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Niedzwiedz writes...

First I should thank you, as your work brought me a lot of enjoyment. I love how each of your show has really different feel, yet I can recognize easily your hand (mostly by your great attention to detail) will soon have some questions/comments on Young Justice but I made a rule, to first watch 5 episodes of show before I form my judgment. Nevertheless I have a few general questions. They mostly centre on art of writing, and I’m well aware that there is no easy, universal solution, and it’s not possible to describe process of creating story and pinpoint exact methods. . I write only as a hobby (mostly short stories and RPG scenarios) and understand that the same way I could not easily give you pointers within my area of expertise you cannot give them to me. Still, I can hope for example of thinking and designing steps in specific problems.
1.When you design a character that is clearly smarter and more cunning than other characters and more importantly than you, how do you show his intellect. When I just assume that he is so capable that he just predicts every action of other characters and wins every intellectual struggle he seems fake. Yet I cannot explain his way of thinking because I’m not capable of being so smart myself. Currently I use assume that character is able to think the same way I do but much faster (something took me a day to solve it and he/she will be able to do it in a few minutes). What would you say about it?
2.When you create a series do you prepare basic “spine” from begging to end or do you create few scripts and wait for reaction of audience or just simply have new ideas. Basically the question here is, how much do think about main plot in advance and how much author should be attached to his original ideas
3.Does that that kind of question bothers you? Do you have anything about similar questions in the future?
Thank you for your time. I know I can't write a short letter to save my life.

Greg responds...

1. Well... it kinda depends on what kind of intelligence we're talking about. I'm no scientist, but I can right a decent scientist (particularly in a comic book type universe) with a combination of research, bologna and the voice of authority. But I think you're talking about strategic ability. (Should I be offended that you don't think me strategically more brilliant than my characters? No, I guess not.) Here, the characters are rather limited to how clever I can be. But as you said, they execute their plans without showing you all the colored notecards that I have to spread out to keep everything straight.

2. There's no way I can wait for reaction from the audience. Think about it. If we waited for that, you'd have a year between episodes. So, yes, I come up with a spine from "begging to end" (I LOVE that typo) at the start of the entire process. I try to allow for serendipity and other good ideas that come as we go along, but the arc is very well thought out in advance.

3. I'm fine with these questions.

Response recorded on March 11, 2011