who am I? Take a gander at the bio on the right side of this page and you'll see just why most folks typically avoid me in public places.

So, I hope to see you next week where I’ll also point you to five more writers whose work you should follow!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now #274 -- Connooga 2013 Plans?

So, what are you plans for this year's Connooga?

From one of last year's panels at Connooga.
Other than hanging out with friends after the con, and hanging out with my lovely daughter and "booth babe" Charis Taylor (a fellow writer, I'm proud to say; check out her website), you'll be able to find me at the panels listed below.

3:00PM    Author Meet and Greet (Comics Track)
5:00PM    Author Meet and Greet (Writers Track)
7:00PM    Writing Opening Lines and Hooks - Readings and Discussion

11:00AM   Pulp Fiction: The return of the pulps! What defines it as pulp.
NOON     Plotter or Pantser? Using Outlines - Pros and Cons
7:00PM    Starting Comics in Your Basement
8:00 PM   What's My Plot? A No Holds-Barerd Plot off! Challenge our authors with an idea and see who comes up with the best plot!

12:00 PM   Writing Believable Dialogue

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Best Graphic Novels Ever #6 -- Watchmen

6. Watchmen
by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Published by DC Comics

You knew this one was coming. And here it is. But NOT in the top five, and you may or may not find that surprising.

This is the one that deconstructed the new mythology and melted the feet of clay wearing the tights. This is the one that's taught in colleges across the country, and used by geeks the world over as Exhibit A in the case entitled "Comics Books Can Be Meaningful."

You're probably wondering (a) if I should turn in my geek ID card for placing Watchmen here on the list and/or (b) what could possibly be better than such a penultimate volume.

My only beef with Watchmen is the same one I level against Dark Knight Returns -- it's easy to deconstruct something by reshaping it and doing it from a position outside. It's much, much more difficult to tell a strong story within the confines of the genre and/or medium while addressing both those inside it and outside it. And I reserve my top five spots for stories I believe did just that. Stay tuned.

On a side note, I think I'm one of the few (the proud) who feel the ending of the movie was superior to the ending of the book. But that's a flame war for another day.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

[Link] How to Write a Book in Three Days: Lessons from Michael Moorcock

by Eric Rosenfield

This article is the first part of a series about one of my favorite writers, Michael Moorcock, which will culminate in an interview with the man himself.

In the early days of Michael Moorcock's 50-plus-years career, when he was living paycheck-to-paycheck, he wrote a whole slew of action-adventure sword-and-sorcery novels very, very quickly, including his most famous books about the tortured anti-hero Elric. In 1992, he published a collection of interviews conducted by Colin Greenland called Michael Moorcock: Death is No Obstacle, in which he discusses his writing method. In the first chapter, "Six Days to Save the World", he says those early novels were written in about "three to ten days" each, and outlines exactly how one accomplishes such fast writing.

This is not the best way to write every novel, or even most novels. Moorcock used it specifically to write sword-and-sorcery action-adventure, but I think it could be applied more-or-less to any kind of potboiler. Once Moorcock himself had perfected this method, he became bored with it and moved on, restlessly playing with one genre and style after another, and turning in some of his best work, including the literary fiction Mother London (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize) and the quasi-historical romance Gloriana. (Which took him six whole weeks to write!) The rest of Death is No Obstacle is about writing in these other forms.

So all of the quotes below are from just the first chapter of the book. I cannot recommend enough for fiction writers to hunt themselves down a copy (it's sadly out of print) and studying it, especially if you want to understand the purpose of form and structure in fiction. If you want to think of this post as a naked advertisement for this brilliant book, I'm okay with that.

To be clear: This is not my advice. This is Michael Moorcock's advice. I have never written a book in three days. I am planning on making the attempt, however, on the weekend of September 18th, which is Jewish New Years (Rosh Hashanah), and the next time in my calendar when I'll have three days straight with nothing else to do. Digesting this material is part of my preparation.

How to Write a Book in Three Days...

Continue reading:

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Airship 27 Productions announces the release of their second title for 2013, GHOST BOY.

The during the 1960s America was locked in a tense Cold War with the Soviet Union, Ian Fleming’s James Bond unleashed a spy craze and the Beatles swept across American shores with their version of new pop-rock and roll.  Meanwhile American comics had entered into the Silver Age with the birth of Marvel Comics.  Every week new titles seem to proliferate drug store magazine racks.

Now Airship 27 Productions has dug deep into those long forgotten comic vaults to revive Jigsaw Comics’ odd-ball hero, GHOST BOY.  Created in 1964 by writer Art Croxton and artist Ric Sippo, the short lived series starred young Alex Conroy as the top agent of S.O.S (Science Operational Security) who is possessed with strange superhuman abilities. His best friend was an eight foot robot called P.O.P.S (Photoelectric Optimal Protection Sentry).

Writers Terry Alexander, Micah Harris and Andrew Salmon recapture the fun and magic of this 60s forgotten character and offer up four brand new adventures. As an extra bonus, Ron Fortier and artist Gary Kato recreate the origin tale of GHOST BOY in a special 9 pg strip which kicks off this thrilling collection all gathered under a gorgeous cover by Laura Givens.

Comics fans rejoice, GHOST BOY is back!

