Apr 02 2013

Kirby’s Review Forum

Published by at 4:57 pm under Review Forums

Please see the comments below. Thanks!

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Kirby’s Review Forum”

  1. Kirbyon 05 Apr 2013 at 5:24 am

    Aww, Mr. Mac, you do care! Thanks for the review forum! I guess I had better explain a bit about my story to get started.

    Becky is a fourteen year old girl living in Chicago that has a problem with being too curious and nosy for her own good. That’s not a good trait to have in a city currently overrun by several supervillains. The state government and the CPD are doing their best, but for some strange reason, there aren’t any superheroes around to help fight the supervillains.

    Early in the story, Becky’s school is attacked by one of the supervillains. When she gets away from her evacuating class to try and get a better look at them, she gets badly injured by them and almost killed before the police arrive just in time. After being treated at the hospital (and yelled at by her parents), Becky is sent home.

    That night, Becky wakes up to discover that she’s no longer sleeping in her bed, but is somehow above it. Sometime in between the attack at the school and that moment, she gained the ability to become an untouchable breeze. The thing that’s bugging her is that she doesn’t know when it happened, and she’s also wondering why the school got attacked in the first place. Fortunately, she comes up with an idea: become a superhero using her new power so that she can join the police and solve the mysteries!

    Silly girl. That’s going to be a lot harder than it sounds.

  2. B. McKenzieon 05 Apr 2013 at 9:47 pm

    “But for some strange reason, there aren’t any superheroes around to help fight the supervillains.” One possible reason there aren’t any Chicagoan superheroes: You’d probably get sued by a villain and/or his family and/or the city as soon as things got interesting, and I think there’s a pervasive resignation here that the local government is and always will be deeply dirty and/or alarmingly intrusive. This is a city which actually managed to turn PARKING METERS into a billion-dollar scandal complete with pay-to-play accusations, oil sheikhs, and eventually federal indictments. Say what you will about New York and/or its extremely unlikable level of self-regard and laughably bad pizza, but their police force would probably be vastly easier to work with and/or more realistic about the likelihood of hundreds of supervillains destroying the city if the superheroes are pushed out. In contrast, Chicago might be more flippant because the threat doesn’t appear grave enough that superheroes are an absolute must for the city, and the city might rather deal with several supervillains itself rather than let in a superhero, because supervillains almost always congregate in areas with superheroes.



    “The thing that’s bugging her is that she doesn’t know when it happened, and she’s also wondering why the school got attacked in the first place.” If you haven’t already, I’d recommend giving readers some idea that the details of when/how she developed her superpowers could be relevant to the story somehow (so that this consideration isn’t just an idle musing but something which could somehow affect the plot and/or characters).



    In terms of developing the character, I like that she decides to get a better look at the villains. That’s a pretty unusual choice (which generally makes for better development than a choice that every protagonist would make in the same situation). Is she supposed to come across as unusually curious and/or daring, or are you showing something else about her?

  3. Kirbyon 06 Apr 2013 at 8:10 am

    Yeah, most of the police believe that they can handle any supervillain problems themselves, mainly because none of the villains actually have super powers, just lots and lots of resources or ridiculous skills at getting away. Becky’s inexperience and using property damage to her advantage (she can’t hurt anyone while she’s a wisp of air, so she breaks windows for shards of glass that she can whip up and hurl at criminals) doesn’t make her much better than the villains in the eyes of the city officials.

    The source of Becky’s powers does have importance to the plot. She’s screened by the officials to get an idea of where her abilities might have come from, and discover that they’re caused by an experimental nanotechnology system that was developed by a local scientist and is currently part of Becky’s nervous system. The problem is that the scientist has been dead for years. Becky is sure that one of the villains must have gotten a hold of the system, and that she got it sometime during the attack on the school. Thing is, it’s not known which villain attacked. And she doesn’t want to rest until she’s questioned all of them and figured out which one gave her these powers and why.

    I do want to show Becky as being curious and driven to discover the truth above all else. Even when she recognizes that doing something would be a stupid idea, she may still do it anyway if there’s a chance that she could solve a mystery or answer a question. She hates to say “I don’t know”, and that leads to both successes and even more problems through the course of the story.

  4. B. McKenzieon 06 Apr 2013 at 8:53 pm

    “Becky’s inexperience and using property damage to her advantage (she can’t hurt anyone while she’s a wisp of air, so she breaks windows for shards of glass that she can whip up and hurl at criminals)…” If your target audience is is the age of range of something like 12-15 year olds with an emphasis on ladies, which I would guess from the main character being a 14 year old girl, it might be worth considering toning the violence down from rated-R (hurling shards of glass at people) to maybe PG-13 (e.g. hurling small blunt objects to knock people out).

    “[Becky] doesn’t want to rest until she’s questioned all of them [the local villains] and figured out which one gave her these powers and why.” Why does she expect she’ll get an honest answer this way? Combined with her curiosity, it might be more dramatic if her search for the truth goes a bit beyond this. That said, criminals do frequently talk amongst themselves, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if enough criminals out there knew enough pieces of the puzzle that she could piece together a lot of it from others.

  5. Kirbyon 22 Apr 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Ooh, good idea about the level of violence. I completely didn’t think about that. Becky isn’t very violent and never means to kill or gravely injure, and as the story progresses, she becomes better at being stealthy and avoiding conflict altogether with her power.

    She also doesn’t think out her plans very well, which is why she’s asking all the villains first, because they have been rumored to have connections to the scientist that built the nanotech system. My plan was for her to get small pieces of the puzzle from criminals, the news, and police gossip until she can put them all together.

    Another part of the story was going to be how Becky’s new ability and position as an unofficial superhero affects her relationship with her family and friends, but I’m not quite sure how to go about that one yet.

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