Is Book Antiqua a good font for books? Personally, I feel it’s harder to read than comparable fonts. BA letters are taller, so you will be hard-pressed to fit as much space between each line. See this sample for more details.
Comic book villain who controls water that is a guy. Hydro-Man?
Why are so many superhero stories set in cities? Because superheroes need lots of people to save, and cities have more violent crimes that threaten lots of people. Most superhero stories have the heroes encounter crime whenever they go out on patrol, and that’s more believable in New York than New Hampshire. Also, cityscapes tend to look cooler than small towns.
I am on fire and need writing advice. I’d recommend dealing with the on fire thing first.
The screenwriter for Battlefield Earth has written an amusing article describing his experience. And, also, an unsuccessful search for love on a Scientologist cruise. No matter how bad your writing is, please rest assured that it’ll never be that bad. And, if it IS that bad, please find some other line of work.
1. Be quietly confident. Ideally, confident enough to encourage prospective publishers and agents but not so arrogant that working with you sounds difficult.
2. You need self-confidence to drive yourself through an emotionally grueling publishing process. Getting published will probably take thousands of hours of writing, submitting, rewriting and resubmitting. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else can help you much.
3. Your query doesn’t need to say anything about you, and shouldn’t say much. Only talk about yourself if it makes you sound like you will sell thousands of copies. For example, if you’re professionally published (any medium), have professional experience relevant to what you’re writing (like a doctor writing a medical drama), already have a large audience (through a day job, perhaps), have worked in the publishing industry or have something similarly impressive, say so. If you don’t have any impressive publishing credentials, that’s fine–just focus entirely on what will actually impress the editor: namely, your book.
Image is trying to promote its upcoming Invincible spinoff, Guardians of the Globe, and it hasn’t announced the team membership yet. However, it has released some teasers, which are pretty funny… especially if you’re familiar with Wolverine Publicity.
Like many other literary agencies (and publishers, for that matter), Bookends uses reader’s reports to help agents/editors evaluate each credible proposal. Assistants and/or interns will sift through the slush pile of unsolicited novel submissions and will pass along maybe 1% to their bosses for consideration, along with reader’s reports.
I get so many queries that read (literally, though this is made up for the purposes of this post) like this:
Character Name is living peacefully in Hometown. But then a life-changing event occurs that changes everything. Secrets are revealed that turn her life upside down. Character Name faces grave danger as she embarks on a quest to save her people. This novel is filled with humor and passion and suspense and romance, and there’s a shocking twist that leaves the reader breathless.
Being vague leaves an agent with so many questions: What are the secrets? What is the life-changing event? What is the danger she’s facing? What happens that is funny and suspenseful and romantic?
When all of these key details are kept hidden the query ends up sounding like… well, pretty much every novel ever written. And chances are an agent is going to move on to the next query.
Here are twenty sets of questions to help you check your writing.
1. Is the story easy to read through? Will readers understand what is happening as they read through it for the first time?
2. At the end of each chapter, does the audience want to keep reading? For example, perhaps you make an exciting revelation, leave a character in danger, leave a character on the verge of doing or learning something interesting, etc.
3. Do the characters have high-stakes, urgent goals? If not, check the pacing. When little is at stake, the plot tends to drag.
5. Does the plot challenge the protagonists? Is there doubt they will succeed? If the plot is too easy, you could make the antagonists tougher, make side-characters less supportive of the protagonists, make the protagonists less powerful, etc.
I’m writing a superhero novel that will be more emotional than action, so it’ll be more of a drama.
Here is an origin I am trying to use for the super-human community. The meteor that destroyed the dinosaur population gave off some strange gas that tainted several primitive humans and eventually formed a second race, identified and named in the 1960s as Homo Super by Dr. Abson. Homo Super or Superhumans as they are now called have all become carriers of the A-Gene. The A-Gene is the gene that is what carries the persons’ super-powers, which have since then varied extremely widely. Super-humans vary differently with their powers and level of strength. This means that some are far stronger than others.
If you’re looking for a low-stakes way to get a short story (up to 6000 words) published, This Mutant Lifemight be worth looking into. You can see its submission guidelines here. “Stories which deal with the everyday lives of people with unusual abilities or physical characteristics are ideal, and there will be a definite preference given to stories which present interesting and well defined characters and situations.” The pay is extremely low, though.
UPDATE: A Thousand Faces is a quarterly journal that also specializes in superhero stories. You can see its submissions page here.
If you want this character to feel guilty about her backstory, why not make her actually responsible for the accident? For example, instead of having uncontrollable poison-massacre powers*, which is merely awful luck, maybe the character has powers that he uses in a reckless or ill-conceived way. For example, maybe a flame-controller accidentally blows up a neighborhood by lighting up a gas line. It’s still unintentional, but at least this gives him a choice to regret and atone for. Overcoming that will be more dramatic than “Gee, I’m sorry I was born to be a town-killer.” If the goal of the story is to have the character atone for his sins, it probably won’t be too dramatic if he’s not actually responsible for the sins in question. Or, if the character’s powers are completely uncontrollable, perhaps the character played some role in acquiring them, like participating in some poorly thought-out scientific experiment.
