Feb 16 2012

List of Superhero Origin Stories

Published by at 9:28 am under Superhero Origin Stories

If you’re not sure where your superhero’s superpowers might come from, here are some potential superhero origins.

Science and Science Fiction

 

1. Cybernetics–replacing human limbs or organs (usually crippled/injured ones) with superior mechanical substitutes.  See Cyborg, the Bionic Woman, etc.

 

2. Genetic engineering–e.g. replacing genes with sequences from other sources can create interesting results, such as pigs that glow like jellyfish.  See Spider-Man, etc.

 

3. Powersuits, exoskeletons and/or giant death machines (Iron Man, Steel, the M-1 Abrams, etc).  We already have jet packsmilitary-grade lasers, and a five-pound rocket launcher, so within (say) 30 years, origins like the Iron Man suit might not actually be science fiction.

3.1. Robotics.  Domo arigato, human-sized death machine.  (Robots don’t have to be androids, but usually are in fiction).

 

4. Any other technological hardware.  For example, the video game Deus Ex uses a variety of surgical implants for superpowers and The Taxman Must Die uses implanted recoil suppressors.

 

5. Chemical enhancement.  For example, Captain America and Green Goblin.

5.1. Chemical mutagens (e.g. the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

 

6. Neurosurgery, especially if the powers involved have a mental component (e.g. anything mental, reflexes, pain suppression, etc).

 

7. Ridiculously tough training (Batman, GI Joe, etc).

 

8. Nanotechnology.  Some choice excerpts from Wikipedia: “Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale.  Nanotechnology ranges from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale, as well as raising speculation about various doomsday scenarios.”  Manipulating matter?  Doomsday scenarios?  Sign me up.

 

9. Mutations (X-Men, Heroes).

 

10. The character is not human (e.g. aliens like Superman, maybe mutants, etc).

10.1. Alien symbiotes, like the Venom suit.

10.2. The character has been given superpowers by an alien or alien entity. The science fiction equivalent of a blessing.

 

11. Miracle operations (e.g. Kickass).

 

12. Stimulating the visual cortex could help people learn certain skills extremely quickly, like kung fu and piloting in The Matrix.  There have been some exciting developments on this front recently.

 

13. Radiation–sort of dated, but still workable.

 

14. Super-narcotics.  These might be helpful if you need one-off superpowered antagonists and/or DEA subsidies.  (“Kids, drugs will really **** you up.  Haven’t you ever heard of Rick James?”)

 

 

Fantasy

 

1. The character’s gifted with magic, the Force, Six Sigma consulting, or whatever you call it in your story.

 

2. Supernatural artifacts (Captain Britain, etc).

 

3. The character has been blessed, cursed or enchanted in some way, but is not a magic user.  This might be worth considering if you feel that creating a spell-casting system would be too much work or that a wizard would be too unrelatable.

 

4. The character belongs to some fantasy species (e.g. elf, orc, gelatinous cube, etc).

 

5. The character is (or was) human, but has been supernaturally modified in some way (e.g. a vampire, a werewolf, some sort of demonic transformation, etc).

 

6. Mythological origins (e.g. Captain Marvel).

224 responses so far

224 Responses to “List of Superhero Origin Stories”

  1. CRon 16 Feb 2012 at 9:03 pm

    […]

    3. We already have rudimentary jet packs…

    Check out this video of Jetman-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6n1EtkXL88

    It’s amazing!

  2. Anonymouson 16 May 2012 at 9:39 am

    any realistic origns

  3. B. McKenzieon 16 May 2012 at 9:50 am

    Anonymous, I’d recommend reading the above article.

  4. Linneaon 24 Jun 2012 at 7:42 pm

    What if a character’s human. Like, no genetic modifications or anything? Because my character is like Batman, but his parents weren’t murdered .-. Help?

  5. Neilon 08 Jul 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I am having trouble with coming up with how my protagonist acquires his powers. I have the backstory and personality for the most part developed, but HOW he gets his powers is something I am stumbling on. Basically, what I have is the following:

    The protagonist is visiting a museum with his class. It’s there that they view a statue of a Jade Rabbit, which was said to be of great value and possess mystic powers.

    Essentially, a robbery occurs with the intent to steal the statue, but the protagonist strives to stop them. This is where I am stuck. I don’t know how to specifically proceed onward with this, without it pulling off some prophesied cliche thing on how he gains his powers.

    Part of me has it where he manages to outwit them and get a hold of a statue, only to where he’s presented an Ultimatum: surrender the statue or watch one of the hostages die. The energies inside the statue upon seeing how he’d acted deems him worthy of gaining access to the powers inside.

    I am unsure if this will come off as typical, as it’s been stated that unusual decisions are what make characters recognized.

  6. ehrichon 08 Jul 2012 at 2:44 pm

    @Neil, whats the origin or the jade rabbit? if its like Asian , you can make it a bloodline transfer, where at one brief moment as the robbers run by him as they escape, they run him over knocking both him and the robber down letting the rabbit touch him transferring the powers to him.

    Also you can make it so the robbers were stealing it for their boss that was seeking the same powers cause he thinks he has the same bloodline.

  7. ehrichon 08 Jul 2012 at 2:46 pm

    @linnea, more info please. were here to help you out, but not write the whole story for you.

  8. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2012 at 2:50 pm

    “What if a character’s human. Like, no genetic modifications or anything?” A few possibilities come to mind.

    1) He might have trained unusually hard and developed incredible capabilities (like Batman).

    2) Even if he didn’t have incredible capabilities, he might be a superhero anyway. For example, see Watchmen’s Rorschach or Wild Cards’ Yeoman. This approach would probably work best if most of his/her antagonists are either non-superpowered or have low-grade superpowers. Otherwise, it might be hard for the character to shape the plot.

    2.1) The character isn’t a superhero. For example, Gotham Central and District X are mainly about detectives without superpowers. Bob Moore (of Bob Moore, No Hero) is a private investigator in a world full of superheroes, but does not have superpowers or major gadgets himself. Whether the story has superpowers or not, you could probably tell an interesting story about someone without superpowers (e.g. a journalist or detective racing to crack the case, a scientist trying to cure a disease or stave off an alien invasion, a regular soldier in a Transformers-style story, etc). However, if the character’s combat capabilities are extremely limited relative to the antagonists, the story will probably hinge on plot elements besides combat.

    2.2) The character works with superheroes, but isn’t a superhero. For example, in my own The Taxman Must Die, the main character is an unpowered IRS accountant who has been transferred to a SHIELD-style agency because a wildly dangerous supervillain has publicly vowed to kill him. The SHIELD-style agency puts the accountant into the field, investigating high-profile cases of a superpowered nature. They want to distract the supervillain from attacking the public at large and also use any attacks against the accountant to gather information to locate and eliminate the supervillain. One caveat: if you’re interested in writing a superpowered action story, a character that can’t take on superpowered antagonists might not work out all that well. In my case, the accountant’s main role is more to investigate crimes and to survive battles (rather than win them–he has a superpowered partner for that, and the partner is sufficiently mentally unreliable that the accountant definitely adds something to the pair).

  9. Neilon 08 Jul 2012 at 3:09 pm

    @ehrich

    Yes, the power is Asian inspired,based on the idea of the Jade Rabbit and how the rabbit serves the chinese Moon goddess, Chang’e. Your idea about the bloodline transfer could work. The only issue I have is that will it seem a bit forced, or cliche, because the one thing I do not want to do make this story some idea that he was prophesied, or destined to gain the power. I apologize if I am sounding needy, but I’m trying to follow the advice administered by this site, about prophecies and destinies towards main characters.

    The second idea seems logical, and such I can see it happening.

    P.S: I apologize if this is off topic, but would be logical to assume that when he did acquire his power, the gods would summon him. Most of their intent is to punish him, believing he as a mortal was unworthy. And having the Moon Goddess vouch for him and his actions?

  10. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2012 at 3:37 pm

    “I am having trouble with coming up with how my protagonist acquires his powers. I have the backstory and personality for the most part developed, but HOW he gets his powers is something I am stumbling on. Basically, the protagonist is visiting a museum with his class. It’s there that they view a statue of a Jade Rabbit, which was said to be of great value and possess mystic powers. Essentially, a robbery occurs with the intent to steal the statue, but the protagonist strives to stop them. This is where I am stuck.”

    I agree that unusual decisions would help. What are the character’s distinguishing traits like? For example, let’s say he were very quick-witted and maybe a bit impulsive. The class has heard that this statue has some serious supernatural mojo and they’ve all heard the really weird things about the legends about it being harnessed for supernatural power and/or the rumors of rabbit ghosts haunting the building and/or whatever else you’d like to make it sound like this vase is the real deal. The rest of the museum has been useless and boring, but the protagonist gets close to the display case and even that causes some mildly supernatural experience (like chills down his spine or whatever). Shortly thereafter, the kid hears gunfire downstairs (the robbers entering the building). The kid figures out right away that they’re coming for the vase (because everything else is crap), so he grabs a chair and smashes his way into the display case. He hides the vase somewhere. The robbers storm the room and find that the vase has been taken. They correctly guess that somebody in the room must know where it is. One of the criminals makes a crude remark to the effect that there’s no way school-kids will keep him from power beyond imagination. (This helps raise the stakes of the boy’s subsequent dilemma: giving over the vase could be a really bad idea). The criminal grabs somebody at random (preferably someone the hero doesn’t like) and threatens to shoot him unless he gets the vase immediately. The hero reluctantly steps forward and produces the vase because nobody, not even a school rival, deserves to be killed for a vase. He gives over the vase, the criminals leave, and time stops.

    Time suddenly stops. The bunny spirit enters and he is PISSED. There were 15 (or however many) people in the room and nobody could figure out how to hide the doomsday vase from the criminals? Depending on the boy’s personality, he might retort in a number of ways (e.g. “You’re the magical bunny. Why didn’t YOU stop them?”) The rabbit might make a snide remark here about how helpful having a BODY would have been here, and suddenly he realizes that the boy is the best chance he has at recovering the vase. 1) The boy is demonstrably less useless than the other kids–at least he was quick enough to TRY to hide the vase. 2) Of all the people in the room, nobody is more responsible for its falling into enemy hands than the main character. Taking on this task will be his penance and, if he fails, the bunny spirits will not be kind. So the rabbit decides to share some of his energy with the boy and makes him an offer he would be unwise to refuse.

    Some key notes:
    –In terms of building memorable dialogue, I think it would be really helpful if there were at least one other character in the scene with a personality. I chose the rabbit. Other possibilities that come to mind: a tour guide, another classmate, one of the criminals, a Canadian janitor with a dark past and some experience with the occult.

    –The vase might be the first of a few items. The villain might already superpowers when he tries to steal this item (because he’s already grabbed harnessed one of the items). This would be further proof to the boy that surrendering the vase would be a really bad idea.

    –If the main character isn’t the type to leap into action as soon as he realizes that something is up, maybe somebody else tries to stash away the vase. For example, let’s take antagonistic classmate Alex, main character Barry and Carmen. Alex hides the vase (but only Barry is watching–everybody else is panicking because of the gunshots). The criminals come in and threaten to kill Carmen unless they get the vase. Alex says nothing. Barry gives them the vase. (Or vice versa–maybe Carmen hides the vase and the criminals draw the gun on Alex). This might be helpful if you wanted the bunny to choose two protagonists.

    –Perhaps, unbeknownst to the criminals, the vase itself is not merely itself a power source but was actually powering something at the museum. Perhaps a spiritual prison cell? Perhaps the bunny was actually in the prison cell? If so, well now the bunny is loose and the hero has a convict as his mentor. 🙂

  11. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2012 at 3:44 pm

    “I apologize if this is off topic, but would be logical to assume that when he did acquire his power, the gods would summon him. Most of their intent is to punish him, believing he as a mortal was unworthy. And having the Moon Goddess vouch for him and his actions?” Perhaps more memorably: he loses the vase, the gods summon him to fatally punish him for failing the gods, and the Moon Goddess convinces them that it might make more sense to have him atone for his sins by recovering the vase than by merely getting killed right here.

  12. YoungAuthoron 08 Jul 2012 at 4:13 pm

    1. Kevin Hartline is an impetuous, arrogant, vain, snobby, immature, intelligent, witty, laid-back, charismatic son of multi-billionaire Adam Hartline. He visits his father’s skyscraper b/c he has the day off at school. After flirting with the intern receptionist, he makes his way to his father’s office. After getting in a verbal row with his father, he seeks out his mentor, 66 year-old janitor Bernie. After getting in a messy confrontation with him too, Kevin enters and elevator. He punches the back wall and the elevator sends him to and underground cave lab. He explores and finds a master computer monitor that shows his father’s office. On the screen Kevin watches his father say that he will cut him (Kevin) out of the inheritance because he dislikes him so much. This sets Kevin off into an angry frenzy and he destroys the research in the lab (test tubes, beakers, etc). He sets it aflame with his lighter before ignoring the orders of a locked out scientist and enters a chamber. He gets bathed in chemicals, drowns, burned alive, and survives a cave in of the cave lab (after his father and the other scientists failed to help him and left him to die) unscathed. He even goes back to his prestigious school after two days in the hospital. The school is socially split between rich and poor with the rich looking down on the poor and the poor hating the rich kids because they’re so snobby. He and his goons bully a nerd to do their homework (for the third year in a row) and when things get physical, a one handed push from Kevin sends the nerd into the lockers and almost kills him (nerd) from the impact. Kevin gets away with it (no one dares to tell on the big man on campus) and tells his best friend Michael Conroy III (a rich gadget geek who has a strong sense of integrity, justice, and he is also quite witty. Like Morgan Freeman in the Dark Knight) about his powers. After testing they find the extent of Kevin’s powers (fire breathing/super-strength/flight). He trains these powers for about a week in various tests created by Michael. While he is in school, there is a fight between Hellfire (a crazy psychotic female villain) and Soaring Eagle, the best hero around. Kevin rushes into action. While helping SE fight Hellfire, two other heroes show up and help Kevin and SE save the day. Kevin gets the name Black Dragon from media. Grady Walsh (Metallico, flight/control over metal {think magneto}) is the boyfriend(sorta) of Roxanne Lopez, the other hero, unknown to Kevin but she is the new girl at his school, is Dawn Angel (flight via huge wings and can harness sunlight to make weapons of her imagination). She knows who he is but he doesn’t know her. Grady is just like Kevin but not rich. They immediately dislike each other and that dislike turns to hate when Kevin starts falling for Roxanne because she is not as superficial as all the other girls he’s dated. SE takes all of them under his wing and Kevin’s father gives Kevin a super suit in return that Kevin thanks Hartline industries publicly for it. This makes Hartline industries very rich and they use their publicity to gain money by making things such as action figures and posters of Black Dragon. Meanwhile Ellis, Roxanne’s uncle and a scientist who made the chemical mixture from which Kevin got his powers attacks the setting (new dawn city) as the villain Octagon with eight mechanical arms that shoot shock darts (like Tasers x10). He wants revenge on Kevin for getting him fired after he worked for twelve years to become leading scientist of Hartline industries. He forces Kevin to a make difficult decision without the help of his super-friends who have been poisoned/out of commission. Octagon throws Kevin’s little brother off one side of a building and a random little girl off the other, making him have to save one of them. He ends up saving both and winning the day along with fame and Roxanne away from Grady. Sadly Kevin’s home life is falling apart, with his drunkard mother and his father starting to go crazy. His father tries to get rid of the poor people in underprivileged districts of NDC by attempting to spread a toxin in their water supply. By getting rid of them, he can build condos and amusement parks and malls that will generate him more money. Kevin stops him at the last moment but finds his father dead. It turns out his father’s right hand man and personal enemy of Kevin’s, Benjamin Walsh IV who is his father’s assistant (appears constantly in the story). BWIV is very clever and manipulative using whatever means to justify the end result. The toxin was his idea and he planned to take the company from Kevin’s dad. He has storm powers and is Grady’s brother. Together they kill SE (who Kevin and Roxanne find out is Bernie’s son). Roxanne and Kevin stop them from killing the poor citizens of NDC, killing both in the process. Story ends with the city safe, Roxanne and Kevin together and both being introduced into the League of Heroes. (Like the Justice League).

  13. Neilon 08 Jul 2012 at 5:39 pm

    @ B. Mckenzie

    First off thank you so much for responding. The idea you gave about the robbers and the protagonist hiding the item was ingenious. This is considering the item (which is not a vase), rather a jade rabbit statue in Chinese mythology is connected to the Elixir of immortality and such if the villan were to get their hands on it, bad stuff would happen.

    The idea of the rabbit spirit also works, given the Jade Rabbit is a companion of the moon goddess, it makes sense he come forth, when the statue was in danger of falling into the wrong hands. Additionally, maybe the robbers are possessed by an Asura, a vengeful spirit to which works for the main villain.

    In any event, Eric, though very rebellious, is also has his wits and such can be resourceful. So it makes sense for him to do something like that, even though not the smartest thing.

    In any event, the main character will of course give up the statue to save someone(preferable some bully he doesn’t like as you) and thus, the rabbit spirit, Khargosa, appears.

    The second suggestion where he berates him, seems more appropriate as it would demonstrate the spirit’s loyalty and dedication towards protecting the item. In any event, Khargosa will make a deal with him. In exchange for attempting to get the item back, he’ll infuse a portion of his energy and turn Eric into a Xoanic, a human who can transform and gain the powers and abilities of one of the twelve animals of the chinese Zodiac.

    Given Khargosa is a rabbit, Eric will be empowered with the skills of the rabbit. He’ll fight off the villains, which are possessed by demons, but cannot recover the statue.

    In any event, Eric will be summoned to the gods, where they wish to punish him for failing to recapture the statue. But as you suggested the moon goddess, Chang’e, will vouch for him, claiming how Khargosa upon dissipating, left the task to him as a Xoanic, and how he’ll have to atone for the mistake.

    The gods will agree and such will leave the task to recovering the artifact and defeating the villain to him. All in all, how’s that? Your ideas have given me inspiration and such I am trying further elaborate what you have already given. Again, thank you very much for the help.

    P.S: I apologize again if this is off topic, but would it make sense for the main character, Eric, despite his precarious position to actually enjoy having powers. The rationale goes back to his motivation: to become a professional skateboarder.

    The reason why he skateboards, aside from the self-expression he receives, is for the thrill. He’s the type of person always looking for that next adventure and such craves it. Though very much bullied by the gods, he sees the task as fitting those parameters.

    However, maybe this could segway into his character flaw of relishing his position so much he doesn’t take lightly the outcomes of his actions. It’s this that may leave to something disastrous happening and making him realize what he’s doing is not a game.

    Recovering the Jade Rabbit and fighting off the many Asuras, and villains is dangerous and that he needs to be more serious about it. This is going off the fact he’s thirteen years old.

  14. MoguMoguon 08 Jul 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Would it be ok if I skipped the origin story? My story focuses on my heroine’s personal growth during a supers/normals conflict, but I never mention how anyone got there powers.

  15. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I think you can skip the origin, but if a central aspect of the plot is a conflict between supers and normals, it might make help to spend at least 1-2 sentences explaining what made her super*. For example, it’d be really hard for readers to make sense of the central conflict in an X-Men story if they didn’t know what mutants were.

    *In The Taxman Must Die, I did some 1-2 sentence origins here.

  16. B. McKenzieon 09 Jul 2012 at 3:21 am

    I have no idea where I got the vase idea from. 🙂

  17. vvhs89on 26 Jul 2012 at 4:03 pm

    What do you think of this as an origin story?
    Morgan Peterson was just your average person, fresh out of high school and headed off to college in Southern California. He was born and raised in Grizzly Falls, Colorado, a small town on the banks of the Gunnison River. One day during the summer, his girlfriend Samantha, whom would also be attending college with him, and currently lived in northern California, came to visit him. The two of them, along with his friends Thomas and Ashley, decided to go for a walk, which would have been their last time hanging out together before heading off to college. They headed into the forest along Moose Creek Trail, but they soon deviated from it. After walking through the forest for an undetermined amount of time, they came across a mysterious cave, known as Bear’s Fall Cave, and begin to recollect the various legends regarding the cave, and how, as children, they had always been too frightened to venture inside of it. Armed with only their wits and flashlights, they decide to explore it. At first, it appears to be a normal cave, but as they go deeper inside, it becomes clear that it is no ordinary cave. At first they wonder why nobody has found this place (Thomas speculates that they are at least two miles away from the mouth of the cave). They continue on, and eventually find what appeared to be the ruins of some sort of building surrounded by a strange, black fluid. They explore the ruins, and interact with various items (though Morgan voices his opinion that they should head back. Naturally, the others ignore him) When they are attempting to leave, something pulls Samantha into the fluid. Not thinking, Morgan dives in to save her, but he ends up swallowing the fluid before he nearly drowns. Thomas and Ashley pull him out of the fluid before he blacks out. When he comes to, he is in a hospital. Thomas informs him that Samantha had not been found. When doctors find nothing wrong with him, Morgan is released from the hospital. As the hours pass, Morgan begins to notice changes in his body, which start off small at first, but slowly begin to change him physically until he becomes a half human, half alien creature. He returns to the cave, hoping to find Samantha, but does not. His new alien DNA allows him to interact with and activate various pieces of alien technology, including but not limited to weapons and armor. Being half alien, he now also has a limited understanding of their writings, and discovers that the creature that took Samantha was an ancient parasitic organism, and that it was not the only one. Believing that the parasite took Samantha, he dons some of the alien technology and sets out to find it.
    Thoughts? Suggestions?

