Marvel Comic’s Stan Lee’s Writing Tips

Amanda Johnson
Nov 14, 2018 · 5 min read

by Amanda Johnson, Employee Motivation Consultant for — professional technical writing tool

Read a lot

Stan Lee has shared that he likes such characters as Sherlock Holmes. According to his opinion, you can see the evolution of characters, how writing skills of a storyteller are changing, through the series of books you can also see how the idea is turned into a desired art form. All these aspects can teach you to become a better writer, and help you find your own style.

Follow your ideals


In the interview for the American talk show Stan tells that his idea of Spider-Man was not so successful, his publisher said: “First thing, Stan, people hate spiders. He can’t be a teenager, teenagers are just sidekicks. Finally, he can’t have personal problems. Don’t you know what a superhero is?”

When Stan was working on a book called Amazing Fantasy, he added Spider-Man because he wanted “to get it out of my system”. The book became a bestseller. “My publisher called me in the office a few weeks later and said, ‘Stan, remember that character we both liked so much, Spider-Man? Why don’t you do a series of it…’

Write what you want to read

Don’t try to find topics that will be readable or modern, write what you want to read because we’re not alone in our preferences, somebody will find your writing interesting. Moreover, some hype topics will be forgotten in two weeks but books that are sincere and written with passion will stand the test of time.

“If you write something that pleases yourself, it can be genuine” ~Stan Lee

Think outside the box


Stan tells the following story in the interview on Batmite’s Superhero Channel,

“My publisher had learned that DC Comics, which was then called National Comics, had a book called The Justice League and it was selling very well. He asked me to do the same. At the time, I wanted to quit. I’d been doing these comics for about twenty years and I had the same instructions from my publisher all the time. ‘Don’t use words with more than two syllables, the readers get bored reading dialogue’. And so my wife said to me, ‘If you want to quit anyway Stan, why don’t you do the next book how you want to do it. The worst that can happen is that you’ll be fired!’ So I did. They had no secret identity. The girl was going to be as much a valuable member of the team as the other guys. And instead of the girl not knowing the alter-ego of the guy, like Superman and Lois Lane, I’ll have them engaged. The brother-in-law will be the other member. And there’ll be a character that is part-man-part-monster. I based the leader, Reed Richards on me. A bit of a bore.”

So, take a risk, sometimes it’s necessary to refresh your ideas and create something new.

Everybody matters

Sometimes novices in writing think that they’re not interesting and don’t do nothing special for the world. This opinion is popular among technical writers, they are inclined to believe that no one reads manuals or README documents. But it’s not true. If no one needed such documents this profession wouldn’t exist, everybody matters.

“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.” ~Stan Lee

There are no magical recipes for success, just start to write


“The funny thing is, the more you do, the more it seems you’re able to do.” ~Stan Lee

If you don’t feel like writing, the worst idea is to procrastinate and wait for a muse. Speaking of me, if I feel lazy, I don’t open Facebook for memes surfing, I take my Bullet Journal and start drawing doodles, describe me feelings or plans, that help me get in the writing flow.

Final Thoughts

Stan Lee is one of the most influential persons in the culture. His comics and films are popular in the whole world, and there is no magic — just hard working and assiduity can make you successful.

Amanda Johnson, Employee Motivation Consultant for — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors

Level Up!

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Amanda Johnson

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Motivation Consultant for

Level Up!

Level Up!

Stories for technical writers, web developers and web designers. It's time to level up your skills!