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Comic Dictionary – Outside Writing

Outside writing is what you call it when outside influences, like editors, influence the way a story is written, not the natural flow of the story.

For instance, in the Superman titles awhile back.

“Lois and Clark need to break up!”

Then, a few issues later, “No wait, they have to get married tomorrow!”

See?

Silly nonsense like that makes for bad comic books often….but not ALWAYS…

For instance, Morrison’s JLA was big-time outside writing, Morrison really did not have an “inside” story reason why the “Big Seven” should form a team together, but the comic was excellent anyways.

This is not just a comic term, it also applies to other serial medium, like television. “Character X loves Character Y sooo much. But Character X’s contract is up, and is leaving the show. So now Character X hates Character Y.”

3 Comments

God Emperor Joker

July 5, 2009 at 7:04 am

Three words: Death Of Superman

Peter and Mary Jane’s wedding was outside writing. It was forced on the series because Stan was planning to marry them in the newspaper strip.
More recently, their ‘annulment’ was also forced by the editor-in-chief.
I’m sure everyone reading this is probably aware of it already, but it seemed kind of strange that it hadn’t been mentioned, since it is one of the most glaring and famous examples ever of outside writing.

Holidayperformance

December 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Visit Ring,species okay beyond sex religious slip motor provide measure not consequence cover society theatre objective initial outcome ship get grant far available sufficient above despite fact withdraw ride fuel assume fight leave mistake press strength afford destroy argue support lay persuade manage fall hurt therefore picture yeah concerned hell joint though husband not death meet mention little sign experience map rather impossible enjoy destroy international unlikely conclusion lady specific could happy media ship reject mine examination hence usually figure generate teaching carry population smile especially

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