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THE SMARTEST MAN IN THE ROOM

The following needs saying, so I'm taking time out from my very packed weekend - not to procrastinate, which would not be unusual - but to write up something that I think is important.

But first, some backstory...

I'm not particularly smart about very many things. I am in many ways a bear of very little brain. Ask anyone. I use an iPhone 4.0 because I literally believe that I don't have the brain space to deal with upgrading. I'm a slow reader. My dyslexia makes math difficult as I am constantly transposing numbers. I'm afraid of change. Etc., etc., etc.

But one thing - maybe the ONLY thing - I am smart about is STORY. Now, I've studied story for decades and decades in small ways and large. I also believe I have an innate gift for story. Like a great pianist, the gift itself would have been wasted without years of study and practice. I've had and done both.

What that means is that - when it comes to story - I have often (not always, but quite often) considered myself - with no modesty and tremendous arrogance - to be the smartest person in the room. In any room where this is a topic of conversation, but especially in any room where story was being professionally discussed. (You can see why - with an attitude like that - I'm so popular with animation executives and the like, and why I've been fired from so many jobs.)

Even on the many, many occasions when I have felt that I am among peers who understand story as well as I do, I never felt like they understood it better than I. As good, yes. Differently, sure. Stylistically, of course. But not better. I never felt anyone knew story better.

Oh, I've made mistakes, missed opportunities, slipped up, ad nauseam. I'm human and have never claimed perfection. I've collaborated with some brilliant and wonderful people. The list is nearly endless. But none of that ever shook my basic feeling that when it came to story, I was as smart or smarter than anyone in the room.

All that changed with YOUNG JUSTICE.

So let me state it for the record: when it comes to story, BRANDON VIETTI is the Smartest Human Being in the Room.

I'd love to tell you - BELIEVE ME, I'd love to tell you - that he learned all this at my ancient knee, and that if the student has surpassed the master, the master can at least take some satisfaction in that. But that, dear readers, would simply be a load of crap.

From Day One of YJ, as witness Kevin Hopps could attest, Brandon Vietti knew story, understood it deep, the way I do. And he was smarter about it than I.

The ultimate example of this dropped this past Friday.

Episode 307 of Young Justice: Outsiders, entitled "Evolution."

SPOILERS coming, so if you haven't seen the episode then please go watch it first before reading any further.

Like all YJ episodes this season, Brandon and I broke this story together. A pretty even 50-50 collaboration. There were certain things I wanted specifically to see, like the Cave Bear. Certain things I had researched such as that in (actual documented non-DC Comics) mythology, Nabu was the son of Marduk. And there were certain things that BV wanted in there, like the meta-human kid that Kalibak sacrifices. Certain things he had researched like The Art of War by Sun Tzu (a.k.a. Vandal Savage, a.k.a. Genghis Khan, a.k.a. Marduk, a.k.a. etc.)

And together, we created a pretty kick-ass story for the episode. I don't actually remember the day of the week, but for the sake of simplifying the story, let's say we finished breaking/building the story with index cards all neatly pushpinned into my office bulletin board on a Monday. Monday evening. We both felt pretty good about it, or at least I did, and we left for the day.

Tuesday morning, he comes in and says, "Something's missing."

I tell him he's crazy. There's nothing missing from 307. Nothing. It's a great damn episode. Maybe one of our best.

BV says no. Something's missing.

I say, "What? What's missing?!"

BV says, "I don't know yet. Something. Give me a day."

I roll my eyes in as pronounced a fashion as I possibly can and say, fine.

Wednesday morning he comes in and says, "I want to add a character."

I'm resistant. "It'll mess up the works, I tell him."

But he explains, and of course, he's right. Because Brandon Vietti is the Smartest Person in the Room.

The character he wants to add is Olympia. Olympia Savage. (I take credit for the first name only.) That's right. In our first version of this story, Olympia simply did not exist.

Try to picture "Evolution" without Olympia. Be honest. It's still a solid story. A few of the actual things Olympia does, we had Cassandra doing. But otherwise the plot remains almost completely unchanged.

But not the ending.

With Olympia in the story, the episode isn't merely a solid YJ episode. It's not merely a great YJ episode. To my mind, "Evolution" transcends YJ. It is a phenomenal, even revolutionary twenty-plus minutes of television.

And I tried to talk the guy out of it.

Of course, BV's contributions don't end there. He wrote the script, too, which is fantastic. And if you knew how much he contributed to every facet of production it would humble you. It humbles me, and as you can see above, I'm NOT a humble guy.

But screw all that. I'm not talking about pretty pictures, or color, or sound, or music or even dialogue.

This post is ONLY about STORY. And when it comes to STORY... BRANDON VIETTI will always be the SMARTEST HUMAN BEING IN THE ROOM.

I bow to his greatness. And trust me, I do not do that lightly.

To be honest, he's so good, it's pretty damn annoying.

But it's an honor to be his partner.


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Eman writes...

What is the hardest decision you've ever had to make, storytelling-wise?

Greg responds...

The next one?

Response recorded on January 09, 2019

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Jack Carpenter writes...

I've heard a lot about the "core truth" concept you and your team use in your approach to characters.

Are some of these core truths secrets, or would you tell us any that we ask?

Greg responds...

I don't think they're secrets because we put it all up on screen. But my inclination is to let our interpretation stand on its own, influenced by each viewer's own interpretation, as opposed to explicating everything in writing here. Still, I don't mind talking process. I'm not going to go down a laundry list of characters, but if someone were interested in one specific character as an example of the process, I might - depending on my mood and clarity - answer this kind of question once or twice.

Response recorded on March 14, 2018

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hi Greg,

From what I understand, a lot of people tend to forget that what makes a character strong (metaphorically-speaking) is how he or she deals with his or her problems. Most seem to think that "strong" in the metaphorical sense means that they are tough and flawless, when in reality it is the exact opposite.

What do you think? Am I off course or am I on the right path?

Greg responds...

I definitely think you're correct.

Response recorded on October 25, 2017

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FallenLegend writes...

Hey Greg, theres something I would like to ask your opinion about.

You see comics have been notorious for being hard on average people to get into. You should know that your cartoons have been much more influential than whatever it's publised on printed form.

For millions of people when they think Young Justice they think of earth 16 and when they think of spiderman they think of spectacular.

Say Teen Titans Tv show' has Starfire as a cute alien and naive girl wich is among the best female characters ever in my opinion. While on comics she is a dumb bimbo with hardly more personalitybthan a brick

Comics on the other hand are harder to get into and well you might jot agree but the quality is much better in cartoons such as yours. I would rather watch young justice that get into the continuity mess that comics are.

It would seem that every continiuity reboot that tries to make things simpler just makes things worse.

In your experience what would you do to make comics as approachable as tv shows are?

Greg responds...

Well, I'm going to start - without going point by point - by NOT agreeing with everything you've stated above. Some comics have issues. Some are both accessible and very well-done. In general, I'm really liking DC's REBIRTH, for example. I'm reading all of it - trying to keep up. I don't love every series, let alone every issue, but generally, I think they're doing a pretty darn good job. I'd particularly recommend Wonder Woman.

