Oct 17 2012

YellowJuju’s Review Forum

Published by at 6:09 pm under Review Forums

Please see the comments below. Thanks.

72 responses so far

72 Responses to “YellowJuju’s Review Forum”

  1. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Here’s the prologue. Keep in mind that this is a very rough draft. Haha

    Prologue:
    During the middle of the night, a figure jumped from rooftop to rooftop with great speed. The figure was running towards a warehouse on the pier. When he got closer to his destination, he started running out of buildings to run on. Once he had cleared the last building, he leaped off. He landed on the ground and did a front flip, onto his feet. All without breaking his speed. The figure was Dyna-Man, Lanthan City’s resident superhero. Dyna-Man was renowned for doing the jobs the police couldn’t and keeping evil off the streets.
    He was going to the warehouse to stop the biggest drug shipment of the year, or so his informant told him. There was multi-million dollars worth of drugs being shipped out on a yacht to an unknown location. All Dyna-Man had to do was stop the shipment and find out where it was going to be shipped.
    When he got close to the warehouse, he saw a man out front with a gun, guarding the only entrance. Dyna-Man waited for the guard to look the other way before he made his run. He ran to a side of the building and snuck along the wall until he was at the corner where the guard was standing. Dyna-Man quickly grabbed onto a pressure point on the man’s neck. The man slumped to the ground, sound asleep. Dyna-Man dragged him away from the light and searched him for a key to the door. He found one. Quietly, he put the key in the lock, and went inside.
    “We’ve been expecting you, Dyna-Man.” said a deep, gravelly voice.
    Dyna-Man was hit over the head and everything went black.
    ***
    When Dyna-Man woke up, he was tied to a chair with rope with a single light shining on him. His head throbbed. He quickly remembered what happened and he struggled to free himself from the chair.
    “No need for that.” said a voice in the darkness.
    “Who are you?” Dyna-Man yelled in the direction the voice came from.
    “You of all people should know that people wear masks for a reason, Mister Dorane.” the voice said.
    “How do you know my name?”
    “I’ve been trying to find you for a while Dorane,” it said, not answering the question. “Turns out all I had to do was fake a drug shipment to get you to come to me.”
    The voice had gotten closer. Dyna-Man could start to see the shape of a person.
    “Why do you want me?”
    “Because without you…” the figure came into the light. “…there will be no one to stop me.”
    The voice belonged to a man with tinted green skin and bald head. For clothes, he was wearing an old overcoat, open to reveal his chest. On his chest, a small metallic box was attached just below his neck. Wires came out of the box and attached to his limbs and head. After looking at the odd man, Dyna-Man realized in his hand was a gun, pointed straight at his forehead.
    “No one to stop what, exactly?” Dyna-Man questioned.
    “The reign of Vincent Symalgin.” said the man Dyna-Man now knew as Symalgin
    Symalgin’s robotic finger pulled the trigger. The gun fired. Dyna-Man, Lanthan City’s protector, was dead.

  2. Elenaon 17 Oct 2012 at 6:43 pm

    yellowjuju:

    I think your story reads pretty well, I was definitely intrigued, but I wonder whether you should start with this as your prologue. It seems kind of misleading to introduce Dyna-man as the first point-of-view character; as the reader, I was just started to get interested in knowing about Dyna-man and reading the story from his perspective, thinking he is going to be the main character, but then all of a sudden he’s dead.

    I think it may be more effective to start out with the inventor’s POV, since he is the main character. The news of Dyna-man’s death can turn into more of a plot point for the inventor, serving as the starting point for his problems and as a motivation for him becoming the next superhero. The details can be revealed later, maybe as the scientist searches for the truth and finds out about this supervillain guy.

  3. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I get what you’re saying! I was tempted to say that Dyna-Man wasn’t the main character when I posted it but I didn’t :/
    Thanks for the advice! I’m gonna do that!

  4. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I will change it that so it’s chapter 2

  5. Rhymeson 17 Oct 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I love the idea of letting the reader see the original protector get killed, it just adds an “every thing’s gonna be crazy and dangerous” vibe to it. Maybe make the first chapter about how your main character is agoraphobic, but he gets comfort from Dyna-Man being around to maybe make the city safe one day, so when we see him get killed it adds even more emotional impact and leaves a void in place of the hope that the city could be safe.

  6. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I don’t want him to be agoraphobic right at the start. I’m gonna slowly develop it. He starts being agoraphobic around chapter 6, after the death of Dyna-Man.

  7. Nayanon 17 Oct 2012 at 8:28 pm

    @YellowJuju.

    I find your plot very interesting and unique. But I think you should make the main character agoraphobic right from the first chapter. This will give urgency to the plot. If you make him agoraphobic around chapter 6, he will lack urgent goals at the start.

    By the way, for a rough draft your writing is very good.

  8. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks! 🙂

  9. Johnnyon 17 Oct 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Hey, Yelowjuju!
    I think this prologue is well written.
    Maybe you could, later on, tell more about Dyna-Man? It seemed you talked about how he was the hero, and then he was dead. There wasn’t much detail or description of his history or what his powers/strengths were.
    I think the beginning of the story should tell about the main character, then later on mention Dyna-Man in a newspaper or something like that, then maybe go into detail of who this superhero is.
    These are just some ideas, you do not need to use them.

