Feb 02 2012

Using the Evil Overlord List to Write More Interesting Villains

1. If a competent villain must make one of the huge villain mistakes on the Evil Overlord List, the villain should have a good reason to do so. Here are some examples:

  • For example, it’s generally a mistake to try capturing a hero rather than just killing him (because the hero will always escape).   However, if the villain needs a human shield right now, an intelligent villain might plausibly decide that leaving the hero alive for now is his best plan.
  • It’s generally a bad idea to have vents that are big enough for a man to crawl through, because someone like Batman will exploit them.  In The Taxman Must Die, one very intelligent villain knows that large vents are dangerous, but builds a holding cell with large vents to pump in enough cold air to suppress a hero vulnerable to cold.
  • Building a walkway above a vat of highly dangerous chemicals can lead to all sorts of accidents.  In TTMD, one villain does, but just so that he can kill off an unruly employee with an “accident” if he has to.  In contrast, it’d just be idiotic if the villain built the walkway for no reason and got himself pushed into the vat.

 

2. If the villain does make a mistake, hopefully the hero forced him into a difficult decision.   For example, if the hero has stolen and hidden some critical piece of equipment, it’d make sense if a villain really wanted to take him alive rather than kill him on sight.  In that case, killing the hero would cost the villain something (he’d have to find the equipment himself rather than just torture the information out of the hero).

 

3. If the supervillain’s signature flaw(s) causes the villain to make a mistake, hopefully the hero exploited the flaw.  For example, if an incredibly proud villain captures the hero’s superweapon or power-suit, it wouldn’t be very satisfying if he relaxed his guard on his own just because he thought he had won.  One example that would be more interesting is if the heroes planted misinformation that made the villain think that the fighting was all but over.  (E.g. if the Justice League’s headquarters has been bugged, maybe the Justice League members could hold a fake meeting where they break up the group because supposedly it’s too dangerous to keep fighting.  A proud supervillain may think the real fighting is all but over and get caught off-guard when the heroes actually attack).  I would generally recommend giving your heroes as large of a role as possible in the downfall of the villains.

 

4. A brilliant villain might make a “mistake” that is actually a trap.  For example, you know those scenes where the heroes successfully guess the villain’s password and steal all of the incriminating evidence?  A brilliant villain might set up his computer so that it pretends to log in successfully after a certain number of incorrect passwords, but only gives the heroes access to reams of incorrect information.  This incorrect information might frame other important characters, which could cause the heroes to do something that angers characters that wouldn’t otherwise have been a problem.  (For example, instead of giving the heroes any sort of valuable information in Watchmen, maybe Ozymandias’ computer could have given false information implicating President Nixon and/or the Soviets in Ozymandias’ scheme?  It would have distracted the heroes from what was actually going on and might have drawn them into conflict with a powerful third party).  Another cool, intelligent thing a villain can do with passwords is have his computer immediately notify security if it registers an incorrect log-in attempt.  (Depending on the situation, it might make sense to immediately attack the intruders, but if the intruders are police officers, then it might be better to feed them misleading information than try to kill them).

 

Are there any particularly clever subversions you’ve used in your superhero stories?  Please let me know in the comments below.

58 responses so far

58 Responses to “Using the Evil Overlord List to Write More Interesting Villains”

  1. B. Macon 02 Feb 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks to Wings for helping me brainstorm this article.

  2. RandomGirlon 02 Feb 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Ah, yes, at least a minor subversion to “the trust-worthy second in command”.

    One of my villains does not trust her second in command entirely *because* he is her second. That means to get there, he had to trick, subvert, and bully a lot of other underlings in the first place. Just because he seems loyal to her doesn’t mean he is, so she doesn’t trust him.
    In an organiztion where people can get promoted to any sort of standing, there are those that will take any shortcut they can for power.

  3. daveon 05 Feb 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I have due to several reasons. My character is modeled after myself as well as being influenced by some situations I’ve gone through and others I have met during my life and since this project started very late 2002, I’ve made up my mind to see this through and to get it published one day. That’s my main motivation for doing this.

