Words of Wisdom: Faro Kane

A New Story Begins

By Faro Kane

“I was once hit by a drunk driver while I was walking home to avoid driving drunk.”

  • Faro Kane

There is nothing that drives a greater potato chip-sized wedge in my crank than a supposed “writing tips” article that is essentially glorified filler, or even worse, a masked attempt for the writer of said article to promote his own stuff.

As a Kickstarter master-in-training, I’m asked that inevitable question at numerous intervals, and I never really had an answer to that question other than the same one I always give: “Look to Vince McMahon.” You have to essentially become the main character of your own universe. Take every scar and insult toward your manner and integrity as the characters and content play out all around you like a cosmic carousel at a carnival of Colombians.

Introduce new elements into your life like joining a rock-climbing gym or flying off to the Arctic Circle to join a Dog Sledding Team during the Iditarod in Alaska. Think about things you wouldn’t do in your normal life and introduce them into your abnormal life. If you’re not interesting, no one is going to want to read about your characters. So go become interesting. You’re only as limited as your balls and imagination. As a writer, you’re starting with your first character: YOU.

There are consequences to your actions, as well there should be. The more extreme you base your alt personality into your writing, the more likely you are to have many relationships end and numerous variations of employment end due to the “Normals” not being able to really surmise you. But then again, if you’re not getting fired from multiple jobs and fire-bombing every bridge you come across, your writing needs more fuckin spice!

For instance, I have spent years fueling my writing with two of my favorite vices, cannabis oil and Latina women. But after a certain length of enjoyable time, it has started to get to a scary place where I’m developing an almost Kryptonite-level tolerance to cannabis and I’ve grown bored of the women, which I never thought I would ever say.

Vices can be so much fun, but if you get too heavy with the indulgence, it starts to become an addiction as opposed to a reward. And you almost start to miss being broke and struggling, where every little extra bit of steak or sauce felt like a pot of molten gold poured across your soul and ambition. You start to miss that feeling of wanting, then you realize: it’s the writer in you, begging for a new character, a new chapter, a new plotline.

And just like that, another story begins.

Giving up on grass and ass, well, remember, no one wants to root for the guy who’s always winning, so it’s time to reinvent myself and go after a different crop of muses. But how? Well here’s my initial plan: Quit cannabis and women cold turkey, get through my miserable week of withdrawal, then take on two new tasks to replace both vices. First, replace the cannabis with learning to become a Certified Yoga Instructor, not just join Yoga, but actually teach the classes. Why? For the broads, my friend, and those fuckin Yoga pants. I will fight every urge to hit on them and just keep an air of light humor and mystery about myself as I slowly but surely suck them into my spider web of seduction and cosplay.

And just like that my fellow writers, a new story begins. First with sacrifice, then with struggle, and finally, with splash. Now remember, I write for a living, so I don’t really need the Yoga Instructor’s job, and that’s the bloody point. As for having to give up on Latina women – my plan is to learn to speak fluent Spanish! Thereby, evolving past the idea of a simple financial transaction into actual dating, perhaps God willing, dancing… all for the writing purposes.

So you see, even addiction and the quest to cure it, becomes a new story thread – if you’re not afraid of getting raw. And if you’re a writer, then you should have no excuse not to humiliate yourself. Not to hitchhike just once, so you can write about the fear. Not to try out for Chippendales just once, so you can write about the anxiety. No reader that you’re ever going after will give you an ounce of time unless you prove your credibility as a writer.

That is the hardest and yet best part of the job. Understand me, I’ve gone from piles of playmates and porn stars to being broken and broke, back living with mom and dad, struggling to rebuild with no other hope than that of my own resolve. All while knowing full well that I went from the admiration of my friends and family to the butt of their jokes.

Even I finally realized that being broken and broke was all part of the new story. When you give yourself to a greater narrative, you start to believe all those song lyrics you’re pumping through your buds when you think no one is watching. The best advice I can ever offer you as a writer or a Kickstarter comic book maker is that the only way to go is ALL IN.

Don’t ever ask or beg for backers, or tell them to help make your dream come true. That’s not their job. You stand behind the book and tell them why it’s the best fuckin pile of stapled paper they will ever read. And why it’s based on something real, no matter how impossible.

This is how I make my money. Now some others have said they have taken that advice, but they may be limited by finances or family. So I have a backup to that if you are, in fact, trapped at home. This is a method I like to use when I’m working on my latest fantasy series “Pixi Runner,” which is a Science Fiction Series taking place in 2776 AD.

In my attempts to make it like a “Game of Thrones in Space” type of vibe, I’m always writing the scripts out like a screenplay but always breaking up every page in 6 panels, almost like 6 beats of a song. Regardless of whether that is anything close to the Marvel Method, the Faro Method pretends that the comic book I am making is actually the storyboard for a new Mature Fantasy Show on HBO’s new Spring Lineup.

For instance, the first major thing I ever worked on was a script for what at the time was called “Spider-man 4” – which was coming off the abysmal product that was “Spider-man 3.” I gave myself the only boundary of trying to write something that fit within that universe of Tobey McGuire and Sam Raimi movies, as well as forging a new path for the character to hopefully land the job for “Spider-man 5.”

I figured whoever wrote the 3rd movie wouldn’t be back for the next one, so it would be open season on what could definitely be a 6-figure job. So, I said screw it. I want to take a crack at this. There was no Marvel Digital Library at the time, and even if there was, looking at a library as bold and large as Spider-man could intimidate any novice back into his hole. But I really wanted to have fun with this and not treat it as a job. Mainly because I didn’t think I could get a crack at the gig.