  10. Wilon 18 Oct 2012 at 10:07 am

    Yellowjuju,

    I’m going to play Devi’s advocate for a bit. Perhaps I am not understanding why people are saying this is well written, but there are some issues with the writing that I want to make sure you are aware of.

    “When he got closer to his destination, he started running out of buildings to run on.”

    This is not well written. Now I’m not trying to be a Debbie downer, I know you said that this is a rough draft which is perfectly fine. However, I just wanted to make sure you weren’t getting the impression that the prologue was perfect as is. Repeating running and run on is sloppy, you don’t even need to mention that he’s “running out of buildings.” All you need to do is transition him into making the jump.

    Also, I feel that you need to establish a bit more background with Dyna-man. As it is right now, it’s just an action scene with a random hero that no one knows or cares about. Though it is a prologue, I think you need to establish more of the world and more of why Dyna-man is so important to the city. After all, the prologue is to establish the setting and the world, it is to give the reader details as to why things are the way they are when the story begins. However, if you lack any interesting details to make the prologue a fun read, then why read it?

    What has Dyna-man done, who is he? Just like your main character, Dyna-man needs motivation and conflict. Otherwise he ends up like those heroes in the movie “The Incredibles” where they show you flashbacks of heroes getting killed in a variety of different ways.

    Though it was comical, there was nothing special about those heroes or anything memorable, it was just funny. However, you’re writing a story where this hero’s death causes the city to change and take a turn for a worse. Where his death makes a man afraid to go out into the real world.

    If you start your book with a character that’s just going to get killed in the very beginning without us knowing what he was all about, people aren’t going to care. If they don’t care they’re not going to want to read and suddenly your prologue become the end of your book.

    Again, I understand it’s a rough but I think the comments you were getting needed a little bit more reality and less pandering. You have a solid concept that could lead to a very interesting story, I hope that my comments only help to further improve your book.

    -Wil

  11. B. McKenzieon 18 Oct 2012 at 11:39 am

    I think the characters could get more personality. For example, the conversation between Dyna-Man and Symalgin could apply to pretty much any hero and supervillain. I’d recommend giving the character more room to be themselves–their distinguishing characteristics should come across more fully. For example, Symalgin’s main motivation is his own pain, right? Perhaps you could work the element of pain into the conversation? (E.g. perhaps Symalgin is visibly in pain and DM has some sort of reaction to that most other protagonists wouldn’t have).

    –There were some avenues which I thought could have been explored more fully. For example, I get the impression that Symalgin and Dyna-Man don’t know each other. Doesn’t Dyna-Man think it’s sort of odd that this complete stranger he’s apparently never even heard of knows his secret identity and was able to get close enough to DM to trap and kill him?

    –After you’ve finished the first draft of the manuscript and are ready to rewrite, I would recommend inserting more style/uniqueness throughout the prologue. For example, we don’t see very much about the setting. I’d recommend using the setting to establish more of a mood. For example, if the main reason you’re killing DM is to establish that the story is gritty and dangerous, I think the state of the docks could really help you there. I’d also recommend giving the characters more actions and lines which are unique to them rather than to other heroes or villains. For example, take the first five lines…
    “During the middle of the night, a figure jumped from rooftop to rooftop with great speed. The figure was running towards a warehouse on the pier. When he got closer to his destination, he started running out of buildings to run on. Once he had cleared the last building, he leaped off. He landed on the ground and did a front flip, onto his feet.” When you’re ready to rewrite, I would recommend incorporating more which helps set the character apart from, say, Batman or Spider-Man.



    I think the scene could probably do more to establish something about DM which contrasts with his eventual predecessor.


    Wil: “This is not well written. Now I’m not trying to be a Debbie downer, I know you said that this is a rough draft which is perfectly fine. However, I just wanted to make sure you weren’t getting the impression that the prologue was perfect as is.” Hmm, Wil, I appreciate your concern, but I’m not sure this is the best way to motivate someone to improve. I would recommend checking out this article.

  12. Wilon 18 Oct 2012 at 12:52 pm

    My apologies, will try to be more precise and less de-motivating in the future.

  13. B. McKenzieon 18 Oct 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks.

  14. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @ Wil
    Your comment doesn’t help much. What I got from it was, and I’m paraphrasing of course, “Your writing sucks, no offense.” I never thought my writing was perfect but its good to hear people give compliments every once in a while.

    @ B. Mac
    You’re like Batmans utility belt, it seems like you have an article for every situation. Haha
    Anyways, I get what you’re saying. I’ll add that stuff later!

  15. Dr. Vo Spaderon 18 Oct 2012 at 3:31 pm

    @YellowJuju,
    …Had a random thought, though it may not work for your story. What do you think of the name St. Symalgin?

  16. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @ Dr. Vo Spader
    It has a nice ring to it, but I don’t think Symalgin is a very saintly person.

  17. Dr. Vo Spaderon 18 Oct 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Ha-ha! Makes sense. By the way, really liked the “wear masks for a reason” piece.

  18. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Haha thanks! 🙂

  19. B. McKenzieon 18 Oct 2012 at 5:13 pm

    What I thought was most effective about the prologue was that it was it was very easy to understand what was going on and I think that killing off a superhero will raise the stakes for the main character and increase the suspense when the main character is in danger. In 99% of cases, getting captured by the villain has no long-term consequences for a superhero. I find it refreshing that you didn’t bend over backwards to shield the character from his mistakes (e.g. giving the villain a “But before I kill you…” conversation long enough to give the character a chance to escape).