  18. B. McKenzieon 26 Jul 2012 at 4:54 pm

    “Morgan Peterson was just your average person…” I think the character would make a better first impression if you led with something which made him memorable. (This is not to say that your character needs to be a Navy SEAL or a master chef or something, but give him some personality). Given 100 high school/college protagonists to pick from, why should a publisher select yours?

    “Morgan voices his opinion that they should head back. Naturally, the others ignore him.” This timidity over curiosity is an interesting choice for a main character.

    When you’re selling this to publishers, I think you can shorten this considerably by removing redundant and/or necessary details. E.g. “Morgan Peterson was just your average person, fresh out of high school and headed off to college in Southern California. He was born and raised in Grizzly Falls, Colorado, a small town on the banks of the Gunnison River. One day during the summer, his girlfriend Samantha, whom would also be attending college with him, and currently lived in northern California, came to visit him, which would have been their last time hanging out together before heading off to college” is 80 words. It could probably be shortened to “Before heading off to college, Morgan, his girlfriend Samantha, and two friends decide to have one last adventure: exploring the Bear’s Fall Cave, a howling mine best-known for legends of [detail] (31 words).”

    What happens to the cave? Do Thomas and Ashley decide not to mention where they were to the authorities and, if so, why not? (I assume that the authorities don’t find the cave, because Morgan comes back for the technology).

  19. vvhs89on 26 Jul 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Hmmm well I definitely don’t want them to tell the authorities. Maybe they don’t because they’re afraid that whatever took Samantha is still there, and from what they saw of it, it’s pretty huge and they’re sure that it could easily handle several police officers. Does that seem believable?
    Initially Morgan doesn’t want to return, but something in his alien genetics compels him to do so.

  20. vvhs89on 26 Jul 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Or maybe they do tell the authorities, but the forest in which they live has a lot of caves, so there is some confusion as to which one actually is Bear’s Fall Cave. Morgan and company find the cave in the first place because Thomas had been the numerous times before. But after the incident, Thomas faints, because he doesn’t have a stomach for violent things, leaving Ashley, who didn’t know where they were, to tell the authorities. When Morgan wakes and is released, the authorities are searching. His newfound alien abilities allow him to sense the technology and he arrives just before the police arrive.

  21. B. McKenzieon 27 Jul 2012 at 2:47 am

    “Initially Morgan doesn’t want to return, but something in his alien genetics compels him to do so.” I’d recommend making this a conscious decision on his part. For example, if he evolves from the guy who was the first to want to leave to the only one that wants to go back (e.g. for any clues about where his girlfriend is, even though the monster might still be there), that bit of development will help him stand out from the pile of mostly-ordinary-students.

    “Maybe they don’t because they’re afraid that whatever took Samantha is still there, and from what they saw of it, it’s pretty huge and they’re sure that it could easily handle several police officers. Does that seem believable?” Possibly, but it might be more memorable if at least one character freaks out a bit and starts describing this huge monster to doctors and/or the police. The doctors assume that it’s just delirium and/or post-incident shock. Another character (probably Morgan) could quickly pull aside the “shocked” character and point out that sending cops in there with that monster is far more likely to get cops killed than bring Samantha back alive.

    Depending on how you wanted to play the other character, he/she might apologize to doctors for the outburst (defusing the initial problem) BUT this character might be a lingering issue for Morgan later–if this character later comes to doubt that Morgan has any chance of recovering Samantha (say, at a major sign of trouble/failure for Morgan), he/she might go back to the cops. Alternately, if you later have someone more capable than the cops poking around and asking questions (e.g. a high-grade hunter who is really into paranormal incidents and/or a SHIELD-like agency specializing in supernatural incidents), this character might be willing to cooperate with them.

  22. vvhs89on 27 Jul 2012 at 7:59 am

    Okay, I like that a lot better than what I had. But do you think that the police should find the cave? I was thinking something along the lines of this: Morgan, who at this point, has mutated into his half human, half alien form, returns to the cave. He begins to search for any sign of Samantha and/or the monster. However, when this is going on, the police arrive. Seeing Morgan, they shoot, which disturbs the monster, causing it to attack. So Morgan gets his hands on some alien weaponry and is forced to fight his way out of the cave. None of the officers survive, and Morgan manages to hurt the monster before it gets away. What do you think?

  23. B. McKenzieon 27 Jul 2012 at 8:14 am

    I think bringing in the police at this point will probably require you to keep the villain at the cave (temporarily), which would probably make the villain seem less threatening. When Morgan comes back to the cave, I think it’d be more interesting and urgent if he finds that the monster has already left. That means it will be harder to find Samantha and will make readers wonder about why the monster has left and what its goal is.

    If you really wanted to bring in the police at this point, maybe Morgan brings the police back to the cave, but the cave appears to be empty. The police leave, not sure whether this is the right cave and/or wondering if they can find some tracks outside. However, Morgan pokes around the cave and finds a hidden chamber with the technology. He opts to keep it hidden from the police because, well, the less they know, the safer they will probably be.

  24. vvhs89on 27 Jul 2012 at 8:36 am

    Okay. Also, do you think he should use the cave as a home base, or that he should completely ditch town as soon as possible? I’m in favor of leaving town, because it seems to me that reports of two super powered alien beings in a small town would invite some sort of investigation by the government.

  25. B. McKenzieon 28 Jul 2012 at 4:46 am

    “Also, do you think he should use the cave as a home base, or that he should completely ditch town as soon as possible?” I don’t know enough about the plot to have an opinion here. If he’s a standard superhero (e.g. he conducts highly visible battles and everybody knows that he exists), I think he’ll attract attention wherever he goes. If he’s a more covert superhero (e.g. some versions of Batman are regarded by the police as merely an urban legend–Batman is careful to stay out of the open), then I think it wouldn’t matter whether he maintains the cave as a home base or not. Some alien invasions (particularly ones rife with paranoia) result in covert superheroes–e.g. I Am Number Four.



    While I like that the cave itself is plot-significant and symbolic, I would lean towards skipping a base unless it’s necessary. For example, it makes sense for Batman because he has vehicles he needs to hide. But I’m not sure it would be necessary for your protagonist… if the police were looking for the secret base of an alien, I would imagine they’d assume he’d be out in the wilderness. Hiding out in his own apartment would be less expected, I would think (unless they have some reason to suspect that he is involved).

  26. vvhs89on 30 Jul 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Well what he does is he initially sets out with the sole intention of finding his girlfriend, which he does. However, she is dead, and her body is being controlled by the monster. Via some ancient alien carvings, or a living alien (which one sounds better?) he find out that the monster, called The Mother, is the matriarch of an entire race of parasitic aliens called Parachnids. The aliens that his DNA comes from (no name for them yet. Suggestions?) was the race responsible for restraining the Parachnids, but they were overrun by them thousands of years ago. Now, it’s up to Morgan to stop them. Thoughts?

  27. Josson 04 Aug 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I already have a pretty solid origin of this type in mind; but my only problem is finding a reason for the protagonists to WANT to use their powers to be superheroes :(.

  28. B. McKenzieon 04 Aug 2012 at 6:55 pm

    “I already have a pretty solid origin of this type in mind; but my only problem is finding a reason for the protagonists to WANT to use their powers to be superheroes.” Perhaps the plot builds up the costs of inaction (e.g. they’re the only ones that can stop a disaster) and/or develops something about the characters such that they would get involved even if the world weren’t in danger. (For example, Bruce Wayne is consumed by the murder of his parents and Xavier would probably be interested in educating mutants and calming human-mutant relations even if there weren’t mutant supervillains running around).

    Alternately, perhaps an outside force convinces/compels them to get involved. In The Taxman Must Die, the titular IRS agent unknowingly audits a supervillain and gets targeted for a grisly murder. A super-agency offers to protect him, but only if he cooperates in a highly dangerous sting operation. He is, after all, the closest thing they have to a lead in the case against the supervillain…

  29. Anonymouson 26 Sep 2012 at 5:48 am

    you are helpfull but not for me

  30. Stramyneon 08 Oct 2012 at 9:11 am

    if my hero was given powers by an alien force through radiation and those unique sets of powers transfer down the generation to other members after the main hero dies, would that makes them mutates or magic?

  31. B. McKenzieon 08 Oct 2012 at 10:03 am

    Radiation causes genetic mutations (which can be passed to offspring), so it feels a lot more intuitive to me that they would be mutants rather than magical. If you wanted them to come across as magical, I’d recommend explaining the origin with slightly different terminology (e.g. the alien force affecting something mystical, like their soul or essence, rather than something biological/physical like genetics).

  32. Stramyneon 08 Oct 2012 at 10:46 am

    okay that’s a good answer. thanks for the help

  33. Stramyneon 08 Oct 2012 at 11:27 am

    Writing a good story arc is tough. Got any tips to help me with the story writing process and that could help build my characters?

  34. B. McKenzieon 08 Oct 2012 at 12:05 pm

    “Got any tips to help me with the story writing process and that could help build my characters?” Yes.

  35. Stramyneon 08 Oct 2012 at 1:32 pm

    What are your thoughts on an ability that uses breath as a melt weapon?

  36. B. McKenzieon 08 Oct 2012 at 2:08 pm

    “What are your thoughts on an ability that uses breath as a melt weapon?” The ability to breathe fire strikes me as somewhat limited in utility. By itself, it will probably get monotonous after a few fights. Depending on the target audience, it might also raise concerns of gruesomeness. At the very least, I would recommend making it an exotic side-power (e.g. like Spider-Man’s webs or like Superman’s eye-beams), more a change of pace than the character’s main option.

  37. Nayanon 08 Oct 2012 at 11:49 pm

    @B. Mac.
    Can you create a page or forum or something like that where we can post off topic comments. It will help to chat with other SN followers. It feels odd to post off-topic comments under some articles

  38. B. McKenzieon 09 Oct 2012 at 8:31 am

    Sure, Nayan. You can use the open forum for that.

  39. Nayanon 10 Oct 2012 at 4:08 am

    @B. Mac.
    I want some reviews on the prologue of my novel. Can you please set up a review forum for me.

    And what is the progress of ‘Taxman must die’? I am waiting for it.

  40. B. McKenzieon 10 Oct 2012 at 7:35 am

    I’ve set up the forum here, Nayan. As for the progress of TMD, I don’t know. My anthology of superhero movie reviews has been published and that’s taking most of my time.

  41. Infernoxon 11 Oct 2012 at 1:27 pm

    So, I need help on my novel. It is going to be about a family, and they all get superpowers at the same time. I already have the powers and personalities planned out, but I need an origin.

  42. B. Macon 11 Oct 2012 at 2:38 pm

    “So, I need help on my novel. It is going to be about a family, and they all get superpowers at the same time. I already have the powers and personalities planned out, but I need an origin.” Hard to say without any idea of what the plot is like. What mood/feel are you going for?

  43. Infernoxon 11 Oct 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Well, the plot still needs fleshing out, but basically the parents get kidnaped by an evil wizard who wants to use the energy from their powers to open a gateway to the underworld and summon demons to take over the world. The main character and his sister must go save them. I was thinking a tone like the Incredibles, but with a darker feel.

  44. B. McKenzieon 11 Oct 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Given the magical angle, I’d recommend something supernatural. Perhaps something hinging on major character choices (perhaps a choice they made together).

  45. Levion 13 Nov 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Okay so here’s my problem: I’m seventeen years old, I’ve never published anything (but that kind of goes without saying.) I have no idea how to write a synopsis, a manuscript, or a query. I don’t even know the relevance of writing a synopsis, manuscript, or query. I love writing, and have always taken an interest in it, but the teachers at my school cannot, and will not help. they pretty much told me it was hopeless until i went through six years of college and got a degree in english… PLEASE HELP ME! It would be much appreciated.

  46. B. McKenzieon 13 Nov 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Hello, Levi. First, start with the manuscript. Generally, the preferred length is something like 70,000 – 100,000 words, so I’d recommend that you write until you have about 120,000 words and then start slashing and rewriting until you have something you feel really good about. Then, when you’re ready to submit…

    STAGE ONE: You’ll submit whatever the publisher tells you. Usually this is some combination of:
    –a query letter (a one-page letter laying out your story and what makes it interesting).
    –A partial manuscript (the first ~30 pages of your story).
    –A full manuscript (the full story)
    –A synopsis (a summary of your story in 2-3 pages).
    –For more advice on what is expected in each of these and how to do them effectively, I’d recommend checking out AgentQuery and Query Shark.

    I recommend submitting to a few publishers at a time (to make sure that you have time to rewrite before getting rejection letters from everywhere).

    STAGE TWO: Hopefully you’ll get back a letter asking you for the full manuscript. In this case, send them that. If you get a rejection letter, get back to rewriting and try again.

    STAGE THREE: Hopefully, you’ll get back a publishing offer. If not, go back to stage 1, but with the extra confidence that you’re getting closer to breaking through. I think it took me 3 years to get my first book published. The college degree is completely irrelevant, but the writing experience you accumulate over time will be definitely extremely helpful. It is very uncommon for people to get published during their high school years (or even their college years), but keep practicing because that is definitely the critical aspect to becoming professional-grade.

  47. Nayanon 13 Nov 2012 at 11:14 pm

    @B. Mac.
    You are 23? So am I. But you are way ahead of me in terms of knowledge in writing. What is the secret?

  48. B. McKenzieon 13 Nov 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Somewhere between 23-28, I think. I stopped counting at 18, but it’s intuitive that I’m older than 22. If anybody asks, I say I’m 36. (It’s all in the delivery. One guy started gaping and blurted out, “What shampoo do you use?”)

  49. B. McKenzieon 15 Nov 2012 at 6:18 am

    “But you are way ahead of me in terms of knowledge in writing. What is the secret?” Practice. In non-fiction (the field in which I’ve been published), I’ve written more than a million words* over the past five years. In fiction, I haven’t written nearly as much, and that’s why it will take me longer to get published there.

    *If you have a writing or editorial job (e.g. marketing, communications or editorial), you probably write AT LEAST one page (250-350 words) per day. Over the course of 2-3 years, we’re talking about 500 workdays * 250-350 words per day = 125,000-175,000 words right there. I don’t keep an accurate count of how much I’ve written for work, but I’m nearly certain that 200,000-280,000 words is not an overestimate (400 days of work * 500-700 words per day… I do at least 2 pages every day).

    As for Superhero Nation, I have a better idea there. 500 writing articles * an average of 500-1000 words per article = something like 250,000 – 500,000 words. I’ve written 6000 comments, and let’s guess that at least 2000 of those are mainly editorial in nature. 2000 editorial comments * 100-300 words per comment = 200,000 – 600,000 words. And anybody that’s seen my comments knows that 100-300 words is a hell of a lowball. THIS comment is up to 220 so far.

    Keep writing. With practice, your writing will become much more natural and what once seemed daunting will become routine and perhaps even trivial. (2 years ago, I would have been paralyzed by something like a 10,000 word movie review, but I’d consider that trivial now).

  50. Hotrod198on 18 Nov 2012 at 6:55 am

    Hey B, could I get your opinion on this origin story?

    It starts telling of how a 15 year old boy is sick of being bullied, and decides to get payback. He dons a black hooded jumper and sunglasses and uses two yoyos, smoke bombs and a skateboard. He finds the group of bullies and fights them, using his equipment. However, the leader of the gang of bullies ends up getting his jaw dislocated and several other bones broken. The boy gets the blame for it though while the bullies get off with a warning. The boy is then placed in a juvenile detention centre and is kept there for two years, due to the corrupt legal system at the time.

    At the age of 17, he is released back into the world, and wants to go back to a normal life. However, only several weeks of moving back home and living with his father, he soon finds out that the bully is now the leader of a gang called “Silverfang” and they drive around the city, attacking innocent civilians, raiding stores and just causing chaos. The boy decides that the bully needs to be stopped, so goes out and becomes “The Black Hood” and uses two ropes with large rocks attached. He uses them similar to how he used the yoyos as a kid, and stops the gang from raiding a eletronics store. He is shined as a hero, yet a vigilante at the same time. However, the bully/gangleader wants payback. Donning his own attire, he becomes known as “Knives” and sets out to kill “The Black Hood” Eventually, the fight between the two occurs in an abandoned chemical factory. The battle gets heated and Knives ends up getting chemicals burnt onto the left side of his face. These spilt chemicals also end up igniting and the factory begins to burn. Despite the blaze, the two continue to fight until the police show up. Knives ends up landing in the fire while “The Black Hood” gets stabbed in the shoulder and leg. The cops come in and aarrest the two, however, Knives has started to go insane and is sent to an asylum while “The Black Hood” is arrested and sent to jail for 4 years for charges.

    When he is 21, he is released back into the world again. However this time, he is a completley changed man. The four years he spent in jail he has been training, getting stronger, and even being taught how to box by an ex-champ. now physically stronger, and knowing how not to get caught, he decides to become a full-time hero, by donning a new name: Chainmail. Now, he decides to stop criminals on the street to help protect it, while trying to keep his life as normal as possible as he is sick of going to jail, but still feel he needs to make a difference

  51. B. McKenzieon 19 Nov 2012 at 1:41 am

    Some thoughts and suggestions, Hotrod:

    –What’s the target audience for this story? Starting out with a 15 year old dealing with school bullies and using yoyos-as-weapons may raise issues with readers older than 15.

    –The villain comes across as sort of one-dimensional and generic so far. I think this is a perennial concern with bullies. Is there something he does that most other antagonists wouldn’t do in the same situation? Does he have any memorable personality traits? The main character strikes me as somewhat more promising, but I’d still hope to see unusual things he does that most other protagonists wouldn’t do in the same situation.

    –The double-origin (main character goes from ordinary at 15 -> Black Hood at 17 -> Chainmail at 21) strikes me as perhaps unnecessarily convoluted and/or redundant (for example, after sending him to juvenile detention, putting him in prison for another four years might be redundant). I’d recommend keeping it limited to 2 distinct time periods, which will help cut back on setup so that it feels like there’s more actual story. Also, the name change doesn’t seem to add much, so I’d recommend having him either name himself Chainmail from the start or sticking with Black Hood. Alternately, if you go with a name change, I’d recommend making it part of a clearer development arc (e.g. changing to a name which reflects a major change in the character–e.g. “Captain America” –> “Nomad”).

    –If this is a comic book, I think putting a 15 year old in sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt is more likely to make him look like he’s trying too hard than badass. (If it’s a novel or short story, please disregard–the visualization isn’t nearly as important there).

  52. Hotrod198on 19 Nov 2012 at 2:46 am

    -I hadn’t really decided a target audience, mainly due to the fact, when he’s 21, there will be more violent fight scenes etc. It’d probably be more for a teen based audience though.

    -Well, the villain does have a role when the hero is 21. However, I left it out due to it not being a part of his origin. Basically, he ends up breaking out of the asylum by some means and goes into hiding, swearing vengeance against the hero. By kidnapping a scientist, he gets him to create a device ( a glove which can bring four blades forward in front of his fists) and then puts on a broken hockey mask to cover the scars on his face from the chemical burning. He then goes around, trying to figure out where the hero has gone, all the while slowly turning more and more insane, however, at the same time, learning about why the stuff that happened to him, happened, and their reasons. I’m hoping by doing this, I can actually end up developing the villain enough to possibly change the sort of man he is (and perhaps turn him into an anti-hero)

    -The name changes was something I was stuck with. I’m still not even 100% sure on the names. I wanted something that could relate to him, yet I also wanted it to relate to his main style of fighting. Would it work better perhaps if it told of when he was 17, then gave a brief overview of what happened for the next four years? I would change it so the villain had still bullied him right to that age, but the hero could never do anything until he graduated, when he becomes a vigilante for the first time, even taking down his little gang he had formed. Also, would two better names be Ropelash and then Chainlash? Since he sort of uses the rope and chains like whips in a way.