At the time I was a criminal, working for the Madam Majesty, helping maintain and run her little empire, which was a full-time fuckin job. But I figured with her connections to corrupt trails of breadcrumbs, why not? The point, due to the nature of my employment, I wasn’t in desperate need for the writing job, so I treated it like a fun project, almost like a dude with his Legos.

I pretended like I already had the job and that I had to adapt a section of comics for the “Spider-man 4” movie. Not having any screenwriting experience, I bought the fancy Apple software program. After hours of trying to learn how to use the fuckin software program, I chucked it out the window of my car and went back to the old-school pen and paper. Then I decided on a plan. I was going to pick out one section of Amazing Spider-Man Comics, so I bought the 1st collected volume of Amazing Spider-Man, the old Black and white collections, which gave me Amazing Spider-Man 1-20, Annual #1, and the first appearance of the Sinister 6, which to me felt like a perfect season finale.

I then pretended that all 21 issues of this book were 21 episodes of SEASON ONE of my new Faro Kane Produced HBO Series. The Next Sopranos, I kept calling it. So for 11 separate sessions, I would read 2 comics at a time, manipulating lines to fit today’s slang and even fantasizing that I was Peter Parker, the lead in this new HBO Powerhouse program.

As I went through each issue, I took notes on how I would’ve changed it for television, and suddenly I’m plotting out my own movie. By the time I got up to Amazing Spider-Man #15, I knew Kraven the Hunter was my guy and I immediately went back to Tate’s Comics and asked for the best Kraven-centered stories to continue fleshing the villain in my script. I was led to “Kraven’s Last Hunt” of course, and a couple of loose reprints from all of Kraven’s appearances in the Amazing run, from his connection to Norman Osborne, to his tangle with Spider-man in the Savage Land.

It was perfect. I put together a soundtrack of what popular songs I figured would fit the theme of my movie and… boom. I was a little armchair executive producer. And to be completely honest, sitting by my side while doing all of this wasn’t my wife, or my girlfriends. It was my bulldog. Dude, if you ever needed to know the true meaning of success, it’s working on a comic book script while

sitting next to your dog eating Thai Food. And you’re getting paid. Yes, my friends, FARO WINS!!!!!

Ok, back to the writing lesson. So I have my soundtrack and my source material. I’ve put together a 120-page movie script with Spider-man taking on Kraven, The Lizard, and even an appearance by Carnage in the climax. This script killed, and to make a long story short, I used the Madam’s connections to get that fuckin thing all the way to Tobey McGuire, who fuckin loved it and was literally married to the Sony Chief’s daughter. I figured this was it! Then came the Doom, and the Disney… The script was dead in the water.

One day I would revisit it – when I was starting my life over, with just a couple of bucks to my name. And just like that, a new story begins. So to reiterate the advice before I go, when I’m making my comics, I’m picturing real scenes play out. I’m walking around my apartment saying the lines out loud so I can feel the characters reacting to them. If I get a laugh or a reaction from the psychopath staring at me in the mirror, or the bulldog farting beside me, then you know it’s staying in the script.

So, pick one specific comic book series, whether it’s Amazing Spider-Man from the 60s, old-school Superman from the 30s, or starting on a new Indie title that’s just been made into a Trade Paperback. Now, pretend that YOU’RE the newest and hottest showrunner to ever jiggle Harvey Weinsteins’ balls and have been put in charge of bringing a brand-new comic book property to HBO, or Netflix, or whoever drains your debit card on a monthly basis.

Let’s say for example, you’ve been hired to bring perennial C-List Hero BOOSTER GOLD to life. The first thing you do is get a subscription to DC Universe Online and start right from the first appearance of Booster in the comics, then jump to his first series. Essentially you are deciding which section of source material you are using to bring your show to network, so you have to start “casting” the Pilot Episode.

You have to plan out the locations, the lead actors, the title credits, and all of the directions this new show will take. This little bit of role-playing and fantasy construction will, by proxy, start helping you to formulate and plot out what will become your own customized story. You’re aided by taking away the pressure of writing and crafting your masterpiece while losing yourself in the escapism and fun of making your own version of a mainstream property.

This is what I do all the time. Right now, I’m working on my own personal Superman story, but taking it away from the movie-themed idea and trying to make it into a “Game of Thrones”-like original world where Metropolis is the centerpiece of the action. It is a city torn apart by war where Clark Kent and Lex Luthor meet on a train into the city and become best friends. Now, this story may one day be the pathway to my dream of running DC Comics, or it may be some fun for me until I change all the character names and make it my own story; but, essentially it is being pushed along by my desire to write my own ultimate Superman story, and casting it with (of course) myself in the lead role.

So there we have my method for working on new stories. Even more fun is when you are working on your next script, you get to go back to your master files and start back in your canon where you left off; thereby, working on the sequel to your burgeoning showrunner career.

And therein lies one of the most important parts of creating the ultimate writing experience: THE SOUNDTRACK.
12 tracks that you pick out before you start writing because creating a soundtrack will help you set a rhythm to your process, like entrance music for a wrestler. 12 tracks is my number because it represents a year in the life (of you, your character, whatever). A year is a good arc to start with, and every time you hit that wall, just pump in your buds and let the rhythm take you to the place where only you know what you wish you would have said, had you been there for real.

Remember true believers, the most successful writers become the Gods and Goddesses of their own universe and everyone else is just a character. So now that you’ve read this diatribe, it’s time you become my competition, but also remember on the field of battle, when we finally cross eyes across the cosmos… I will no longer be your teacher,
I will be your DARKNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!

And just like that, a new story begins.

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