And I think there are plenty of crap television series, as well.

It's all about execution. Plenty of good comics series. Plenty of good television series. Plenty of lousy examples of both. But I'm glad you like YJ and Spectacular.

Response recorded on September 25, 2017

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Marvelman writes...

Is there some sort of prejudice against animation writers by live-action producers? For example, would the producers of the Flash hire one of the Young Justice writers to write an episode? Or, would their experience working in animation not be taken seriously, or might it even be considered a strike against them?

If this prejudice against animation writers does exist, I have to say I don't understand it. I mean... do you really have to be a genius to write an episode of the Flash, or Blue Bloods, or the Big Bang Theory? I can understand shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men or Game of Thrones being fussy about who they hire to write, but the simple reality is that most TV is not on that level.

Greg responds...

I don't think there are any consistent rules, and there are plenty of writers who've done animation and went on to work in live action. But, generally, yes, I think there's a prejudice against animation writers. I've certainly felt that way, anyhow, though I admit I'm biased. I tried really hard just to get my foot in the door at Arrow when it was first starting up. Couldn't even get an interview.

Response recorded on September 19, 2017

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Anonymous writes...

Hi! I'd like to ask you a question from a writing standpoint if you don't mind. When juggling a lot of plotlines, how important is it to develop relationships on-screen? On the one hand, obviously the main couples should be. But for the minor ones/background characters, I'm not sure if it's better to leave their relationship status static (which would be unrealistic for most) until I can properly develop something for them, or sometimes put them in side relationships based on chemistry even without much prior development. This would be provided that these relationships could be used to further individual storylines, just not important enough to warrant too much attention from the main plot. It's okay if you don't have an answer, but I'm curious if you do.

Greg responds...

Every character should have his or her own life, even if you don't always have the screen time for it.

Response recorded on September 11, 2017

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Ricci Jacinto writes...

Will you ever consider teaching a writing class? If so, teach it on MasterClass! (https://www.masterclass.com) I would love to be a writer half as good as you! You could make Family Guy good!

Greg responds...

Ignoring the non-sequitor attack on Family Guy...

I have taught classes in Writing for Television Animation in the past. I don't think I have the time now. And the internet largely scares me.

Response recorded on September 05, 2017

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Eric writes...

I found a tumblr post that talks about great characters with the link below.

http://giancarlovolpe.tumblr.com/post/98392197924/a-study-in-creating-great-characters-by-aaron

I also remembered you answered a question like that.

"I believe they exist as fully as possible. I create backstories for them, whether or not those backstories will be revealed on screen or on the page. I make them real to me."

So for the actual questions:

1. What do you think about the tumblr post? I think "compelling" and "fascinating" seem too subjective.

2. What exactly do you mean by "exist as fully as possible"? I'm guessing you want to give as much of an image of a character as you can, but I'm also sure that's the main task of any story.

3. You also said that you want to make the characters seem real to yourself, but how do you make them real to the viewer?

4. This one might be redundant, so it probably doesn't need to be answered. But just in case, how do you make characters and stories that the audience can enjoy?

5. I also know you've said that you write your passion, but how do you know it will appeal to others? It all sounds like being hopeful.

Greg responds...

1. Perhaps. But so is "relatable" and "sympathetic". They're directions to head not a detailed map.

2. It's not the main task to make of any story to make EVERY character in the story fully realized. My feeling is - within reasonable parameters - that it SERVES the story to have fully realized characters, who have their own backstories and motives that are specific to them.

3. I cross my fingers that if it works for me, it'll work for a substantial portion of my audience.

4. I write what I like, and cross the above-mentioned fingers. The alternative is pointless. If I can't get passionate about my story, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

5. That's all it is. Honestly. See above.

Response recorded on August 17, 2017

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Marvelman writes...

You recently responded to another poster who sent you his review of YJ season 1. Your response made me question what the point of doing something like that might be. I mean... I understand the poster probably wants to feel that his opinion matters, but what kind of response could he or she possibly expect from you? Did he think you were going to agree with him? Was there ever a chance that you were going to say, "You have made some excellent points, and I will take them into account as I am writing season 3"?

So, my question is: does audience feedback or reviews ever effect how you YJ in even a general way?

Greg responds...

Nope. Doesn't mean they don't have the right to express them. But Brandon and I have to follow our passions and instincts. Have to. We can't let either praise or criticism effect our plans. For starters, for every person who likes something, there's bound to be someone who hates it and vice versa. All we can do is write the show we want to see - and pray that enough people like our work to make it successful.

Response recorded on June 15, 2017

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Anonymous writes...

You often say that ideas minus their execution are subject to unfair second guessing and that you've learned this the hard way. Can you share the specifics of this realization? What story did you share that brought this about?

Greg responds...

Lots of Gargoyles stuff. The first thing that comes to mind is Nashville's name. But there were all sorts of things.

Response recorded on June 15, 2017

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hello Greg,

Not so much a question as an attempt to clear some things up. You said that you didn't remember our first exchange, so, here's a link:
http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=21729

The follow-up exchange:
http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=21290

I do hope this clears things up. I checked the links on my end and they appear to work. If they don't work for you then I'll just have to copy and paste, which will probably take up more space than I wanted to use.

Greg responds...

Okay, yeah, reread it all. (You've got the links switched, but they're both there.)

As I suspected, I wasn't upset the first time. I don't even seem to be annoyed. I was just giving you my honest response to your question, which was that I thought to some extent it was the wrong question for a writer to ask.

As for the second post, as I noted, you seemed to have a better handle on things.

So no worries on my end.

Good luck with your stories.

Response recorded on March 22, 2017

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qwerty writes...

As a general rule of thumb, how far do you like to plan ahead with stuff you write?

Greg responds...

All the way. At least to the end of each season, with at least some clear sense of where we'd go next.

Response recorded on March 20, 2017

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hello Greg,

I appreciate your answer to my first question posted here regarding my thoughts toward the nature of antagonists in stories. However, bear in mind that it had been months since I asked that question, and my thoughts and feelings on the subject had already changed by the time you answered. I realize that I could've thought it out better, as well as have applied better wording regarding how I asked the question. What I SHOULD'VE said in describing the types was this:

1. The kind who are selfish and just in it for themselves, not caring who gets hurt in the process.
2. The kind who believe they fight for a great cause and the betterment of others, but more often than not create a lot of damage and destruction to those around them, believing that it's for the greater good.

However, I can see why you would consider this type of thinking reductive, as it doesn't allow much room for complexity, and characters and people are not that simple. I do realize that everyone think's that they are justified in some capacity or another in their actions, and that they can still do bad things and not care as well. There are multiple kinds of villains, and they can have varying shades of the two kinds I mentioned.

The thing is, when I asked, I was still trying to get an idea of how to go about doing things, and I'd previously asked some writer friends what they thought on the matter, and they went along with the same line of thinking, leaning towards one type or the other.