    -It is going to be a novel, yet i still hadn’t decided on the costume. The hooded jumper and sunglasses were more than likely only going to be for his 15 and 17 year old self, with him making a proper protective suit when he was 21. I’ll more than likely still use it for him when he’s 17, but when he’s 21 I will more than likely create another suit for him

  53. Cloakon 27 Nov 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Okay, so i was doing a little brainstorming this weekend and i came up with these two characters:

    1. Noah Taylor is a college student and part time intern at Lincoln Cryonics. Noah is the son of two wealthy genetic engineers, he’s never had a childhood because of him and his family always being in the public eye. So he would lock himself in his room and often read comic books to escape his reality. One night, at the lab. Noah noticed that one of the cryonic chambers was not locked. As he was going into towards the chamber to lock it, he tripped and fell inside. The door locked behind him. Cold air started to flow threw out the chamber. He faints. When he wakes up a day later, he is at a hospital. To make a long story short……he finds out that he has gained the ability to control, generate and absorb ice. Noah figures the best way to put his newfound powers to work is to become a superhero.

    2. Ryan Alden is a hitman and also a specialist in weaponry. His boss Mr. Brinx ordered him to kill a politician and his family. Ryan has morals, he does not kill women nor kids. When Mr. Brinx finds out that Ryan refused to kill the politician’s family. Mr. Brinx sends out his other assassin named Razor to kill the family and to also kill Ryan. Razor shoots Ryan in the back and he collapses on the floor. Ryan wakes up and he is told that he has been in a coma for two years. Ryan checked himself out of the hospital. The only thing on his mind was revenge. So he went into one of his hideouts and began working on a armored suit. When he was finished he puts the red metallic suit on, it resembled a bumblebee. He became The Red Bee. He chosed the bee, because a bee symbolizes rebirth. So he wanted a chance to redo all his wrongs.

    Which one would make a better story? Would love some feedback from anyone.

  54. B. McKenzieon 27 Nov 2012 at 9:16 pm

    1. I’d recommend fleshing out the character’s personality a bit more (e.g. maybe giving him some reason he’s isolated and/or not a stereotypical child than just what his parents do). In addition, I’d generally recommend giving the main character a more substantial motivation for wanting to be a superhero than because he likes superhero stories (unless it’s a major plot point that his initial motivation is flimsy and that he has to come up with a better reason to keep going–e.g. Booster Gold and Scott Pilgrim are two characters who grow out of a flimsy motivation).

    2. This setup could be a lot more distinctive. First, I think it feels too similar to Scarface (a character getting into trouble with a major criminal because he won’t kill a politician’s family). Second, I think it strains my disbelief a bit that the mob boss didn’t already know about the hitman’s long-standing moral principles and just hire the other assassin from the start. Is there some reason he NEEDS this particular assassin to pull this particular job? If not, why is he so offended that the hitman says no? (Maybe Brinx wonders about whether the hitman has some ulterior reasons and/or is gravely disrespecting Mr. Brinx and/or is having second thoughts about being a hitman in general and/or has recently been turned by the police, particularly if a recent job didn’t go as smoothly as it could have). Lastly, the hitman -> bumblebee motif strikes me as really jarring. “Red Bee” sounds like it’s mainly aimed at younger readers (e.g. 8-13), which strikes me as a different sort of audience than readers that would want to read about a character who has (or happens to have) a murderous past.

  55. Scarletton 28 Nov 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Also, Red Bee is the name of another hero.

  56. Mr.Siron 26 Jun 2013 at 7:34 am

    Guys what would be some good weaknesses, limitations, and just stuff in general for these characters. (Use superhero questionare as a key)

    Brain. Dr.George o Meyer

    Powers super smarts, telepathy

    Doctorate at Oxford in genetic metaphysics
    Scientist
    British
    58
    Make miracle invention
    Unfair science laws

    Shadow. (Name foreign)

    Powers Basic element manipulation, flying, slow aging

    Scholar at school of magic
    Social outcast
    Rough English, vagean
    2431. 24
    Theories rejected
    Trying to get back to his world
    Born super
    Find others like him

    Monk. Abhishek Patel

    Powers martial arts

    Monk training
    Monk
    Dedication
    Indian
    45
    Total enlightenment
    Mother abandonment in search of enlightenment
    Years of training
    Was convinced by his master

    Toxic waste. Jim breckner

    Powers acid spray, enhance powers, liquify

    College dropout
    Mechanic
    Bad***
    American
    36
    Broke
    Cherynobyl victim
    Better than his dead end job

    Wither. Alice white

    Powers withering, healing, ray,

    Bachelors in business
    Corporate Lawyer
    Unintentional powers
    Cannot touch loves ones with left hand, lefty
    Chinese
    35
    Not in touch with family
    Become rich
    Test subject for corporate drug
    Wanted to stop corporate greed scandals

    Main villain

    Paul Rogers. Overlord

    Ruler of world through oligarchy, then monopoly, then despotism

    Leads army of mutants, some with weak powers others with non

    Unfair laws

    Healthcare only for troops

    Runs all large businesses

    Other main enemies

    Overload. Pam breckner

    Powers electrical manipulation

    Scorpio

    Powers can control unholy animals

    Dark matter. Ally baker. Tested on wither

    Absorb life force

    P.s. anyone interested In a collab?

  57. Bgirly12on 05 Jul 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Hi!!!!! Can someone help me? I’m trying to write a book about superheroes and need some help.
    The point of view is from a twelve year old girl named Jaycee. Everyone calls her Jay. Her and her best friend Cammi are part of a moon rock class, with five other kids there age (Missy, Twyla, Jack, Tyler, and Oscar)and the teacher Dean.
    They go on a field trip to a moon rock science lab place, and get some samples to study. As they are heading home, an asteroid hits them(I don’t know why yet) and everyone goes unconscious. They wake up, don’t remember any thing, and head home. They were hit in the country, so no one saw it.
    There memory gradually returns over a few days, and one day Missy comes in shrieking about how she changed into a famous model after looking at a magazine and wishing she was her. They all find out they have powers over the next week or so.
    Here’s the powers: Jay can fly. Cammi can turn invisible. Missy can shape-shift. Twyla can run really fast. Jack can control gravity. Tyler is super strong. Oscars power is illusions. Dean is probably a guy who obsorbs powers, but only one at a time. Jack and Jay help each other with their powers for a while, because they are similar. And yes, I did mean to make them similar.
    Can you help me?!?!?!?!?!

  58. Bgirly12on 08 Jul 2013 at 11:39 am

    Please?!?!

  59. Bgirly12on 11 Jul 2013 at 10:29 am

    Anyone?!?

  60. Unknownon 11 Jul 2013 at 6:06 pm

    It would help a little if we knew what the plot was.
    Do they have problems controling their powers in public, or what?

  61. Bgirly12on 11 Jul 2013 at 9:13 pm

    They do have problems in public, like when she gets mad, Jay starts flying, and unless she gets calmed down, she keeps rising slowly.
    There are people who find out about them, and they are a part of the government, I haven’t decided what they call themselves. They keep trying to capture them to study, but they get away.

  62. Unknownon 12 Jul 2013 at 4:38 am

    So i’m lost. What do you need help with?

  63. Bgirly12on 12 Jul 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I was just wondering if anyone could make it better, or have suggestions.

  64. B. McKenzieon 13 Jul 2013 at 7:34 am

    BGirly12, in an origin story, I’d generally recommend incorporating some unusual decision or unusual action by at least one major character to help develop characters. In general, I’d strongly recommend against using more than one exclamation mark or more than one question mark at a time.

  65. Bgirly12on 13 Jul 2013 at 9:24 am

    Okay. Thank you!!!!!

  66. B. McKenzieon 13 Jul 2013 at 10:47 am

    Bgirly12, I’d like to thank you for your time and encourage you to keep practicing your writing. However, I’m not sure this is the best website for you at this time.

  67. Nayanon 14 Jul 2013 at 12:55 am

    @B. Mac

    At first, I did not understand why you replied to Bgirly12 like above. Then I noticed that you had asked her/him not to use more than one exclamation mark or more than one question mark at a time at a time and he/she replied with a series of exclamation marks.

  68. B. McKenzieon 14 Jul 2013 at 1:48 am

    Yeah. I didn’t see it being very productive for either of us.

  69. Blackscaron 14 Jul 2013 at 8:26 am

    I think the only time multiple exclamation or question marks would be acceptable is if it’s in-story, if one is writing a chat-room scene. If one of the characters would type like that, then it’s logical to show it.

    Is that correct, or am I totally wrong again?

    -Blackscar

  70. B. McKenzieon 14 Jul 2013 at 2:47 pm

    “I think the only time multiple exclamation or question marks would be acceptable is if it’s in-story, if one is writing a chat-room scene. If one of the characters would type like that, then it’s logical to show it.” I think that would definitely be acceptable. Some other cases:
    –The character is taking notes and you’d like to use multiple question marks to show that he/she is exceptionally unsure about something. (SUPERMODEL INTERESTED IN IRS AGENT –> SPY???)
    –The writing comes up in an advertisement, especially from a low-grade company. E.g. if the protagonist sees an ad from a shady car dealer, you could use WILD PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!! to show that this dealer is not very legit.

  71. Tylee (Tyleenia's sis)on 17 Jul 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Hey Neil. How about this (it’s outlineish, so you can fill it in, change it, etc . . .):
    The statue falls on him. his friends think he’s dead, until he lifts it up. It weighs, like, 1000 Lbs, but =he has superpowers now, so it’s no biggie for him.
    That’s all I’ve got.

  72. Rexon 23 Jul 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I have an idea for an origin story for one of my characters, but it plays out over the course of a whole book. The character is named Spencer, and he is an engineer who works for a company called Berg Corporation (named for the CEO and founder, Leonard Berg). Spencer is at Berg Corporation’s headquarters on Saturn’s moon Titan. He and a small team of engineers and scientists have been working on teleportation technology, and they are ready to show their prototype to the public. Spencer and another engineer, Autumn, begin the presentation. Throughout the presentation, they communicate with another Berg Corporation employee from across the galaxy. The goal is too teleport a bottle of soda across the galaxy from where the other employee is to the site of the demonstration. However, at the last second, the employee decides that they should teleport her across the galaxy instead of the bottle. Spencer contacts his boss, and the change is approved. However, Spencer does not properly adjust the machine to account for the change in size. This causes the teleporter to go haywire. The employee is sent to an unknown location, and a huge, carnivorous alien is teleported into the chamber. Before they can send it back, the alien escapes and infects several people, causing them to fall under its command. As chaos ensues, Spencer and Autumn escape. They also help Abigail, a woman that was in the audience, and Tristan, a guard at the facility. Before they escape the facility, the alien cuts the power. They also discover that the alien has reproduced, laying hundreds of eggs. To make matters worse, the Earth Guardians, a military force, gets involved, and they quarantine the facility. Spencer and his group begin to fight against the aliens. As they fight their way through the facility, they discover transmissions to an unknown location that reveal that the teleportation accident was planned by somebody. Spencer begins to suspect that it is Angelica, the employee that teleported herself. The group manages to restore power to the facility. Spencer also gets a hold of a powersuit. Using the suit, he confronts and kills the alien that came through the teleporter, which causes the other aliens to go dormant. The survivors escape, but Spencer is taken by the Earth Guardians because he shows the preliminary signs of being infected. Thoughts? Suggestions?

  73. Kateon 01 Aug 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Hey, I’d love it if someone could help me come up with an origin story for one of my characters. Her name is Dana DeFalco, and her power is making her drawings into actual, 3 dimensional objects. She can’t bring drawings that would be alive (such as plants, animals, and people) off of paper, only inanimate objects. She’s eighteen years old, and the story is set around 2050. She’s shy and reserved, and a bit antisocial, just generally very quiet. I’m having trouble coming up with an origin for her. Originally I wanted the story to be all science and no magic, but I realise that may not be possible. The other heroes in her team have science-based origins, but I can still make changes if need be. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how she could have gotten her powers? Thanks a lot!

  74. The Lord of Sorrowson 03 Aug 2013 at 10:14 am

    Hello. I have been juggling with this idea in my head for a while. I am trying to develop a story that has conflicts not only between the main characters and their initial enemies but a social conflict between humans and the super humans. I want something that causes people with powers to appear all over the country and maybe the world. I want this to have happened long enough ago that tension is pretty strong between the two sides so that at some point in the story a kind of purge will occur that will be an attempt to destroy any super humans as well as the knowledge of these new people to be far along enough to know a few things about it. I want it to be early enough though that it is still relatively new for many people in the story so that there is still awe and wonder at it as we’ll as allow for it to not be fully under control and watched and prevented by the people. The problem I am having is that I don’t know what sort of thing I can do that causes a world wide affect of super humans appearing all over the world. I need something that causes a diversity of powers. I do plan on maybe including human engineered powers through science but the story is more about the social problems that have occurred with people all of a sudden gaining powers or being born with it. I was thinking of making some kind of dormant and rare gene in some people’s genetic makeup that made them have powers long long ago to the point of them appearing as gods. Then I was going to flash to the modern slightly futuristic setting that has some reason these genes were reactivated all over the world. This a lot to swallow I know but thanks for reading.

    Advice? Comments? Concerns? Please let me know. Thanks!

  75. B. McKenzieon 04 Aug 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Hello, Lord of Sorrows.

    Some thoughts and ideas for a somewhat scientific explanation for many people developing superpowers more or less at the same time.

    –X-Men and Heroes used genetics/mutations.

    –Perhaps some massive change in the atmosphere or ozone layer results in an increase in solar radiation.

    –Perhaps some sort of event in space (e.g. cosmic radiation or energy or whatever)…

    –A person or group does something unsafe with chemicals and/or mutagens for whatever reason. The mutations might be intentional (e.g. trying to create mutants for whatever reason) or unintentional (e.g. a company very important to the story unsafely burying toxic waste).

    –Some other event with a global environmental impact (e.g. a huge volcanic eruption).

    –Virtually every nuclear reactor simultaneously melts down for some reason which may be relevant to the plot moving forward.

    –Suggested timeline: people first started developing superpowers 3-4 years ago, and while there are enough superpowered people that regular people might be alarmed, most people only know 0-1 superpowered people.

  76. CCXon 13 Aug 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I’m trying to write a story about a vampire apocalypse- a world where vampires have taken over. I think I’m going to have the world be filled with vampires, and they have taken over everything. It’d be so like there were no more governments, but instead vampiric monarchy. There are millions of humans who are vampire slaves- they can’t kill the humans or they would run out of their ‘food’ supply. There are, however, a few hundred free humans who haven’t been turned into a vampire slave. The main character, a human named Katelyn, is running from the vampires, her parent’s being killed in the first wave of the vampire invasion. (There were three) She runs and runs, but eventually is tracked down by a trio of vampires – Tyler, the main good guy of the book, who tries to help Katelyn, Rachel, his psychopathic sister, and Darwin, a serious vampire loser. Tyler helps her escape the first time, but the second time she gets caught and is sent to a human slave facility. I haven’t really thought of anything else yet. I’m just working on this as I small project, but just wanted to ask people what they thought of this and get some advice. Thanks!

  77. GreenWithAwesomeon 15 Aug 2013 at 4:20 am

    @CCX Hello! Cool idea. A few questions that I would like to raise…

    So why does Tyler help Katelyn? What reason would he have to help her escape, because, I mean, she’s probably very delicious-smelling to him.

    How have the ‘free’ humans managed to avoid enslavement? And how has Katelyn managed to survive for so long without being caught? And in what way is Darwin a ‘loser’?

    You’d probably have to elaborate more on the vampire invasions, too. If there was three, there had to be some serious defence system by the humans, that eventually the vamps broke down. The whole ‘parents killed during invasion’ thing is a little overdone, but workable.

    I can’t really think of any more advice for you since it’s a little brief, but there you go; some questions for you to answer. 🙂 Hope it helps!

  78. CCXon 15 Aug 2013 at 10:28 pm

    GreenWithAwesome- thanks for replying! Here are the answers to your questions-

    Tyler helps Katelyn out because he hates what he is- a vicious bloodsucking vampire, kind of a twilight thing, I know. He doesn’t (and I know this doesn’t sound to original) want to be a monster, and because vampires in this book can’t really drink animal blood because it’s not as nutritious enough, he has to drink human blood. His father turned him and his sister (Rachel) to become his heirs. Tyler’s father is the king of the vampires- the main monarch.

    I probably should have mention this earlier, but it was nearly dawn when Tyler helps out Katelyn, so it gave him a good excuse anyway.

    I hadn’t really thought about how free humans have evaded slavery, but now that I think about it, it could be like the vampires have enough humans but are always looking for more- meaning that they don’t search as hard. Maybe I won’t have them being able to track scents as well. I don’t know- this is where I could use some help.

    Katelyn ran after she killed the vampire who killed her parents (who I think I’m going to have been a very powerful vampire) into the woods, and lived by herself and learned to survive- she didn’t want to go to child services or a orphanage. She was 15 when the vampire killed her parents, and the invasion has been for two years.

    Darwin is a vampire loser because he’s just a Rachel groupie. Rachel and Tyler are vampire royalty, as I said earlier, and Darwin is attracted to Rachel because of her power. Besides, he’s pathetic, weak, and stupid.

    You’re right about the invasions- I really should have thought about them more. Maybe instead of having three I have one. I dunno, I guess for me, three always seemed like the right number for invasions! Maybe I should have it like the secret invasion from Marvel- except for having shape shifters I have vampires. Maybe they turned many of the politicians into vampires and after a large majority of the population was either turned into vampires or slaughtered, the vampire monarch took over, which would mean that a army could have been slaughtered or turned into vampires. I think what I’ll have is that the US government (I haven’t decided if I want the entire world to become vampire apocalypse, but for now, the US is going to be my vampire victim) assign a army to attempt to stop the vampires and wipe them out, but eventually they were turned into slaves and killed.

    Anyway, GreenWithAwesome, thanks for helping me out! You’re questions helped me a bunch- I probably should have thought about those myself! Anyway, if you could give me some tips on this I would seriously appreciate it. Thanks!

  79. GreenWithAwesomeon 17 Aug 2013 at 4:37 am

    @CCX; no probs! It’s fun ^^

    So I’ve had another read and most of your answers sound good. I do have to question the whole ‘my dad’s a monarch’ though. If he’s king overlord of all evil, surely he’d want someone to keep an eye on his son and daughter, i.e., not running around aiding the very enemy? Especially when dawn is looming?

    I kinda’ feel bad for Darwin ‘coz he’s a loser, lol – not to mention he fancies the psychopath of the group. Why do Ty and Rae hang out with him then? Wouldn’t that majorly dampen their street cred as all-awesome heirs to the throne?

    You’re right about the whole ‘I’m a monster’ thing reminding me of Twilight 😛 I think it is a decent trait for a vampire character to have – to sort of fear what they are – just make sure it isn’t his definable trait and that he doesn’t overdo it. Lest he become another whiny angsty character that readers will tear their eyes out from.

    Why is Rachel psychopathic? Reminds me of Simon and River Tam from Firefly (in which, Simon pretty much dedicated his life to helping his sister, who had turned a bit loopy from the extreme methods the baddies put her under).

    As for the invasions, you can have three! There’s nothing wrong with three; the ‘Rule of Three’ exists, after all. You just have to figure out what the humans and the vampries did during and inbetween these invasions. If you can’t think of anything valid it might not be worth having so many after all.

    Ah, so, it’s apocalyptic US, is it? That’ll be a bit more difficult to tackle, I think, than a made-up world – where you can create the scenery to fit the action rather than the other way around. However, if it’s sort of a futuristic US (a bit like Hunger Games where pretty much nothing is the same) you’d probably be alright. If you’re keeping place names and landmarks make sure not to alienate international readers.

    Sucks for the army, lol. What do the slaves do? Give their blood while fanning their masters or massaging their feet? Do the vampires live in luxury while the humans have to scrabble for food? How do both parties live after the invasions?

    Hope this helped!

  80. CCXon 17 Aug 2013 at 11:26 am

    @ GreenWithAwesome- Thanks so much for replying! Here are the answers…

    The Overlord doesn’t really care about what his children are doing because A) He’s a crappy parent and B) They’re vampires- he thinks nothing can happen to them. He doesn’t really care about Tyler, who always acts like he’s a indifferent, soulless vampire when he’s around other vampires (With the exception of his hunting group.) The Overlord’s true favorite is Rachel- I’m thinking of her to be kind of like Jane from Twilight. (I know, I know) The Overlord, like most villains, is arrogant. He thinks that no vampire would ever betray their own kind.

