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How Do You Make A Graphic Novel?

Hey guys, sorry for disappearing for so long. I’m really trying to get myself in a place where I can get published. However, now I need your help.

While focusing on my short stories, I have decided to pursue a side project (eventually, I don’t have time right now). I want to start a graphic novel series meant to teach children (at the middle grade level) about history. I really hope I can actually pull this off.

First, I have a question for you guys: What is inappropriate for a middle grade reader? What level of violence is too much? I know this is completely subjective, since some people are fine with a 10 year old playing GTA and others won’t let their 16 year old read the Hunger Games. But I want to know what you guys think.

Now, here’s what I need: Graphic novels are generally large projects put together by multiple people. Have any of you guys actually put a graphic novel together? If so, how did you go about doing it? Does anybody have any advise as to how to get a group together to pull a graphic novel off (I’m thinking it would likely be a self-publish thing)? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Not the Satanists! Anything But the Satanists!

Why are the evil cultists in movies always satanists? The satanic panic was 20 years ago people! It’s time to stop pretending that satanists are actually a threat. After all, it’s not satanist cults that have been killing people. Every time we hear about a cult killing people it is a Christian cult. So why are there no horror movies about Christian cultists murdering people? I mean, we have documentaries about it, but even recent horror movies choose to demonize satanists.

Who Cares If Artists Are Liberal?

The other day my fiance and I were talking about how artists tend to be liberal. I seem to keep coming across comments along the lines of “look, this writer/artist/actor is a conservative Christian, isn’t that wonderful?” It has gotten me thinking about the trends that different groups tend to follow. I doubt many people would be surprised by my saying that artists tend to be more liberal than not. It’s pretty much expected. But I don’t understand the comments of “look, this person is conservative.” Of course there are conservative artists! It would be weird if there weren’t any. Artists tend to be liberal because of the type of personality that is generally attracted to the arts. Artists tend to be more empathetic and emotional, two traits that make it very easy to be more left-leaning. I myself am a very left-leaning person. But that doesn’t mean that artists can’t be more right-leaning.
Likewise, artists tend to be somewhat religious. I think the same personality that leads artists to be more left-leaning also leads artists to be more religious. I myself am not religious, and I’m not the only not religious artist out there. Again, it would be weird if I was.
Does it matter if artists/writers/actors tend to be more left-leaning?
Does it matter when artists/writers/actors defy this norm?
Should attention be drawn to artists/writers/actors who defy the norm?

An Update

I have been very busy with work and writing lately, but I thought I’d give you an update. I have signed up for Scribophile under Matthew Hess, under BD Hesse, and Writer’s Cafe also under BD Hesse, so anyone with accounts at any of thos sites can feel free to find me there.
Eventually I’m hoping to get back to my The Boy in the Woods story, but my first priority is trying to get a short story published. I also want to go over some of my other stories and edit them, but that will be done after I finish The Boy in the Woods.
In the meantime, I will try to post more regularily.

On the Editor Dilemma

As every writer knows, you never want to submit work that isn’t your best. As such, editing is a big part of writing. But how does one go about getting the editing process completed. I generally just edit my own work since I can’t afford to pay an editor and I can’t seem to motivate anybody in my life to help me. But editing my own work isn’t good enough. Obviously I need to do a good portion of my own editing, but I also need a fresh pair of eyes to read my story. I’m not always going to know if something doesn’t make sense. The story is in my head, so I know what I mean when I make a statement, and I know what is happening. But does everybody else? I might also not notice when I spell a name two different ways or use the wrong word. So I need somebody else to help me.
But how do I get somebody else to help me when I can’t afford to pay them and can’t motivate anybody I know to help me? I’m thinking about joining one of those writing websites that allow authors to publish work to be reviewed but offers protection against stealing. The problem is, all the ones I know of cost money.
I guess I’ll figure something out. After all, I do want to get something published sooner rather than later.