Not to mention, because of a lot of things, including, but not limited to, my 900-MPH autistic brain, I end up having to rethink ideas over and over again in terms of what I'd like to do and what I don't want to do with the story. And as a result, I'm stuck working and reworking on a story that keeps changing. Regardless, my autism is not an excuse, but I hope it helps to explain things.

Anyway, I only wanted to apologize for upsetting you with the way my question was worded, and my line of thinking at the time. I didn't think it through fully, and you delivered some deserved-flack my way for it. It wasn't my intent to upset you the way I did, and I wholeheartedly regret doing so. My words were short-sighted and not well-thought out.

I'm trying to do better about the way characters should be, and I'm aware of what to keep my mind open about.

Greg responds...

Hey RexBlazer1...

Here's the ugly truth. I don't remember our previous exchange. I can't search user names here, so I tried searching "antagonist," but nothing came up for that under RexBlazer1.

So I have no memory of what you suggested. And no memory of how I responded. I kinda doubt I was "upset". I rarely get upset here. I do get annoyed fairly often, so maybe I was annoyed. But I can't say for sure.

Everything you wrote this time sounds pretty good to me, however.

Response recorded on January 04, 2017

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Kelli writes...

Hi Mr. Greg! Firstly I'd like to say how much I truly enjoy your shows and shows you've written for, you've been an inspiration to myself as a writer for a long time. You're one of the greats!

I have some questions about writing, if that's okay.

1. As stated previously, I admire your writing greatly and wanted to know if there are some tips you could give me in writing a series focused on a team and writing for multiple characters? I'm currently working on my original ideas, and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that a lot of my writing pace and story planning/arcing is influenced by watching shows such as Spectacular Spider-Man, YJ, TMNT and many others including comics like Kanan: The Last Padawan (I own every issue)that you've written for. But writing for multiple characters can become difficult since I write in third person.

2. Have you ever gotten "bogged down" so to speak in writing a series planned on spanning over a period of time?

3. Lastly, do you find it hard to focus on what's happening in the series currently instead of jumping to the conclusion because of exciment for the end? If so, how do you stay focused?

Just for fun question: When not writing for tv, what's your prefered voice for writing, first or third?

Thank you for your time, and I can't wait to read/watch what you write next!

Greg responds...

1. I've answered questions like this before, so check the WRITING and WRITING TIPS archives here at ASK GREG for more details. But it's hard to answer your question, because I'm not clear what you're trying to accomplish. When you say you're "writing a series," what does that mean? Television? Movies? Books? Comics? Short stories? A proposal for one or the other or all? Are you asking me about choreographing action or about juggling storylines or something else?

2. Sure.

3. Sometimes. DEADLINES help me focus.

4. I don't have a preference. It depends on the needs of the specific story.

Response recorded on November 21, 2016

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Anonymous writes...

What do I need to write in character biographies? As I'm making my project, the way I do my character bios, I write a lot of backstor, the characters' personality, birthday and age, and a bit of present, etc. Is that all necessary or do I need to do them in a better order?

Greg responds...

There aren't any rules. You do what you need.

Response recorded on November 18, 2016

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Marvelman writes...

Hi. A little while ago I requested a character oriented slant for a hypothetical third season of Young Justice. I want to rescind my request. As I sit here working on my YA novel, I realized that no writer can work that way. He/she can only tell the story she wants to tell and hope other people like it.

Greg responds...

Yep.

Response recorded on October 10, 2016

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Taylor writes...

Hi Greg,

In your opinion, what are some of the key factors that separate a good story/script from a poor one (especially as it applies to writing in episodic television)?

Thanks

Greg responds...

Uh...

Good structure.

Story that comes out of character.

Dialogue that sounds like something human beings would actually say.

Some amount of surprise.

And if we're literally talking about the script itself: PROOFREADING!

Response recorded on October 07, 2016

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Mexi Gremillion writes...

Hi Greg!

My name is Mexi Gremillion and I am going to be writing for film and television when I finish college in May. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions possibly about your experience as a creator and writer of fantastic television series like Gargoyles and Young Justice via email if possible, but it is totally fine if I ask you publicly on this sort of forum. I love your work and it's totally fine if you don't answer this, but I hope you do. Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,

Mexi Gremillion

Greg responds...

Hi Mexi,

I'd prefer to keep things in this forum. I know you asked this question nine months ago, so if you're still checking this, I'd recommend that you look at the Ask Greg archives under WRITING and/or WRITING TIPS. See if your questions were asked and answered already. If you still have more questions, post them here.

Response recorded on September 20, 2016

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hi Greg,

I'll try and keep this short, as I'm sure your busy and having things to do, but basically I would like your honest opinion on something. And no, don't worry, it's not about ideas for any of the things you've worked on, nor anything that I or others have written.

Anyway, I'm an aspiring writer who wants to make his own series, and there's an aspect of storytelling that I can't seem to decide on. You see, I have always felt that there are, primarily, two types of villains:

1. The kind who do bad things and don't care
2. The kind who believe that their actions are justified

Summarily, I can't seem to decide which one is worse, as it could really be argued either way. I've asked some friends what they think, and have gotten back different answers.

Admittedly, the self-justifying villain tends to fall under a trope that I have a disliking towards:

Knight Templar - a villain who is convinced that he/she is the hero.

And, after thinking about it, there is at least one thing to appreciate about the "bad and don't care" villains; at least they have no illusions about what they want or what they're doing. Plus, we've seen a lot of the self-justifying villains in recent years, to the point where I think it might be overused. Which is why I think a balance between the two needs to be met, as too much of one can get old fast.

But anyway, I mainly just wanted to ask which type of villain you think is worse; the "bad and don't care" kind, or the self-justifying kind?

Greg responds...

I take some issue with the reductive nature of your question. And so I think you're going about things the wrong way. It's not about which is worse. It's about what fits your character. Take, as an obvious example for this website, GARGOYLES.

We have two rather unique and memorable lead villains, DEMONA and XANATOS. I suppose you could reduce Xanatos to your definition of a type one villain. And I suppose you could reduce Demona to your type two. But there are moments when Xanatos thinks what he does is justified, and moments when Demona does a bad thing and just doesn't care. There are also moments when each has done truly heroic things.

The point I'm making is that a great villain is nothing more or less than a great CHARACTER. Write a character with consistency, backed by consistent motivation and history and I don't really care if he or she is type one, type two or type three. (Because, among other things, I doubt that there are truly only two types.)

Response recorded on September 08, 2016

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Dean writes...

1. You've said that you're not a binge watcher. Does that influence your storytelling style in your shows? Also, if a show had a single story that stretched over several episodes like with "Awakening" of Gargoyles, would you watch them in one sitting?

2. Since you prefer more serialized stories (hopefully I'm using the right term), how do you feel when you watch more episodic shows like Justice League/JLU?

3. Somewhat relating to that last question, have you finished JLU and Teen Titans? If so, what are your thoughts on them now?