    Rachel allows Darwin (Tyler has no say in the matter- she’s a control freak:)) to hang out with her because if she’s attacked or something, she can just shove him in the way and get out. (Kinda like a meat shield) Anyway, she knows he likes her, so she keeps stinging him along. Besides- she’s a princess and she knows it- she doesn’t take no for an answer. (Well, except for her father)

    I totally agree about the whiny character readers will tear their eyes out from- Edward complains to much.:) I seriously hope my book doesn’t turn out like that.

    Rachel isn’t necessarily mentally psychopathic- she’s just messed up. She’s one of those vampires who enjoys killing, you know, relishes in it.

    Agreed about the invasions- I just can’t think of anything that would help fend off a vampire… Maybe like a iron man suit that shot out some form of pure light? I dunno…

    I think it’s definably going to be in the future- maybe like a hundred years forward. I forgot to mention this before, but the cities haven’t been destroyed- the vampires left those for themselves, knowing that they would absolutely conquer the human race. Again, they’re incredibly arrogant. True that about international readers- besides, I guess it wouldn’t make sense if I didn’t do it- sure the vampires conquered the US- But what happened to Canada and all the others?! 😉

    Some slaves are kept in the dungeon prison cells and only vampire royals (I guess I’ll start calling them) are allowed to keep slave servants. Some are servants and some are human happy meals. 🙂 Originally, vampires were living in filth and darkness, but after the invasion, all of that changed. Now it was humans trying to fight for their survival.

    So now I have some questions. Well actually, a question. I’m debating about having wolf shape shifters (I know, I take everything from twilight) become a rebel force. I don’t know, but I think it would make sense- there has to be some rebellion and since the werewolves have always been the natural enemy of vampires…

    What do you think? Thanks GreenWithAwesome!

  81. Glamtronon 09 Oct 2013 at 1:37 am

    I need Help with any thing that someone wears an accessory or something like that in which an alien suit that gives the hero powers is stored.. Feedback please ..:-D

  82. Glamtronon 09 Oct 2013 at 1:41 am

    I was thinking of a watch but that is too common. A ring?(the flash stole that

  83. WGUon 10 Oct 2013 at 10:31 am

    How is this for an origin story?

    Mysterious things begin happening in an all-girls-boarding school in Virginia. Girls disappear and return days later in a fugue state. Others are found dead in the adjacent forest. My MC, the curious, courageous, adventurer she is, follows one of the girls as she wanders into the forest one night. My MC sees the girl entering what seems to be an abandoned building but is in fact a secret research lab. There, doctors from a secret organization have developed a serum of psychic energy fluid that they are testing in people to prove the existence of extrasensory perception, telepathy and psychokinesis. Some of the girls acquire the powers, but others mess with their neurotransmitters and brain and leave them vegetable state or in commas.

    Okay, so I need help with the following.

    1. Why an all girls boarding school and not co-ed? Personally, I think it’s more mysterious and supernatural-like. Does anyone have reasons why it would be better to be a co-ed boarding school?

    2. Why would the doctors abduct girls from the boarding school? Does the school principal know about this? Do they permit it? Are they somehow affiliated? The boarding school used to be an asylum by the way.

    3. Any interesting plot twist ideas? Something other than clichés? (beat the bad guys, save the world, stop a bomb)

  84. Big von 21 Oct 2013 at 3:51 am

    I writing a novel about a guy that gets the powers of a dragon when he puts on a amulet. I want to have a prologe to explian wete the amulet came from but have writters block on this part HELP

  85. Nature Witchon 21 Oct 2013 at 3:59 am

    Is the powers a full transformation to a dragon, or just the standard firebreathing?

    If the amulett transform someone I would suggest to make it an asian dragon, becaus the standard european dragon ofte have “bad” reputation, they are often evil in the older sources. If you want to keep it a standard european dragon I would suggest that whoever created the amulett was a bad guy wanting power.

    Could be intresting to see a character using something that had been used for evil and try to use it for good.

  86. Nature Witchon 22 Oct 2013 at 4:00 am

    So it’s mostly a european dragon hybrid given that asian dragons doesn’t have wings.

    Is the amullets old? if so I still belive that they should be made by a bad guy. Given that most euroepan countries are stingy when it comes to old artifacts and were they perhaps your main character can be an archeologist and finds the amulets somewhere, or the main character might come up on them whilst the amulets is smuggled, which would give them an instant plot in the way of= who smuggled them, why smuggled they them, do they know the amullets powers and etc.

    But this is just a suggestion. I would suggest you to not make your main character a ‘chosen one’ and just give him the amulets because they were meant to be, given that it would make it hared for your audience to like the main character.

  87. Big von 22 Oct 2013 at 5:19 am

    Okay lets try this
    The amulets can only be used by a person that is a desented of the amulets creater ( going to be a warlord) one desended is a gang leader that summagles rare artifacs and sells them on the blackmarket
    One of the leaders man is also a desended and when getting them from were they are ( probaly a temple not sure yet) reads an ancient scribe on them which explains there power
    Scribe on the walls explain the origin of the amulets and the 2nd guy takes one for himself

  88. NatureWitchon 22 Oct 2013 at 5:57 am

    I would skip the reason of how the gangleader and the main character is descended from the creator of the amulets because it raises to many questions.

    If the reason you want to make them related is so the gangleader knows about the amuletts the question is why not the gangleaders parents grandparents and so on did not look for the amuletts themself.

    Keep the part were the gang smuggles old things, but they can find out about the amuletts because other people had found it and it is on the new or something like that, because if the temple was obvious someone would have found the amuletts already, and if it was not, why would the gangleader already know it (because the related part can’t exactly work).

    I would skip the written things about the amuletts, given that languages changes over time, so the guy probably can’t read it. Information of the amuletts maybe can be given by touching the amuletts, basicly downloading it to a persons brain.

    It is intresting that the main character is a gangmember, but you have to think of why he would become a maincharacter that we would root for, not just because you say so.

  89. Big von 22 Oct 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Well insted of them being a desended they could be worthy
    One amulet made by a mad warlord wanting to Control everything and the 2nd made by a king wanting to stop him both by the same power fught firewith fire kind of thing

  90. Nature Witchon 23 Oct 2013 at 2:20 am

    That seems better, but just so you remember, make it easy for the reader to also see that the main character is worthy, not just let him get the power, but actually make him worthy. Perhaps let us see the thoughts of why he is in a gang and make him feeling bad over it. Don’t just say he is worthy or the readers may get mad.

  91. rictuson 26 Oct 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I’m working on a concept and having a little trouble coming up with satisfactory origins. I’m trying to write a story that’s ‘harder’ (as in hard vs soft sci-fi), so I want my origins to be a bit more believable than radioactive spider bites, catastrophic ‘accidents’ that do more good than harm, etc. Also, no magic, and if at all possible, no aliens. My heroes have science-y, perception-based powers. Here’s what I’ve got:

    – Natural mutation (a la Heroes, X-Men): highly unscientific and unlikely.
    – Unnatural mutation: exposure to mutagens, especially during gestation. Still hard to explain why effects would be mostly beneficial, unless we say millions of people are affected and only a tiny minority gain powers.
    – Disability: some real-life neural disorders can resemble superpowers (for example, some people can remember everything, but it interferes with cognitive functioning). However, I’d prefer if my heroes’ powers emerge later in life.
    – Deliberate design: scientific experiments, etc. This takes quite a lot of explanation as to why the ‘experiments’ are unique.

    Anyone got some more ideas for more realistic origins?

  92. B. McKenzieon 26 Oct 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Some possibilities that come to mind:
    –Exposure to scientific accidents that cause both harm and potentially positive capabilities.

    –Like you noted, some people have ridiculously strong memories, sometimes tied to major mental disorders or disabilities. Stephen Wiltshire is an extraordinary artist/savant with autism. Solomon Shereshevsky had synesthesia.

    –I’m struggling to remember the patient’s name, but one cocaine addict developed a superior sense of smell, something on the order of a dog (i.e. something like 50,000 times an average human). I don’t suggest making a hero addicted to drugs unless you have a particularly dark tone in mind, but exposure to other generally harmful chemicals could also enhance some physical or mental capabilities (in addition to whatever negative effects you’d like to work with).

    –“Deliberate design: scientific experiments, etc. This takes quite a lot of explanation as to why the ‘experiments’ are unique.” In The Taxman Must Die, there are various super-serums that can be used to enhance the capabilities of a regular person, but making one requires a steady supply of blood samples from an actual mutant (very rare) and an extraordinarily well-trained chemist. These serums have to be taken regularly (otherwise the subject will revert over time), so even the best-equipped organizations could not keep more than a few handful of employees on the serum.

    –Another possible scenario would be technology/equipment which is not replicable. For example, something seized from a supervillain would probably be hard to replicate, and it’s not like you can ask the creator for replacement parts. Alternately, anything brought from the future/time travel. Anything made with (or fueled by) an exceptionally rare material. Anything made by a scientist of dubious origin. (Why might someone with the ability to make one super-suit only make 1-5 rather than 50-100? Because it would probably be very hard to sell 50 suits without seriously shady people becoming interested in [seizing] his work, particularly if the engineer is already involved in criminal activity. Similarly, a drug dealer could sell a small quantity of drugs without arousing much suspicion, but it’d be very hard to sell a ton without law enforcement or rival dealers asking his customers about this new supplier). Anything made by a scientist who has since died (sort of cliche in a Captain America scenario where a friendly scientist gets killed by antagonists, but much less cliche if it’s an unfriendly scientist killed by the protagonist).

    –Perhaps the ability to use the equipment is very limited. For example, in Pacific Rim, pilots had to have a particular rare mental ability and a partner they were very compatible with. Alternately, if the equipment is made by someone that’s not a standard supplier (e.g. aliens or another species or retrofitted villain equipment or whatever), it might be hard to find people that have the required capabilities to use the system. For example, it might be hard to find a human that can safely use a suit that’s been taken from a hostile species that has extreme mental capabilities and/or averages 4 or 8 feet tall.

  93. The Lord Of Sorrowson 12 Nov 2013 at 4:02 am

    Hello. I believe I have a suitable cause from which people’s powers are gained.

    – A pandemic occurs in 2016 that alters the genetic makeup of the organism infected.
    – the strain itself is of alien origin
    – everyone is infected for most the changes on there DNA is so trivial it’s almost undetectable
    – for those who has a certain gene they are susceptible to profound and dangerous changes.
    – many die or become something of a mutant with abilities beyond the scope of the regular humans.

    What do you think? I plan to use the fact that everyone is infected a plot point later on in the story. Please any advice would be great. Also I need good names for these different humans other than super humans. Both a name that defines them and one used as derogatory slang.

  94. Kevin Holsingeron 12 Nov 2013 at 4:44 am

    Good morning, The Lord Of Sorrows.

    Just to be clear…everyone on Earth is infected with the virus, but there are infected people who are intolerant of other infected people? I assume it’s because the first group doesn’t realize they too are infected, yes? If so, interesting.

    As for the defining/insulting name, my first question is, what is the understanding of how the superhumans got their abilities? I ask because if nobody knows aliens are behind this, “half-aliens” or something like that doesn’t work. If people at least know about the virus, “infecteds” would be both defining and insulting.

    Enjoy your day.

  95. The Lord Of Sorrowson 12 Nov 2013 at 5:24 am

    Hello well yes I do intend for most of the infected people to know they have a virus because they either have dormant abilities not yet tapped or they have on suffered trivial changes either way that is why they can’t detect themselves with a new technology they have developed to determine whether or not someone has these abilities.

    By alien origin I think I simply will use something like a meteor landing on the earth with the virus, not by having an alien race infect them with the virus. I think I will have the virus have drastic affects on people who have a certain gene that can activate their powers. Thanks for your comment. Any more advice would be appreciated because i can’t help but feel like I have a hitch in this idea somewhere.

  96. The Lord Of Sorrowson 12 Nov 2013 at 5:33 am

    Correction from previous comment: I do not intend for most people to know they have the virus…

  97. B. McKenzieon 12 Nov 2013 at 6:20 am

    “I plan to use the fact that everyone is infected a plot point later on in the story.” First thing that comes to mind: The villain’s plan is to awaken the mutations in everybody?



    “By alien origin I think I simply will use something like a meteor landing on the earth with the virus, not by having an alien race infect them with the virus.” Ah, I badly misunderstood “alien origin.” In this context, I’d recommend a phrase like “from a meteor” or “non-terrestrial origin” instead of “alien origin.”



    I like “infected” as a term for the people who are showing symptoms of the virus. However, in more casual dialogue, it might help to have a less clinical variation as well. For example, if the disease is named something like “Diggins’ disease,” you could have them slangily known as “diggers.” (The connotation of dirtiness would probably be helpful here).

  98. Kevin Holsingeron 12 Nov 2013 at 10:05 am

    Good afternoon, The Lord Of Sorrows.

    Everything sounds fine in your scenario, as far as I’m concerned. I’d just like to add that, if a government finds that meteor, I assume that at some point someone’s going to discover the virus on said meteor. And since people who die from the virus are also going to be studied, sooner or later (probably later) someone’s going to find out that the meteor and the plague-victims have the same virus. The question, then, would be, “How public is the knowledge of this virus made?”

    That’s not a criticism or anything. I’m just pointing out the long-term of where your idea is going.

    I’m out for the day. So if we talk again, it won’t be until tomorrow at the earliest.

    Best of wishes on your story.

  99. The Lord Of Sorrowson 12 Nov 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Hello. I just want to start by saying thanks for the advice. B. Mac I think I plan to have a radical release or at least attempt to release something that will kill any infected out of anger for losing his loved ones to theses mutants. He will do so without knowing he has the virus in him also, as well as the nearly all the world. I will consider the idea of having someone plan on turning everyone into mutants with abilities for his/her/their own agenda.

    The virus itself is known and public. In fact, they have developed a means to detect if someone is infected by their mutations. The drawback is that so far they can only detect large scale mutations. The virus does mutate everyone however trivial the mutation, but only those with a certain gene is affected by large scale mutations.

    Since the virus comes from a meteor, I could have that meteor or a certain combination of rare elements from meteor amplify the powers. It being rare or the fact that only a select few know how to tap its potential could lead to some interesting conflicts.

    I feel like I left something important out. I will likely remember it as soon as a submit this.
    Anyway any more advice will be appreciated. I plan on this story to revolve around several characters with two of them have the most of the spotlight. Hopefully if I do it right it will be a darker story with gray (grey?) characters who have redeemable and negative traits.

  100. B. McKenzieon 12 Nov 2013 at 10:56 pm

    “I’d just like to add that, if a government finds that meteor, I assume that at some point someone’s going to discover the virus on said meteor. And since people who die from the virus are also going to be studied, sooner or later (probably later) someone’s going to find out that the meteor and the plague-victims have the same virus.” If the author wanted to make it pretty hard for people to find out about the connection between the meteor and the mutations/virus, there are some possibilities. First, the virus itself has probably mutated so much since making the leap to humans that it’s almost unrecognizable from the original versions on the meteorite(s). Second, whatever samples of the viruses are left on the meteorite(s) may have been denatured severely by prolonged exposure to open air in Earth’s atmosphere. (Viruses need a host). Third, it would probably help if there’s a bit of a delayed reaction between exposure to the virus and developing symptoms. If meteor showers hit and suddenly 100+ million become infected with an extraordinary disease, it’d be pretty easy to guess that the two are connected. However, if a meteor(s) strikes and the first symptoms show up several years later, it’d be harder to make the connection.

  101. The Lord Of Sorrowson 13 Nov 2013 at 6:10 am

    I think that’s a valid point. The virus symptoms appear about three years later since the virus only shows the symptoms in people that have a certain DNA which is rare in itself. What do you think.?

  102. michael pooelyon 15 Nov 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I have been doing some work on the story. This is what I have got so far.

    Origin Story
    Lee Rivers proposes to his girlfriend. He has been encouraged to do so by a work colleague. They both work at the Bryson Solar Power project. It is the first of its kind. A miniature sun will be created and its output will be the source of power. It is experimental. This is the first full scale model. It is in a rush to be finished and successfully tested. Construction finally finishes. Both are living in not so small town of Midton.
    Today the power plant will start testing. It begins well. Everything is going smoothly. However a small fault is revealed and the power plant begins to go critical. Frantic attempts are made to stop the process. The fail-safes operate slowly. They cannot prevent a catastrophic explosion. Twenty people are killed in the explosion and hundreds are injured. Among the injured are Lee Rivers and Amanda Bridge. Emergency response teams and others converge on the site and proceed to do their jobs. The injured are taken away to a hospital. It takes months before the cause of the explosion can be examined and determined.
    The Injures suffered seem to take forever to heal. Eventually both Lee and Amanda are released to convalesce at home. Lee Rivers is a very low powered mutant with an affinity for electricity. Up to know he has never need to control his powers. But they begin to grow. He desperately tries ways to control them. His girlfriend is at first wary of him but comes to accept him. They do their best to appear normal. In direct contrast Amanda does not know what is happening or what to do with the powers. They come and go at random. They grow over time. Soon Amanda is posing a threat to those around her. They powers are used at random or to overcome obstacles. The public demands something be done to stop this growing menace. However nothing seems to work. Prejudices die hard and come to the surface again. Everybody is blaming each other. Heart felt pleas are made by the family. Everywhere there are cries for someone, anybody, to do anything to stop the monster. Nothing works.
    Lee returns to discover what has happened. He talks to his girlfriend and they decide that he has to do something about this because of the previous friend ship. They do not want the wrath to fall upon their heads. So a disguise and costume is quickly designed and constructed. Lee goes to where Amanda is resting. He convinces the authorities that he can help. There is nothing to lose so he is allowed to try to stop the rampage. He goes to her. He reveals his true identity after being attacked by Amanda. They sit and talk. It is decided to help train Amanda in the use of her almost out of control powers. The training has barely begun when she dies and transformed into a mini sun. After a little more communication Amanda agrees and leaves the Earth to wander the universe.
    He is hailed as a national hero. He is fated. All the time he refuses to disclose his identity. He cites right to privacy. At a nationally televised event in Washington he states that he his retreating into obscurity. But he will always be available to help. A request can always be placed in the media and have a Sun symbol attached. At his home he adds a sun to the front of his costume to remind himself of the person who died and the people who died while he trained his own powers.

    Main story
    The overlord of a lost world decides to carve out a hegemon over that part of the overland that coincides with Middle America. He has had reports of at least one ultra-powered hero who can stop him. He decides to test the hero. He sends out expendables to commit crimes and trusted henchmen to do this. A lot of crimes are committed in a lot of different ways. Some are traditional. Some are done by criminals wearing rocket jet packs and robots. Zeppelins are also involved. The police and the national guards are all kept busy with all the robberies.
    In a desperate move they contact the only person they think can handle the situation. They contact the BLACK DYNAMO with a plea with the sun symbol. Lee Rivers dons his uniform and responds. He does not want innocents to die because of his inaction. He goes to the Appalachians and is immediately in the action. He is defeated but he stops the robbery. His actions are watched by trusted henchmen. The expendables are captured or escape. Their fate does not matter. The overlord gets his report about the ultra-powered human and his powers as they know it. They go over their plans and eliminate the threat of the ultra-powered hero as much as possible. Then they launch an all-out attack.
    At first the attack meets little resistance. The resistance slowly stiffens until the attack stalls and cannot go any further.

  103. Kevin Holsingeron 16 Nov 2013 at 7:28 am

    Good morning, Mr. Pooely.

    All in all, you’ve got some good (at least as far as I’m concerned) ideas here. Thoughts…

    1. Are you sure you don’t want to focus on making the origin story a full story in and of itself (if you haven’t already)? You’ve put a lot of effort into it, to the point where I’m not sure how much of it you can include in the later story without sucking up too much time. Then again, it took almost an hour for Batman to show up in Batman Begins. So maybe it’s possible.

    2. Does Lee need to have powers before he gets the solar ones?

    3. Would it be possible to use the technology for containing your mini-sun on Amanda? At the very least, I’d imagine you’d need heat and radiation shielding for that project. So even if it fails in the end, it’s still an option for people trying to stop her to consider.

    4. “Lee goes to where Amanda is resting. He convinces the authorities that he can help.” He might want to give a quick, but safe, demonstration of his abilities so that the authorities think that he’s more than just some guy in a costume.

    5. (from the Contact page) “She might be but the powers are growing faster than her ability to contol them. Shock. Not knowing what to do. these are all possible.” Works for me.

    6. “The overlord of a lost world” Would you kindly clarify what “lost world” means? Was there a disaster of some kind? Any connection with Amanda’s destruction?

    Okay, that’s all I can think of. Enjoy your day.

