Bravo Dan. That is true of how things are these days with the Internet fandom. If it means anything I always enjoy your stories. Don't let the negative comments hit you, its like you said: no story is bulletproof and someone will always dislike it.
Thought for the day:
When you're writing a story, and it reaches a wide enough audience, EVERY choice you make will piss SOMEBODY off.
Have the character act consistently IN character:
SOMEONE will complain that you're following formula, being clichéd, and "regressing" the character by not allowing them to "grow."
Have the character stretch and do something NEW:
SOMEONE will complain that the character has NEVER done that before for a reason, that you don't understand the character, and that you should never go near them again.
Have the character take ANY kind of action:
SOMEONE will say it's wrong. Or predictable. Or out of character. Or too "out there." Or (the best one) a "trope.*"
Let the character have a moment of INACTION:
Well... that's boring. You've got me there.
Try to be subtle:
Your story's too confusing. You should have spelled it out more.
Try to make sure your story errs on the side of clarity:
You're treating your audience like idiots! Hey, they're not children! They can figure things out!
Use previous continuity:
Your story's impenetrable!
Use NO continuity:
You're ignoring the past and not respecting your long term audience.
Make the story "new reader friendly":
You're telling me all these things I already know! Get on with it!
Pick up where you last left off:
Hey, who are these people? What's going on?
Use old characters:
Way to be original!
Use new characters:
What happened to the old ones?!
Step to the left:
Should've stepped right.
Step the the right:
*side note: Heaven fucking help me from anyone who goes on about "tropes." Modern day science believes that Homo sapiens have been communicating with each other for-- roughly-- 100,000 years. During that time, from the start of the first story told around a fire to the last movie to show up in your Netflix queue, countless billions of stories have been told. A pretty big catalog, right? And while some cases can be drawn to show how certain story elements can be laid out in the same order to become a "trope"-- the PROBLEM is there are too many fuckwits on the internet who can draw from everything from Beowulf to Final Destination 5 in 3D to say that ANYTHING is a "trope." Show me a story-- ANY story-- that's come out SINCE the start of internet message boards that you CAN'T turn into a "trope." Jesus. Anyway...
Look, here's the thing, future-writers...
You can't write for a giant pool of internet-posting Goldilocks.
The porridge will be too hot for half of 'em, too cold for the other half, and "just-right" for JUST one of 'em. And THAT guy? He's ten seconds away from complaining that the bed is too hard.
That's just the way it is.
When I write, too much of my "process" is a portion of time where I get tied up in knots WORRYING about how to make the story bulletproof. And you can't. NO story's bulletproof. None. Not the one that Ogg told around the fire, or Shakespeare at the Globe, or Mark Gatiss' latest episode of DOCTOR WHO that'll air later tonight. Inevitably I reach a point where I say "Fuck it"-- and I just start typing, typing, typing. And soon everything's all right. So, my note to myself-- for today-- is just to say "Fuck it" SOONER. "Fuck it." That's not a license to "hack," or to not care about the craft. It's a "fuck it" to the Goldilocks of the world/internet. The porridge is gonna be just as hot-or-cold as I'D like to make it. If you enjoy it? I'm glad! And, rest assured, I'll be hard at work whipping up another batch-- the best damn porridge I can make-- and I hope you enjoy that TOO!
Last edited by Dan Slott; 09-03-2011 at 06:02 AM.
"If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the internet."
Tina Fey 1/12/09
Well put. It's tough to please everyone. Then again, some fans need to have fun with their comics.
And for the record I am really enjoying your run on spider-man.
That sounds like a defeatist attitude. If you're making perfect choices, everyone will love you completely for all time. Clearly you're just not trying hard enough.
RL example of the day: Obama comes out in support of gay marriage; gay people are pissed off because he didn't do it last week or last year or some other damn thing.
Life's an elevator. It goes up and down.
Kudos Dan! That is why you remain one of my favorite writers. And I'll keep taking what you dish out. You can't please everyone so staying true to yourself and your craft is all you can do.
All the best!
Currently available for freelance comic work, you can check out my work here: http://njvalente.deviantart.com/
I think its interesting this got bumped. Because this became REALLY relevant with Superior Spider-Man. Where first everyone was all "how could you kill Peter Parker". Which of course was something Dan had thought out beforehand with the angle that Peter is still alive inside his own skull and struggling to take back his body. And also with the "how could you allow MJ to sleep with Otto, because its rape". Which Dan had ALSO thought of, since Peter er... played cock-blocker in a subtle way and MJ was never at any real risk of sleeping with Otto in Peter's body.
Dan took heavy shit for both of those things. I recall seeing him having a good laugh in some of the video clips he did for one of the comics sites and boy did he deserve that laugh. I remember being an early predictor of the Peter-in-his-own subconscious thing, but the easy way Dan defused the whole MJ thing wasn't quite as obvious to me (and it should have been). Well done, Dan.