Jul 20 2006


Published by

Superhero Nation offers advice about how to write novels and comic books.  I also provide superhero-specific articles, but most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general.  If you’re looking for in-depth reviewing, please submit the first 5-10 pages of your story to superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.


Learning to Write Superhero Stories

Learning to Write Superhero Stories is a book of superhero writing advice drawn from superhero movie reviews. This book will show you techniques to develop interesting characters, write more exciting plots, and use superpowers in more interesting ways.

Learning to Write Superhero Stories - Cover

The Taxman Must Die

The comic book series I’m working on now, The Taxman Must Die, is a wacky mix of an office comedy and a national security thriller. Two unlikely secret agents–an accountant and a mutant alligator–have to save the world. From themselves, mostly. Please check out five free sample pages and sign up for my mailing list so that I can remind you when it comes out.  Thanks!


About the Author

I’m a publishing flunky-turned-marketing specialist.   If you have any questions, comments or scurrilous accusations, I’d love to take them at superheronation[at]gmail[dot]com . If you’re looking for free reviews of comic book scripts and novel introductions, I may be able to help–please email me the first 5-10 pages.

445 responses so far

445 Responses to “About”

  1. Abhijeet Sidhuon 23 Dec 2008 at 8:31 am

    Hi. I found your site pretty interesting. Can I be a member?

  2. B. Macon 28 Dec 2008 at 3:49 am

    If you’re working on a novel or a comic book, let me know and I can set up a forum where you can post excerpts and get feedback.

  3. Wingson 16 Feb 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Hello, I’m Wings…..

    I discovered you today and decided to join. I’m writing one story and planning a sequel, so I am here for help. I’ll try to help others too, of course…..

    I’m a little afraid of flamers, but please tell me what you really think.


  4. Holliequon 16 Feb 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Don’t worry, Wings, I’m pretty sure we’re all mature enough to give fair criticism (though I can be harsh sometimes, I’ve been told).

    This is completely unrelated, but I just got the freakiest sense of deja vu from your post. O_O;

  5. Wingson 16 Feb 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Oh, you’re the one who’s helping me with my character!

    Don’t worry, you seem pretty nice to me (and to others, from old comments I’ve read).

    As a fanfiction writer, I’ve been flamed pretty badly (I almost gave up writing once, it was so bad) so I’m a little worried.

    I’ve been told many times I have to relax more, though….

    – Wings

  6. Holliequon 16 Feb 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Yeah, sometimes flames do happen on the internet. Don’t worry about it. You seem to have some really good ideas! Don’t give up writing, whatever you do! We need more writers in the world, in my opinion. 🙂

  7. Wingson 16 Feb 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I’m glad other people feel the same way I do. Thanks for the compliment…..

    By the way, why do you get deja vu from my first post? I mean, what’s the feeling like?


  8. Holliequon 16 Feb 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I just have the really weird feeling I’ve seen it before. It happens sometimes. >.< It can be really freaky sometimes, though.

  9. Wingson 16 Feb 2009 at 4:44 pm

    NOTE: I shall be very weird in the next paragraph.

    I get that feeling a lot, except with PEOPLE. Trust me, it’s scary to walk past someone and feel as though you know them. My answer? *drumroll*

    REINCARNATION! Suppressed memories from past lives!


    Do you visit any other fourum type places? I never use the same screenname, maybe we’ve chatted before.

    -Wings the Strange

  10. Ragged Boyon 16 Feb 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Sorry, I’ve been gone so long.

    Wow, we’ve got new people. Hello Wings, I’m Ragged Boy aspiring actor and writer and faithful devotee of Superhero Nation.

  11. Wingson 16 Feb 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Oh, hello Ragged Boy! I’ve read your comments.

    I only just joined today, and people already notice me! YES!

    You want to act, then? Excellent!

    -Wings the Overexcited

  12. Ragged Boyon 16 Feb 2009 at 4:59 pm

    So you haven’t started writing your yet, how much do you have planned out? Don’t worry, I know you have writing theif fears, so disclose what you please.

    For some reason I’m not at all afraid that people will steal my ideas. Even if they do, I’ve got a TON more, so hakuna mutata.

  13. Holliequon 16 Feb 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I go by Holliequ in most places, Wings. If we’ve met before it would be under that name.

    Unless we go with your reincarnation theory. In which case, it probably wasn’t. 😛

  14. Wingson 16 Feb 2009 at 5:04 pm

    My prob is that as soon as I plan out an entire plot (plots are my specialty, I’m weak with characters). I grow bored with it. So I have to type as much as I can, although I don’t even have a typewriter to call my own.

    You’re lucky to be 17….No one takes me seriously.

    I’m nervous that “Special” (working title, Sparks is from here) is going to be pushed away when I’m done with the plot. So I’m dragging it out slowly. At least I still have lots of work to do on it.

    (Seriously. Once I finished a plot, then left it for OVER THREE YEARS.)

    -Wings the Forgetful

  15. Ragged Boyon 16 Feb 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I once heard that if you listen to little children when they sleep talk or speak in free association, they speak of how they died in heir previous lives.

    I don’t have a strong opinion on reincarnation. My only question is, If the world was completely destoryed and everyone died, where would everyone come back to live? Would there be an endless cycle of death and rebirth?

    (I’m also pretty dark)

    -Ragged Boy (I’m stealing this from you Wings, I like it)

  16. Ragged Boyon 16 Feb 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I used to suffer horribly from starting stories and dropping them, I did it here twice I think. Fortunately, I’ve finally found one that I haven’t gotten bored with.

    Don’t be afraid because of your age, we have another youngster here, but she never gives up, so neither should you.

  17. Holliequon 16 Feb 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I can sympathise, Wings. You wouldn’t believe how many plots and story ideas I have scattered about on my hard drive. Also the amount of unfinished stories. I can’t finish anything. >.<

  18. Wingson 17 Feb 2009 at 10:01 am

    Yawn….Good morning!