  104. AlucardZainon 15 Jan 2014 at 2:11 pm

    So. Im in the planning stsges of my new Superheroine story. Ive made some in the past, but they kinda sucked. So, I want this one to be better. Anyway, I have my origin story planned out for my heroine. Goes like this:

    She is a 21 year old, looking for a job. When she’s out looking for a job, she stumbles across a fight (maybe gang fight?) and she goes to help. Then the police come thanks to a call made from a nearby business. The police try to negotiate with the people in the fight. The main guy in the fight holds her as a hostage and surprisingly, hes got a sword to her throat. He then stabs the heroine in the chest, then leaves without a word, with her dying on the ground. She then passes out, the police coming to her aide. She then wakes up, not fully conscious but still able to hear and see. Shes in a human-sized tank filled with some kind of liquid (like how Wolverine was in the movies) with an oxygen mask on and some wires or some stuff attached to her on some of her places. Shes’s all naked save for a bikini swimsuit. She notices she’s in a laboratory filled with scientists in white lab coats. She then passes out again. After a few hours, she wakes up again, still in the tank. One of the scientists opens up the tank and she falls out, all drenched. She asks a lot of questions and shes been told that they saved her life. But in the process, she’s been injected with Feline DNA, that DNA bonding with hers.

    Any tips/advice?

  105. AlucardZainon 15 Jan 2014 at 2:21 pm

    And I basically want the people that were in the fight and the scientists to be working with the main villain. So in essence, the villain created her. Because he wants someone that can be able to stop him (kinda like in Megamind) and have some fun.

  106. Hurricaneon 05 Jun 2014 at 5:40 pm

    im wondering if this would be good or at least not horrible . . .

    ok my character was on a cruise when it crashed in The Triangle (and yes the cruise was purposely through The Triangle it was that kind of cruise) so any thoughts?

  107. B. McKenzieon 06 Jun 2014 at 6:12 am

    “ok my character was on a cruise when it crashed in The Triangle (and yes the cruise was purposely through The Triangle it was that kind of cruise) so any thoughts?” I’d recommend incorporating an unusual character choice/decision into the origin story, if possible, to help develop a notable trait about the protagonist. What sort of personality traits or background characteristics are most important about this character?

  108. Vendettaon 06 Jun 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I need feedback on my hero’s origin. His name is Ian Foster. When his family moves to a new city he stumbles upon the “secret lair” of former superhero The Specter. He spends time hanging out in the lair, learning about this hero and his villains by reading logs and journals etc. Ian is talking to his best friend and later confidant, Laura Clark, about the lair. A school bully overheard bits and pieces of this (only really hearing Ian had some valuable stuff) and makes the info to a local gang. This gang decides to rob Ian’s family.
    During the robbery, Ian hides in the lair. In the Lair he starts messing with things, trying to find something that can help. This activates the computer and its alarm system recognizes a threat. It gives orders for Ian to place his thumb on a scanner which prices his finger and injects his blood with nanobots. The nanobots contain The Specter’s consciousness and several abilities to augment a human so that they can be an effective superhero. The Specter guides Ian through the robbery and helps him take down the gang members. After this Ian and the Specter agree to fight crime as a hero known as The Hood.
    Ian’s abilities include enhanced strength speed and agility, stimulated visual cortex (so he can learn several skills from the specter), a sixth sense. In case it wasn’t clear, Ian Nd the Specter are nnja-esque heroes. The powers are from chemicals the nanobots released into Ian’s bloodstream. The Specter created this setup for a successor, but he died before he could find one. The Specter wasnt able to detail his last mission so neither Ian or The Specter know how he was defeated by the main antagonist or how to defeat the antagonist. Thoughts on the origin?

  109. Mynaon 07 Jun 2014 at 9:49 am

    A few thoughts…

    It seems odd that he’d just stumble upon the base of a former super. Wouldn’t that place be hidden and have a lot of security? When you say former super, do you mean that the Specter is no longer in service and that his base has fallen into disrepair or something, so that it’s easy to get into? If so, why was Ian the first one in?

    If the alarms activated the second time Ian goes into the lair, during the robbery, why didn’t it recognize a threat the first time Ian went into the lair? And why was the security’s solution to inject him with nanobots and make him a super (instead of neutralizing the threat by locking the place down or shooting him or something?)

    If the nanobots contain Specter’s consciousness, does that mean he’s mind uploaded or something and has been living in the tech at the base for all the years since he’s been decommissioned? Dayum. Cool scifi, though.

    So when Ian and the Specter become the Hood, are they like two minds in one? Does Specter speak to him in his head constantly, only when they’re fighting, or does Specter take over completely while they’re fighting, or?

    I like the backstory behind why the Specter created the chemicals and nanobots, and the backstory involving the antagonist, which I think can make for a lot of fun suspense/dramatic tension.

    Overall I like the origin story, it seems unique and I like the scifi elements, I just feel like some plot holes could be patched up.

  110. Vendettaon 07 Jun 2014 at 12:07 pm

    @myna
    Thnks for the feeback. The Specter died and his lair was more or less in disrepair. Ian found it because he was exploring the new house and found the lair. The alarm goes off because the computers were shut down. Ian activates them during the robbery. The computer recognized that Ian was not the Specter and that the house was under attack. It’s a sort of defense system to protect the lair and the Specter. If Ian and specter hadn’t agreed to be a hero, then the nanobots would have been deactivated and , ahem, passed from Ian’s body. It’s not exactly the Specter’s consciousness per se, but it has his memories knowledge and ideologies. The fact that Specter has been deactivated for a while is a plot point, since he doesn’t understand some things. The Specter kind of talks in his head, at all times. This creates some drama and possible humor of someone being with you constantly and reading your mind all the time. Lastly, i’m glad you like it

  111. Mynaon 07 Jun 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Wait, the Specter’s old lair is in Ian’s new house?

    Okay, but if the alarms went off the time he came into the lair during the robbery, why didn’t they go off the first time he found the lair?

    Ah, I see what you mean. So it’s not the Specter himself, but like remnants of him. Pretty cool I think

  112. Vendettaon 07 Jun 2014 at 1:28 pm

    The house used to belong to the Specter, Ian and his mom moved in. The alarms didnt go off when he came in, they went off when he turned on the computers

  113. Mynaon 07 Jun 2014 at 1:47 pm

    OOHHHH okay sorry for misunderstanding about the alarms. I thought the alarms were there to guard the compound, not the equipment and technology

  114. Vendettaon 07 Jun 2014 at 2:54 pm

    No worries

  115. Mynaon 07 Jun 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Yeah. I think the only thing that’s getting me at this point is that it seems like he stumbles upon all this super stuff by accident, so he doesn’t get a chance to prove to the readers that he himself actually has what it takes–it just kind of comes at him randomly. He doesn’t really do anything active, it’s just thrown at him. I feel like he should prove himself somehow? I don’t know if that makes sense I’m not good at wording things haha

  116. B. McKenzieon 07 Jun 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I agree with Myna that it would probably be helpful to give the protagonist a more active role in his origin story (e.g. having him make an unusual decision which helps develop an important personality trait).

    Also, right now, I’m sort of getting the impression that the superhero’s system is basically set up to pick as his successor the first person to get in the room. If that’s the only qualification to become the successor, is it at least a really hard room to get into?

  117. Vendettaon 08 Jun 2014 at 7:18 am

    The Specter was supposed to select a successor to take his place but he was killed before this could happen. The program version of himsepf he uploaded into the computer was like a failsafe, if anyone found the lair and the house was under attack it would give the person in the lair the ability to defend the lair. If the Specter found this person to be unsuitable in any way, he would not give the nanobots the command sequence to take permanent hold in the successor’s body. The nanobots would then be passed from the body, the deactivation of the nanobots would signal the computer to wipe the hard drives and implode the lair.

    As for Ian being more active, i’m not sure what to do. He’s kind of just exploring the house and finds the entrance to the lair. Any ideas?

  118. Vendettaon 08 Jun 2014 at 7:22 am

    Although for him to keep the powers the Specter has to find him to be a suitable replacement, otherwise he would lose the powers in a day or two and his house would implode to conceal the lair. And f it counts for anything Ian does defeat the gang members, though it’s with the Specter’s help and the nanobots.

  119. B. McKenzieon 08 Jun 2014 at 8:51 am

    “As for Ian being more active, i’m not sure what to do. He’s kind of just exploring the house and finds the entrance to the lair. Any ideas?”

    Perhaps incorporating some element of danger. E.g. he continues exploring even after (say) a malfunctioning security system or robot attacks him.

    And/or moving the lab out of his house, to someplace more inherently dangerous. E.g. if he’s exploring a building that exploded mysteriously rather than his own house, I think that would take more personality.

  120. Vendettaon 08 Jun 2014 at 11:25 am

    I like the robot idea and making the lab somewhere else. Maybe he and Laura are exploring some abandoned area. Ian finds the lair’s secret entrance, Laura doesn’t want to go in but Ian convinces her to follow him. Once inside one of them trips the alarm and a defense robot activates. Ian takes it out with a pipe to its head.
    I’ll need to change the robbery part too, since it wouldn’t make sense for Ian to leave his family at the house while he goes to the lair unless the lair is in the house. Maybe the gang attacks Ian directly and they chase Ian to the building the lair is in. Ian hides in the lair, and the gang can’t find him. Then Laura arrives to hang out with Ian in the lair again, only to be held hostage by the gang. Ian activates the computer and gets the powers etc., defeats the gang. But the Specter is a bit mad at Ian because it’s his fault the gang attacked in the first place, Ian was talking about the lair at school nd the bully overheard. Ian convinces the Specter to let him be a superhero.

  121. Mynaon 08 Jun 2014 at 11:58 am

    I like the new version a lot more! It gives your characters more personality because it definitely takes a lot of guts to go urban exploring in abandoned lots, plus it gives him an opportunity to prove that he’s capable when he manages to take out the defense robot.

    Is this a novel or a comic, out of curiosity?

  122. Vendettaon 08 Jun 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I’m not a good artist so probably novel. I really want it to be a comic but i would need an artist

  123. B. McKenzieon 08 Jun 2014 at 9:07 pm

    “Ian takes it out with a pipe to its head.” Anyone who would try to take out a defense robot with a pipe to the head, I would definitely want to read more about. 🙂

  124. Vendettaon 08 Jun 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Lol, thanks that means a lot 😀

  125. Vendettaon 12 Jun 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Any ideas on an emblem/insignia? I had the idea that as The Hood becomes more and more active people start selling merchandise. The problem is that he currently has not symbol for companies to slap on shirts and stuff. Ideas?

  126. Yuuki991on 21 Jun 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Greetings. In regards to my tale “White Noise”, I had finished my first draft. That said, after waiting for a year(wanted to put it away, work on other projects), I am planning the steps needed to revise it, which will be next year. Given I am posting in the origins section, I wish to get some feedback on the origin. Alas, allow me to give a brief summary of my story

    “After succeeding in a trial, Derek has become a member of the Adjudicator of the Infinite Realms: an organization that seeks to uphold peace and justice within the infinite. It is here he discovers a group of villains wish to destroy earth”.

    Sorry if it is a bit long. Basically, as stated in the intro, Derek Masters, my main character, is selected (amongst many others) to join the Adjudicators of the Infinite Realms.

    The trial, called the “rite of inheritance”, tests to see if the individuals have what it takes to become a member; all the while, the source of their powers, Affinity orbs, evaluate the candidates and select those whom they deem worthy. While everyone else accepts, Derek refuses at first.

    His reason is that while he’s flattered, he doesn’t believe being an agent of justice suits him. This is to reflect his laziness(an extreme of his laid-back demeanor). The leaders are surprised, but respect his decision. Alas, Derek changes his mind after hearing one of the candidates make fun of him. This reflects his competitive streak, and decides to take the trail.

    To make a long story short, during the trial Derek attempts to save one of the contestants(ironically, one of them who was mean to him). When questioned why, Derek admits his reasons for doing the test were selfish, and that she(the fellow contestant) are more worthy. In the end, Derek sacrifices himself to ensure she remained. This in turn was noticed by the Affinity orb and leaders of the Adjudicators, and such he was enacted.

    Again for this origin, one thing I wanted to differentiate the character was by having him refuse taking the test. All in all, is this origin of how how Derek got his abilities any good?

  127. Vendettaon 24 Jun 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Hey everyone, it’s me again. I’m thinking about giving Ian more powers/traits. I’m kinda on the fence about it and wanted some feedback on the idea. I’m not gonna give him tons of powers or anyting, just an ability or two that would give him an extra edge. In addition to these abilites would be new weaknesses or limitations.

    Here are my ideas:
    1. Blinking (short distance teleportation): Ian would only be able to go distances less than half a football field and it makes him progressively dizzy as he uses it, making in unfavorable in ambush situations or detrimental in a fight. As he gets better the dizzyness might go away for the first two uses but after that it happens again. Very early uses would make him get very nauseated.
    2. No longer needs to sleep: pretty much summed up. He can’t sleep naturally, though he can be knocked out. He takes up meditation to take the place of sleep and dreaming.
    3. Increased metabolic rate: he eats a lot more and his body burns through medicine quickly. This would go in hand with the Blinking and insomnia. Basically he has to eat and drink a lot more. The energy produced from digestion powers the nanobots which in turn stimulate his cells etc.

    2 and 3 are side effects of the formula. I was also thinking of making it so that the Specter also gave himself the formula for the powers so he can kinda teach Ian about what happened to him.

  128. Thoidson 10 Aug 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The plot is, after a great war with a team of heroes emerging victorious in saving the universe, most of the team’s survivors are retired and starting to settle down and start families, but a new threat brings a few out of retirement to keep the universe safe. After toying around with this idea, i have a list of characters i’d like to use. I was wondering if i could get some oppinions to help narrow down my list of heroes. Some are from a privious story, but i dont have to use them. They can just stay retired.
    OLD HEROES- heroes who survived the war, and are trained fighters.
    Travis- Team leader, with a transmorphing ability. He dislikes the position, and is haunted by the memories of his dead friends. His second in command, Zach, is killed by the new threat prompting him to come out of retirement. He is married to Sam, and is expecting his first son soon. He tends to value his friends over himself, prefering not to see another one of his friends suffer and die. As a result, he tends to take on enemies alone.
    Sam- Travis’s wife. She has a speed power, and will not go back to fight due to her pregnency.
    Scott- The team’s combat instructor, and newly appointed second in comand. Scott is one of the few heroes that remain active after the war, hunting down remaining enemies. He has an agility and reflex power, and has lost both arms and legs in combat. Armed with cybernetic limbs, Scott is reckless and tough, and sometimes rude. He was married to Kelsey, who died in the war, and has a teenage son, Kyle.
    Ben- The team’s stratigest, and a hero with a waterbreathing power. Ben has low selfesteem, and doesn’t think too much of himself. He is respected by his teammates, and always pulls through for the team in a tough situation. He has a pet otter with an invisability power, and a girlfriend named Katey.
    Ron- The team’s sniper, with an accuracy power. Ron never takes things seariously, and enjoys screwing around. He is one of the older Heroes, but appears to be the youngest due to his immaturity. He is married to Sarah (who stays retired), a Hero who can control ice, and they have a three children. A son named Trent, and a daughter named Ashten, and an adopted son named Parks. All three have powers.
    Andy- The team’s sabatoge specilest. Andy is the boundry between two worlds. The living and dead. As a result, he can see, and comunicate with beings in both worlds. He died in the war, but his ability allows him to possess an android version of himself, inorder to fight. He tends to pull pranks on others, and is seen as a rude individual by his friends, dispite being a generaly kind person. He is slowly loosing his sanity, due to his power to see and communicate with the dead.
    Holly- a heroine with a paralyzation ability, and a friend of Parks’s sister, who died in the war.(Stays retired)
    NEW CHARACTERS
    Leo- a young man with an energy power, Leo is rash, overconfident, and stuck up. He wants to be the Hero leader, but is denied the chance to lead due to his rude personality. He thinks only for himself, but remains loyal to the Heroes, knowing they could defeat him in a fight with ease. In combat, he uses a pair of energy whips. He can also fire energy blasts fron his hands.
    Casey- a young boy, who has the ability to transform into any weapon. He is kind, quiet, and alone, having been seperated from his brother during the war.(His brother is an enmey, who can move at super speed, only when in contact with his brother.) He allows Andy to use him as a weapon in combat, but refuses to fight his brother.
    Wilson- an annoying loudmouth with supersonic powers. Wilson gets on everyone’s nerves because he never stops moving, and never shuts up. He basicly worships Scott due to his skill in combat, and pushes himself to be just like his hero.
    Rex- A hero, covered in scars, and has the power of past duplication. Having all the injuries, with no idea how he got them, Rex finds his power a curse. He hates pretty much everyone on his team, but isn’t afraid to help them in a tough situation, as long as he covers himself first. Others see him as a shifty person, possibly an enemy, even though he isn’t, only adding to his dislike of others.
    Kayle- a Hero with the power of oger manifistation. She harbors secreat feeling for Rex, and Casey, but is unsure of who she should choose. She isn’t afraid to make a move on them, and is very perverted. She dislikes using her power because she can’t control what she does in that state, and is afraid it will cause Casey and Rex to shun her.
    Well, thats it. Sorry this is so long. I would appreciate it if i could narrow this list down a bit. Thanks.

  129. Karlieon 24 Aug 2014 at 12:07 am

    My Backstory thing:

    Deep in the heart of the Amazon, there was a tribe of people who thought they could do whatever they wanted and get away with it. They were called the Shiftowey Tribe. Very soon they used up all the resources in their area so they needed to relocate. They continued this way of life a year before the Gods decided to something about it; they started with a warning, but when the tribe refused to listen, that’s when they received their punishment. Fuelled by anger, the Gods cursed each and every member of the Shiftowey tribe. They and their descendants had been cursed with the ability to turn into animals, to see the world from an animal’s point of view. Seeing the error of their ways, the Shiftowey people begged the Gods to take back the curse. The Gods, however, refused. Over time, the tribe grew further and further, until they decided it be best for them to separate completely. Nowadays, their descendants scatter the globe, living among humans, even forming relationships and starting families, though the child will always be a Shifter. This story follows the lives of twelve adolescent Shifters as they try to make it through high school undetected.

  130. Melissaon 20 Sep 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I was thinking about having my protagonist be kidnapped as a civilian as the start of her origin. She would be drugged by her captors with #14)”super-narcotics”(they use her as a test subject for a new designer drug, ex. Lucy) and she attacks her captors subconsciously after they attempt to kill her but she wouldn’t just be using her powers because #7) Ridiculously tough training. She partakes in MMA training as a hobby too.

  131. CozaTriteon 16 Apr 2015 at 9:22 pm

    How would one gain powers over time (rewind, slow, stop, etc)?

  132. Danteon 17 Apr 2015 at 7:24 pm

    they could be at the site of a temporal disturbance or be simply outside outside or aware of the ethers of time and able to manipulate it

  133. carloson 29 Apr 2015 at 9:57 am

    I made a character called man-alien. I’ve played around with various ideas (a guy who is basically venom, a guy who is half venom and half a normal human, a guy who can turn into human-alien hybrids) but he still always gets his powers from an alien symbiote. I’m thinking of making it something unusual in terms of parasites, perhaps a vertebrate, rather than something typically parasitic (e.g. “gooey” or “insectoid”)

  134. B. McKenzieon 29 Apr 2015 at 8:12 pm

    “I made a character called man-alien. I’ve played around with various ideas (a guy who is basically venom, a guy who is half venom and half a normal human, a guy who can turn into human-alien hybrids) but he still always gets his powers from an alien symbiote. I’m thinking of making it something unusual in terms of parasites, perhaps a vertebrate, rather than something typically parasitic (e.g. “gooey” or “insectoid”)” I’d recommend adding more distance from Venom (something more substantive than what the alien looks like). Also, I’d recommend revisiting the name before submitting.

  135. Crosseon 29 Apr 2015 at 11:27 pm

    What do you think of gaining temporary powers from use of (a very addictive) drug that has a mix of morphine, stem cells, and other biological soup placed into the body of a virus? Essentially, it is used to help cure various diseases, but if too much is used at once, it begins creating excess tissue in the brain or body. That leads to increased mass, strength, and regeneration. The drug is localized, and works best in the area you inject it at. When using too much, or injecting it near the skull, it increases neural activity. This can kill people very easily, but sometimes grants advanced abilities, such as telekinesis.

