We were all saddened by the passing of Stan Lee, the legendary comic book artist and co-creator of some of pop culture’s most enduring superheroes. As a fiction writer, I have always appreciated Stan Lee’s method of writing, even though I have never written comics before – there are lessons in which fiction writers can learn from him.
Here are six inspiring quotes from the legendary creator of superheroes.
1. Write what you love to read
“If you write something that pleases yourself, it can be genuine.” He also encouraged reading to foster creativity. “The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller,” he said.
2. Create empathy in the audience
“To have an idea is the easiest thing in the world. Everybody has ideas. But you have to take that idea and make it into something people will respond to and that’s hard.”
3. Acknowledge your power in people’s lives
“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: Entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain, you’re doing a good thing.”
4. Create a great antagonist in your story
“What did Doctor Doom really want? He wanted to rule the world. Now, think about this. You could walk across the street against a traffic light and get a summons for jaywalking, but you could walk up to a police officer and say – I want to rule the world – and there’s nothing he can do about it, that is not a crime. Anybody can want to rule the world. So, even though he was the Fantastic Four’s greatest menace, in my mind, he was never a criminal!”
5. Coming up with a character name is tough
“It’s a tremendous challenge because there have been so many characters created over the years. Every time you think you come up with a great name, you find out somebody has already done it. Dreaming up the stories isn’t that hard, but coming up with a good title is the toughest part.”
6. And, finally, from the mouth of the iconic Spiderman, remember, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
So, if you have creativity coursing through your veins, you can learn from Stan Lee and remember his legacy and wise words.
Rest in peace Stan Lee.