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Walt Simonson on Misleading Readers

Walt Simonson is a brilliant comics writer, and easily one of my favorites.

I've spoken to him before about writing (you can read that here). And I saw this clip pop up on Bleeding Cool with Walt Simonson discussing the origin of Beta Rey Bill, one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe.

During the video, he drops this nugget of wisdom:

"You want to play fair with the reader but you want to mislead them in stories. You'd like them not to get the end and go, 'Oh yeah, this is going to go there,' and then you go there."

You can watch it in this video, the whole thing is worth watching, but this tidbit comes in at about 2:16:

And it seems obvious, but it's a brilliant piece of advice and it's something we tend to forget.

We all need to be reminded of this now and again.

We need to work to be two steps ahead of the readers, play fair with them, but keep them surprised.

Obligatory reminder of my Kickstarter, A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination. Please consider contributing.

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