    1. My character is a villain by necessity who needed to get other countries on the same page and to be aware of what was going down. The end result would be in a 3rd World war where 80% of Earth’s population would be dead or harvested (or missing)

    2. He will kill or maim others but usually stays out of sight because he’s a background type of guy who doesn’t take the spotlight who’s main task is to ensure that the history of the world is recorded for what is about to happen next.

    3. Only a handful of people have figured out how he operates and can defeat him so having him lose to anyone is normally impossible.

    4. His background is unknown to everyone except for those who’ve encountered him before he “awakened” and came to life.

    5. He has a Thermonuclear weapon or rather a Hydrogen bomb installed inside of him so that he can use it as a last result or whenever it is needed.

    6. He himself is made of an unknown material and is possibly not from earth because of the make of his armor and how much damage he can take before being crippled. He is also not human anymore either which makes matters more interesting.

    7. Even though he is labeled as a bad guy, he knows what suffering is and usually tries to do what is right despite how evil he looks and the fact that what he does is questionable.

    I plan on writing 3 books, with the first one being about the story at present time, the 2nd story about the beginning, and the 3rd about the future. Even though he’s not alive, he’s my role model and has inspired me in many ways to become better and is almost always in my thoughts.

  4. Elenaon 08 Jul 2012 at 4:26 am

    I’m planning on starting a script that focus on a girl who used to date a supervillian. She decides the best way to win back her ex is by making him jealous. And who better than the easily moldable mind of the local superhero. I decided that in this story the villian was in the classic toxic accident first and gained enhanced mental abilities. The hero got his powers on purpose because he was curious as to if it would work. He got flight. Just flight. I’m also playing w the idea that if you get two doses of toxic waste instead of one, you die.

  5. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2012 at 7:09 am

    “He got flight. Just flight.” I like the limitations here.

    In terms of developing the romance (especially as far as male readers are concerned), it might help to come up with ways in which the girl’s plan to win back the villain affects the central plot*, ideally giving her something to do besides just being a love interest (e.g. in The Dark Knight, Rachel Dawes doesn’t get much of a role besides being something for Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent to fight over, so she’s less memorable than she could have been).

    *Or the conflict between the superhero and supervillain, if the romance is the central plot.

  6. Slickon 29 Jul 2012 at 4:38 pm

    B.Mac, I’m working on this villain and his motives for why he’s combating my hero and I’d like your opinion.

    My hero fights crime to try and keep order and prevent chaos. But my villain sees the hero’s efforts to maintain structure and order and this strikes him as fascism. So he fights the hero to prevent from bringing down destruction and genocide in his efforts for order. It’s not necessarily an “Order vs. Chaos” kinda fight, it’s more like a “Tyranny vs. Freedom” kinda fight (in the villain’s eyes).

  7. Slickon 30 Jul 2012 at 12:19 pm

    B.Mac, you there?

  8. B. McKenzieon 30 Jul 2012 at 1:05 pm

    It sounds workable. I don’t have strong opinions either way.

  9. ekimmakon 26 Dec 2013 at 2:16 am

    I remember you mentioning that last point about passwords when reviewing my Yuki Girl story.

    Although I can see why it would be pretty important to have tight security, especially with top research like the Exodus Suit, it seems a bit unfair that Xenith went to all that trouble of disguising her intrusion, only to be caught because there was an alarm.

    Additionally, it would make her evading capture all the more implausible: if I were in charge of security and an alarm went off, I’d send guards to all the possible escape routes, and then have them close in. It gives her no way out.

  10. Jade D.on 24 Jun 2014 at 12:42 am

    Would it be Okay if the villain needs the hero for something. An example from my story is that there is a device that the villain is using to allow an alien invasion. However, the only people who can use it (who all happen to be heroes) are people with a certain marker gene combination (pasted down from generation to generation). Since these heroes are unconscious anyway, would it make sense for the villain to capture and keep them alive?
    Or is this too rare a situation for this to be relevant?

