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Monday August 18, 2008
On Grizzly Bear Soup
At the end of the Episode 28Writing Excuses podcast I mention a metaphor that deserves credit-where-credit-is-due.
Author James Van Peltblogged about quitting his day-job to write full-time, and at WorldCon he echoed that blog post and described the process to me as being a lot like making grizzly bear soup. "First, kill a grizzly bear." After that it's just another soup recipe.
Being a full-time webtoonist is the same way. There's a herculean task right in front, and it's followed by a bunch of mundane business stuff anybody can do.
Jim says that "sell a story" is the grizzly-killing. For webtoonists I'm going to up the ante. My soup recipe requires a very large, very meaty bear. Create a comic strip that compels readers to return to your site regularly and tell their friends about how wonderful it is. Your strip must be the #1 or #2 favorite for at least a thousand people. It's easier to make soup if there are more of them, though.
While I suppose there are techniques and procedures that make hunting grizzlies formulaic, I know there are a lot of hunters who come back empty-handed, maimed, or as bear-chow. The same holds true here. Lots of people (including me!) will have advice for how to create the comic I just described. It's never as easy as it looks, and some of the bears have rabies.