“Actually he never left,” explains Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor Ron Fortier with a mischievous grin in his eyes.  “That’s because there never was such a title and this particular project is in reality our homage to those wonky Silver Age comics we all grew up loving.”  Fortier goes on to explain the idea came about when the company looked into adapting an authentic 60s comic series only to discover the property was still under license.  “That’s when we collectively had this idea do make-up our own comic hero from that decade and see if could recapture the odd-ball exuberant charm those books contained.  Will let our readers judge if we’ve succeeded or not.”


Available now at Create Space –
As a PDF download from our website for only $3 --
Within another week on Amazon proper and Kindle.
And within two weeks at

Friday, February 22, 2013

Announcing Call for Entries on Hero's Best Friend Anthology

For Immediate Release
February 19,  2013

Announcing Call for Entries on Hero's Best Friend Anthology

Seventh Star Press announces a call for entries on Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions.   Edited by Scott Sandridge, the speculative fiction anthology brings the spotlight to the noble animal companions of heroic characters.

Hero's Best Friend welcomes stories of between 2,000 and 10,000 words from all genres of speculative fiction.  All kinds of cultural settings, types of animals, and genres are encouraged for these tales.  The stories should center on the perspective of the animal, in the way that a story would focus on Shadowfax rather than Gandalf, to use one well-known example of a heroic character and animal companion.

Residing in Ohio, editor and author Scott M. Sandridge’s first short story, “Treecutter,” was published in The Sword Review in July 2005. Since then, he’s gone on to publish over 26 more short stories, and over 60 reviews. He has also been a columnist for the Double-Edged Publishing webzines, a Submissions Editor for Ray Gun Revival, and the Managing Editor of Fear and Trembling.  Scott is also an active blogger whose site can be found at:

Hero's Best Friend will be released in trade paperback and eBook formats in late 2013.  The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2013, and full information on the anthology can be found at

Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
ccjames (at)

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky


For the first time since its inception, the Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention will be devoting a five hour block to the ever popular New Pulp Movement in what they have labeled New Pulp Sunday.

"Given the number of New Pulp creators and publishers that attend our convention, we felt devoting a day of programming to the energetic world of New Pulp was natural and would be fun for attendees.  Hopefully it will introduce some folks to the wide variety of material being published today under the New Pulp banner."  Doug Ellis, co-founder and promoter of the Windy City Paper & Pulp Convention.

To that end Ellis reached to out to several of his New Pulp contacts, amongst them Ron Fortier, Managing Editor of Airship 27 Productions and Tommy Hancock, Managing Editor of Pro Se Productions.  With a list of their colleagues planning on attending this year’s convention, Fortier and Hancock put together a program schedule that would include three panels and eight authors’ readings.  Joining them in these events are noted New Pulp Creators Chris Bell, Rob Davis, Joe Bonadonna, David C. Smith, Wayne Reinagel, William Patrick Maynard, David White and Terrence McCauley.

For the past four years the Windy City Convention has hosted the Pulp Factory Awards, given out by one of several New Pulp groups that celebrate the best in new pulp fiction and artwork.  “The creation of New Pulp Sunday is a logical expansion of the con’s support for all things pulp related,” said Fortier.  “We are thrilled at this recognition of New Pulp and promise all attendees a five hour block of truly wonderful readings and panels that clearly demonstrate the continued evolution of pulp fiction from the old to the new.”

Hancock added, “Everyone involved in the New Pulp Movement knows where the roots of what we do lie, exactly in the fiction that the Windy City Pulp And Paper Convention has helped preserve and promote since its inception.   It’s an honor for those of us who feel like we’re walking in the shadows of giants to be welcomed into the Convention program in such a way.  It’s also an opportunity to let fans of Pulp of all kinds know that the sort of stories they enjoy in the classic Pulps are still being written today.”

The complete, detailed New Pulp Sunday schedule will appear in the convention’s program booklet.

Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention
April 12 – 14
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
70 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60148

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Going Public About the Public Domain

All right, writer types... in light of the public domain case against the Arthur Conan Doyle estate, this week's roundtable for writers is about just that -- public domain law. We sought out a few of our favorite new pulp writers to get their thoughts on the matter.

What is public domain law getting right?

Percival Constantine: Keeping these properties viable for future generations. There are lots of great characters that, if not for the public domain, might just be left to wither and die. And there are many great stories we may not have gotten. One example that immediately comes to mind is the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If not for the public domain, these characters might be owned by competing corporations, which would have made one of the greatest graphic novels completely impossible to create without paying hefty licensing fees.

Lee Houston Jr.: Not being a lawyer, as far as I know, it's protecting the integrity of the original material and keeping anyone else from claiming the classics are actually their own work. The rules here in America concerning public domain media properties state that you must include the original credits in your presentation, which is why you still see those within the cheap DVDs of today. When Ted Turner was on a color the black and white films kick for a while, he could call the colorized version "his" while the original was still public domain.

What are the problems that public domain law is creating?

Percival Constantine: The real problem is a lack of consistency across the world. Characters that are public domain in one country aren't in another, which restricts distribution in those countries and, in my opinion, creates an environment in which piracy can thrive.

It's also not always clear what is and isn't public domain. For example, many of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom and Tarzan books are public domain and can be downloaded freely from Project Gutenberg or other sources. But John Carter and Tarzan themselves are not public domain. These situations can create a lot of confusion and lead to incidents in which someone can end up being sued for a story they published without really knowing they were breaking the law.

