Homeless Guys Have an Opinion Too

Somebody PM’ed yesterday asking me to confirm or repudiate some advice on comic writing he received.

Nothing against homeless guys, but the point here is when you turn to public forums Everybody has an opinion. If you’re looking for direction on a particular issue, asking strangers, trying to get a majority view, can be a dangerous way to go.

“Good advice is rarer than rubies.” -Salman Rushdie

A lot of times in the public forums people like to answer writing questions just to hear themselves talk. I’ve seen some known comic writers give advice that makes me cringe–either playing it safe and skating around the question completely (just confusing the asker) or steering the poor chap in a completely wrong direction.

When you’re soliciting advice:

  1. Go to someone you know is knowledgeable.
  2. Listen to someone who has your best interest in mind. If they don’t bother to know who you are and what you’re up to, they’re really not giving the advice to you… they’re just “giving advice.”
  3. Don’t listen to anyone who will only tell you what you want to hear. Lots of folks focus only on the positive so they can always look good in your eyes, thinking/hoping you’ll keep going back to them in future. When you listen to these people, most of the time there is no future for you.

As I’ve commented before on social media, I’m notorious for getting my clients frustrated, agitated and even angry with my advice. Why? Because I always tell them what they need to hear to write a better story, to make a better comic or to better position themselves to make money on their project. I don’t care what they think of me personally (or the advice really) or whether or not they kick me to the curb or keep me around.

Most of the time, my advice means more work for them. They dislike the extra time/effort this represents, but at the end of the day, they’re more than glad they asked.

Just remember, there are no shortcuts to success…
<<No matter what some random shmoo on the forums says.>>

About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.

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