  11. B. McKenzieon 24 Jun 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Jade, I think that’s a good reason to keep a hero alive, though I’d recommend having him take some step(s) to make sure that they will not threaten him moving forward (e.g. destroying their equipment, grabbing/disabling any powers he can, maybe using bomb collars or implanted explosives, and just generally confirming to readers that he’s not idiotically giving them a get-out-of-consequences free card). Also, it feels intuitive that this explanation would cover why he needs ONE hero alive, but if he chooses to take multiple heroes alive, hopefully it’s because the heroes have some feats of trickery and/or persuasion (e.g. convincing a skeptical villain that it won’t work unless they have several heroes there).

  12. Freyaon 20 Sep 2014 at 11:45 pm

    It was so satisfying to read this list and go ‘yes! My villain is actually competent!’

  13. simonon 28 Apr 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Okay i want to knw wat u think of my story.Its a superhero take on a spy story,its about a 15 year old kung fu prodajy kid named Simon Auchour.His always wished he could more about the exccaleting crime in his city.At his school three strange droids came crashing in ,one droid carryin a orbe.The droid were chasin after the package durin the disturbance simon thought he could help and begun to fight . The droid but was defeated . The orbe fell in his hands and scanned him nd gave him a sumo spy suit(secret undercover motion opreative spy suit.basically it can produce any weapon bt only whn truly needed.I have made a short term villan who wants the suit after thinkin he was cheated out of it(his a billionaire.To make it interesting i made his family nd 2 of his friends knw his secret nd help out with missions.

  14. Jackon 23 Jan 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Hey B.Mac I’ knew to posting and I don’t know if this is the right spot to put this but…
    What do you think of a story where the whole team is anti-heroes and/or villains?

  15. B. McKenzieon 23 Jan 2016 at 8:19 pm

    “What do you think of a story where the whole team is anti-heroes and/or villains?” I haven’t seen enough villain-as-main-character stories to have observations on recurring problems. I guess it’d be cool if the main thing separating the antiheroes from standard heroes were something besides obsessively lethal. Do you have a synopsis/summary?

  16. Jackon 27 Jan 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Hey B.Mac First sorry for the long wait but i can only get on my WiFi every so often between school and work. I do not have one, and as for that I had a team of six going.
    I was going for a mix of characters so I’ve got a ex-cop, her main anti hero trait was lethal due to lack of trust in the system. A assassin she only on the team due to a deal made with the teams hacker she helps them and she stays out of prison. The hacker he’s not a in the field character and he’s the one who assembled the group he’s one of the few team characters who leans agenst killing every baddy they fight. Then there the Merc while he hires out for money he does has have a strong sense of morals but life has berried them down in him. The thief is a straight up take the money girl with the same deal as the ex-cop but unlike her she agrees with the hacker only the Lethal question. Then finely there the solider he was the first one the hacker recruited he’s one of those people who never seems to laugh and you never know if there joking, he’s also the one who has to keep the thief and Merc in line since neither is realy Sirius.
    Oh… and powers wise I was thinking…
    Ex-cop= she can see the last thing someone saw befor death
    Merc= wall crawling
    Thief= minor speed 50 mph
    Soldier- Plant based, not sure
    Assassin- Human only shoplifter
    Hacker- Healing touch
    what due you think?

  17. Jackon 27 Jan 2016 at 3:57 pm

    P.S. Sorry for the long post

  18. B. Macon 27 Jan 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I think the powers are interesting (they aren’t typical for the character’s skill sets or roles, which I think is helpful). What is “human only shoplifter”?

    Re: character choices… if you haven’t already done so, I’d also recommend working in several conflicts between characters over issues besides how lethal they are, preferably being as unredundant as possible. E.g. the merc’s buried morals might create problems for someone, the thief’s loyalty might come into question (correctly or not), the distance between the hacker and the team might lead to trust issues one way or both ways, and maybe somebody comes under suspicion as a potential police informant or undercover agent (e.g. an ex-cop that is avoiding jail under hard-to-verify circumstances might raise some eyebrows there), and any/all of the characters can have character growth in some direction that creates problems.