4. What kind of stories do you prefer to tell? As in, how and when do you decide to make a story out of some heavy subject or theme such as -I don't know- slavery instead of a just a story that moves a character forward? Do you think one is better than the other? How do you feel about "heavy subject" stories in general, or would you say those are almost always present anyways? I hope this last question makes sense.

Greg responds...

1. Don't know. Never worked on a show that was specifically designed for binging.

1a. Rarely.

2. I hate to make blanket assessments. But I'm less engaged. Also strictly speaking, I write episodic but sequential stories with serialized elements. Not a straight serial.

3. No.

4. I believe in organic storytelling. The characters tend to tell me what happens next, to a great extent. Like anyone, sometimes their lives glance over or immerse themselves in so-called "heavy subjects" - and sometimes they don't.

Response recorded on August 31, 2016

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CONvergence 2016

I leave tomorrow for CONvergence 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Okay, really Bloomington, MN, but close enough.) CONvergence is one of my favorite cons. And I have the honor of being their first fan-funded guest. Here's my schedule for the long weekend:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016
GUEST RECEPTION 07:00pm - 09:00pm
Atrium 4

THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2016
"Why Gargoyles is Still Relevant" 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Atrium 6 w/Christopher Jones, Patrick Fisher, Alana Profit, Chandra Reyer.

RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Plaza 3 w/Christopher Jones.

"Physics of Time Travel" 03:30pm - 04:30pm
Edina w/Renate Fiora (m), Dan Berliner, Melanie Galloway, Jim Kakalios.

"Fancy Bastard Pie Competition" 08:30pm - 09:30pm
Garden Court - Southwest w/GPS.

FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2016
SIGNING 11:00am - 12:00pm
Autograph Table B.

RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Plaza 3 w/Christopher Jones, Khary Payton.

"Writing by Ear" 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Bloomington w/Patrick Marsh (m), Emma Bull, Aimee Kuzenski, Jim McDoniel.

"Don't Call Them Sidekicks: The Enduring Power of Teenage Superheroes" 03:30pm - 04:30pm
Bloomington w/ Christopher Jones, Jessa Markert, Khary Payton, Sylus Rademacher.

"Drawing with the Masters" 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Plaza 2 w/Christopher Jones, Ruth Thompson.

"Why Diversity Needs to be Deeper than Marketing" 08:30pm - 09:30pm
Edina w/ Trisha Lynn (m), Kate Norlander, Jonathan Palmer, Dirk Ykema.

"Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome Live Podcast" 10:00pm - 11:00pm
Edina w/Windy Bowlsby, Melissa Kaercher.

SATURDAY, JULY 02, 2016
"Building Worlds for Fiction" 09:30am - 10:30am
Plaza 1 w/Michael Carus (m), J.M. Lee, Melissa Olson, Lynne M. Thomas.

"Why We Need Representation in Superheroes" 11:00am - 12:00pm
Edina w/ Christopher Jones, Bri Lopez Donovan, Khary Payton, Lynne M. Thomas.

RADIO PLAY REHEARSAL 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Atrium 6 w/ Christopher Jones, Jim Kakalios, Khary Payton and a cast of tens.

RADIO PLAY PERFORMANCE 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Atrium 6 w/ Christopher Jones, Jim Kakalios, Khary Payton and a cast of tens.

"Superficially Strong Female Characters" 05:00pm - 06:00pm
Edina w/ Crystal Huff (m), Kathryn Sullivan, Chrysoula Tzavelas, Joan Marie Verba.

"One on One with Christopher Jones" 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Edina (m) w/Christopher Jones.

ANIMATION BLUE 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Atrium 6 w/Christopher Jones, Lyda Morehouse, Khary Payton, Jenna Powers, Edmund Tsabard.

SUNDAY, JULY 03, 2016
YOUNG JUSTICE 09:30am - 10:30am
Atrium 6 w/Christopher Jones, Khary Payton.

SIGNING 11:00am - 12:00pm
Autograph Table B.

RAIN OF THE GHOSTS 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Edina.

READING 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Rm 2201.

ONE ON ONE 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Atrium 6 w/Melissa Kaercher.


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Stannis the Grammar Nazi writes...

The word "wrought" is used on YJ quite a few times. More than I've heard on other media. Is there any reason why you like it? I thought it was a bit archaic. Especially when it is used to mean "created by means other than manually".

Greg responds...

I like a little archaic and arcane language on occasion. Still, I'd have to see which episodes it appeared in to even know if it was me who put it in.

Response recorded on June 27, 2016

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Jack Johnson writes...

Hey Mr. Weisman

I consider your and your collaborators' take on Young Justice to be a masterpiece, not just in terms of action but in terms of planning and structure. And that leads me to ask the question of how, exactly, did you go about mounting that type of beautifully complex operation? I mean how were you able to develop all of those intertwining stories for literally hundreds of characters and feed them all into the larger agenda? Did you start by breaking a general story for where you wanted the series to go and which characters you wanted to take it there? Or did you start with the main characters and work your way out from there?

Greg responds...

I suppose we did start with general story. And characters, including general directions for each major character.

Then it's about index cards on a bulletin board. You move them around until you've got a cohesive set of stories, creating an arc or tapestry for the entire season.

Response recorded on May 23, 2016

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Sean writes...

Hello Greg,

I just had a few questions concerning Series Bibles if that's alright.

1. How are Series Bibles typically constructed? Is it divided into sections like characters, locations, and story events usually or does it depend on the show?
2. Do they contain much in the way of art or concepts? If so, are there perhaps unused versions or is it typically the finalized designs?
3. Given how much the passage of time is a factor in your shows, do you typically have a series timeline that gets added to as you progress? Do events tend to stay where they are or can things be moved around if need be?

Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

1. It depends on the needs of the show. But generally, there's an introductory section. Then characters. Major settings. Perhaps gear. Stories. Conclusion.

2. Most don't include art because no art has been done yet. (I'm not sure what you mean by "concepts".) By the time there is art, generally no one bothers to update the bible with it. But there are tons of exceptions.

2a. Could be either or neither.

3. I do, yes.

3a. Nothing is canon until it's appeared on the air or in some other canon source, for example the YJ companion comic. So things can change until then. But we tend to stay on track most of the time.

Response recorded on May 16, 2016

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Ritesh writes...

Hello, Greg. I'm a huge fan of yours. I'm really interested in animation, and storytelling and writing- and would eventually like to have my own show at some point. And I'm a big fan of superheroes and comics, especially DC ones. So- Young Justice had a huge impact on me. Anyway I wanted to know-
1)What advice do you have for young aspiring writers?
2)What are the people in the industry/companies looking for, when they're hiring?(I would love your insight)
3)What's the first step one needs to take, in order to get into the TV animation field and break through?
4)What sort of educational background is preferred in the industry, or proves helpful/useful in it?

The last question, I wanna know specifically as I think that'll help me determine what I wanna take for my University course. I love storytelling, always have and I would love for you to share your knowledge of the industry, and insights of writing. :)

Greg responds...

