Dec 29 2007

Superhero Questionnaire

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

This questionnaire will help you design a superhero or supervillain for a novel or comic book.


Background

1.  What kind of person was your hero before he got superpowers? (A friendly but awkward nerd? Guilty of CIAing while black? A disgruntled accountant?)

2.  What sort of job/educational background does he have? (Do these affect his superhero career?)

3.  Why should prospective readers care about your hero? What is it about his background that will appeal to them?

4.  What’s the character’s language like?  Will he sound any different from the other characters in the story?

5.  How old is he?

6.  What kind of goals did he have before becoming a superhero? What kinds of problems?

7.  What sort of problems did his world have before he became a superhero? Did he notice/care about these problems? (Or did he have a happy and carefree childhood until he saw his parents get murdered?)

8.  What does your character think about his world? (Mostly happy? Looking to escape? Looking for something more?)

9.  Is there anything in your character’s past that he regrets or will regret, like nearly joining a gang or failing to save his uncle?

10.  Does your character’s background make him a better superhero?  For example, Superman’s side-job as an investigative journalist frequently gives him leads to look into.  Many heroes have scientific or technological skills, etc.

Origin Story

1.  Was he born super?

2. Did he choose to be a superhero? Why? (Which personal feelings/experiences influenced that choice? Losing a loved one to criminals? Being a disillusioned cop? A desire to escape from a dull routine?)

3.  If he did not choose, what caused/forced him to become super? (A physical transformation? Conscription? Forced servitude?) Is he attempting to become normal? How and why?

4. Was he chosen to become a superhero? Who chose him? Why? (Maybe she won Amazonian trials or aced secret tests embedded in a standardized exam).

5. Assuming that your character was not born super, what caused him to become super?

Secret Identity

1. Does your character have a secret identity? If so, why? What would the consequences be if his enemies, friends and/or the public found out who he is?

2. How do his powers make it harder (or easier) to keep his secret-identity secret?

3. Has his work as a superhero noticeably changed his body? (For example, Peter Parker gets a lot tougher and picks up unusual bruises and scars).  How would your hero conceal these changes from his friends?  If a friend noticed anyway, how might he try to explain them away?

4. Has he told anyone who he is? Why? Does anyone else know?

5. Does the police care who he is? The media? Anybody else?

6. What does your character do to keep his identity safe? (Anything besides wearing a mask?)

7. Is anyone close to discovering the truth?

8. Has anyone publically accused him of being the hero? Has he taken any steps to “disprove” the claims or discredit the accusers?

Superpowers
1. Here’s an obvious question: what superpowers does your superhero have? Less obviously, will your readers be able to describe your character’s powers in 1-2 easy sentences? If not, it’ll probably harder for them to introduce the story/characters to their friends.

2. Do his superpowers affect his civilian life in any way?

3. Does your superhero have a special mode of transport? (Not that there’s anything wrong with the subway, but you do get weird stares).

4. Readers love being surprised. How will your superhero use his powers to surprise us? Will he be able to resolve his problems in new and fresh ways?

275 responses so far

275 Responses to “Superhero Questionnaire”

  1. Bobon 26 Mar 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Chris Osborneon 23 Sep 2008 at 7:45 pm

    This will be a big help. I thought of random bits in class one day, and I’ll be using this to fill in the spaces.

  3. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 04 Nov 2008 at 3:29 am

    Do you think this could work? I don’t know whether I’ll use this idea, but I want an opinion on it.

    Isaac is picking up all sorts of injuries from his superhero work, and hides them as they heal. His parents become suspicious when they catch him practically in tears four times in three weeks (It’s the result of stress and also sadness after his first failure).

    When they notice that he’s wearing jumpers in thirty degrees Celsius, they order him to remove them, but he knows that they’ll see his injuries and find out. Due to his refusal, they now believe that he is hurting himself, which he isn’t. He gets over his sadness and becomes himself again, just more on guard against his parents. Isaac never fully descends into an emo funk, but has fleeting moments where he thinks that life in general sucks. He’s fine a few seconds later and gets on with it. This storyline lasts only three chapters, and his parents’ suspicion is eradicated when he removes his jumper a few days later to reveal that he has no cuts. There is one slash on his arm which he gave himself stitches for, and I was thinking that he could lie to a doctor later and get it done properly.

    Your thoughts? Thanks!

  4. Dallason 09 Dec 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Okay, that’s superheroes. But what about normal heroes? For example, my novel is about a kid, who takes his girlfriend to a new nightclub on their second anniversary. His girlfriend gets raped and he gets beat up. She kills herself thinking that he died. He essentially declares war on drugs in Vancouver. He sets gangs against each other, burns crops and gets chased by the police. The thing is he doesn’t have superpowers or gadgets, just an unstoppable force of will and a lot of luck.

    I could really use advice for him and his character, and stuff like that. Any help at all would be appreciated.

  5. B. Macon 10 Dec 2008 at 12:17 am

    Hey, RW! I’m sorry I didn’t notice your comment before.

    I think the aspect of a noticeably depressed hero could work, but it would be very delicate. I hate to generalize like this, but I fear that readers would not take well to a a character who has a worse life than they do or a “bad attitude.” One way you could probably soften the angstiness is to have his bad moods be limited mainly to his superhero work, and have his regular life not be affected as much.

    I’m not sure about the tangent where his parents think he’s slicing himself. It’s sort of a somber and emo red herring. It’s a big assumption for them. It might be less depressing to have his parents assume he’s getting into fights at school. Maybe he’s joined a gang or something… that would explain the strange clothes and the moody behavior.

  6. B. Macon 10 Dec 2008 at 12:31 am

    Hello, Dallas. Here are a few observations and suggestions.

    –I’m not a huge fan of revenge as a motivation. It’s very hard to make a revenge story feel fresh. For example, I think that readers of your story might feel like it’s too similar to The Punisher.

    –Generally, I think it’s very helpful for stories to hold out the possibility of a happy ending. The ending doesn’t have to be happy, but if we think that there’s some chance that the hero can get there, then we will care more about his struggle. If his girlfriend is raped and commits suicide, I don’t think that any ending could be a happy one. He can’t kill his way back to where he was before.

    –Raping and killing his girlfriend for sensational effect may make the story feel overwrought.

  7. Bretton 10 Dec 2008 at 5:58 am

    Dallas, your hero with a few slight changes reminds me of a heroic version of Heath Ledger’s Joker. That might be interesting. Your thoughts on a heroic psychopath B.Mac? (And yes, the laughing is a given.)

  8. Ragged Boyon 10 Dec 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I’m a not a big fan of powerless heroes, but they are workable and they can be very interesting. They have to improvise at all times, so that would make for alot of interesting scenes.

    My recommendation would be not to kill off the girlfriend, but have her severely changed. Experiences like rape can drastically alter personality. Maybe making her more closed off and she doesn’t want to be intimate (not just sexually) with the main character. If you wanted to go to EXTREMES, you could have her go into severe repression so much so she gives herself amnesia, and forgets the MC.

    It would seem this character has some strong connections and is very intelligent (burning drugs, putting gangs against each other). I think giving him a degree of gadgets would be more plausible, but you don’t have to go all out (retractable zip-lines, cloaking devices). If he doesn’t want to kill maybe a small tranquillizer gun or firing taser. Or you could move into gun territory, but know your facts about guns before you use them.

    I recommend this article.

    http://www.superheronation.com/2008/12/07/common-gun-related-errors-for-authors/

    Once I’m an accomplished comic writer (pretentious, much), I want to write a disaster series in which groups of normal people will ban together (or stand apart) to escape natural (or manmade) disasters. So I’d also need well developed powerless “heroes”.

    I think I’d have the most fun writing a flood escape in the winter. no power, freezing cold, water level rising, city falling apart, can you escape? haha.

  9. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 10 Dec 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Okay, thanks! That was just one of many ideas I’ve had. I’m not even halfway through writing the first book, and already I have ideas for a second, third and fourth! Jeez, I have one hell of an overactive imagination. I write all my ideas down, but only about one in sixteen will make the cut. The slightest thing sets me off. Here’s a list of my most major ones.

    1.
    The situation: a serious crime is pinned on Isaac so he has to clear his name without using his powers. Alternatively, it could be pinned on his superhero identity, so he has to prove his innocence without revealing his civilian ID. The explanation for the first would be that an archenemy discovers his civilian identity and frames him, and for the second that the government wanted to use him in a warzone. When he objects, they set him up because they fear that he might be working for the other side.
    The risk: Jail time and/or his identity becoming common knowledge.

    2.
    The situation: His enemies pinpoint the school he attends, but falsely believe he teaches there. As a result, they take the teachers hostage during the school day, and all of the students are moved out to the evacuation point on the oval.
    The risk: His absence will be noticed if he goes to help.

    3.
    The situation: He is exposed to a kind of nerve gas while infiltrating his archenemy’s base. This causes his powers to go haywire, with Isaac losing any and all control. This means that windows randomly smash because of rogue psi-pulses, he has trouble keeping his feet on the ground and he keeps getting jerks in his muscles that cause him to snap pencils or punch through walls.
    The risk: His classmates will notice all the accidents surrounding him, and it’ll be difficult to explain why he suddenly starts levitating.

    I also thought of this follow-up:

    A man contacts Isaac through FIGHT to inform him that he has a solution to his loss of control. It involves some tinkering with his DNA, enabling him to regain control of his powers but making them less powerful. As an additional side effect, his DNA fluctuates (first at random, then at will) and causes him to switch between his normal appearance and a second one. After Isaac gains full control of the fluctuations, he can change his appearance between the two whenever he wants. His powers are stronger in his second body. Overall, he can hide better among the human population and there is no longer a need to pull on his hoodie. Isaac can just transform and go. He later has the process done on his clothes so that they change with him.

    4.
    The situation: His friends discover who he really is and begin to ignore him because they feel that he doesn’t trust them.
    The risk: Loss of friendship and reduced self-esteem.

    5.
    The situation: An enemy of his begins to attend his school undercover. This is to study the students’ behaviour and determine the likelihood that one of them could be the Guardian. Isaac grows suspicious, and reports back to FIGHT on the situation. Klemente goes undercover to help him rid the school of the threat as silently as possible.
    The risk: He could be discovered before he can do anything about it, and Klemente would only be further evidence against him.

    6.
    The situation: Tristram comes to visit him from the USA, and the two spend their spare time doing what’s called “You-Can’t-Beat-How-Ultimate-This-Is Freerunning”. (I’m not sure if there are freerunners in the USA, but we have quite a few around here. It’s just running really fast, climbing over walls and running across rooftops, coupled with back flips and dodge rolls, leaping over park benches and swinging off flagpoles). Isaac and Tristram’s version can’t be beaten in its extremity because they jump off buildings and hit the ground before jumping back up and jumping from roof to roof. But a problem arises when Tristram passes out, due to being inexperienced with his powers when compared to Isaac. A group of Guardian-spotters (Like bird watching but with the Guardian instead) see him land in King’s Park and go to investigate.
    The risk: Both of them are pretty much screwed, because Isaac can’t carry him out of there without someone seeing.

    7.
    The situation: Isaac’s parents catch him sneaking back into the house after a rescue, but think he’s up to no good when it’s actually the complete opposite. He gets grounded and isn’t allowed to go to his year eleven dance. Even worse, he learns that his archenemies have sent one of their agents to the school under the name Pandora. She just so happens to be his best friend Will’s date.
    The risk: He has a choice: stay in his room and hope she doesn’t get up to anything, or go and risk getting in deeper trouble along with his parents becoming more suspicious of him.

    8.
    The situation: Isaac tries to prove a point by actually trying in PE class. He find his (civilian) popularity within his school rising when he gets onto the soccer team. He becomes more and more reckless with his powers during matches. Isaac soon finds himself in trouble when Darrick, the school bully, catches on. He uses his knowledge to make Isaac ditch his friends and skip classes.
    The risk: This gets him in trouble with pretty much everyone.

    9.
    The situation: His sister finds his ruined hoodies beneath his bed and realizes what he’s really up to. She becomes afraid for him and so begins to follow him everywhere when possible, trying to look out for him. This only gets her in deeper trouble than Isaac has ever been in, when his enemies decide to use her in their plan as emotional leverage. The deal is that he give them the real names and addresses of the other FIGHTers, or they stick her in a sack and throw her in the ocean.
    The risk: He has to be a tattletale or let his sister die.

    What do you think?

  10. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 10 Dec 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention: these are all ideas for the fourth. Each will take the story in a different direction. For example, #3 will give him a new power. #9 means at least one person will discover his secret. #8 will see Isaac getting in trouble at school. I can’t use all of these, so I was wondering what your favourites are. Just the number and a two or three sentence explanation will do. Thanks!

  11. Ragged Boyon 10 Dec 2008 at 8:41 pm

    We have a bunch of free-runners in America, Mirror’s Edge is a video game almost completely about freerunning. Free-running is so kick-butt. I can only do like two tricks though.

    I like:

    #3) It’s alot like my story with transformations for increased power. This could be a big oppurtunity for readers to learn about his Yinyusian heritage. It could also give insight into the logistics of his powers. The power fluctuations have dramatic potential, too (Adrian has similar water related issues, profuse sweat, random wet cloths, mysterious puddles, oddly scaly skin)

    #1) has alot of potential. Uh oh Isaac, no powers, time to think like a human. He’ll have to somhow get out of trouble without revealing himself.

    #8) I like the idea of letting fame go to his head. It’s very human of Isaac to become indulgent, it takes away from any homo-superiority he may develop. As long as he sort of come out it later, it will work.

  12. Ragged Boyon 12 Dec 2008 at 7:17 am

    Here’s my reminder for TRW, I replied to your last comment.

  13. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 12 Dec 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks! I think I could combine a couple of them. Maybe I could mix #8 with #7 or #1.

    The thing about me is that I love to write so much that I spend much of my time doing it. I carry a notebook around to jot down ideas, and fit scenes to music. I personally think that “Over and Over” by Three Days Grace is the perfect song for Isaac and Kamari’s relationship. “Me Against the World” by Simple Plan describes Tristram to a degree, along with “I Don’t Care” by Fall Out Boy. Yeah, I obsess over writing and anything remotely to do with it. When did you write your first short story?

  14. Ragged Boyon 12 Dec 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Not too long ago, but if you ask me when I drew my first comic that’s an entirely different storyboard (get it? it’s a comic joke). My big thing is drawing, I always carry my sketchbook around and draw every chance I get. I really want to be a comic book artist but without some proper training drawing is VERY hard to learn. I’m good, not to be conceited, but I think I’m better than most people, but a comic book company wouldn’t appreciate my style, yet. It’s not anime, but it’s reminiscent of it when it comes to faces, other than that it’s very much my own style.

    And to be an artist you have to get things right the first try, learn to color and ink, and learn to draw scenery. I know I can do all of that but it will take time.

    Since I won’t be drawing for a comic anytime soon, I went for the next bet thing writing. I’ll be candorous, writing is fun but it isn’t my passion. I don’t get that artistic rush like I do when I draw. But it’s ok I’ll just have to put my dream on hold and settle for the next best thing.

    Here are some of my drawing in my myspace gallery, some of this is old but these are some of my best examples of my own style.

  15. Ragged Boyon 12 Dec 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I’ve only just recently started coloring pictures as well as adding backgrounds.

  16. Ragged Boyon 12 Dec 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I mean “I don’t get that artistic ‘rush.”

    I apologize if you’re offended by my scantily clad females, I generally put more clothing on them now as well as make the size of their breast less noticeable, my friends always got distracted by them, and never see the full picture.

    I drew an awesome scene with my character Guy Emo and his love interest Heather, it was one of the first ones where I drew a full background.

  17. B. Macon 12 Dec 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Hi, Whovian! Here are a few thoughts and observations.

    #1: I like this setup, but I think it would probably be easiest for you to have a crime pinned on Isaac’s superhero identity rather than Isaac himself. I really like the element that he would be stuck in his civilian identity (largely unable to use his superpowers) as he tried to clear his name. The warzone element is a bit cliche, but OK.

    #2: I like the twist that they think he’s a teacher, but that doesn’t strike me as entirely plausible. (I mean, he’s really young to get confused for a teacher, isn’t he?) Unless his voice gets deeper or he gets physically larger when he turns into his superhero identity…

    #3: I think the baseline situation (he loses control over his powers and has to conceal that from his classmates) is pretty interesting. I’m not quite as sold on the fact that it’s solved by someone else (FIGHT) and the two-body element.

    #4: I don’t feel that this one was very satisfying.

    #5: This is pretty kickass, I think. I’d love to read some of the scenes where the FIGHT guy and Isaac are in the same class together and the FIGHT guy is trying to make it seem like he’s just another student. (The more the FIGHT guy stands out, the better I think this arc will be. If he doesn’t have any trouble fitting in at this school, it would probably not be so interesting).

    #6: I don’t really get this. It seems more like a joy ride than accomplishing any dramatic goal.

    #7: I think it might be contrived that Pandora dates Will out of all the students at the school, unless she has a good reason to pick him. (For example, she may suspect that he’s the Guardian. In fact, he may have falsely admitted to being the Guardian to impress her). Aside from the contrivance issue (which is very fixable), I think this has a lot of potential.

    #8: I didn’t like this as much.

    #9: This is kind of bland. I don’t see it leading to scenes as interesting as, say, #5 or #7. I suspect that there will be a dose of angst here.

  18. Dallason 12 Dec 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I put excessive detail into my drawings. I’ve learned it doesn’t really work with comics. It makes them look cluttered. It’s great if you know what you know what you’re looking at, but if not then you’re like what the hell.

  19. B. Macon 12 Dec 2008 at 9:54 pm

    When it comes to buying art, I generally have a very minimalist style, but it’s as much of an economic issue as a stylistic one for me. I agree that cluttering the page can make it very difficult to tell what’s going on.

  20. B. Macon 12 Dec 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I really like the picture of Leena and Aurora. I’m not crazy about their heads, but Aurora’s legs and boots are very interesting. Their midriffs are very exposed and they are really thin in the area between their waists and breasts, but overall I don’t feel like they’re scandalously slutty. (Leena does look anorexic, though). I’d recommend a slightly more conventional haircut.

  21. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 12 Dec 2008 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve been doing a bit of thinking and decided to incorporate something like #1 into the first book.

    Isaac gets a detention because he’s late to class, and he has to reorganize the school library as punishment. He’s putting some books onto a bookshelf when something slams him against it, knocking it over. He turns to see a guy in a black hoodie preparing to hit him again, and basically gets beaten up pretty bad. He knows it’s not the Guardian, but the CCTV makes it seem otherwise. Isaac doesn’t fight back because his cover would be blown, so defends himself without using his powers. Now he has to find out who the hell the guy is and why he wanted to frame him.

    It turns out that the other guy was paid to get rid of the Guardian because he accidentally damaged a guy’s Porsche. He was pulling a kid out of the path of its inebriated, speeding driver. The owner is a real big fish (and obviously very materialistic) around the city who just so happens to have adopted a guy in similar circumstances to Isaac. I can then have this Yinyusi guy reappear as his archenemy in the third book. Isaac’s identity remains unknown to everyone, the speeding guy is put in jail and the Yinyusi guy disappears.

    He’s tall for his age (5″10′) and uses a deeper voice to talk to people he rescues or people he’s fighting. It’s a precaution, because he could save someone he knows and they’d recognize his voice if he made no effort to change it.

    I think I’ll most likely use #3, but cut out the second body part. How could he solve it himself? That’s the big question I have yet to answer. He isn’t tech-savvy like Tristram, and isn’t in tune with nature like Olivia. Perhaps a certain vitamin counteracts it. I think I’d find it pretty weird if my friend suddenly began to eat a lot of oranges and drink heaps of Ribena.

    I used #4 in my assignment. It turned out quite well, but it’s not really worthy of a novel.

    Hmm, let me just write up a scene for #5.

    “Jack,” said Miss Cherie, trying to get Klemente’s attention. He just looked down at his hand, which he was messing around with. He was changing it so that his skin had a red tinge to it.

    “Jack!”

    I nudged him with my elbow, and he regressed his skin back to its normal colour.

    “Oh! Sorry. I tuned out there.”

    “Why is a semicolon used?” She pointed at a sentence on the board.

    “Umm… because it has half the calories of a full colon?” Klemente was ever the joker, but when he had to blend in he seemed to forget the word “discreet”.

    I pulled him aside when we got into the hall. “You know you can’t use your powers in public!” I hissed, trying not to be heard by the hordes of chattering students passing by.

    “She was boring me.”

    “What part of ‘blend in’ don’t you get?”

    “You just told me not to use my powers!”

    I ran a hand down my face. “I don’t mean turning invisible! I mean be normal!”

    “No offence, but you’re not a very good role model for normality.”

    I felt like shaking him and telling him to be serious for once in his life, but the bell for our next class rang.

    “Three rules: no use of your powers, even when you think you’re alone. Be serious for once in your life and don’t draw attention to yourself.”

    Five minutes later he had broken them all a dozen times each.

    Yeah, I thought #6 was a bit unnecessary, too. I did a similar sort of thing in a test scene for the second book, where FIGHT have a race from the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building. I know New York is a cliche setting, but it’s the easiest place in the USA to get information on, and there are plenty of opportunities for major disaster scenes such as fires and accidents at building sites. I did some research and found out a few interesting things. A woman once jumped off the Empire State Building, but a wind caught her and flung her onto the next floor, where she got away with only a few injuries. What are the chances?

    Haha, I think Will probably would say he was the Guardian. I’ve made it so he doesn’t often get much luck with the ladies, so I can see him trying that one.

    I like #8 because it makes it seem more like he’s a typical teenager. I don’t think I’ll use it though. My two favourites are #5 and #3.

  22. Jacobon 13 Dec 2008 at 1:16 am

    Speaking of extraordinarily miraculous suicide attempts, there was a case in which a severely depressed man shot himself in the head. He survived the bullet and managed to cure his depression (albeit with a major personality shift). Don’t try this at home, kids.

  23. Dallason 13 Dec 2008 at 1:42 am

    That’s similar to what will happen to Vir. He had to chase a guy who swiped his knapsack with his mask and shit in it. Vir follows the thief for twelve blocks and eventually the thief gets tired. Vir tackles him and takes his bag back.

    “All that for a knapsack? What’s in it?”

  24. Ragged Boyon 13 Dec 2008 at 5:42 am

    I’ve gotten considerably better now. I generally TRY to add nose and thicker arms. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with positioning and scenery. I loved packing pictures with as much stuff as possible, but now I’m more considerate when it comes to putting too much. When I drew older pictures, I just do it and not think about whether or not I can draw it again.

    I think my hardest thing to draw is legs. I like to make the calves bigger than the thighs like Teen Titans: The Animated Series (one of my drawing idols), but that is kind of difficult to accomplish without making the waist look funky.

    I also toned down the craziness of my outfits, which was hard for me. But my clothes now still have my artistic flair.

  25. B. Macon 13 Dec 2008 at 5:52 am



    Damn, those waists are thin. I notice that those legs are extremely long, too. From this perspective, it looks like Robin’s legs are 2.5-3x as long as his torso. Not even Olympic gymnasts have legs that long.

  26. Ragged Boyon 13 Dec 2008 at 6:05 am

    That’s understandable. I really like long legs though. The waists are thin, I’m one of the skinniest people I know, and my waist is bigger than that.

  27. Ragged Boyon 13 Dec 2008 at 11:25 am

    I think the look works for Raven, Cyborg, and Starfire. Robin looks weird, and BB’s stance makes it hard to judge. I don’t think that a comic book or cartoon has to be exactly anatomically correct but a general closeness is necessary.

    For example, my heads are pretty disproportionate to the body, in that they are the same size as the torso. I’m trying to fix this problem though. Also, my necks are skinny.

    I’ll post a picture of Mz.Corpse and Akwary, I think I moded my style nicely in those, I’m going to work more in this style now..

  28. B. Macon 13 Dec 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I think it’s generally less of a problem for Raven because she wears a cloak. Also, like Starfire, Raven flies headfirst, so in a typical action-pose it isn’t necessary to illustrate anything from the waist down.

  29. B. Macon 13 Dec 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Also, as a business consideration, I think it’s easiest to get a publisher to buy anatomy that’s roughly accurate. Paraphrasing Tolstoy, all accurate art is alike but stylized art is stylized in its own way. It’s hard to gauge beforehand whether the company will go for your particular style. I’m only one person and not even in the industry, but I’m badly distracted by how strange the Titans’ legs look, particularly the calves.

  30. Ragged Boyon 13 Dec 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I just drew a totally awesome picture of Adrian and his seductress, Michal (pronounced Michael).

    I’d post it but my scanner is acting crazy. Adrian’s head is huge, but otherwise the picture is anatomically correct.

  31. B. Macon 13 Dec 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I’d recommend giving her a slightly more feminine name, maybe Michelle.

  32. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 5:46 am

    I like ambiguous names.

  33. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 6:03 am

    I’ll name her Michelle that way I can call her Mitchy, which is slightly ambiguous.

  34. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 6:08 am

    ReTARDISed Whovian, I have a question.

    Does Isaac have any super enemies, or villians in general? If so, are they Yinyusian? Won’t that mean they have the same powers.

  35. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 14 Dec 2008 at 6:09 am

    I like ambiguous names, too. Some of my favourites are Jordan, Morgan and Davie. I also like foreign names like Niamh (Pronounced “Neev”) or Suzume and names with odd spelling like Wintre or Rikkie.

  36. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 14 Dec 2008 at 6:14 am

    Isaac has one enemy in the first one, who is also Yinyusian. But I can give them differences by having the other guy well-practiced and more experienced in battle than Isaac is, and give him some technological help. Like two humans, they can have radical differences. For example, in a human fight one combatant may be a black belt and the other one very skilled with a whip. Even though they are of the same species they can have very different skills.

    In the second one he is up against a modified human and in the third he is up against a group of villains, but has help from a group of heroes.

  37. Cadet Davison 14 Dec 2008 at 6:49 am

    Hmm… I think that one advantage of a name that isn’t ambiguous is that I think it will reduce the potential for confusion about his sexuality. I don’t think that you’re trying to suggest he’s gay, but I picked up a few mixed messages.

    –Adrian is explicitly called gay at one point (I think it was because of his scarf). Unintendedly, I think, that introduces the question “is this character gay?” to the audience.

    –I’m trying to be delicate here, but, uhh… he does not seem very masculine in his dealings with the Catwoman. She puts the moves on him and, umm, kind of rapes him (?). Giving her a masculine name will sort of reinforce that Adrian is, umm, taking on a role in the relationship that has traditionally been associated with women. It may help to give them both a fairly equal role in the relationship. I think that will make their relationship feel more, umm, fair to both sides. He doesn’t have to be a Don Juan or a Rambo or anything, but I think any main character (regardless of gender) should be kind of assertive.

    –Umm… the element of, uhh, leaking fluids could reflect poorly on his masculinity.

    –He does a few things that are not problematic by themselves, but may contribute to a preexisting inkling that he’s gay. For example, he wears clothes that are a bit effeminate and is generally artsy. Just to repeat, I don’t think that anyone would take those two details by themselves and conclude that he’s gay. But, when a character explicitly calls him gay, then readers will draw on details like these to determine whether he is or not.

    On the plus side, I think it kind of clarified things that part of his Hollywood fantasy was essentially being a sex-symbol to the ladies.

  38. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 11:06 am

    HAHAHAHAHA, I never though about that, that’s hilarious.

    I’ll definitely try to make him more masculine. As a side note, I wanted his love interest to be a purebred alien girl, that’s why he isn’t interested in Michelle.

    When I said leaking fluids, I meant more along the line of sweating profusely, not menstrating haha.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a little effeminite, but I’ll try to make him more manly, I guess.

    That’s funny in a very ironic way. Both the creator and the character are being called gay.

  39. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 11:07 am

    my comment is awaiting moderation.

    The part with the scarf was cut along with my first draft of my introduction. I’ll make the gang attack him for a better reason.

  40. Cadet Davison 14 Dec 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Please do not mistake my meaning. It was just an observation about the words put in front of me and not about you or your work generally. It’s hardly the first time that someone in the audience has picked up unintended cues about a character’s sexuality. In fact, B. Mac mentioned the phenomenon in his article on male characters. Likewise, women tell me so often that my female characters come off as lesbians that it’s almost a surprise when they don’t.

    As for the bodily leakage, I was thinking more about impotence, but OK. Menstruation would also raise manliness issues.

  41. Lunajamniaon 30 Jan 2009 at 4:25 pm

    This’ll be kind of long, so I apologize ahead of time.

    Background

    1) Abby is pretty quiet and withdrawn, but curious about things at the same time and enjoys the outdoors.

    2) She is homeschooled.

    3) Ah … well, she’s homeschooled which some can relate to, she’s ‘different’ and a lot of people feel they don’t fit in, she’s somewhat of a loner and very quiet, and her circumstances will change drastically once I figure out what is actually going to happen.

    4) She’s 14.

    5) She never really had any goals except to see what is ‘out there’ because her parents never pushed anything at her, knowing how the world would react and all the media attention she would get, as she cannot hide her abilities/how she looks.

    6) She can’t let anyone outside of home see her because they would freak out; there is no way that they’d think it was a costume, too realistic and who would waste their time buying/creating a super realistic alien-looking costume?

    7) She’s mostly happy, she loves climbing trees and just using her gifts, but she’s looking for something more because she doesn’t really know what the rest of the world is like, despite watching the news and movies. She’s never been more than a mile away from home, and really the only place outside she can be is in the backyard or the woods surrounding the back yard, and even then she can’t go very far back.

    8) I haven’t gotten that far yet.

    Origin

    1) She was born with an inactive/howeveryousayit gene that somehow ‘activated’/’woke up’ and by the time she was four her abilities were fully developed; though to really know how to use them to her full advantage she has to practice.