  20. Seanon 18 Oct 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hey I love the idea and can’t wait for the finished product. I am enjoying the plot. Especially since Dina Man gets killed off, and now Geargon is running around as a villain can’t wait for more ;D

  21. Seanon 18 Oct 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Oh oops Smyalgin not Geargon

  22. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Hey B. Mac, could you delete the comment where I told the summary of the story? I’m nervous someone will steal it. Thanks.

  23. Wilon 18 Oct 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Yellow, again my apologies. I was not trying to come off as an uppity know-it-all since I am far from it.

    I did say, “You have a solid concept that could lead to a very interesting story, I hope that my comments only help to further improve your book.”

    I will be more careful with my wording next time.

  24. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 9:13 pm

    No hard feelings!
    You have a forum? I would like to read your stuff!

  25. B. McKenzieon 18 Oct 2012 at 9:19 pm

    “Hey B. Mac, could you delete the comment where I told the summary of the story?” Got it.

  26. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks! 😀

  27. Dragondevilon 18 Oct 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Nice work YellowJuju!
    When I was reading the prologue…I thought that dyna-Man was the main character and I expected him to escape the place somehow!
    But mostly I thought Vincent was a Secret Officer(A la Nick Fury) who wanted to get hold of Dyna-man~ (My Imagination! :P)

    Nice work Indeed…^_^

  28. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Haha thanks 🙂
    Symalgin is most definitely not a Nick Fury person. Haha

  29. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Could I keep this prologue so that it is still the prologue and just add more stuff to explain more about Dyna-Man and Lanthan City? Or would that be too much “tell” and not enough ” show” in the prologue?

  30. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I’ve begun to revise the prologue. I’ve added some of the things people have suggested, mainly on the Symalgin/Dyna-Man conversation. I’m not done yet. One part I’m having trouble with is the setting. Do you have an article in that belt of yours that could help me out with that?

    Prologue
    During the middle of the night, a figure jumped from rooftop to rooftop with great speed. The figure was running towards a warehouse on the pier. Once he had cleared the last building, he leaped off. He landed on the ground and did a front flip, onto his feet. All without breaking his speed. The figure was Dyna-Man, Lanthan City’s resident superhero. He was renowned for putting away criminals and protecting the innocent. When the police has a problem, they call Dyna-Man.
    He was going to the warehouse to stop the biggest drug shipment of the year, or so his informant told him. There was multi-million dollars worth of drugs being shipped out on a yacht to an unknown location. All Dyna-Man had to do was stop the shipment and find out where it was going to be shipped.
    When he got close to the warehouse, he saw a man out front with a gun, guarding the only entrance. Dyna-Man waited for the guard to look the other way before he made his run. He ran to a side of the building and snuck along the wall until he was at the corner where the guard was standing. Dyna-Man quickly grabbed onto a pressure point on the man’s neck. The man slumped to the ground, sound asleep. Dyna-Man dragged him away from the light and searched him for a key to the door. He found one. Quietly, he put the key in the lock, and went inside.
    “We’ve been expecting you, Dyna-Man.” said a deep, gravelly voice.
    Dyna-Man was hit over the head and everything went black.
    ***
    When Dyna-Man woke up, he was tied to a chair with rope with a single light shining on him. His head throbbed. He quickly remembered what happened and he struggled to free himself from the chair.
    “No need for that.” said a voice in the darkness.
    “Who are you?” Dyna-Man yelled in the direction the voice came from.
    “You of all people should know that people wear masks for a reason, Mister Dorane.” the voice said.
    “How do you know my name?”
    “I’ve had people investigating you for a long time, Dorane. I was Trying to figure out how I could find you,” it said, not answering the question. “turns out all I had to do was fake a drug shipment to get you to find me.”
    The voice had gotten closer. Dyna-Man could start to see the shape of a person.
    “Why do you want me?”
    “Because without you…” the figure came into the light. “…there will be no one in this miserable city to stop it.”
    The voice belonged to a man with tinted green skin and bald head. For clothes, he was wearing an old overcoat, open to reveal his chest. On his chest, a small metallic box was attached just below his neck. Wires came out of the box and attached to his limbs and head. The man was hunched over slightly and wincing with every movement. After looking at the odd man, Dyna-Man realized in his hand was a gun, pointed straight at his forehead.
    “No one to stop what, exactly?” Dyna-Man questioned.
    “The reign of Vincent Symalgin.” said the man Dyna-Man now knew as Symalgin.
    “I can see you are in pain, Mr. Symalgin. If you just let me go, I can get you into a facility in which they can take care of you.”
    “I don’t want my pain to go away. My pain drives me to do things, I thought impossible!” Symgalin said. “Instead, I will spread my pain, so that society will finally understand my constant torment.”
    “You don’t need to do that.”
    “Oh, but I do.”
    Symalgin’s robotic finger pulled the trigger. The gun fired. Dyna-Man, Lanthan City’s protector, was dead.

  31. Nayanon 19 Oct 2012 at 12:31 am

    @YellowJuju

    Its certainly better than the previous one as you have added more conversation between Dyna-Man and Vincent Symalgin.