1. Look through the "WRITING" and "WRITING TIPS" archives here at Ask Greg.

2. Good writers with good sample scripts.

3. Write scripts. Rewrite scripts. Rewrite some more. Get an agent.

4. No one cares. Seriously. Personally, I'm big on education, and I think it'll make you a better writer if you have a strong liberal arts background (even if you majored in the sciences or whatever), but no one looks at a resume and says, "Oh, no, he didn't go to Harvard! We can't hire him!"

Response recorded on March 24, 2016

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Dorphise Jean writes...

I'm starting a comic on my own with a superhero plot I want to know what does these comic publishing companies look for

Greg responds...

They're all different. The best way to analyze each company is to read what they're already putting out.

But frankly, for an original property, I think I'd recommend self-publishing online first.

Response recorded on February 25, 2016

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C. David Cole writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,

I have some questions about creating teams and the personalities of its members.

1. When creating a team how do you decide what will be the personalities of characters in the group? I've read elsewhere that the best way to create a group is to make each member of the group have the opposite personality of another member. Is this the method you use?

2. How did you decide what personalities to use in the Manhattan clan in Gargoyles?

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions.

Greg responds...

1. No. Nothing quite that didactic. I do look for a mix. But I'd say my process is more organic and holistic than what you're describing. It also depends a LOT on whether I'm adapting an existing property or creating something original.

2. I'm not sure I remember. But if you look at the ASK GREG archive's "Original Development File," you can see how the characters evolved over time.

Response recorded on February 23, 2016

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Kalev tait writes...

In creating a fully realised world, you seem to create fully believable characters for all of your reoccurring roles. While I assume you don't do the same for mooks, I'm wondering about minor characters who only appear once or twice and only have one or two lines? Do you always try to make everyone be able to justify their existence beyond the protagonists, or is it just for major characters?

Greg responds...

I try to do it for everyone, at least retroactively. If we use a thug, I try to make him marginally interesting enough that we can bring him back. Then over time, a guy like Pal Joey in Gargoyles becomes an actual character, even if in his first appearance, he's basically a one line henchman.

Response recorded on January 19, 2016

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Phil(Enlightenment) writes...

Greg, The last time I saw you, which was at the last gargoyles convention, you expressed a desire for me to be on this forum due to my solution based way of thinking. I know now why I gravitated toward you so fiercely as I am awake now. My question: Do you know what star system you channeled gargoyles from?

Greg responds...

I do not.

Or rather, it's from the star system Sol, but from a parallel universe. (Or so I must assume.)

Response recorded on January 15, 2016

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Kalev Tait writes...

What ha fatherhood taught you about writing?

Greg responds...

Probably a lot.

Nothing immediately springs to mind.

I've learned to prioritize dad time over time in front of the computer.

Response recorded on January 15, 2016

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Luke writes...

Hi Greg,

Big fan here (I reply to you on Twitter sometimes!) and I thought I'd make use of this site to get some help with my intention to write for television in the future!

First off, I'd like to say how much I love Young Justice. From the moment I finished the first episode, I was hooked. I'm quite a seasoned animation fan but I must say Young Justice is probably one of the best things I have ever watched; particularly it was the animation and writing that drew me in the most. I wasn't really into comic books too much before with the exception of adaptions from TV like Adventure Time, and manga; but Young Justice awakened a part of me that just had to look further into the characters, and now I'm completely taken in by the DC universe, it's so wonderful and for that I thank you for helping to bring Young Justice to light!

The show is truly an inspiration for me; I intend to become a writer for television, animation being my ultimate goal, in the near future. In September 2014 I will be starting a screenwriting course at university. I live in the UK, but hope to move to America in future to have a better chance of landing a writing job in animation.

1) What would you recommend I seek to do when I finish university? Would becoming an assistant at a TV studio help as a start?

2) Do you draw storyboards? I am not very confident in my drawing abilities and I'm worried this might affect pitching and demonstrating my ideas.

3) What are some key terms or quotes that have stuck in your head during your writing career? Things that people have told you and you have remembered and applied to your work?

4) Who are your inspirations? What programmes did you enjoy when you were a kid/teenager?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer my questions!

Greg responds...

1. It wouldn't hurt. Get in there. See first hand how things are done. The main thing I recommend, you already plan to do, which is to move to where the work is. Second, WRITE. Third, REwrite. Fourth, PROOFREAD RELIGIOUSLY.

2. No, I can't draw stick figures well. I team up with very, very talented artists.

3. "Less is more."

4. Space Ghost. Speed Racer. Jonny Quest. Herculoids. Anything with Marvel or DC heroes in them. Hill Street Blues. Cheers.

Response recorded on July 06, 2015

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J writes...

Hello,

I was just reading your latest responses and someone asked why the Justice League didn't regrow Roy's arm, to which you responded: "Is that easier than I think it is?"

I don't get it...your a fantisy writer. Everything is easy in fantasy fiction. I mean your own show has the technology for cloning, instantanious travel as far as other solar systems, shrinking to subatomic sizes, manipulating elemental forces, traveling through time, etc. Most of which break all known laws of physics.
Regenerating lost limbs really isn't that far fetched even in the real world, where we're growing ears on the backs of mice & cloning whole animals or just organs, and advancing every day.
And all that aside, couldn't Zatanna just say "Worger S'yor mar!" at any time?

I understand that Roy had to be missing an arm for the story to play out how you wanted it to, and maby he likes his cybernetic arm better anyway and doesn't want a regular one...but why act like a near-reality wouldn't be a simple task (even for an okay writer, but especially for you) in a universe where the impossible is commonplace?

Greg responds...

If Zatanna could regrow arms just like that, don't you think she'd be doing that ALL THE TIME. It seems that would take a TON of mystic energy. (Besides, I'm not sure Roy wants his "ram" regrown.)

And in essence, in fantasy and science fiction, I'm against making anything too easy. For example, yes, we do teleportation, but we make sure there is a Zeta tube at EACH end, in order to NOT make teleporting too easy.

What makes me an okay writer, I think, is that I take these things seriously, and refuse to come up with easy solves. Of course, I could. But it's a bad idea.

Response recorded on December 06, 2014

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Sophie writes...

Hi there Greg!

How are you?

I just wanted to ask a few questions that have captured my curiosity, and I have spent the last hour searching through the archives to make sure they haven't been answered already. Still, I'm so sorry if they have been asked before!

1. Did Bart really go to school in the future? He talks about 'not being a good history student' but for some reason, the state of the future he lived doesn't make it seem like he would be able to attend school.

2. Did Bart live with both of his parents in the future?

3. What was Bart's life like in the future? For some reason, and I'm not sure why, I figure human-kind would be enslaved, and Bart would be living in a crappy house somewhere in a polluted world. (Yeah, I'm pretty much thinking Dystopia). Of course, I don't think it would be a Utopia by any means, but am I over-elaborating and over-thinking how bad it could be?