Lee Houston Jr.: In light of the Doyle estate lawsuit, obviously who can use what when, and how should it be used "properly". The rules are different in England, so the BBC got the Doyle estate's permission to do the modern "Sherlock". Yet CBS, after being turned down by the BBC for an American license to the property, realized Holmes was public domain, and is now doing their own version of a current detective with "Elementary". There are too many unauthorized uses of classic characters as it is, which dilutes the genre pool for the "official" works continuing the legends. The new comic book adventures of The Shadow are authorized, but I'm totally surprised that Dynamite Comics hasn't entered the discussion yet concerning their work with the Edgar Rice Burroughs properties.

Warner Brothers and Disney cannot help the fact that the earliest appearances of their characters have fallen into public domain, yet between continually lobbying lawmakers for changing the existing copyright laws and producing new material, they maintain overall ownership of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, etc. Can the same be said of the Burroughs and Doyle estates in regards to their properties? Should they have the same rights as the studios or not? After all, Disney certainly put their moniker all over their animated Tarzan efforts, the attempted Broadway adaptation of same, and the recent John Carter movie.

Whom do you think public domain laws should protect, and how far into a creator's family lineage should that protection continue?

Percival Constantine: Public domain laws should protect the work and the public. As for how far into a creator's lineage should the protection continue, that's a difficult question to answer. I really don't see any problem with the old definition of the author's life plus fifty years. With advances in medicine, that's long enough to possibly extend to the creator's grandchildren.

For the most part, though, the current extensions in copyrights aren't to the benefit of the creators—they're to the benefit of the corporations that have bought these characters from the creators.

If say, Superman were to fall into the public domain, there would be nothing stopping Warner Bros. or DC Comics from still making movies, TV shows, and comic books about the Man of Steel. And with their financial strength, they could market their versions far more fiercely than competing ones.  If Siegel and Shuster's heirs wanted to make more money off their ancestors' creation, then they could also produce new stories as well (and I see nothing wrong with them having to actually put in some work to earn that Superman money, instead of just being lucky enough to be related to the creators). But it also means that we could get some interesting and original takes on Superman from other creators.

Lee Houston Jr.: Very good question, considering that some day all of us current writers' estates will hopefully be facing similar dilemmas. Immediate family for sure. It might be stretching things a bit too far extending it to grandchildren and beyond, but that is for others to decide.

How can public domain law be fixed to best protect creators AND ensure the perpetuity of timeless creations for new generations?

Percival Constantine: That's another tough one. I'm not a lawyer, but I think there should be international standards and clear cut definitions of what constitutes public domain and what doesn't. This is part of a larger problem involving copyright law as a whole. Right now, the laws are skewed in the favor of corporations, not in favor of the creator. The upcoming Wolverine movie will no doubt make a whole lot of money. How much of that money goes to Len Wein and John Romita, who created the character? How much of it goes to Chris Claremont and John Byrne, who spent a lot of work developing some of the most recognizable aspects of the character?

Corporations already have an unfair advantage over the average creator. They don't need help from the government in terms of copyright extensions that serve no benefit to the creator and only exist to enable the corporation to continue to milk a creation decades after the creator's death.

Lee Houston Jr.: Above all else, the laws should continue to protect the integrity of the original works. I cannot picture any version of Sherlock Holmes wearing Bermuda shorts and riding a skateboard while chewing bubblegum and jamming to his iPod. Yet the current BBC version does prove that some properties, if handled properly, can work as well in a more modern setting besides their original time periods. One thing a lot of people keep forgetting is that a lot of the material we consider period pieces today were actually originally written as contemporary (for their times) tales.

Overall, this is an issue that we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out in the courts, especially considering that the copyright laws are somewhat different overseas than they are here in the United States.


All illustrations used in this article are from the public domain, in case you're curious.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

[Link] Arthur Conan Doyle Estate Now Being Sued to Settle Whether Sherlock Holmes is in the Public Domain

by Nate Hoffelder

I have long argued that copyright law has grown far out of proportion and no longer serves the needs of the creators, so I was pleased to read this week about a recently filed lawsuit that could prune back some of the overgrowth.

The noted Sherlockian scholar, Baker Street Irregular and prominent attorney Leslie Klinger, editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, The Sherlock Holmes Reference Library and The Grand Game: A Celebration of Sherlockian Scholarship, to name a few, has filed a civil lawsuit against the Conan Doyle Estate to determine that the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are in fact in the public domain.

Mr Klinger is suing (according to the press release) because of the pressure that the Conan Doyle estate applied against Mr Klinger’s latest anthology of Sherlock Holmes inspired stories.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes was supposed to be published by Pegasus Books and included Holmes stories by numerous well-known mystery/sci-fi/fantasy authors.  The anthology is on hold because the Conan Doyle estate contacted the publisher, asked for a fee, and threatened to block distribution of the anthology if the fee was not paid.

The Conan Dolye’s justification for their legal shakedown is at best questionable and is based on a not-entirely settled point of copyright law. Allow me to explain.

As you probably know, the vast majority of the Holmes stories are old enough that they are no longer in copyright in the US. (The author died in 1930, so his entire body work is public domain everywhere but the US.) In the US you can legally download nearly any of the Holmes stories from sites like Project Gutenberg. If you wanted to, you could then format the stories as ebooks or bind them into a paper book and sell the stories. This is completely legal.

Continue reading:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now #273 -- Is Writing Rewriting?

The axiom states that "Writing is rewriting" -- well, in your experience, is it really? 
Or is it the great lie that writing teachers and books about writing try to fool us with?

Dear Lord, yes. Writing IS rewriting for me. 