    I’ve found out one thing about myself when it comes to stories: I cannot reuse characters. If one story flops, then the characters are DEAD. And, as I’ve said, it’s hard for me to write characters.

    -Wings the Tired

  19. Holliequon 17 Feb 2009 at 11:41 am

    Ooh, yes, I can’t reuse characters either. Unless it’s a sequel, but I’ve never written a sequel yet . . .

  20. Lunajamniaon 17 Feb 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Wings! I’m Luna Jamnia, I’ve written some fanfiction as well. 🙂
    Fanfiction can be really fun to write.

  21. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 3:21 pm


    Fanficion, eh? I’ve tried to write some, but I’ve had trouble. How do you write them, as in novel, or script-format?

  22. Lunajamniaon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:10 pm

    As a novel. I’ve written a LOTR fanfiction that is 116 1/2 pages handwritten, probably around 55 something typed.

    I’ve also added a twist to the Superman story (adopted sister, also superhero, from another planet) and though it’s really about Luna Jamnia (the sister) coming ‘home’, since it does talk about the family and Superman a little, it must count as fanfiction. It’s about … 50 something pages, I think.

    I’ve tried writing Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction but that hasn’t worked out well either time. I always end up screwing up what I’d like to happen (I add this one character and … well it’s hard to explain).

    Also started a Star Wars fanfiction type thing a loooong time ago, never finished, and threw it away.

  23. Lunajamniaon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:11 pm

    *the Luna Jamnia is 50 something pages typed, I mean. 🙂 Handwritten it was also around 116 pages. (I had huge handwriting at the time)

  24. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:13 pm

    For shame…! Don’t thow things away! Keep them… you never know when they’ll be usefull. lol

    Ah… so script formats are no-nos, then?

  25. Holliequon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Well, they tend to be if you’re not writing a play or something . . .

    I haven’t heard of fanfiction being done in a comicbook script before, if that’s what you mean, but it’d probably be alright . . . I don’t think fanfiction.net accepts it though.

  26. Lunajamniaon 17 Feb 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Dforce .. truth.

    I usually throw things away when I am SURE I will not finish them though, and usually I am right.
    There have, however, been three or so times (out of 50 ish) that I have thrown away a story I should not have, and I did not realize it at the time, so I cannot get those stories back and if I wrote what I recall down they would not be half as good.

  27. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 17 Feb 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I used to write and drop stories all the time! I have forty-something files on my computer with first paragraphs that never led to anything else. Haha. I tend to recycle though, much of the imagery I’ve used in Isaac’s story so far was in my earlier stuff, along with some names. Kamari was originally a blonde, green eyed US government supersoldier used to combat the growing supervillian threat. Now she’s a red haired, brown eyed teenager. She gains powers through a stolen vial of liquid that her father bought in an attempt to save her from her terminal illness. It worked, and now thanks to the key ingredient – Isaac’s “power gene”* – she has gained his powers. I haven’t decided whether it should be temporary or permanent.

    *The “power gene” (I’ll rename it later) is one of the few physical differences between his species and humans. The Yinyusi have an extra cell in their blood that contains their DNA, plus an extra attachment that gives them their powers. The amount in the blood so minute that it would be extremely hard to detect in a test unless they knew what they were searching for. I’ll flesh it out later, but that’s the gist of it.

  28. B. Macon 17 Feb 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I’d recommend sticking to novel format for fan-fiction. Scripts are never fun to read. The only advantage of a script is that it’s easier for a comic book editor to assess the quality at a glance. But fan-fiction isn’t written for editors.

  29. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:41 pm

    i like reading scripts; well anything dialogue heavy… if I already know how the characters are going to act and where they are, I don’t really need elaborate descriptions…

    … and, I meant movie/episode-esque script formats, not comic book scripts…. and I have found one or two of those at fanfiction.net (I enjoyed reading them more than the novels; maybe the descriptions and the “she said… he said” just get in the way for me)… oh, well…

  30. Chi.Rhoon 17 Feb 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I really love this place! It’s not often I find writers who love it like I do.

  31. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 1:43 am

    I can honestly say I’m thankful for finding this place, Chi.Rho. I’d like to think we’re a unique bunch… (bonus points with me if you can draw).

  32. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 18 Feb 2009 at 4:43 am

    I’ve loved this site ever since finding the writer’s exam. It’s so much better than other places because it’s much easier to interact and there are so many other writers here, the majority of whom are in my age group.

  33. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 7:36 am

    And the authors are so insightful! Heh heh.

  34. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 7:41 am

    I’m happy to hear that you guys enjoy the site and I’m really pleased to see that there’s a lot more discussion than there was a few months ago. (For example, yesterday we got 100 comments).

  35. Lunajamniaon 18 Feb 2009 at 8:00 am

    Cool. 🙂

    Yeah, you guys are great.

  36. Ragged Boyon 18 Feb 2009 at 8:07 am

    I was a little skeptical about this site at first, but now I don’t know what I’d be doing without it. I probably wouldn’t be writing a comic or a novel.

    I find this site amusing and I love the personalities here.

    BTW, has anyone else read my bits of comic script in my forum? I’d like other people’s opinions and input too.

  37. Ragged Boyon 18 Feb 2009 at 8:10 am

    I also enjoy reading play scripts and whatnot, once I’m a famous actor, I hope to write a few broadway plays (maybe musicals), but that’s a dream I’m saving for later.

  38. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 8:13 am

    If you don’t mind me asking, R.B., why were you skeptical about the site at first? (I’m not trying to interrogate you, but I’d like to know if there’s something I could adjust to make the site more welcoming).

  39. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 8:30 am

    B. Mac,

    Oh noes! If you’re cutting back on time, please train your successor(s) well!

  40. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 8:34 am

    I am grooming a few successors, although they don’t know it yet. 🙂

    Well, maybe “successor” isn’t the right word. The only thing that would change is who’s editing the comments. I’d be authorizing moderators to edit for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, etc. From time to time, they might need to make a comment more polite but that hasn’t been much of a problem so far.