4. When writing and creating characters, do you create elaborate back-stories, with even little bits of un-needed info (like fave. color, food, stuff like that)? I've heard that it is a very helpful way to get to know one's characters. If not, how do you 'create' such believable characters? Do you draw from experiences and people you've met in real life.

Many thanks!

Wishing you all of the best!

-Soph

Greg responds...

1. He's clearly had some SCHOOLING. He knows how to read and write for example. Beyond that, I'm not committing.

2. NO SPOILERS.

3. It was very dystopic, for sure.

4. Yes, though I don't have rules as to what I do and don't have to figure out in advance. I figure out what I feel I need to. For one character, that might include his or her favorite color. For another, what they had for breakfast on their last birthday. For a third, who their biological parents REALLY are. And etc.

Response recorded on November 13, 2014

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Presto writes...

What does it take to get to a position of showrunner like you? How can an aspiring writer like me get started?

Greg responds...

Most folks have to work their way up through the ranks, starting as a freelance writer, etc.

You get started, frankly, by writing. Write a spec script to a series you like. Send it as a sample to agencies, because representation is very useful as a calling card. Remember to not send anything unless it's really good. You don't want to poison the water by sending something with your name on it that isn't your best, most mature work.

Response recorded on October 23, 2014

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Shola Akinnuso writes...

Greg, do you have any plans to post ANY of your scripts online? Your writing is clear, and structurally, they're a fantastic resources for writers trying to break into animation. The way you use sfx as action is a illuminating!

Currently, the ONLY way to see one of your scripts is to go all the way to The Writer's Guild in Los Angeles, and even there, you're not allowed to copy the script. Even if you feel uncomfortable showing the whole script ( just an act or two is all we need), posting it as a media resource on the site - perhaps as a .pdf so it is difficult to copy - would give peace of mind? It doesn't matter if the script is from YJ, Gargoyles, or Spider-Man...

Greg responds...

There's no way to post a script here at ASK GREG with the correct formatting. I know. I've tried.

Response recorded on September 30, 2014

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Presto writes...

Need some advice because I just became a screenwriter for a Television series based in Hong Kong. How much should I charger per 24 minute episode?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure how to advise you. The short answer is get as much money as you can squeeze out of them.

Animation Guild Union minimums are just over $7K per 22-minute episode, if that helps. WGA minimums are much, much higher.

Response recorded on September 23, 2014

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abnormal matt writes...

Hey Greg I was wondering where do you feel you've stepped most out of your comfort zone as a writer. sorry for not using a question mark my keyboard doesn't seem to have one.

Greg responds...

What kind of keyboard doesn't have a question mark? That's just... bizarre.

Anyway, I try to challenge myself all the time. Writing the novels was WAY out of my comfort zone, and even in that, I challenged myself by creating a fairly unique narrator.

Response recorded on September 02, 2014

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Shola Akinnuso writes...

Greg,

Are any of your Young Justice, Spider-Man, or Gargoyles scripts available online? I attend an Animation Writers group in Burbank, and the guest speaker showed one of your scripts as an example. It was a revelation. I've never seen sound effects used as action before. Every line had momentum, the script read was super clean and efficient.

Since then, I've been emailing everywhere to obtain a copy, I had to go to the WGA to read one of your YJ scripts, which again, was incredibly helpful. You noted where every SFX goes, how man characters speak, and to my surprise, people rarely had over two lines of dialogue at any given time. Everything was TIGHT, and was something I really want to study. Even the formatting.

Obviously, I couldn't copy anything from the WGA, and there's NO trace of your work anywhere online. How can I get a copy of a script? Even just the first act would be helpful. Would you consider putting a .pdf online via your website? I have read other books on animation writing, but your script was a big jump for me.

Greg responds...

I don't have the capability of posting a script here in the correct format.

Are you able to come to any of my many convention appearances or signings this summer? I have in the past sold signed copies for fairly reasonable prices. I wasn't planning on bringing any this year, as my focus is on selling my books, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS and SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM. But if I know there's an interest, I can bring some scripts too.

Among the conventions I know I'm attending:

Denver Comic Con http://denvercomiccon.com/
CONvergence (Minneapolis) http://www.convergence-con.org/
San Diego Comic Con International http://www.comic-con.org/cci
MechaCon (New Orleans) http://www.mechacon.com/
Long Beach Comic Con http://longbeachcomiccon.com/lbcc.php

Responding here isn't practical, however. But if you contact me, via Twitter at @Greg_Weisman, we can make arrangements. And if other followers are interested in purchasing scripts too, I'm game. Let me know.

Response recorded on June 05, 2014

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Club Jade Interview

Had a great time doing a panel and signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore this past weekend. Also took some time out to do an interview about Rain of the Ghosts (mostly) with Jawa James at Club Jade. Here it is: http://clubjade.net/?p=58532.

Also talked a bit about the writing process and my thoughts on diversity.


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fallenlegend writes...

Hello Greg!

Just a quick question this time. The other time I asked you something about gargoyles and you said that you wouldn't write it for free... wich came as a bit of a shock to me as you have said before that it is your baby proyect.

It's understandable as this is your job and main source of income... But I have to wonder if you would ever have or if you have a personal proyect wich you would do for free.

You deserve every cent you get paid but.. Many (amateur/fanfic) writters write stories for fun and I wonder if this is the case with you. thank you!

Greg responds...

I don't write for fun anymore. To be honest, it's too much like work.

I don't write for free, though I do (occasionally) write "on spec". That is, I'll write something that has the chance of paying off later, even if no one is paying me for it immediately. For example, my first novel, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, was written on spec. (And took over a decade to pay off - minimally.) The second book in the series, SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM, was not written on spec. My publisher, St. Martin's Press, ordered it. The third, MASQUE OF BONES, which I've barely begun researching, will also be written on spec, unless St. Martin's Press decides to pick it up.

But the big difference with those books, over something like GARGOYLES, for example, is that I OWN the RAIN property. I don't own GARGOYLES or YOUNG JUSTICE or WITCH or THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. It would, frankly, just be foolish for me to invest my time (which is money to me) in something that isn't mine.

GARGOYLES is without a doubt my baby. I feel that strongly. But it doesn't change the hard, cruel fact that I hold no ownership in it at all.

Response recorded on May 01, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

As a writer, what, in your opinion, is the reason that every child born to a major character in DC comics is killed-off, ret-conned into having different parents or out of existance entirly, or aged?
Think about it. Aquaman's son...dead. Wonder Woman's daugher...ret-conned to not even be hers. Batman's daughter...ret-coned out (albeit braught back, but now from a different reality). Batman's son...killed by his own clone. Arsenal's daughter, who had the potential to become a great character someday...dead. Flash(Wally)'s twins...first dead, then aged. And the list goes on.
Is it supposed to be common practice among comic writers so that they can maintain a static universe where the hero doesn't age over the years & a baby would force the story into progressing?
The main reason I quit reading comics is because it seemed that as soon as any characer was even beginning to progress, a new writer would come along and revert everything back to when they were a fan, including ignoring or killing off any other character that wasnt there back then, including children.

