megan rosalarian gedris
As someone hoping to eventually write at least ONE book, I'm facing a conundrum... I had something I wrote last year, ended up not liking the way I wrote it out, rewrote it for NaNoWriMo, found it more acceptable and then I just... stopped. Any tips on getting over a hurdle like that? It's not that I don't have things to write for it, just that I can't get past this one annoying point... Feel like an RPG character facing a wall and my pathway is fixed so I can't just go around it.

I’m gonna kick your ass a little bit here.

Are you writing because you want to be a writer, or do you have a story to tell? Nothing wrong with writing for the sake of writing. It’s excellent practice. But it’s not always gonna be the best motivator for getting results.

I reeeeeeally want to be able to do the splits. I’ll work at it for a while, and then forget about it, because I realize I want to do the splits only if I don’t have to work at it. Really wanting to do the splits isn’t enough. I don’t have follow-through in that area. It doesn’t hold my interest long enough to accomplish it. There’s other things in my life I’d rather be doing.

But when it comes to my comics and writing, that’s what I actually want to do. I have so many stories to tell. I have something I want to say. I am willing to work at it, even when it isn’t fun. Because it’s often not fun. There are long parts of this job that are super boring. It gets done because I don’t stop. If something isn’t working, I find a different way to do it. There’s always another way to go at a story.

So first ask yourself why you’re writing this book. If it’s for the sake of being able to say you wrote a book, then just keep typing words until you have collected a lot of them and then write “the end.” But if you’re writing the book because you have something to say, then say it. Sit down and say the thing you wanted to say. It’s hard, but again, it’s work.

If you can’t write past this one annoying point, readers are even less likely to get past that point. If you’ve written yourself into a corner, back up. Keep hitting delete until you’re at a point where a character making a different choice leads to something more interesting that you actually want to write again. You might have to abandon some of the plans you had for its future. It happens.

Your path is never fixed when it comes to writing a book, because you can literally rewrite its history. Be patient. You’re not famous yet and there’s no editors hounding you with a deadline or fans demanding the next book in the series. You haven’t published anything yet so there’s no worrying about having to retcon something. Just write your story and don’t tell yourself these hurdles can’t be overcome. Don’t let yourself make excuses like that.

You work at a cheese shop Megan how do you even know if food is rotten

Hardee har har! :P

Fun fact: you can tell if a cheese has gone bad if it smells like ammonia. Never eat a cheese that smells like that. There’s other ways to tell, too, but they vary by style of cheese.

I really am trying to diversify my own stories. It’s hard, and I fuck up a lot, but I keep trying. Webcomics can be a really tricky medium to bring up big real issues in, since the pacing is so slow. I’ve introduced several threads and conflicts into my stories that deal with this stuff, that won’t be resolved for years, and it leaves things up in the air, unsettled, for a long and uncomfortable time. I’m constantly examining how I’m portraying my characters. I’m acutely aware that if I write a group I’m not a part of, I have a serious responsibility to not add any grief to them. And despite that pressure, and despite fucking up, I would never avoid writing more diverse characters because it’s something that needs to be done, and as I was talking about earlier, readers are hungry for it.

Every single time one of you writes to me with a story about how you related to one of my characters in a way you weren’t getting from elsewhere, I feel a sort of weight on me, but I don’t dislike the feeling of that weight. It keeps me focused, keeps me working hard. All I can do it be better than I was before. I appreciate when you guys give me feedback, tell me when I’m doing good or doing things that could be better. You guys don’t have to be patient, and yet you are. That’s so cool.

I really hope I can keep expanding my characters in a way you find exciting.

Are people seriously doing the "WELL DON'T WHINE ABOUT IT DO IT YOURSELF BLUH BLUH" dance at you? Good grief. Aside from the fact that not being a creator doesn't exclude you from being critical of representation in media, I just. Wow. It makes it painfully obvious that that particular line is more about trying to shut people up than actually giving a damn about diversity :/

Plus, not everyone wants to be a writer. Not everyone can be a writer. You shouldn’t have to be a writer in order to want to read something better than what you’re given. You don’t have to be a master chef to know if food is rotten.

B-but... don't you see? You could've written all of pop culture yourself, if you weren't so busy being mean to straight cis white dudes on the internet... YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CHOSEN ONE!

I have let down the unicorns who delivered me to my parents as a booming voice from the sky announced that I and I alone would dictate our entire culture.

I am actually laughing right now. How incredibly absurd.

Well here's an idea: pick up a goddamned and write one yourself. Be part of the solution instead of sitting around doing fuck all.

Dude, you realize I’ve written several books, right? Seven series, thousands of pages. Literally, multiple thousands of pages. Four of those series are in book form, as well as some in anthologies published by other people. Total, there are 13 graphic novels that I wrote and drew or contributed to, and that’s not counting single issue comics or illustrated prose stories or other sundry illustrations (I keep updating this section as I remember more of the things I’ve written. There are enough to lose track.) All about people who are not straight white dudes. I will be the first to admit my track record on characters of color could be way better, as well as trans and disabled characters, and a whole bunch of other types of people, and I’m working on it. I’m actively working on it. In the books that I am writing. And publishing.

I feel kind of silly pulling out the “don’t you know who I am?” thing but… you obviously don’t know who I am or what I do. And you look reeeeeeeeeeeeeally silly right now.


When I say people want to see more diversity in stories, no, I really don’t mean different stories about straight white dudes. I really, really don’t mean that at all. This isn’t about types of stories being told. This is specifically about people. I’m not letting you make this about something else. You are not hijacking this message to make sure we’re still talking about straight white dudes.

The saga continues:

This made me actually sputter with frustration. Saliva exited my mouth. Why do you think your opinion SHOULD matter on this subject? Why should your opinion be given the same weight over people who are actually living these experiences? Especially when my original point was about how minorities rarely get to tell their own stories. I’ve been really patient with him but he’s taken up way too much of my time and he’s still missing the point like he’s trying to actively avoid it.

When I say people want to see more diversity in stories, no, I really don’t mean different stories about straight white dudes. I really, really don’t mean that at all. This isn’t about types of stories being told. This is specifically about people. I’m not letting you make this about something else. You are not hijacking this message to make sure we’re still talking about straight white dudes.



Eisner noms aside, this is a great list of - I’ve read a few! As long as AG is on your lists- I’m happy :)

In the Eisners’ partial defense, I’m pretty sure a lot of these comics aren’t submitted to them with any regularity— and they need to be submitted to qualify. You can argue that’s a flaw in the system, but it does mean that not all the comics on this list were exactly snubbed. Still, it’s a great list.

I spent most of this list going “Mmhm that’s right!” and then other parts of the list clicking links for comics I haven’t read yet so now I have a bunch of new comics to read. But also, I’m so glad Melanie Gillman is nominated for an Eisner. Basically, this is a gateway to a bunch of great comics.