    Since this is fairly basic proofreading, I think that one skilled proofreader is pretty much interchangeable with another. Now, the only question is whether I can get them skilled enough by July.

  41. Ragged Boyon 18 Feb 2009 at 9:09 am

    I was skeptical because I had seen a few writing sites before that weren’t friendly and didn’t really have a purpose. So, I judged you guys too quickly, I also felt a little unwelcomed, but we got over that.

  42. Holliequon 18 Feb 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I thought the site was great when I first heard about it . . . the superhero writers at NaNoWriMo seem to have nothing but praise for you guys. 🙂 Or they did when I last saw them (um, October probably). It seemed a little um, exclusive at first glance (what with most of the commentors being regulars) but you were all really friendly and helpful so that didn’t last. I haven’t really been to many writing sites before this one. It was only relatively recently (in the last couple of years) that I’ve become so enthusiastic about writing.

    I always said that I sometimes write the wrong words or mispell things because I’m a “clumsy writer”, haha. Does that count?

  43. Wingson 18 Feb 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Hey, guys, it’s Wings.

    I’ve been officially banned (long story), so I won’t be able to get on often. I’ll try to as much as I can, though.

    -Wings the Banned

  44. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Hmm. I’m sorry to hear that, Wings.

  45. Holliequon 18 Feb 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Oh dear. I sense parents issues . . . I have another online friend who suffers from a similar problem. Good luck, hope you can work things out.

  46. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Hmm. I guess that makes sense, Holliequ. When I read “I’ve been officially banned,” I got very confused. My first line of thought was that “But we haven’t banned anyone since that 8-year-old!”

  47. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Wings, your absence will ring bells… my sympathies and condolences…

    Now, what about this “8-year-old?” Or is it a taboo topic, never to be mentioned again?

    I believe anecdotes bring people together, but that’s just me.

  48. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I had a very dedicated 8-year-old troll who turned very nasty after we refused to do her homework for her. After we got ~25 abusive and faintly threatening comments, I did an IP track and then contacted all four of the English teachers at the local grade school. “Hi, one of your students got kind of surly after I refused to do her homework. I don’t know her name, but I figure one of y’all assigned a superhero assignment and she’s doing the Hulk. Maybe you could suggest to her parents that they give her some advice on how to use the Internet.” Haven’t heard back since.

  49. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 7:19 pm

    lol. Holy Shazam, what an anecdote! Why are some people senseless?… granted she was a child, but still…

    Well, thank you for sharing, B. Mac.

  50. Holliequon 18 Feb 2009 at 7:24 pm

    That’s got to be one of the best anecdotes I’ve ever heard, haha.

  51. Ragged Boyon 18 Feb 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Ha, take that overconfidence of children!

  52. Lunajamniaon 18 Feb 2009 at 9:55 pm

    B. Mac, that is awesome! Well, not awesome. Just … well, it sounds like something I would do if I could and I was your age and in a position where I could do that, along with having a reason and not just contacting English teachers randomly. I mean ‘awesome’ in that you actually did something about it and it was original and it worked, instead of simply banning her.

    Anyway, I tend to be slightly ADD-ish sometimes as well as suffer from short-term memory loss. What do you guys do with review forums no one has posted in for a while? Because I still have writer’s block and everything and feel very guilty for not posting in my own review forum but at the same time I’d still like to comment on a ton of other topics and not feel guilty. Point: I forgot my point. Just that I hope you guys don’t mind/shall not be disappointed if my review forum grows old, gathers dust, and is forgotten. 🙁

  53. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 10:22 pm

    LJ! Don’t let it gather dust! That is your work! I say, even if it takes a while, come back to it. The characters will miss you!

  54. B. Macon 18 Feb 2009 at 11:47 pm

    We’ll leave review forums up indefinitely. There are incentives to stay active, though.

    1. Posting material is the single best way to attract and retain reviewers. Most of our reviewers use the Recent Comments widget, so being active is one way to keep yourself visible.

    2. If an author hasn’t posted to his forum within the last few months, we may move his forum lower in the list. So, if you stay active, your forum should gradually migrate towards the top. That will make it a bit more likely that readers will notice you.

  55. Dforceon 19 Feb 2009 at 12:02 am

    … but I like being #10…

  56. Holliequon 19 Feb 2009 at 4:38 am

    Don’t worry, Luna, my story seems to be digging its heels in too. I’ll probably move down the ladder soon. 😛

  57. B. Macon 19 Feb 2009 at 5:00 am

    Well, you’ve got at least three months. I think you’ll do at least a token update by then.

  58. Ragged Boyon 19 Feb 2009 at 5:03 am

    Oh no, it’s a contest now. Who will claim the top of the list?

    Horray, I’m #2, wait, eww…

  59. Lunajamniaon 19 Feb 2009 at 5:37 am

    I’m not so sure though, B. Mac. I’ve had stories that I started and haven’t picked up for 6 months. A couple I managed to finish because of a burst of inspiration, and others I realized I would never finish.

    As for readers noticing my work … well, that is awesome, to be true (which means it gives some incentive, as you said) but at the same time I have other finished works I’d rather have them see than unfinished still-not-planned-out work. 🙂

  60. Lunajamniaon 19 Feb 2009 at 5:54 am

    Oh yeah–does my review forum have to focus on just one story? Or can it be for other stories I’ve started but not finished, or haven’t started but are still in the works?

  61. Ragged Boyon 19 Feb 2009 at 6:06 am

    All of your works are welcome in your forum. I’m writing a comic and planning a novel in my forum.

  62. Stefan the Nuclear Manon 19 Feb 2009 at 6:10 am

    I think coming back to old stories or old characters after a long break can help give you a fresh perspective. I like doing that. My characters become quite different from how they were originally created, but they turn out great.

