Archive for October 10th, 2011

Oct 10 2011

More Random Questions About Superhero Stories

Published by under Reader Questions

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.

From Google queries:


What does a good superhero story include?  

  • Interesting characters.  I’d like to see some personality traits (or combinations of traits) I haven’t seen before and some unusual decisions that most other superheroes wouldn’t make.  In particular, when the character gets superpowers, I think that a character’s decision to become a superhero will be more interesting if it doesn’t come right after the character gets superpowers.
  • Particularly if your target audience is older than 13, I think it would really help to give the characters something exciting to do outside of combat.  Depending on your genre and personal preferences, that could include investigation/crime-solving, relation-building , scenes from the superheroes’ regular lives that develop them, etc.
  • A hard-to-predict plot.


Interesting story blurbs.  I saw this synopsis on “…aboard a late night flight from Tokyo to Portland, a disabled war veteran transforms into a werewolf. Now it’s up to a Japanese punk band, a Muslim terrorist, two stoner pilots, and a limbless superhero to subdue the hellhound.”  Hmm.  I like the wacky mix of “protagonists” (although I’m more likely to root for the werewolf over the terrorist–at least the werewolf gets better 29 days out of 30).




Are there any implants that give superpowers?  The most common superpower, definitely.  I’m not aware of any other surgically viable superpowers now, but I think some will be within 20-30 years.  One surgical implant I use in my own writing is recoil suppressors in the wrist and sound mufflers in the ears that dampen the sound of gunfire.  In terms of mental abilities, some sort of implant for technopathy might be viable within 30 years.


If you’re rejected by one agent.  Umm, keep trying.  I’d recommend revising your query if you’ve submitted to 10 agents and haven’t heard back from any within a month.


Most evil animals?  My picks would be platypi, moose, Norwegians, jellyfish and squirrels.

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