Archive for February 17th, 2010

Feb 17 2010

Bad Decisions Make Badass Stories

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.

Whether you’re writing a thriller or a romance, an unbroken chain of victories for the hero is probably not very interesting. Come on.  Even Batman makes mistakes.  Unlike most good decisions, poor decisions and ineptly-executed plans create consequences that the character has to overcome, which lets you raise the stakes for the heroes and make the journey more difficult.

Here are some further suggestions about bad decisions.

1.  Please connect the poor decision to an aspect of the character, like a personality flaw or a fear or a defining attribute. For example, if a superhero is exceedingly self-confident, it makes sense that he’d rush into battle without figuring out whether he’s gonna get beat around the block.  In contrast, if a generally well-prepared protagonist acts uncharacteristically hasty without a good reason, you’ve inadvertently given him an idiot ball.  That’s a problem because it isn’t true to the characterization you’ve given him thus far.

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