Archive for April 19th, 2012

Apr 19 2012

Writer’s Review of Bob Moore: No Hero

Published by under Writer's Reviews

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Bob Moore: No Hero is a superhero novella about a private investigator looking into a baffling series of (possibly) missing superheroes.  Here’s what writers can learn from it and why you might want to check it out.

 

What Worked:

The characterization is unusually strong, particularly for the main protagonist. His development arc was unexpected and fresh. The book has hardly any romance (besides two brief conversations between the main character and his ex-wife), but the relationship definitely added something to the main plot which would have been otherwise missing. As for the main antagonist, he’s not one-dimensionally evil, but he’s definitely a problem that the protagonist needs to deal with.  If you’re struggling with how to write a not-conventionally-evil antagonist without making the stakes less urgent for the protagonists, No Hero  is a good example.

 

The ending sequence was eerily effective. The author (Tom Andry) made an unusual decision to end the book with a conversation between the protagonist and his ex-wife rather than, say, a conversation with his assistant or anybody else that’s actually present in his life.  In retrospect, I think it really effectively showed how the character had evolved and made his previous decisions in the climax both more interesting and morally questionable.

 

-I would strongly recommend this book to anybody who wants to make a disagreeable protagonist more likable.  Notably, the book doesn’t gloss over his disagreeable actions and other characters (mainly his ex-wife) call him out for it in reasonable ways and he responds in a mostly reasonable way.  I think that helps readers stay on board even if they aren’t taken with the character’s occasionally hard-boiled approach.

 

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