  63. Ragged Boyon 19 Feb 2009 at 6:31 am

    I always just dropped stories completely, I never come back to them. Fortunately I’ve started a Literary Salvage Yard where I hold characters and plots I may want to use later.

  64. B. Macon 19 Feb 2009 at 11:46 am

    Luna, feel free to do whatever you’d like with your forum. As a practical concern, though, readers may find it easier to work with one story and finish that rather than hopping around.

    For example, I notice that the people that comment on my forum (which hops around incessantly between scenes) are long-time readers with whom I’ve built up authorial credibility.

  65. Holliequon 19 Feb 2009 at 12:46 pm

    If you want to work on different stories in here, Luna, I’ll try and keep up. 🙂 I’m not sure if the others are comfortable with keeping several stories from the same author seperate, but I think I can manage.

  66. B. Macon 19 Feb 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Yeah. I’ve done a lot of reviewing on a few of RB’s stories as well.

  67. Ragged Boyon 19 Feb 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Interestingly enough, I thought of a new story idea. The MC wakes up one day and the school system as well as the city has changed drastically. People wearing odd collars, everyone is scared, but no one will talk, numerous planes and helicopters flying overhead, etc. But the MC doesn’t know what’s happening.

    I’m pretty sure I won’t write this one, but I thought it was interesting enough to share.

  68. Holliequon 19 Feb 2009 at 2:12 pm

    That does sound like a really interesting idea, RB. If I remember it, I might put it up for adoption at NaNo in November (if you don’t mind, of course . . . and the chances of me remembering aren’t great).

  69. Ragged Boyon 19 Feb 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Feel free to use it. I don’t mind. 😀

  70. Wingson 24 Feb 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I have returned!!!!!!

    It is I, Wings, back from a loooooonnngggg punishment!

    Hello everyone!

    *reads old posts*

    Geez….What did that little psycho eight year old say anyway? She wanted you to do her HOMEWORK!?!?

    This planet is full of PSYCHOS!!!

    (no offense, psychos!)

    – Wings the Returned

  71. Ragged Boyon 24 Feb 2009 at 4:55 pm

    None taken! 🙂

  72. Dforceon 24 Feb 2009 at 5:26 pm

    You’re back! Huzza! Hope all is well once again.

  73. Wingson 24 Feb 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Yes, all is well! At least, I hope all is well.

    How’s life for everyone else? I’ve been out for ages.

    – Wings the Questioning

  74. Ragged Boyon 24 Feb 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Boring, Jacksonville is so lame. I should be in New York walking runways, doing photoshoots, and acting on broadway. But I’m stuck here, wasting my talent on an uncommited drama club and lackluster modeling agency.

  75. Wingson 24 Feb 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I feel sorry for you, RB…..

    – Wings the One Who Cannot Find Anything Rlevent or Witty To Put Here

  76. Ragged Boyon 24 Feb 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Don’t feel sorry, just help me find a productive modeling agency. Haha.

  77. Wingson 24 Feb 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Come to California and visit me. I’ll find something eventually…..

    – Wings the California Dweller

  78. Ragged Boyon 24 Feb 2009 at 6:03 pm

    California!! You’re so lucky to be born is such an opportunity rich place. Jacksonville is in between Atlanta and Miami, why couldn’t I live in one of those places. I plan to move to New York after high school, whether Mumsy likes it or not.

  79. Davidon 25 Feb 2009 at 2:02 pm

    me im happy over in scotland 🙂

  80. Holliequon 25 Feb 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I’d love to live in London one day. It’s so expensive, though. At any rate, I definitely do not want to live here my whole life.

  81. Dforceon 25 Feb 2009 at 4:24 pm

    What is this? Mostly everyone seems to want to switch Headquarters! (Save one Mr. David).

    To chip in, I’d say I’m happy here in (say it with me) Waxahachie. But it would be nice to visit here and there.

  82. Lunajamniaon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I’d love to live/go visit for like 1 year Scotland, Ireland, or Italy. OR live somewhere down south just the right temp. not muggy, not like New York in winter. (*becomes ice statue*)

  83. B. Macon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Midwestern winters are just as bad. Complaining about them is a regional pastime.

  84. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 25 Feb 2009 at 11:29 pm

    I’d love to go to the Gold Coast. I’ve been before and it is so modern and cute at the same time.

  85. B. Macon 25 Feb 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Which Gold Coast are you referring to? As far as I know, there are Gold Coasts in Queensland, Las Vegas and Chicago.

  86. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 26 Feb 2009 at 1:02 am

    The Queensland one. It’s awesome. It has gorgeous white sand beaches, theme parks galore, and some of the coolest shops around. I bought a million souvenirs when I was there.

  87. Yogion 28 Feb 2009 at 12:35 am

    Hey! I’ve been going through this site for a while, and I really like it. Could you help me review Chapter 1 of the story I’m working on?

  88. B. Macon 28 Feb 2009 at 1:16 am

    Sure. Post it somewhere or e-mail it to us at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.

  89. Wingson 28 Feb 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I’m back!


    I’d love to go to Ireland myself……

    I’ll be around for a little bit today, but not long…

    *curses stupid ban*

    – Wings 🙂

  90. Yogion 28 Feb 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I’ve already emailed it to you. 😀

  91. Wingson 06 Mar 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Hi everyone,

    It’s Wings, I just wanted to say that I’m not able to get on very often, but you are most likely to find me on Mondays. I still need a lot of help, so please drop by my forum if you feel like it.

    – Wings the Infrequent

  92. Dforceon 06 Mar 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Soon, I plan to begin dropping by several review forums to lend unsolicited opinions or suggestions. I hope they help in the very least; and, Wings, your forum shall be on my list… well, more of a note, really.

  93. Holliequon 06 Mar 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Oh dear, well best of luck Wings. See you around when possible. 🙂

  94. Ragged Boyon 06 Mar 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Good luck Wings, maybe you’ll stumble across something to help you elsewhere.