  19. Jackon 02 Feb 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Hey B.Mac
    Again sorry for the wait I don’t think I’ll be able to reply but once a week and sorry that was supposed to be Shapeshifter but I guess me or auto correct messed up, probably both. Thanks for the complement on the powers I was trying for helpful but not obvious, although I think I’ll give the Soldier porcupine quills instead of plant based power.

    As for the jail thing yeah she’s going to have to try and hide her face every known and again. Because while the Hacker whipped her from all government and Non-government files people still know her face, helped by the fact she was wanted by I.A. for the suspicious death of a suspect. And as for the enter team stuff I’m writing a short story so I don’t have to go to far into that but yes I did think of that with the thief but then I decided to have all but the Hacker and Soldier think of her as a mere announce because while she will stop in the middle of a plan to steal she is definitely not a snitch or killer. And no I planned on even thought the Hacker and Soldier started the team together they disagree on how to go about it. Yes the soldier is lethal but that’s just one argument, he dislikes having the extremely kill happy assassin on the team and a thief who don’t follow orders. But the mane argument threw out the story is supposed to be weather the Hacker has the right to judge kill or don’t kill while he’s safely behind a screen calling commands, or the soldier’s in the wrong to execute the enemies paid thugs when he feel’s that letting them live might cause latter damage.

    Thanks for the help and I’m going to warn you that once I start it this story will probably only take a month or two. Then I’ll be onto a new project and asking questions about it.

  20. Jackon 02 Feb 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Again sorry for long post I spazz when I type and try to say it all at once.

  21. B. McKenzieon 02 Feb 2016 at 8:58 pm

    “sorry that was supposed to be Shapeshifter.” Ah, that makes a lot of sense.

    “Because while the Hacker whipped her from all government and Non-government files people still know her face, helped by the fact she was wanted by I.A. for the suspicious death of a suspect.” If you were going for team paranoia (e.g. suspicion that she’s an undercover cop or criminal informer), one sign that someone is working with the police is that they have resources of poorly-explained origins. Especially resources/capabilities that would be really hard for a criminal to swing on his/her own (e.g. destroying electronic files and probably a few hard copies as well).

    Also, you mentioned that the hacker is one of the few characters that shies away from killing. In context, that might also be suspicious — if they are already wondering if he’s also working with the police to make her cover more believable, him being reluctant to commit felonies might be a red flag).



    “I’m going to warn you that once I start it this story will probably only take a month or two…” Hey, good luck! That’ll be a pretty badass pace.

  22. Jackon 04 Feb 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Hey B.Mac I say a month or two because when I write I just sit down and type till I finish. Normal I have plot and character arcs figured out. Although it helps that I dont worry about grammar and spelling and just hand it of to a friend who proof reads and tells what to correct. Also I say a month because this story I’m not doing to much paranoia and enter working so as to finish early because while I want to write it, it is not my best or favorite project so far.

    Thanks for the help I’ll leave you alone for a while. Unless you have any more insight I never shy away from help.

  23. Jackon 10 Feb 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Hey B.Mac can I point out there are no articles about anti-heroes

  24. Vixis Shiar'Deluson 11 Feb 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I feel like I have a situation that could fit into number four, and just want to verify whether or not it sounds interesting and not “this villain sucks.”

    Setup:
    Jaizon has been working through the body of a somewhat resistant female who is refusing to let herself fade from her own body. She doesn’t have much control, but tries to take advantage of what she can. Jaizon intends to kill a few birds with two stones. He wants to jump into a more politically powerful person’s body while also getting rid of the female. In his plan, he also gets rid of the people he feels are tailing him.

    Alfred and Matthew have been hunting down the female in the belief that Jaizon may be inhabiting her body. They know he wants more power, but aren’t sure who he intends to target and take control of.

    Event:
    Jaizon leaves evidence indicating that he intends to attack and take control of one of the generals for the military. Alfred and Matthew discover this and speak with Matthew (head of police in Haven) and Alfred’s bosses (minister of the interior and forerunner for the presidential election), who both give the approval for a sting operation intended to capture Jaizon. They meet with the general, who agrees to work with them to capture Jaizon. He goes to the bar that Jaizon’s female host is known to frequent, and they end up setting up a date.