Greg responds...

I think you've basically answered your own question.

One additional factor: I know "writing" a baby or even a toddler or young child is tough. (Teens are relatively easy by comparison.) And weighing a character down with a child who is too young to fend for his or herself is always a challenge. The alternative of giving the lead a spouse or co-parent to help out, creates an entire family unit that imposes additional challenges for the lone wolf superhero archetype to overcome - once you've gotten past the endless "My family is in danger" stuff. So it's a writerly challenge, as well.

Now, that kind of content interests me tremendously. But when faced with pressure to keep heroes static and angsty and troubled, and couple that with the inherent difficulties of writing the character with ongoing familial relationships - and as you noted, the feeling that a new writer or editor might have that they want a shot at writing the character in his or her pristine, unencumbered form, and you can see why the trend exists.

But personally, it's a trend I despair of.

Response recorded on April 25, 2014

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fallen legend writes...

Hello greg I have some questions regarding your writing style.

1.- Do you agree in" clarke's third law" aka "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" in your fictional works?

For instance in Gargoyles/Earth 16/witch etc is all magic just advanced science?.

Titania hinted that magic and "human science" were one and the same in gargoyles. But Wally on the other hand... learned that magic is not just advanced science, hence my curiosity.

1b)if not How do you distinguish magic from "advanced science"?

2.-You have mentioned before that you wouldn't never give a "grand finale" to any of your works. But if you could... would you have write a "goodbye story"?

We know the story will never end but... we will be able to say goodbye?

Greg responds...

1. Depends on what "world" I'm writing for.

1a. No. Magical energy in all those worlds you mentioned exists. Doesn't mean it can't be tapped by advanced science, but it still IS.

1b. Source of power, I guess.

2. I might give a "grand finale" or "goodbye story" to an individual character or characters, but not to the world as a whole. My mind doesn't work that way.

Response recorded on April 23, 2014

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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

Hi Greg,

Thanks to the joys of TiVO my daughter and I have discovered and been watching Ben 10.

(Mini review: The theme song is right up there with Spectacular Spiderman and the characters are fun and endearing. That said, at least as far as we've gotten, I have noticed a lack of, (for lack of coming up with a better word), 'depth' plotwise: They stop the bad guy at the nuclear power plant, but they don't explain where all the workers went. The rescue the three kids at a sleepaway camp overrun but space fungus, but don't explain whether the rest of the camp ran away or were captured and consumed. Etc. I noticed that the show was structured with one season of standalone plot stories mostly showing Ben, Gwen and the grandfather adjusting and interacting in their new situation. The second season starts having plots of Plumbers, and Forever Knights and aliens groups, but mainly having them appear in standalone stories. Starting the 3rd season I presume they'll start putting together all these parts into more of a greater mythology. Or so I guess from the fact they have multiple follow-up series.)

I noticed that you wrote the episode I most recently watched, Ben 10,000. It was very good. It made me wonder- it seems to be the most 'overarching plot' based so far. Beyond showing us future hero Ben, future magic caster Gwen, future society etc- it seems to tease the direction of the series. Leading me to my questions:

1- Were you approached to write this particular episode because you are know for working on shows with detailed overarching mythology, or was it more random of that episode being available, or you choosing from a list and it appealing to you?

2- In the other direction, when you are choosing none regular writers for your own shows, do you choose specific writers with their track record in mind to match certain types of stories? Do you offer them to choose among several none claimed upcoming plot whether or not it matches what you think of as that writers specialty, or what writing he or she did that impressed you?

3- What type of preparation do you do/expect for none series writers? Watch all the previous episodes? Read synapses of all? Prepare a list of representative episodes to back up the plot of the episode to be written and its tone? Just take detailed instructions from the show runners and expect tremendous edits to cover the adjustments to continuity?

Thanks,
Laura 'ad astra' Sack
(As apposed to the 'as astra' I accidentally autofilled into my last 12 postings;)

Greg responds...

1. So long ago... As I recall, I think story editors Tom Pugsley and Greg Klein approached me because they knew I liked Time Travel stories. I had done one for them on THE MUMMY.

2. Generally, I assemble a writing 'staff' at the beginning of each season. '(Staff' is in quotes, because these days, in fact, the 'staff' is all freelancers.) In choosing a staff, I generally am choosing from an embarrassment of riches. There are a ton of talented writers who can handle the kind of show I tend to do. I have a few individuals that I've worked with many times before, who are familiar with the way I work and are very good. So I tend to go back to them over and over, assuming they're available. Sometimes, on rare occasions, I push a specific story on a specific writer. More often, I've got three or four and - schedule allowing - I let the writers fight it out for which they'd prefer. (It's never much of a fight.)

3. I'm not clear what you mean by "none series writers". Even assuming the "none" is a typo for "non," I'm still not sure. As for prep, I expect them to have done their homework. We rarely have the footage for them to look at episodes, but I do expect them to keep up with reading the final outlines and scripts.

Response recorded on March 04, 2014

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Windona writes...

You once mentioned that you write down character traits, or something of the like, to help with making sure all the characters are in-character; but on a show with multiple writers, and with character development over the course of a story, how do you write those traits down?

Greg responds...

I usually type up a document, generally called a series bible, and distribute that to everyone involved. Also, all writers have access to ALL of the outlines and scripts, so they can see how our characters are evolving.

Response recorded on January 27, 2014

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Philip Anderson writes...

Greg, congratulations on [i]Rain of the Ghosts[/i] and [i]Spirits of Ash and Stone[/i]! I'm looking forward to reading them and hoping to see the rest of the series, too.

As a writer myself (search [i]Pirate Journey[/i] on Amazon) I know that writing the manuscript is only part of the challenge. I've found that finding a publisher can be just as hard, in different ways. So here are my questions:

1. How did you get connected with St. Martin's?

2. If you have a publishing agent/agency, how did you connect with them?

If you have time, either here or in future rambles, I'd like to read your thoughts on your publishing experience (aside from your writing experience which you've chronicled pretty well with your chapter updates). Any information or advice or encouragement for aspiring and struggling novelists would be appreciated.

Thanks, and congratulations again!
Phil Anderson

Greg responds...

1. My situation may be unusual. My editor at St. Martin's was already a friend. He and I would have breakfast at San Diego ComicCon once a year to talk geek stuff. He knew that I had written Rain and that I had stalled out on a rewrite, and he would urge me every year to finish. So when I finally did in February of 2012, I sent it to him. Personally, I'm lousy at networking usually, but there's no doubt it can pay off. And this time I got very lucky.

2. I have an agent. Their main expertise is in animation, but they handle books, as well. When I originally wrote Rain, twelve or so years ago, they sent the book out to various publishers, who all rejected it.

I'm still figuring stuff out. For example, now that the book is out, I need to teach myself how to get the word out about it. That's the main reason I'm on Twitter, but clearly that's not going to be enough. I'm learning this stuff in fits and starts myself. Feel free to ask other questions, but following my progress will probably be equally instructive. (If anything is.)

