Archive for October 24th, 2008

Oct 24 2008

Quiz: Is Your Manuscript Dead on Arrival?

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 quiz will help you diagnose some common manuscript problems. If you’re not sure why your answer was right or wrong, please see our explanations either by waiting until the end of the quiz or hitting “previous question” during the quiz.

Is Your Novel Manuscript Dead on Arrival? » Create A Quiz

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Oct 24 2008

When parodying superheroes, you can do better than lampooning their clothes

Superhero parodies are very hard to write. Generally, you can’t parody something that treats itself as ridiculous to begin with.  This means that poking fun at ridiculous elements of superhero stories, like what superheroes wear, is usually unsuccessful. Fortunately, many elements have more comedic potential because the stories take them seriously.

1. Superhero origin stories have always been outlandishly tragic, but since roughly 1990 it has just been ludicrous. Instead of just watching his loved ones get murdered, the hero might get betrayed by the CIA, set on fire, sent to hell and then return as some sort of crazyass demon-hunter.

2. As superhero stories progress, the writers run out of material and the likelihood that the stories will take bizarre twists approaches 100%. He’s a clone! His parents were superspies! His aunt marries a supervillain! His girlfriend falls for a werewolf! He grows six arms! He writes his girlfriend out of history by making a deal with the devil! And that’s just Spiderman. Don’t even get me started on the total strangeness surrounding Jimmy Olsen.

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