*Which are a losing Superpower Lottery ticket if ever there were one. Pretty much everybody else in Heroes has something cool like superstrength or flight or time-travel. Poor Maya. Even the psychopathic serial killer has more control over his face-ripping telekinesis than she does. (Also, he spent a lot less time moping about his body count than she did).
Then, while passing a volcano, Carol comments that Wonder Woman’s invisible plane obeys her every command “like magic!” To which WW responds, “The magic of science, Carol!” This is bitterly ironic, given that less than ten issues earlier Kanigher had explained that Wonder Woman’s plane was made when a magical cloud turned a flying horse into an invisible airplane. But she goes on to explain that little computers in the plane make it obey Wonder Woman and only Wonder Woman, just like even smaller computers in the lasso do the same thing! (Those of you going, “Huh?!?!?!?” should probably take a little break from reading this. It doesn’t get any better.)
In the original ‘X-Men’ #1, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, we open with a sequence of Professor X running the team through their training regimen. Beast has to do a difficult acrobatic routine, Angel must fly an obstacle course…then the young sixteen-year old Iceman gets a turn, but Professor X is “going easy” on him by merely requiring him to display his powers. Iceman frosts himself over with snow…and Professor X telepathically tells the Beast to chuck a bowling ball at his head while he’s distracted, to “test his reflexes”.
At some point, logic dictates that he’s secretly trying to kill Iceman, and the whole “training exercise” thing is just an alibi.
Quill’s Story is a traditional coming of age story, set in a recognizable fantasy world-but with an Asian flair.
The story begins with a young boy meeting his first love, who happens to be an elf. Drawn to her by the outsider character that defines their lives, he has his first meaningful positive emotional experience when he stumbles upon the girl in the deep forest. Later in the story (as you might expect) things get quite a bit rougher for the boy, and he must learn martial and magical secrets to not only fight evil, but merely to survive.
1. What are you trying to write?
*A short story, with an eye to sequels/spinoffs. Fantasy/action genre with martial arts mostly replacing the “sword” in “Sword and Sorcery” as the centerpiece.
2. Do you have a target audience in mind?
*Fans of traditional (Tolkien-style) fantasy, D&D’ers, Martial Arts fans. Generally late teens and older, as I expect to get a little too graphic with the violence for the little ones.
3. How thick is your skin?
* Like a rhino filled with custard. Seriously, though-be as critical as you like, so long as it’s useful in some way.
Two things jump out at me here. First, the author’s royalty is proportionally much larger with e-books than hardcovers (20-25% compared to 15%, and even lower for paperbacks). Second, since distributing an e-book is cheaper, the cost to consumers should drop considerably.
Picture taken from the New York Times. Full article here. This statistic caught my eye: “The industry is based on the understanding that as much as 70 percent of the books published will make little or no money at all for the publisher once costs are paid.”
I feel like a marketing executive put a gun to the screenwriter’s head and said “I don’t CARE what the movie is about, put New York City, London, and Hong Kong in it. Just do that thing where the villain is trying to collect plot coupons around the world in places that happen to be […]
Den Warren, (K-Tron, Metahuman Wars) is issuing a call for 3k-5k word submissions for a superhero prose fiction anthology titled, The Supreme Archvillain Election. Each submission will be a supervillain sitting at a huge table explaining why they should be voted as the Supreme Archvillain, then they go into a story, etc. Reprint excerpts and […]
1. This movie is about as bad as Catwoman but, in Catwoman’s defense, it had okay action scenes. 2. Man of Steel particularly struggled with family dialogue. E.g. Clark’s Kryptonian parents take 3 minutes to describe their plan to send him to Earth and say their goodbyes. It’s pretty bland stuff, e.g. melodramatic intonations like […]
I spent 5 hours this week watching Man of Steel and taking 5,000 words of notes. It was like being trapped on an alien planet where the atmosphere consists 80% of characters telling Clark what incredible, grandiose things he symbolizes, 20% of daringly bad action scenes, 15% of grimly constipated expressions, and 15% of acting […]
Out of the Past is a 1947 noir thriller so brilliant I cannot do it justice. I would definitely recommend it, particularly if you’re working with… Characters Plots Accidental deaths falsely claimed as murder-suicides Double-crosses, triple-crosses, and maybe a quadruple-cross depending on how you interpret a self-defense kill with a fishing reel. A complex plot […]
1. The character introductions were lacking. Having Waller narrate the characters’ backstories to a minor character in a no-stakes infodump was probably not ideal. If Waller’s MO is that she’s ruthless and/or exploitative, would have preferred a scene with her coercing Flag to work on the project and/or why they selected these guys rather than […]
1) If you’re mainly looking for something believable, most major U.S. cities use one of the following: Surnames of VIPs, usually explorers and major political leaders (e.g. Houston, Columbus, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville). Anglicized spellings of Native American terms, usually related to geography. E.g. Shikako (“skunk place”) -> Chicago and Myaamia (“downstream people”) -> Miami. […]