I'm a firm believer in the Hemingway standard illustrated so vividly in the image shown here. 

And it's not just something I do after a hammer out a first draft. I'm always rewriting as I re-read my stories before a writing session. (You DO re-read your work constantly during the writing process, right? No? Shame on you. Find a wooden ruler and a retired primary school teacher and present your knuckles for your punishment.)

Seriously, I regularly re-read my works in progress as I'm writing, or at least before sitting down to write again, and while doing that I often find not only general copy edits and proofreading errors, but also major, glaring story screw-ups I was too busy writing to notice -- things like changing the spelling on a character's name or forgetting to reference something later that I bring in early in the story

One thing I've learned is that the longer I write and the more I write, the better my early drafts become, but they're still pretty much exactly what Papa Hemingway called 'em. 

Without re-writing, I'd never be published. Not only that, I'd probably be black-listed, de-friended, and relegated to Myspace only. #justsayin' 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Best Graphic Novels Ever #7 -- Sandman: A Doll's House

7. Sandman: A Doll's House
by Neil Gaiman and various artists
Published by Vertigo Comics

Ah. I've been waiting to get to this one. This is the quintessential Neil Gaiman volume for me. Coming of age tale, a girl on the run, serial killers, misnomers, dry and dark wit, humorous violence, serious violence, all wrapped up in the mystery-enigma two-sided paper from the nice wrapping paper store, not the cheap stuff you'd find at the local dollar store.

This is Gaiman hitting on all the cylinders he really nails perfectly. It's the literary equivalent of a Gypsy Rose Lee dance number -- mesmerizing, embarrassing, titillating, vulgar, and undeniably compelling. 

A Doll's House is Gaiman at his best, at his most at ease with himself as a storyteller.

To say more would be to spoil it, so I'll add just this: So many of the favorite Sandman characters to come appear in this volume, so it should not be missed -- yet it stands by itself beautifully even if you've never read any other Sandman volume.

Not to be missed.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

[Link] Black, Female and Super Powered: An Interview With Grace Gipson on Black Comic Book Super Heroines

by Yolo Akili

When it comes to female comic book superheroes of any race, Wonder Woman and Supergirl are by far the world's most recognized. Yet even with their international popularity, both have failed commercially in major films and television adaptations. This failure has historically been attributed to the white, male-dominated comic book industry and media, which is often accused of being largely inept in writing, crafting and celebrating complex female superheroines. It has also been attributed to our sexist culture, which struggles psychologically with the concept of women and power.

This difficulty to write white female superheroines (or, depending on who you talk to, Kryptonian and Greek superheroines who look white) has fallen down even more so on black female superheroines, who not only become victims to the white male sexist imagination, but, among other things, it's racist stereotypes. In fact, with the exception of the X-men's Storm, there are not any other widely recognized black superheroines in American culture.

Well, the work of Grace Gipson just may help to change all that. Gipson, a graduate student at Georgia State University, is researching the interpretations and history of black superheroines. Her work has centered on answering the question "What are comic books communicating about black women to younger male and female readers who participate in the cultural universe of superheroes?".

I caught up with Gipson to learn more about the black female superheroines that are out there, why we need to read their stories and why we should support black women and girls in being the heroes in their own lives.

Continue reading:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

[Link] Women in Horror: Badasses

by Selah Janel

Yeah yeah, Valentine’s day, love and stuff, etc etc etc. But what about those ladies that make our hearts suffer palpitations? What about those books and films that feature women that might actually rip your heart out or have to fight to keep their own organs in their chests?

So now that we’ve talked about those awesome crazy ladies, it’s time to talk about another group of women in the horror genre: badasses. Now here’s the thing. There were a lot of women I could have considered, especially given the slasher genre. I had to think long and hard as to whether I would include a lot of the final girls, or girls that lasted more than two movies in a franchise, or what. Here’s my thing: it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a lot of those movies, and although I can’t argue that some of those gals are pretty cool, I’m also trying to take a look at characters who aren’t just cool because they manage to stay alive. I mean I like staying alive, myself, but I really wanted to focus on the girls that are somewhat aggressive (in various ways) in their titles. I guess to a certain degree you could argue that all of them are reactionary to a point, too, but to me these girls don’t just exist to be reactionary or to be the final girl. You end up either learning about them and cheering or learning about them and shuddering. Sometimes both. So, without further delay, here is my list of female badasses in the horror genre.

Continue reading:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just for Fun #1: I Pitch the Justice League Movie

A few days ago, fellow blogger Mark Bousquet asked a few of us how we would undertake the creation of a Justice League movie (you do know one is on the schedule for 2015, right?). Well, I couldn't resist the invitation...

Mine would be far different than most for a JL movie.

We begin a knee-deep in the middle of an all-out war with an alien race that is not from Apokolips (perhaps the Dominators or the one from Legion Lost original series). In the first five minutes, the League goes down. The first to get handed his butt is Superman, followed by Green Lantern Hal Jordon, but in the end, they all go down … HARD. Which leads to the guerrilla war that takes up the bulk of the movie, led by not the core seven but the extended JL (led by GL John Stewart, and consisting of Fire, Green Arrow, Metamorpho, Nightwing, and a core group of B-Listers). They search out other heroes now hiding away from the invaders and build up a group to rescue the core seven from the alien invaders. In Act III, the JLUnlimited frees the JLCore and together they kick some alien butt, teaching the Core JL that they’re not the end-all-be-all in superheroes and they decide to open up League membership to the other deserving heroes.