    2) She didn’t choose to be a mutant. I’m still not sure if it should be because years ago one of her parents married an alien or something and an inactive gene was carried through the family and finally ‘woke up’ or just a weird, random gene. I’m not sure how she’ll become a superhero(ine).

    Secret Identity

    1) No, not really, her green skin and eyes wouldn’t make it possible for her. She has a regular name but whenever I figure out how she does she’ll start referring to herself/thinking of herself as some superhero-like name. Or maybe she already calls herself something cool and her parents don’t even know. (NOTE: Tried out the name generator thing and all I got was really dumb names).

    2) Not applicable, really.

    3) Well, she’s got green skin and doesn’t really have any friends. (Should I change that? She’s a little too secluded but I don’t know how else to start out a story/develop a story with a girl who has green skin).

    4) Just her parents know, and later on the government, I believe.

    5) yes, the government shall care about her/her abilities/her ‘uniqueness’.

    6) Nothing.

    7) Maybe the government?

    8) Nope, not to any of that yet.

    Superpowers

    1) They aren’t superpowers persay, but she is flexible/agile, fast, strong, easily keeps her balance, and can jump pretty high. Which also makes her a good climber. I was thinking maybe areas of her skin are hard, like on her knuckles/parts of her hands (kind of like an alligator/crocodile) so when she punches somebody or kicks them or something, it really, really hurts.

    2) Yes, I guess–since she’s stuck at home she uses her ‘superpowers’ all the time.

    3) No special mode of transport, unless it’s jumping a ways. NOT like the second-newest Hulk movie though, where he could make some CRAZY jumps …

    4) She could use her flexibility or whatever to squeeze between bars/through small spaces, and her fast reflexes to avoid punches and hurt people in all sorts of positions. 🙂
    Jumping and would help her get away, I guess. Or gain a good vantage point if she needed one.

  42. Blatteron 19 Feb 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I was just wondering, I have begun the basics for a superhero novel. Could I have opinions. Be as brutal as you like,

    A guy called Sam Gain, (18 years old) lives in a small town by lake Michigan, Illinois. (I can’t do any better than that yet) He lives alone with his mother, as his father was killed in a car accident when he was very young. He was born with a genetic disease where his DNA is unstable and could cause him to undergo cellular collapse (or whatever) because of this disease. Every month he goes to a clinic somewhere in the pacific called P.I.U.I (Pacific Institute of Unstudied Illnesses,) for check ups and studies on his disease.
    What the doctors dont know is that at a young age, Sam discovered that he is able to manipulate this energy that is being built up inside of him via unstable DNA. He is able to move objects with this energy even if they are not touching him, he has a small degree of advanced strength and a small degree of advanced speed on the ground but, when using his power to enable him to fly, he is incredibly fast. He also has other bonuses when using this energy like being able to pinpoint any place in the world that he has travelled to.
    After an incident where he discovers that his father was actually murdered by P.I.U.I because of a top secret research project being conducted on Sam linked to Interstellar space flight, he loses control of his power due to his emotions and kills several people working for P.I.U.I. After going into hiding, the plot unfolds as he discovers that he can make his powers stronger by controlling his emotions.
    The head official of P.I.U.I. is the main villain, though not posessing any powers himself, he has a son with the same disease as Sam (possible because, for ‘yet un-thought out’ reasons, they could be brothers or half brothers or something)
    the head official wishes to kill Sam Gain so that his son could be the first inter-stellar travellar (that is the best I can do to cause conflict between the hero and the villain.)
    Various fights including the head officials son, some cops or something and Sam ensue throughout the story as sam attempts to live a fairly normal life while the head official continues to try to destroy it.

    I need help with this to make the stroyline fit together better and maybe for him to have a better background that can link up with the Head Official. A possible ending could be suggested by anyone who has a novellists brain. Could anyone suggest a plausible weakness for him too. Any other tips would be great…

  43. Holliequon 19 Feb 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Weaknesses? Emotional instability, he could get tired by using up all his energy, maybe he blacks out after using a lot . . . maybe he has to always send out a certain amount of energy behind him, because letting all that go at once would push him back or damage his internal organs or something.

    I think the plot starts out pretty solid, but then it starts to unravel a bit. The reason for the conflict between your villain and Sam is pretty unsatisfactory. If Sam killed (accidentally) several workers at the place after learning they killed his Dad, then the reason could be getting revenge for those workers AND silencing him, because he found out about the project they’re working on. That seems a lot for believable than just ‘oh, he wants his son to be better’.

    I don’t think the guy’s son needs to be related to Sam. That may just complicated things. You could easily say the guy set up this institute for other people with his son’s condition (although they might treat other illnesses as well). I don’t think that would feel contrived. Also, I think that is a pretty good tie to the Head Official of this organisation. How Sam’s father came to investigate and find out about this plot in the institue is a little trickier. Maybe he was concerned about what they were doing to his son and decided to investigate? Sam said something that made him suspicious? He wanted something better for Sam and contacted the world authority on his condition, who was surprised by the treatment he’d been recieving?

    Also, small tip: P.I.U.I needs a period after the last letter (the rule for abbrieviations is each letter has a period, or none do – so you could write it PIUI if your prefer).

    Hope this helped. 😉

  44. Blatteron 20 Feb 2009 at 10:52 am

    That helped alot! Thanks!

    I like the idea of weaknesses. I have another question though,
    When Sam gets into fights with PIUI guards or something, I am struggling with creative ideas to use his energy to fight. The – punch – kick- throw and object – punch again thing is pretty cliche and can be very repettitous.
    Also, is the reason for the experimeriments on Sam and the head officials son any good- (In order to gain interstellar space travel through human flight and the ability to not have to breath when using energy.)
    It kind of sounds a bit ‘star trek’ or something with all of the interstellar stuff but it is the only reason I can think of for someone to want to experiment on this disease other than creating Genetically modified super soldiers which has been used alot.

    Thanks for your help..

  45. Holliequon 20 Feb 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Hmm. Maybe his energy sends a machine haywire and it electrocutes someone? I think that with using his energy to move objects, you could probably make the fight seem more creative than it actually is. I suspect other posters here would be able to help more with this.

    Yeah, super-soldiers have been used a lot. What do you think of using the energy for other purposes? Maybe if you wired a few of the people with this condition up and found a way to extract this energy, you could use it for electrical power? Um, obviously having people wired up would be pretty unethical, which would definitely explain why it’s being kept a secret.

    I’m not sure. Maybe they’re actually studying the condition and trying to recreate it in other people for this purpose, but obviously the H.O. wouldn’t want them to do any testing on his son.

  46. Ragged Boyon 20 Feb 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Ooh, fight scenes, juicy. Well I have a few suggeston for creative uses of his powers, some wackier than others:

    – Uses his energy to construct a bat and knocks energy baseballs at the guard.

    -Uses energy to preforate a hole in the floor, upon which the guard will step on and fall though. Conversely, he could do this for himself to get away.

    -Expends all his energy to create a large energy aura, then beckons to the guard “I am far to powerful for a mere mortal to stop”(although he’s actually lying, or not) scaring the guard away. But doing this would lead to a lack of energy.

    -I’m guessing they’re fighting in a corridor or a small room. He could make a ball of energy to pinball around the corridor to either block or knock out the gaurd.

    -Again, I’m guessing he’s in a relatively small space. He could put his hands on the wall and overload the room with energy causing a blackout or the room to fall apart. Giving him a chance for escape.

    -He could just blast the guard with energy. For an interesting tweak the blast could come out of his mouth, chest, or forehead (I like the mouth), instead of something obvious like hands or eyes. Although, this isn’t al that creative.

    Many of these are based on what he can do with his energy (charging things, making constructs), so it’s at your discretion.

    What are the limitations of his energy abilities? Can be make constructs? or charge things?

  47. Ragged Boyon 20 Feb 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Super-soldiers are used quite frequently, but I think your reason for them (interstellar travel) is fresh. I don’t think readers will call you out on it.

  48. Blatteron 01 Mar 2009 at 3:59 am

    Thanks alot!

    I like the pinball Idea and the step into the hole thing. He is pretty much able to control any kind of energy, whether it be radiant enrgy (light energy,) kinetic enrgy or thermal energy. I didn’t want to make him too powerful or else the fight scenes would be boring, I want to give him a challenge.(???)
    In the story, if he gets really emotional, (Like very angry or upset- such as when he discovers the death of his father) his energy kind of overloads and he loses control- exploding a great ball of solid energy. This happens a few times in the story I have so far.
    Maybe, if the energy is very sensitive, he has to struggle to control it sometimes. Is this a good idea?

  49. Stefan the Invisible Manon 01 Mar 2009 at 5:39 am

    If you’re playing with the baseball thing maybe his energy constructs could become more shapeless and less defined when he loses control. I think its a good idea to tie his powers in with his emotions. You mentioned that he loses control several times in the story. Maybe the villain could exploit this by taunting him or mocking him such that he has an emotional outburst and loses control.

    I’m not feeling the reason for the conflict between the hero and the villain. I just had this sudden idea that you could have a plot twist and reveal the villain as the hero’s father, who isn’t actually dead. It would also explain the similar disease of the other son. But it sounds very Star Wars-y and it might not work.

  50. Blatteron 02 Mar 2009 at 9:50 am

    All thes ideas sound great. You have all helped loads. If I have any questions I know where to ask.
    Cheers,

  51. *i88*on 08 Jun 2009 at 11:36 am

    Does anyone here believe the orphaned at a young age or the murdered parents is over used in any story? I have to know ’cause my character accidently kills his mom and dad with his powers because they were trying to murder him. I’m trying not to fall into a Harry Potter thing.

  52. Tomon 08 Jun 2009 at 11:53 am

    “Does anyone here believe the orphaned at a young age or the murdered parents is over used in any story?”
    Orphan due to murdered parents is so overused it’s ridiculous, off the top of my head Harry Potter, Eragon (sorta), Luke Skywalker (until the twist).

    “I have to know ’cause my character accidently kills his mom and dad with his powers because they were trying to murder him. I’m trying not to fall into a Harry Potter thing.”

    One word: Wangst.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Wangst

    Wangst is not a good thing, a person with that origin story will immediately fall into wangst territory.

    Also, that’s the kind of origin story that starts the warning sirens for ‘Mary-Sue’. It doesn’t necessarily make the person a Sue, but it’s one of the traits Sues commonly have.

  53. Moondragon007on 27 Sep 2009 at 3:30 am

    “Has his work as a superhero noticeably changed his body? (For example, Peter Parker gets a lot tougher and picks up unusual bruises and scars). How would your hero conceal these changes from his friends? If a friend noticed anyway, how might he try to explain them away?”

    Hehe, reminds me of a joke: You know you’re in the SCA [Society for Creative Anachronism] when…… You show up for work on Monday morning with the most INTERESTING bruises…. [from being in a tourney on the weekend]

    A superhero could maybe cover up injuries by claiming they’re sports injuries.

    I had a dream one time that Spiderman broke his arm fighting a villain, on camera, and the next day Peter Parker was trying to explain why his arm was in a sling….

  54. B. Macon 27 Sep 2009 at 8:02 am

    If you’ve ever read the cult classic Rainbow Batman, Batman puts on a pink costume so that no one notices Robin’s sling. Everyone in town knew that Dick Grayson had just broken his arm, so it would have been suspicious.

  55. Merideson 14 Oct 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Oh, this is SO helpful. Thanks so much!

  56. RikuTomoshibion 13 Nov 2009 at 4:14 pm

    My main character, Dante Valin, is sort of a hero, but not really. When he was sixteen or so (still configuring the age), his psi-powers, inherited from his father, of telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and telepathy caught the eye of a powerful war-monger and ruler, known only as the Administrator. A large team of soldiers, named Fatum, is sent out to capture him and bring him back to the Administrator, so Dante has to find his father, who has gone into exile, and try to get control of his powers so he can try to get his normal life back. His method of approach is to find the Administrator and either try to negotiate with him, or kill him as a last approach.
    He’s very aware of the pain and destruction that the Administrator has caused, but he’s very self-absorbed, so that’s not really what drives him to fight. And he’s highly gullible, so much in fact that his father comments, “Dante, don’t take this the wrong way, but you couldn’t get both your feet to walk straight unless someone told you that walking crooked’s illegal.” One of the main drives for his character development is that his father, Lucas Imahara, is regarded as one of the most powerful and intelligent men in history, and was the one that brought genetic mutation in sentient organisms to the mainstream eye. So Dante has felt that people want him to be just like his father, and this causes him to go out of his way to do things that either Lucas wouldn’t, or the way he wouldn’t, even to the point that he neglects his own well-being and personal development in favor of his individuality. And later on, when he’s subjected to “shifting”, or amputation and bionic implantation, he suffers from severe trauma from being forced to watch his arms, legs, and parts of his torso and head be cut off and replaced by Fatum circutry, which just reinforces his already-raging hatred of the Administrator.

    Any thoughts?

  57. kid_omnion 08 Jan 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I’m writing a novel called Badazzes. In my novel, the name of the group is The Badasses. Before they gained their powers, they were slacker roommates. Does that sound okay? I need some feedback, please.

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: this comment originally read: “i’m writing a novel called Badazzes. n in my novel da name of da group is called The Badazzes. n b4 dey gained powers dey were slackers living as roomates. DOES THAT SOUND OK? I NEED SUM FEEDBACK PLZZZ”]

  58. B. Macon 08 Jan 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Kid Omni, I think that sounds a bit forgettable so far. Oblivion Society had a faintly similar premise but I think it stood out a lot more effectively because the characters were well-developed and mostly endearing. I don’t really know anything about your characters other than that they were slackers and I think that you could probably develop them a lot more than that. (These characters aren’t all identical, so they must have some distinguishing traits, right?)

    In addition, I have a few suggestions about writing mechanics, like grammar, punctuation and spelling. If you’re interested in going pro and getting published some day, they’re really important. Every month, a publisher’s assistant might go through around 1000-1500 manuscripts and send around 4-8 on to his boss for further consideration. Since the PA will end up rejecting around 99.9% of the manuscripts, he’ll kill a manuscript as soon as he has any suspicion that it’s not one of the best. The fastest and easiest way for a PA to sift through his huge stack of manuscripts is to instantly reject the ones with bad grammar/spelling/punctuation. Generally speaking, I would estimate that a manuscript is in grave danger if it has more than one typo per page. So I would really recommend brushing up on that, because otherwise your writing will suggest that you don’t have what the publishers are looking for.

    Besides that, I’m not quite sure why your group is called the Badazzes rather than Badasses. The misspelling there strikes me as kind of goofy. Is that intentional? Also, in the future, I would really recommend against using caps-lock for anything.

  59. jaronblazeon 10 Jan 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Before Jason knew about his gift, he was a famous artist who wanted to do more for his community. Jason wanted to stop issues like poverty & violence. Jason is responsible, loyal, smart & passionate. When Jason learns about his gift, he goes out of his way to help people & give them hope. So he does the superhero thing, but later down the road he finds out that being a hero isn’t all easy.

  60. PaintedSainton 10 Jan 2010 at 10:04 pm

    jaronblaze:

    Do you have any prominent flaws about your character?

  61. Anonymouson 11 Jan 2010 at 10:43 am

    His flaws are that he tries to do to much

  62. Scribblaron 11 Jan 2010 at 11:01 am

    That isn’t a flaw.

  63. B. Macon 11 Jan 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Yeah, I mostly agree that trying to do too much is probably not a flaw. Usually I would say that a trait is only a flaw if the audience will hold it against the character and/or if it leads the character to make decisions the audience will not agree with. I’m not sure how either one of those would apply to trying to do too much. (Perhaps the character is taking on too much for some less-than-noble or foolish reason?)

    On the other hand, if he’s just a regular guy that’s overexerting himself doing purely honorable things, he’s probably a Mary Sue without any real flaws. I’d recommend against that because readers tend to find characters more interesting if they have a bit of moral complexity to them.

  64. Anonymouson 15 Jan 2010 at 10:00 am

    ummmmmmmmmmm english plzzz

  65. jaronblazeon 15 Jan 2010 at 10:18 am

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a flaw. ok well shade my character has a flaw. shade can manipulate colors and ink & he can also bring drawings to life. Shade’s flaws are two phobias: Pyrophobia(fear of fire) & Hemophobia( fear of blood). Commments please & not to harsh lol thank you.

  66. Lighting Manon 15 Jan 2010 at 10:24 am

    The English used was perfectly grand, Anonymaus, but to paraphrase and abbreviate a bit, a flaw should be a bad thing.

    Selfishness, nervousness, shooting up with baby blood, all flaws. Star Trek’s Captain Kirk for instance, although he was very Sue-y at times, was flawed because of his brash nature. He would often take action impulsively and without thinking about the entire situation, driven primarily by the emotion most affecting him at the moment.

    If you were confused by the phrase Mary Sue, you could try searching for it on Google, or here’s a link to a related Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_sue) and an article here that might be useful to you but another suggestion would be to make use of an online dictionary if English isn’t your first language or if you need help with your vocabulary. It most likely has pages on any phrases that might confuse you.

  67. Lighting Manon 15 Jan 2010 at 10:33 am

    Sorry, that response was directed at your first post, not your second. It’s been raining here so my internet is very slow and prepping the post took a bit, plus I’m fiddling with other stuff.

  68. Scribblaron 15 Jan 2010 at 10:36 am

    That isn’t a flaw either.

    You should google Limyaael’s Rants and read her rant on flawed characters. Because it talks about characters in general and not your characters specifically it will be less harsh. You really need to learn what is meant by a character flaw.

    Finally, not using capitals at the beginning of sentences on a board of writers (amateur or otherwise) simply convinces them that you don’t care enough about writing to actually try. Some people genuinely can’t spell. Others honestly have problems with grammar. But lack of capitalization is just lazy. All it will achieve is you alienating the very people who are trying to help you, and will result in them withdrawing any offer of help.

    The same as posting anonymously and just expecting us to know who you are.

    I’m sorry if this seems harsh but I’m redrafting a fiction novel, writing a fiction novel, writing a non-fiction book, trying to keep up to date with 2 blogs, and build bebo and myspace accounts. I’m about to lose my job, desperately trying to find a new one, and I have three young kids. So I don’t really have time for people who can’t be bothered putting the effort in. Sorry.

  69. B. Macon 15 Jan 2010 at 2:16 pm

    She has ~300 rants now. You mean the one on flaw-scrubbing?

  70. B. Macon 15 Jan 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Quoting Anonymous: “ummmmmmmmmmm english plzzz”

    Okay, rephrasing my original comment. Main characters generally need a flaw to be interesting. A flaw is anything that readers will not approve of or will cause the character to make mistakes. For example, maybe your character tries to take on too much because he’s greedy or wildly overconfident.

    Good luck with your writing career– I would really recommend working on the capitalization, spelling and grammar. I’d suggest looking into other websites.

  71. Scribblaron 15 Jan 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Her newest one.

    http://limyaael.insanejournal.com/546732.html#cutid1

    That’s about flawed characters, too. But the flaw scrubbing one is good, too.

  72. Lighting Manon 15 Jan 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I think B. Mac just fired Anonymaus, and possibly had that person assassinated via monkeys on a chain gang, armed with machetes and OMACs.

    You really should copyright “So I’m going to let you go” like Donald Trump did “you’re fired” Or Michael Vicks did with “I’m an odd reference to make here!” Just a thought.

  73. Scribblaron 15 Jan 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Donald Trump copyrighted you’re fired? I wonder if that was before or after Sir Alan Sugar made it his signature trademark on the Apprentice.

  74. Ragged Boyon 30 Jul 2010 at 10:26 am

    A cyborg kid sounds workable. In fact, your story sounds quite a bit like the story of Cyborg. The nanotechnological edge was a good start at making the origin a little more original, but I’d recommend making it ever fresher. Give us something that will make us like your cyborg.

  75. Ragged Boyon 30 Jul 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I’m not telling you to come up with a gimmick. You want to avoid gimmicks. I’m telling you to make it fresh/ more original. What’s going to make your story unique from Cyborg or any other cyborg/android/robot story? Something about your story, whether it be the execution, the characterization, the plot, the moral story, etc needs to differentiate your story from the norm.

    Do you understand? It’s something all writers have to do to compete in today’s market. Total originality is dead* so it’s up to modern artists now to tell the same stories in a way that makes them feel new and engages the reader for a new experience despite being in a genre that has been worked frequently. And of course, there are some ways you can be original with idea so it’s all about true authorship.

    *I don’t think it’s dead, but it’s damn sure difficult to be completely original.

  76. Ragged Boyon 30 Jul 2010 at 1:30 pm

    You’re asking a lot of questions that I think you as an author should answer. What would it add to the story if the side-kick worked the frontline or stay at the base? What would this helper boy really add to your story? Having a secret identity or not is a big factor. Would you like a story that has the drama of him leading two lives or one with the drama of those lives clashing?

    These are aspects that help build your world so I think it’s best that you answer them. However, given the nature of your hero (lazy and carefree) it might be good to have a character willing to get into the action. Readers don’t want to see a character always trying to shirk responsibility.

    I have some reservations about a character that’s meant to be lazy? Why would readers want to read about a character that doesn’t like to do anything? The way you plan to portray makes him sound like he’s lame. Why would people support a hero that let’s villains get away on account of his bowel? How do you plan on making him likable and relatable? How do you plan on propelling the story with a character that won’t take initiative? It would be horribly contrived if he just lucked his way into situations without trying?

    What’s going to make me want to read about this slacker?

  77. Ragged Boyon 30 Jul 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I suppose that could work. I still think the character is a little generic (as far as I can tell), but that’s all up to your execution to make him unique. But keep it going, there’s nothing more tragic than an artist halted in their art.

  78. Cassandraon 30 Jul 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I spend time with more people and have more of a social life in college than I ever did in college. But I’ve always lived on campus. I have a lot of friends who go to my college but live off campus as well.

    The good thing about having a story set in an university setting is that you don’t have to worry about the MC answering to any sort of authority figure (some kind of parent or guardian); they are also free to roam at all hours (great if you’re out saving the world every night); and depending on the class or college, profs don’t really care whether you’re there or not. Well, at my uni, they care, but mine is really small.

    Of course, them being in some kind of boarding school may be interesting as well. There are a lot of conflicts that come from high school stories that can add flavor to the story. (See everything I said about hs above.)

    So far as your character goes, I think you’re def. in the pre-planning stages with him. Having the parents die can be overdone, so make sure to work a creative spin on their deaths. Or perhaps even give another reason why they may have abandoned him (perhaps it was their choice because they couldn’t handle him having super powers.)

    Having friends who push him to be a hero may be a good reason for him to reluctantly begin fighting evil, but there has to be some driving force that makes him CONTINUE to fight. It could be something as simple as him inadvertently saving somebody’s life–their reaction to his heroic deeds, and a realization of what it means to be a hero.

    Right now when I view what you have for your character, I see him as only the comedic relief team member in some superteam. He needs some more of a personality and some kind of drive to make readers want to continue reading. One thing I do like, however, is the idea that he will continually grows darker over the course of the book/series. I believe that as that happens, he should begin to distance himself more and more from his friends. However, overall, it is his friends that help him keep some sense of that earlier idealism and naivety that he had.

  79. B. Macon 30 Jul 2010 at 10:57 pm

    “You’re asking a lot of questions that I think you as an author should answer.” I agree with RB on that. You can write a damn fine story with secret identities and you can write a damn fine one without them. Nor do I think one is substantially more likely to sell well than the other. It depends on the style of story you’re writing, I think. There are some factors that would lend a story better towards one or the other, though. For example, really large teams of superheroes tend not to have them, because there’s usually too much going on to focus on their alternate lives. (For example, I think alternate identities played a significant role in at most 3 Justice League episodes, Starcrossed 1-3).

    I agree that a really lazy character might have trouble affecting the plot. Proactivity problems?

    I think the toilet problems are a bit out there. Maybe they’d work if this were a comedy about a total bumbler like Inspector Closseau, but I don’t get that impression here.

  80. Kid_Anarchyon 31 Jul 2010 at 12:55 am

    well my character Anarchy doesn’t really care if his identity is exposed b/c he figures i am a pyrokinetic so they would think twice b4 telling sum 1 anyway

  81. B. Macon 31 Jul 2010 at 11:35 pm

    “Also I was wondering if it’d be cool if he were obnoxious and greedy, as in he usually tries to accept rewards… and he loves the attention people give him.” It sounds a lot like the Human Torch. Also, these antiheroic elements will probably be more effective if something heroic balances them out. I’m not seeing that so far.

    I’d be careful with obnoxious characters. They can work very well, but they can also blow up spectacularly in your face. I think the successful Dr. House is the exception and the widely-reviled Sentinel is the norm.

  82. B. Macon 01 Aug 2010 at 10:04 am

    “You once said it wasn’t easy to do both the art and story work on a comic by yourself… is it really that tough?”

    Very few writers are good enough at art (or vice versa). Ideally, both the art and writing would be in the top 1% of all submissions.*

    Encouraging signs that your art might be good enough:
    –People are already paying you hundreds or thousands of dollars to make art for them.
    –You work professionally with art or something like visual design.
    –A comic book you illustrated (but didn’t write) was published.

    Encouraging signs that your writing might be good enough:
    –Your writing has hundreds of thousands of readers.
    –You’ve professionally published in another medium, such as novels.
    –You write professionally (i.e. journalism, advertising, communications, etc).
    –A comic book you wrote (but didn’t illustrate) was published.

    It’s not impossible to do both the art and the writing, but I wouldn’t recommend trying unless you’ve had significant success in at least one of the two fields.

    *Alternately, if either the writing or the art is miraculously good, the publisher may overlook the other. However, if the writer or artist is THAT talented, it’s usually obvious beforehand. (IE: he’s a best-selling novelist or she sells tens of thousands of dollars worth of art every year).

  83. B. Macon 01 Aug 2010 at 1:57 pm

    No worries. There are some Western publishers that prefer submissions by writers that do their own artwork. Antarctic Press, for example.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, AP series tend to accept subpar art. I think the following cover would get laughed out of the office at pretty much any other U.S. publisher. I’m not being entirely facetious when I claim I could do a better job coloring this. And I’m completely serious when I say I could come up with a far superior cover concept than the main character’s talking head.

    Barack Obama Comic Book Cover

    If AP doesn’t work out, I think a lot of author-illustrators self-publish. (It helps keep costs down).

  84. B. Macon 01 Aug 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Well, they do a lot of fiction. I just used the Obama profile as an example because so many publishers have done a similar cover and made it look so much better.

  85. Ragged Boyon 01 Aug 2010 at 8:39 pm

    “Very few writers are that good at art (or vice versa).”

    Not yet, buddy. But just you wait. 😉

  86. B. Macon 01 Aug 2010 at 8:53 pm

    RB, I think your art is pretty good. I suspect within a few years you’ll be proficient enough that random DeviantArt users will want to pay you for it, and maybe a few years after that you can get publishers to pay.

  87. Ragged Boyon 03 Aug 2010 at 10:56 am

    I’m using water, but I bet I’ve got tricks no one has thought of.

    The character sounds like a slightly different version of the other character you were talking about. Doesn’t take things seriously, but has a sense of responsibility and is overconfident. Although, Aden seems to be a little more on the brusque side as opposed to Sam’s laziness. Is Aden replacing Sam or is he just another character for another story?

    If you brainstorm I bet there’s a ton of cool things you could do with earth. As long as he’s not in the air or in an inpenetrable space he should be able to get the job done. That said, if he were in those situations he may be able to control the dust as a weapon.

  88. Ragged Boyon 03 Aug 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I don’t do fire characters. That’s just a rule I’ve made for my art. However, I do have a character that uses heat as her powers. I like that a lot better.

    With water, I’ve already got those, although pummeling isn’t the style of combat I like to give my characters. I prefer precision and tactic. Using a thin jet of water to slice things or shoot like an arrow. I like your spinning water idea; I had a similar idea that works as armor that erodes oncoming attack.

  89. B. Macon 03 Aug 2010 at 7:04 pm

    “He’s a normal kid from a countryside town his dad’s an electrician and his mom’s a social worker. He’s randomly rude; making annoying remarks whenever he wants but he follows it up with a “no offense”…” If he’s going to be rude, please don’t make him wuss out with “no offense.” The readers that are into rude characters will probably find it a sign of weakness and the readers that are put off by rudeness will probably not give him all that much latitude because he regretted it afterwards.

    Quoting “What Makes a Character Likable?“: “Stark characterization. Please don’t make your characters “kind of an ass” or “sort of brave” or whatever. Go big! It’ll be more distinctive and interesting than a hero that just sort of does whatever is most convenient for the plot. Also, it will raise the stakes and make the conflicts sharper.”



    “he never takes anything seriously but he has a sense of responsibility.” That seems contradictory to me. Could you explain how/why he has a sense of responsibility even though he takes nothing seriously? What you say about his parents teaching him to help people makes him sound like he DOES take helping people seriously.



    I like the taunting. However, that suggests he’s competitive and/or derisive, which 1) doesn’t come up elsewhere in his personality and 2) would probably suggest that he takes his work seriously. (Is there any way to trash-talk someone without caring that you’re better than them?)



    “He was just born with his powers. Origin stories leave a lot to think about or alter, but I could be wrong, ya know?” I don’t mind him being born with his powers, but it may actually raise MORE questions than something like a chemical accident, because a chemical accident is a one-time thing that affects the story’s universe in a small way. In contrast, someone being born with superpowers raises questions about why he was born with powers, whether there are other such people, etc.

    “Oh and his random attitude goes beyond his rudeness… He simply has a habit of bringing up subjects at random and awkward times.” Why? Presumably he’s not being rude just to be rude. Is there some reason he acts this way? (For example, one reason somebody might be rude is if they just haven’t been around people enough to know what is acceptable, or they might be so egocentric that they don’t care).