    When the operation is set to begin and the general has Jaizon in bed (after the date), Jaizon starts extremely loud and focused (through amplified and focused speakers) music that disrupts Alfred and Matthew’s surveillance of the building. They get ready to go in while Jaizon attacks the general. The general shoots Jaizon’s host twice in the heart before Jaizon knocks the gun out of his hand. Then, Jaizon places his hand on the generals forehead and transfers his consciousness there at the last second. The former host dies, and Jaizon destroys the generals weaker will and takes complete control.

    Alfred and Matthew burst into the room, and are shocked by the blood and dead body. Jaizon has his new host tell them that the woman had done something to the music that blew everything up, and then attacked him. He told them that he’d managed to shoot her before she scratched him, but that she hadn’t done anything else to him. After questioning later that day, Matthew and Alfred agree that Jaizon must have been killed…but regret their loss at finding out who else might have worked for or with him.

  25. B. McKenzieon 11 Feb 2016 at 6:37 pm

    “Hey B.Mac can I point out there are no articles about anti-heroes?” Oh, yeah, thanks for the request. I’m not very familiar with antihero superheroes. The few submissions I’ve seen in this vein tend to be “John is a cop/soldier/insert badass profession here who goes kill-crazy after a loved one was killed/victimized, and he has to wage a one-man war against an antagonist even more one-dimensionally brutal than he is.” Would suggest a more innovative inciting event/motivation and rounder character development.

    –Personally, I think it’d be helluva helpful if the main way in which the character were differentiated from typical heroes is NOT being relentlessly kill-crazy. E.g. see the main character in Kick-Ass, Gamora/Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy, Magneto in First Class, and outside of superhero stories everyone in Usual Suspects and pretty much every noir protagonist. E.g. one distinctive element of noir protagonists is that (secondarily) their world is unusually bleak and (more importantly) they have a lot of difficulty coping with it. That’s probably a more promising setup than someone who goes full Terminator and doesn’t look back (i.e. not much room for character change over time, which might get tedious pretty quickly).

    –A three-dimensional personality (which may involve lethal acts that most other superheroes wouldn’t have done in the same place, but I’d recommend against making it the main point) would also help.

    –It’d probably help to give the main character something to talk about besides the current mission. In the interests of character development, it might be easier to work with a team or an ensemble rather than a lone character, particularly one that hates talking. (Especially if the main character isn’t very talkative — he’ll need help in dialogue).

    –Again, I’d suggest a noir-ish vibe over “mindless killing spree.”

    –Secondarily, torture is usually not the most interesting way for a main character to obtain information, especially if the torture is essentially mind-reading. (Does the Punisher ever get wrong information from torture? That’d probably be more promising than treating it like a superpower).

  26. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I understand that B.mac , I’m just saying that there are some people who like to write that stuff and honestly anti heroes don’t have to be mindless killers it’s just that most people when writing have trouble writing a anti hero who kills or stills and giving them a sympathetic reasons other then “My (insert relative/friend/spouse/ME) is dead I’ll kill everyone in evolved. Ohhh wait all criminals are involved.” as for torture it can go a long way to explain a mind set but it must be done write.

    I think of the TV Green Arrow, TV Red X, Sometimes Batman, some versions of Impulse and Quicksilver(the klepto versions). Most any hero who breaks the law in obviously lethal, greedy or shady way and/or is wanted by cops(exceptions apply, spiderman, ect…), is in my thought process a anti-hero.

  27. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Question for Vixis Shiar’Delus is Jaizon the good or bad guy… If he’s the bad I don’t see that as problem but if he’s the good guy(doubtful from what I heard but I figured I should be sure) then that doesn’t fit #4. Maybe B.mac can help you more.
    Just realized how childish I sound saying good guy and bad guy but… what the heck I’ll keep it!

  28. B. McKenzieon 17 Feb 2016 at 6:43 pm

    “Just realized how childish I sound saying good guy and bad guy but… what the heck I’ll keep it!” I would have guessed “smartphone” before “immaturity…”

  29. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Good to see you B.mac but lets face it, I’m obviously not normal so lets throw Immature on top of my other traits. Or at least that’s how I think of myself, not sure how you see me. Plus please explain the smartphone thing. i think I get it but I want to be sure.