Contemplations On Life

Have you ever found yourself suddenly shifting the majority of your goals all at once? I feel like that is what I’ve been doing lately. I still want to write. I still want to get published. But I feel like a lot of my other goals are suddenly far different that they had been even just a month ago.
When I began university, I wanted to get my doctorate in History. I wanted to become a Historian and get my work published in academic journals. I wanted to work mostly in the field, but teach at a university too. That was my goal years ago.
That goal didn’t change until around 2-3 years ago (I’ve been in university for a long time). I began to consider adding Philosophy as a second major, which I ended up doing. My goal at that time was still to get my PhD, but now I was considering something a bit different. I didn’t know if I’d get my PhD in History or Philosophy, I did, however, want to get a masters degree in which ever one I didn’t get my PhD in. I very much wanted to be an academic. Then my now fiance rekindled my interest in writing fiction.
For the last two years I have wanted nothing more than to become a published fiction writer. I have wanted to write fantasy, but also other genres, and make a living off that. And I completely lost my interest in academia. Actually, for the last year I had lost my interest in school all together. Not only did I not want to persue a PhD, I didn’t even want to persue my studies. I just wanted to write. I just wanted to get something published. And that is still my main goal.
But there was a problem: what would I do other than write? Few people manage to make writing their sole career. Writing doesn’t pay that well, so most writers have a “day job.” But I had no idea what I wanted my day job to be. But I recently got a job at a bookstore (does anybody know how to keep one’s self from spending an entire paycheck on books when temptation lies around every corner? I have bills to pay!), and I met a teacher while interviewing for the position. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about teaching and I finally figured out what I want my day job to be: I want to be a teacher! This revelation struck me because I was initially going to go into education when I began at university but I decided last minute that I actually had no interest in teaching. Now I’ve decided that I actually do want to teach. In fact, I want to teach young children. I’ve even been going on to various university websites to see what they offer. Crap, now I’m looking at more schooling and another degree. And the program I’m most interested in only offers a four year option. Oh well, at least I’ve regained my interest in school and learning. But I couldn’t I have figured out that I wanted to write fiction and teach all those years ago when I first began my university career? Why did I have to figure out what I really wanted when my degree is nearly done? Then again, if I hadn’t figured it out now, I would be in a completely different place in my life, and I like where I am now.

The Meaning of Names

We get a lot more information from names than we probably should. There are certain names that we associate with certain occupations or lifestyles. For example, whenever a character in a show or movie has my first name, they are either trailer trash or a stripper. Add my middle name to the mix and my name just screams trailer trash (thanks mom and dad :P). Names like Bob and Dave are often associated with blue collar jobs, but Robert and David are more white collar (either that, or they’re Mormon missionaries). Stacy and Brittany have long been associated with woman who are dumb and blond, or who are promiscuous. But names like Laura and Theresa are generally connected with being more respectable and possibly religious. Names mean a lot to us, even if we don’t realise it.
Since I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of names, I thought I’d try something in the comment section:
Tell me the story of a person named Alex. Who are they? What do they look like? What do they do?
Tell me the story of someone named Kris. Who are they? What do they look like? What do they do?

What Would You Like Me to Write About?

Since I’ve been doing this blog for a year now, I thought I’d try something a little different. Are there any questions that you’d like to ask me that you’d like me to respond to in a post? Is there something you’d like to know about me? Or some topic you’d like me to discuss? Are you interested in my opinion on anything? Let me know in the comment section.

My One Year Anniversary!

Was actually two days ago, but I guess I’ll announce it now :P. I’ve been writing this blog for a year now and it’s going great. Thank you for all of the support.

I Love the Smell of Books in the Morning

Today was a great day. There is a huge used book sale that takes place annually in my city. They have over a million used books between $3 and $5 a piece. The sale began today, so my fiance and I dragged a large suitcase to it and loaded up on books. We ended up purchasing 44 books. Used book sales are great because they are significantly cheaper than going to a book store, and you can generally find books that you can’t find anywhere else. I managed to get a bunch of books by Isaac Asimov, including most of the Foundation series, a few Dune books, two Terry Pratchett books, which was unfortunately all they had, and a selection of other sci fi and fantasy novels. I also got a selection of Christian books since I have strange hobbies. We’re thinking about going back tomorrow evening to see if they have the remaining books on even cheaper. If so, we’ll probably fill another suitcase.

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