  90. B. Macon 04 Aug 2010 at 8:56 am

    Could I recommend doing something other than a fiction writer? I think heroes that are also fiction writers tend to be self-inserts for the author. The similarities between the character and you might be less obvious if he were a nonfiction author (like a journalist or whatever). If the character shares significant similarities with you, I would recommend making it clear that the character’s performance of his job leaves a hell of a lot to be desired (so that you’re not idealizing him). For example, maybe he’s hilariously bad at writing fiction and everything he writes turns out like some demented fan-fiction of his favorite series. 😉



    “Anyway I suggest you don’t make your main characters invincible, cos while it can be bad ass, I guess it would be just plain dry to some people…” Yeah, I think it would be pretty boring. Crazy competence can be a lot of fun, like (say) Robin preemptively poisoning a kung fu master BEFORE she challenges him to a fight, but being invincible by virtue of superpowers is not very dramatic and does not make the character very impressive.


    “But anyway, what would any of you as readers find cooler; ice, earth or fire?” Of the three, I like ice best. However, I am generally a bit leery of elemental control. It’s been used a LOT and I think the characters generally tend to be pretty forgettable. (If Marvel and DC got rid of all of their elemental-themed characters tomorrow, the only one I’d miss is Mr. Freeze, mostly because his backstory is compelling and not because of anything related to his superpowers).

  91. Ragged Boyon 04 Aug 2010 at 9:42 am

    “Oh and will you make your character intangible; like water wise or is that overused. I mean it’s used in Naruto, I saw some weird girl in this One Piece movie that could manipulate some kinda liquid presumably water; and she could turn into it. Heck it’s also used on Hydro man. Anyway I suggest you don’t make your main characters invincible, cos while it can be bad ass, I guess it would be just plain dry to some people, maybe… Plus you’ll have to come up with villains that have kinda weakness of his or heres every time. If it’s a villain then being intangible is pretty cool for a villain.”

    Originally, I wanted to give Showtime (my hero) the ability to liquify and be able to vaporize as a form of evasion and teleportation. But then I realized I don’t like teleportation and I wanted him to control water instead of become it. Until his genetic alterations kick in he still has a human physiology.

    With water in popular media most character make gargantuan waves (Kisame) and spiraling waterfall cannons(Tia Harribel) and other things that don’t use water for it’s full lethal effectiveness. The reason I didn’t give Showtime the ability to create water was because I wanted him to be able to work with what he’s given. Therefore he can’t be all that destructive so his victory relies on his creativity with his resources and his own competence. He’s not invincible he just has skills and finesse.

    I tend to not make my powers intentionally destructive. In fact, I prefer powers that lend themselves to tight spaces. There are certain powers that I’ve sworn to myself I won’t write:

    – Superstrength and/or invulnerability- I hate invincible characters
    – Fire – Lame and overused, in my opinion.
    – Superspeed – Don’t care for it.
    – Teleportation – It’s like cheating.

  92. Ragged Boyon 04 Aug 2010 at 10:23 am

    “But hey a perfect main character isn’t really a good thing, but I’m sure you have something planned…”

    Are you implying that I’m trying to make Showtime perfect, because 1) you’d be sorely underestimating my knowlegde and 2) he’s not, he’s just not useless. He works on his own in the field so he needs to be competent enough to get the job done. In his first fights I plan for him to do a lot of running as a way to escape danger and set traps for the enemy. He’ll be goofy, but not incompetent.

  93. Ragged Boyon 04 Aug 2010 at 10:43 am

    Yeah, he works alone in the field, but he’s backed up by Jimelly, a batty alien chemist, and Lae’ Trelle, an intergalactic pilot and avid human-hater. He’s an apprentice by technicality. He occasionally gets back-up from other apprentices.

    Sorry for getting a bit brusque. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people undermine my intelligence. 😉

  94. B. Macon 04 Aug 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Some superpowers that I’ve vowed to never use:

    –Invulnerability/reincarnation (too hard to challenge/threaten). Probably wouldn’t be a problem for a villain, though.

    Flying Bricks, superheroes that fight mainly by hurtling themselves at the enemy (their fight scenes are usually awful).

    –Time travel, except when severely restrained by time limits and other obstacles (otherwise, it’s too hard to challenge the characters). I think it could work for a villain.

    –Time-stopping or otherwise moving too quickly for other combatants to interact with. If the character’s faster than, say, a racecar, I think it’ll make choreographing a fight-scene a real pain.

    –Teleportation, unless limited in some way like charge-up time or total distance traveled (otherwise, it would be probably too easy for the character to escape from danger). Could maybe work for a villain.

    –Reality warping/manipulation/anything similar. I think it’s too hard to let readers know what’s possible and what’s not. Unless readers know the limits beforehand, it’ll probably feel like the author is making it up as he goes along. (Magical characters sometimes suffer from similar problems, but you may be able to avoid the problems by introducing a finite number of spells rather than just letting the characters pull out new spells whenever they need them).

    –“The most common superpower” (preposterously large breasts or biceps). I think these insult the readers and I suspect it’s easier to take a character seriously that doesn’t look like a sex symbol. Also, umm, a character that is too buff will probably look disgusting rather than sexy.
    Captain America sporting knockers

  95. Ragged Boyon 04 Aug 2010 at 4:13 pm

    The only character I gave “the most common superpower” to was Black Lace. C’mon even if you’re on a diet you can always have a little cheesecake. Other than that I want my people to look mostly realistic Adrian in the forefront rocking that signature slender frame.

  96. Ragged Boyon 05 Aug 2010 at 4:44 am

    Who said anything about fat characters? Adrian is slender in physique which I think is more realistic than a bunch of steroid superheroes. Of course, some people are mesomorphs and do have that naturally muscular physique so they’ll be represented too. Eric, a hotshot social king, will probably be muscular to offset Adrian’s thinness seeing as they are rivals.

  97. B. Macon 05 Aug 2010 at 9:43 am

    “Being muscular if it’s not too muscular, is a good thing… I mean are we suppose ta encourage people to be fat. … B. Mac made it sound like fit characters were making readers feel bad, but I could be wrong.”

    Characters that are athletic should look athletic. I would just recommend against going preposterously overboard. Personally, I’d much rather my supersoldier characters look like soldiers or athletes than professional bodybuilders or supermodels. Going too far in that direction can have unintended consequences: the Captain America above looks neither attractive nor badass. He looks like a freak.

    My rule of thumb is that I wouldn’t take a character more than 25% beyond the limits of human anatomy without a really good reason. For example, maybe he’s not human, or I’m trying to make him look creepy and/or barely human, or I want him to look villainous. In short, I wouldn’t stretch the limits of human anatomy unless I was trying to make the character look unappealing and/or inhuman.

    PS: If a character is not physically fit, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making him overweight.

  98. B. Macon 05 Aug 2010 at 11:55 am

    The Captain America is legit. The artist, Rob Liefeld, sort-of-apologized here. “I’ll probably never live down that shot of Cap. His chest is ridiculous. It’s just obscene.”

  99. Dr. Maladyon 09 Oct 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Greetings. I’m a new poster here, but I’ve been hanging around for a little. This is a very helpful site and has already helped me quite a bit.

    I’m working on a ‘hero’ story of my own but am concerned about my perspective, that I might be a bit biased about my creation. I wasn’t sure where precisely to post my major question but decided here would be best.

    The Question:
    Is it a ‘bad’ or unattractive idea to have your main hero be normal? To put a normal, mostly average human in a super-powered world?

    A bit of explanation as to the plot-line I am currently pursuing.
    Superheros and their powers exists, and one in particular (though the public takes a long time to notice this) is going insane. Being driven to dark deeds by their power. The main character is an average female with minor character strengths (the most prominent being a photographic memory), who takes up the slack.

    I’m curious as to the general consensus.

  100. B. Macon 09 Oct 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I think the idea of a main character being less powerful than most of the other characters (and/or completely unpowered) is very attractive. In The Taxman Must Die, the main character is an accountant thrown onto a team where everybody else is a mutant alligator, or a Nobel-calibre biochemist, or a commando, or a shape-shifter, or an scientist that says (possibly in jest) that he could make an atomic-grade detonation with a dump truck worth of baking powder, fifteen minutes, and a trip to Radio Shack.

    By virtue of being the most ordinary person on the cast, I assume that the accountant will be more relatable and that he’ll be challenged to fit in and survive in a field where expectations are superhuman. (Also, as the title suggests, he’s being targeted for assassination).

  101. Guardian7on 10 Oct 2010 at 11:54 am

    This is yet another wonderful article.
    I love reading your stuff!

    G7

  102. amarchenon 20 Nov 2010 at 7:10 am

    Great article!

    I am in the character development process and I will use this questionaire to flesh out my main and secondary characters. Thank you!

  103. ShardReaperon 20 Nov 2010 at 8:10 am

    That Captain America picture has to be the most disturbing set of abs I’ve ever seen in my entire life. o_0

  104. Dillanon 24 Nov 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Wow haven’t been on in awhile. I’m currently working on a project and i’ve got most of the origin and backstory set up but I need help moving foward.

  105. B. Macon 17 Dec 2010 at 3:31 pm

    “How’s a hero who doesn’t trust people much and is most reserved and to himself and well rather violent.” Hmm. Will he be likable? (On the plus side there, it looks like readers will sympathize with his objective, at least, if perhaps not his means).

  106. Lucyon 26 Jan 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I’d like to get some feedback on an X-men Evolution character I’m working on, if that’s alright… I may edit her info later to perhaps use her in an original work, but for now I’m probably going to stick to using her as a Role-Playing/Fan-fiction character until I get some ideas for a plot.

    Name: Emily J. (Jason, after her father) Nocturne

    Codename: Hawkeye (I’m not quite sure if this is taken or not…)

    Nickname: “Tweety”

    Age: Undecided, though preferably high school age.

    Hair: Straight dirty blonde hair cut in a choppy bob hairstyle just above her shoulders. It always seems to be slightly messy and windswept, much to the confusion of her classmates and friends.

    Eyes: Slightly slanted, dark brown.

    Skin: A little bit tanned from sunlight, but otherwise fairly clear, much to her relief.

    Height/Body build: 5’1″/Short and thin pixie-like frame, which luckily for her allows her to run a bit faster than most people, making it easier for her to gain some speed when getting ready to transform and fly (will be explained).

    Her powers: She has the ability to morph into most any sort of bird, provided she knows what they look like in detail, and she can picture them clearly in her head… Pelican, Dove, Hawk, Eagle, Vulture… Chicken. You name it, she can change into it, provided she has full details on their appearences and bodily features. (Forgive me for the brief description, but I’m not sure of just how much detail can be put into this sort of power, after writing out the rest of this.)

    How these powers emerged, and how she discovered them: As is the case with many mutants, her powers emerged suddenly, during a moment of extremely heightened emotion. In this case: Fear and adrenaline.

    While on a hiking/camping trip during a school field trip into the mountains, she got distracted by something one of her friends was saying. She walked too close to the edge and her foot slipped off the ledge, causing her to fall much to the fear and alarm of her classmates and teachers. However, as she began nearing solid ground again as she fell, she squinted her eyes shut… but the impact did not come. Confused, she opened her eyes again, she was in the least shocked when she discovered herself covered in feathers, and soaring (if sloppily) rather than falling. She had somehow unknowingly caused herself to turn into a breed of red-tailed hawk that she had before seen flying around the mountains. In her surprise, she suddenly changed back to her usual human self, and fell just a few feet more before hitting the ground. When she finally made it back to her classmates’ camping site, they all asked her in shock and wonder how she had survived that fall, if she was alright, if she needed to go to the hospital… when she told her friends of what had happened, they looked confused for a moment before they jokingly began suggesting that she must have hit her head pretty damn hard on the rocks to come up with that story. Dismayed at not being believed, over the next few days she began to wonder if she really /had/ just imagined it… it got to the point of bothering her so much that one day while her parents were out of the house she went out to their fenced-in backyard and tried to make it happen again.

    Finding herself unable to do it, she opened her eyes and noticed a robin sitting on top of the fence. She carefully examined it’s appearence and then focused solely on that, soon finding herself it’s exact copy in appearence. Overjoyed at the fact that she wasn’t crazy after all, she continued to practice morphing until one day she was confronted at school by a certain Miss Jean Gray, who told her of what she was, and of the Xavier Institute. Finally, she managed to work up the nerve to tell her parents of all that had occured, and after giving it a good bit of worry and consideration, her parents gave her their blessing to transfer to Bayville High (I think that’s what it’s called) so that she could live at the Institute with other mutants such as herself. During her education there, in both regular school matters and in those of her powers, she would eventually train herself to the point of partial transformation, where she could manage to grow only the wings, or only the talons of a large bird, while the rest of her body remained normal. She would also learn later on how to change into a rather large version of a bird, which could in the future allow her to carry a single person on her back while flying.

    Side-effects to her powers (both good and bad):
    -She can’t use any sort of overly-artificial cosmetics or hair products on herself, because strangely enough the chemicals in them make her ill, which she suspects comes from the bird in her. So she always uses much more natural shampoo, soap, conditioner, makeup, etc. Also, because of this, she’s taken to eating a much more vegetable-oriented diet, though she can’t resist the occasional gingerbread man. (Haha, sorry, just had to throw that in. xD She has this big love of gingerbread for some reason, and my mental picture of who she is was very insistent that I mention it.)

    -Because of all the running, flying, and other muscle-straining activities that her abilities force her to partake in, her arms and legs gradually grew much more developed, as well as that her lungs and heart became stronger. However, all of this means that she does a lot of deep sleeping, and a lot of eating when she gets the chance.

    -Though it’s making her physically stronger doing all of this, it’s very draining of energy and her muscles often feel sore from the strain of flying, especially when it comes to long distances.

    -Because she’s not exactly the most graceful person in the world, she often gets scratched and bruised up pretty badly whenever she takes a fall or lands after flying.

    -Whenever she’s been flying, or simply been in the shape of any kind of bird for too long, she’s always especially clumsy right after she changes back to a human and she has to get used to walking on solid ground again.

    -She’s very weak against rocks and fire when she’s in any bird form, due to her (usually) extremely delicate body frame, and her feathers.

    I tried to come up with weaknesses and side-effects that would match up with her abilities, and I still need to shape in her home life a bit more, but I’d really appreciate hearing some feedback for her, and hearing any suggestions you may have about editing her. I’m open to criticism, and to new ideas that anyone may have concerning her. 🙂 Thanks!

    ~Lucy

  107. Lucyon 26 Jan 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Oh my… and please forgive me for the extremely long post, I hadn’t realized I had gotten so carried away… O_o

  108. B. Macon 27 Jan 2011 at 1:19 am

    I like the sound of the surname Nocturne. It’s a bit unexpected because the character isn’t night-themed. I think it’d be more cheesy to use something like “Bird” or “Hawk” as her surname and then she just coincidentally develops bird-powers. 😉 [UPDATE: As Anonymous pointed out later, Nocturne is the name of one of Nightcrawler’s kids in an alternate universe.]

    As for “Hawkeye,” that’s already taken by a B-list Marvel character (one of the Avengers), so a more distinct codename would probably help. (Some possibilities: something themed to her powers or personality or style or something?)

    Right now, the hair/eye/skin information seems pretty mundane. If you present this information in-story, I’d recommend using it to create an impression or show something important about the character. For example, her pixie-like frame feels useful to me because it suggests something about how she works, how she moves, etc.

    “Forgive me for the brief description, but I’m not sure of just how much detail can be put into this sort of power…” You covered everything about the powers I wanted to know. In most cases, I think 1-2 sentences is a very sound amount of time to spend on a character’s powers. In-story, you could have one of the more scientifically-minded characters explain more about how it works, if you wanted to. (For example, her ability only works if she knows what the bird looks like, so that may suggest her power depends on her concentration).

    “…when she told her friends of what had happened, they looked confused for a moment before they jokingly began suggesting that she must have hit her head pretty damn hard on the rocks to come up with that story.” Judging from this description, it sounds like at least one of her friends (maybe more) might correctly assume that she’s a mutant. Depending on the dramatic tone you’re going for, you might have a concerned friend pull her aside and tell her to clam up about anything that might lead people to find out she’s a mutant. (There are a lot of reasons a friend might encourage her to do that, some asinine and some utterly friendly. For example, it’s dangerous to get mixed up with mutants, or the friend is worried that she won’t be able to go to college and will instead become a superpowered streetfighter, or the friend is worried that Emily would be sent away if she were outed as a mutant, or the friend is worried about what other people would think of her if they found out, etc).

    Alternately, a friend that’s REALLY not into mutants might go into denial, trying to convince her that she imagined the whole thing in a really stressful situation and she just needs to get her feet up. (Another variation would be that it’s Emily that goes into denial and it’s a friend that helps her try to come to grips with what she’s learned about herself).

    “Until one day she was confronted at school by a certain Miss Jean Gray…” A confrontation, really? She’s already come to understand that she’s a mutant and she was overjoyed to find out she could turn into robins. One possibility would be that she’s not 100% there yet when Jean comes around. Maybe it takes Jean more than one try to convince her to come to Bayville. Another avenue for developing a bit of conflict would be having the family show more concern/reluctance (or maybe even some outright opposition—if a teen asked to switch schools in the middle of high school, particularly across the country, I imagine there’d be a lot of potential for concern even before you got into the mutant stuff).

    “she managed to work up the nerve to tell her parents…” This might be a more impressive accomplishment if one or both of the parents are more reluctant about her doing “that mutant stuff” off at Bayville. (I mean, seriously, it sounds like these kids are essentially getting commando training from some instructors that actually WERE commandos—it’s not exactly a typical high school experience, what with the superpowered missions and all).

    So, somewhere in the origin, I’d recommend working in some element of conflict and/or character growth. Just to recap, some possibilities:
    –Emily conflicting with herself about coming to grips with being a mutant.
    –Emily conflicting with friends about being a mutant and/or transferring out to Bayville.
    –Jean trying to convince a potentially reluctant Emily that she should come to Bayville (or at least come hear what Xavier has to offer)
    –Emily and/or Jean (but hopefully mainly Emily, if she’s the main character) convincing her parents to give their blessing for her to go to Bayville. If Emily’s a minor, you could raise the stakes by saying something like Bayville won’t take her over the objections of her parents (because it’d technically be kidnapping).
    –It might help if something happens that convinces Emily and/or Emily’s parents that it’d be best for her to go to Bayville. I think it’d be more interesting if there’s character change somewhere. (For one thing, overcoming obstacles is usually more interesting than going through a series of plot events without obstacles). One possible event would be that something makes the parents realize that Emily would not be as safe or as well-treated here in town as she would be at Bayville.

    I can relate to that mental insistence about the gingerbread. One of my main characters is addicted to ketchup for no readily discernible reason besides that he’s outlandishly American. (Well, one out-of-story reason is that I have a humorous scene in mind where he fakes a murder by slathering the “crime scene” in ketchup).

    How long does the transformation between species take? Another possible limitation would be that it takes her a little bit to pull it off, maybe something like 5 seconds where she’s pretty vulnerable in a fight or could be easily discovered or would have a harder time escaping or whatever.

    What’s her personality like? Right now, it doesn’t seem like she makes any particularly difficult or unusual decisions. Fleshing out her personality should help her become a more memorable character.

  109. Lucyon 27 Jan 2011 at 10:01 am

    B.Mac,

    Thank you for the reply! ^_^ Your suggestions on origin were very helpful, and they make quite a bit of sense when putting some more in-depth thought to her parents. What you said about how Emily’s parent’s would take the whole “I’m a mutant” news gave me an idea that if Jean should not succeed after first talking to Emily, that she and Xavier could attempt to talk to Emily’s parents, after giving it some time to let it sink in. During the time frame between the two, the “character change” would take place, thus allowing her parents to feel slightly more open to hearing more about the school. Perhaps the change in character or situation could have something to do with bullying classmates, who have strong opinions /against/ mutants…? Another interesting twist to it might be if in the future one of those bullies discovered that he/she was a mutant as well, and either became an enemy of the Xavier Institute, or became an enemy-turned-ally… I had imagined that her human-to-bird and bird-to-human transformations would only take a brief moment, though I like the idea of adding a sense of urgency to it in a dangerous situation by allowing it to take a bit of time… I must admit I’m a little bit dissappointed that “Hawkeye” is taken (I quite liked the name), though I’ll take what you said into consideration and try to come up with something different. 🙂 As for the issue on not putting anything about her personality, I usually try to save putting it down in writing until I know for sure what type of person she’s gonna wind up being. I have a very fickle and contradicting method of coming up with characters before I use them, so if (during the first time I’m using a character for something) at the beginning I say that she’s a sort of shy or quiet girl who doesn’t talk a lot, as I continue to develop her I may actually find out that she’s quite the chatterbox, and I’ll change it mid-way as it doesn’t seem correct to keep using her as the silent girl after I’ve already confirmed that she’s not that sort of person. I usually try to just keep a vague idea in mind about what kind of personality she has until I get the chance to really become certain of it. Though that being said, I’ve already pictured her as being the slightly humorous and quirky smart-alek sort of girl who is a bit of an optimistic “Well… at least it’s not raining! :D” type, and I think I’ll stick with that. On another note, if I were to change Emily’s information to work with in an original story of my own creation, I would most likely put her into a sort of comic book or manga as I’m not very good at putting very accurately descriptive scenes down in words, and I get the impression that it would be much more helpful in visualizing the scenes through images.

  110. Anonymouson 27 Jan 2011 at 10:26 am

    Just as a heads-up, there’s already an X-Men related heroine called Nocturne. She’s an alternate universe daughter of Nightcrawler and the Scarlet Witch who’s a prominent member of the dimension-travelling Exiles.

  111. B. Macon 27 Jan 2011 at 11:21 am

    Ah, good call on Nocturne, Anonymous. In that case, I’d probably recommend a new surname.



    “What you said about how Emily’s parent’s would take the whole “I’m a mutant” news gave me an idea that if Jean should not succeed after first talking to Emily, that she and Xavier could attempt to talk to Emily’s parents, after giving it some time to let it sink in.” Is Emily the main character? In general, I’d recommend using the main character in a more central, active way. For example, perhaps instead of having Jean convince the parents, maybe it’s Emily that eventually convinces them to come around. On the other hand, fan-fiction might handle this differently because Jean is better-known to the audience.



    I’m not terribly enthused about bully antagonists in general. Their motivations are usually boring and they’re almost always one-dimensionally Bad People. I’m not sure what you have in mind for him, but I’d definitely recommend fleshing out the character so that he doesn’t feel like, umm, every other bully ever written.

    Also, I think it’d probably be a bit contrived if the antagonist hated on mutants and then just happened to become a mutant himself. One alternative that might be more coherent and interesting is if the character has been a mutant all along and is really vocal about hating mutants because of some combination of…
    1) He doesn’t want people to wonder if he’s a mutant.
    2) He’s jealous that her mutation is pretty benign and not inconvenient. (Maybe his mutation is direly unpleasant, like Rogue’s).
    3) He may just genuinely hate what he’s become.

    Another alternative would be that he is a nonmutant that hates on mutants and his hatred of mutants somehow leads to him becoming a mutant. (For example, he may get mutated by a mutant supremacist a la the first X-Men movie or perhaps he involves himself in dangerous business and somehow exposes himself to something or someone that mutates him).

  112. Lucyon 28 Jan 2011 at 8:54 am

    Hmm, interesting thought… thanks, I’ll be sure to keep them in mind! 😀

  113. Aineon 09 Apr 2011 at 6:26 pm

    So I’m trying to decide whether my comic characters should be teenaged demon hunters (16-17 years old, seniors, with the exception of their leader David Lavigne who is 53 (and teaches their class)) or college freshmen demon hunters (age 17-18 except David Lavigne who teaches their class). He and Lilith the dhampir (in the high school one he’s her mentor and guardian, in the college one he’s just her boss and becomes less important) work for the Order of the Knights Templar, and are joined by Nicole Morris and Danny Dushku. In the Highschool one Danny and Nicole are friends already, in the college one they meet through Lilith because of drama involving Lilith’s vampire exboyfriend Lucky/Lucas Delaney (him becoming a vampire and trying to kill her ended their relationship. He blames her for the torture and transformation he suffered on account of her affiliation with the Order. Yet he totally does what Armand says. Vamps minds don’t work normal). She hunts vampires and other demons because I.) she enjoys it, and II.) because vampires (Led by Armand the vamp who turned Lucky into Lucas) killed her twin sister when they were twelve either at her adoptive parents house (college one) or their group home (high school one) where she lived before David became her guardian (the Order keeps track of people admitted to mental hospitals for claims involving the supernatural).

    So, Highschool or College?

  114. B. Macon 10 Apr 2011 at 4:39 am

    I think it depends on your target audience. If you’re going with 18-30 year olds (which are the biggest audience group in comics), I think a college setting would probably be a slightly better fit.

  115. Hyperionon 11 Apr 2011 at 5:16 am

    Hey everyone, I just discovered this site today (don’t hate the newbie!)

    For a few months now, I’ve been writing and drawing a webcomic series called the Mighty Meteorite. I know that this probably isn’t the right place to post this, but would anyone be interested in reading some issues and telling me what I’m doing right/wrong? I’ve had some of my friends read it, but they’re not really comic readers, so I’m not sure how accurate their comments are. The site is http://www.mightymeteorite.thecomicseries.com/.

    Thanks in advance, and good luck to everyone else trying to create superheroes and comics!

  116. B. Macon 11 Apr 2011 at 11:44 am

    Okay, I’ll start with the caveat that I work mainly with writers aiming for professional publication and I’m not sure what your goals for this are. However, if your goal were just to share your story with as many readers as possible, I think the biggest opportunity for improvement would be the art.

    There’s no shading and I’m reasonably sure the art was done in MS Paint. Working on the shading and textures will help readers figure out what’s going on. For example, in the first panel of page 2, my first impression was that the guy wasn’t wearing any pants because his legs/pants don’t have the texture I would normally associate with pants.

    The first three characters (the news correspondent and the two brothers) look very, very similar. And the face of Ms. Marvel–the hottest girl in the room?–sort of looks like a guy’s.

    In terms of artistic improvement, my main advice would be…
    1) Practice as much as possible with shading, texture, human anatomy, different hair styles, etc.
    2) If you’re still in school, I think it’d probably help to take a drawing class.
    3) If you’re using MS Paint, I would highly recommend switching to something like Photoshop or the freeware Paint.net.

    As for the writing, I cracked a smile at “The Prince of Parties” but besides that I didn’t feel like there was much to hold my attention. For example, I thought the characters were sort of thinly-developed, which I think will make it hard to interest readers in the protagonist’s love-life. Plus, we see right away that she’s sort of a bimbo, so I’m not really cheering for him to get the girl in any case. (At least he’s honest that he’s attracted to her because she’s the hottest girl in the room).

  117. Hyperionon 11 Apr 2011 at 4:51 pm

    In terms of art, I’m currently drawing in pencil, going over it in fine-liner, then scanning it into my computer and colouring it there. (Although for the first 3 issues I drew everything in pencil then scanned it in).

    I know that the art is one of my biggest flaws, and I’m trying to improve it as much as I can. In a book about writing comics I have, it says that clarity is more important than entertainment, and that’s what I’m aiming for- if I can at least get people telling who is who and what’s happening, I’ll be happy. (I also know that I’m terrible at drawing girls- they mostly look like guys with boobs!)

    Did you read any further than the first issue? I didn’t do too much planning for that, and I know that some of the characters are a tad inconsistent, but I guess that that’s one of the advantages to having an ongoing: I can develop personalities over time.

    The reason I had Michael having a crush on May when she’s hardly nice to him is because I feel that this is realistic: people can overlook that flaws of those whom they like. Believe me, I have a friend who tried dating a girl for over 3 years despite her repeatedly saying to him ”I don’t like you and never will”.

    As for my goals with this: at the moment I’m pretty much doing as much of the series as I can in order to gain some experience with writing comics. The way I see it, this is just a giant practice session and I would like to iron out any flaws in my writing/drawing through my webcomic.

    Thanks for reading it and for the comments!

    (P.S. The ”Prince of Parties”, ”Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” etc. are all references to Flight of the Conchords songs)

  118. B. Macon 11 Apr 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Hmm. “Half and hour” should be “half an hour.”

    I wasn’t very fond of the cliffhanger narration at the end of issue 1–for one thing, these were questions that I assumed would be answered anyway, so I don’t think they added all that much for me.

    The recap text could be more interesting/stylish.

    Johnny keeping a counter of hookups is so crass. I’m totally loving that bit of character development. “Want to get it up to 10?” is possibly almost as crass on the part of the love interest.

    The conversation between the protagonist and his father the extraterrestrial king should probably be more memorable than it is. Sharper. More urgent. More concise. I suspect you could have the alien introduce the superpowers and tell him that he needs to fight an alien race in considerably fewer than 10 comic pages.

    “So you want me to help you kill off a peaceful alien race to steal their technology?”/”Good. I see you’re getting the picture now.” I really like this exchange.

    The dialogue on page 14 of issue 2 strikes me as not so dramatic.

    “You’ll soon see that the only ‘rock solid’ thing here is my desire to defy evil like yours.” This doesn’t feel like believable, natural dialogue. Also, “the world shall soon meet the villainy of Doctor Light!” I’m not feeling this character declaring himself to be a villain. It makes it sound like his motivation isn’t believable.

  119. Hyperionon 12 Apr 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I’ll admit that I put in the ”rock solid” thing in just to justify the name of the story arc, which I thought up of on a whim.

    With Doctor Light, I purposely made him a stereotypical, mad scientist in this issue, which leads to him being defeated with one punch in the following issue. As a result, when he later gains superpowers (and chooses the slightly more dramatic name of Fluorescent), he has motivation for wanting to attack Meteorite, and it provides a nice contrast between how silly he was before the fight and how he is now. (Although I was stupid enough to keep the stereotype villain personality….)