For the full article:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is Writing Really Re-Writing? (A Roundtable)

The axiom states that "Writing is rewriting" -- well, in your experience, is it really? Or is it the great lie that writing teachers and books about writing try to fool us with?

Is it possible to get it right the first time and require little to no really editing other than grammar and spelling from your draft version?

To get the skinny, we checked in with a group of tenured and new writers, and writers of both genre fiction and literary fiction, short stories and novels, poetry and comic book scripts.

In 3... 2... 1... Go!

Patricia Boeckman: My hubby, Charles Boeckman, still-living pulp author from 1945 to the death (he thought) of the pulps after TV swept the country, wrote first draft. He always knew the beginning and end of the story, usually had some idea of the plot, and then just let her rip. His typing skills were great, his punctuation and spelling, not so fantastic. But he never had a story rejected due to mechanical errors. At two cents a word, he didn't have time for revisions.

I think writers, me included, don't write stories so much as they "find" them. Those with extensive reading backgrounds have a wealth of plots, characters, complications, etc. stored in their memories to draw on to produce original stories that grow out of the teeming cauldron of their subconscious as they put words on paper in the semi-dream-like state that living in the imagination induces. Hubby no longer writes original stories, but he has put together an anthology of some of his vintage suspense type pulp stories, and we are now preparing to start on a collection of some of his vintage western tales.

Nancy Hansen: Of course my first drafts are perfect! All 50 of them, in fact.

Seriously, I am a back and forth editor while I write. My brain while writing is like a pinball, bouncing from this bumper, off that flipper, to hit a bell way over there... Still I attempt to work in a linear fashion from beginning to end, and make notes as ideas occur, but unless I've written a proposal or am working from previous material, I generally have no idea where a story is going until I dig pretty deeply into it. Almost every one starts with some cinematic trailer idea that I need to work a story around. My usual modus operandi is to get some words on that first page, make a scene that works toward the next scene out of that, put some more words down, and keep generating scenes until they stop making sense, and then call it day. I always try to end a session while I have something left, so that next time I sit down the mojo is there. That next session starts with a re-read to get the juices flowing, with tweaking along the way, until I get into uncharted territory where the muse takes the reins. I set bookmarks in the document and when I figure I've about done all I can with a sector, I move the starting place forward to a new spot, and begin there next time with the re-reading and re-working. I use one particular bookmark to hold my place while I go back and add in something I forgot or change anything I've had second thoughts about. Eventually I do make it to the end, and while it's not a fast process, it does work well for me.

That's just the first draft though. Once I am satisfied I have the story pretty much the way I like it and it's relatively complete, I'll set it aside for a while—a few days for a short story and a couple weeks at least for a novel—and work on something else in the meantime. That way when I come back to it, I have fresh eyes and will see things I missed. I read it through from stem to stern without as much going back and forth, doing far less tweaking as I go. That's usually where I catch the majority of typos and continuity errors or notice problems with pacing. Seldom do I need extra scenes or anything complex at that point, though I will do some serious pruning where necessary. Then it either gets handed to the beta reader (usually Lee) or I read it aloud, where the awkward stuff makes itself known in a hurry. Once I'm satisfied I've done all I can and the proper formatting is in place; off it goes. If-and-when I get it back for revision, the changes needed are generally pretty simple, and several times I've handled it through a single email conversation.

All that said, this is simply what works for me. I always stress with newbie writers that what matters most is not whose writing style you emulate or what advice you take, but that you do whatever it takes to get words on the page. Everybody has to find their own happy place at the keyboard.

Bill Craig: I usually do a first draft, turn it over to a reader to go through and spot typos and see if it sounds right. One of my writing mentor's Jerry Ahern taught me to get that first draft as close to camera ready as possible. Don Pendleton taught me to write the story, and then go through and cut out what was unneccessary. Mainly I work very hard to get it right the first time.  But that's me.

Van Allen Plexico: It all changed with the advent of computers and word processors. Before that, you'd have to rewrite (unless you were one of those Westlake-Ian writers who could just crank it out fully-formed, like Jack Kirby drawing a picture by starting in one corner and working his way across!). With word processors, rewriting happens constantly so there should be far less to have to redo at the end of the first draft. My second drafts are largely confined to word replacement (if I spot something repetitive), typo repairs, and the very occasional major repair if I discover I've made a larger error, such as having a chapter out of order or forgotten part of a sub-plot.

Tim J. Finn: I find myself doing both, agnozing until I think I have it right the first (and sometimes I actually do) and rewriting and changing it back sometimes also.

Selah Janel: Although I'd love to say that everything I write is perfect right away, that's just not the case. For me, I tend to go into a story with an idea, but I'm not really sure of the ins and outs until I'm in the thick of the story. Sometimes this means a lot of rewriting to sync up all parts of the piece, and sometimes this means actually starting two or three versions and then continuing the one that works the best. I'll admit that sometimes I find it frustrating, but at the end of the day I want to do what's best for the story. If putting aside my ego or giving myself a little more work is what it takes, then I'll suck it up and do it. Writing a story isn't just a linear process. It would be great if ideas and character development just magically fell into place all the time, but that's not the way my brain works, at least. After all that, it still doesn't guarantee that others will read a piece the way I intended it, which is why there are edits. I think of it like this: so many great authors revamped their stories after they were already published. Tolkien changed things, Ray Bradbury either changed parts of stories or added parts (there's a whole other scene of Fahrenheit 451 circulating around). If these amazing guys (and others) feel that it's acceptable to tweak works that have become iconic, even after the works have been published for a while, then I think that it's obvious that writing is a process that's meant to be revisited until you feel like you get it to its best possible outcome.