    Hey Dforce, check my forum first I’d like some opinions, preferably negative.

  95. Dforceon 06 Mar 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Sure thing. One quick question tho: Which page do you want me to start from? (Page 1, 9, or whichever the last posted page was?).

  96. Ragged Boyon 06 Mar 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Start at page one. My whole script is posted at the top of my forum.

  97. Wingson 10 Mar 2009 at 10:15 am

    Just wondering, can I suggest an article, and where do I go if I can? I can’t write good humor, so I think and article on how to make a novel funny would help a lot.

    – Wings the Horrible Humor Writer

  98. Ragged Boyon 10 Mar 2009 at 11:44 am

    You can suggest an article here.

  99. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I wish I could have met this horrible eight year old… Sounds like a horrendous adventure.

    Quick Question: How do the review forums work?

  100. Limaon 03 Apr 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Hi! So I think I’ll start stopping by, this is a really cool site. It’s somewhat embarrassing, but often I imagine myself in a world where I have superpowers. Sometimes I think of adapting it into a story of some kind, but I’m too lazy. However, this is a very enlightening site. Maybe I will do it when I get some free time… ah well.

    *Note: the rough, rough character I have in mind is not a Mary Sue according to your test.

  101. Marissaon 03 Apr 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Welcome, Lima. I hope we’re of some help to you. 😀

  102. Ragged Boyon 04 Apr 2009 at 7:50 am

    Ola, Lima! (Lima like in Peru?) 😉

    I imagine a world with superpowers all the time. And I’m the star hero, who whoops everybody and gets all the glory.

  103. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 04 Apr 2009 at 8:06 am

    Superpowers in real life would be cool, but imagine all the strange stuff happening. Extreme road rage!

    MAN: Ah, that jerk cut me off! (Jumps out of car, picks up other guy’s car, throws it in river) HAHA! That’ll teach you!

  104. Wingson 13 Apr 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Hiya. I’m back for spring break! I can get back to work on my novel now!

    Another check mark for my to do list:

    1. Blurt out something random. (Done: I came to the shocking revelation that donuts and bagels are extraordinarily similar. Bonus points for doing so in the middle of math class.)

    2. Unravel one of life’s mysteries. (Needs to be done. Does anyone know why they put car insurance commercials on Disney Channel?)

    3. Avoid injuring myself. (Check. If it’s not bleeding, it doesn’t count!)

    4. Work on novel(s). (check check check!)

    – Wings

  105. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 13 Apr 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I too have achieved number one on your list. Several times each day. For example: watermelons are green! Haha.

    I fail at three. Every day I fall over, walk into stuff and bruise myself. Just this morning I went to open my bedroom door, but I walked as I turned the handle and smashed my face on the door. Sigh. (Puts on dunce cap and sits in corner) It’s a wonder that Darwin’s theory hasn’t already wiped me out. Haha.

  106. B. Macon 14 Apr 2009 at 6:53 am

    They put car insurance commercials on Disney because two of the main demographics are watching: young drivers and parents. A lot of parents watch with their kids.

  107. Tomon 14 Apr 2009 at 6:56 am

    It’s pretty funny when I-other people are watching Cartoon Network and I happen to be in the room… and there’s an advert for a company that claims it can get you compensation for a work accident right after an advert for Hot Wheels and right before an advert for new episodes of Ben 10: Alien Force.

  108. Wingson 14 Apr 2009 at 10:48 am

    Still, has anyone else ever realized how similar donuts and bagels are?

    They’re both round, about the same size, and have a hole in the middle. The only difference is, when you put something on a donut it is on the outside (frosting) but when you put something on a bagel you put it inside (cream cheese).

    It was pretty funny when I blurted that out that little fact in the middle of Algebra.

    (But it wasn’t me who decided that the opposite of a bagel was a strawberry.)

    – Wings the Random

  109. Wingson 14 Apr 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Say, guys-

    If your book/comic/whatever you’re writing was made into a movie, what songs would you pick for it’s soundtrack?

    For How to Save the World, I’d probably use:

    If Everyone Cared by Nickelback (for the scene where Ian and Jazz are on the search to find the Titan’s Diamond, and end up pondering life’s meaning.)

    All These Lives by Chris Daughtry (for the sad Connor and Darren-centric scene right after Meg’s capture)

    Breakdown by the Plain White T’s (Pierce’s theme song, practically.)

    Dare You To Move by Switchfoot (this song seems like it would fit somewhere)

    Beautiful Day by U2 (end credits perhaps)

    Real World by Matchbox 20 (one verse “wonders what it’s like to be a superhero” for the beginning)

    And probably some other stuff. I’ve been using music to help me write some of my best scenes.

    Well, what about you guys?

    – Wings

  110. Holliequon 14 Apr 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Oooh, I think that’s a difficult one. Probably rock music. I think ‘Journey’s End’ by Serenity would be really good for the closing credits.

    ‘What A Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong for some point. Hey, it sorta fits and it’s an awesome song.
    ‘Haunted’ by Disturbed might work well. (“I’m haunted by your world . . .”)
    ‘Infa-Red’ by Placebo for a tenative scene when Victor has to escape from a bad guy. (“There is no running that can hide you.”)

    Pretty much anything by Tyr would be good for a battle scene. They do really nice “epic” songs.

  111. Wingson 14 Apr 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Actually, the scene that I am most proud of creating is the Connor-centric scene where he starts to grasp how dangerous everything is, right after Meg gets captured. His powers go haywire because of his emotions, wand he ends up destroying a room.

    Meanwhile, Darren has just seen Pierce in the enemy lines, and he’s starting to discover what his brother is being used for, and he muses on how useless he feels. When Connor destroys the room, he and the window his wheelchair is parked next to are unharmed, and he hurls a piece of rubble at it with his telekinesis, “to destroy the reflection that was before him”.

    It’s a sad, sad scene, and it actually was created when I listened to the song, “All These Lives” and it seems fitting that it takes its place in the movie as well.