    But some thoughts

    1. From the conversation, it does not feel like that Dyna-
    Man is a strong superhero. For example – ”If you just let me go, I can get you into a facility in which they can take care of you.” I think this not a very strong dialogue for a superhero. It seems like he is requesting the villain. I know he is not the main protagonist. But still you should make the character strong as he has been the protector of the city.

    2. Dyna-man is captured by a very simple trap. Any normal criminal could have set up such traps. I think you should use a complex trap which will show us some of Symalgin’s abilities.

    But these are only my opinions though. I may be wrong.

  32. B. McKenzieon 19 Oct 2012 at 12:32 am

    “Do you have an article on settings that could help me?” It definitely isn’t my forte, but I have a brief one here. I’d also recommend reading Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Bitter Seeds, and Wild Cards if you have not already done so.

  33. Wilon 19 Oct 2012 at 7:59 am

    Weird, I had a reply typed up for you but it didn’t go through.

    Well here’s the abridged version on tips for writing the setting:

    1.) Cheat and use google street view to get a look at some locations for inspiration. This can be good at setting up the basic foundation for your scene.

    2.) Bring out the neat little details that give the location character. For example: no one will remember an office with grey walls and cubicles. They will remember if there’s a postcard pinned to a wall saying, “Had a great time in Hawaii, hope your wife doesn’t find out.”

    3.) The state of your location can set the tone and atmosphere of your book or foreshadow what may happen. “The docks were abandoned and in a decrepit state, the only things living here were the homeless people strewn about like pigeons on a statue.”

    So check in with google street view on various areas you feel match the location you’re envisioning and then embellish it with your imagination.

    Hopefully that will help!

  34. YellowJujuon 19 Oct 2012 at 8:38 am

    When Dyna-Man is still alive, the city won’t be in a decrepit state with hobos everywhere. That might happen later though!

  35. Bridieon 20 Oct 2012 at 11:01 am

    Hi YellowJuju,

    I really like the beginning to this story(the latest re-write you posted), it’s a nice mix of present events and a pinch of background, and it’s easy to understand. Symalgin seems an interesting character indeed. When it comes to setting and atmosphere I suggest to bring in:

    – weather (Moonlight? Fog from the ocean coming in?)

    – smell (does the man DM steal the key from smell of anything particular? After shave? Tobacco? Does the warehouse smell?)

    – other senses (how does the floor feel beneath his feet? Dirty or clean? What does he see in the distant when he jumps on the roof tops? Just a clear starry sky? The lights of the center of the city? Is the air cold or warm?)

    Just sprinkle a little here, a little there, and (I can’t stress this enough) not too much. Some well-chosen brief details of the characters experience really puts the reader in the place you want them to be. You already keep the text easy to digest(so important for those first pages) but you can insert 2-5 brief details that explain the surroundings of your character based on what he senses. Sometimes they can act as a little breathing space amongst the ongoing action.

    It can also be easier to do atmosphere later on. I don’t know how far you’ve gotten with your story, but if it’s a long story it can be good just to write the “skeleton” of the story down first, all the way to the end, and then flesh it out later when you’re certain about plotting and characters and everything. Often during writing you take stuff out and put other stuff in, so all that hard re-writing work can sometimes go to “waste”. Although, if you wanna re-write early, do it. Writing is what makes us better and is seldom a waste. 🙂

    I really liked your story. It is the kind of stuff I like to read, so I’m looking forward to seeing it in the bookstore in the future. Thank you for sharing, and keep up the good work. 🙂

  36. YellowJujuon 20 Oct 2012 at 12:37 pm

    @ Bridie
    Thanks for the tips and the compliments! 😀

  37. B. McKenzieon 20 Oct 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Wil, I think those tips on setting are very sharp.

  38. edgukatoron 22 Oct 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Juju,

    sorry to get to this late, but my work year started (teaching) so I have been pretty hectic of late, so I haven’t been checking the nation so regularly.

    I really liked the setup of having the your main bad guy kill off your main good guy in the opening scene. I reminded me a lot of the movie Mystery Men (not so much it felt like plagiarism, mind you) where Captain Amazing basically engineers his own death. (If you haven’t seen it, I hugely recommend it). You set up an immediate crisis. The most obvious choice you have to make now is to decide how much into the future you start chapter one.

    There’s a level of “4 colour” comics style going on in what you’re doing. The original description of Symalgin and the naming of you characters reminds me of the Silver Age comics, and in particular I’m thinking times when the enemies would include characters like an ape carrying around a brain in a steel canister, or a race of mole-men living underground. If you’re going for that, I’d say embrace it and be fearless. One of my favourite modern comic writers is Kurt Busiek, the guy behind Astro City, which is filled with these retro characters. Check it out and see what you think.

    The other thing I’d say is keep writing. Get to the next scene, and then the next. The tone and style will develop the further you push the story. Eventually you’ll be able to make decisions by getting into the head of your characters. Tone will become easier because you’ll know the impact you’re going for. The city will start to populate itself, and the building you mentioned in chapter one will suddenly have its unique architecture. You can revise later, take the notes, move forward. There are few writers who work on pure inspiration, and nobody who can’t be improved by editing.

  39. YellowJujuon 22 Oct 2012 at 9:09 pm

    After you said you’re a teacher, I realized, you sound a lot like a teacher! Haha! I probably could’ve guessed that by your username though.
    Thanks for the advice! Mystery Men is the movie with the stinky guy and others, right?