  136. guy-manon 18 May 2015 at 6:51 am

    @Neil, my problem is the opposite, ive got a good origin, but the personality is hard, He’s an archeologist, and he is on an excavation to an ice cavern, but deep inside the cavern ,he finds a statue composed of ice, but it turns out the icy statue is the prison of an extremely powerful ocean deity, which wakes up upon him finding the statue and grants the archeologist his godhood so he can finally rest in peace, because he was unable to leave… and that’s where that stopped.

  137. Loudnon 13 Jun 2015 at 9:08 pm

    My superhero origin story was created with one of my friends and is a few years old, but I will throw it to you guys anyway to see what you think.

    In a secret lab near Omaha, Nebraska, the US government has been trying to create superhuman soldiers. They have created an experimental mutagen that is very promising, but could spread like a super-virus if released.
    The first test starts out well. The subject, a retired military man, showed promising results at first glance, gaining superhuman strength, agility, and resistance. However, just as the scientists are celebrating, everything goes wrong. The test subject’s mind snaps under the pressure of the superhuman powers and he goes insane, reverting to a feral state where he lashes out at everything in his path. He breaks out of the facility and the security forces pursue him. In the chaos, one scientist attempts to steal the mutagen to sell it, but is stopped and it escapes. The mutagen spreads across the world rapidly, creating millions of super humans called mutants, particularly in the Midwest around the original facility. (Nebraska,Iowa, Kansas, the Dakotas, Colorado, Wyoming). About half of these mutants go insane like the first, developing a huge assortment of superpowers. The other retain sanity and split into two main segments: the supremist mutant cults and villains and the human-friendly cooperative mutants. The remaining humans, terrified for their lives by the mutant monsters, also split into two groups: the supporters of the United Nations-sponsored Allied Reconaissance and Mutant Observation Regiment, or A.R.M.O.R, and the mutant hating human Purist Militias sprouting up in the country and cities, killing mutants or driving them out.

    This whole idea was thought of with my friend about 2-3 years ago, with some recent modifications, and is currently a play-by-post RPG on the website ongoingworlds.com run by myself. If you want to join the game or just see what I’ve got there (it’s not much), you can go to the site an look up the game project:superhero.
    Until then, just tell me what you think I should do. Thanks in advance.

  138. CozaTriteon 25 Jun 2015 at 4:49 am

    My story’s main cast are all in their late teens/early twenties, they are all superheroes/vigilantes, and only some have powers. The powers are granted via a spate of genetic engineering that was done on the parents of the heroes–without their knowledge. This was done in at least two phases. The first wave allowed the children to be born with their powers, while the second wave allowed the powers only to manifest after an extreme physical stress on the body; the main character is part of the second wave and gains his powers after he falls into a frozen lake. The stress on the body activated his power.

    The problem I have is with one of the characters, who seems to have been conceived during the first wave of genetic engineering, being born with a healing ability (to herself and to others). However, it is discovered that her power is actually from an enchantment when her mother was pregnant. At some point she loses this enchantment and ability during a struggle with her villain, and goes back to a powerless state.

    Here’s my dilemma. I want to have this character as a second wave engineered child, so the struggle over her enchantment actually activates her power, which is super-speed. I was wondering if this was plausible, or if she should be left powerless after the struggle.

    P.S. the fact that her powers are so different is because of the difference between the enchantment and genetic engineering.

    –CozaTrite

  139. Yuuki991on 01 Jul 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Greetings, everyone. I am back. Given that I am revising my first story White Noise(now, named Jade Marshal), I need some assistance to see if this origin would make sense. My main character Derek Masters begins experiencing a strange vision.

    This being a man who resembles a western gunslinger, surrounded by a desert. Eventually, Derek is teleported and taken to the realm Ordinus, home of the Adjudicators of the Infinite Realms. They are an inter-dimensional policing organization who protect all of reality(kind of like the Green Lanterns).

    The source of Derek’s visions came from an Affinity Orb to which grants the user powers. These orbs select those who are deemed worthy(filtering out potentials via images, hence the visions Derek received).

    A long story short, Adjudicators have selected Derek(and several other prospects) to take a test to see who can not only prove themselves worthy of the power, but also joining.

    Derek initially refuses. His reason is that while flattered, he doesn’t want to be tied down to the organization. He changes his mind when goaded by one of the contestants.

    Thus, he participates for the sake of beating the guy. Derek’s attitude changes when, midway through the race, one of the contestants(another one who was bothering him) slips up and risks losing.

    Derek goes out and tries to save her. In the process, he sacrifices himself, so she may continue, acknowledging that what he was doing(wanting to play for the sake of beating the guy) was stupid.

    It is here that the Affinity Orb recognizes Derek’s selflessness and grants him the ability. Thus, he gains entrance into the organization.

    How is that for an origin? Derek’s refusal was something I did on the basis that it fit his character and that it was an unusual decision.

    Additionally, he needs to prove himself in order to obtain his power, and there is the added dimension that Derek initially played for a particularly petty reason but realized the error in that line of thought.

  140. B. McKenzieon 02 Jul 2015 at 7:21 pm

    “Eventually, Derek is teleported and taken to the realm Ordinus, home of the Adjudicators of the Infinite Realms. They are an inter-dimensional policing organization who protect all of reality(kind of like the Green Lanterns).” I’d recommend making them more distinctive in some way (e.g. an unusual personality trait, motivation, modus operandi, etc).



    I like Derek’s unusual motivation. I think that bodes well. However, for the turning point, I’d recommend something more distinctive than risking himself to help another participant (it helps that the contestant was someone that had been something of a bother, but even then, most protagonists would have done the same in similar circumstances). Perhaps something that creates a longer-term problem or complication for him? (E.g. he breaks his arm or sprains an ankle in the rescue, and someone in a position of authority disapproves because he wants teammates that either follow orders or, if they feel the need to disregard orders, are skillful/tough enough to do it without jeopardizing the mission).



    I’d recommend moving the decision from the Affinity Orb to a character(s). I think that would probably give you more opportunities for using the decision to develop a relationship, interesting dialogue, interesting motivations, maybe lay the seeds of potential conflict or problems, etc. Also, that would probably help differentiate the setup more from the Green Lantern ring seeking out the protagonist.

  141. Yuuki991on 02 Jul 2015 at 10:37 pm

    @ B.Mac

    For starters, thank you for responding. In regards to the Affinity Orb, I have to respectfully disagree with your advice. I understand the idea of them being compared to Green Lanterns, but the idea in my view works. The reason why is because each Affinity Orb gives the user different powers.

    They are similar to Devil Fruits if you have heard of One Piece. Each one is unique in that they can bestow a different ability. That is if the user can prove themselves worthy.

    A major goal the Adjudicators perform is that they locate Affinity Orbs. These treasures are scattered throughout all of reality. Recovering them is of utmost importance. This is something I wished to play up within the story, as well, as Derek might have to go searching for one.

    As for the Adjudicator’s goals, I see your concerns.

    I modeled them very much after Interpol and the FBI. A policing organization that will at times be ready to fight against a serious threat. They usually get involved if a realm in question, or in the case of Earth will get involved if innocent beings are being threatened.

    But they are almost militaristic in the sense there is a structured hierarchy and strict rules, known as the Ten Statures, and additional regulations. It is more similar to Starfleet.

    Finally, in regards to Derek’s decision to help the other contestant, I don’t know what to say. While I agree it is a bit typical, I don’t see it being bad. Rather, it reveals Derek’s willingness to do the right thing. And given his backstory is western inspired, his willingness shouldn’t seem sporadic. Rather, it is showcased due to his respect for the lawmen at the time and specifically his ethical code.

    Again, reflecting on the theme of western influenced.

    A side note, though, maybe one of the higher ups could have an issue with that.

    As for prolonged conflicts, what I can say is that there is one. Derek is eventually assigned a partner/ trainer to help him get more used to working with the organization.

    This individual, named Zyla, the reader finds out does not like Derek. There are a few reasons. The first one is that she doesn’t think he was worthy of acquiring an Affinity Orb, due to his temperament and relaxed attitude.

    But the additional reason is that the reader finds out that the Affinity Orb Derek acquired came from a can decorated Adjudicator, who happened to be Zyla’s mentor. She feels that Derek won’t honor him with using his ability( another side note, she was paired up with him because Zyla being under his wing, understands how his ability works).

    Finally, Zyla’s initial hatred for Derek stems from the notion of her being able to do a better job than he can.

    Overall, I hope this can give some clarification. I do hope you aren’t upset. While I appreciate your advice, there are some things I politely disagree, as I am confident I can make them work. I put a lot of thought into this.

    Fortunately, there is the magic of editing and revisions to which can rectify any foreseeable problems.

    Again, thank you for the advice.

  142. Alpha Flighton 03 Jul 2015 at 4:28 pm

    CozaTrite – I like how the first people genetically engineered manifest their powers at birth, but the next ones must have it activated by extreme physical stress. This suggests an evolution in the science. If the experiment was done on a large scale and the public was aware of it, it could create the interesting dilemma of “hopefuls” trying to manifest powers by doing stupid things like skydiving without deploying a parachute. This brings me to my next point. Maybe the powers could have something to do with the “extreme stress” the person was under, i.e. the powers developped and manifested to save the individual. Falling from great heights? Flying. Trying to outrun something like, say, a car? Superspeed. Get shot in a mugging-gone-wrong? Healing. Etc, etc.

    I would recommend not using magic (the enchantment) and sci fi (genetic engineering) in the same universe/series/book/etc. It annoys me to no end when someone tries to explain stuff with magic and science at the same time. If the “magic” is superadvanced science, that can sometimes help, but often it comes off as someone being condescending and rude to everyone. (bystander: OMG SHE JUST VAPORIZED A FROG! HOW DID YOU DO THAT?! person with the “magic”: Oh, well, it is superadvanced science. I don’t expect your low IQ to be able to grasp the concept. Your puny intellect would probably call it “magic.”

    An alternative could be to have her be affected by something else, giving powers. A superserum maybe????

    The “red herring” of her being born with abilities could be VERY interesting. If you went with the superserum, it could slowly start to break down for a variety of reasons, for example: age, (ie the serum just didn’t last), the serum iradicating itself (ie the healing factor would consider the serum a foreign body, disease, etc, and wipe out itself ((not sure if this makes sense, maybe the serum would be sensitized to itself, sort of like what people are trying to do with cancer, making the body think the cancerous cells are a virus and thus heal itself?)) ) or hormones, trauma etc.
    I never believe it when people in comics slap on an “inhibitor collar” that magically stops them from using their powers. You might as well make a bracelet that will stop you from being able to use your legs. You can’t just “turn off” you DNA, or people would just go in and stop the pigment production in their eyes and get blue eyes or something. Thus, I don’t believe it when someone just “magically loses their powers”. It would be like a blonde randomly becoming a redhead. A steady decline, over time, DOESS make sense. Lots of people start blonde and then go darker the older they get.
    Maybe she could start losing her power, and have it steadily decline over a period of months or even a couple of years. It would be plausible that she not tell anyone about this (rather like how some people hide the fact they have health/mental/monetary issues.) Maybe she could have a major smackdown with some supervillain and, having virtually no power left, be injured. Others would see that she had no powers, and blame it on the fight with the supervillain. She might even give this explanation herself, to cover up.

    ok I’m gonna break this into 2 posts cuz this is gettin’ ridiculously long

  143. Alpha Flighton 03 Jul 2015 at 4:39 pm

    K I’m back!

    So, starting where I left off:

    She could then either get into another fight with some supers, or just be in a extreme situation, possibly involving the need for speed, causing her superspeed to manifest. Since the speedsters I know of tend to have excellerated everything, from metabolism to running to healing. If it was the full deal, including healing she could maybe not tell anyone about the superspeed and just say “look! My healing’s back!” (I would recommend having it be less powerful than before, so she doesn’t become too powerful). Then you could have people discover that she, in fact, lied, possibly creating distrust. Anywho, those are just my initial reactions, you could totally ignore everything. Hope I helped and feel free to ask me anything if you’re confused by my weird thought process.

  144. TTon 07 Jul 2015 at 10:30 am

    I have a character who pops (or hops?) into my dreams. He was born with LARGE buckteeth, ears that are higher up on his head (maybe longer too) and has speed, leaping and, maybe, great senses. He’s basically a human rabbit. Anyway, he leads a sheltered life with his parents ’cause of his ‘freakishness’, until age 18, when he leaves. Once he gets a job, he doesn’t speak to anyone and keeps to himself. Soon, he realizes ‘his’ city is crime central, but police aren’t doing a thing. He decides to help, or, at least, try to. People start calling him Rabbit-Man, which sorta humiliates him, so his hero-self sorta goes into hiding. Suddenly, some super-powered guy (or gal?) pops up out of nowhere.
    I need help with two things:
    1) More detail(s) for the origin
    -and-
    2) Help on the villain.

  145. TTon 07 Jul 2015 at 2:28 pm

    I almost forgot. He also has a tail like a bunny.

  146. TTon 07 Jul 2015 at 5:21 pm

    AND he’s the nervous type.

  147. willows861on 23 Jul 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Could you advise me on an origin for a speedster? I’ve got an idea in my head of a speedster named Blur, who used to be a cat burglar but then gained super speed through … something. I just can’t think of a plausible origin.

    I would preferably like an original one, not “mutant birth” or “struck by lightning and fell into chemicals”. Or even worse, Jay Garrick’s origin, where his speed came from “heavy water”.

  148. B. McKenzieon 23 Jul 2015 at 7:01 pm

    “I have a character who pops (or hops?) into my dreams. He was born with LARGE buckteeth, ears that are higher up on his head (maybe longer too) and has speed, leaping and, maybe, great senses. He’s basically a human rabbit.” Have you considered going to a sleep doctor?

  149. B. McKenzieon 23 Jul 2015 at 7:13 pm

    “Could you advise me on an origin for a speedster? I’ve got an idea in my head of a speedster named Blur, who used to be a cat burglar but then gained super speed through … something.” Any advice from somebody that doesn’t know much about the story is probably going to be super-generic. E.g. are there any super-organizations or super-scientists or another available source of superpowers in your story? If so, it may be possible to incorporate them in a way that is unique to the mood and plot of your work. He’s a burglar, so maybe he gets contracted for a job that goes horribly wrong and/or awesomely right depending on how you look at it. For example, the character has unwittingly been contracted by a villain or a major criminal to steal a chemical from a major scientist (e.g. a protagonist, a morally gray organization, or another villain). The Job Goes Horribly and/or Hilariously Wrong™ –> the character reacts in a distinctive and/or memorable way –> The Job Goes Even More Wrong -> superpowers.

  150. TTon 27 Jul 2015 at 8:50 pm

    B Mac: I’m serious.
    Also, I figured a bit more out:
    1) His mom hates him.
    2) His dad dies.
    3) His mom sends him away
    4) He’s a month from 18 (give or take) when he goes.

    And, B Mac? All my stories start out as dreams. I just decide to ‘follow’ ’em.

  151. B. McKenzieon 28 Jul 2015 at 6:07 am

    “B Mac: I’m serious.” How much of a priority is getting this published?

  152. TTon 28 Jul 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Well, thing is, I’ve quite a few stories, but ther aren’t goin’ anywhere.

  153. B. McKenzieon 28 Jul 2015 at 9:43 pm

    BM: “How much of a priority is getting this published?”
    TT: “I’ve quite a few stories, but ther aren’t goin’ anywhere.”

    I’m not sure I follow. Is your main goal to get a story published?

  154. TTon 28 Jul 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I’m tryin’, but, like I said, none of my stories seem to be goin’ anywhere.

  155. B. McKenzieon 30 Jul 2015 at 8:33 pm

    If you’re trying to get a story published, I feel that a rabbit-man, especially one named “Rabbit-Man”, is a non-starter. I feel there’s a major disconnect between the plot (which sounds like it’s meant to be taken seriously — e.g. the persecution angle) and the main character (who, depending on execution, may be very hard to take seriously). The character’s personality like it could use more character development… e.g. there’s a lot more emphasis on what he looks like than on, say, unusual or memorable decisions he makes… Lastly, as with any persecution story, I think there’s a risk that the conflict and antagonists are likely to feel one-dimensional and/or forgettable unless you are really pouring hearts and souls into the haters (NSFW – rated R for language).

    Also, you mentioned that all of your works start from a dream and don’t seem to go anywhere. If so, it may be helpful to take more conscious control over the direction of the work. Otherwise I think you’re holding yourself hostage to an extremely unreliable source of inspiration that works on its own schedule and tends to contribute ideas that probably won’t logically flow very well.

  156. TTon 30 Jul 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Well then . . . You think you can help me?

  157. B. McKenzieon 01 Aug 2015 at 6:49 pm

    “You think you can help me?” I’m probably not the right person. E.g. I don’t enjoy most stories in the X-Men/persecuted hero mold (understatement).

  158. TTon 02 Aug 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Then who?

  159. B. McKenzieon 04 Aug 2015 at 5:37 pm

    If your skin is very tough, I’d recommend writing chapters and submitting them to Critters Writing Workshop for review. However, most of the reviewers there have either been professionally published or are seriously working towards getting published, and while they tend to be very helpful, they are not generally very encouraging. (Also, to get in, you have to review works from many other people, so you would have to invest tens of hours for reviewing, which I think you’d benefit a lot from anyway).

  160. TTon 05 Aug 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Um . . . Anyone elese?

  161. B. McKenzieon 06 Aug 2015 at 11:39 am

    *crickets*

  162. B. McKenzieon 06 Aug 2015 at 6:49 pm

    You could pay a professional, but I don’t recommend it.

  163. TTon 08 Aug 2015 at 11:20 pm

    So . . . No one else can really help.

  164. B. McKenzieon 09 Aug 2015 at 10:49 am

    “So… no one else can really help.” If your definition of someone that can “really help” is an editorial professional that has a lot of free time, will share it freely, is 100% encouraging, and enjoys discussing works that haven’t been drafted yet, I don’t think a lot of people are walking through that door. There are people that can really help (e.g. the writing workshop mentioned above). If you’re not interested, then the issue is not that there aren’t people out there that can help but that you aren’t willing to put in the work needed to succeed. Agree/disagree?

  165. Asheon 27 Oct 2015 at 7:23 am

    Hi! I’m writing a superhero story and I am having an issue with the origin story. the setting is a post apocalyptic world. would it be better if they were genetically engineered, mutated, chemically mutated/enhanced or radiation. each character has a different ability but they were all changed by the same thing. any ideas?

  166. B. McKenzieon 28 Oct 2015 at 7:22 am

    If the origin story is mainly there just to explain how the characters get superpowers, then I’d recommend radiation/mutation because it would take the least space to use. If the origin story serves some more integral function (e.g. setting up a conflict with the main villain, who has killed most of the world’s population), then a more involved origin story like a genetically engineered superplague might be useful.

  167. Only Meon 03 Nov 2015 at 2:32 am

    Hi B.Mac!
    My origin story is that the superhero (his “powers” are intense training) dies within the first chapter or something, and the girl who supposed to be his love interest becomes the hero. While she is grief stricken, she sees how much her city needed the hero, but he’s dead. So she trains really intensely and she dons the costume and becomes a better hero. Then the rest of the book just focuses on her and how she juggles her new role in society along with how she copes with her husband’s death. Is that a good origin story? I’m sorry i can’t explain it well, it would be better if I could place the whole plan here so you could see it in context, but I can’t 🙁 .

  168. GRon 08 Dec 2015 at 5:39 am

    Can I ask for help here still? I am writing a superhero series and plan to have a character who comes up with a different origin story (each technically correct but with no bearing on his powers), but need more ideas. So far I have lab accident (dropped empty beaker once), bitten by radioactive insect (years before powers visiting Chernobyl), but still want more for the comedic function of the character.

  169. B. McKenzieon 10 Dec 2015 at 6:49 pm

    GR, I’d recommend making the origin story more distinctive to the character (e.g. involving a major, unusual choice on the part of the character, preferably one that most other protagonists would not have made in the same situation).

    As for humor value, I don’t think that it’s particularly important that the character’s origin be humorous. All of the very humorous superheroes I can think of (e.g. Iron Man, Batman, Ant Man, possibly Rorschach, etc) generally have pretty serious origin stories (and backstories, villains, and plots for that matter), but bring out the humor with voice and perspective. It’s possible to create comedy through things that happen to the character or the character’s actions (e.g. the flagpole scene in Captain America is funny because a character resolves a problem in an unexpected way rather than because of what he says), but I think voice is more reliable.



    So, I could see some ways to make a lab accident funny, but it’d probably be more because the characters involved are funny. Maybe the characters doing something that appears to be serious but that another character treats as sort of insane (e.g. the blackmail scene in TDK or maybe Havok’s training scenes in X-Men First Class). Don’t worry, Havok, we have FULL confidence in you.