Response recorded on January 13, 2014

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Avi writes...

1. You write strong female characters with skill(Demona, Gwen, MJ, Artemis, ETC). Since women can be portrayed weak sometimes, how do you do it?
2. Other than Stan Lee's run with Romita and Ditko, what era of Spider-man comics did you enjoyed reading the most?
3. What is your opinion on Spider-man: Kraven's Last Hunt, by JM Dematteis? Most people generally like it but others think it may have been too dark for Spider-man (Dematteis was actually going to have the story be a Batman and Joker story at first)

Thanks for the amazing shows! Spectacular Spider-man (I was looking forward to Season 3-5 and DTV's) was absolutely amazing along with Young Justice (I was so looking forward to the next season). I am only up to Avalon part 1, but Gargoyles has been tremendously fun to watch so far. I don't love Star Wars, but Rebels seems great so far and I can't wait. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

Greg responds...

1. I like to think I've portrayed some female characters as strong and others as weak. Some who stay strong, some who weaken. Some who stay weak, some who gain in strength. As to the 'how'… I don't have a magic formula. I'm sure it helps that I've always known, loved, admired and respected strong women all my life, starting with my mom. But really, I don't know any other way to do it.

2. There was some fun stuff for me in the 80s.

3. I haven't read it.

Response recorded on January 08, 2014

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FallenLegend writes...

Hello greg

You previously said that you don't like gran finales and you don't intend to really give closure to any of your shows/stories. Not even gargoyles that as you described it is your "baby" even if you don't own it.

Does that mean that we will always get cliffhanger endings from your tv show when they get canceled?

What about your new book series, will it end in a cliffhanger too?

As much as I am a fan of your stories Greg, It feels empty not to have any closure at all.

No offense but basic story telling has beginning-conflict-resolution and as fans we never get to see a resolution of the overall plot.

I mean having an ending that gives the illusion that "the story never truly ends" is great (that's not what I am critical of).

But I think that not having an ending that acknowledges that the story has to end for real life reasons(maybe becuase you simply can't write stories forever, becuase you aren't getting more episodes, becuase you have to move on etc)... is disrespectuful to your fans that expect to have a complete story.

Take JLU unlimited ending. It even ended with wonderwoman saying "...and the adventure continues" and even left two unresolved plot points, But at the same time it ended the main plots and acted as a send off/good bye to it's fans and it didn't feel empty.

Sorry for being so critical, you are a big inspiration and even if I don't agree with you always I think you are a fantastic story teller (an inspiration for me in fct) and I am planing on buying our new book.

Greg responds...

I NEVER leave a season with a cliffhanger.

I ALWAYS leave a season with open-ended closure.

I don't mean to sound disrespectful to you or any of my fans, but that's how my mind works. If you don't like it, I can't really help you, because you'd be asking me to change the way I tell stories.

But perhaps we're not so far apart. You cite the JLU ending, which I haven't seen. But you state that, in essence, it has open-ended closure, even noting it had unresolved plot points. That's EXACTLY what I do at the end of EVERY season. Not everything is going to be tied up into a neat knot, but every major plot point of that season will be, as happened at the end of Gargoyles, WITCH, Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice.

So what exactly are you looking for from me that's any different?

And thank you for buying RAIN OF THE GHOSTS. It's much appreciated! Sincerely!!

Response recorded on November 26, 2013

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ANIME VEGAS 2013 - Corrected Schedule

Let's try this again with the correct dates:

As I've mentioned before, I'm a guest at ANIME VEGAS this weekend, November 1-3rd, 2013, at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada:

http://www.animevegas.com/

Here's my schedule:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013
01:00pm - 02:00pm - OPENING CEREMONIES
Cosplay Ballroom.

02:00pm - 03:30pm - GARGOYLES/THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN Panel and Signing
Cosplay Ballroom.

05:00pm - 06:30pm - YOUNG JUSTICE Panel and Signing
Paramount Room with Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Lagoon Boy, Tempest, Icicle Jr. and Tommy Terror.

06:30pm - 08:00pm - IKKI TOUSEN Panel and Signing
Paramount Room with New Generation Pictures Voice Director and Producer Jonathan Klein.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013
10:00am - 11:30am - "WRITER'S ROOM" Panel and Signing
Summit Room.

06:30pm - 07:30pm - SIGNING
Summit Room with Jonathan Klein.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2013
09:00am - 10:30am - 3X3 EYES SCREENING, Panel and Signing
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein.

10:30am - 11:30am - VOICE DIRECTING Panel
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein.

12:30pm - 01:00pm - SIGNING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein.

As you can see, I'm doing a LOT of signing. I'll sign anything you bring along for free. But I'm also bringing a single copy of EVERY one of my Young Justice teleplays (i.e. the ones that I personally wrote), which I'll be selling for $20 per script (cash only) - autographed and personalized to the buyer's taste - on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with the Young Justice signing at 6pm Friday evening.
So if you're in the vicinity, plan to be there. As you all know, I'm not big on SPOILERS, but I'm WAY, WAY more likely to tease a few things in person than I am on either Twitter or here. So come and be (slightly) better informed!!!


Bookmark Link

Anime Vegas - Schedule!

As I've mentioned before, I'll be a guest at ANIME VEGAS this weekend, November 1-3rd, 2013, at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada:

http://www.animevegas.com/

Here's my schedule:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013
01:00pm - 02:00pm - OPENING CEREMONIES
Cosplay Ballroom

02:00pm - 03:30pm - GARGOYLES/THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN PANEL and SIGNING
Cosplay Ballroom

05:00pm - 06:30pm - YOUNG JUSTICE PANEL and SIGNING
Paramount Room with Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Lagoon Boy, Tempest, Icicle Jr. and Tommy Terror.

06:30pm - 08:00pm - IKKI TOUSEN PANEL and SIGNING
Paramount Room with New Generation Pictures Voice Director and Producer Jonathan Klein

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013
10:00am - 11:30am - "WRITER'S ROOM" PANEL and SIGNING
Summit Room

06:30pm - 07:30pm - SIGNING
Summit Room with Jonathan Klein

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013
09:00am - 10:30am - 3X3 EYES SCREENING, PANEL and SIGNING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein

10:30am - 11:30am - VOICE DIRECTING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein

12:30pm - 01:00pm - SIGNING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein

As you can see, I'm doing a LOT of signing. I'll sign anything you bring along for free. But I'm also bringing a single copy of EVERY one of my Young Justice teleplays (i.e. the ones that I personally wrote), which I'll be selling for $20 per script (cash only) - autographed and personalized to the buyer's taste - on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with the Young Justice signing at 6pm Friday evening.

So if you're in the vicinity, plan to be there. As you all know, I'm not big on SPOILERS, but I'm WAY, WAY more likely to tease a few things in person than I am on either Twitter or here. So come and be (slightly) better informed!!!



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