  40. YellowJujuon 26 Oct 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Won’t be writing for a while. Finger got slammed in a door. Almost lost my finger tip. Unfortunately, the nail could not be saved.

  41. Dr. Vo Spaderon 26 Oct 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Sorry, man. That sucks. Hope it gets better soon.

  42. YellowJujuon 26 Oct 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks
    Can’t really use my hand for a month so I guess I’ll brainstorm for that time :/

  43. YellowJujuon 29 Oct 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve written the conversation between Robert and Chris (his friend) about Roberts phobia. I’m not very proud of it but I would like some advice. I have no idea how agoraphobic people talk about their condition, so if any agoraphobic people happen to stumble across my forum, help would be much appreciated. Advice from anyone is also appreciated.

    Robert opened his apartment door so Chris, laden with shopping bags, could come in.
    “Okay Stugs, what’s your deal?” Chris asked. “Why can’t you go outside?”
    “I don’t want to go outside where I could get hurt again.”
    “Stugs, you’re not gonna get hurt again.”
    “You can’t guarantee that.” Robert said, looking down at the newspaper on his desk. “It’s an even larger chance now that Dyna-Man is dead.”
    “Robert, people get along with life without being mugged. You were just unlucky.”
    “I don’t want to take the chance.” Robert said. “I’ll just never leave my apartment and I’ll be safe.”
    “You could just buy yourself a thing of pepper spray or a stun gun!” Chris protested.
    “Chris, I’d rather stay inside, where I know I’ll be safe.” Robert said sternly.
    “Okay. Okay. I won’t argue with you if this is what you want to do. Anyway, I got you the stuff.” Chris said, gesturing to the shopping bags, which were now on the floor.
    “Thanks, for the stuff and the blueprints.” Robert said as he bent down and started going through the bags.
    “No problem, I think I got all the stuff you asked for.”
    “If you didn’t, I can just re-use old parts from Cyborum.”
    “Okay. If you need anything, call me or the grocery store can deliver.” Chris suggested. “Alright, well I gotta get going. I’m gonna go to the Dyna-Man festival.”
    “Alright, bye.” Robert said, opening the door for Chris.
    “You sure you don’t want to come with?”
    “Bring me back a t-shirt.”
    “You’re missing out.” Chris said as he walked down the apartment stairs.
    Robert closed the door and locked it up.
    “Yeah, missing out on being hurt again.” Robert said to himself.

    Again, I’m not very proud of this and I know it’s not well written. I’m looking at you Wil 😉

  44. YellowJujuon 29 Oct 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Oh, Cyborum is what they call the robot.

  45. Nayanon 29 Oct 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @YellowJuju
    Its good. But I am confused with ‘Dyna-man festival’. It seems like people are celebrating his death.

  46. YellowJujuon 30 Oct 2012 at 7:25 am

    @ Nayan
    It’s more like they’re celebrating him in general.

  47. Nayanon 30 Oct 2012 at 7:48 am

    Alright. But I guess he has died recenty (as news of his death is on newspaper). Then according to me, people should not celebrate him at this moment. Rather they should gather to mourn his death (sorry for the lack of better words. My english sucks.).

  48. YellowJujuon 30 Oct 2012 at 9:31 am

    I’ll change the word festival to memorial!

  49. edgukatoron 05 Nov 2012 at 9:24 pm

    What you could do with this is play up the physical symptoms. One thing that comes across is that the character is rational with their fear… they are trying to explain it… whereas phobias are irrational.

    Have a look at the signs and symptoms of a panic attack:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_disorder

    This all depends on how aware your character is that they have a problem. Does Robert know he has a phobia? Has he been diagnosed already? How often does he have the physical symptoms and does he know what causes it?

  50. YellowJujuon 05 Nov 2012 at 10:02 pm

    So I shouldn’t have Robert explain it?

  51. Nayanon 05 Nov 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @YellowJuju
    You can have Robert explaining his phobia if he has been phobic for a long time. When a peron has been suffering from a phobia, he becomes aware of it. On the other hand, if a person suddenly develops a phobia, he will panic. You can have Robert’s friend advising him to see a psychiatrist. May be Robert is seeing a psychiatrist but in vain.

  52. edgukatoron 06 Nov 2012 at 12:32 am

    Hey YellowJuju.

    Feel free to ignore any of this below. I’m looking at this as if I was writing it, and asking the questions I would ask to get a feel for my characters. I find it helps me to ask questions about what my characters do and say to better understand their motivations, and this can also help to tighten up my characters when I edit.

    Having said that, this is my process, and no two writers use the same process. Try things out and see how they work.

    – How well do Robert and Chris know each other? The opening question indicates that they might not know each other well – especially if its the first thing you ask when you open the door, but when he ends “bring me back a t-shirt” it suggests they have a closer friendship.

    – What’s the goal of this scene? If its simply to inform us that Robert is agoraphobic, its fine, but it lacks conflict. What is Chris’ role in this scene? What does he want?

    I think even though Robert is the protagonist, Chris could serve an interesting role here. Is he determined to get Robert out the door and try to break him out of his phobia? Does he know that Robert’s not going to leave but he loves getting him upset? Is he curious, and wants to know the limits of Robert’s phobia?

