Archive for April 6th, 2010

Apr 06 2010

More Google queries

Published by under Superhero Nation

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.

Here are some of the Google queries I got today.  Feel free to ask away!
  • literary agents for comic book writers. I’ve gone back and forth on this a few times.  I’ve heard good things about Bob Mecoy and he’s worked with a variety of comics publishers (including DC).  Besides that, I’d lean towards submitting a comic book without an agent.
  • top superhero novels. See this.
  • how to get a superhero stiry published. Step one: proofread.
  • comic on potassium. Uhh, good luck with that one.
  • alligator vs. werecanadian. Here.
  • slash fiction comic book. Not here.
  • “fire dragon” + “exploding” + “dictator.” I have no idea what you’re looking for, but suddenly I want to find it too.
  • schlieffen plan comic. Add an exploding dictator, and I’m game.
  • how to narrate an important choice or decision. First, you can show the character taking it seriously, maybe sweating or behaving nervously or otherwise worrying about getting it right.  Alternately, you can have him think through the consequences.
  • how can I become a superhero? Step 1: get a job at a nuclear power plant.  The more leaks, the better.
  • writing a paper about whether players should be held for accidentally hitting the umpire with a baseball. When I tell my publisher how many readers this site has, I’m going to subtract this guy.
  • average advance for first time fantasy novel. $6500.   However, the typical first-time advance is $5000.  (The average is skewed by a few superstars that make a bajillion dollars on their first go).   Also, don’t forget to secure an agent.
  • panels on the average american comic book page. I think it really depends on the situation.  In a page heavy on dialogue, I usually do 6-8 and Watchmen often did 9.  If the page has a lot of action or heavily involved settings, I would recommend doing fewer panels because you’ll usually need more space for a visually involved panel than you would for text.
  • surprising facts about alligators. When holding an alligator, make sure you hold its neck in place.   Otherwise, it can turn its head and possibly rip something off.   (Depending on the size of the alligator, common losses include fingers and arms).

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Apr 06 2010

How Heroes Find Crime

Your superheroes will probably stop crimes at some point.  So how do they find it?  Here are a few options.


1. The most common option is just going on patrol. Most readers and editors will give you the benefit of the doubt that a modern city has so much crime going on that a hero can stumble upon armed robberies without too much trouble.  (Even though that’s probably not realistic–see #12 here for more details).


2. The hero may have access (authorized or otherwise) to what the police know. For example, maybe he has a police scanner, has hacked police radios, has a friend on the police force, or is otherwise contacted by the police on particular cases.


3. The hero might be contacted directly by a victim. For example, if a company has some reason to resolve a crime without getting the police involved, maybe it’ll contact a hero instead.  This would make sense particularly if the police in your story aren’t particularly competent or honest.  Or maybe the victim was somehow involved in some illegal activity (like a prostitute, an illegal immigrant, etc).


4. The hero may have access to what the criminals know. For example, maybe he has an informant, has bugged an important phone, interrogates a captured criminal, etc.  Any one of these could indicate where and when an impending crime will occur.


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