Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Interesting JMS Facebook Posts & Tweets

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Jan
    started a topic Interesting JMS Facebook Posts & Tweets

    Interesting JMS Facebook Posts & Tweets

    I found a cool post over on JMS' Facebook page this morning that it would be easy for folks to miss even if they follow him because he was answering a question somebody else asked. Since it struck me as something worth archiving, I've decided to start this thread and see how it goes. Mostly, I'm thinking to just post stuff that isn't specific to any one project that will already have its own thread. The format will be similar to what we did for the "Asked and Answered" books where a question asked is paraphrased and then JMS' answer.

    Question: A poster asked JMS to describe the path a writer takes and to comment on where JMS feels he needs to improve as a writer as he's been re-evaluating his work in monthly comics.

    I think if someone goes at this thinking "it'd be fun to write for a living," he's making a serious tactical error. First off, it's lonely, painstaking, agonzing work where there is no clear win for many years. You go down the road of thinking you're doing right or growing, or at least hoping you are, but you really have no clear idea if you're doing it right and may not know for years. Samuel Delaney got literally hundreds of rejection slips before ever selling anything. In any other job, whether it's building a house or selling widgets or making cars, there's some sort of external standard you can use to determine if you're doing it right. Until you begin selling, you have no idea, it's all internal.

    Second, the only reason you should write is because you don't have a choice, because you *have* to write, not because you think it'd be cool or fun. Stephen King said you don't write for the money, or the fame, because if you do you're a monkey; you write because to not write is suicide.

    Those two points out of the way, probably the single biggest point of transition is learning to listen to your own voice and get out of your own way. We all get this notion of what writing is supposed to be, that it's supposed to sound literary, or sound like some other writer you admire, but what it's really supposed to sound like is you. Writing is nothing more or less than talking on the page in your natural voice, letting nothing censor or intrude on that. Good writers write the way they talk and talk the way they write. You have to learn to make it natural by un-learning bad ideas.

    Many years ago, a young and struggling Isaac Asimov was sitting with his agent, trying to figure out voice (which is not the same thing as style). His agent said, "You know how Hemingway would write, 'The sun rose in the morning?'"

    "No," Asimov said, eager for illumination. "How?"

    "The sun rose in the morning."

    You just say it. And getting to that point is one of the most difficult battles a writer fights on the way to becoming a pro.

    As for reviewing my own comics work...I'm looking at it in terms of characterization, action and overall plotting. Dialogue I know I can do, that's not an issue, and in general I have a good handle on characterization, at least in terms of the main characters. But I'm finding that in my comics work, often the supporting characters get short shrift, or are too completely excised. Some of that was necessary to bring the focus to the main character, who got lost in the underbrush, but I started to rely on that too much, so that sometimes the worlds my characters inhabit aren't as varied or interesting as they need to be.

    Similarly, sometimes my comics plotting tends to be too narrow in focus...I can write big broad epics in tv or film, but I seem to keep having a problem translating that into comics. Ditto with action: most of the action in my books tends to be one-on-one instead of big free-for-all brawls. There are writers who can do those big massive battle scenes really well; I'm finding that this is a weakness on my part, so I'm re-evaluating many of those scenes to say, "Okay, if I were writing that right now, how could I broaden the scope of the action and make it more varied, more interesting, with broader ramifications?"

    The goal with this, and really all writing, is to keep adding tools to your tool box, so I'm looking over my work to see what tools I had going into this, what they allowed me to build, and what new tools I need to acquire in order to build more textured objects.

  • Looney
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia View Post
    I wonder how different it is creating a Murder She Wrote plot compared to a Superman plot. Is the headspace you have to be in similar at all?
    Nah, he just writes the same story only he removes the cape and costume from Jessica and subtracts some of her intelligence to write Superman.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia
    replied
    I watched a lot of Murder She Wrote with my mother throughout the years. It's amazing how varied a writing spectrum JMS has created in his vast career. I forget about the Murder She Wrotes and the New Twilight Zones. I thought I'd never seen any of his writing when I first saw Babylon 5. I wonder how different it is creating a Murder She Wrote plot compared to a Superman plot. Is the headspace you have to be in similar at all? I can't imagine producing stories across such varied styles and media.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Another AMA (Ask Me Anything) next week - this time for any questions about when JMS worked on Murder, She wrote.
    https://twitter.com/straczynski/status/1133581702792564737
    J. Michael Straczynski‏Verified account @straczynski
    Okay, the public has spoken: Tuesday June 4 at 3:00 p.m. PST I will be hosting a #MurderSheWrote Ask-Me-Anything in line with the substantial part M,SW plays in #BecomingSupermanJMS. (Photo is from Incident in Lot 7, which I wrote to cross Jessica into the film world of Psycho.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Writing class in a tweet:
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Exactly.JPG
Views:	101
Size:	34.7 KB
ID:	152205