    – Having more context about Robert would help this as well. He’s agoraphobic, but how does he react to this? He’s self-aware of his phobia, and he argues in favour of what he is feeling – how does this play out in the rest of his life? Does he believe his own arguments?

    I can’t remember the term for it, but there is an psychological phenomenon where otherwise extremely clear thinking people believe the craziest ideas, and it becomes harder to break because they have convinced themselves rationally that it is true. Has Robert convinced himself that everything he says will happen when he walks outside?

  53. Nayanon 06 Nov 2012 at 1:31 am

    @YellowJuju
    Actually your plot deals with a very complex thing. Human psychology. It’s very hard to understand. You have to take into account both conscious and subconscious mind of Robert. I think you should study about phobias and behaviour of phobic persons after finishing the first draft. Then you can make your readers feel the state of Robert’s mind.

  54. YellowJujuon 17 Nov 2012 at 10:00 am

    I have a random question that just popped into my head. If I was to write the prologue in first person with Dynaman as the narrator (I’m not going to do this, just a random question) would I have to switch to third person to describe his death?

  55. B. McKenzieon 17 Nov 2012 at 11:18 am

    If you were telling the scene in the first-person, I’d recommend ending the scene with the death of the narrator. If you wanted the scene to continue past the death of Dynaman, then I’d recommend being consistent with third-person narration (or perhaps doing a limited third-person narration centered on Dynaman’s perspective and then rotating to the villain’s perspective for the rest of the scene).

  56. YellowJujuon 26 Nov 2012 at 11:22 pm

    So I have put more thought into Symalgin’s plan. He crashes Dyna-Man’s memorial and infects the people there with his disease. This will start a “contained plague” of the city. As the disease is highly contagious if not handled properly, the clean people will fight to keep the diseased people from infecting them as well, this will cause the city to tear itself apart. Is this a good idea or has it been used? I’m also gonna make the signs of the diease show up after a day or so, so there will be the risk of giving it to loved ones unknowingly. Oh, and the disease causes excrutiating pain and eventual death.

  57. YellowJujuon 09 Dec 2012 at 10:08 pm

    My draft has reached 7000 words! I know, it’s not much but I feel accomplished! The only problem is I feel the story has gone to far in that space. But then again, it’s very detail deprived. I’m not asking anything with this, just sharing! 🙂

  58. B. McKenzieon 09 Dec 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Congratulations!

  59. YellowJujuon 18 Dec 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I’ve decided to add a minor villain called the Hypnotist. He has a pocket watch that when swung, produces a vapor that makes people do what he tells them for a short time. The Hypnotist aids Symalgin in his taking over of the city by hypnotizing the CEO of Falkner Artillery (Chris’ dad) and providing Symalgin with his robot soldiers. I’m also glad because the Hypnotist is my outlet to put a crazy character into the mix. I haven’t developed him much but I am excited about this character!

    My only worry is that my hero will seem too overpowered because both my villains use weapons that wouldn’t affect a robot (blood filled syringes and mind controlling gas).

    Thoughts?

  60. YellowJujuon 23 Dec 2012 at 12:07 am

    The other day a friend of mine read my draft and said that somehow Chris’ dad is involved with Symalgin. I liked the idea more than Symalgin just stealing robots but I felt it was too similar to Spiderman (best friends dad is villain and also owner of weapons company). This is the reason I felt I should add the Hypnotist. He would hyptonize Chris’ dad and get him to give Symalgin the robots. Would this work or is it still too similar to SM?

  61. YellowJujuon 01 Jan 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Can someone help me on the above comments?

  62. Superguy99on 01 Jan 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Thats a good idea… maybe his dad was threatened (with the safety of his family)

  63. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2013 at 1:55 pm

    If his main opponent is a robot, a hacker might make a more apt adversary than a hypnotist. The hacker could also explain how the villains gain access to Falkner Artillery’s robots (e.g. by stealing the designs or stealing enough money and/or causing enough disruption at the company so that the villains could buy out the company, or reprogramming a battalion of robots intended for military use).


    “I’m also glad because the Hypnotist is my outlet to put a crazy character into the mix.” If your editor ever asks you what the Hypnotist contributes to the story, I would recommend giving a different reason than that you want a crazy character in the story (e.g. he contributes something essential to the main plot, he helps develop major characters, his craziness allows you to do X and Y that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, etc).

  64. YellowJujuon 02 Jan 2013 at 12:06 am

    So in my mind, I thought I had created the last name Falkner. But I recently learned that William Faulkner was a famous author. It must be a sign. 🙂

  65. B. McKenzieon 02 Jan 2013 at 6:28 am

    “But I recently learned that William Faulkner was a famous author.” He’s a pretty big deal! 🙂

  66. YellowJujuon 02 Jan 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’ve decided to try out what people were saying above and make Robert agoraphobic at the start. So I wrote up chapter 1 last night with Robert agoraphobic. After chapter 1, I took and improved version of the prologue and made it chapter 2. So here’s chapter 1:

    Chapter 1
    Two mailmen were in the lobby of the Lanthan City Apartment Complex putting mail in people’s mailboxes.
    “Put that package in C-3.” said Frank, the elderly mail man.
    George, the new recruit in the mail delivery business, hastily picked up the package Frank referred to and put it in apartment C-3’s mail box. He closed the mailbox door, but the box protruded out just enough to stop the door from closing.
    “It won’t fit.” George stated.
    Frank pushed George out of the way. “You have to really shove it in there, boy.” he said, shoving the box against the back wall of the mailbox and slightly bending it. He slammed the door shut.
    “Only some letters left, for B-4.” George said, taking some letters from his mailbag. He put them in the corresponding mailbox.
    “Oh, no, those don’t go in there,” Frank told him, “the man doesn’t leave his apartment. We have to bring these up to him.” He began walking towards the stairs.
    Confused, George followed. When they had gotten up to the B level and found B-4, Frank stopped him.
    “Slide it under the door.”
    George did. “Why do you suppose he’s always in there?” he questioned.
    “I haven’t the slightest idea.”
    The pair of mailmen began walking towards the stairs.
    “What do you do if B-4 gets a package?” George asked.
    “You put it by the door and walk away. Eventually the freak will poke his head out and grab it. It’s probably the only exposure to the outside world he ever gets.”
    Inside apartment B-4, Robert Stuggers picked up the scattered envelopes off the floor. He examined them, checking their contents. Bills. He threw them on the growing pile on his dresser.
    Robert grabbed his cereal bowl and sat back down on the windowsill and watched out the window. He often did that. He liked to see the world, even though he couldn’t be a part of it anymore.
    There was a knock on his door.
    “Who is it?” Robert yelled through the door.
    “It’s Chris. Let me in, the coffee is burning my hands!”
    Robert put down his cereal bowl and went to his desk. He grabbed a contraption similar to car keys. He pressed a button and the electronic lock on his door disengaged. He opened the door.
    Chris Faulkner was leaning against the wall, his hands in his pockets.
    “Where’s the coffee?” Robert questioned.
    “There isn’t any. Made it up so you’d hurry about letting me in.” Chris said walking into the apartment.
    Chris was Robert’s friend since second grade, and the only of his friends that bothered to visit him in his confinement.
    “I was looking forward to some coffee.” Robert said, locking the door again.
    Chris glanced down the hallway and into Robert’s “workshop”. A humanoid robot was leaning against the wall, an opened torso revealing protruding wires and bolts.
    “I see you’ve been working on your robot again,” Chris noticed. “What’s wrong with it now?”
    Robert sighed and said, “Same problem as always. I can’t get the console’s commands to go through to it.”
    Chris walked into the room and examined the torso of the robot. He found the problem and reached into the torso, he pulled out a small satellite dish.
    “Your problem is that this is a piece of junk.” he said holding it up.
    “I know, but it’s all I have to work with.”
    “I could probably get my dad to help you with getting a new one, you know.”
    “Those things cost a fortune. A fortune, that I clearly don’t have.” Robert said gesturing to his apartment.
    Chris’ dad was the owner of Faulkner Artillery, a company which specialized in making AI soldiers and other means of warfare.
    “Speaking of which,” Chris began, eying the pile of bills, “you gonna get a job anytime soon? They have jobs that you can do over phone or computer.”
    “Jobs like that require an in person interview. I might go outside once the city starts to clean itself up.”
    “With Dyna-Man on the case, that might come sooner than later.”
    Dyna-Man was a masked vigilante that had recently made an appearance in Lanthan City. There had been a bank robbery, ten armed robbers, twenty six hostages. Dyna-Man snuck into the bank, and used his bare hands to silently subdue the robbers one by one. He dragged the robbers to the police waiting outside, and then he was gone. Ever since that day, Dyna-Man was involved in the stopping of many criminal activities. He was going to clean up Lanthan City.
    “Yeah, I believe Dyna-Man is my only hope for going outside again. The police can’t get anything done without him.” Robert said, watching out his window.
    Chris realized that Robert probably wanted to be left alone. “You hungry? I can go get take out.” Chris asked.
    “Burgers, no mayo.” Robert said, not taking his eyes off the window.
    “Ok, I’ll be back in a little bit.” Chris said, unlocking the door. He threw the key to Robert and left. Robert locked the door.
    As Robert longingly watched Chris’ car drive away he thought, “Chris, you don’t know how lucky you are.”

  67. Superguy99on 02 Jan 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Dude, that’s pretty good. Nice Chapter end too

  68. YellowJujuon 04 Feb 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Hi SN! It’s been a while since I’ve been on and I was just wondering if anyone else could offer advice for the above post?

  69. B. McKenzieon 05 Feb 2013 at 12:35 am

    “Two mailmen were in the lobby of the Lanthan City Apartment Complex putting mail in people’s mailboxes. “Put that mailbox in C-3,” said Frank, the elderly mailman.” I think the opening could be more gripping—I’d recommend checking out this article.

    I’d like the stakes to be higher and/or the scene to be more urgent. For example, we have mailmen leaving mail? It might help to establish right away that this isn’t a typical mail-run (e.g. a package labeled something like DO NOT DROP, SHAKE OR INHALE – FATAL HAZARD or a courier delivering a nondescript package escorted by a few plainclothes guards with rifles. If this were just an 100% ordinary mail-run, I’d recommend either racing to something that makes it interesting (e.g. an 100% normal mailman knocking on the door and quickly encountering something/someone interesting) or starting somewhere else.

    It might help to shift the focus of this scene to the main character rather than the nondescript mailmen.