  30. B. McKenzieon 17 Feb 2016 at 7:22 pm

    “Antiheroes don’t have to be mindless killers; it’s just that most people have trouble writing a anti hero who kills or steals and giving them a sympathetic reasons other then “My (insert relative/friend/spouse/ME) is dead I’ll kill everyone involved.” If the character is sufficiently charming, you probably don’t even need a sympathetic reason for most minor/moderate selfishness*, I think.

    E.g. Tony Stark doesn’t have any good (external) reason to out himself as Iron Man, even though it needlessly puts his loved ones in some danger. Personally, I thought that going public was a likable decision anyway because it was unexpected and reinforced most everything viewers like about the character (e.g. for me, his recklessness, and the sort of laidback/fun way in which he approaches what would be a super-serious announcement from most other superheroes, and the way he impishly defies an entirely sensible plan from an authority figure for really no reason besides that it doesn’t fit him very well). In a VERY subtle way, the scene is about self-honesty, whereas I think Superman handling the same scene would have been a jackhammer of sanctimony (he’s very big on honesty, except when he’s concealing the biggest conflict of interest in the history of journalism).



    *Being able to make a kill-crazy protagonist work, though, is sort of extraordinary. The only example I can think of is Dexter Morgan and, despite being a serial killer, he’s actually a great deal more introspective/circumspect about killing than, say, someone who went mindlessly lethal and never looked back. The story presents his mental issues as a form of addiction (which is pretty much as unsexy as it gets), and personally I find him a hell of a lot more engaging than the Punisher. There’s points where he comes close to getting clean — so close!– and he’s actually surprisingly engaging. In contrast, I think a kill-crazy hero’s ceiling is VERY limited… I’m not sure what more you can hope for there than “what a cool fight scene!”

  31. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 7:33 pm

    I see your point but for some one dark like Punisher or a hero who takes himself to seriously normally needs sympathy, thought I prefer more light hearted heroes, even if there hero isn’t.
    P.S. B.mac it says I’m posting to fast if this is true I’ll back out for a while, as it is I’m about to have to stop.

  32. B. McKenzieon 17 Feb 2016 at 7:49 pm

    ” B.mac it says I’m posting to fast if this is true I’ll back out for a while…” I think that logging in will prevent “You’re posting too quickly!” from appearing. The antispam tools I use are generally helpful (no spam!), but that message is pretty annoying. Sorry for any inconvenience.

  33. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I have no Email or Cell Phone to use but if I can make a account with out one I’d like to know, plus I never thought of making a account probably a dumb question but how?
    And it does it again! Sorry not trying to get mad just tired and In a rush. And I just relized to keep typeing doesn’t help…

  34. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Love the site thought! :)

  35. Jackon 17 Feb 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Trying to stop but one last question Hit-girl was kill crazy and I thought she was engaging. Just me B.mac ?

  36. Vixis Shiar'Deluson 18 Feb 2016 at 11:22 am

    Sorry for the late response Jack, just realized that you’d responded.

    Jaizon is the overall villain for my story, yes. However, he’s not a bad guy. His goals would probably be considered good by most (unite both species in preparation for a perceived impending alien decimation attack), but his morals are shady and his morals and ethics are just as bad (mind control, murder, mass manipulation, fratricide, making a father kill his son to both get rid of his biggest threat and break his hosts control).

  37. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Okay is it wrote with him as pro or antagonist? As protagonist he looks like a competent Protagonist but still makes the Antagonist look decent and not strait out stupid, if he’s a antagonist and there the Protagonist he’s definitely good for four.

  38. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2016 at 7:53 pm

    “I have no Email or Cell Phone to use but if I can make a account with out one I’d like to know…” You can sign up at http://www.superheronation.com/wp-admin/ . I think the system emails you a verification, so an email address is temporarily necessary to get started, I think. Also, unless you’re still in school and your parents would like you to hold off on an email for security reasons*, I’d strongly recommend getting an email address.