I. A. Watson: At the moment I'm revisiting The Dark Lord, a novel I first completed in 2001 that has sat on my hard drive doing nothing ever since. It's a political fantasy tale that would sit well with Game of Thrones fans.

I've written three or four million words of fiction since then and my style had evolved, matured, and I hope, improved, so proofreading that story is more by way of a rewrite. Whole new chapters are appearing to unpack events I originally referenced in a paragraph . Conversely, scenes I thought were effective and powerful before now seem corny and trite. They must die. I imagine when I've finished I'll have a novel I'm happier with and that is a better balance between drama, action, and politics. This is the benefit of proofreading.

I generally need a couple of passes to get things right in my work, sometimes more for the longer material. First draft I concentrate on getting what I can out of my head and onto the page. I often leave myself little highlighted notes like FIND NAME OF STREET or CHECK PREVIOUS QUOTE rather than stopping to look up reference while I'm steaming ahead.

After that first rush, I need to go back and refine things. I tend to slip into some bad habits, like structuring quoted speech with action descriptors in the middle all the time: "Watch your back," he said, drawing his revolver and peering round the darkened space, "There's more than one of them out there." Sometimes I get the subject and object obscured, because I know what I was talking about even if the reader doesn't. And often I run on sentences where I should better break them up into seperate ones. So that next run-through is mostly for style. It also serves to point up any plot problems where I've missed something or contradicted myself.

A third pass helps with pacing. The dramatic beats need to be set up, or supported, or followed on from. Sometimes an extra line, a minor description, even an extra or deleted word is all that's required. Occasionally a new cutaway scene helps cleanse the palate for the next major twist. This is the run-through that usually adds to the word count, though I try and delete as much extraneous wordage as I add in.

It's amazing how an oral rendition flags up clumsy sentence structure and corny dialogue. If I have time, I read the work out loud, preferably to someone other than the cat. That's usually to my daughter these days; my wife has been a less enthusiastic listener since our divorce.

Then comes the spell check/grammar check from the computer, wherein I disagree with Microsoft Word's grammar rules and we eventually reach a corrected compromise.

If possible, I then leave the story to lie fallow for a while and write something else. I come back to it fresh after a month or two - The Dark Lord's twelve years is atypical. By then I've forgotten all the stuff I knew I meant, so unlear bits are easier to spot. I've fallen out of love with whatever odd sentence structure seemed so clever when I wrote it, so I can revert to plain English that tells the story. This is the final proofread before the work goes off to an editor.

Most editors send back their edited version of the text for approval, or at least notification. Often these days it's for more free proofreading too, which I'm fine with since it gives me a last chance to check my stuff. Very occasionally there's a new problem that's slipped in at the compositing or external reading stages - perhaps the proofer hasn't understood a technical term or has corrected some grammatical error that I'd deliberately put in someone's speech pattern. Mostly, seeing the story all dolled up and ready to go out somehow makes hidden errors missed so far stand out nice and plain. That's especially true of plot errors; I only caught a massive continuity gaffe in my Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective volume 4 story "The Clockwork Courtesan" at this stage. It was Watson's first wife who was American. Mary Morstan was brought up in India. Rookie mistake, only picked up twenty minutes after I'd e-mailed back the final final version to the publisher.

Even then, there's usually some error I only spot when it's in print before me, six months after publication.

I'd better get back to The Dark Lord. The villain's about to give the hero the choice of who deflowers the princess, right here, right now, and becomes her father's mortal enemy - the hero or the villain's minions.

Marian Allen: Whether I rewrite after the rough draft is finished or rewrite in my head before I put anything into fixed form, writing is rewriting.

Mark Ellis: Yes. Yes, it is. Really.

Ron Fortier: Most of what I write usually gets at least 2 look-overs. Before starting work on a new section of a story, I read through what I did the day before and usually change some things.  That's number one. Then when finished I start the new stuff after which I had it over to my wife.   Her grammar is far better than mine.  She makes red-pencil edits and gives it back to me.  I make the corrections, or change the phrasing and that's # 2.

This process repeats daily till the story is completed.  Then it goes off to whoever wants to publish it and most likely will return to me one more time with some editorial notes. That's # 3.

I think most of us go through a similar process if not all exactly the same. I never ever turn anything after writing it once. Perfection is not my thing.  Ha.

Lee Houston Jr.: I hate to admit this, but I'm my own worst critic when it comes to writing. I will go over a passage as many times I think is necessary until it is "right". I prefer quality to quantity, and always want to create the best work I can for the readers.

Dave Creek: I "write to final draft," as I think of it, which I believe comes from my journalism experience, where you have to write a story properly the first time out.

Joe Bonadonna: Writing is rewriting. Rewriting. And a lot more rewriting. I've spent an hour trying to get one paragraph right. I've spent 6 hours on one page! I'm currently on the 4th version, and the 5th draft of the current rewrite of a story. If I had to earn my living writing, I'd starve.

Also, each story is different. I sold a story that took only two drafts. I have stories that have gone through 10 rewrites -- still no go. I should give up on those.