  170. GRon 14 Dec 2015 at 2:04 am

    I tried leaving a correcting note a few days ago, but it doesn’t seem to have been picked up, so I’ll try again. The character does have a genuine, serious origin story, involving the origin of their universe and time travelling terrorists, but he keeps coming out with a different fake but highly amusing and technically correct origin story when he makes an appearance. The point is a running gag like Deadpools secret identity. On a side note, I’m using an iPad to write this, so any mistakes are due to how hard it is to move the cursor to correct mistakes.
    Anyway, this character appears, makes a dramatic origin claim, where the events technically did occur, just not in the way he makes it sound, and where the events are completely unrelated to his powers, and his team mate sighs and explains the flaw in this origin story.

  171. B. McKenzieon 14 Dec 2015 at 2:23 am

    “The character… keeps coming out with a different fake but highly amusing and technically correct origin story when he makes an appearance. Anyway, this character appears, makes a dramatic origin claim, where the events technically did occur, just not in the way he makes it sound, and where the events are completely unrelated to his powers, and his team mate sighs and explains the flaw in this origin story.” This sounds like it may distract from forward plot development. If these scenes are amusing but don’t do much to move the story forward, I’d recommend reevaluating space vs. benefit, or figuring out ways to make these fake origins somehow more plot-relevant. And preferably giving the teammates a more interesting point of interaction with this story than just being skeptical.

  172. GRon 17 Dec 2015 at 3:29 am

    The character may be recurring, but they would not be ever present. The team would be highly effective cynics. Considering how serious the main threat is planned to be, there would seem to be the need for comedy relief. There are other characters with comedy relief elements, but those do more than rely on their team to be amongst the most effective of heroes. An example line from one of the effective comedy relief; “never underestimate the martial arts knowledge of a random stranger”

  173. ChickenNoodleson 17 Dec 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Hey, B. Mckenzie. Question! I was thinking of making a setting for my story an alternate earth/world that is in a few ways similar to ours. The thing is i also wanted to incorporate a lot of real world martial arts and fighting styles but I’m not sure how I would be able to include real world martial skills into a fictional world so far removed from ours. Advice needed.

  174. Freyaon 18 Dec 2015 at 4:27 am

    Hello! In the story that I am writing, I have a system which makes it possible for anyone to get superpowers, technically. I was wondering if the system was a bit too complex to follow, and if it was, how I could make it simpler.

    -Every human being has a latent genetic code which, when activated, overtakes the whole body and hijacks a persons genetic structure to give them superpowers.

    -The gene is activated by a particularly traumatic event.

    -It’s a Superpower Russian Roulette (check TV Tropes). Different people need different levels of trauma. For some people getting lost in a theme park as a child is enough; for others you need to be trapped in a burning building with no way out, and in the most extreme cases, the only way to activate it is to almost die; the gene will activate when your body almost shuts down.

    -A person can go through multiple traumas without getting a superpower. A person may go through five and only get them on the fifth, or go through seven and never get them.

    -The likelihood of receiving powers goes down with each successive trauma, but they never drop to zero.

    -The powers typically have a link to the personality of the person or the trauma they went through.

    -Ultimately it all comes down to chance. A person may tick all the boxes and have all the odds going for them, but at the end of the day it still comes down to a roll of the dice.

    Thank you!

  175. Freyaon 18 Dec 2015 at 4:29 am

    Oh! And I forgot to add; you can’t get ‘multiple’ superpowers. Once it’s active, it’s active. That being said, people can get more than one superpower and of course Required Secondary Superpowers (again, TV Tropes) are in full effect.

  176. Halbruston 18 Dec 2015 at 10:30 am

    I think it’s fairly easy to follow Freya. Sounds kind of like when the adrenaline level reaches a certain level the switch is flipped.
    Assuming that it is not written for children, you have an opportunity for the 99 year old grandma who has never had superpowers to gain them as she is on her death bed. Probably still dying of old age, but it could be a great scene.

  177. Freyaon 18 Dec 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks, Halbrust. That’s actually quite encouraging to know. And you just gave me a really, really good scene idea!

  178. B. McKenzieon 19 Dec 2015 at 6:38 pm

    “I’m not sure how I would be able to include real world martial skills into a fictional world so far removed from ours.” I’d recommend changing the names of the martial arts disciplines (e.g. replacing “karate” with something more distinctive to your world) and maybe the explanation and/or training as well (e.g. if a Jedi character were to explain the art of swordfighting to an apprentice, it’d sound very different in spirit/tone than, say, an actual kendo teacher would).

  179. B. McKenzieon 19 Dec 2015 at 7:12 pm

    “Every human being has a latent genetic code which, when activated, overtakes the whole body and hijacks a persons genetic structure to give them superpowers.”

    By itself, this sounds like a fairly convoluted way to work in a scientific-sounding origin, especially if this unusual behavior has started fairly recently rather than through most of human history. Some potential alternatives:

    1) There’s some reason that human genetic structures are acting differently than we’d normally expect them to (e.g. world-wide cosmic or solar radiation or whatever). If you’re going for a scientific-sounding approach and/or the superpowers have began relatively recently rather than throughout most of human history, I’d recommend this.

    2) Little/no attempt at a scientific explanation. Some people exposed to trauma just develop superpowers for reasons and/or in ways that scientists are having trouble explaining.

    3) Maybe something softly mystical, like the Force in Star Wars in a universe that isn’t otherwise magical or supernatural.

  180. Vixis Shiar'Deluson 21 Dec 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I have a few different origins for different characters abilities that are not necessarily in the story, but referenced and hinted at at various times. Just wanted to see how they sound.

    Barren:
    People that were living in the Mississippi River Valley when an anti-matter bomb was detonated in Louisville, Kentucky. The new type of radiation, Alphonse Radiation, causes DNA to mutate and become scrambled much easier and faster than other forms of radiation, but does not kill the person outright. Depending on the dosage and time the person receives the dose (and receives it over), they may gain abilities, mutations, or die from over-exposure. Barren are literally barren and can not reproduce, and constantly emit low to high levels of Alphonse Radiation, depending on whether they are using their abilities or not. Ability use is also graduated, and the more force you intend to exert, the more radiation you absorb and emit. Too much can burn you out from the inside.

    Wingmakers:
    People that are, or were, on the precipice of the next stage of human evolution. These people are incredibly rare, and only started coming about recently…likely due to increases in general knowledge and technology, though spirituality also plays a role. Wingmakers are capable of channeling various energies through their bodies chakras, and have a nearly limitless number of possible abilities. However, Wingmakers can only use abilities for a limited time, and must be careful on what sustainable abilities they use. If they were to exceed a certain amount of energy determined by experience and their nature, they would burn out and die.

    Augs:
    People that are, or were, exposed to various forms of government experimentation. The most prevalent and prolific example would be the former US Governments Project Theta. Project Theta created an enhancement drug that usually gave the user enhanced speed and strength, though some subjects did have higher brain functions such as telepathy and psychokinesis activated. Though various developers have worked to reduce the addictive qualities of these drugs, Augs are still about as addicted to these as cocaine or heroin addicts are to their drugs of choice. Withdrawals are extremely dangerous, resulting in sever psychological trauma and symptoms ranging from mania to death. Augs are extremely common in current surviving global militaries as assassins, team leaders, and officers. Most governments have these drugs as being legal, but under extremely heavy regulation.

  181. Halbruston 22 Dec 2015 at 3:12 pm

    My story is of a minor superhero. In my world approximately 1 in 10,000 people are born with powers. Some become superheroes, some super villains, and some hide their powers and live normal lives.

    My main character discovered his powers when he accidentally killed a fellow high school football player. Cleared of all charges, but no longer able to pursue a football career he chose the villain path, he was captured during his first crime. He has served his time and is now trying to live the life of a superhero.

    It’s rough going. The other superheroes don’t accept him because of his criminal past. The non super humans don’t recognize him as a hero because he is unknown and unsupported by the superhero community.

    My current writing dilemma is mentioning other superheroes. I can’t mention copyrighted heroes (can I?), and I don’t want to waste time describing heroes not central to the plot. I just wrote “I bet Superguy and Ratman don’t have to repair their own costume.”

    Any advice?

  182. B. McKenzieon 22 Dec 2015 at 11:53 pm

    “My current writing dilemma is mentioning other superheroes. I can’t mention copyrighted heroes (can I?)” You COULD make a passing reference to a character you don’t own (e.g. in one of the Spider-Man movies, Aunt May says “You’re not Superman, you know”). A line like “I bet Superman doesn’t have to repair his own costume” would probably be legally fine. But creatively it doesn’t feel very exciting. Depending on context, it may come across as whiny, and personally it doesn’t strike me as very funny, and it takes something that could be cool/impressive/memorable (getting ready for superheroics) and makes it sound sort of tedious.

    I tried to write a scene based on a fairly direct reference to another series (X-Men in this case)…

    SCIENTIST: We can get there in time. We’ll take the jet.
    MEDIC: We don’t have a pilot.
    SCIENTIST: Me, obviously.
    MEDIC: You’re a biologist. How much flight experience do you have with military aircraft?
    SCIENTIST: Of course I can fly it. I built it!*
    MEDIC: That makes it more insane, not less!
    SCIENTIST: Do you have a better idea?
    MEDIC: The next time you need intensive medical care — very soon, most likely — just build yourself a scalpel. Once you’ve got the scalpel, open heart surgery is a slam dunk.

    *A direct quote from X-Men: First Class.

    While I like the concept, I think the execution is fairly poor.

  183. Nikion 11 Feb 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Okay, so I need an origin for a gravity manipulator. Any ideas?

  184. B. McKenzieon 11 Feb 2016 at 7:08 pm

    “I need an origin for a gravity manipulator. Any ideas?” I think it depends on the mood, genre, plot, and setting you’re going for, but anything that would work for telekinesis would also work for gravity manipulation (they’re functionally very similar).

    For example, starting with the most genre-neutral and ending with the most distinctively sci-fi:

    –A small portion of humans happen to be psychic (e.g. Carrie).
    –Chemical enhancement and/or accident
    –The character’s a mutant.
    –Radiation / cosmic energy
    –Powersuits
    –Genetic modification (e.g. the GE spider bite for Spider-Man).
    –Cybernetics
    –Alien anything

  185. Nikion 13 Feb 2016 at 1:48 pm

    How would cybernetics affect gravity manipulation?

  186. Nikion 13 Feb 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Which sounds better?
    Kris Heidler is the daughter of world renowned scientist Sebastian Heidler. At a very young age Kris came down with a very rare brain disease that slowly destroyed her brain. Her father, grief stricken with the loss of his wife from leukemia, replaces the decaying brain cells with some super crystalline nano tech. The crystals were made of a rare gemstone found only in meteorites that crashed into the arctic circle. As a side effect Kris gained powers of crystallokinesis.
    OR
    Kris Heidler is the genius daughter of renowned scientist Sebastian Heidler. At the age of 12 Kris made tiny crystalline nano emitters that she implanted in to her arms and wired to her nervous system. The nano emitters radiated a type of radiation that altered the structure of any crystal near Kris according to her thoughts, basically giving her crystallokinesis.

  187. B. McKenzieon 14 Feb 2016 at 3:44 am

    “How would cybernetics affect gravity manipulation?” Some phrases that come to mind: Experimental energy fields… redirecting gravitons… exerting forces between multiple objects… “in your face, Newton…” probably best utilized for stopping crime… considered unlikely to jeopardize user health or physical integrity of the planet (further field testing required).

  188. Nikion 14 Feb 2016 at 5:21 pm

    That still doesn’t explain it.

  189. B. McKenzieon 15 Feb 2016 at 12:34 am

    “That still doesn’t explain it.” Could you please clarify? How much beyond “These cybernetic implants use experimental energy fields to redirect gravitons” do you need to go? What more should be explained? Could you give any examples of fictional scientific explanations that feel like what you’re going for?

  190. Nikion 12 Mar 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Okay, Im making Graviton have implants. Its not a first. How about a guy who can summon ghosts?

  191. B. McKenzieon 13 Mar 2016 at 11:50 am

    Some thoughts here:

    1) There are 15 powers mentioned. If you have anywhere near 15 heroes/villains, I’d suggest merging and/or deleting characters — otherwise, there will probably be major problems with character development and dialogue, too many characters fighting for too little space. (Unless the characterization is remarkably good, I’d probably quickly reject over this).

    2) Would suggest rephrasing “meteorokinetic” as “weather controller.”

    3) Some of the powers sound redundant. E.g. teleportation/phasing/maybe speed and invisibility/phasing/possibly shapeshifting (if the shapeshifter’s ability is impersonating humans rather than turning into animals). In combat, I suspect the weather controller/ice/electricity/maybe sound will play out pretty similarly (different flavors of blaster/shooter). There are some ways around that (e.g. maybe one or two of these characters have some other combat role or style, e.g. ice/electricity going in a more melee/short-range direction).

    4) In general, I’d recommend evaluating capabilities, scope, and limitations before building in unusual vulnerabilities. E.g. a character that can go invisible probably isn’t all that hard to challenge in combat (even if he is undetected, how dangerous is he?), and if you were having some trouble challenging him, I think there are more intuitive power interactions there than how poison affects his superpower. You have a lot of powers here that could probably affect/reveal an invisible character (e.g. the sound manipulator might be able to hear his steps, the earth character might be able to feel the vibrations of him walking on the earth, the ghost controller and/or his ghosts might be able to detect him supernaturally, and weather/ice/electricity/sound/earth could be used for attacking a general area.

  192. Nikion 14 Mar 2016 at 6:09 am

    here’s a list of the characters off the top of my head (btw, its more of like a show than a book . . . . like JL)
    Crystal, crystal manipulator via implants
    Dia, telepath via inhuman father
    Ecoli, crazy bat boy via experimentation
    Ecolo, same as Ecoli (brother and sister)
    Elek, accident
    Frostbite, ice guy via liquid nitrogen
    Ghost, possession when he was young
    Graviton, implants
    Inertia, not sure
    Lightning, struck by lightning
    Maelstrom, born
    Phantom, inhuman father
    Pesticide, chemical experimentation
    Portal, inhuman father
    Portia, inhuman father
    Psy, inhuman father
    Psychokeni, inhuman father
    Rosethorn, chemical experimentation
    Shift, inhuman
    Skylark, born
    Sonix, born
    Spirit, accident
    Soundtrack, implants.
    Seismo, inhuman father
    Zarar, inhuman.

    Story: Protectors of the Cosmos founded by Sonix and Skylark. Attacked by Frostbite. Elek, Lightning, and Spirit intervene and save everyone. The three join. Crystal shows up later, she joins. Raid on evil scientist lair, discovery of Ecolo. She joins. Maelstrom shows up and causes a hurricane. Protectors relocate. Another raid, this time finding Rosethorn. She doesn’t join yet. Pesticide attacks. Rosethorn intervenes. She joins. Psy, Seismo, Dia and Phantom literally walk out of the 5th Dimension and just appear. They don’t interact much. Psychokeni shows up. Seismo joins her in an attack on the Protectors. Psy, Dia and Phantom join to help. Soundtrack kidnaps Sonix and holds her prisoner. Portal and Portia appear just in time to rescue her. Graviton and Inertia appear and have a huge battle, Graviton winning. Then Shift shows up and warns them Zarar is coming. Heroes and villains team up to fight the dimension jumping demon.
    Thats it so far.

  193. Nikion 14 Mar 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Actually, the plot changed a [i]lot[/i]. Here we go:
    -After defeating Soundtrack(audiokinesis), Sonix(audiokinesis) and Skylark(aerokinesis) found the Protectors.
    -Raid on Sebastian Heidler(crazy evil scientist) base in Berlin.
    -Graviton, Inertia and Crystal are freed.
    -Crystal joins Protectors.
    -Inertia attacks Protector base.
    -Graviton arrives with a friend called Mercury(superspeed).
    -Epic battle.
    -Graviton wins but Mercury is killed.
    -Graviton joins the Protectors.
    -Another raid on a Heidler base.
    -Ecoli and Ecolo freed.
    -Ecolo joins Protectors.
    -Yet another raid.
    -Pesticide(poison) and Rosethorn(botankinesis) freed.
    -Rosethorn wounded, recovers with Protectors.
    -She leaves. (Get it? Leaves?)
    -Pesticide attacks Protectors.
    -Rosethorn defeats him and disappears.
    -Elek, Lightning, and Spirit come out of hiding.
    -Frostbite attacks Moscow.
    -Before the Protectors can react, Frostbite is defeated by Elek and co.
    -Frostbite escapes and disappears.
    -Psy, Dia, Phantom and Seismo walk through a portal into our dimension.
    -Psychokeni follows behind them.
    -Psychokeni attacks the Protectors.
    -Psy, Dia and Phantom try to remain neutral; Seismo joins Psychokeni.
    -Phantom is wounded in crossfire. Psy and Dia join the Protectors.
    -Epic battle!
    -Psychokeni killed, Seismo in custody.
    -Ghost becomes known.
    -Ghost is possessed, now Poltergeist and attacks the Protectors.
    -Spirit and Phantom force Poltergeist out and Ghost is now unpossessed.
    -Ghost joins the Protectors after trapping Poltergeist in a jar.
    -Portia and Portal escape 4th Dimension into ours.
    -Poltergeist escapes and possesses Portal.
    -Fight between Portia and Portal.
    -Portal is trapped in the 13th Dimension.
    -Portia joins Protectors.
    -Ecoli attacks Ecolo.
    -Ecoli defeated, but escapes.
    -Maelstrom causes a hurricane and kidnaps Skylark.
    -Lightning follows.
    -‘Nuther epic battle.
    -Maelstrom defeated and in custody.
    -Shift arrives. Warns the Protectors about Zarar.
    -Zarar attacks.
    -Villains in custody team up with the Protectors.
    -Ecoli killed.
    -Phantom blasted into another dimension.
    -Graviton killed.
    -Elek severely wounded.
    -Frostbite saves Elek.
    -Frostbite killed.
    -Ghost killed.
    -Crystal disappears.
    -Dia trapped in some dimension.
    -Psy defeated.
    -Ecolo wounded.
    -Lightning sent to another dimension.
    -Skylark and Sonix trapped.
    -Rosethorn appears.
    -Rosethorn defeated.
    -Rosethorn disappears.
    -Inertia goes nuts (Zarar does that to people)
    -Maelstrom killed.
    -Pesticide disappears.
    -Seismo killed.
    -Soundtrack permanently wounded.
    -Shift reappears and beats up Zarar.
    -Portia blasts him to the 1st Dimension (black whole)
    -Portal returns.
    -Poltergeist was destroyed in the dimension jumping.
    -Portal joins Protectors and helps Portia and Shift find and rescue all the survivors and bring them back.

  194. B. McKenzieon 14 Mar 2016 at 3:37 pm

    “here’s a list of the [24] characters off the top of my head (btw, its more of like a show than a book . . . . like JL)” One major difference with Justice League is that most of JL’s viewers are already familiar with most of the main characters of JL (especially in the first few seasons). Introducing 24 new characters, whether a show or a book or any other medium, is going to be an extremely tall order. You’re sort of in Game of Thrones territory there, which is an extraordinary effort by an extraordinary author. Speaking of GOT, George R.R. Martin says:

    Given the realities of today’s market in science fiction and fantasy, I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.

    I’d say Everest sounds about right here. If this will be your first published work, I’d recommend a much more manageable project (e.g. 3-5 protagonists and 1-2 primary antagonists). Unless you’re roughly in the same ballpark as George R. R. Martin (i.e. a track record of pulling off incredibly challenging projects successfully), I don’t see a submission with 24+ characters surviving the first round of cuts in any medium.

    Also, your plot synopsis has something like four base raids, three epic battles, and 5 other fights listed. These action/combat scenes are probably going to take a LOT of time/space. Generally, regardless of medium, I’d recommend spending less than 1/3 of your total space on action/combat — otherwise, I think the pacing will probably get really tedious (e.g. check out the final fight in Man of Steel). As a point of reference, most superhero novels have something like 2-4 fights taking up 10-20% of the work and I think 20-30% is pretty typical for action movies.

  195. Nikion 15 Mar 2016 at 5:51 am

    here’s an example of my writing:
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxmb25kbHlmYXJhbWlyfGd4OmQ2NjQ0Y2I1ODQxNzQzMA
    That’s Lily the Thief.
    This is Modern Angels:
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxmb25kbHlmYXJhbWlyfGd4OmE2Y2Q0NGFjZGExZmE5NQ

    Also, I am trying to come up with an alternate title for Lily the Thief.
    My point here is I often write with several characters in a book. 10-15 majors average. Just so you know.