    *If this is the case, please don’t confirm my speculation. (I strongly prefer not to know anybody’s age).

  39. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I know B.mac but all the email’s I’ve looked into have required a phone number to make.

  40. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2016 at 8:09 pm

    “But all the email’s I’ve looked into have required a phone number to make.” I think you can use a landline instead, or a public phone you have access to. If you don’t have a landline, a cellphone, an email address, or have access to a public phone, uhh…

  41. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks I’ll look into it! :)

  42. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Hey B.mac stupid question but while I’v got you talking do you thank its possible to do a O.P. character okay or is it out of the question, I know Superman sucks but I’ve seen one or two who did it good. But most of those the character had sever power/emotional limits.

    So I thought maybe a limit like “I use my powers to fight my battles this ancient god get’s mad tries to kill me. I kill him all the other god’s kill me. If any god kills me Apocalypse happens, hence Powers +fight = bad”
    This was inspired by a bit of dialogue I wrote in my Anti Heroes story that didn’t make the cut. I think I’ll tuck it away for latter to write but first I wanted to work threw it with a person non related to me or a friend. Or are you my friend?

  43. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2016 at 8:43 pm

    “Plus please explain the smartphone thing. i think I get it but I want to be sure.” Generally speaking, when someone on SN has really uncommon typos, I’d guess they’re using a device like a smartphone that doesn’t handle typing all that well. About 1/3 of SN readers use a smartphone. Another possibility would be that the person speaks other languages fluently but is relatively new to English. About 1/6 of SN users are from a country where English is not widely spoken. If the shoe were on the other foot and I were commenting on a Spanish-language website (with, God help me, a smartphone), I promise you habrían typos, muchos muchos typos.

  44. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Ah okay on both accounts… That makes sense, I should have thought of that since in the school I go to a third speak Spanish or a sub language but close to no English, and another third speaks both English and Spanish. Thanks B.mac! :)

  45. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2016 at 9:09 pm

    “Do you thank its possible to do a O.P. character okay or is it out of the question?” In an action story, I think a character that’s overpowered relative to his challenges is probably not as promising. However, if the story’s not mainly an action, a character could have incredible superpowers and still be relatively easy to challenge. E.g. Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen was basically a god and his powers would have instantly wrecked almost any fight. (Over the course of hundreds of pages, he probably gets less than 1 page of combat). However, as a dramatic character, he’s actually quite effective, I think. For one thing, his adversary is more of a hidden genius than someone who marches out to battle. By the time he reveals that he’s the villain, he’s already accomplished what he set out to do.



    However, I wouldn’t recommend starting here (especially with an action story). Anything that challenges your protagonist(s) is helpful, and writing/pacing the story will be easier if you have more challenges at your disposal.



    “Or are you my friend?” No. I’ve never even met you.

  46. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 9:28 pm

    That was funny. I have asked some of my friends about possible story arcs, but they where friends who are writer/artists two, plus the mane two I go two are beyond(almost annoyingly) out front about my bad qualities and screw up’s. And as for bail a real friends always in the cell with you saying “The party isn’t over till the mug shots are taken”
    Ow…. by the way I responded to your Dead Pool question. Just saying if you’ve read it all ready fine but please just say “okay” or talk back but I get confused on who’s read what.
    Thank’s for the help B.mac!

  47. Jackon 18 Feb 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Is it me or are bits of comments disappearing as I post?

  48. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2016 at 11:57 pm

    “Just saying if you’ve read it all ready fine but please just say “okay” or talk back but I get confused on who’s read what.” This wouldn’t be feasible for me. It might be days or weeks before I respond to a comment, if at all. I can’t/don’t promise to read every comment left on-site. (33,000 comments so far…)

  49. Jackon 22 Feb 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Okay B.mac I just wish there was some kind of system saying if a comment had been read or not probably not workable thought and I get that. :)

  50. Jackon 06 Apr 2016 at 9:03 am

    Hey B.mac been a while but school comes first. Any way I’m wondering if you have any recommendations or pet peeves about aliens other then them looking like humans I’ve got that explained in story.