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    This is just beautiful!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Stories.JPG
Views:	126
Size:	41.7 KB
ID:	152167

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Got any burning questions for JMS? He's thinking of doing some Ask Me Anything sessions for each of his projects.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	AMA.JPG
Views:	149
Size:	20.1 KB
ID:	151830

    Leave a comment:


  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Further news to jms "work day balance":

    When asked "... When necessary for certain projects, have you found any tricks to modify your internal schedule?"
    JMS retweets (mar. 15, 2019):
    Not really, no. If I'm running a show and the only chance I have to write is during
    what mortals call "the day" I try to knock down a few pages knowing it's crap and I'll
    have to rewrite it later, but at least the clay is on the table. Otherwise, nope,
    fuggadettaboudit.
    Now, some people with a comparable work day schedule having ADHD, speculate about.

    JMS retweets (mar. 15, 2019):
    I rarely getting to bed before 4 a.m., so it's a natural result. The phone doesn't
    ring, no interruptions, and the brain works differently late night, more open to odd
    ideas, which is why informercials air then; at 2 a.m. the idea of buying a snuggie
    actually seems reasonable
    I do prefer MORE ODD IDEAS by jms against all thinkable snuggies.
    B5-Stefan

    --
    Sinclair: "Stay close to the Vorlon. And watch out for shadows.
    They move when you're not looking at them.
    "

    Leave a comment:


  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Proper description of his work day:

    JMS tweet (mar. 12, 2019):
    I generally write until about 4 a.m., crash for 8 hours, get up, spend a couple of
    hours trying to find my face (sadly, it's always the same face), doing meetings,
    revisions, emails and twitter, then around 7 the jet engine in my brain roars to life
    and I fly until 4.
    B5-Stefan

    --
    Elric: "You don't frighten easily."
    Vir: "I work for Ambassador Mollari. After a while nothing bothers you."
    [Babylon5, The Geometry of Shadows]

    Leave a comment:


  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Mostly he's said things like this:
    http://jmsnews.com/messages/message?id=17820
    Before it fell into depravity, Babylon was a center of commerce, and
    culture, and trade, and diplomacy.
    jms
    Jan, indeed I recall that jms did mention Babylon the mesopotamian big city of commerce as an inspiration for him.
    But the babylonian chaos versus order myth - aka vorlons versus shadows
    and in particular
    the hanging gardens of Babylon analogy to the green inner surface of the O'Neill tube
    seems to me really as a not before seen info.

    B5-Stefan

    --
    "Many Americans tend to go for someone who is strong-and-wrong over someone who is weak-and-right.
    Given Trump's crossover performance today I wonder how weak-and-wrong is going to play in some corners..."
    [JMS tweet, July 2018]



    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Mostly he's said things like this:
    http://jmsnews.com/messages/message?id=17820

    Before it fell into depravity, Babylon was a center of commerce, and
    culture, and trade, and diplomacy.

    jms

    Leave a comment:


  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Twitter: When asked about the naming "Babylon":

    J. Michael Straczynski retweets (feb. 27, 2019):
    1) The Vorlon/Shadow conflict has its origins in the Babylonian myth that the universe was born in the struggle between order and chaos; 2) the O'Neil tube concept reminded me of the hanging gardens of Babylon, and 3) Babylon was a place of great commerce.
    Did he state these 3 reasons so clearly ever before?
    (Well, can be a matter of my lost memory)

    B5-Stefan

    --
    Delenn: "If the universe puts a mystery in front of us as a gift, politeness requires that we at least try and solve it."
    [Babylon5, Atonement]

    Leave a comment:


  • B5-Stefan
    replied
    Twitter: When asked about the voices talking to him:

    J. Michael Straczynski retweets (Jan. 31, 2019):

    The voices never entirely go away, they accrete like lint on a sweater. I suspect that's why so many writers turn to booze, in an effort to silence them. As a non-drinker, my only option to solicit silence involves terrorizing people on Twitter.
    <HAHAHA>
    That's pretty cool!
    Let's go twitter this night...


    --
    Dukhat: "I'm not saying anything. I didn't say anything then, and I'm not saying anything now."
    [Babylon5, In the Beginning]

    Leave a comment:


  • Apsu
    replied
    Originally posted by Looney View Post

    Not really. I am doing all of those things plus working a another job, going to medical school, and raising 11 children as a single dad.
    You are not Looney !!!! He would have NEVER say "I am doing" but "Looney is doing"
    WHO ARE YOU

    Leave a comment:


  • Looney
    replied
    Originally posted by B5-Stefan View Post

    Seems veery busy ;-)
    Not really. I am doing all of those things plus working a another job, going to medical school, and raising 11 children as a single dad.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X