    I know I drew out the dialogue between Michael and Golem, but I felt that there’d be a lot of questions in readers’ minds, and I wanted to answer as many as possible. Otherwise Golem would be walking away and people would be saying ”Wait a minute, where does he come from?!”

    With Issue #3, I think I managed to get the art up a bit of a notch, as well as some characterisation. I also eliminated my habit of switching between headshots between panels.

    Thanks again for reading and critiquing! Glad that you (seemed to) like this issue more than the last!

    (Also, if it feels like I’m nagging you to read it, sorry! If I am nagging and you don’t want to read, just say so. I’ll understand)

  120. B. Macon 12 Apr 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Okay… I’ll go as far as issue 3.

    My biggest concern is the art. I think it would look a hell of a lot better–or at least could look a hell of a lot better–if you did pencils -> inks -> Photoshop colors. For the most part, strong art is so clean that you’d never know that pencils were ever used. I’d recommend studying webcomics with professional-grade art. In particular, I think later issues of Dr. McNinja and Mokepon are absolutely dynamite. Right now, the coloring looks very grainy and sloppy. I think it might have been done with colored pencils. There are some people that can use colored pencils at a professional grade, but very few.

    It’s a bit unexpected that you alluded to Dr. Horrible–“who dresses like a Joss Whedon character to rob a bank?”–because I’d cite Dr. Horrible as an example of a character that flirts with cartoonish evil but is nevertheless engaging and interesting. (Horrible’s quest to join the Evil League of Evil is comedically over the top, but I don’t think Dr. Light is).

    In a few of the panels, the writing is strong. “Well, Nova first appeared in Nova #1 in 1976, and his powers were –” “Okay, you know what? I just realized I don’t care that much.” I thought that retort was sort of funny and helped develop their relationship. However, a lot of pages were just sort of forgettable. For example, the conversation between Michael and Miguel that opens up issue #3 (PS: please give Miguel or Michael a more distinct-sounding name).

    I’m having a lot of trouble keeping apart characters. The college students seem to look rather alike.

    On page 18, the angle of the character’s body looks very awkward. For one thing, his legs and torso seem to be going at different angles.

    “Hah! I blocked the light from reaching your eyes!” This is a fairly clumsy example of “Luckily My Powers Will Protect Me” (a character narrating what his powers do), I feel. It might be smoother for the protagonist to guess what happened. He is dealing with an optical villain, after all. (In contrast, it was riotously funny that Dr. Horrible failed because he blogged his plan to test out his death-ray and the LAPD and his hero nemesis were both waiting for him).

  121. Hyperionon 14 Apr 2011 at 11:03 pm

    For most of the colouring, I just used flat colours for simplicity’s sake. I’m too scared to try creating tones, as I know I’ll be horrible and it will look sloppy. However, I am trying to improve my art as best as I can.

    I put in the Doctor Horrible reference more to point out the similarity of the costumes, not the characters.

    With the students, I more or less added the background ones to show that more than three students go to the school.

    Thanks for pointing out the “Hah! I blocked the light from reaching your eyes!” comment and how it relates to “Luckily My Powers Will Protect Me”. I read the article and I’ll steer clear of that in the future.

    Again, thank you for reading as many issues as you did. I know that they’re far from perfect, so I really appreciate that you took the time to read them.

  122. B. Macon 15 Apr 2011 at 12:42 am

    In terms of coloring, I’d recommend taking a look at A Girl and Her Fed. I think it’s a good example of a series that makes a pretty simple digital coloring scheme look good. (For example, in this page, the artist uses just two tones on faces (base and shadow), two tones on the suits (base and shadow) and three tones on most other clothes (base, shadow and highlight), etc.

    If your inks are good, I don’t think it is very hard to do a decent job coloring in Photoshop. (Just upload the inked version, clean up any extraneous lines, multiply in the base colors, and then add shadows and/or highlights as desired). However, doing a good job with just pencils IS extremely hard.

  123. Hyperionon 16 Apr 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Okay, thanks for the advice, I’ll try it out.

  124. HETEon 31 May 2011 at 7:24 am

    I LVE IT

  125. Mynaon 31 May 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I really love that concept. ^^ The idea of space pirates has, yes, been done before; but I like how the chars just aren’t some guys on a cruiser trying to survive. Space explorers = awesome. What are Zeus’ powers, or does he have any?

    Perhaps he’s searching for something on one of the planets…

  126. Awale Abdion 01 Jun 2011 at 12:57 am

    I’ve been thinking about giving him no powers at all to kinda capitalise on normal Humans. I mean some might think his action potential would be low cos he lacks amazing superpowers but think about; an agile, fit, fast and nimble Human in peak Human shape can definitely dish out some amazing fighting moves and it would be fun cos he’d have to be creative with his fights in order to manage against the kind of beings he’ll be up against.

    As for his goal, I was thinking of simply making him an explorer hungry for adventure but I’ll get work on making up a solid goal for him. I mean even the seemingly aimlessly wondering at times pirates from a series I read called One Piece have final goals like finding the one piece, becoming the world’s greatest swordsman etc…

  127. The Jedi Penguinon 28 Jun 2011 at 11:30 am

    Ah, it seems I am not the only one with space pirates!

    Hmm, Carlos’ whole backstory seems convoluted, at least the way it was written out. I can’t keep straight who is ruling and which names belong to which elders. (Was Vega the grandfather? His father? Someone totally different?)

    Also “His power also granted him immunity to telepathic attack and he immediately killed his grandfather by ripping out every inch of blood in his body, using iron and other minerals in the blood to do so.” I think Magneto did something along the same lines in X-Men 2, you might want to look into that so it doesn’t seem like you’re ripping it off.

    I don’t know if becoming clownish fits with the rest of his character personally. I tend to see someone deliberately acting loud and obnoxious as having confidence and/or self-worth/esteem problems, not a guilt complex. I see someone struggling with this type of problem becoming very quiet, only talking if they have something to say, and taking everything too seriously, including themselves. I’d also wonder if he’d have a fear of his power, because it was the tool used to commit what he sees as atrocities.
    I don’t think I’d buy him saying he joined the group for fun. That doesn’t seem to fit him. I think he’d be more likely to say he joined because he felt it was the right thing to do, but never say more than that.

    I like how you say he has trust issues, and is very closed off. He seems like the sort of guy who would hide things from people.

    I’m wondering why he’s so upset that he killed his grandfather if his grandfather killed the one person he cared the most about. Unless it’s more the fact that he took a life, and one of his own blood at that. that makes him feel guilt, not the reason why he killed.

    I’m also fuzzy on the dad. If He was begging the grandfather to stop the contest, why does he use it to disgrace his son? What is his motive for being so evil? Is he a really good actor, or slightly bipolar?

    I think you have a goo concept here, just needs a little tweaking. =)

  128. Aj of Earthon 02 Aug 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Amazing resource, just like everything else here!

    Cheers!

  129. Damzoon 21 Sep 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Hey Bmac thanks for shutting that guy up. Just a troll.

  130. Neilon 21 Sep 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Hello everyone, I know I have commented in the past, but I would appreciate it if anyone could give me some feedback. I have a tentative concept for a story.

    The reason why I stress “tentative” is because I am nervous, anxious over the reality that my concept might sound stupid or be cliche. Not that most stories are original. Alas, I am going off track. Anyway he’s the concept.

    The story revolves around a protagonist named, Derek Masters. A college student, he’s fairly average run of the mill person. However, after encountering a mysterious artifact, an accident occurs.

    From it he gains the power to manipulate and harness “Celestial Pulse”. This type of energy in many ways is similar to Chi or Prana (Hindu philosophy) and enhances his physical attributes, along with giving him other powers.

    Now, I understand that most people, may think this your average story.

    While that’s true, the one thing I want to do differently is implement loads of Hindu Mythology, specifically about the Gupta Empire as well as, rather than have the tale fantasy based, geared more towards Sc-fi.

    To get a better understanding, the Superhero Thor kind of inspired me in this thinking, along with Ironfist and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist. That said, aside from plot I am still confused at where to start?

    I mean, I have somewhat of a clue about personality, but his powers, aside from the “Celestial Pulse” is still a mystery, given I do not want a Mary Sue (or in this case a Gary Stu) nor do I want him overpowered.

    Anyway, I apologize if the post was too long, but I had just wanted to outline my idea. All in all, thank you very much for taking the time to read.

  131. B. McKenzieon 22 Sep 2011 at 12:13 am

    –“I am nervous… that my concept might sound stupid or be cliche.” Ehh, don’t worry about it. I think most concepts in development INITIALLY sound cliche. It takes time to develop a story. As you flesh out the story, you’ll probably get a better idea for how to flesh out the characters and plot points in a way more unique to your style of writing.

    –“The story revolves around a protagonist named Derek Masters. A college student, he’s fairly average run of the mill person.” I would recommend giving him some personality trait that sticks out before he becomes a superhero. I think that’ll increase the chance that readers stick around long enough to see him get superpowers. (Also, a distinct personality should make him more interesting after he gets superpowers).

    –“From it he gains the power to manipulate and harness “Celestial Pulse”. This type of energy in many ways is similar to Chi or Prana (Hindu philosophy) and enhances his physical attributes, along with giving him other powers.” Could you summarize this power in one sentence? (I think you probably could, but if not, I would recommend simplifying it).

    –“Most people may think this is your average story [so far]…” Based on what I’ve read so far, the character isn’t really jumping out at me yet. I’d recommend fleshing out his personality, his motivations, what makes him different from notable superheroes in other stories, what makes him different from other characters in your story, etc. For example, why does he choose to become a superhero? What other unusual choices does he make and why?

    –Besides superpowers, is there anything that makes Derek a really good fit (and/or a really bad fit) for the plot? For example, one reason Sherlock Holmes would be a really good fit against a villain like Prof. Moriarity is that Moriarity is so dangerous that only someone like Holmes would have a chance of stopping him. That raises the stakes and it gives the author more opportunities to challenge Holmes. Alternately, maybe there’s something about the character that makes him a BAD fit, which could also be dramatic. For example, Chuck, Bad Company and The Taxman Must Die are about relatively normal people thrust into super-dangerous spy jobs and the drama comes from how they overcome their lack of experience. Dexter has a bit of both going on–he’s brilliant, which goes a long way for a forensics analyst on a crime show, but he’s also a serial killer, which is unusually high-stakes because his coworkers are on his trail.

    –“To get a better understanding, the Superhero Thor kind of inspired me in this thinking, along with Ironfist and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist. That said, aside from plot I am still confused at where to start?” I’m not familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist.

    –“…his powers, aside from the ‘Celestial Pulse’ is still a mystery, given I do not want a Mary Sue (or in this case a Gary Stu) nor do I want him overpowered.” Good plan. I have no idea whether you’d be able to easily challenge this character because the superpowers are still sort of up in the air at this point. If you feel like you’re not sure about whether you’re challenging the character enough, I’d recommend checking out How to Save Insufficiently Challenged Heroes.

  132. Neilon 23 Sep 2011 at 12:44 pm

    @ B. Mckenzie

    First off, thank you very much for responding to me. All of the articles you’ve suggested I have read a couple times in the past. The problem for me isn’t so much the story, it’s the sense that it won’t be well taken by many others.

    Alas, I am probably rambling, so I’ll get to the point. Considering your points, I have revised my concept In terms of personality, I see Derek as rather carefree. This in the sense he’s not so uptight about life and rather he just go with the flow.

    Unfortunately, having such a carefree stance has proven detrimental, as Derek comes off as lazy and a bum. Another trait that I want to exploit is Derek’s bravery.

    Particularly, while standing up for anything, he does become very reckless, to the point where he doesn’t consider his options. This again can prove detrimental. Finally, Derek can be absent-minded, especially at times when he feels bored.

    Again, I am attempting as you said to further develop him. Another thing, which I had forgot to mention, was that Derek has a catchphrase. This signature line is “Glorif**k” everytime he’s in trouble.

    In terms of his actual superpowers, if it’s best to characterize them in one sentence, then it should be the following: “Derek can harness Celestial Pulse, a mystical energy that can enhance is strength, speed and stamina and give him other metaphysical abilities.”

    His motivation for becoming a superhero was accidental. Upon discovering a mysterious object, he’s transported to a mythical dimension. It’s there that he’s put against several other individuals, in order to inherit the ability to harness Celestial Pulse.

    For plot reasons, Derek inevitable becomes chosen and is endowed with the ability. Some of his skills including sensing a person’s energy, heightened physical feats as stated above, and the ability to project light-based energy blasts.

    However, there are two main drawbacks to using his powers. For one thing, is overexerting his powers. Given Derek’s recklessness, he may, during a fight, use up all of his energy and become exhausted. This could be severe enough that he might suffer tremendous fatigue and loss of stamina.

    Next, is the fact that while Derek maybe willing to use his powers, his body isn’t. To be more precise, being that his body isn’t necessarily use to performing physical feats, such as backflips, areas like his joints and limbs might become inflamed.

    This could be such an extent that he’s unable to properly manuver, less he wishes to caught significant harm to himself. Finally, to touch upon my previous comment about my story not being average, I felt it was a little arrogant of me to proclaim such a thing.

    Thus, I do apologize if it had come off as that. All in all, these were some things I had considered. Hopefully, they’re good enough,but I am open for suggestions.

  133. YoungAuthoron 14 Jan 2012 at 3:29 pm

    So i just started writing a small story that i eventually want to become a novel. I want some feedback as to how i can improve. i’ve written about two chapters. It sarts out with two young 14 year-old step brothers who are getting their powers. in the world where this is set in, superheroes get there powers when they are 14. always. there is an event that happens with power orbs, giving them their powers. what do you think so far?

  134. Marquison 14 Jan 2012 at 4:02 pm

    It’s sounds ok I think you should explain the power orbs better. How do they work.

  135. YoungAuthoron 14 Jan 2012 at 5:03 pm

    The minute on which the superchild is born their world becomes cloudy. All else is a blur except for these five orbs that manifest in front of the superchild. The blue power orbs encircle and revovle around the boy/girl. Then they begin to pulse and throb. The superchild touches the orb(s) that call out to him/her the most. So children get one power, others two, and some three. No more than three.

  136. Marquison 14 Jan 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Hmm how do you want your story to cOme off? Right now it seems anime-like is this how you want it to across.I think you should explain more.why do these kids get powers at such a young age? Where do these orbs come from? Do all kids get powers? Why are superheroes needed? I think you should flesh this out a bit more. The big question is why. Describe why kids would need powers? And where the powers originate from. You say that kid can get up to 3 powers. This seems a bit much for a kid who has to learn to control these problems right?

  137. YoungAuthoron 14 Jan 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you so much for the feedback. I’ll try to incorporate it into my story. 🙂

  138. L05T 80Yon 22 Jan 2012 at 9:00 pm

    i’m a (very) young writer/novelist who wants to write a graphic novel superhero story, except my guy doesn’t have any powers, no identity left to protect and nothing to lose. how should i go about making this character both hated and likeable at the same time, while vengence is still a part of the story?

  139. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2012 at 9:09 pm

    “how should i go about making this character both hated and likeable at the same time…” Hated by other characters or hated by readers? You could make him hated by other characters if his vengeance gets in the way of their (probably undesirable) goals. Making readers both hate and like him would be difficult, although not impossible–for example, most magnificent bastards are likable even though they have certain traits that make them bastards. Case in point: the protagonist of House is acerbic and caustically unfriendly, but he’s funny and smart enough that I’d want to follow his story.

  140. L05T 80Yon 22 Jan 2012 at 9:49 pm

    the character is hated by the majority of the characters, but for the readers, i want them to sympathise with him because of that (and all the other bad stuff that’s happened to him), but still hate him for the same reason as the other characters: because of the way he’s going about being a hero.

  141. GrimGeniuson 23 Feb 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I am a tattoo artist. I want to create a character who gets his abilities from tattoos but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?

  142. B. McKenzieon 23 Feb 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I’d recommend starting your writing process with the character (e.g. key personality traits, goals, motivations) rather than the origin story (how he gets his powers).

    So, who’s the main character? What’s something he is struggling very hard to accomplish? Who or what is standing in the way of him accomplishing it? What are some hard decisions he’ll have to make along the way? (Preferably, hard decisions where he makes a different decision than most other superheroes would have made).

  143. Duchesson 12 Mar 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I’m creating a character called duchess, and I want you to let me know what you think. thanks.

    Background
    1. Before she got powers: A Mysterious Worker at Buckingham Palace attending college part time with Cassandra
    2. Was Best Friends with Cassandra, Prince Matthew’s wife, they went to school together
    3. They should care about the hero because before she was just a regular girl who just wanted to live up to her best friend
    4. She talks normally, accept for the occasional animal phrase
    5. She is 19
    6. Before coming a superhero she only wanted to live up to Cassandra and her Brother’s expectations
    7. She was always happy but was slightly traumatized when Her mother and Father were taken and most likely murdered by a masked man in an alley by Buckingham palace
    8. She loves earth; she just wants to fit in. She has always been a bit strange and everyone called her the weirdo next door except Cassandra.
    9. She Regrets not stopping the men who took her Parents
    10. Her Background helps her because she has Intel on the London Police. Since she’s going to school for Zoology it helps her figure out her powers

    Origins
    1. She was born super but had to get activated, In Blake’s case tripping and falling into a pool of mixed animal genes a the Buckingham palace facility.
    2. She wanted to be super, she wanted to keep other peoples family from being taken
    3. It may seem like an accident when Blake got her powers but the queen actually rigged it. The queen Overlooked Blake’s college courses and her reaction to different things.

    Identity
    1. She technically does have an identity but it’s just her old self, Blake. She is forced to keep her super hero a secret by the queen
    2. As working as a super hero her temperament changes from being A mysterious lowly worker who doesn’t like to show off into a hot girl who the queen favors, however she is still very mysterious
    3. The only people who know about her are Cass, Matthew, The Queen and her brother. They only know because Cass, Mathew, and her brother, Noah, are part of her crime team. The queen because she’s their “Disbatcher”

    Super Powers
    1. Power is talking to some animals and having some of the attitude of different animals and transforms partially into some. Animals include cat, roe deer, tawny owl, otter, and dolphins.
    2. Her super powers affect her civilian life because when she is agitated her powers show through like cat ears or feathers sprout.
    3. To get places she calls on her tawny owl, crown, to bring her places.

    Traits
    1. Mysterious
    2. Intelligent
    3. Daring
    4. Confident

  144. B. McKenzieon 12 Mar 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Some thoughts and suggestions:
    –“They should care about the hero because before she was just a regular girl who just wanted to live up to her best friend…” Hmm. I’d recommend fleshing this out more. Personally, I would think more of a character that stood apart from his/her friends. Also, I wouldn’t recommend making a main character defined by a side character in this way unless the side character is really interesting (e.g. Kurtz from Heart of Darkness).

    –Duchess comes across as sort of dependent and not very proactive. She’s living up to Cassandra’s and her brother’s expectations. She’s following the queen’s orders. She seems to have been affected very much by the opinions of others (everyone calling her a weirdo, etc). It’s hard to tell here, but I think she could be more interesting if she had more of an independent effect on the story rather than mostly reacting to the words/actions/expectations of others.

    –“Her background helps her because she has intelligence on the London police. Since she’s going to school for zoology, it helps her figure out her powers.” I’m vaguely intrigued by the police intelligence angle, but am not quite seeing how her background ties into it. One somewhat substantial alteration that might help would be moving her into a role where the police are more directly involved—maybe she does something scientific for the police (e.g. lab tech), does veterinary work for a canine unit (and/or is a dog handler or trainer), or maybe works in a government venue where major decisions are made (e.g. Scotland Yard, Parliament, City Hall, an intelligence ministry, etc).

    –Some of the writing could be a bit smoother. For example, if she’s an alien of some sort, I’d recommend mentioning that upfront, because I got majorly confused when “she loves earth” came up in #8 and I was left sort of guessing that she’s an alien. In #4, I was left guessing what “she talks normally, [except] for the occasional animal phrase” means. (E.g. are you trying to suggest that scientific jargon sometimes slips into her language, or that she’s not a human and her species affects her language?)

    –“she just wants to fit in.” Hmm. On the one hand, this sort of motivation—fitting in—has sometimes worked out really well (e.g. it was helluva interesting in The Incredibles and X-Men: First Class). However, be careful how you execute it because it could be boring if the main character wants to act like everybody else. Personally, the characters I find most interesting set themselves apart with unusual decisions and unusual goals. In superhero stories, Tony Stark, J.J. Jameson, Bruce Wayne and Ozymandias come to mind.

    How does the Queen figure out she is an alien?

    In what ways is this character actually daring/confident? It sounds like she’s rather timid about standing apart from the crowd and it seems like she takes orders or cues from everybody around her. In what ways is she intelligent? How does her intelligence affect the story?

  145. Duchesson 13 Mar 2012 at 6:14 am

    Thank you so much for the advice! I never saw most of that in this way!
    I should make her more distinct, but what girl wouldn’t want to be like the prince’s wife/girlfriend? Do you think she would be a better character if she was more rebellious? I think she will work in K9 unit or Goverment. She is mutant, but a humanoid mutant. Also she loves earth because that is where she grew up. she has the occasional animal phrase when one her many pets tries to contact . The queen figures out she’s a mutant because the queen worked with her parents long ago and they told her about blake/duchess
    I should rethink the daring/confident trait, but she’s intelligent because intelligence is imbedded into her DNA

  146. B. Macon 13 Mar 2012 at 8:10 am

    “What girl wouldn’t want to be like the prince’s wife/girlfriend?” Why? (Is she that driven by status/wealth? If so, why did she go into zoology?)

    “Do you think she would be a better character if she was more rebellious?” I don’t think she needs to be rebellious, but I think it would definitely help if she had independent motivations. For example, I wouldn’t consider the protagonist of Mean Girls or Hit Girl (from Kick-Ass) terribly rebellious, but they do develop goals beyond just fitting in with everybody else.

    It could feel contrived that Duchess just happens to start working at the Queen’s palace after her family used to work with the Queen. (One possibility: the Queen’s people recruit her rather than her just applying on her own, but please be careful about making the protagonist active rather than just responding to what the Queen wants her to do).

  147. YoungAuthoron 13 Mar 2012 at 2:29 pm

    @Duchess- what time period is this?

  148. B. McKenzieon 13 Mar 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Given the chemical vats with animal DNA, I’m assuming it’s relatively modern (or perhaps futuristic but I’m not getting that vibe).

  149. Trison 14 Mar 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Supernation is a great website

  150. YoungAuthoron 14 Mar 2012 at 8:42 pm

    ^I agree

  151. MoguMoguon 15 Mar 2012 at 9:46 am

    Background

    1- A quiet loner attending school.

    2- HS student, in need of a job. Will have to get one later on. Later on it’s going to be increasingly difficult to keep up her hero work with her job.

    3- It’s a hero who doesn’t want to be a hero, but forced into the role and crack under the pressure.

    4- Short, blunt sentences.

    5- 17

    6- She wanted to get into art school and do something art related for a living.

    7- Mostly just dumb school kid stuffs, like being picked on for no apparent reason and backstabby ex-friends. Her childhood was normal: single-parent family, living paycheck to paycheck, and going to school.

    8- She’s fine with it. Deep down, she wouldn’t mind if that “something more” came around, but she’s making no particular effort to look for it.

    9- She’ll regret ever meeting Sean, the dude that pulls her into hero work.

    10- In a way. She sort of knows what to expect from people.

    Origin Story

    1- No.

    2- No.

    3- Sean introduced her to the whole idea and then guilt tripped her into actually joining.

    4- He chose her for various reasons: A) She has superpowers, B) She “intrigued” him, C) He was lonely and wanted someone who understood him hero-wise.

    5- Accidental ingestion of serum.

    Secret Identity

    1- Plain old Tess, because the media and anyone looking to snuff the heroes would cause hell.

    2- Yes, sometimes she’s prone to accidentally run freakishly fast. In public. Woops. Her thought process also changes and she can process info faster and it’s overwhelming.

    3- She’s sleep deprived, malnourished, loosing/gaining weight, and sustains multiple injuries. She hides her body by wearing lotsa layers and baggy clothes. Any broken bones/noticeable bruises she writes off as accidents while playing with friends or falling down something. She chugs down large amounts of caffeine and later on pills. At least she doesn’t have friends to notice :< Her mother begins to worry what kind of people she’s hanging out with later on.

    4- Sean knows, obviously. Clover begins to suspect and eventually finds out.

    5- The media wants to find out her secret identity when she begins to get more attention. The police doesn't care either way at first, until she becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist.

    Superpowers

    1- She can run freakishly fast. (Though I’m beginning to wonder if she should even have it or not.)

    2- It used to help her with her studies and in P.E., until the sleep deprivation hit.

    3- Sean. He’s always there to help.

    4. Dunno, man. Not even sure if she should have powers or if it’s better to take them out.

  152. Edgukatoron 14 Jun 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Dear B-Mac,

    I think I have been lurking long enough. Can I please ask for a review forum for my novel-in-training “Majestic”. If possible, could I put the following information at the top:

    About the Story:

    Welcome to Majestic, California’s fastest growing Metropolis. Centrally planned and powered by some of the world’s most cutting edge Tech-Companies, Majestic is home to the Majestic Comet’s baseball team, America’s largest vertical garden and, until recently, no superheroes.

    Enter Dante “the Juice” James, former bodyguard to the rich and famous, self-proclaimed fastest man in America and super-powered entrepreneur. He’s here to convince Majestic that the one thing every great city needs is a professionally paid superhero.

    About the Author:

    A superhero enthusiast from the age of five, Edgukator has been playing around with all things superhero, from comics to computer games to role playing games, for more than 3 decades. In his secret identity, he is a father of two and English teacher who has sidelined in such diverse enterprises as an academic editor, script writer for educational television and rock promotion.

  153. B. McKenzieon 14 Jun 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I’ve set it up here.

  154. Dinaon 25 Jun 2012 at 5:20 am

    Do I need to give my superheroes secret identities? The whole Bat/Spider/Superman thing failed to sell me; I prefer and have more experience writing heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, or the Wasp, who are all famous/people of influence and widely known (though IM did have a secret identity for a while. So did CA now that I that I think about it…well, they don’t anymore, so I’m talking about them.)

  155. B. McKenzieon 26 Jun 2012 at 2:12 am

    Secret identities are not required.

  156. RainRune207on 07 Jul 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Okay, I just found this site because I am just starting to write a superhero novel. I am thinking of writing a novel where each chapter is written from a different characters point of view. So there is eight different characters and the first part of the novel will be how they gained their powers. It will be all first person so the readers will get a good understanding of the character and either really like them or really hate them. I am unsure how people will really observe my characters and how some of their stories begin. They are usually emotionally accidents that begin their transformation (around age 15-17). They will all vary and it will become clearer when I continue to write more chapters and origins.
    The Villian (Camille) actually had all of the characters when they were babies and getting ready for adoption. She took them and reconstructed their DNA so they would develop powers. But after they get adopted she loses them and it isn’t until their powers become active that she can locate them again.

    CHARACTERS
    Allie- she develops her powers when she is 17. She comes home from school to see her father beating her sister and she loses control emotionally. Her emotions run her and she always tried to protect her sister. In this one moment she sets her father on fire with her hands and burns the entire house down. powers- pyrokinesis. Weaknesses- she can’t control her powers when she’s emotional. Her emotions control her so she can be really passionate, frightened, calm and all other emotions. When they are two powerful her powers burst forth without her being able to stop them. It makes having a relationship difficult.

    Cameron- he’s in the army and is deployed in Iraq. His squadron is captured and they set the building on fire. In his attempt to get everyone out of the building which is surrounded by fire he freezes everything including his team mates. He gets taken by the government a.k.a Camille and her goons. She sets about getting him to work for them and helping to capture other kids that she had turned super. powers- cryokinesis. Weaknesses- he doesn’t believe in magically things but only the ability of what he can see. If he can’t physically see it then he doesn’t believe in it. So he doesn’t believe in himself or in what Camille is tring to do.

    Emily and Nora- they have a very calm life and don’t really want to be disturbed by anyone else. The small hills of Austria whe they live are very deceptive and they are always being watched. Their powers come to be at the exact same time because their powers feed off of each other. Nora accidentally kills someone with her power and doesn’t even know what she’s done because it should have been her to die. Emily in an emotional state brings him back to life immediately. Powers- biokinesis and empathetic masochism. Weaknesses- whatever they do to a person they can feel. So Nora can feel the pain when she inflicts it even though it doesn’t harm her and Emily can feel the life returning to someone but ultimately it takes a little bit of her life spark. If she brings to many people back from the dead then she’ll die.

    I also have Gaia who is a Lumokinesis, William who is a netherkinese, Nathan who is mentokinesis, and Kyra who is essekinesis. I haven’t made up back stories for these three yet but I will think of something. I just wanted to have a play of a Villian who has been apart of these kids lives from the beginning and is responsible for their powers. I just wanted to know what you guys think of this.

  157. Helix228on 08 Jul 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hi guys,
    I’m trying to come up with a villain, or group of people that could offer a large threat to a small team of superheroes. I’m looking for something other than zombies, aliens, robots, demons, etc. I was just wondering if anybody had any interesting ideas for who or what could provide a threat powerful enough for a team of three or four superheroes to stop. Thanks

  158. Amberon 14 Jul 2012 at 4:58 pm

    This is one idea I had. The storyline starts out with a typical superhero. Suddenly there is an outburst of superpowered crime. However what he doesn’t know is that there was a chemical outburst and it caused many people to have new powers they could not control and some to develop mental disorders. What he also doesn’t know is his son and daughter have powers (they never mentioned it to him because they discovered them in their later childhood and didn’t realize it was inherited) and that one of them has a friend who also suddenly got powers they coulden’t control. Through that friend they discover what is going on. At first they try to get the government to realize what’s going on but then, when that doesn’t work, they begin looking for these people hide them from the police and the “superhero” they don’t know is their dad and begin working on them with how to control their powers. Without realizing it people under the same roof become each other’s enemies, both thinking they are doing the right thing.