I'm my own worst critic, I'm a brutal editor, and 99% of what i write no one ever sees. I hold myself to a high standard: if I don't like it, it stinks. I will spend six months on a 20-K novella. I'm not prolific, and most of ideas never get past that stage. When I wrote a short story and a novella a month back in the 70s, and a novel a year -- nothing got published. George Scithers once told me, "Go for quality, Joe. The quantity will come in time.

I go for when it "feels" write. Too much of what I read seems rushed -- written fast and furiously to make a deadline or whatever. Little time spent on characters and relationships and human drama. Maybe I'm just a slow writer, too. I do prefer spending more time on character stuff than action. Comes from studying too many playwrights, lol! I also like to return to an old story and see what new I can bring into it. I just did that with an old story. Brought in a psychological aspect. I think i will do more of this type of thing. I'm calling it Sword and Freud.

Martin Page: My experience is otherwise, though I will spend time on key paragraphs.Otherwise, I like a 3-pass approach. 1st pass produces readable prose but is missing stuff. 2nd pass expands the sections where stuff is missing and fixes arcs and continuity. 3rd pass spots and fixes any cohesion and comprehension issues.

This is the danger of rewrites. It's like telling your soldiers to fight harder when you really need to fight different, or in a different place.

If a story doesn't work, then the issue is at a higher level, e.g. not enough conflict, wrong kind of conflict, issues with setting or story logic.

For me the outline is like... rolling up a flag in a strong breeze. As you roll, the flag whips this way and that. It's position is only fixed as it wraps around the flagstaff. So, as the characters come alive, the outline changes. If I don't like the changes, I tweak the characters.

Duane Spurlock: I rarely get it right the first time. Before I start the writing day and write a new passage, I read over the last bit I wrote and tweak it. Never really stops. Even if I read over something after it's published, I see things I'd like to change. And when I read something by someone else, I see sentences i'd recommend changing. Is that OCD?

Dafydd Neal Dyar: Just has the first casualty of war is the battle plan, so too the first casualty of writing is the story outline.

A story is a combination of a plot and characters. As writers get to know their characters better in the process of developing them, there inevitably comes a point when those characters begin to take the story in entirely directions than the writer originally envisioned.

Good writers pay attention what their characters are trying to tell them and adjust the story accordingly. This generally requires the writer to revise and rewrite already completed text to accommodate the new story directions.

In short, writing necessarily entails rewriting as part of the process.

Thaddeus Atreides: Writing is editing for me. Either I hit it or I miss it. I rarely feel as if I need to completely rewrite a story to make it right. And if I do, then I just call it and mark the time of death. Then I get out and write something new.

Roger Keel: Sometimes I have to re-write a scene or panel, other times it's a full page and on occasion the whole story. Depends on how I like the first draft (and everything is a first draft!!).

Michael L. Peters: Whether writing or painting a project often isn't "alive," until it all goes to hell and you have to scramble and save it...

I'm currently doing an extensive re-write because I recently heard about a story that has a few eerie similarities to mine, so... I'm replacing those bits, which, of course, causes major shifts in other bits, effecting the shape of the whole story... and I think the re-worked story is all the better, even putting worries about being perceived as copying plot points, aside.

I letter my own comics work, so, up until I need to have it print-ready, I'll re-work dialog or captions - - there are always few lines that are sort of "place-holders", which sometimes end up being used and sometimes get replaced.

Arthur Gibson: For scripts, I work it as I write it so I only do one version. But also for scripts, it isn't "done" until the artist has their interpretation, so sometimes a slight edit is needed to match dialogue to layout.

For prose, self-editing is a must and I can go through up to six drafts before I am happy. Sometimes that makes it perfect. Sometimes it can use another set of fresh eyes one more time.

J.R. Mounts: Rewrite, redraw, erase, erase, erase...oh, the humanity.

Christopher Collins: Absolute, hand-to-God truth for me! My first draft is just getting the ideas out on the page, and there's nothing like the rush I get from the creative process...except making it live and breathe. That's where the rewriting comes in. It's harsh, sometimes--you're cutting out whole scenes, killing your darlings, ripping them apart and putting them back together into something that hopefully, is a little bit closer to what you had in your head when you began the process. You're taking flat characters and turning them into three dimensional beings that have personalities, histories, goals and everything else that makes us human. You're giving the story a depth it wouldn't otherwise have. I forget where I read it, but one person likened the first draft to vomiting out the words, and the rewrites to picking through the chunks and keeping the best bits. And that, friends and neighbors, is my two cent's worth.

Gordon Dymowski: To me, it's both. I end up writing and rewriting so much, it reminds me of what Michaelangelo said about his David statue - that he basically saw a block of marble and chipped away anything that wasn't David. I had a story where I ended up cutting quite a bit -- not because it wasn't good, but it wasn't the story.

Ed Crandell: The first and third novel have basically been matters of grammar and spelling. The second novel revised several times in the sense of rearranging, not so much rewriting. I think this is a major benefit of working from an outline.

Carlo Carrasco: Most of the time rewriting happens for me, often on slight editing. A few times a major rewrite happened.

Wayne Reinagel: I re-read each sentence as I write it, often more than once, making changes in spelling and changing words for better ones. When I finish the paragraph, I reread the entire thing, making certain all the sentences belong in the same paragraph and that it all flows smoothly. Once the chapter is completed, I reread the entire thing that day and at least once more the following day. When I complete an entire novel, I re-read and edit the whole thing, making certain I've linked chapters and information throughout the entire story. Then I re-read te entire thing again, before handing it off to my five proofreaders.