  51. B. McKenzieon 07 Apr 2016 at 6:34 am

    As far as alien villains go, I’m not super-thrilled about mindless conquerors. Would suggest more effort on mindsets/culture/goals.

    Generally speaking, the alien villains I’ve seen that *look* like humans more or less think and act like humans (e.g. Kryptonians are more or less indistinguishable from superpowered humans), and I think that’s pretty weak sauce.

  52. Jackon 07 Apr 2016 at 9:16 am

    Hey B.mac I’ve got them as both heroes and villains mostly villains
    I don’t think mine are knock off humans, except in looks which I use Panspermia to explain, but just in case these are the 5 most used races I have in the story…
    1) Ungar they are highly intelligent but as a result are paranoid to the point of killing because it is logical to kill them. I actually have a hero who is a Ungar who is hated and distrusted by them for his use of human learned emotions.
    2) Odarians they are modified beings who go planet picking wars for honor and resources, no not dumb and violent more average and violent
    3)Martians in story they are a long dead race of aliens who look like short humans with larger then average pupils, the one who is not dead is no where near as strong or fast as a human but has a IQ that rivals the Ungar but is highly emotional
    4)Plutonians actually aren’t as human looking as the rest with purple skin, pointed teeth, no noise and reptilian eyes they do kind of fit the dumb and violent
    5) the Syrain I fear feel most human there society is big into chain of command, are the self imposed protectors of the universe and despite being “Protectors” are highly xenophobic

  53. Jackon 07 Apr 2016 at 9:19 am

    so many grammar error’s I only notice after I post, why didn’t I notice sooner? Why? : (

  54. Jackon 11 Apr 2016 at 8:54 am

    B.mac?

  55. B. McKenzieon 11 Apr 2016 at 5:06 pm

    The Ungar sound sort of like a villainous take on Star Trek Vulcans, but depending on how the paranoia is executed, that might be interesting. #2 and #4 sound sort of generic. Re: #5, I think xenophobic enemies are sort of predictable, but xenophobic frenemies would probably be more memorable. The execution on #3 looks thin. I think most protagonists in most genres are smart and emotional, so I think going in a more distinctive/specific direction would probably help. E.g. “ninja poet” or “battle scholar” or “love doctor*” or “pirate spy” or “undercover archaeologist” or “doomsday businessman” or “hardbitten investigator” or “vengeful scientist” or whatever.

    *Probably pretty hard to find patients, given that everybody else in the species is dead.

    “so many grammar error’s I only notice after I post, why didn’t I notice sooner? Why? : (” I’d recommend proofreading comments before submitting.

  56. Jackon 12 Apr 2016 at 9:38 am

    Hey B.mac first of I did ‘TWICE?’, not mad at you mad at myself,I just have a bad problem with grammar.
    Race 1 is not bad, they are over all a neutral race that is in turmoil as a result of high political strain over weather or not to trust the other races they have treaties with.
    As for R2 I threw them in because I needed a enemy to unite most the other 4 races with humans. They fit the bill, thow I will try to flesh them out more.
    R3 I was thinking more physics nerds with big swords they know how to use.
    R4 four is kind of typical but I was hoping having them be mostly good would help, and there not those stupid “me kill all” type they have a complex moral code, there just not quick intellects.
    R5 are pretty much great allies but they see all races as lower life forms who will likely kill them for there planet and sciences. Think strong armed cops who distrust anyone not a cop.

  57. B. McKenzieon 15 Apr 2016 at 5:44 pm

    “I just have a bad problem with grammar.” Acknowledged. Is it resolvable? Mechanical problems would probably present a major obstacle to writing professionally.

    “I was thinking more physics nerds with big swords they know how to use.” Okay, I think action scientists are definitely a step above “physics nerds” without melee weapons, but I’d recommend working on personality more. (Personally, “nerd” makes me run for the door because it sounds like the character/species isn’t meant to be interesting).

  58. Jackon 19 Apr 2016 at 8:28 am

    Hey B.mac see what you mean and I didn’t mean nerd as anything more then a discription, but yeah I’ll work on it.

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