  159. Leegirlon 14 Jul 2012 at 7:16 pm

    @Helix228- Maybe you could do something like everyone in the world is apposed to the heroes maybe because of what they are capable of or maybe because of who they are assosiated with. This is kind of like the X-Men situation though. Or you could do something like the typical super against super thing were the heroes face evil superpowered humans like them. Or you could have them face themeselves and their army in a “i came back to the future to tell you not to do this or this outcome will happen” Maybe the heroes see the fault in their future selves and take necessary action against them. But this kind of like a Kang the Conqueror story line. What do you think?

  160. B. McKenzieon 14 Jul 2012 at 7:33 pm

    It’s an interesting premise, Amber, but I think it might help to raise the stakes (especially for the father). In particular, I feel like it would be really hard to avoid a conclusion like this:
    1) The father finds out that his children are his nemeses.
    2) The father decides to go against the police and doesn’t say anything about his kids.

    If you absolutely have to go down this path, I would recommend spicing things up a little with complications. For example, maybe somebody else on the police force (ideally somebody not entirely in the hero’s camp) knows about the kids and the hero has to convince him to keep his mouth shut. Or maybe one of those people hiding superheroes (the resistance?) finds it out and threatens to out the kids to the police unless the superhero starts secretly cooperating with the resistance.

  161. Amberon 14 Jul 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Somone should make a website where pepole make a charter and can choose two super gpowers and three gadgets. Then have a virtual world in wich people can challenge eachother. I am just putting this idea out there because I have no means in whitch to make a website but maybe somebody else could use this idea. If anyone knows any sites like this please let me know.

  162. Franklinsteinon 29 Jul 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hey guys, I was wondering what cool super power someone could get for surviving a plane crash. I already have the plot in mind-fortunately it does not really involve the superpower-but I’m still trying to come up with a cool idea for the superpower. Any advice is appreciated.

  163. B. McKenzieon 29 Jul 2012 at 10:41 pm

    “I was wondering what cool super power someone could get for surviving a plane crash.” Some possibilities that come to mind:
    –The character is seriously injured and has a miracle operation a la Kick-Ass. This could explain some combination of extra strength, extra agility, extra endurance, a weakened ability to perceive pain, etc.

    –There’s something special about the plane and/or where it landed. For example, perhaps the plane was carrying chemicals in the cargo hold and the force/heat of the explosion caused a gaseous cloud (a la Static Shock) which caused whatever superpowers you would like in the survivor(s). For a more localized origin story (affecting only one person), perhaps the main character is sitting next to a chemist handcuffed to a briefcase containing a rare and valuable sample. In the crash, the chemical splashes on the main character. The chemist may or may not survive. (If the chemist doesn’t survive, one alternative is that the chemical splashed on the chemist, but the main character is only exposed to the chemical because he tried saving the chemist from the wreckage).

    –A mutant terrorist group (or some other supernatural terrorist group) releases an airborne mutagen on a passenger plane. If you wanted to limit the number of people that develop superpowers, perhaps the plane is over water and the pilot attempts an emergency landing when the mutagen is released, but most of the passengers perish in the resulting crash. Or perhaps the mutagen only works on a few of the passengers for whatever reason. (One possibility: unbeknownst to the mutants, the mutagen is not generally effective in highly dry air, but the air on planes is generally very dry).

  164. YellowJujuon 29 Jul 2012 at 10:42 pm

    The plane could be FULL of radioactive spiders, and he could get spider powers! Oh wait…

  165. rogon 06 Aug 2012 at 11:55 pm

    hey, I think I came up with a pretty good superhero and I would like some opinion on it, the superhero

    Sandra Cooper/ the White Knight- a young woman who is trans-mutated by a untested serum meant to combatant genetic problems, changing her physiology drastically. Living in an impoverished neighborhood as well as growing up with a strong catholic tradition and a police officer as a brother, had developed a strong sense of social justice and willpower, but also form some arrogance, self-rigorousness and at worst hypocrisy as well (something even she is aware of herself, though) and can lead her to act reckless at times. She discovered her powers slowly, ranging from some of the physical changes in her (becoming slightly taller and muscular, iris changing color) to actually fighting off a attempt on her life single handedly, and decided to use her new found abilities to break up fights and attacks in her home, eventually stretching out of her humble neighborhood, hitting criminal syndicates, working with the police, and even developing a persona from what the criminals call her as well as by having a friend of hers develop a hoodie to hide her identity and provide protection against bullets. her resemble those similiar to early Superman, or Wrath (FMA:Brotherhood) having inhuman strength, agility, endurance, and animal like senses.

  166. Edgukatoron 07 Aug 2012 at 12:37 am

    @rog – sounds like a good beginning, but let me ask some questions, just to help you refine your character.

    1) What were the genetic problems? Did her brother have those as well? (Could be tricky if he’s a cop, which could lead to some interesting conflicts.)
    2) Who offered her the experimental treatment? Why did she decide to risk her life over something so obviously experimental? What did the doctor get out of it?
    3) Arrogance makes an interesting trait in a character, but it can be a fine line with it and keeping the character likable. (See Guy Gardner for how NOT to make an arrogant character likable). How will this arrogance manifest in your character?
    4) Hypocrisy is an interesting trait in a character (and more interesting if the character is unaware of it, to be honest). How will this play out in your character? What particular points will bring out her hypocrisy?
    5) Why would the police work with a vigilante, even one with powers?
    6) How will she make a hoodie that protects her from bullets?

    As a comment, the powers you describe are fairly “ordinary” as far as super-powers go, but that’s nothing to be afraid of. Her personality will drive your character. The key would be defining her limits – just how strong is she? just how agile? How sensitive are her senses?

    So long as none of these powers make her too impervious (“so strong she can make the earth spin the other way on its axis”), and/or there are forces opposed to her that present a real peril (“You may be impervious to bullets, Superman, but Lois Lane isn’t”) it should be ok. Just keep your powers consistent…

  167. Frenzyon 10 Aug 2012 at 7:16 am

    It’ll probably be a little long to do this for both my MCs right? I’ll just do it for Taylor “Killswitch” Ashley, who’s a villain.

    ~ Background

    1. Well, everyone has an ability in my world (I don’t bother giving a scientific explanation since I don’t think it’s that necessary). Though abilities usually start to manifest from ages three to four. So, I guess she would have been a whiny toddler before she acquired abilities.

    2. She’s currently in college (in the UK) and she’s also part of the top villain clan in England. She barely cares about her education and puts more effort into her clan.

    3. Because although she has a severe lack of morality, she still has some ability to care for the people closest to her, and to protect them.

    4. Well, she probably curses and makes death threats more than the average teenager.

    5. She’s 18.

    6. Before she became a villain she wanted to be like her parents and be a world famous hero.

    7. She didn’t really have any problems except trying to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become a hero.

    8. She views everyone as worthless, pathetic and disposable. And makes no effort to hide the pleasure killing brings her.

    9. She regrets ever having aspirations to become a hero.

    10. Taylor’s best friend Melissa is the daughter of one of the top villains in the world, so she taught Taylor some things about being a good villain.

    ~ Origin Story

    1. Yes, she was born with abilities.

    2. Yes, she chose to become a villain. Her mother was wrongly blamed for killing Melissa’s father (one of the top villains in England), even though one of her teammates did it, and as a result, Melissa killed her team, which included Taylor’s father. (Note that Melissa was age ten at this point and this all happened within minutes.) Taylor blamed her mother for her father’s death, and believed that Melissa only did what any self-respecting villainess would do, since “an eye for an eye” and striking back twice as hard is one of the main rules of villainy. (Hopefully this isn’t too confusing.)

    4. Not really, but she was chosen to be part of Syphon (her villain clan), because of her highly aggressive reputation and her tendency to kill those who even slightly annoy her.

    ~ Secret Identity

    1. Though everyone knows she’s a villain, she doesn’t need a secret identity since she has the protection of her mother being a heroine. Though, technically she has a secret identity so no one knows that she’s in Syphon. So her codename is Killswitch.

    2. They don’t make it harder or easier. There are tons of villain clans that it would be impossible to simply guess which one a person belongs to or if someone even belongs to one.

    3. She’s picked up a bit of an addiction to the arena in her clan headquarters, and as a result sustains a lot of injuries. Though, it’s fine. They have a healer as a referee. Though, her clan does get in its fair share of . . . disagreements with other clans and hero teams, and she does have to help fight with them, which will result in minor injuries without the presence of a healer.

    4. Her mother and her best-friend’s mother are the only people outside of the clan who know she’s part of the clan.

    5. The police are considered the worst crime enforcers in the country and only serve as a clean-up crew, of sorts, to arrest people the heroes worked to incapacitate and not kill. So, they don’t care who the villains are. They just take what they’re given. The media is tricky, as there are hero friendly, villain friendly and neutral sides of the media. They all care who she is; the villain friendly side care because she’s done more than her fair share of dark activities. The hero friendly side care because she’s a villain and she’s the daughter of one of the top heroines of the country.

    6. What the clan does is kill anyone who finds out who the members of the clan are, who aren’t authorized to know.

    7. Nope.

    8. She doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a villain. In fact, she tries to prove it at every possible opportunity.

    ~ Superpowers
    1. Quite simple, she has the power of teleportation. Though, the more she does it in a short period of time, the more effort it starts to require. I reckon readers could easily understand that.

    2. She teleports out of uncomfortable situations.

    3. Well . . . she’s a teleporter. It doesn’t get much more efficient than that.

    4. Uh . . . Not sure. It depends if you consider teleporting into the headquarters of a rival clan full of power negators, who could very well capture her for their own . . . personal needs . . . for a rescue mission surprising.

    Oh wow. I know she’s a villain, but reading this back, she does come across as ever so slightly unlikable . . . :p

  168. B. Macon 10 Aug 2012 at 9:55 am

    –It might help to come up with some reason that she’s bothering with college. (Maybe it’s a cover story? Or maybe it’s keeping up appearances with her mother?)

    –“Makes no effort to hide the pleasure killing brings her.” I’m having trouble visualizing this. Just how much clout does her mother have? Are there are at least whispered rumors about what she’s up to and/or why the heroes/police won’t do anything about it? Or is the public just sort of used to boastful serial killers not getting arrested? (Alternately, if it’s a secret, how does it stay hidden even though she’s so careless about secrecy?)

    –Is her mother actually heroic? Does she know anything about what her daughter is up to? Does the mother approve? (If the mother doesn’t approve, why do people give the daughter extra latitude over who her mother is?)

    –“She regrets ever having aspired to become a hero.” Heh, I like that. It sounds promising.

    –“Top villains in Britain…” Unless there’s a ranking system, I’d recommend using a different term than “top” here. For example, “most dangerous.”

  169. Frenzyon 10 Aug 2012 at 2:20 pm

    First off, thanks!
    I never really thought of that. I mean, her mother already knows that she’s a villain, but it’s not so much that her mother doesn’t try to control her, it’s more of an issue of her not being able to control Taylor anymore. Think of an out of control teen, except instead of going out getting drunk or sleeping with everyone every night, she goes out doing questionable tasks for her clan.
    And actually, making it so her mother doesn’t know Taylor’s a villain would probably make it much more interesting. Or at the very least making it so she doesn’t know that Taylor’s in a clan. Thanks for the suggestion! 😀
    “why do people give the daughter extra latitude over who her mother is?” I could try and come up with a reason but I honestly don’t have a good reason. That will probably change through editing. But you do make some good suggestions and I’m swaying more to making it so no one knows what Taylor gets up to. At least that way her mother won’t seem that irresponsible for not being able to stop her. Although, you could say she’s even more irresponsible for not noticing her daughter’s activities . . . Yep, this definitely opens up more areas to explore. Also there wouldn’t be that much of a question on her heroism if she didn’t know.
    I was thinking about there being a ranking system, but perhaps I’ll only keep that for the heroes, since I’m really not sure how that could apply to villains, but yes, “most dangerous” does work.
    Oh, and her best-friend goes to the same college. Is that a good reason for her to stay in education? Probably not. But it does turn out that when Taylor joins the clan she finds out one of her teachers is a villain too. Though, that’s not really a reason, either.

  170. B. McKenzieon 10 Aug 2012 at 4:01 pm

    “perhaps I’ll only keep that for the heroes, since I’m really not sure how that could apply to villains, but yes, “most dangerous” does work.” I think you have options with regards to a villain ranking system. For example, the novel Top Ten cleverly used (a somewhat-fictionalized* version of) the FBI Most Wanted List for this. The villain is a serial killer that is ashamed/angry to be listed at #10 on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list. He starts killing the criminals listed above him on the Most Wanted List to ensure that he will get more respect/fear.

    *(In real life, the FBI doesn’t rank the criminals on the list, but I think the premise is believable anyway).

    “why do people give the daughter extra latitude over who her mother is?” I could try and come up with a reason but I honestly don’t have a good reason.” If the crimes in question were relatively minor (e.g. bank robberies where nobody gets seriously hurt), it’s possible that the police and/or heroes would look the other way if they thought that the mother really needed it. For example, if the mother’s still recovering from a vicious supervillain attack (perhaps tied to the daughter or somebody trying to mess with the daughter), I think it’s somewhat believable that characters would give the daughter more leeway until at least the mother is well enough that she can safely face the news about her daughter. However, I would recommend against her using this as carte blanche to openly be a psychotic serial killer. Perhaps some characters have seen the tip of the iceberg (e.g. armed robbery), but she uses her mother to defer the investigation before it gets anywhere particularly serious (e.g. serial killing).

  171. Knuxilveron 14 Sep 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Im thinking of writing a superhero story, but haven’t come up with anything but the ending. Basically, the hero, in a fit of rage, bull rushes the villain off the top of a tall building, attempting to take the both of them down. The villain, who is going to be a very close friend of the hero, accepts his fate and allows the hero to wail on him, but as the hero punches him, he begins having flashbacks of abusing his own son. He realises what he’s doing, and manages to stop himself, forcibly shoving his grappling gun into the villains hand and firing it, saving the villain. He then, finally accepts his fate and meets his death on the sidewalk below. The comic ends with a shot of the villain leaving flowers at his gravestone. Tell me what you think 😀

  172. B. McKenzieon 14 Sep 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Hmm. I think it has potential, Knuxilver, but one thing that I think could be polished is that it seems to hinge on an incredibly fast realization based on something that already happened. Since the event (the hero abusing his son) already happened, if this event has such a powerful impact on the hero, why wouldn’t this impact have taken hold before he started fighting with the villain/friend? What actually causes the hero to have this about-face in the fight rather than before?

    (Also, could you come up with a smoother way of having the hero save the villain than forcing a grappling gun into his hand?)



    You might be able to do more here with something premeditated. For example, one character enters this fight with murder and/or suicide on his mind. The other character is looking for a happier outcome, for himself and (maybe) his friend. A superhero or supervillain might be able to engineer something really interesting. For example, the hero fakes his death, the distraught friend/villain leaves flowers at his gravestone, and the hero has some sort of interesting interaction with him there. Or maybe the supervillain goes to kill/capture him, but something convinces him that the supervillain actually is the better man, and the hero gives up something major (possibly his life or his superheroics/job) in some way to wrap up the conflict and/or help the villain elude capture from other forces. Blade Runner would probably be the prototypical example here. Dark Knight was more unusual: Batman convinced himself that the pristine conception of Harvey Dent as a heroic icon was worth more to Gotham than he ever would be, so he and Gordon framed him for the murders committed by Dent.

  173. Knuxilveron 15 Sep 2012 at 7:28 am

    Yeah, I can see how the grappling gun wouldn’t work very well, it needs to be somehow more involuntary on the villains part, maybe tying the cord around the villains leg or something. I was planning on having some sort of dialogue before the fall in which the villain basically deconstructs the reason of why the hero does what he does, possibly for self gratification or some sort of guilt over abusing his family. This is going to take quite a toll on the character who is just going to snap there and then and go for him. But as he has the flashbacks he begins to realise that due to what he’s doing now he is basically validating everything the villain just said, so he decides to do one truly selfless act and save the villain’s life while sacrificing his own. I was just tossing ideas around last night, and I really need to develop why this happened. I’ll work on it, but I was looking for having a bittersweet ending involving the hero’s death. The character i’m trying to create here, while he does do some good actions throughout the story, is someone i’m trying to make it hard for the reader feel sorry for due to what he’s done, and he only finally redeems himself when he dies. It’s not going to be a completely black and white morality, as the villain is going to have some admirable character traits as well. Thanks for your help.

  174. B. McKenzieon 15 Sep 2012 at 9:46 am

    I like the idea of tying the cord around the villain’s leg.

    “The character i’m trying to create here, while he does do some good actions throughout the story, is someone I’m trying to make it hard for the reader feel sorry for due to what he’s done…” Ah… I thought you might be doing a villain-as-main-character. Having the hero be the main character might present major likability issues–I think his child abuse might take him across the moral event horizon for many readers. One potential problem is whether readers will give you enough time to show his redemption if they are disgusted by him.

  175. Knuxilveron 15 Sep 2012 at 10:18 am

    The plot isn’t going to be revolving around the hero’s past. It’s going to be touched upon that he abused his family, but I don’t want everything to fall into place until the end, and don’t want the story to just be an angst-rollercoaster. It’s supposed to be a criticism of the hypocrisy present in society today, which is the villains driving motive. He’s out to prove that, no matter how well built up their facade is, everyone is at heart a hypocrite who will change their values based upon their situation. The hero’s going to be saving people during the story, but it’s generally done in a sense that he gets a kick out of beating up and killing criminals and has an overarching sense of guilt for him abusing his son. I think one event I’m going to have happen, as the story will take place roughly 16 years after the child abuse, the final confrontation on the building has all been orchestrated by the villain. He knows the hero well, as they were partners for quite some time, but split due to an event that happened in their past, which was traumatic for both of them. The hero decides that since he’s not coming back from the final meeting, he wants to tie up loose ends in his life. One of these is finally being able to bring himself to face up to his now adult son and apologise for what he did to him. His son doesn’t forgive him, but they come to a mutual understanding and he leaves feeling he has finally done something that made a difference. The real problem here is going to be the villains speech breaking down the hero’s actions, which will have to be something incredibly scathing in order to push the hero’s beserk button.

  176. Knuxilveron 15 Sep 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve got more of my story worked out now, and started drafting up the script for the comic. The whole premise is that there were a team of costumed vigilante’s in the 1980’s in Chicago called the Regulars, who were just a group of like minded civilians who wanted to make a difference. They all had their own gimmicks and superhero identities. For example the Cardsman, a conman with a gambling addiction who incorporated it into his superhero identity, using razor sharp playing cards as his weapons, rather like shurikens. He is obsessed with hypocrisy as he essentially represents it in his civilian and hero identities. For a while, that worked fine and they were well recieved by the people. However, as time goes on, problems begin to arise and after one final climactic event involving a botched attempt to quell a prison riot, the team is forced to disband by the police. Some of the vigilante’s stay active, whereas some hang up their capes and boots and call it a day. The story begins in 1998. roughly ten years after the Regulars split up. The retired Regulars are being murdered by a mystery killer, who is later revealed to be one of the still active regulars, bitter at them for abandoning what the team originally stood for, as the city has deteriorated back into the state it was in before the formation of the team. At the same time, an unknown pathogen has begun causing a widespread pandemic accross the US causing people to die, beginning with a bad cough and eventually causing their immune system to reject their own lungs and them to die in agony. The disease spreads across the country, killing millions. The government develops and distributes a vaccine and a cure across the country, however society has already collapsed. It’s up to the remaining Regulars to attempt to restore order to the city of Chicago, and resolve their internal conflicts that caused the team to shatter in the first place.

  177. Kirbyon 21 Dec 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Ah, dang it, another idea with chaos in Chicago! Hopefully mine is different enough.

    Becky is a fourteen-year-old girl in the present day north side of Chicago with an almost unhealthy sense of curiosity. She spends a whole lot more time reading up on obscure conspiracy theories than doing her homework or anything productive. Up until a mutant dog attack on her school, that is. With a blissful lack of judgment, she runs off during evacuation to get a better look at the thing. She ends up getting badly bitten and is rescued by the police and taken to the hospital. Becky wakes up that night to find that she isn’t in her hospital bed, but above it. Some time in between the dog attack and that moment, she developed an ability to become a gas at will (though it has some health side effects). Once this is discovered, she’s whisked away by the police again. Why?

    The thing is, no one has developed superpowers in Chicago for more than five years ever since a strange accident happened in Cook County Jail. This accident has lead to a superpowered gang war among five vastly different supervillains. The details about it are scarce, though, and one of Becky’s main motivations in the story is to learn what really happened, along with learning how exactly she got her powers. This comes into conflict with the police, who intend to train her to help them turn the war on supervillainy around, and aren’t fond of being constantly peppered with questions about the accident or Jimmy Hoffa. Mostly, the story consists of Becky trying to answer her questions and actually start doing something productive without getting herself and everyone else killed.

  178. Anonymouson 22 Dec 2012 at 6:16 am

    Knucilver, your story sound incredibly similar to Watchmen, by Alan Moore, so much so that I think there could be a lawsuit. I would highly reccomend… not scrapping it, but changing some aspects. For example, why were the Regulars forced to disband? In watchmen, the team members are also being murdered. I’d reccomend looking into different crimes.

  179. YellowJujuon 22 Dec 2012 at 8:33 am

    @Knuxilver, I’ve never read Watchmen and I knew that this idea was taken.

  180. Yuuki12on 22 Dec 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Here’s a the questionnaire for the character of my story I am working on, Derek Masters.

    Background

    1) Derek was just an easygoing teenager who was apart of his school’s soccer team. He was neither the best player nor the worst. Just average in comparison.

    2) He’s in High school. This of course affects his superhero career, especially his grades when he has to duck out of class to act

    3) He’s not very head strong. He’s the type of person whom appreciates life for what it is, and is joyful about prospects it might hold. But he’s not above to denying the horrors of the world, as having witnessing them

    4) Has a dialect, specifically with saying words like Talkin’, of walkin’ or any words with an “ing” sound. He also says “ya”, instead of yeah at times. He also says “Hell’s glory” when things go wrong. It is his catchphrase.

    5) Sixteen years old

    6) His goal in life was to live a life of happiness, a life that he can appreciate. This ties into his philosophy of “livin’ in the moment”. While he’s all for exploring what the world offers (coming from his father), he claims that sometimes there are things that cannot be explained. He’s fine with that, given in his view it is just better to appreciate what goes on, rather than worry about it.

    7) He noticed the problems of society, and how while claiming to be proactive, people were detached from them. (He describes them being “deaf”). This comes from his background, where despite having a good childhood at first was crushed when his father whom was suffering from depression and was drunk, assaulted his mother.

    Having watched his mother being assaulted in a closet, the trauma ran deep in the teen, as he hates being in dark-enclosed spaces.

    In regards to his whole worldwide view he more than anyone else understands how screwed up the world can be. However, even he’s admitted that he was “deaf” to these issues, like many others, prior to discovering his powers

    8) Derek’s viewpoint on the world is quite easygoing. Despite as described above, the experience made him not to take for granted the good stuff he has. That’s why he takes his time, looking everywhere and examining things in a mild manor. Abiet, at the annoyance of everyone else.

    9) One could say Derek regrets not having his father around, but then again that would be an outright lie. Despite having felt bad in the past, even he understands that was a situation beyond his control, and such acknowledge that.

    10) His athletic background has helped him numerous times, as soccer(along with his tough training he had to endure) have kept him fit and active. Also, while not as talented as Liam, Derek has a good understanding of science, particularly, physics and astronomy. He’s utilized this knowledge in conjunction with his powers numerous times.

    Origin story

    A not for questions one to three

    4) He was chosen to become a superhero by the Adjudicators of the Infinite Realms, or Adjudicators. They are a inter-dimensional policing group, whose tasks is to protect the dimensions and ensure justice and peace across these realms. Derek, along with many others, were selected to take part in a test to see whether or not they were worthy of the power as well as whether or not they have the right to become Adjudicators(this is known as the “Trial).

    Despite refusing at first, he eventually does take the test, and succeeds and is bestowed the power and the position.

    Secret Identity

    1) Yes Derek does have a secret identity. Originally, Derek wanted to operate under the radar, as an Adjudicator so as to prevent any problems. It was that basis why he was opposed to being a public superhero. But after an incident, Derek decided it was best he operate being exposed.

    Originally, he did not have a superhero name(though many critics did call him the banshee or white devil). But eventually, the name White Noise is bestowed upon him, a name Derek surprisingly likes.

    2) His powers are a mixed bag. For one thing, they aren’t as visible of other abilities, such as fire, magnetism, and strength. But at the same time it is not a cakewalk. Examples include him hating loud places, and wanting to step out constantly so as to gain some “quiet” from the noise. It’s also hard to explain when he can tell if something is wrong with a person, but cannot explain how he knows.

    3) Yes his work as a superhero has changed his body. While suffering from the usual burses and marks, he does make the usual excuses, running into a pole, or falling down etc. The one noticeable mark is the large scar pinned across his back. Having gained it from a near fatal encounter from one of the major enemies, it is quite blaring.

    While fortunate that the mark is anywhere immediately visible, given he’s at soccer practice the mark can at times be on full display. To that, he always explains to his teammates that he got it when really young from accidentally falling and sliding down a tree trunk. Though in the case of Derek’s friends, he always wears a second shirt just in case to conceal it.

    4) Derek’s best friend, Liam, knows his secret. He told his best friend, given he felt that the only way he could figure his abilities out at the time was him. His other two friends, Sean and Kylie, he hasn’t said anything about, due to wanting to keep them protected, along with Teri (his friend, and eventually love interest at first)

    5) The police especially want to know Derek’s identity. This comes from a combination of jealousy, mistrust and the basic anti-vigilante notions. Of course their tone, while strong, softens in the long run. The media of course shares the interest of him( note the world setting is very much replicated to be like the real world. Obviously while fiction can never truly act like the real world, I want to attempt to portray as real media and police reactions as possible).

    Many criminals at first dismiss him, but as Derek becomes more and more successful, they become wary of him. So higher legion of foes, whether human or not, yearn to kill him.

    6) Derek does several things to keep his identity safe. For one thing his powers benefit from this. Given he undergoes a transformation (he gains darker skin, silver white hair and dark gold eyes with a black sclera), this helps him shield some of his features. Also with the use of his powers, he’s managed to alter his normal relaxed, streched out voice with a low, almost mocking tone.

    7) His friend and love interest Teri Meadows almost pieces together Derek’s identity during an encounter with him. She noticed the connection after he displayed mannerisms similar to Derek.

    8) No one fortunately has publicly ousted as a hero. Which is a good thing for Derek, given he has plenty of other non-earth stuff to deal with.

    Superpowers

    1) Derek’s powers revolve around sound. He can generate sound waves around his body, notably his mouth( in the form of a sonic wail), and has enhanced hearing, the ability to move at super speed by riding atop sound waves, along with altering and modifying the sound of his voice.

    2) His powers do affect his civilian life. For example, he utilizes the hearing when he plays soccer to assist him while playing and the speed aspect at times (though, at times that’s been risky). His power has also made him appreciate quieter, less rushed areas, due to how he can hear all sorts of tunes. All the while, he’s more active with his surroundings, as time passes, compared to being passive.

    3) In regards to transport, Derek does have a method. By riding atop sound waves he generates, he can propel himself at super speeds. This enables him zip to and from areas quickly. However, this power isn’t perfect. Continuous usage of it does tire him, due to immense lactic acid buildup. Also, while zipping at high speeds he’s very vulnerable. That means any sudden collisions can be fatal. Also, when faced with abrupt changes of direction, such as banking turns, Derek needs to physically slow himself down to make the turn in order to topple over.

    4) This I’ll admit is a tricky question. Sound-based superheroes aren’t exactly original in what they can do, hearing, sonic scream, lie detection etc. While I would like to admit the enhanced speed from sound manipulation is an example, I have come up with one other creative usage: Echo Shroud.

    Derek creates an aura of sound waves that covers his body. The shroud obviously protects his body from exterior harm. All the while, a high frequency sound wave is generated to which not only stuns and disorients foes. His speed and strength are augmented, and such any physical attack he lands can stun and disorient foes.

    However, there are a couple of drawbacks to this power. For one thing, given the high frequency of sound waves, this power is dangerous to anyone around, as it can cause deafness and extreme disorientation. It is this reason why he is so hesitant to pull off the power when there are civilians around, and does so only if necessary.

    The next disadvantage deals with duration. Derek can only maintain the effect for a limited period, around a few minutes.

    Thus, he cannot waste time and such must focus on defeating the enemy as quickly as possible. The final drawback deals if he extends past a few minutes, maintaining the effect. While his body is rejuvenated and maximized at its highest, prolonged exposure to those sound waves causes damage to his organs and muscles. Thus, excruciating pain follows as a result.

    That’s all I have, hopefully anyone can offer me any suggestions or tips not just on this bit, but anything else I covered.

  181. Amberon 31 Dec 2012 at 1:35 pm

    What kind of power would someone have to have that they could take down someone w/ teliconies however the person w/ telicoises could still hold them off long enough to protect someone else long enough for them to get away?

  182. Ronald R.on 25 Jan 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I had an idea for a superhero team consisted of literary characters (ex: red riding hood, van helsing, robin hood, tarzan, etc) but i realized that people will most likely compare it to Fables or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Is there anyway i can change it around & make it different?