And yet, somehow, I STILL wind up with minor spelling errors!

Robby Hilliard: Rewrite and rewrite and rewrite!

Kathleen Bradean: I believe in rewrites because I've seen my first drafts.

Jason Gregory Banks: Rewrites absolutely. I mean not even the greats can churn out awesome with out fact checking or making sure male 1 isn't dressed like male number 4 or a blonde doesn't become a red head from paragraph to paragraph all while you call them james instead of Jamie

Phil Brucato: It really depends on the project. My short stories, comic scripts, articles, essays and game books suffer very little revision; I give them editing passes and input a few changes here and there, but with few exceptions, they tend to be close to first-draft/ final draft projects.

My screenplays, on the other hand, undergo extensive rewrites. And if I HADN'T revised and rewritten my novel-in-progress forty-eight bajillion times, it would have been finished a long time ago!

Krista Cagg: Oh Lord, if I kept just my first drafts I'd look like a babbling idiot.

John Warren: My rewrites aren't usually dramatic, and I usually just make them directly into the draft rather than make a whole new document.

Mark Kurall Schuenemann: I have to go through everything I write at least a two or three times, rewriting to make things clear, get it grammatically correct, and to keep in the theme, and sometimes I go, I have to write more, this story just doesn't have enough flesh on its bones - I better do something about it!

K. Anthony Pagano: I'll touch a story anywhere from 2-15 passes for narrative/structure/edits. Most of the time the initial "writing" is fast. I get out what I can and then come back to it later, after I'm written the scene.

Selene MacLeod: My poetry gets very little revision. My short stories...depends on the editors, but they say most of it's "clean" copy, because my grammar, punctuation, and spelling are OK. I try to trim any extra on the second draft, for the most part (and I tend to overuse commas). My novels...I've written four novels and hate all of them, so they all have to be revised. Possibly from start to finish. I've been procrastinating on that last part, which is why I'm sending out shorts but not novels to publishers. I'm hoping it gets easier with practice.

Thomas Deja: I only do two rewrites, accepting that there might be a third rewrite requested by the editor/ can't rewrite meticulously over and over, lest you leech all your artistry out of it...and there comes a time when you have to send your children out into the world to be judged, no matter how ugly or stupid they may still seem to be to us....

Colleen Ranney: In my experience no, but then again I am married to an editor lol

Bryan McAnally: Fiction, yes. Nonfiction, no. Except for when I re-write my nonfiction. Then yes.

Troy Hickman: No, I get it right the first time. Also, I find that the work comes out the same whether I work fast or slow (so I always work fast).

John Seabaugh: Well, since I have Dyslexia... Revealing my ideas is often a challenge.

Jeremy Wiggins: A few things magically come through the first time, others need work. The truth is I'm constantly rewriting in my head even before it hits the page.

Jennifer Dorough Hancock When I do my writing, I first go back and read the chapters that I've already written to get myself back up to speed before I start new stuff. However, in doing that, I generally catch places where the flow isn't what I want it to be and I can fix it quickly. I also catch the grammar and spelling, so it's rather like editing myself. Then I start the new parts with a fresh reminder of what hints I've already worked in and plot lines I've set up.

Elizabeth Donald: I have never been able to write a book once. The first draft is hell, frought with dead spots and horrible passages lacking any coherent description. The second draft is when the book comes alive, when I rewrite that dreadful mess into something like a...See More

Ruth de Jauregui: Edit, edit and edit again.

J. Walt Layne: I think the story is born in the first draft, and the submission draft is either married or murdered in the rewrite... I hold the opinion that stories suffer beyond a point with technical perfection, the same with wordsmithing... Never break the bank with a five dollar word where fifty cents from the cookie jar will do. I put simple characters in complex situations, I make them as plain spoken as possible. A multiplicity of storylines only works if you can make the reader care. If youre still trying to figure it out on the third edit.... Stick it in the drawer for a year while you write other stuff... Dont even read it for fun.... When you get back to it, the stuff that works will be sweet, that which doesnt will not be, abd the parts you didnt cover will stink to high heaven...

Adam Miller: There's always some rehearsal and revision whether you admit or not. Writing is rewriting if you're serious.

Bobby Nash: Edits and changes happen. I can't think of too many times I've written something with no rewrites or changes before sending it along to the publisher. The first draft gets the story down. Then I go back and flesh it out.

Josh Dahl: Most of my edits and re-writes happen before I hit the keys. That said, I probably write double what actually ends up as the finished product.

Krystal Rollins: I hand write the whole manuscript then type it up. After that, I break it up into chapters. I re-write three times, after that, I can't read it any longer. Then off to my editor....

Michael D'Ambrosio: There's always a rewrite. Whenever I read a completed chapter, the characters say, "I don't think so." Then I wind up altering the storyline somewhat.

Robert Krog: I've written a few short stories, maybe just two, that came out just right the first time, excepting typoes. Generally, I do a few sessions of editing for content, flow. etc. 

Abigail Beerman: I am finding that it helps for me to write things out long-hand, then type it up [changing as I go], then read it aloud, then edit some more. Even though I am a visual learner, I am most flexibly creative when I am able to bounce things around out loud, preferably with someone else nearby [and if they know what I'm talking about, all the better!].

Griffin Holbert: It all depends on the person. I personally re-write multiple times, but I also know people who pour the words onto paper, and never need to refarrange, add to, or subtract from the content of the story. All they do is proofread. I am envious, but whatever works for you!