    Rather than having the elderly mailman exposit to the younger mailman, it might help if we had just one mailman and he implied through his language that he was used to this interaction with Robert.

    –Right now, I feel like the main contribution the mailmen make is telling us Robert is agoraphobic. I think your first 250 words could do more. One alternate possibility: cut the mailmen altogether and lead with Robert refusing his friend at the door (because he’s too nervous about opening the door—he might make up some excuse/rationale, but his friend would probably have some idea of what’s going on by this point). A few minutes later, he turns around and his friend is in the room with him (he climbed up the fire escape—what are friends for?) This will help establish that Robert’s agoraphobia is causing him to make unusual decisions (like turning away a friend at his door) and will also help establish the friend a bit (he forces himself inside in a cheerful and resourceful way even though he was treated rather curtly).

    “What’s wrong with it now?” I love the word “now” here. It implies very much about Robert’s past work with robotics that makes him more interesting than he would be otherwise.

    “A fortune that I clearly don’t have…” Chris’ dad was the owner of Faulkner Artillery, a company which specialized in making AI soldiers and other means of warfare.” I think it’d help to have Chris subtly work his resources into the conversation in a way which implied his dad’s position. For example, “A fortune I clearly don’t have…” “I’m sure my dad’s research teams have something lying around. What are you looking for?” followed by a curt refusal from Robert (e.g. an allusion to his inability to pay).

    The transition to Dyna-Man could be smoother and/or higher-stakes. E.g. Chris is worried that Robert is unduly isolated from the world. Robert tries to defend himself by mentioning that he watches the news, like that [NOTABLE INCIDENT INVOLVING DYNA-MAN]. If thematically appropriate, he might try to use the news to make it sound reasonable that he’s cutting himself off. Chris could point out that the actual city is generally very different in ways X and Y appropriate to the story’s themes and subsequent character development. Also, if Robert is really smart, maybe he adds some perspective/insight into the Dyna-Man raid that most people wouldn’t come up with? (E.g. one of the investigators in The Taxman Must Dies speculates that a superhero posing as one person is actually a team of 2+ people in matching uniforms because there’d be discrepancies in the timeline of a raid otherwise).

    One potential hazard with this introductory scene (and perhaps the main character in general) is that he comes across as sort of helpless and less interesting than Chris here. Unlike Chris, who’s actually doing things, Robert is longingly watching Chris doing really basic things like driving for food and wishing he could do that. Your readers may wonder “Why is this story about Robert rather than Chris?” and I think that the key to answering that satisfactorily is to make Robert come across as somehow extraordinary right away. Now, he DOESN’T come across as extraordinary in robotics, which is an interesting choice in its own regard, so hopefully he’s extraordinary in some other way (e.g. ridiculously funny/charming in his interactions with Chris or extraordinarily driven in some regard or ridiculously good at something else or whatever).

  70. YellowJujuon 30 Aug 2013 at 10:43 pm

    It’s been forever since I’ve been on here, or that I’ve worked on the above story. I didn’t really feel like my plot was going anywhere and I found my MC too boring so I got frustrated and quit. I haven’t stopped writing though, I write scenes from stories that don’t exist and hope they have potential. haha

    So I’m gonna share a scene I recently wrote, and would appreciate some critique. (It’s not superhero related, at this point anyway, but advice on my writing would be great).

  71. YellowJujuon 30 Aug 2013 at 10:44 pm

    The water churned violently. It flowed in circles, threatening to drag anything it could into the dark. I fought to stay above the water. I fought to keep it from filling my lungs, but the force holding me down was much stronger than I was. My lungs hurt, I couldn’t hold much longer. The whirlpool would consume me.
    The force suddenly lifted and I shot my head out of the water. I gasped for breath before being pushed back under the water. Above me, I could hear the muffled sounds of thunder. I felt a hand clench the back of my head and I was lifted out of the maelstrom.
    I gasped and looked up at the cracked tile wall in front of me. It was covered in illegible writing and crude drawings. The thunder I had heard was actually the laughter of Derrick Killingsworth as he repeatedly shoved my head into a school toilet.*
    “Next time, don’t let me find you talking to my girl.” Derrick ordered into my face. His warm breath smelled like old hot dog. I gagged, be it because of all the toilet water in my stomach or his putrid odor. Probably both.
    I had only bumped into Derrick’s girlfriend, Julia, in the hallway and said that I was sorry. Derrick being the complete idiot that he is, took that as me trying to steal his girl.
    Footsteps coming toward the bathroom were Derrick’s exit cue.
    “Don’t speak a word of this to anyone or you’ll regret it,” he breathed into my face. Then he left.

    *Okay, so it wasn’t a real whirlpool, but I’m pretty sure I saw a canoe floating around down there.
    I got up off my knees and closed the stall door behind me. I grabbed a handful of paper towels from the dispenser and attempted to dry my hair as the janitor walked in with his cart.
    “You here to teach me karate?” I asked him.
    He looked at me, confused.
    “I’m here to clean the bathroom,” he said, holding up a cleaning rag.
    I finished drying my hair and left the bathroom so I could get to third period without being too late. As I walked out, I swear I heard the janitor mumbling.
    “Mop on, mop off. Mop on, mop off.”

  72. YellowJujuon 30 Aug 2013 at 10:45 pm

    It’s really short, but it’s just a scene I’ve thrown around in my head for a while.

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