  183. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2013 at 1:25 am

    I don’t think there’s any way around the comparisons. However, if your story is excellent, I think readers will give you a chance anyway (e.g. audiences did not mind that The Incredibles shared some elements with Watchmen and the Fantastic Four). My main concern would be whether the characters you’ve selected could be interesting enough to keep the reader’s attention for 5+ pages outside of action. I’m optimistic about VH and Robin Hood. Less so on the other two — I don’t think the source material gives you much in the way of interesting personalities or voices.

  184. Watcher in the Wingson 27 Jan 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Hey, i’m a long time reader of the site and these articles have really helped my in my writing (i’m an unpublished novelist). I’ve thought up a new idea for one of my stories. It takes place in a world of my imagination that is somewhere between modern day and the early 1900’s. My main character Alec Kyles has a mechanical right arm after his real one was lost in an accident. This “accident” was orchestrated by the main antagonist Adarian Radaker to punish father for denying his request to assist in his experiments.

    Backstory
    1. He moves around alot, going from town to town. He used to live with his father and brother in a small town after his mother left them. But his brother later died and he lost his arm in an accident (later proved to be orchestrated by the main antagonist Adarian Radaker). After this event his father became increasingly distant and depressed, burying himself in his work until he just up and dissapeared. After that he met a surgeon named Dr. George Roberts whom gave him room and board and acted as a father figure for a couple of years. Dr. Roberts also gave him the operation that allowed his mecha arm to attatch to his nerves correctly.

    2. He was homeschooled by his father, who was a scientist, and later traveled around the country.

    3. He is searching for his father or just information on what may have happened to him as well as desiring revenge on the man whom caused hs brother’s death and destroyed Alec’s life. Despite the way things went terribly wrong for his family it would have been very easy for him to turn evil, instead he turned toward helping others while on his quest for answers and vengence (a thirst for vengence may seem like a dark quality for a hero but I feel that it adds another layer of perspective into his personality and makes him seem more realistic).

    4. He talks as though he is uncarring and detatched from doing good deeds or fighting the various villains in the story even though he cares deeply about these actions. He is also very blunt and outspoken when dealing with even tender matters. He often curses when aggravated or even slightly irritated, a trait he picked up from his father.

    5. he is around sixteen. (he isn’t in school because he inherited his father’s brilliance though he doesn’t often show it)

    6. He had wanted to become a military surgeon/doctor so that he could help people who desperately needed it. He’d had problems with girls because of his crippled body and level of intelligence (they felt intimidated by this), he also lost his dream of being a surgeon as even with his mecha arm his skill level was seriously hampered by the lack of a second arm (the robotic arm could malfunction, fail, break down etc. in an operation)

    7. His country of Icaria (fictional) is at war with it’s neighbor Bacara (also fictional). The country is also quite poluted with crime and suffering, several towns and cities are under complete control of a villain/group of villains (the military can’t help about these issues seeing as they’re at war). He was very aware, his father was actually working for the military and Alec himself wanted to be a field medic.

    8. He wants to make a difference but is unsure of how to go about it (until he gets his mecha arm).

    9. He regrets that he could do nothing to save his brother and he beats himself up about it (even though there was never anything he could do).

    10. Because of his intelligence he can make repairs to his arm as needed, though his partner Leo helps with this more as he was once a mechanic. He can also reconnect the arm to his nervous system (this is required because he tears the arm off more that once when it becomes more of a hinderance, like if it becomes damaged or he has to remove it in order to defeat an enemy)

    Origin
    1. Strictly speaking he doesn’t have any powers at all, except perhaps his above average intelligence. He also is a master of jujitsu, though his form also has many techniques ajusted for use with one arm

    2. Not really. It’s more like he began doing that in between points in his quest.

    3. He felt a sense of moral obligation. This was immensly increased when he failed to rescue a young girl while chasing after a conspirator (whom he fails to catch, the pair of these events throwing him into despair). Then he resolves to help as many people as he can on his quest.

    4. no

    5. see #3

    Secret Identity

    1&2. no

    3. He has become more muscular and becomes injured quite a lot.

    4. see 1 and 2

    5. The police welcome his help, with the occasional officer who doesn’t like him thrown in. The media isn’t very interested in him since he lacks powers or a secret identity, not to mention that he’s less of a super hero as he is a vigilante. He rarely goes after large villains unless he sees a large reason to.

    6. see 1

    7. see 1

    8. no and no

    Super powers

    1. he doesn’t have powers. He does have a mechanical arm wired into his nervous system. The arm is made of a carbon fiber stainless steel alloy and is of Alec’s father’s own design. The arm has things like smoke bomb launcher, caltrop launcher, and can fire small explosives

    2. no powers. His arm does, however, since it is robotic

    3. The best way of getting across Icaria is by rail road, there are cars for the cities though but he and Leo rarely use them

    4. Yes he will, from firing a smoke bomb into an enemy’s face, using his detached arm as a club and setting the arm on fire to scorch an opponent to creating traps with trip wire and his explosives

    His friend Leo used to be Adarian’s head body guard before Adarian began genetically experimenting on the other guards/mercenaries. Leo tried to quite but Adarian knocked him out. When he awoke he had the ability to transform into a half lion half human creature similar to a werewolf. He later met Alec and they mutually agreed to help take down Adarian.

  185. Marxon 18 Mar 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Background: The protagonist of my story, Dermal was part of a well known superhero team known as The Ninth Wonders when he was in his teen years. Once he grew up he decided to retire from the superhero life in order to live a normal life. He’s called Dermal because he has the ability to generate red crystalline-like armor that grants him strength, durabilty and it also protects him from extreme temperatures and physical damage. Dermal/Mason Grimm is in his late 20’s. Dermal always stood out from the rest of the team because he was the only one who who was willing to kill for the greater good. While his other teammates heavily depended on their superpowers, Mason felt that not all problems could be dealt with powers. In a nutshell, Dermal used his brain more then he used his brawn even though he had it. Feedback please?

  186. Marxon 19 Mar 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Mason Moore, actually

  187. WinslowMudDon 10 Apr 2013 at 4:21 am

    Apparently a professional writing forum (at least i would consider it one, or something akin to one) is now an ad stand?

  188. B. McKenzieon 10 Apr 2013 at 4:34 am

    Ehh… over the last 6 months, there have been 352,074 attempted spam messages on SN. Only 215 were visible for any amount of time, and only ~6 for more than a day. As far as I can tell, the only way to reduce the amount of spam would be to hire full-time editors, which would require ads for revenue.

  189. WinslowMudDon 10 Apr 2013 at 5:14 am

    Ouch. Lesser of two evils I guess then heh. Sucks though…

  190. Malcolm Bansaon 19 Apr 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hey guys, I new and I have watching oher peoples entries for a long time, so I have decided to do one two. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to make a superhero comic. I have t6he drawing skills down, but I’m having trouble choosing which ideas to us. Here are some of the ideas I have come up with. This first of my ideas I have come up with is A story simular to watchmen. However, it is centerd around a specific character. He is a superman like character and he is the most powerful of earths heroes. He has also lived a long time, having been a superhero from the 1940s up until now (2013). He has beeen part of every major superhero team throughhout the ages. Rightnow there is a mysterious enemy killing of costumed heroes, and it is causing the United States to panic. On the other hand, the fedration of justice has their on problems to deal with. The Saturnian, (that is the mainh characters name, dont make fun of it) has been along for a long time, and during that time he has lost of family and friends, over time he decides there is more meaning to his existence. the novel is mainly about love, redeption, and moral concepts.

  191. Malcolm Bansaon 19 Apr 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Its me guys, Hres my second comicbook idea: The story is that in the past, superpowerd beings had been around since the begining of time. In the following 5 centuries, 20 years in the past, the goverment sponsored a team of superheroes called the sentries. However the superheroes began to rebel and soon the superheroes and other superhumans fought against goverment. The war lasted 10 years, but atlast the superheroes were defeated and placed in prisons or killed. Soon after, the goverment realized they could create their own supowered humans and began taking DNA from the reaining superheroes and inplanted that DNA into gentetically engineered humans. The year is year is set in 2032, and he main characteers is Jason, he is living with his father in a post war metropolitan city. Soon after his father is murdered he is taking to a mysterious bulidig in the center of the city where he is held captive for hree months there, he is sucepted to exteme torture after a while, his powers emerge, ( Which are telekinesis and telapathy) he cause a massive explosion, which causes severaql captives to break out. After escaping he gathrs upp these captives to from his own team so they can fight the corpatraion.

  192. B. McKenzieon 20 Apr 2013 at 4:29 am

    Hello, Malcolm. Some thoughts and suggestions:

    “A story similar to Watchmen… centered around a specific Superman-like character.” My main concern is that the character could be a lot more original. I’ve seen a lot of lot of ersatz Supermans and am not impressed by the characterization or likability of the original. I think it would help to flesh out the characterization here (e.g. add unusual personality traits, unusual decisions, unusual goals/motivations, unusual conflicts, etc) until the character adds something really new to what’s already on the market.



    I’d also like an interesting personality for Jason. E.g. what are some things he would do that 99% of other superhuman protagonists wouldn’t do in the same situation?

  193. Malcolm Bansaon 26 Apr 2013 at 8:03 pm

    HeyB.McKenzie, about ymy supermaqn character called the neptunian ( yes, that is name dont were it out)I have some ideas that diffrenciate himeself from superman. First of all are his powers, he is more powerful than superman, (this is can be more of a problem later on)His powers include: flight, superstrength, superhuman speed, super senses, control over any force or energy, great amounts of stamina, and superhuman durability. With alll these abilities, many characters throughout the story mention hime to be “god-like”. His one major flaw is that he has trouble dealing with his immortality. Over the years, he has watched as all of his friends and fmaily have died while he has never grown old (he has been a superhero since 1940) and since then he has fought every evil imaginable. Over time he has lost many allies over the years during he crusade against evil (He also has been part of every superhero team in history. All these have caused him to lose the fight inside of hime him and also lose his humanity. This makes him different because with superman, he can deal with any crisis imaginable and come out emotionaly unscathed. At the end of the book, the neptunian dies saving the world one last time. ( Dont worry, this is not the last you will see of him)

    My second novel, to answer your questions . jason was well manered kid taught to do what was alwyas right. After his father was killed and Jason was kidnapped, he was tortued for 3 months with drugs, electrocutions, and pychological tortue. Jason finally caracks, unleashing his leathal telekinetic and telapathic powers, causing a massive explosion that blows a huge portion of building of causing several others to escape with Jason as well and soon after they join into there own team to fight the corparation. What diffrientiates Jason from most characters is that during those three months of tortuere, it had a massive effect on his physce, As team leader, Jason tends to be quiet and shy and is often the most muture of the group. But when using his powers , becomes a warped, phycotic, insane version of himself. This tends to endanger himself and his tematees. He also kills people without regard or remorse. The only barrier septrating him from this is the values his father taught him.

  194. B. McKenzieon 26 Apr 2013 at 8:35 pm

    “I have some ideas that diffrenciate himeself from superman. First of all are his powers, he is more powerful than superman…” Hmm… I’d recommend that you keep thinking about how to make the character interesting and distinct. I wouldn’t recommend depending on superpowers to make your characters interesting.



    Here are three overarching suggestions about the plotting and characterization:
    –The character’s personality could be a lot more engaging and three-dimensional. I’d recommend checking out How to Make Characters Interesting if you haven’t already.
    –I fear the superpowers are more likely to detract from the story than add to it. In particular, when characters say he’s “god-like,” that strikes me as a red flag regarding whether they get opportunities to interact with him in interesting and memorable ways or whether they only interact with his superpowers. I’d recommend making sure that your characters are actually characters (e.g. they get opportunities to make interesting and memorable choices) rather than just collections of superpowers.
    The character supposedly dies, but doesn’t. A sacrifice with actual consequences can be very dramatic… but a sacrifice which does not could probably be a lot more interesting. I can only speak for myself, but I anticipate this can quickly lead to negative responses from editors.

  195. Wolfeon 04 May 2013 at 12:24 am

    My character is named Kanen Crowe, he is a 28 year old native american man who developed the ability of electricity manipulation at a young age after he accepted a dare to sneak into a lab at night. He’s kind of had a hard life. At the age 16, he had accidentally shocked his parents to death, he made a deal with mobsters and the deal was he would take part in underground fight clubs in exchange for food & shelter, he had to fight to the death. One night, he had refused to fight because the opponent that he had to fight was a very young boy, he was at least 12. So Kanen thought if he wouldn’t beat this kid to death then the mob would kill him, so Kanen ended up killing the mobsters and fleeing. Now at 28 years old, he is just a drifter going from town to town and city to city. I wouldn’t necessarily call him a superhero, he just happens to be at the wrong places at the wrong time kind of like John McClane. I am having trouble with this story so far because I don’t know what type of antagonist I should give him, I don’t know what kind of goals or challenges to give him either. Do you have any advice?

  196. Authorof9on 20 May 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I came up with an idea about a team of four vigilantes. It is a very dark story and I want to emphasize the fact that all of the characters, especially the heroes have problems other than over agression or drinking. The first four characters make up the vigilante teams called the Riot Squad. I have not come up with a linear plot but rather character backgrounds, their goals, and their relationships with each other:

    Tommy McShay/Shamrock:
    Tommy’s younger sister was raped and murdered when he was younger. Scarred by the experience, he has never let the thought of catching the killer out of his mind. The head detective, Loud Goldson, was never able to catch the man who did it and he feels indebted to Tommy and wants to help him in his quest to find the killer, so he greenlights the idea of the Riot Squad. Tommy is the leader of Riot Squad and is usually the most brutal and fearless when it comes to trapping their targets. He becomes infatuated with a news reporter whose goal, unknown to him, is to take down the Riot Squad. When Lou finally tells him the truth about his dilemma, Tommy knows that if he wins, they will have a new commissioner who will not overlook their missteps. But he also knows that he should be grateful to Lou for letting him run the streets in the first place. He decided to momentarily stop the Riot Squad until Lou wins the election.

    Lukas Baczkowski/Stanchion
    Lukas was orphaned at a very young age and lived in an orphanage for his entire life. He is a lonely and volatile character who cares much more about other’s well-being than his own, so he joined the marines as early as possible. He was eventually discharged because he was diagnosed as being mentally unstable. When he returns home, he is recruited into the Riot Squad because he feels it is the only way to still serve justice now that he is out of the military. His character is very dark and lonesome by choice, and he has thoughts of suicide and other disturbing ideas. When he gets back, a young girl who he knows from the orphanage very well rushed to see him. When he was at the orphanage he cared for her much like an older brother, but her feelings are much stronger and she asks him for an even deeper relationship despite her young age of seventeen. He finds it impossible to say yes to, but also knows he cannot deny her because he also loves her. Another obstacle is Tommy’s vendetta against underage relationships because of his sister’s life.

    Colt Anderson/Maverick
    Colt is from the south and was a very violent yet successful cop, but his complaints and caused lawsuits against the department eventually lead to his release. He is brash and often gets worked up over things which can lead to his emotions making the decisions and not his brain. He is also the most sadistic of the Riot Squad because growing up he had a father who abused him, so he takes out his years of pain on his victims. He also finds out form his older brother that his dad is dying, but refuses to console him because he knows how much it will hurt him as he dies. Always looking for excitement, and in need of something to do after his release, he joins the Riot Squad. He is also the member of the Riot Squad with the least ethics. Unable to be shaken, he is often the one to carry out or invent the more brutal tactics. He also goes off by himself a bit to do street deals with drug dealers and prostitutes. When he meets Julia at his favorite strip club, he falls for her and walks a thin tightrope by getting involved with a callgirl.

    Reese Porter/Hangman
    Reese grew up poor and grew up on the streets. His father was killed due to gang violence and and has been looking for the man that did it ever since. He was most recently arrested for an assault charge, but was given the chance to walk free under one condition: join the Riot Squad. He does so as it will also give him a way to find his father’s killer. Reese’s girlfriend who he has not seen for some time tells him that she is pregnant, but Reese decides to stay with her because from his own experience growing up, he knows how difficult life is for a single mother. But he knows he will soon become a father and wants to keep his child away from what he actually does.

    Shannon Fairmont
    Shannon is an overly ambitious news reporter who seeks out interesting stories. She is very favorable of the police commissioner, Lou, and tends to write articles that shed positive light on him. When she hears from a close friend that the Riot Squad are disrupting her neighborhood, she begins to question the behaviour of the group of vigilantes. After she witnesses them brutally beat a suspect on the street, she sets out to take them down through her articles. She asks Lou to help her and in return she will help him win his upcoming election for councilman.

    Julia Duquesne
    Julia’s father left her family when she was very young. Her mother was a washed up drug addict who never cared for her two children, so Julia’s older sister had to become a prostitute to take care of the three of them. Life only became harder when their mother died from overdose and Julia’s older sister found life as a whore a lot more difficult than she originally thought. She beaten, developed a crack addiction and eventually got AIDS. Julia was able to grow up fairly normally due to her sister’s sacrifice, but when she gets word that her sister is dead, she becomes part of a sting operation to tear down the man that led the prostitution ring responsible for her sister’s disappearance. She is a very scared and vulnerable character who is prone to abuse and when she meets Colt in the prostitution house, she breaks down into tears. He asks her to tell him what the problem is and he will take care of her. She knows she can’t tell him, but also if she overturns the prostitution ring and everyone involved, Colt would most likely be attached to it.

    Nicole Winters
    Nicole is a seventeen year old girl who knows Lukas from their days at the orphanage. He acted like an older brother to her, but she wants him to be much more. She acts teasingly towards him and often tries to seduce him, but he feels uncomfortable doing so which leads him to throwing up the first time they have sex. She is a character who has suffered a lot as well, but only wants to help Lukas with his problems.

    Lou Goldson
    Lou is the police commissioner who is hopeful about becoming the councilman. He was also the detective who failed to catch the killer of Tommy’s sister so for that he feels like he owes Tommy something. He gives him the Riot Squad, but says that they have to act as vigilantes so that any backlash will not be connected to the police force. He also is good friends with Shannon, the most influential journalist in the city, and she writes articles that endorse him and edge him closer to a seat as councilman, but when she asks him to crack down on the Riot Squad and get them off the streets, he is caught in a difficult situation. The Riot Squad effectively remove crime and he told Tommy that he would overlook what they did as long as they did the right thing. Now he has to decided if he lets the Riot Squad continue and let the most influential writer detest him, or take them off the streets, get promoted in the media, but anger the man he owes so much to.

    Ed Templeton
    Ed is the leader of a group that takes underage, poor, orphaned, or anorexic girls and ships them overseas to a sex-slave group. He claims that he is giving them a second chance in life and that he persuades them away from suicide. Tommy wants to kill him because his abuse of underage girls reminds him of what happened to his sister while Lukas is against the idea the he prays on orphans. Reese, coming from a poor neighborhood knows how easily swayed poor kids are, so he feels that the man is truly evil for manipulating kids who have no other choice and Colt is always up for finding someone lowly to take out his aggression on.

    Again, this is a very dark premise, but any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated

  197. XosMelon 09 Jun 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Hey Mac, have you seen Jack Reacher? It goes against pretty much all of these questions. The only information we are given through-out the whole story is his name, how he dresses, hes a total BA, and he doesn’t care about the law – just whats right.

    If you haven’t seen it, you should. Definitely awesome.

  198. Malcolm bansaon 17 Jun 2013 at 9:04 pm

    After a few months of reviewing at and thinking, I think I have two decent stories. My first one, as you is about that one watchmen-like story. I have rewritten and rethought the Jupitarian ( This is my my final name, sorry). As you know, he is almost omnipotent and potentially a god. I have also added more problems to for him to conquer throughout the story. As you know, he struggles to cope with his immortality. Anything on earth cannot hurt or kill him. Another thing is that he is tired of watching humanity destroy itself . Feeling that there is no more meaning to his existence, the jupitarian continuely saves the day but with more violence and aggression. As he learns of the hunting of costumed heroes, the jupitarian does not give much thought until one of his teammates is left near death by an attack. the jupitarian is made aware of more of these attacks but when he is called to a press conference he is met by the ghosts of his past and decides to go into solitude on mars. After meeting the deceased ghost of his friend then metropolitan . The jupitarian finds redemption and goes to stop the villain and his group who are trying to exterminate all superheroes and conquer the world. The villain turns out to be vectorius of the alpha guard.( The team jupitarian is on.) The jupitarian and the remaining alpha guard fight vectorius and his team of villians in the dessert. The jupitarian makes the ultimate sacrifice by using his remaining power ( wich was taken from him by the vectorian) to stop vectorians doomsday machine. which had the ability to mimic infinite mass and energy. The jupitarian is supposedly killed and a memorial is held for him by all of earths heroes
    . In the last few remaing pages it is shown that the jupitarian has adopted the civilian disguise of Marcus Clarkeson and heads of to start his new job.

    My second novel with my character Jason. during those months Jason is succepted to extreme forms of physical and mental torture. Expirimentations on his mind and body. and drugs. All to awaken his powers. After being experimented and tortued this lasted this time. After being put in his imcubation chamber Jason laments about this and his past and finally cracks unleashing the full potential of his powers and escapes. As the series progress. Jason is revealed to have the ability to have powers by simply understanding how they work. Jason struggles how to prevent this hunger.

  199. Destroyeron 30 Jun 2013 at 2:08 pm

    My name is Tyler and I have come up with a superhero comic. The story is set in the year 1988. Superheroes have been around since the 1950s. In 1975, the war between superheroes and super villains began. After 4 years of struggling, the war was one and a majority of the villains were put in prison, but a few remained at large. In 1980, the event that would change the world was called the black zero event. The event started when 7 villains, who had been in hiding for over 5 years. Finally came out of hiding and began to attack Chicago. They attacked in great force finally making their way to too the baseball field where they held all of the civilians hostage and began killing them off. Chicago’s residential superhero team, came to help, but after some hostile negotiating, a battle started out. In the final minutes of the battle the villains where losing and one of the villains, the exploder did not want this and blew himself up, causing a explosion that killed everyone in the stadium. Superheroes all around the country dropped in popularity and every one was calling for them to be contained by the government. The leader of this movement was businessman turned senator Adam Summers. Summers believed superheroes were a threat to the U.S. and wanted to have them working for the U.S government. After a few months of debating, the powers act was put in order. The act declared that all costumed heroes where to work for the government and reveal their identities. If they did not, they were branded as traitors to U.S. and put in jail. After that, nearly all of the worlds superheroes retired after that, with the exception of the alpha guard. The best and most powerful team of superheroes. The story is set is 1992, The superpowers of the world are divide on two sides and are about to go two war. The alpha guard is called to halt war, the alpha guards leader, Quasar is the only one who can stop it within a week. Torn between the choice of stopping the war or causing the planets destruction, Quasar goes insane

  200. Destroyeron 30 Jun 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Sorry about that, I accidently clicked the submit button. as I was saying Quasar goes insane, and starts destroying the planet. The superpowers of the world are powerless to stop him because Quasar is virtually omnipotent. The only ones who can stop him are the remaining alpha guard members. Another side story is the development of the characters, who are trying to guide the world long after they have lost their way. This story is a combination of Irredeemable and Watchmen. I have two questions: Is this two much like watchmen and how do I end the story?

  201. B. McKenzieon 30 Jun 2013 at 8:56 pm

    “I have two questions: 1) Is this too much like Watchmen, and 2) How do I end the story?”

    1) In general, I don’t think it’s a problem if stories have a similar premise, IF the angle and/or execution are substantially different. For example, The Incredibles shares some plot elements with Watchmen (e.g. most heroes being outlawed after a few bad cases), BUT it effectively used those as a springboard into a substantially different story (e.g. Syndrome’s goal is completely different than Ozymandias’, and the team dynamic for the Incredibles is completely different than anything in Watchmen). Your springboard/premise sounds very similar to Watchmen, and I would recommend using the premise to go somewhere more original.

    2) I don’t know enough about the story to offer any advice here. For example, I don’t know anything about the main characters’ personalities or what makes them unique.

  202. fruta planta compraron 11 Jul 2013 at 12:53 am

    My boss is also keen of YouTube humorous video tutorials, he also watch these even in organization hehehe..

  203. Hyperion1on 12 Jul 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Hello my name is Jay and I have come up with a superhero novel. The story is that in the 1900s over half Nation of the UN council Nation broke of and started their own organization, war soon broke out and the other side was winning. The remaining UN nations needed a new weapon, they needed a knew type of solider, so they created a serum, which had the ability to give people superpowers, using this, the first superhero team in history was born. In the 20 years before the story, the U.S. used the serum to create the Titans Corps. The purpose of the Titan Corps was to defend the world. Soon however, some of the members of the Titan Corps began to think that they were better than everyone else, and were meant to rule the human race. Calling themselves the Federation of Gods, they began to take over the world. War soon broke out between the Titans and the Gods, Resulting in the world being brought to the brink of destruction, after 5 years of fighting, destroying most of the Federation. The story is set in 2020, the world is has recovered from the turmoil resulting from The Federation War. The main character is Jason Hadenson. Jason is a 16 year old living with his family in New York. Jason is picked to serve in the Titan Corps but must first go through training. Jason is given the serum and manifests the power of Ability Mimicing. Jason passes and is put on 2nd team and is given mentor and go out to start helping people. Around this time a second Federation War starts, and starts engulfing the world again. during the Jason learns more about his father, who disappeared and is presumed dead. All in all I think I can make this into either a novel or comic book, but I have a problem: I need to develop the other characters, and I was hoping to do it based on powers. Comment?

  204. B. McKenzieon 13 Jul 2013 at 11:12 am

    “I need to develop the other characters, and I was hoping to do it based on powers.” Generally, I’d recommend focusing on elements of character development such as personality/traits, unusual motivation/goals, voice, etc. If the most important aspect of the characters is their superpowers, most publishers will pass within 120 seconds.

  205. Cadillacon 29 Jul 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Hey guys, I’ve posted here before and I am writing a story about a guy who is attacked by a locust, thus gaining a shell that gives him strength, flight and armor. I just created the villains and was wondering if anybody wanted to critique the superhero and his villains. Sorry if it’s a bit long. Thanks.

    Lance Holloway—Recent college graduate who lives in Seattle as a writer for a travel magazine. He is typically quiet and reserved until his father, who was a cop, is killed in the line of duty by a drug dealer named Cue Ball. Lance tries to stay away form being involved, but eventually decides that he wants revenge after receiving the Locust powers. He also knows that he has not accomplished much and uses his past passiveness as another motivational factor for him to do something meaningful.

    Cue Ball—Main drug lord in Seattle. Large and bald, heralding the name ‘Cue Ball’. His real name is Randy Waters and he had somewhat of a difficult past. He is from the streets of New York, raised by a single mother and the youngest of three brothers. When he was young his middle brother died in a car crash, the his oldest brother of a heart attack then his mother of Lou Gherig’s disease. He was also bullied throughout school because of his rough upbringing and portly demeanor. Cue Ball was married briefly, but when his wife had their son she left him with the baby because she did not want the baby to be influenced by a drug lord. She never returned and it has been 19 years. His drug dealings in Seattle were cracked down on by Lance’s dad so he had him killed.

    Reaper—Cue Ball’s best and most trusted hitman. Reaper grew up without knowing who his parents were and he was taken care of by his uncle and his aunt. He was always detached from society and was expelled from high school after beating two kids. He ended spending a lot of time on the street and became part of Seattle’s grunge, youth movement which is how he came into contact with Cue Ball. After doing some small jobs for him, Reaper’s aunt and uncle sent him to the military. After being a marine for two years, he returned but his mind did not. The only person he knew at home was Cue Ball, so he went to him right away and Cue Ball used his combat expertise and distance from morals and humanity to turn him into a lethal hitman. In the novel, Cue Ball sends Reaper after Locust after Locust tries to bring down Cue Ball’s empire. Because Reaper is the same age that Cue Ball’s son would be and because his childhood was so empty, Cue Ball always imagines Reaper as an ideal version of his own son even though he is not.

    Luis Santos—Drug lord in Rio de Janeiro. Luis was born in the favelas of Rio and grew up poor. After joining a gang, he saved the leader’s life in a firefight, earning him much respect. After the leader was eventually killed, Luis fought off others to become the successor and has since become ruthless and nasty. He sells drugs to Cue Ball to distribute in Seattle. After Locust disrupts business, Luis wants Locust dead. Unsatisfied with Cue Ball’s and Reaper’s efforts, he looks for someone who he thinks can do the job.

    Martín di Prado—A young man in Rio who is the oldest of four siblings. His father was killed some time ago in a chase with the cops after he stole drugs for Luis Santos. His mother is dying of Tuberculosis and as the oldest he views himself as responsible for the well-being of his family. He works for Luis to ensure support for his family although his oldest sister is strongly opposed to it. After hearing of Luis’s desperation to kill Locust, he learns of a test Luis needs a volunteer for. He plans on injecting wasp DNA into a human to turn them into a human with insect abilities like Locust to combat the hero. Martín knows his family will miss him and might not forgive him, but for their well-being he volunteers with the pay being his family’s safety and stability. The test, however, goes wrong and Martín, now Black Jacket, loses his mind. He is covered in a shell that lets him fly and shoot poison as well as provide armor and all he knows is that he wants to kill Luis for taking away his humanity and destroy Rio de Janeiro.

  206. ChickenNoodleson 30 Jul 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Hey bmac in question #7 of background do you actually mean the entire world or merely the setting of the story? Someone answering this question about Batman’s background is most likely going to tell you about the problems in Gotham not the problems in North Africa.

