Time Lincoln: A Very Short Review

Elsewhere on this blog we’ve discussed the balance between the idea and the actual writing: the labor that gives the idea life. Time Lincoln, a one-shot comic book, is a fine case study.

The idea here is hot! A steampunk Abe, traveling through time with a band of heroes, whomping bad guys led by Josef Stalin!  What’s not to like?

Unfortunately it’s all idea and no story.  What I have just summarized is just about all there is to this, except for some cool weaponry and goggles.  This is a comic book that should have been plotted more carefully, before the artists ever got hold of it.  They needed a decent story first, and they skipped that step.   Alas!

The moral? An idea is not enough.  You need all the other building blocks as well — plot, character, development, crisis.  Otherwise there’s no there there.


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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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