    “Dare You To Move” might be difficult to use because of the Catholic connotations, but if you look at the lyrics: http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/52954/

    To me, it can describe the majority of the story: first, a normal life where people watch over you and care for you, then a “resistance” (the fight against Scarlet). The Special could take life’s punches and surrender to Scarlet, but they “dare to move” and fight back.

    “I dare you to move
    I dare you to move
    I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
    I dare you to move
    I dare you to move like today never happened
    Today never happened before”

    Yes, it’s cheesy, but that’s how I see it.

    – Wings

  112. Lunajamniaon 14 Apr 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I love that song! It’s the song that got me listening to Switchfoot, and Shut Me Out or whatever it’s called by Kutless is awesome too.

  113. Wingson 14 Apr 2009 at 9:38 pm

    A friend of mine told me about it. I’d heard it before (I can recognize nearly all music I’ve heard before, even just by instrumentals).

    It’s a little sad that Breakdown is Pierce’s theme (It’s a very, very dark song) but it is, really, his song. I love it (slightly scary I know) just because it’s so real. Here are the lyrics: http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858508475/

    – Wings

  114. Ragged Boyon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:10 am

    Sorry I haven’t been around lately. I’m without internet for the time being. I’ll let you know when we get linked back up.

    I’ve been working on my synopsis for Showtime and it’s coming along okay. A little bumpy, but I’ve got it under control.

  115. Wingson 15 Apr 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Good for you Rags!

    – Wings

  116. Wingson 16 Apr 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Also, I’d add:

    The Middle by Jimmy Eat World (it has an interesting beat, it’s a fun song, and I think it would fit well.)

    – Wings

  117. Frostbytteon 18 Apr 2009 at 12:30 am

    Hi, I’m Frost. I’m a friend of Dforce’s. We’re working together on a few things and he’s given me helpful advice that he’s received from this site. He’s the one that referred me to this to begin with.

    I’m an aspiring novelist and I have a handful of stories that I have come up with. I’ve read the articles on this site and I’ve learned a few things about the way I write. I have become more confident as a writer thanks to those articles. Thanks a lot! I tend to write fantasy, but there are times when I feel a “real life setting” to be a great way to write. I started writing in my 10th grade year of high school and I’ve come a LONG way. Dforce has been, for a while, my only critic and I’d like some constructive criticism.

    Icily yours,


  118. Marissaon 18 Apr 2009 at 1:19 am

    Welcome to Superhero Nation, Frost. I hope we can help you out. 😀

  119. Holliequon 18 Apr 2009 at 1:48 am

    Hey there! I’m writing a fantasy too right now (sort of . . . I’m a little stuck at the moment). Good luck with yours. 😀

  120. Lunajamniaon 18 Apr 2009 at 6:26 am

    Welcome, Frost! ^_^

  121. B. Macon 18 Apr 2009 at 7:07 am

    Hello, Frost. I’ve set up a review forum for you here, in case you’re interested. If you’d like more information about what a review forum is, please see this.

  122. Tomon 18 Apr 2009 at 8:09 am

    Wow, that’s gotta be a record. Setting up the review forum before it was asked for! It’s like… retrocausality or something!

  123. B. Macon 18 Apr 2009 at 8:17 am

    He did say he was looking for constructive criticism… I inferred that he could use one.

  124. Stefan the Exploding Manon 18 Apr 2009 at 8:28 am

    Hello Frost! Welcome to the site! When I saw you comment I just knew I had to give you a warm reception. Ha ha.

  125. Frostbytteon 18 Apr 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I am very interested in the review forum. I will put some things some things up when I get the chance. Thanks guys!

  126. Wingson 21 Apr 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Hello Frostbytte. Welcome! I’m also writing some fantasy on the side, but nothing on SN yet.

    Man, this site has grown since I joined in January. Now, we have more than twice the amount of review forums. Now, if only some of our new recruits would post more often…

    – Wings

  127. B. Macon 21 Apr 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I figure things will pick up in the summer.

  128. Frostbytteon 23 Apr 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Sorry for not posting on my review forum yet, guys. Most of my work is written in a notebook and it would take a couple decades to type it up with my busy schedule. I’m in college and the amount of essays my professors have me writing has given me severe writer’s block. My summer break is coming up soon and I’ll have time to write for myself. But until then, I’ll get to work typing up my works. Thanks guys.


  129. Wingson 28 Apr 2009 at 10:22 am

    Say, everyone:

    What do you guys want to do in addition to being a writer when you grow up? I know Ragged Boy wants to get into modeling or something similar, and I myself would like to become a musician (American Idol, find me!), but what about everyone else?

    – Wings

  130. Holliequon 28 Apr 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I have no idea. I’m planning for a social sciences or history degree at university, but I don’t know what I want to do apart from write. I may go into broadcasting, or something along those lines. Failing that, I’ll probably just end up being a freelance writer. Or a teacher, but that will definitely be a last resort.

  131. Marissaon 28 Apr 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Psychologist/professional author/horse trainer.

    Though only the first is going to be full-time, officially. The other two are just going to give me a well-deserved wad of pocket-cash.

  132. Lunajamniaon 28 Apr 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I have absolutely no idea. I shall probably end up stuck in my little town for the rest of my life, unfortunately.
    Not that I hate little towns. There’s just nothing to do and I’d like to see more of the world and go to different countries without it having to be a missions trip.

  133. ikaruson 28 Apr 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Submarine officer in the U.S. Navy.

  134. B. Macon 28 Apr 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Submarine crews have short tours and relatively high pay… the living quarters are a bit cramped, though. One of my friends told me that he slept on a torpedo and I’m not sure he was being hyperbolic. Also, an acute lack of sunlight and fresh air can really mess with your mind.

    Good luck with that.

  135. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 29 Apr 2009 at 4:11 am

    “What do you guys want to do in addition to being a writer when you grow up?”