  207. Zeus 101on 10 Aug 2013 at 12:23 am

    Hi, my name is Hunter and I have just came up with a superhero novel and I think it needs some feed back from this website. The story is about this group of superheroes. This group, called the Alpha League, was the greatest team of heroes this world has ever know. They had saved the world from the greatest threats the world had ever known. Because of this, the Alpha League were known as celebrities and mythological figures throughout the world. To the public eye the Alpha League was thought to be untouchable and unbeatable. The end of the good fortune came a 8 years later after the Alpha League had been formed. The super villains of world had grown tired of being continuously getting beaten and humiliated over and over by the Superheroes. In the next few months heroes were being continuously killed by squads of Villains. Finally after an attack that brutally killed a superhero team and hundreds of civilians. After that attack, the war between heroes and villains began. War lstedars, claiming the lives over 5 million civilians and left hundreds of cities in ruin. The end of the war happened with the final battle taking place in the ruins of Omnic City. Between the last remaining heroes and villains. The remaining heroes included the Alpha League. The heroes eventually won but with most of the fighters either dead or seriously wounded. The remaining villains were put in jail. The heroes then tried to help people, but public opinion turned against the heroes forcing them to retire, including the Alpha League.

    The story is set 10 years after the war. The World has recovered from the destruction of the Meta War. The leader of the super villains during the war, Lord Cadmius, has become the President of the United States. The United States is having trouble with a new generation of meta criminals, called the Omega Breed who are causing to much chaos across the country, but they are mainly centered in New York City. Recognizing the need for Alpha League again, formerly retired superhero Mach 5 sets out to unite the original members the Alpha League. All of them are accounted for except for the first Crimson Knight, who died in the Iraq War, so they recruit his original sidekick, red squire, who is know an adult into the league. The league begins to clean up New York City and finally after 3 months, shuts down the Omega Breed. After learning about the President’s plan to take over the world once again, the Alpha League sets out to stop him. Realizing the that the league is a threat to his plans, The President begins to recruit his own team of super humans, consisting of old villains allies from the war. The final battle takes place in Washington D.C.

  208. gaka040on 21 Aug 2013 at 2:31 pm

    This is the perfect website for making a superhero.

  209. B. McKenzieon 21 Aug 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks!

  210. Missvisibleninjaon 05 Sep 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Would it be okay to give one of my characters a mental illness? I was thinking about giving her ADHD, a couple of my friends have it and it thought it would be a good barrier to overcome. Also according to Abby if you have AHDH caffeine has a strange affect on your body, it makes you sleepy instead of waking you up. Would this be alright to give a nighttime crime fighter?

  211. Amber Don 01 Nov 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Ok so this is my idea there is a girl who is kidnap when she is 5 then they do something to her that makes her have super reflexes, super coordination and super reaction speed and also doubles her speed and strength. Then she is brainwashed and trained to be a super villain. (They first start sending her to do stuff when she is 12) Then she is hit by a car when she is 15 about a year she gets in some dangerous situation and out of fear she just fights them off w/o really thinking about it and then she is wondering how she was able to do that. She starts remembering stuff and then ends up going under cover for a super hero. Later on she ends up becoming a full on superhero herself.

  212. Amber Don 01 Nov 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Oh and I forgot to mention after the car crash she loses her memory and then is adopted because the no one is able to figure out who she is (which was supposed to be said in between the car crash and the event that strikes her memory)

  213. Amber Don 01 Nov 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Here is a few thing I could use some help with in my story idea above:
    1. What would the hero benefit from her going under cover?
    2. How does he know he can trust her or what would cause him to be so desperate he doesn’t have any better options?
    3. How does she explain away a year of absence?

  214. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2013 at 3:25 am

    “What would the hero benefit from her going undercover?” I’m not sure I follow 100%. Is she a villain that is pretending to be a hero (and later eventually becomes an actual hero)? Or is she a villain that secretly becomes a double agent and later openly works as a hero?

    I feel like there are so many pivot points in her backstory it might be a bit hard to follow. She’s kidnapped at 5, becomes a supervillain at 12 (temporarily), gets hit by a car at 15 and loses her memory, and I think at 16 (?) she gets in a frightening situation and fights off the other villains, and then later she becomes a double-agent (I think) and later an outright hero.

    At this desperately late hour, the first thing that’s coming to mind is that the amnesia may be an unnecessary complication. Maybe the brainwashing, too — I feel it may be a more interesting choice to become a villain if she did it consciously? Also, it may be easier to tell the story if the time span is a bit condensed — I’m guessing the target audience is at least 13 years old and, if so, I’m not sure they’ll be all that interested in what happens to a character between the ages of (say) 5 and 10. It’s not impossible to write interesting scenes with a significantly younger character (e.g. Ender’s Game or Calvin & Hobbes), but it is definitely not something I would take for granted.

    1. How could a hero benefit from having an ally hidden inside a group of villains? Uhh… Presumably she would have access to useful information (like some information about what the villains are planning to do, where their bases are, who’s involved in what, perhaps some details about how best to take down a particular teammate, how to sneak in undetected, etc).

    2. “How does he know he can trust or what would cause him to be so desperate he doesn’t have any better options?” She can give up information which would probably make her situation with the villains more precarious. For example, maybe she tricks one of her teammates into going somewhere alone, but actually giving away the location to the hero so that he can ambush the villain alone. The other villains may suspect how a hero managed to pull that off and may suspect a traitor. (Seriously, if their team uses brainwashed people, it’s amazing that they haven’t been betrayed before 🙂 ). Another option would be that the villainous organization is so serious and/or dangerous that he feels relying on a more conventional approach would surely not work. For example, perhaps the villains do something like take hostages or seize a high-grade MacGuffin (plot device) which causes the hero to act more recklessly than he would have if the situation were calmer.

    “3. How does she explain away a year of absence?” To whom? If criminals are asking her where she’s been for the last year, she can claim that she had been arrested and broke out of prison (or was released from juvie after hitting a certain age). They may wonder if she got out of prison by cooperating with the police/heroes, though. (Also, they may later check on her story — in general, a superpowered prison break would probably get a lot of press coverage. They may wonder why it never made the news). If she stops returning her superhero partner’s calls and goes dark for a year, she might try to explain to him that the situation was too dangerous and that she needed to let things cool down a bit, but he may wonder if she had second thoughts and/or got discovered by her associates. (PS: I’m a bit confused — which year are we talking about, and why was she absent?)

  215. Amber D.on 02 Nov 2013 at 10:52 am

    I mean to the villains when she is hit by a car she loses her memory then is adopted because no one can place her (The villains wanted her to handle something discreetly so she was not in her super villain costume) she goes a whole year not remembering anything. when she does remember the influence of brainwashing has warn off and she feels extreme guilt (she has hurt/ killed a lot of innocent people) which is why she so willingly helps the superhero. Even after she finds out she was brained wash the screams and cries of all the people she hurt the things she did still haunt her.

    As for her younger years those are not really all focused on her it’s sort of a side story, I’ll probably show her being kidnaped and maybe a little of what they did to her, then when her dad finds out who took her years later and tries to rescue her only to have her be the one who turns him in to the villains and then as a super villain a few times which is not shown through her point of view to much. I’ve also considered holding back parts of her back and reviling them through flash backs later on and/ or her not knowing she was brainwashed until towards the end of the story where she goes under cover which would make her guilt more significant and make her struggle with the question of why she did it in the first place.

  216. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2013 at 2:14 pm

    “Would it be okay to give one of my characters a mental illness?… Would ADHD be alright to give a nighttime crime fighter?” Personally, I’d recommend against diagnosing the character with ADHD. However, I think using ADHD symptoms is okay, maybe even a lot of symptoms (e.g. Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes probably have ADHD but will never be diagnosed). Actually diagnosing the character seems reductive to me.



    By the way, if the character does have ADHD, I would recommend against referring to it as a “mental illness” except perhaps from a character that really does not like the person with ADHD very much. “Mental illness” makes it sound like the character with ADHD is a threat to herself and others. ADHD strikes me as potentially disruptive but more of a nuisance than an actual mental illness which could d cause the police to check the patient into a hospital. I suspect more adults would refer to ADHD as a “condition” or perhaps a “health situation,” especially if talking about a child.

    Now, the Stockholm Syndrome (e.g. getting brainwashed by villains into becoming a villain)… yeah, I can see people using “mental illness” or “insane” there. Even then, though, I wouldn’t recommend using the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome” or another clinical diagnosis.



    PS: I can maybe see caffeine making someone more tired, but I wouldn’t recommend using it as an off-brand Kryptonite (like a sedative that puts her to sleep or makes her really groggy every time) unless the tone is really wacky. Like lettuce being fatal to alligators or Taco Bell being fatal to non-Americans.

  217. Amber Don 13 Jan 2014 at 2:32 am

    Maybe I won’t make it a whole year. The only reason I really only had it take that much time for her to start to regain her memory is to give her time to develop a sense of morals that would make her feel guilt of what she done instead of going back to who she was. How long do you think she would need for this? Taking into account that she was strongly loyal to the villain when she was in a brainwashed state, she was the most loyal to him.

    Also the first book I am planing is about her going undercover for the superhero, her actually becoming a full out superhero herself I am not planing on happening till a sequal

  218. Silverstoneon 17 Feb 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I have a questions . are all superheros who kill anti hero or vigilante?

    also what is the diffrence between an Anti hero and Vigilante?

  219. B. McKenzieon 17 Feb 2014 at 10:56 pm

    “What is the difference between an antihero and a vigilante?” First, let’s say an antihero is a protagonist whose actions are unusually controversial and/or objectionable. A vigilante is someone that unlawfully takes justice into his own hands. If law enforcement gets very upset that superheroes are acting like vigilantes, that frequently pushes them closer to antiheroes.

    “Are all superheroes who kill antiheroes or vigilantes?” No, it’s based on context. Here are some scenarios where superheroes might kill somebody without being an antihero:

    1) Captain America killed more than a few enemy combatants in his first movie, but soldiers are legally authorized to do so and extremely few viewers would regard shooting Nazi soldiers as a significant mistake. He’s definitely not an antihero.

    2) Tony Stark wasn’t a soldier, but killed several terrorists/captors during his escape from Afghanistan. Lethal force was the only way for him to defend himself. Given the situation, I don’t think it was controversial among most viewers or legally questionable. Although the flamethrower was an extreme measure, I think that he’s definitely not an antihero (in his movies).

    2.1) If a villain gets in a very intense fight with a superhero, I don’t think it would be a problem if the hero used lethal force in self-defense. If the hero acts reasonably, it will not create major likability problems for him.

    3) In cases where the superheroes either are police (e.g. SHIELD) or treated like police officers, it’d make sense if the superheroes had the same right to enforce the law as regular cops did. In some cases, that may entail lethal force as a last resort. As far as most readers are concerned, I think it would not reflect very badly on a superhero if his fight with a homicidal, superpowered enemy leaves the enemy with fatal wounds. However, executing an incapacitated enemy would take more extenuating circumstances (e.g. killing Osama Bin Laden).

    4) The more non-ordinary the situation, the more forgiving readers will be. For example, killing Nazis or terrorists is very far removed from daily life, whereas shooting up a drug gang Punisher-style will raise a lot of eyebrows, even if the gang members are really bad people. Also, alien invaders, robots, and basically anything that doesn’t look like a human can be killed/destroyed more or less at will regardless of legal authority.

    5) If a superhero intentionally withholds help from a supervillain even if it will probably cause them to die, I don’t think that would be particularly controversial. (Don’t just make him a smartass about it). Especially if the villain dies to something that he directly caused.

    In general, if a character is mainly acting on his own initiative rather than by some democratic authority, I think it’d be really helpful for his likability if he were relatively light on the violence. For example, Spider-Man is sort of technically a vigilante, but his violence level is so low that when the police come after him, they come off looking a lot less likable than he does. In contrast, when the police come after the Punisher, they sort of look like the only sane people in the room.

    PS: All other things considered, I would think that killing someone in clean/humane combat is probably less objectionable than non-lethally mangling someone (e.g. Batman throwing a criminal down ~20 feet onto pavement in Dark Knight).

  220. Silverstoneon 18 Feb 2014 at 4:27 am

    I see thank you for that,

  221. Silverstoneon 18 Feb 2014 at 7:01 pm

    i ment to ask i have a Character bio id like to put up to help review and possibly change, where do i put it?

  222. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2014 at 7:23 pm

    You can just ask the question in the comments of any of the articles.

  223. Amber Don 28 Mar 2014 at 5:35 pm

    what is the difference between an anti- hero and an anti-villain? What would be some examples of each

  224. B. McKenzieon 29 Mar 2014 at 1:38 am

    An antihero is a protagonist who is more objectionable and/or morally compromised than a standard protagonist in that genre. Some superhero examples of antiheroes include the Punisher, Magneto in First Class, Luke Cage, and arguably Batman. In superhero stories, the main sign of being an antihero is almost always being brutally violent. Other possible factors include selfish motives (e.g. Luke Cage is a mercenary) and substance abuse.

    An anti-villain would probably be a villain that’s trying to do something that’s regarded as completely unacceptable or evil by other characters of the story but as sympathetic by readers. Some examples:
    –In several Batman stories (e.g. Heart of Ice and Mask of the Phantasm), anti-villains Mr. Freeze and the Phantasm target deeply unsavory characters that have it coming. This makes them more sympathetic than someone who is indiscriminately violent.
    –In Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the audience wants Dr. Horrible to win against Captain Hammer, even though Hammer is supposedly the good guy.
    –In Death Note, the main character is a psychopathic serial killer, and I believe that most audience members sympathize more naturally with L, an anti-villain detective trying to stop him.

  225. JLG333on 24 Apr 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Hey so, with my next story, I was wondering if someone could tell me if this idea has been done before. I’m not really sure about that and also, if you can think of ways to improve the story, please tell me.
    Anyway.
    (I also don’t have a name yet I am working on it. Lets call him Ben for now.)
    Ben describes the wreckage and carnage that is surrounding and how he has failed.
    Half an hour later Ben arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, having been on the run for weeks on end. Ben then uses his powers to take a break from “life.”
    Suddenly, a powered mega human appears and in a quick but bloody fight, Ben is defeated.
    After being dragged away and locked up, Ben discovers more people like him.

    (all unnamed)
    -An 18 year old boy with the genes of Spider Monkey. He has amazing flexibility and a prehensile tail.
    -A 16 year old girl mixed with a greyhound. She can run up to 100mph.
    -A pair of 11 year old twins (boy and a girl) who each have the DNA of an African Wild Dog. They are some of the best hunters, trackers and capturers in the world.
    (There are more people but these are the only four who get big story time.)

    Anyway, the people who capture turn out to be a government funded group who are trying to find a way to keep up with Japan, who have almost finished a whole army of super-humans.
    The group discover that they are the third generation of genetically enhanced soldiers, but the first generation to be able to replicate their genes through reproduction.
    Originally thinking that they were captured for testing, it turns out they were really taken by the government to demonstrate the new super-human killing machines by getting shot at.
    The government releases them into the world and promises the President that by a week from then, the five experimental soldiers will be dead.
    the rest is chase and action with a big cliche end fight in New York.

    So if this has been done before (I hope it hasn’t, this took me ages to plan out) could you please tell me and if anything could be improved could you also give me some advice.
    Thanks

  226. B. McKenzieon 24 Apr 2014 at 6:14 pm

    “After being dragged away and locked up, Ben discovers more people like him… Anyway, the people who capture turn out to be a government funded group who are trying to find a way to keep up with Japan, who have almost finished a whole army of super-humans.” This looks similar to several manuscripts I’ve seen in the last few months (e.g. the superpowers -> government persecution central plot has been heavily used), though it’s possible that you could resolve that with really interesting character development.

    “It turns out they were really taken by the government to demonstrate the new superhuman killing machines by getting shot at… The government releases them into the world and promises the President that they’ll be dead within a week. The rest is chase and action and a big cliche end fight in New York.” I’d recommend giving your antagonists a less one-dimensionally evil motivation. First, randomly murdering kids ranging from 11 to 18 is a pretty crappy field demonstration (compared to, say, a field-test against enemy combatants or a drug cartel or something). Second, if the government was planning on murdering a group of kids, make sure they have a really good reason to let the kids go (because letting them go makes Operation Multiple Homicide even more risky/unpredictable than telling feds to murder kids). Generally, I think that villains letting the heroes go warrants an instant-rejection unless there’s a REALLY good reason.

    One possibility: These kids have the ability to eventually pass on their genes, so the government decides to secretly abduct them for safe-keeping until they’re of age to bear children.* The kids eventually escape. The people overseeing the program decide that the only possible way they can avoid going to prison for a LONG time is to cover up everything, including killing the kids. I’d recommend making this a rogue government operation rather than something the President is in on — I feel that will probably come across as more believable than a plot which hinges on pretty much everybody in the chain of command being a homicidal lunatic attempting to enact “The Most Dangerous Game.” It felt a lot more believable in Hunger Games (i.e. an openly totalitarian government forces kids to hunt each other to terrify the populace at large and deter them from trying to revolt again).

    *I’d recommend playing that as uncreepy as humanly possible (e.g. perhaps the people in the program allowing a lot of autonomy to the kids to pick their own spouses).

    Lastly, one problem I anticipate is that in plots like this, generally 90% of the antagonists are one-dimensionally evil parts of the same monolithic organization… e.g. we’ll have 5 one-dimensionally evil characters with little-if-any individual personality between them and maybe 1 character that sides with the protagonists that usually isn’t all that much better. I’d recommend trying something more complex (e.g. characters within the organization not necessarily sharing the same goals all of the time, perhaps some antagonist-vs-antagonist conflict, character growth (preferably in some way BESIDES going from generically evil to generically good*,) etc.

    *Not as hard as it sounds. Think of a team of guys sent to accomplish some terrible atrocity (e.g. murdering a group of kids). I don’t think it’s all that hard to envision possible ways for the mission to change the men besides just going from evil to good (e.g. substance abuse, any number of mental disorders, inexperienced -> experienced, confident -> terrified or vice versa, disciplined -> uncontrolled or vice versa, enthusiastic -> restrained or vice versa, etc).

  227. JLG333on 27 Apr 2014 at 3:44 am

    Thanks a lot, I see your point with the improvements of my story and I think I’ll use your ideas. I always need a bit of help developing a story.

  228. Voiceon 10 May 2014 at 5:28 am

    I have a question what are something that I could differ from my character from spider man…In ways I made there powers an ability different an how my character handle problem differently….so is that a good thing or bad thing the only thing they both have in common is slinging webs an that’s it

  229. B. McKenzieon 11 May 2014 at 8:42 am

    “I have a question what are something that I could differ from my character from spider man…In ways I made there powers an ability different an how my character handle problem differently….so is that a good thing or bad thing the only thing they both have in common is slinging webs an that’s it.” Unfortunately, slinging webs is a VERY distinctive ability, very possibly the #1 superpower most vulnerable to rip-off concerns because it’s so strongly associated with a single well-known character. Unless the similarity to Spider-Man is intentional (e.g. parody), I’d recommend replacing web-slinging with something else.

    Alternately, it *might* be sufficient to use a totally different origin story. For example, Spider-Man and Star Wars Jedi both have the ability to supernaturally sense danger, but their origins are so different that it’s less likely to create rip-off concerns.



    “In ways I made their powers and abilities different and how they solve problems.” In most cases, I think that would be sufficient. I don’t think it would be with webbing, though.

    (Other high-risk powers include anything related to bats or spiders, and telekinesis that works only on metal).

  230. voiceon 11 May 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the advice

  231. BlazeHavenon 29 May 2014 at 4:58 pm

    So I have an idea that’s been bubbling in my head for quite some time. Here it is. Blake Wilson, a 21 year old alcoholic, witnesses the death of his future self. Due to this, Blake slowly begins to unravel mentally and begins to talk to a darker part of his mind he calls Blaze Haven. Also Blake seems to have weird visions of places and times of when things happen (ie danger, crime). In the city of New Haven, New York nothing seems right. A war between the Police and gangs of the city occurs and Blake is in the center, his Blaze Haven side believing that he can make a difference in this battle. Suddenly, while Blaze Haven is in control of Blake’s body, a horde of parasitic creatures attack the citizens. Blaze is attacked by one, but once it bites into Blaze’s skin, it screams and seems to die. That’s when Blaze Haven and Blake Wilson learn that they have somehow created and have a new deadly weapon… It seems that the first vision of the future seemed to have somehow gifted them, or cursed them, with this new concussive blast of element Zenox (formed from a blue rock of an unknown origin, but the source is unknowned for now).
    What do you guys think so far? Yay or nay?

  232. KCSledgeon 09 Oct 2014 at 9:05 pm

    When I think of identity buffers, I have to believe that voice masking devices should be the norm. I was never fooled by attempts by Keaton or Bale as Batman.

  233. Redon 12 Nov 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I’m not sure whether or not my hero needs a secret identity. His powers activate at the most random of time he switches to a different personality, so I really don’t see the need for an alter ego. Does anyone think there should be one?

  234. Dr. Slavicon 13 Nov 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Depemding on how the world would handle superheroes in your story, you might not need one. For example, in the X-Men movies, the characters just go by their first name most of the time, at least on the heroic side, because everyone knows mutants exist probably.

  235. J.Croweon 16 Dec 2014 at 2:31 pm

    “#5: This is pretty kickass, I think. I’d love to read some of the scenes where the FIGHT guy and Isaac are in the same class together and the FIGHT guy is trying to make it seem like he’s just another student. (The more the FIGHT guy stands out, the better I think this arc will be. If he doesn’t have any trouble fitting in at this school, it would probably not be so interesting).”
    # B. Macon 12 Dec 2008 at 9:37 pm

    When I read this, all I can think of is that scene from DeathNote where L is sitting behind Light in the exam, in his usual L-style, and Light’s just like “WTF is with this guy?”

    In other news, this questionnaire was pretty helpful. I mean, I was able to answer all applicable questions pretty well. Which is good in my mind.

    What I’m currently working on now is just developing the world and secondary characters in the universe, as well as writing the actual stories further than certain important events that I’ve planned.

  236. Oon 13 May 2015 at 8:00 am

    I know this is probably strange but it was jarring to see just the male pronouns. Superheroes are becoming more and more gender neutral to me.

  237. B. McKenzieon 14 May 2015 at 9:47 pm

    “I know this is probably strange but it was jarring to see just the male pronouns.” Ah, I hope the article is helpful for female superheroes as well. If not, I feel that’d be a more pressing issue than pronoun conventions.



    If this were a change that I could implement instantly, I’d probably decline on stylistic grounds. However, there are 1956 articles on-site, so it’s more of a matter of time.

  238. […] those of you writing superhero fiction/comics, you might want to check out this detailed questionnaire.  Might be a good place to start with developing a superhero or supervillian who is three […]

  239. Malcolm Bansaon 21 Aug 2015 at 11:46 pm

    My story isn’t about a superhero per say but it involves people with superpowers. The story goes that 2 decades into the future the earth has been ravaged by a massive world war 3. As a result the planet has become a mutated and ravaged. As a result of some of the radioactive isotopes that now compose parts of the land. Certain individuals develop superhuman abilities such as superhuman strength, flight, telekinesis, telepathy, regenerative healing, techonopathy, teleportation, etc. the majority of earths population lives in the promethium, a massive space station, that has technology that has created a perpetual paradise were everything is seemingly perfect. The story centers around a group of superhumans who realize that earth is going to become uninhabitable and devise a plan to get into promethium and bring everybody from earth up to the space station. The government on the promethium know supers exist, have built brain dampening devices (B.D.D). this is honestly a combination of Elysium and X-men. In terms of power levels, they can range from miniscule to being able to bring the Elysium back down to earth. The year is 2006.

    I have second idea for superhero novel. it begins at funeral for a dead hero. in this universe it is very grounded, and there are no people with superhuman abilities. vigilantes are regarded with awe and wonder. after the funeral a massive war between criminals and police occurs and its up to the former sidekick to rise and stop the city from being destroyed. Along the way you will meet other former sidekicks of the dead hero and other vigilantes, each different from one another.

  240. B. McKenzieon 23 Aug 2015 at 7:40 am

    “The story centers around a group of superhumans who realize that earth is going to become uninhabitable and devise a plan to get into promethium and bring everybody from earth up to the space station. The government on the promethium know supers exist, have built brain dampening devices (B.D.D). this is honestly a combination of Elysium and X-men.” I suspect that publishers would feel uncomfortable with a work modeled this closely after an existing work. The funeral strikes me as a more promising starting point.

  241. Tamlaneon 21 Oct 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Mr. McKenzie,

    I am writing a super hero story that involves three children working as a team. All of them were born with their abilities and know about them. (though they have different levels of control) I start with two of them teaming together and the third joins a little later. Most suggestions I find on how to begin a story is to have something significant happen to get the story going. So far the only real new occurrence is that these children meet each other and decide to fight crime. Do you have any suggestions on how I can start this story in a way that will hook readers? I have some ideas, but they seem weak. Thank you for your consideration.

    Tamlane

  242. B. McKenzieon 24 Oct 2015 at 11:32 am

    “Most suggestions I find on how to begin a story is to have something significant happen to get the story going. So far the only real new occurrence is that these children meet each other and decide to fight crime.” Some possibilities: an event that causes the children to meet each other and/or decide to fight crime.

    Now, these are kids, so presumably they didn’t just wake up one day and decide to fight crime… maybe one of them was involved in some sort of crime (preferably in some way besides a loved one getting murdered randomly), maybe another of them is personality-driven to become a superhero (e.g. because it’s much more interesting and/or exciting* than just going to school), and maybe another one of them has been targeted by some sort of antagonist and in the course of that conflict meets the other two characters. I think bringing in an antagonist early will help with pacing, particularly if the setting is fairly comfortable/low-stakes to begin with (i.e. if we’re looking at standard school life rather than, say, any setup where a main character is at danger from early on).

    *This would be a thin motivation for an adult character, but in this case your readers are probably not looking for deep philosophical motivations.

  243. Tyleenia Tayloron 01 Apr 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t know if this is the right place to post this, but I need a random age,l. 10 is too young, 15 too old.

  244. Jonathanon 24 Apr 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Im trying to create a comic book but i wrote notes and i have papers all over the place!!! How can i organize everything. What categories can i put everything in. Its too crazy. You know what i mean?

  245. Andrewon 03 May 2016 at 2:43 am

    I did the quiz with one of my main protagonists

    Background
    1: Came from a broken home, juvy hall record as long as your arm, but still wanted to do good
    2: Went to school and was top jock, was trained by old man to harness martial arts and Elemental Powers, joined the army but got discharged for insubordination
    3: He’s not perfect, but he tries to make amends by being a superhero. A sub-plot is character development for him as he goes through changes of perspective
    4: His voice is slightly gritty, indicating he has a story or two to tell
    5: Late 20’s-Early 30’s
    6: To make amends for his past and grow past his juvy hall records
    7: Abusive dad, aforementioned juvy records. He tried serving his country in the army but that didn’t work due to insubordination as mentioned earlier
    8: He’s seen the dark side of the world but sees it as a lesser evil compared to the evil of his enemies
    9: He regrets having been in and out of juvinale hall like a yo-yo and wants to better himself
    10: Having been trained by an old sensei, he learns martial arts and how to use swords and knives. Military training increased his skills of mobility and to use guns

    Origin
    1: No, his powers had to be unlocked
    2: Yes, he got tired of all the bad stuff happening in his city, added to the fact that a childhood friend of his was a superhero, he decided to be one too
    3: N/A
    4: He was chosen by a Sensei who sensed he was an Elemental of Wind and wanted to help him unlock that power
    5: Training, lots and lots of training

    Secret ID
    1: While he tends to train and hone his skills, his day job consists of part-time security guard. He honestly believes that if his identity was made public, no one would really care
    2: His powers do nothing to make it hard. The only physical difference is teal coloured eyes
    3: His body is a war museum of scars, cuts, bullet holes, sword cuts etc. That’s why he wears long sleeved clothes so no one notices. If anyone asks, he says “Military before ending up here. It happens”
    4: Only members of the superhero team he’s on know
    5: At first, the police were after him and his team for vigilantism, that was dropped later on. The media tried with unsuccessful results. Fangirls can only dream
    6: Keeps himself to himself. Anyone asks, well, ask a silly question, get a sarcastic answer
    7: Not in his city. But one Pulitizer Prize winning reporter from Metropolis came VERY close
    8: Being called a hero tends to happen when you stop bad guys. He doesn’t care who says it, there’s bad guys to punch

    Powers
    1: He’s an Elemental of Wind, he can control wind, fly and increase his strength, his senses are also increased. He also knows martial arts and has great swords and marksmanship
    2: No
    3: His main transport is teal coloured moterized tricycle
    4: Used it to make throwing knives go faster and have more impact

    I’ve got others I can do this with

  246. Spawnon 31 May 2016 at 6:01 am

    I did the questionare for one of my characters, a girl named Maya. It should be noted that she isn’t really a superhero in this story, at least not an official one, until the end. The questions were answered based on how she currently is in my story. Here is the result.

    Background

    1.  Maya was the daughter of a rich businessman. The father was very strict and authoriatarian, and cared a lot about other peoples perception of him and his family. To him, public opinion was very important, so he pressured Maya into being ‘perfect’ and rule abiding. Being the good daughter she had been raised to be, Maya took the role of the perfect daughter. The one whom never did wrong, always followed the rules and was well dressed. Upon the discovery of her power, her father disowned her and threw her out, cutting any connection he had with her. He told the public that his daughter had become clinically ill so that people wouldn’t ask questions about her disappearance from social media. This event (which happened when she was about eight) was a major turning point in her life and changed her dramatically. She became very saddened and lonely, but luckily she was taken in by an older man that became like a father to her (he’s called Robert). He helped her adjust and allowed her to be the person she wanted to be, rather than what others tried to make her.

    She dresses in a very goth style, but she is not actually a goth. Her clothing is informal and tomboyish, same with her hair (cut like a crew cut on the left side and with bangs on the right, dyed black, was originally brown). This style is something she wears out of spite to her biological father and as a means to rebel against the prejudice that woman should look nice.

