Thursday, June 24, 2010


by Michael

I'm not sure what it is with all the great publishing-related comics lately, but there have been some really great ones. Today, Dinosaur Comics had me cracking up.

If you work in publishing, or even just follow it, you've got to laugh at vampires. I mean, they're EVERYWHERE. You can't get away from them. This comic does a brilliant job of skewering that, but also teaches a great writing lesson at the same time.

There's an issue I've been seeing more and more often: the novel that reads like an outline. I'm not sure it's an epidemic, but it seems to be a growing problem, at least in the submissions I'm seeing. The novels, instead of being active, engrossing and exciting, are instead passive, overly descriptive and not engaging. It comes back a bit to the old saw, "show, don't tell," but it bears repeating. Make sure the action of your novel happens on the page, not in the protagonist's memories. If it's important enough for the reader to know, let us experience it.

So when you're editing your work, think back to this comic. Are you writing an engaging narrative, or are you just describing the experience of reading it?


  1. Haha nice. :) And sad at the same time.

  2. Dinosaurs AND vampires...why didn't I think of that? :)

  3. as they used to say in drama class - play the scene, not what the scene is about.

  4. you've started another wave- Twilight B.C

  5. "Oh, sorry! DID I JUST BREAK YOUR MIND?"

    That cracked me up.

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