Archive for the 'WARNING: Underpaid Author at Work– Bitching Likely' Category

Aug 17 2010

At first glance, this superhero “research” looks shamelessly incompetent

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.

In a ScienceDaily article:

Watching superheroes beat up villains may not be the best image for boys to see if society wants to promote kinder, less stereotypical male behaviors, according to psychologists…

“There is a big difference in the movie superhero of today and the comic book superhero of yesterday,” said psychologist Sharon Lamb, PhD, distinguished professor of mental health at University of Massachusetts-Boston. “Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity. When not in superhero costume, these men, like Ironman, exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns.”

The comic book heroes of the past did fight criminals, she said, “but these were heroes boys could look up to and learn from because outside of their costumes, they were real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities,” she said.

My initial impression is that this is so luridly off-base I don’t know where to begin.

Continue Reading »

17 responses so far

Jul 01 2010

Who’s your favorite author? (Also, let’s wildly stereotype you!)

If you’re into ridiculously petty literary squabbles, you might get a kick out of this amusing list of reader stereotypes based on favorite authors.  Just don’t take it seriously. I thought these two were funny. 

James Patterson fans: Men who bomb the LSAT.

Stephenie Meyer fans: “People who type like this: OMG. Mah fAvvv <3 <3.”  [But they’ll still complain when you misspell Stephenie!]

Here are some of my own. 

Aldous Huxley fans: People that have FAR too much fun to survive to 40. From his masterpiece’s Wikipedia entry: “…They turn on each other, in a frenzy of beating and chanting that devolves into a mass orgy of [drugs] and sex.”  Make that 35. 

Tom Clancy fans: Guys that like guns but have never actually carried one. 

James Joyce fans: Guys that like James Joyce books but have never actually read one. 

Franz Kafka fans: I think they’re the people that run airports.  It’s the only possible explanation. 

H.G. Wells fans: If they ever had a time machine, their first act would be erasing George Lucas from history.  (Could you wait until Return of the Jedi? Thanks). 

Charles Dickens fans: Readers that think a book is twice as enjoyable if it’s twice as long.

Lorraine Hansberry fans: Jeopardy writers.  I’ll take 1970s Tony-Winning Adaptations for $2000, Alex! 

18 responses so far

Jun 17 2010

Amusing Google queries of the day

Here’s some of the queries that have brought readers to SN recently.

  • Can I exorcise myself with boiling water? Umm, I’d recommend running that past a priest.  Or anybody else that’s not completely nuts.
  • what are two common mistakes a writer make that could cause his writing to be ineffective fo readers?r. Punctuation and spelling errors.
  • is the scenario of superheroes getting powers from an explosion copyrighted–no, copyrights don’t work that way.  The main problem with using a cliche is less that you’ll be sued for ripping off a particular story than that editors (and/or eventually readers) will feel like your stuff isn’t fresh enough.  Plus, I don’t think that it’s all that cliche.   (The only remotely prominent competitors that come to mind are Daredevil and Static Shock, and the explosion itself only plays a major role for SS).
  • hawt edward cullen pix–YOU ARE RUINING THE INTERWEBZ
  • wereterrier–yes!

2 responses so far

Jan 13 2010

Some advice for authors interested in writing screenplays and/or video games

Superhero Nation specializes in writing advice related to novels and comic books.  Are you looking for advice about how to write movies, TV shows, video games, poetry or songs?  If so, I’d recommend asking professionals (or at least well-read amateurs) that actually know your field.  Here are some tips about how to get advice from professionals in your field.


1.  Read some how-to books. For example, I did a quick Amazon search for “video game jobs” and there were 654 results.   “Screenwriting jobs” got 234 results.  Pick out a few that look relevant.


2.  People love talking about themselves, so it’s frequently effective to ask a professional how he entered the field. He/she may offer a few tips about how you might get a job.  You can find industry professionals on LinkedIn or by checking relevant departments at a university near you.  For example, if I were interested in becoming a Hollywood writer, I might ask professors in Notre Dame’s Film, Television and Theatre Department.

Continue Reading »

9 responses so far

Apr 01 2009

I hate April Fool’s Day

Continue Reading »

9 responses so far