    2.  Before she was thrown out by her father, she went to a boarding school for the rich and snobbish. Afterward she went to a public school, but also received homeschooling for her surrogate dad (whose awesome and sweet BTW).

    3.  I believe her story will resonate with a lot of readers, especially teenagers, because I know that many of them feel pressured into being something they are not for the sake of public image. She could perhaps be a character to look up to for those who struggle with it, seeing as she has managed to overcome that pressure and become her own person.

    4.  She has a somewhat pessimstic view of things and she is very rebellious. She is more likely to point out negative things than positives, and often times she sounds like she doesn’t really care about anything (even though she does). Maya has a good understanding of people and can see with a lot of clarity how and what a person might feel or think. When talking, she is often disrespectful or at the very least, direct; though her pattern of speech becomes softer and less confrontational when she is talking to people she cares about.

    5.  13 years, born 1st of April

    6.  She didn’t really have any true goals while she lived with her father other than being what he wanted. When she had grown more into herself, she found out that she was really found of animals, particularly horses and cats, and that she wanted to work with them when she became older. She would either want to be a vet or work at a zoo. It doesn’t really matter to her what job it is, so long as she can work with animals and get enough money to buy tons of chocolate (she is slightly overwheight).

    She had a lot of problems when she was younger, most notably a lack of self-esteem and confidence. Maya was unsure of herself and of who she was, and couldn’t really make any decisions without worrying what her father would think. It made her indecisive, a trait that she has since shook off with a vengeance (she has become rather reckless and impulsive, traits she once had as a baby).

    7.  The world she lived in and still lives in had a lot of problems. It was still recovering from the recent World War 3 (or the First Superhuman War, as it is also called), people are outright terrified of mutants and they do not have the same right as humans. Mutants cannot live in major cities where there are a lot of humans and are forced to live in small communities away from others. (These communities are situated in abandonded small towns and cities, a notable example being Detroit).

    8.  Maya thinks it sucks. To her, it is unfair, humongously stupid and just outright dumb. People, or more accurately, the governments, are idiots blinded by fear. At least that’s what she thinks.

    9.  Her biggest regret is that she once purposefully tripped her best friend and made him fall down a well (the last part was accidental), and subsequently caused the entire water supply of her town to freeze. Oops…

    10.  Not really no.

    Origin Story

    1.  Maya was, like almost every other superhuman, born with her powers.

    2. Maya didn’t really chose to become a superhero, it kinda just happened. She was really stupid, did something she shouldn’t have (and was specifically told not to do) and thus got involved in some really bad shit that required her to step up and become a hero.

    3.  I can’t reveal the reason why as that would spoil the plot, but she frequently tries to get out of the whole superhero thing because, well, she’s a kid and she really shouldn’t be fighting ‘monsters’. She doesn’t want to die.

    4.  She was not chosen, it happened.

    5. Born with them.

    Secret Identity

    1. Nope, no secret identy seeing as it isn’t necessary.

    2. Her powers do not affect her secret-identity any (they never will, not even when she eventually gets one).

    3. No

    4. She isn’t a superhero yet. (when she becomes one, only the other supheroes know who she is)

    5. Nope.

    6. N/A

    7. N/A

    8. N/A

    Superpowers

    1. She can telekinetically control paper; make them sharper, repair them etc. As she becomes more powerful she will eventually be able to transform herself into paper.

    2. Accept for the fact that she almost never gets a paper cut? No.

    3. She takes the bus or rides on her bicycle.

    4. Don’t really know yet. Paper bombs maybe? Or constructs? Could use a little help with it.

    Also, as a reply to Andrew, I just have to ask, why does he know swords- and marksmanship as well as martial arts when he lives in a modern world? It just seems kind of weird, unless, of course, you have an in-story reason for it.

  247. Spawnon 31 May 2016 at 6:02 am

    Oh, forgot to ask for opinions on her. So, any feedback or criticism?

  248. Malcolm Bansaon 15 Jul 2016 at 9:51 pm

    In 2018, scientists develope a potential cure for cancer. However it ends up turning humans into zombies who possess enhanced strength, speed, and senses. The Nemesis Virus or N-Virus overruns the planet completelely. However, the virus is also shown to awaken superhuman abilities in humans. The percentage of a human awakening powers verse turning into a zombie is 99% to 1%. In the last human city remaining, New York City, six superhumans protect the city. They are:

    1.Juggernaut
    Hector is a 18 year old with superhuman intelligence. He has designed a 7″0 exo suit with a multitude of weapons, enhanced durability and strength. Tony Stark Personality. Joins team in order to protect his younger brother and sister.

    2.Shado
    Blessed with enhanced strength and speed, as well as a complete mastery of martial arts. Was formerly a vigilante in New York. Has a very cold personality that stems from past pain. Leader of the team.Female

    3. Sand Spirit
    Able to manipulate sand. Helped construct the walls that surround the city. Outgoing jokester of the team. Possibly unstable from lost of his family.

    4.Apex
    Newest member.Telekinetic and Telepathic. Bit by a zombie while getting into the city. Awakens his powers and becomes youngest member of the team. Bold and Outgoing. Hardened by pain.

    5.EagleEye
    Army veteran. Superhuman accuracy. Carries a sniper rifle and two handguns. Constantly drunk. Always an asshole. Think Jon bernthal in Fury.

    6.Blaster
    Former college football player. Able absorb energy and convert it to electricity. Able to change into a being of pure electricity, making him the fastest member of the team. Has ADHD and is the optimistic one of the group.

    The main villain is a guy named Tayden Cross or more commonly Anarchy. A former criminal boss with a Wolverine like healing factor. His skin is completely white. He and Shado have history and Shado is believed to have killed him the last time they fought. He has found a way to control the zombies and plans to invade the city and take over the territory.

  249. B. McKenzieon 20 Jul 2016 at 3:52 am

    “In 2018, scientists develope a potential cure for cancer. However it ends up turning humans into zombies who possess enhanced strength, speed, and senses. The Nemesis Virus or N-Virus overruns the planet completely.” I’m not sure if you’re thinking a novel, a comic, or something else. Probably more promising as a comic than a novel (it sounds like the character personality and relationships would probably have to be more developed to make a novel work). As a comic, I’d still recommend complicating things more (e.g. competing groups of survivors, conflicting goals within groups, etc).

    Some other ideas:
    –I’d suggest having Tayden Cross working mainly in the city rather than leading an invading force outside. That’d probably give him more opportunities for interaction with the protagonists, and also unless he’s a completely psychotic human, it’d be intuitive if he’d want to spend more time interacting with humans than with zombies.
    –In terms of worldbuilding, I’d recommend thinking about who’s involved that’s not on the superhero team. E.g. there’s a city of presumably at least a few million survivors. Presumably there are some groups in place staving off total starvation, etc. (Also, NYC is heavily dependent on electricity to prevent the city from flooding, which could be a plot point and/or a point of sabotage for Tayden).
    –I’d suggest against going with supernames in this one. I don’t think they’re necessary to the plot (e.g. the characters presumably aren’t protecting secret identities), and they probably don’t fit the mood of a zombie work very well.
    –NYC is just about the least suitable place on Earth to survive a zombie apocalypse (extremely limited food potential, unusual vulnerability to catastrophic flooding, no natural resources, very high population density, etc). Out of all of the places on Earth, who/what unusual happened there that caused it to survive when nobody else did?

  250. Scarlet Wizardon 02 Aug 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Hey, B. Mac,

    I’d like to start working on a four-issue miniseries about a sophomore boy in high school named Josh, who, in the first issue unknowingly spills a mix of chemicals into his lunch bag in his chemistry class, later eats the food (which already has artificial hormones in it), and obtains superhuman strength, agility, and senses. Sometime later that week, he’s walking home from school when he crosses paths with a man getting mugged by two robbers. Josh takes care of the robbers (he has basic martial arts training anyways) and then decides to fight street-level crime a few evenings a week and in the next three issues fights his first supervillains.
    I’m stuck here. I really don’t know what to name his superhero identity (I was thinking about going with a knight-themed name and costume, or an animal-themed name and costume such as a serpent or a tiger because I feel it would kind of flow with the martial arts theme). I’m also wondering if I should change the origin a little. I’d appreciate suggestions for a name/costume design and what you think about the origin. Thanks

  251. young grasshopperon 02 Aug 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Scarlet Wizard, I’m no expert at this and I’m definitely not B. Mac, but I have put a lot of time and thought into superhero names and how they do and don’t work. First off: I love the origin story. It’s sort of like a throwback to the classics where things that would normally kill or severely harm you instead give you super powers just because. As far as the name goes, I would recommend giving Josh a name that he would give himself. Come to think of it, you could add a little humor by making it so that he’s not sure what to call himself and first says something stupid, then corrects it to a slightly cooler-sounding name.

  252. BMon 02 Aug 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Hello, SW. Some thoughts:

    –“[It’s] about a sophomore boy in high school named Josh, who, in the first issue unknowingly spills a mix of chemicals into his lunch bag in his chemistry class.” I’d suggest working in character development and/or a distinctive major character choice more prominently here. A more active setup would probably go further to developing the character and/or the plot, e.g. the accident happened because he was doing something unusual or in an unusual way. For example, Peter Parker getting bitten by a spider when he’s broken into a science lab is probably a more effective setup than Peter Parker doing what everybody else is doing on a field trip and getting really lucky.

    –It might be helpful to get a central villain involved relatively early (possibly in the origin story). Not sure. I’d try outlining a few possibilities there.

    –“[He] decides to fight street-level crime a few evenings a week and in the next three issues fights his first supervillains.” I like that he isn’t driven by a personal tragedy. Coming up with a more plot-central and/or distinctive motivation for him to start fighting crime might also help.

    –“I really don’t know what to name his superhero identity…” Naming somebody else’s characters is really hard. Generally I’d suggest a name that sounds like it might be an actual name (e.g. Rorschach, Sylar, Jean Grey, Bane, Jericho and Robin) – I feel it may help make conversation feel more natural and/or help readers take the character seriously. Alternately, [Noun] or [Unusual Modifier] [Noun] are usually pretty safe.

    –“I’d appreciate suggestions for a costume design…” On the costume design, I’d suggest giving your artist(s) a preliminary concept (and any plot-significant details you need) and deferring to them on executing the design. First thing that comes to mind for the concept would be something martial arts-inspired, preferably subtle (e.g. this or this, but not this). If it looks like something that nobody would wear outside of a martial arts competition, I’d generally recommend going more subtle, unless you’re really rocking that Iron Fist vibe.

  253. Scarlet Wizardon 02 Aug 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, young grasshopper and B. Mac for the suggestions. I think I will stick to the subtle martial arts-inspired look, although I was also thinking about designing a lightweight body armour (I’ll probably mix the two). I just came up with the name “The Grappler,” let me know what you think. I’ll brainstorm several other names just in case I don’t end up using it.

  254. B. McKenzieon 02 Aug 2016 at 6:49 pm

    “I was also thinking about designing a lightweight body armour (I’ll probably mix the two).” That sounds workable. There might be an interesting story for how he gets it. He’s probably not much of a master engineer/scientist (and I wouldn’t recommend going in that direction just to explain where the armor comes from), so maybe some memorable way he acquires it. Personally, I’m partial to “take it from well-equipped antagonists.” Or impress someone enough to be given it (less distinctive).

  255. Scarlet Wizardon 03 Aug 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Yeah, I was thinking he could start out with a cloth outfit that he may have slightly customized for uniqueness, and then later gets an upgrade given to him. I thought about some Counter-Terrorism Espionage Agents from my other story perhaps recruiting Josh for one mission they would need him for (they keep tabs on vigilantes across the US), and giving the upgraded lightweight armor (with a very similar look) to him.

  256. young grasshopperon 03 Aug 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I like the idea of an organization keeping tabs on vigilantes. In a world of super powers, vigilantes with above-human abilities are things that you would want to keep a close eye on.

  257. Female Comic Fan and Writeron 05 Aug 2016 at 9:04 am

    Please don’t use “he” pronouns in your article. All of my heroes are female. Not all heroes are male.

  258. young grasshopperon 05 Aug 2016 at 10:26 am

    That is true, and I agree that it would be bad for people to make such an assumption. However, you will find that B.Mac and the other writers here give a lot of respect and dignity to females if you read any of their articles that talk about women. They also use the pronoun “she” in some articles similar to this one. I think the reason that B.Mac used the “he” pronoun in this article could either be that he was referring to a hypothetical hero that just so happens to be male, or because it just comes more naturally to him since he himself is male. I suppose B.Mac could have used the pronoun “it” in order to treat both genders fairly, but that would dishonor people in general by basically calling them objects.

  259. (o_n')on 06 Aug 2016 at 2:09 am

    You can’t use it about characters, unless your character is low ranking animal like a mouse(Mickey Mouse doesn’t count). He is suitable as pronoun, when gender isn’t clearly known and it wouldn’t be suitable. However the examples could be spread a bit on gender in the article. Something B.Mac is already aware of, then he is writing new articles.
    I am not personal fan of Swedish genderneutral substitute hen, I feel personal reduce everyone to a object rather than a person. If you read all comments, this is not a new thing, this kind of critics has been taken up before. ^^,
    -Also a female BTW

  260. B. McKenzieon 06 Aug 2016 at 9:05 am

    “Please don’t use “he” pronouns in your article. All of my heroes are female.” I don’t see any benefits here, and a lot of cost. It’d take me 20+ hours to rewrite 1,600 articles. Would suggest treating neutral “he” as interchangeable with whatever alternatives you would prefer — that’d take a lot less time.

  261. Byakuya91on 07 Aug 2016 at 5:29 am

    Greetings, everyone. With my second draft of my story Marshal Malachite complete, I’ve decided to take an extended break from that story and begin working on a new project. Here is a brief synopsis.

    “Duncan Li’s life could be considered interesting. Living on the streets of Newark, the teenager has managed to find happiness despite the harsh conditions. But during a field trip, when a group of robbers attempted to steal a priceless artifact, Duncan is in a bind. In a world of gods and demons, he must locate the Exlir of Immortality to not only atone for his sins but also save the world”.

    Sorry if the description is clunky. It’s really hard at the point I am to conceptualize a tight, efficient synopsis. Essentially, I’m aiming to write a children’s novel. One aimed for thirteen and up. The inspiration came from me actually rereading the Percy Jackson series but also looking at other great books like Alex Rider, Artemis Fowl etc.

    Being Chinese inspired my biggest fear is having this story compared to American Dragon Jake Long. One thing I wished to do to separate this was work on my MC: Duncan Li.

    In a nutshell, he’s energetic, quick-witted, but can be very impulsive and obnoxious. Duncan is the person who lives for the moment. He’s not the type to be miserable or allow his world push him down. Rather, he manages to be active and move forward. Hence, his passion for skating.

    As for being Quick-witted, Duncan is rather clever. He’s able to make decisions within seconds and has no hesitation. A lot of this comes from his surroundings as obviously growing up in a bad neighborhood, it pays to be street-smart and aware. A point I wished to use to not only showcase this trait, but an unusual decision is during Duncan’s origin.

    When the thieves storm the museum, Duncan deduces quickly that they are after the statue due to everything else in the museum being crap(and his friend, Alessandra stating it was priceless). Rather than run, he smashes the display case and attempts to hide the artifact. It is only when the suspects attempt to hurt one of Duncan’s classmates, school bully, that he surrenders it.

    Again, I wished to highlight an unusual decision, one you do not see many characters would do. And this leads to one of Duncan’s biggest flaws: he’s impulsive. Duncan is the type who will follow his instincts, but he rarely contemplates the consequences of his actions.

    As such, this is something I wish to highlight as within the story as Duncan being hasty can have disastrous effects. Finally, as for being obnoxious a lot of this I see is Duncan being too loud-mouthed and him just blurting out whatever comes to his lips. This can result in him alienating his peers and whoever he needs to interact with. Combined with a short attention span at times being selfish, this can also be disastrous in his development.

    Sorry, if I haven’t offered anything substantial. I’m still in the planning process/getting my thoughts together. If anyone has any feedback, I’ll be curious to hear it. This also extends to ways to differentiating my work from American Dragon Jake Long.

  262. young grasshopperon 07 Aug 2016 at 6:47 am

    I love the description of Duncan, but I would caution you to make sure that he only annoys the in-universe characters and isn’t super annoying to actually read. As for your synopsis, it sounds very vague and could apply to almost any MC from any urban fantasy novel, thus failing to bring Duncan’s distinguishing traits to the foreground.

  263. (o_n')on 07 Aug 2016 at 8:15 am

    It would work. So long it is impulsive rather than impulsive & hyperactive. Naruto had one big flaw, the mc has no room for any sort of personal improvement(he is just a Mary Sue with ADHD & a chosen one). Traits like hyperactive, impulsive and selfish combined makes a character hard to like, especially as mc. It don’t strike me as selfish to hand over a artifact in exchange for a fellow student. Impulsive can make people look selfish without being it, it is like he take 2 remaining pieces of cake, even he already ate one & person behind havn’t?

  264. Byakuya91on 08 Aug 2016 at 8:38 am

    @ Young Grasshopper

    “I love the description of Duncan, but I would caution you to make sure that he only annoys the in-universe characters and isn’t super annoying to actually read.”

    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    I very much understand this aspect and as such I will take great care. No doubt this will be a big challenge, especially during the rewrites I’ll be doing.

    “As for your synopsis, it sounds very vague and could apply to almost any MC from any urban fantasy novel, thus failing to bring Duncan’s distinguishing traits to the foreground.”

    I figured. I’ll admit I just started this story so writing a super detailed, yet concise synopsis is challenging. I’ll be sure to update it once I have a better understanding. I just wanted to post for the sake of clarity. But needless, I appreciate the critique.

    @ (o_n)

    Before I start, a word of caution. Please use proper spelling and grammar whenever writing your posts. Aside from presentation, these skills help it so that way most individuals can understand what you are trying to write. Onto your points.

    “Naruto had one big flaw, the mc has no room for any sort of personal improvement(he is just a Mary Sue with ADHD & a chosen one).”

    I strongly disagree with this statement. Yes, I’ll admit Naruto’s character was shaky at part two, but I thoroughly enjoyed him overall as a character and how he impacted the series. But you’re obviously entitled to your view.

    As for the rest of your comments, I can see where you are coming from. And I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.

  265. Female Comic Fan and Writeron 09 Aug 2016 at 2:35 pm

    “They” would be the most suitable but I completely understand how long it would take. Sorry for being so direct

  266. B. McKenzieon 09 Aug 2016 at 5:10 pm

    “Sorry for being so direct.” No worries there, it’s a very direct industry.

  267. Anonymouson 03 Oct 2016 at 3:31 am

    I’m a good artist but I’ve never been great with design work where would I go to find someone who can design my hero(es)?

  268. Foleyon 18 Oct 2016 at 8:11 am

    I think it’s REALLY unfortunate that the author decided to only use masculine pronouns – are there no original female superheroes?

  269. B. McKenzieon 18 Oct 2016 at 4:13 pm

    “I think it’s REALLY unfortunate that the author decided to only use masculine pronouns – are there no original female superheroes?” Already addressed above. It’d take me 20+ hours to rewrite 1,600 articles. If you’re looking to have pronouns replaced, I’d guess that there’s probably a plugin for that.



    If I could offer some writing advice, on major requests, I’d suggest a phrasing more like “I understand this is a major request, but you should do X because…” rather than “X should be done” or “It’s REALLY unfortunate that X hasn’t been done.” My hypothesis is that #1 is more likely to be successful than #2 or #3 because it takes the recipient’s perspective into consideration.

    Also, in this case, you’re trying to get someone to spend hundreds of dollars on a perfume that he can’t smell, nor can 99% of other people. It’d be an impressive sales effort.

  270. James Dakotaon 10 Nov 2016 at 6:54 am

    How’s this for Mercedes?

    Mercedes Summers

    Background
    1. What kind of person was your hero before he got superpowers? (A friendly but awkward nerd? Guilty of CIAing while black? A disgruntled accountant?)

    He was a circus acrobat.

    2. What sort of job/educational background does he have? (Do these affect his superhero career?)

    He’s pretty homeschooled, having grown up in a circus. He can’t read very much, but he can do math.

    3. Why should prospective readers care about your hero? What is it about his background that will appeal to them?

    Prospective readers should care because he’s blind. As for his background, I don’t know.

    4. What’s the character’s language like? Will he sound any different from the other characters in the story?

    He says stuff like “we’re screwed” and other slang. He will sound different from other characters in the story.

    5. How old is he?

    Sixteen in the very beginning when he becomes blind.

    6. What kind of goals did he have before becoming a superhero? What kinds of problems?

    His main goal was to stay with the circus and protect his sisters. Mercedes’s main problems were his impatience and his speed.

    7. What sort of problems did his world have before he became a superhero? Did he notice/care about these problems? (Or did he have a happy and carefree childhood until he saw his parents get murdered?)

    His world was pretty much this world with the same general crap going on… He didn’t really notice since he was always moving around with his caravan, and he did have a pretty carefree childhood.

    8. What does your character think about his world? (Mostly happy? Looking to escape? Looking for something more?)

    He thinks that people who abuse their powers should be stopped, and that justice should always be enforced.

    9. Is there anything in your character’s past that he regrets or will regret, like nearly joining a gang or failing to save his uncle?

    He does regret hurting his ex girlfriend Cassidy once, when she went insane and started burning everything. He was trying to stop her from setting the world on fire and succeeded, but only after she’d permanently blinded him and he’d knocked her out.

    10. Does your character’s background make him a better superhero? For example, Superman’s side-job as an investigative journalist frequently gives him leads to look into. Many heroes have scientific or technological skills, etc.

    Mercedes kinda goes where needed with the circus, or he does when he starts to use his powers. Afterwards he joined Jack Cross’s team of Wardens and just goes where he’s told to, really.

    Origin Story
    1. Was he born super?

    Yes.

    2. Did he choose to be a superhero? Why? (Which personal feelings/experiences influenced that choice? Losing a loved one to criminals? Being a disillusioned cop? A desire to escape from a dull routine?)

    Yes, because he had to save the world from his pyromaniac ex girlfriend.

    3. If he did not choose, what caused/forced him to become super? (A physical transformation? Conscription? Forced servitude?) Is he attempting to become normal? How and why?

    First part, non applicable. When you say “Is he attempting to become normal?” if you mean “same senses as everyone else” normal, then yes, in the beginning he is. He tries to find someone who can help him within the circus and why, well he’s blind.

    4. Was he chosen to become a superhero? Who chose him? Why? (Maybe she won Amazonian trials or aced secret tests embedded in a standardized exam).

    Yes he was chosen. His DNA chose him. I have no idea why.

    5. Assuming that your character was not born super, what caused him to become super?

    N/A

    Secret Identity
    1. Does your character have a secret identity? If so, why? What would the consequences be if his enemies, friends and/or the public found out who he is?

    NO.

    2. How do his powers make it harder (or easier) to keep his secret-identity secret?

    Erm, they don’t. Even if he had an SI (which he doesn’t) he could just zip off, save some random citizen and come back without being missed in the first place.

    3. Has his work as a superhero noticeably changed his body? (For example, Peter Parker gets a lot tougher and picks up unusual bruises and scars). How would your hero conceal these changes from his friends? If a friend noticed anyway, how might he try to explain them away?

    Yes, he now has very noticeable facial scars. He would try to hide them by wearing blindfolds (which anyone who isn’t also blind would notice) He’d say he was blind but wouldn’t explain how.

    4. Has he told anyone who he is? Why? Does anyone else know?

    Yes, everyone on the Wardens team. Yes, most of the media.

    5. Does the police care who he is? The media? Anybody else?

    Erm, police can’t really catch him so he doesn’t much give a crap and neither do they. The media doesn’t care as much as they care about some of his teammates like Tori (Rising Tide) or her brother Carson (Lightning).

    6. What does your character do to keep his identity safe? (Anything besides wearing a mask?)

    He doesn’t try due to laziness and plus he was already in the circus so secret identity doesn’t really compute in his mind.

    7. Is anyone close to discovering the truth?

    Everyone already knows the truth, so nope. They already did.

    8. Has anyone publicly accused him of being the hero? Has he taken any steps to “disprove” the claims or discredit the accusers?

    Actually, no. And no, even if they did accuse him he couldn’t really deny it very well. I mean, there are actual burn streaks on the carpets in the Warden headquarters and stripes of hardwood where he stripped the finish off.

    Superpowers
    1. Here’s an obvious question: what superpowers does your superhero have? Less obviously, will your readers be able to describe your character’s powers in 1-2 easy sentences? If not, it’ll probably harder for them to introduce the story/characters to their friends.

    He’s superfast, and that’s less than three words.

    2. Do his superpowers affect his civilian life in any way?

    Not really since he’s on call all the time and he’s never really had a civilian life as a circus performer.

    3. Does your superhero have a special mode of transport? (Not that there’s anything wrong with the subway, but you do get weird stares).

    Yes, he runs. Or walks. It depends on the urgency of the mission and what mood he’s in. Like, if he had to save someone from a falling meteor, he’d dash off. If he was stopping by the supermarket to swipe some cheese (he normally steals. If you’re so fast you don’t have to pay, why pay?) he’d probably stroll along at a speed that renders him a blur to anyone who doesn’t experience time the way he does (which is slightly slower. Which is why he’s impatient–everybody’s doin’ stuff in slow-mo).

    4. Readers love being surprised. How will your superhero use his powers to surprise us? Will he be able to resolve his problems in new and fresh ways?

    He will probably surprise everyone by not zipping around and fixing everything like X-men’s Quicksilver does since he can’t see everything–only three dimensional shapes, no colors or nuthin. Because of this he’ll probably use his powers to do some wacky things–like, if there was a bomb about to go off, and you had to cut the green wire to stop it, he’d most likely just pick it up, run to the nearest ocean, and just chuck it with no regard for wildlife.

  271. (o_n')on 11 Nov 2016 at 2:20 am

    I feel being blind and having superspeed is clashing, unless he has echolocation or something. Blind cats has supersenses in terms of hearing and smell, because their brains can use more energy and time on the impulses. A childhood in circus is highly unusual and very different from your readers. It is though life, were you learn to take responsibility from a very early age. It is positive if you write his childhood realistic than the usual romantic cliche. If he was acrobat, he possibly still be able to manage some of tricks.
    Actually I think he would easier earn money, because people would be easier impress.
    I thought Mercedes was a girl name and a car.

  272. James Dakotaon 12 Nov 2016 at 8:38 am

    “I thought Mercedes was a girl name and a car.”
    –that’s true. I thought it’d be good for a guy, too.
    “I feel being blind and having superspeed is clashing, unless he has echolocation or something.”
    –He does in fact have echolocation. A girl with power bestowal in the circus bumped into him and accidentally gave him weak sound based powers.
    “It is positive if you write his childhood realistic than the usual romantic cliche.”
    –What do you mean by “romantic cliche”? His life is kinda tough, but he manages.
    “A childhood in circus is highly unusual and very different from your readers.”
    –True. It becomes a bit of a weakness, actually, since Mercedes can’t read or write or do math even before he became blind. And he never went to school, so he knows cool physical tricks but nothing that makes him seem smart, like knowing what electricity is(I’m not kidding. He has no idea.).

  273. Greyon 09 Dec 2016 at 10:30 am

    Here’s my main Character:
    Name- Altair Topaz.
    Codename- Paladin.
    Appearance- Metallic lavender skin, violet eyes with silver sclera, and silvery white hair. He also has fang-like canines, and retractable claws in his fingers and toes. There is also a subtle glow around him, giving him an overall ethereal presence.

    Powers- Object empowerment, (He can imbue non-living matter with powers, usually durability and strength, or more esoteric effects, like healing and flight.) Polymorphic melee weapon (He can summon any type of melee weapon he can think of, and it’s as stronger as his empowered gear.) Empathic sight, (He can see emotional auras around people, and can increase or decrease the intensity of emotions) Night vision.

    Source of his powers: Superpowers in this setting come from trans-dimensional symbiotic lifeforms known as Psiolts. Paladin has a particularly strong Psiolt, which affects his appearance.

    Backstory- Altair Topaz grew up in a family of powers. His mother is a plant controller of the highest caliber, his stepfather is an inter-dimensional traveler, and his half-sister has her own versions of her father’s powers. After the Crimson Dawn (A major recent event in the story) His step-father is comatose, and Altair wishes he could do something. When he wakes up the next morning, his skin and eyes are purple, his hair is white, he has fangs and claws, and he is inexplicably holding a sword that turns into a knife, then a spear, then a shield. As he experimented with his powers, he discovered his ability to empower objects.

    Before he got his powers, he had some body image issues, mainly with his teeth and his frame. His powers overcompensated, resulting his his drastic change in appearance.

    Any recommendations/critiques?

  274. Ally Dakotaon 14 Dec 2016 at 6:47 am

    This is a questionnaire I found in a book about writing fantasy:

    Name:
    Nickname, if any:
    Kind of being:
    Age:
    Sex:
    Appearance:
    Occupation:
    Family Members:
    Pets:
    Best friend:
    Favorite sports:
    Way of speaking:
    Physical characteristics (posture, gestures, attitude):
    Items in pocket:
    Hobbies:
    Talents/Abilities/Powers:
    Relationships:
    Fears:
    Faults:
    Good points:
    What s/he wants more than anything else:

  275. (o_n')on 14 Dec 2016 at 8:53 am

    Ally: I think only the last point in the fantasy questionaire would be interesting. But I would rename it to motivation, it is much broader if you did ask what is her/his main motivation than asking what do they want? I mean a Dream of being a rock star does not help the hero/sidekick/innocent bystander,when your French hating villain is seconds from blowing Statue of Liberty up in air after succesfully blowing up France, but a shovel and a fear of death does. Alternative would be a strong wish to live.

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