    I shall never grow up! 😀

    I’m thinking of being a journalist. I’m not sure what they’re called, but I want to be the person who writes the transcript for the news reporter. Failing that, there’s always the rock star/astronaut/Prime Minister/ninja path. Think about it! It’s the perfect cover for a superspy! Haha.

  136. Ragged Boyon 29 Apr 2009 at 7:20 am

    “What do you guys want to do in addition to being a writer when you grow up?”

    Actually, acting is my first passion, but I also want to model and design. I plan on majoring in telecommunications, that way if I don’t get into acting before college, afterwards, I’ll have a foot in the door. Plus, working with people in the industry will give me an extra plus to my career. You know what they say: It’s not what you know, but who you know.

  137. Tomon 29 Apr 2009 at 9:23 am

    Mild-mannered scientist by day, crime-fighting superhero by night.

    I’ve said too much.

  138. Hamon 04 May 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Hello, I’m new here but I’ve been lurking for a few days. I really enjoy the website. Just that it’s a bit messy at times. I’m probably the youngest around here, but I’ve had ideas to write a comic book. Only thing: I can’t draw. Recently started trying to learn how to draw and stuff, but I’ve always been horrible in drawing/painting etc. I do enjoy practicing, not sure if I’ll ever get good enough or that I have enough time to practice. I thinks this site has a great community, I’m hoping that I can get good advice around here and that I can provide the same for others. Oh, I’m still working on my story and characters, but when it’s done, I will most definitely show it here.

  139. B. Macon 04 May 2009 at 1:13 pm


    “It’s a bit messy at times.” Hmm. Could you give me some examples? I think that would make it easier for me to fix it.

  140. Quidamon 05 May 2009 at 6:14 pm

    This site is awesome! I’ve always loved superheroes even as a little girl. People thought I was weird because i wasn’t to wild about Barbies.

    I would do anything to work with DC Comics. The comic business has become so much more exciting! This site can help me with my superhero. I’m always so afraid I’ll make her too cheesy or too perfect.

  141. B. Macon 05 May 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I like DC, particularly its television shows. Justice League, Lois and Clark and Batman: The Animated Series were all excellent.

    I feel that Marvel generally produces better comic books and movies, but DC shows are distinctly better.

    Please let me know if I can help with the job-search.

  142. Davidon 05 May 2009 at 7:30 pm

    id love to work for eaither comic company id even move to America to do so dont supposes u could help me could u?

    i can create the heros and get help doing the storys and artists

  143. Ragged Boyon 06 May 2009 at 8:01 am

    Wait! B. Mac I thought you said you didn’t like DC. Maybe I misinterpreted.

    Hooray for more DC fans! Welcome Quidam!

  144. B. Macon 06 May 2009 at 10:43 am

    The last two Batman films are generally regarded as pretty good (and TDK may be a masterpiece). However, I feel like its other recent movies (The Watchmen, The Spirit, Catwoman and Superman Returns) are generally closer in quality to 1990s superhero movies like Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Steel and Batman & Robin.

    That said, I thought that Catwoman was tolerable (at least compared to true disasters like Green Lantern). I appear to be the only one, though.

  145. Pon 07 May 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Hello everyone, it is interesting to finally meet you all, and I thank you for all of the comments you have given to Wings, a friend of mine.

    I am Pierce’s Creator.

    Bow before my might! Just kidding, I am not all that special, but I do sport the leather jacket and sun glasses. (Booyah…)

    Anyway, I would like to get involved in reviewing the so-far-great work of those who are writing on this site.

    And I gladly donate my “Hay in a needle stack comment” (Look in bad writing question) To anyone who wishes to use it.

  146. Wingson 07 May 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Yes, the above poster was my friend and not an impostor. Finally, I have gotten him to read you webcomic, B. Mac. (He says that he finds it extremely funny and that it should be made into a TV series). Anyway, I hope that he will keep posting on this website (I shall force him if I have to).

    – Wings

  147. Pon 07 May 2009 at 3:01 pm

    “Death threats, huh Wings?”

    “Haha! You will have to try harder than that!”

    *Wings beats me over the head with a lunch box.*

    “OK, I’ll do it!”

    *Wings places her novelty machete back into her lunch box.*

  148. Wingson 07 May 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Liar! It was NOT a novelty machete, it was simply a machete!

    Just kidding about the machete thing in general, although I did hit him with my lunchbox.

    – Wings

  149. Pon 07 May 2009 at 3:03 pm

    “…Help… me…”


    *P falls unconscious.*

  150. Wingson 07 May 2009 at 3:05 pm

    *pokes him with a stick*

    This is fun!

    Anyway, we are going to go comment on the webcomics now… *threatening voice* Right, P?

    – Wings

  151. Pon 07 May 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Err, of course…

    But Wings is actually a very kind person. But she occasionally uses a lunch box as a lethal weapon.

    Suggestion: create a lunchbox-wielding super villain.

    …Scratch that, it sounds terrible.

  152. Wingson 07 May 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Shush, you! I don’t want them to KNOW I’m a nice person!

    – Wings

  153. Davidon 07 May 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Go Wings. 😉

    What does she keep in her lunchbox?

    By the way, feel free to have a look at my story. I have it in order here.

  154. Mr. Briton 07 May 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Probably lunch…..

  155. Wingson 08 May 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I keep pain incarnate in my lunchbox!

  156. Trollitradeon 30 May 2009 at 2:23 am

    Umm, hello there, everybody!

    I’m Trolli, and I came across this website a few days ago while investigating Mary Sue issues. So I stuck around and read all kinds of really helpful articles, and I really think you all have good things to say in the “constructive criticism and suggestions” department. ^_^ I would love to ask some questions of my own, and maybe try to offer some handy critique to writers who need some input, but I’m really not sure how to start. ^_^;; Is there a specific place I need to go, or a registery that needs to be done?