  196. B. McKenzieon 15 Mar 2016 at 4:04 pm

    “My point here is I often write with several characters in a book. 10-15 majors average.” Have you gotten any of these books professionally published? (If not, having previous unpublished manuscripts with 10+ characters would suggest that something isn’t coming together). Your synopsis of the superhero novel/show suggests to me that there are either major problems with character development or the synopsis really missed what makes the characters interesting*. Either way, I think the huge cast size is probably a major factor.

    *After reading 1000+ words about the project, I don’t think I can identify any unusual character decisions nor any personality-driven plot developments. Would strongly recommend sharpening description of the plot and/or reworking the plot to better showcase and develop the characters. (When you’re getting ready to submit, I’d suggest reevaluating what you’re trying to convey about the characters and the plot, in particular putting more focus on how characters’ decisions shape the plot rather than who wins/loses a particular fight or who joins the team when).

  197. Nikion 16 Mar 2016 at 3:29 am

    @B. Mac
    Thanks a lot for your help. I will work on it.

  198. Nikion 17 Mar 2016 at 12:55 pm

    So, I took your advice, and Protectors is way more focused on character decisions. What I want to know, though, is……wel a friend of mine told me today that when writing a superhero novel you write the big battle first and work the plot backwards in order to build it up. I wonder what you’ll say, B Mac. Also, for Protectors, Im writing a prologue that shows where everyone is sometime before the story begins (3 months?) and not sure if that was a good idea. Some other points are; since like a good third of the characters die in the final battle, would it be okay if my ghost summoner and omnikinetic ressirected the fallen heroes in an epilogue? Does “demi-5th” count as a madd up word, because some of my characters are half human and half other dimensional (20 or so Dimensions) and some of them are just from a different dimension? Last; should I put a guide of characters, who are the family members, and what their powers are and the different dimensions in the beginning of the book?

  199. B. McKenzieon 17 Mar 2016 at 5:57 pm

    “A friend of mine told me today that when writing a superhero novel you write the big battle first and work the plot backwards in order to build it up.” Well, in most superhero novels, the characters will be spending 80%+ of their time/space outside of combat. As long as the characters are very interesting out of combat and the plot flows fairly well*, I don’t think it’d matter how the author approaches the writing process. Personally, I feel it’d easier/more intuitive to write character-first, thinking that a conflict between interesting characters is likely to be memorable even if the fighting itself isn’t (e.g. at one extreme, Ozymandias is a brilliantly executed villain even though Watchmen didn’t give him any multi-page fight scenes AFAIR).

    *E.g. it’s fairly easy to understand what’s happening, the plot and characters develop over time, and the pacing rarely/never gets so fast that it’s hard to follow or so slow that you wouldn’t want to.

    “Would it be okay if my ghost summoner and omnikinetic ressirected the fallen heroes in an epilogue?” I strongly recommend otherwise. It’d undermine the threat of death moving forward, and personally I’m uneasy about undoing major plot events except where integral to the plot, e.g. a MAJOR effort or a vitally important plot device (e.g. the Holy Grail in Last Crusade and time-travel in any work about time travel). If the central plot of the book were (say) a journey to resurrect the friends, that might work, but I wouldn’t suggest a “Good thing I can resurrect people!” solution here. I think that would tend to make deaths rather less interesting moving forward. If you MUST resurrect the characters, I’d recommend it coming at a TERRIBLE price. E.g. one character sacrificing himself to have another resurrected. I think a low-cost resurrection would cheapen the death arc.

    “Does demi-5th” count as a made up word?” Yes – I don’t think readers could guess what it means without some context or some sort of explanation.

    “Last; should I put a guide of characters, who are the family members, and what their powers are and the different dimensions in the beginning of the book?” No. Please introduce the characters naturally. If readers can’t remember the characters, the story has far bigger problems. May indicate unmemorable characterization and/or an overwhelmingly large cast. I don’t think a character list would resolve the issue. If the most important characteristics your readers need to remember about your characters are who’s related to whom and who has which superpower, I’d recommend checking out works by major and/or classic authors and looking at what they do with characterization. Or ask yourself what you find most memorable about your favorite characters from other authors. It’s probably not who they’re related to or even which capabilities they have or which species their parents are. Would suggest focusing character development on personality, voice, unusual/memorable choices, unusual perceptions and perspectives, etc.

    EXCEPTION: If this were like the 3rd book in a series and we were 1500+ pages in, some sort of cue for readers that missed a previous book might be useful. But even then there’d probably be more artful solutions (e.g. building context into early chapters). Also, the characters being defined by superpowers would be a red flag of characterization problems.

  200. Nikion 18 Mar 2016 at 3:32 am

    Thank you.

  201. young grasshopperon 08 Jul 2016 at 8:03 am

    How about inheriting superpowers from your super-soldier grandparent who was genetically engineered by a symbiotic implant that chemically enhances your muscles and senses?

  202. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2016 at 9:05 am

    YG, I think it would be a passive introduction to the character. Would suggest working in a distinctive character choice instead for character/plot development.

  203. young grasshopperon 08 Jul 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I plan on introducing my character as already being a super hero of sorts (He’s more like a bounty hunter who takes down criminals non-lethally for the rewards, the glory, and the adrenaline rush). The reason that he decided to do this is because he got banned from sports leagues and needed something to satisfy his need for excitement (despite being incredibly rash, he has just enough common sense to know not to be on the wrong side of the law). The plot-driving point that I want the comic to open up on would be a troubling visit where another character warns him that there are incredibly powerful enemies conspiring against him. I want to avoid the cliche of “I just got superpowers and someone I love just died, I guess that makes me a superhero!”

  204. B. Macon 11 Jul 2016 at 6:52 pm

    iPad here, please forgive mistyping. The sport angle sounds more promising than what his grandfather did. Maybe he paid for shady scientific help of some sort, lost his athletic career and now needs to pay the (presumably shady) scientists back. The revelation that someone is conspiring against him could be handled on one of his cases but my concern here is that focusing on the conspiracy early may limit the character’s development. Would suggest showing at least one event in his life (e.g. a major, distinctive choice on a case) before getting into uncharted territory for him.

  205. Young Grasshopperon 12 Jul 2016 at 12:37 pm

    So you’re saying I should introduce my character in a more proactive way? Makes sense. I still want his powers to be something he was born with, but didn’t develop fully at first. For a distinctive choice, how about turning down an offer from a crazy trans-humanist cult that thinks he holds the key to their next stage of evolution? They would see him as a rebellious young god, which would lead to conflicts with the genetically-enhanced “gods” of the cult. The only problem that I see here is that this choice might clash with his character, as he does have a fairly large ego (he even live streams some of his busts).

  206. Andrewon 18 Jul 2016 at 1:37 am

    One thing I’m thinking about. The origin of a team. Like Issue #1. Would the better option be to have the team already established before #1 or make it that they come together like New 52’s Justice League?

  207. B. McKenzieon 20 Jul 2016 at 2:03 am

    “In issue #1, would the better option be to have the team already established before #1 or make it that they come together like New 52’s Justice League?”

    I see four main options here, three of which I think are viable in almost all cases.

    1) The team is already established before the series starts.
    2) Early in the series, the group comes together.
    3) Early in the series, a character(s) joins an already established group.
    4) The characters are former members of a (usually disbanded) team. (This is much rarer but let me know if something like this would interest you).

    #1 will probably save some space that can be used to develop the central plot more quickly, whereas #2 and #3 will probably create opportunities to introduce characters individually more quickly. For a first work, I believe that #2 and #3 are slightly more promising because they give you a better chance to avoid a sea of bland characters, which is probably worth the extra space it’ll take for individual introductions. However, if you do #1 and are confident that the characters are individually memorable (e.g. because they’re getting great lines in group scenes and/or are introducing characters gradually with memorable scenes rather than throwing us into a generic scene where 4+ superheroes are acting in very generic/archetypical ways), then that’d be great too.

    Some general principles here:
    A: Regardless of which team setup you’re going with, I’d recommend introducing characters gradually. I’d generally suggest against having more than 3 characters in an opening scene unless you’re really confident that the characters are getting chances to be memorable/distinctive.
    B: If you go with option #1, please don’t start with a generic superhero job. Make it something distinctive to the team and preferably something that gives your teammates a chance to show what they’re like. (E.g. check out how the main characters develop themselves by responding distinctively to a suicidal person in Kick-Ass, Incredibles, Dirty Harry, and America Against the Squirrel Uprising. (Okay, I might have made up that last one).

  208. Alexon 22 Jul 2016 at 2:02 am

    I think I might have a real head scratcher, so here goes nothing…

    For a long time, I tried to come up with new hero characters, but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had already been done years ago. For instance, I kinda wanted to do a crossdressing crimefighter, but then Obie Scott Wade beat me to the punch three years ago with the lesser known character Shezow.

    Now, I am left scrambling to make my character different. The best I could come up with was for my character to be older (about mid 20’s) and to rely on intelligence as opposed to Wade’s character drawing his power, and costume, from a magic ring.

    So basically, I want my character, temporarily named Ivan Arroyo (Hero name TBD) to be a vigilante without any real superpowers.

    Also, I really liked that idea of courtroom sketch artist as a day job far better than the cartoonist idea I originally mentioned.

    Now comes the hard part: the backstory. I am having trouble deciding if having I should have my character come from affluence or from an abusive, inner city, broken home. And I am indecisive on what kind of living situation would generate the most rooting interest. Plus, there is the difficulty on what should motivate him to take the law into his own hands. Not to mention the question of whether he should be angry or cool headed when dispensing vigilante justice.

  209. B. McKenzieon 22 Jul 2016 at 5:26 am

    “For a long time, I tried to come up with new hero characters, but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had already been done years ago. For instance, I kinda wanted to do a crossdressing crimefighter, but then Obie Scott Wade beat me to the punch three years ago with the lesser known character Shezow.”

    *winces* I think a potential similarity to a minor/cancelled cartoon show would create no originality problems. If this is a first work, I’d recommend something less experimental (e.g. something with more successful comparable works).

    “I tried to come up with new hero characters, but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had already been done years ago.” I’d recommend focusing on execution over concepts. E.g. there are 100+ superscientists out there besides Tony Stark, but his personality development and charm/humor are very strong and innovative. Taking archetypes (e.g. “brilliant scientist” in this case) and adding unexpected personality traits and problems (e.g. he’s extremely outgoing, brazenly overconfident, and curious enough to cattle prod Bruce Banner to see if he has the Hulk under control) is probably the most reliably effective solution I’ve found there.

    Backstory: I’ve seen both of these two options (as well as many others) be very effective. I think the best option would probably hinge on what type of mood and/or character development you’re going for. I don’t think that either one will generate more “rooting interest” or is inherently more likable. It matters a lot more what the character does with the people/things around him.

  210. Alexon 22 Jul 2016 at 5:56 pm

    The crossdressing crimefighter concept is far from a first work, in fact I have had several other ideas in mind, like for instance, a concept for a female antihero with the working title “Bubblegum Punk.” Again, like the first concept, no superpowers. So far I don’t have any ideas for personality, motivation or backstory for her just yet, but I imagine Noriko (temporary given name for Bubblegum Punk) with short, shaggy pink hair, leather jacket, teal tee, pink skirt, fishnets, fingerless gloves and boots.

    Getting back to the other guy, the mood I want to set would be reminiscent of Batman the Animated Series, except with a little more wiggle room for comic relief whenever necessary. One thing I could think of as part of his backstory was for him to make his first costume from garments bought from a thrift shop using money saved up from his courtroom artist salary. Perhaps a scary encounter with a delusional defendant demanding royalties for the use of his likness in those courtroom sketches?

    As for going with something less experimental for rookie artists/writers, I learned a few years ago a great deal about how much the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drew from Daredevil, Ronin and New Mutants. Even though a lot of the inevitable TMNT knockoffs fizzled out by ’88 (though the Black Belt Hamsters might still be ongoing), I almost attempted one myself in my sketchbooks just a couple years back. They were to be called the Outlaw Pirate Honey Badgers, with names like Brian, Kevin, AJ and Nick. What tripped me up was my uncertainty on how to make charming rogues out of supposedly apathetic and reckless critters.

  211. B. McKenzieon 23 Jul 2016 at 12:04 am

    Alex, if you’ve been professionally published before, then disregard the note on first works. “First work” is just shorthand for “would be your first work professionally published.”

    “What tripped me up was my uncertainty on how to make charming rogues out of supposedly apathetic and reckless critters.” Humor, wit, bold decisions, a “never apologize / never look back” mentality, an unusual mix of personality traits, maybe a distinctive voice/style, etc. Here’s a sample scene from The Taxman Must Die where I went for character development along those lines.



    Also, thinking more structurally, rather than have a TMNT-style team with 4 exotic members that spend most of their time interacting together (or with other mutants), I think it’s easier to work with exotic characters that spend most of their time interacting with relatively ordinary characters, or at least with exotic characters that have less in common with them.

  212. Andrewon 26 Jul 2016 at 6:26 am

    I did have a couple of plans. First one was that the team has been established but only for a few months and with just a few members, the other is that they aren’t a team but are all working on the same case, thus bringing them together, defeating one big bad then seeing the potential of a team. But the plan afterwards is to introduce more members as time goes on. While introducing the main villain of the volume and different protagonists taking the main spotlight while shining light on the others.

  213. B. McKenzieon 26 Jul 2016 at 11:07 am

    “First one was that the team has been established but only for a few months and with just a few members, the other is that they aren’t a team but are all working on the same case, thus bringing them together, defeating one big bad then seeing the potential of a team.” No concerns here. I suspect that the second option would probably make it easier to develop characters effectively, which I think is probably the writing factor most commonly separating good-but-rejected submissions from publishable submissions*.

    “But the plan afterwards is to introduce more members as time goes on. While introducing the main villain of the volume and different protagonists taking the main spotlight while shining light on the others.” Might create challenges, depending on how many members are introduced, and how quickly. Would suggest going very gradually on expanding cast unless/until you’ve been published a few times.

    *My tiers of publishability:
    Tier 1: Authors that followed all submission instructions and have a basic grasp of written English.
    Tier 2: Readers can literally understand what is happening.
    Tier 3: Characters have any consistent personality development besides “ordinary/average.”
    Tier 4: Pacing is acceptable (e.g. few wasted pages) and the central plot makes sense (e.g. major decisions are adequately motivated and are consistent with how characters have been developed).
    Tier 5: Characters regularly get opportunities to do/say memorable things and/or act in ways that most other characters in their genre would not.

  214. Hridey Narulaon 07 Dec 2016 at 6:19 am

    Hey evry1
    So my story has multiple POV’s .Main characters : Salt , James Rhea , Transcendent and a supererhero team called the illuminati .
    The story is post apocalyptic . Zombies terrified earth but as of yet they have been eradicated .
    Illuminati has taken over the world . They’re lead by Dexter Luther a former private investigator .Suddenly a new “god” awakens dubbed Transcendent .so here are the origin stories
    Salt : A standard teenager who was stuck in a traffic jam with her sister she’s his only family
    Trans appears and destroys a nearby building illuminati appear to stop him in the battle salt is seriouslyinjured and his sis dies .When he wakes in hospital and comes to know of his sis death his brain triggers some em field resulting in him having 100%control over neurons. Granting him total memory recall superhuman creativity and charisma and mind reading however when he reads mind the victims know their mind is being read. He decides to destroy illum and trans . He is kind of an anti hero who wont hesitate even in killing .
    James Rhea: A brilliant near genius student studying in a special school point omega . he’s also against trans and illum. Mid way through story he losses his memory and every 1 expects a lot from him
    He’s part of a secret faction called revolution who meet once in a couple of months and are hell bent on destroying trans
    Trans : Was a normal adult with telepathic abilities , after seeing bad in humanity he unknowingly developed a second persona which was dormant
    After seeing too much bad in humanity that persona emerged his mind is blank in second persona which wanted to become god . it developed superhuman abilities like advanced telekinesis possession consciousness transfer and other psychic powers
    The story’s a journey of salt , of a man taking over the whole world singlehandedly

  215. Khaplison 09 May 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Hi,

    I am currently creating a mutant superhero, and I kind of need help coming up with an origin for them:

    Most mutants are either born with their mutations (Magneto, Wolverine) or someone crapped with their DNA (Deadpool). I don’t really want to use these, because I want my mutant to be original and unique. If you have any ideas on a good mutant origin besides these two, please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Khaplis

  216. B. McKenzieon 09 May 2017 at 8:36 pm

    “I want my mutant to be original and unique.” Doubtful that this would make a big difference there. An origin distinctive to the story/plot/setting might help but character choices, personality traits, and voice are much more important. I think Magneto, Wolverine and especially Deadpool are excellent examples of that. E.g. Deadpool and Wolverine have somewhat similar powers and a somewhat similar origin story but are radically different from each other in AFAIK every way that actually makes characters feel different.

    “Most mutants are either born with their mutations or someone crapped with their DNA. I don’t really want to use these, because I want my mutant to be original and unique.” Secondarily, I think this is not the best rationale to make a writing decision. Do something because it works better in your story or because you’ve found a better execution for it. (E.g. most recently Guardians of the Galaxy 2 used a family setup uncannily similar to Superman’s, but executed it so much better that it makes GOTG look really well-written rather than a ripoff. Actually, pretty much the entire movie was an exercise in “what if we lived in a universe where Superman and/or Green Lantern were generally interesting?”

  217. Khaplison 10 May 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Brian,

    “Doubtful that this would make a big difference there.” I’m not exactly sure what you’re getting at. I think what you’re saying is that I can make their origin different, but it won’t really make them different from the other mutants.

    “Do something because it works better in your story or because you’ve found a better execution for it.” I’ve been trying to find a better execution, but my mind is kind of blank atm, so I might have to stick with the first one.

    (P.S. I didn’t see GOTG2. Was it good? Also, what’s “AFAIK?”)

    -Khaplis

  218. Star Gazeron 10 May 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Allow me to ask, how do you want to make a mutant without either giving him a mutation by birth or by genetical engineering?

    I agree with B.Mac here. Rather focus on the character himself then on his background. The background is important but not as much as having a character.
    You have to consider that you’re writting a story. And a story is always focused around what is happining and not around prior or future events.

    Give him an original ethic or personality and a decent plot fitting background story and everything is fine.

    Star Gazer over and out!

  219. Khaplison 10 May 2017 at 3:13 pm

    SG,

    As I said in my other comment in the naming article, thank you, and I will always help you with any questions YOU have, as well. I will try to focus more on the powers and traits more instead of the origins and all that, like you said.

    -Khaplis 🙂

  220. Anonymouson 22 May 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Hello ,

  221. Star Gazeron 24 May 2017 at 9:30 pm

    What do you mean?

  222. All3y3on 09 Sep 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I was thinking of a talented thief who stole a magical cup that grants eternal youth and not knowing what it really was, filled it with water and took it with an experimental drug that lowers body temperature. He then gained unrivaled regenerative capabilities, control of his age, freezing, cold weather manipulation and other cold related abilities. After, he is caught by the IPASTOH, International Protection Against Supernatural Threats On Humanity. He reluctantly goes to work for them and on his first mission his family is killed due to people looking for the cup and he vowes a sacred oath to get avenge his family’s death.
    I’m looking for any comments and tips for this story.

  223. B. McKenzieon 12 Sep 2017 at 12:53 am

    “I was thinking of a talented thief who stole a magical cup that grants eternal youth and not knowing what it really was, filled it with water and took it with an experimental drug…” I think the execution here could be smoother. First, I’m guessing that using just the magic cup or just the experimental drug would probably be more concise (and genre-consistent), but if you felt that having both was critical, I’d recommend thinking about smoother ways to tie them together than “using what turns out to be a magic cup as a chaser for a miracle medicine.”

    “After, he is caught by the IPASTOH, International Protection Against Supernatural Threats On Humanity.” I’d suggest removing the acronym, significantly shortening it (like 3-4 letters), or having a 1-2 word phrase the group could easily be referred to (e.g. SHIELD or the Avengers or Justice League or whatever, acronym optional). (Secondarily, I think there’s a tonal clash between the bureaucratic “International Protection” and “Supernatural”. In my own case, I thought “Office of Special Investigations” would sound a lot more natural for a government agency handling extraordinary cases than “Office of Supernatural Investigations” would).

    “He reluctantly goes to work for them and on his first mission his family is killed due to people looking for the cup and he vows a sacred oath to avenge his family’s death.” 1) His family hasn’t been involved in the story so far… this may seem sort of random? 2) He’s reluctantly been kidnapped/drafted onto this project, and it gets his family killed. I would hope that this creates major problems between him and the group that’s kidnapped/drafted him?

  224. All3y3on 30 Sep 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the tips.

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