Monday, April 07, 2014

Ask Me Anything #38

As always, the first Monday of the month means it's time for "Ask Me Anything."

You can ask me any questions you'd like, whether it's about my work, opinions, influences, favorites, least favorites, or anything else you think I might have an answer for. Questions can be posted in the comments section below, and I'll either answer them there, or in a separate post sometime later in the month.

Please take the time to view the previous questions so that we don't wind up with a lot of repetition. I've been asked a lot of good, thought provoking questions in the past as well as some really banal ones, all of which I tried to answer. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3#4#5#6 , #7 , #8#9,  #10,  #11,  #12 , #13#14,  #15 , #16#17 , #18 , #19,  #20,  #21#22,  #23#24#25#26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35#36, and #37.  Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month under Ask Me Anything.

Now ask away. 


Joe said...

Another month another few questions.

1. Have you ever written a story that at the time you felt really good about but sometime down the line you felt it wasnt as good or even bad? If so what was it and why did you see it as bad?

2. Has there ever been a character that you looked at and thought they would be a flop but they turned out to be really liked or visa versa? If so, who was the character and why did you think they would have succeeded or flopped but they didnt?

John Rozum said...

Hi Joe -- Sorry to say, but my answers this month aren't going to be terribly enlightening.

1. Almost every story ends up where, at best, I feel like it came out okay. Nothing ever comes out in final form to be as good as it was in conception. There's nothing I wrote that I felt was great when I turned it in and then later on decided wasn't so great. To be honest, once a story is done I never think about it again, unless I need to refer to it for a future story. For comics, I usually look at them once they are finished and the artists and letterers have done their job, just to see how they did things and to make sure everything works as a story. After that I never go back unless I have to. For the stuff I've written for television, after I turn in the script, I'm done. I've never watched any of the finished episodes. My policy is to do the best work that I can given all of the factors involved. If something's not working I usually know as I'm working on it and can fix it before anyone else sees it.

2. Everything I write is something I hope will connect with the audience that pays attention to it, but I never set out trying to create something specifically to appeal to a wide audience. Trying to do that on purpose is an almost guaranteed recipe for failure. I simply try to write characters that serve and feel true to the stories they are in. If people connect with them, or don't is something only the individual reader can decide. There are occasions where a character will surprise me by becoming someone I become more attached to such as Arturo in Midnight, Mass..

Connected to both questions I have to say that the only real mistep that I ever made was with Kobalt, which I wrote for a perceived audience rather than for myself. It veered completely away from everything I'd planned for it to be, and by the time I figured that out and began making successful steps to counter that it was too late and the book was cancelled. I'd love to reboot that series the way I'd originally envisioned it rather than the way I stupidly went.

Write for yourself first. If you don't, that will be a sure way to hate your work.