    My sister and I have been writing a story for almost six years, and now that it’s nearing completion, we’ve been putting serious thought into how we can revise, revamp, and rewrite this thing. Although the story is close to our hearts and WE love it in spite of its flaws, no sensible human being would read it! xD The plot is utterly ridiculous (due to being randomly developed over SIX YEARS), half of the characters have some serious Mary Sue traits, and we’re not sure how to get everything into shape for a revised version.

    We’re doing great with our brainstorming so far, but I’d love to ask for outside opinions, if it’s okay. ^_^ I want to fix those Mary Sues, and hopefully push the storyline into being less cryptic and hard to follow… without ruining the whole essence of the novel. ^_^;;

    Please forgive the long post. O_O I am incredibly long-winded.

  157. Tomon 30 May 2009 at 3:52 am

    Well, what you need is a review forum. If you don’t ask B. Mac for one it’s very likely he’ll see this and set one up for you. (if you haven’t already, B. Mac, in which case, delete this post)

    I’m sure we’d all like a brief outline of what it’s about. E.g. ‘a horrible lab accident leaves John Smith with a horrible disfigurement and the power to turn people blind, he becomes the superhero ‘Uber-Man’ and decides to fight crime’ (not a real story BTW, just went for the most generic thing possible). Sum up your story like that.

    Have you tried the Mary-Sue quiz yet? It’s very helpful.

  158. B. Macon 30 May 2009 at 6:02 am

    Hello, Trollitrade. I’ve set up a review forum for you here. Good luck.

  159. Ragged Boyon 30 May 2009 at 6:10 am

    Hello, Trolli. Welcome to the site. 🙂

    The best advice I can give right off the bat is to not worry about the length of your comments. Our definition of long had been severely stretched since joining this site. 1000-2000 words is what we’re used to.

    I’d be interested in reviewing your story and getting your opinions on mine.

  160. Wingson 30 May 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hello Trolli,

    I’m Wings, nice to meet you. I’d like to learn more about your story (I feel a sort of kinship, since my first novel took over three years 🙂 ).

    Have fun!


  161. Trollitradeon 30 May 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Hello, everybody!

    +++To Tom,
    Thank you! I’ll definitely describe the characters, storyline, and severe plot issues, though I guess I should start slow at first. The review forum sounds like a great place to start. The story I’m trying to fix isn’t technically a superhero story, but from what I’ve read on the site so far, it’s nothing you guys wouldn’t be familiar with. Fantasy/Sci-Fi adventure/journey/quest type thing. And yes, I did take the Mary Sue Test. I scored miserably on multiple characters. I’ve taken other Mary Sue tests before, and read a lot of info on them. I’ve got a decent handle on what constitutes as a Mary Sue, though I would love some help fixing the problems my characters have.

    +++To B.Mac,
    Thank you. I’m busy studying for finals right now, but once I’ve got some free time, I’ll definitely jump into the review forum and get started. Then I can go around and try to offer some critique to others as well.

    +++To Ragged Boy,
    Thank you very much for the welcome! That post I wrote was nothing compared to the wind-bag posts I am capable of. I’ll try to write what’s necessary and not ramble too much, though, to avoid making people bored. I would love to offer some critique or input on your story, too! I just need some more free time to really get started here. Constructive Criticism is crucially important even for pro’s. So I would love to give and recieve it, especially ’cause I’m a great, big amateur.

    +++To Wings,
    Hello! You seem really nice from the comments of yours that I’ve read. Actually, I’ve been following along in your Review Forum since stumbling upon the site, but I was too nervous and “late-starting”, so I didn’t actually comment. I definitely will try, though, since I read half the comments in your forum and The Specials seemed very interesting.


  162. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 9:58 am

    Umm, here’s me begin ridiculous, but I didn’t know where else to ask this question. I’m not sure how to break my text into paragraphs when I post here. Obviously, it’s possible, because I see B. Mac do it all the time. How many times do I need to press “enter” before the paragraphs will look separated when I post? I’ve tried once, twice, AND three times, but it doesn’t seem to split up right. Let me try again, and do a test post…

    This is just one space.

    Now I did two spaces.

    There are three spaces, but will it show up?

    Alright. That’s four spaces. ^_^ I’m gonna see if it shows up when I post this way. Thanks, sorry for being random and useless! xD

  163. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 10:03 am

    Oh nooo, it failed! But Ragged Boy, P, and B.Mac are able to separate their paragraphs properly. What am I doing wrong?Um, is there a better place for me to ask these kind of “n00b” questions? Also, I’m getting the idea that code is used here, but I’m not sure which kinds. Sorry again for being utterly useless, but I’m gonna see what kinds of code can be used.

    [b]Can I use bold?[/b]
    [i]How about italics?[/i]
    🙂 🙁 😀 –> Smilies? I can only think of those three…

    Okay, I’m done.

  164. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 10:23 am

    Trollitrade, HTML works if you replace the brackets with less-than and greater-than signs. (Umm, they’re probably just to the right of the M key on your keyboard).

    The command for line breaks is (less-than-sign)br(greater-than-sign), without the parentheses. I’m not sure if it’s accessible to our guests, though. If other people have line-breaks, it’s usually because I added them as I was proofreading.

  165. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 10:40 am

    Thank you, B. Mac. ^__^;; Let’s see, as a guest, if I’m able to use the HTML… I might do it wrong at first, but this is handy stuff to learn.

    Trying out the bold…
    Do I need to do both sides?
    Or like this?

    That should work, unless I goofed or HTML is not available to random guests.

  166. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 10:43 am

    Don’t forget to do (less-than-sign)/b(greater-than-sign) to turn off the bolded letters.

  167. Educated Amateuron 01 Jun 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Hey B. Mac,
    I just wanted to say that I am a big fan of your site. You’ve given me alot of helpful hints.
    The only problem I have with writing is staying power. I get so many story ideas in such a short time that I can never stick with one until the end. Typically, if I have a deadline assigned by someone else, that helps me. It really sucks most of the time, though, because I have some really cool ideas that I want to finish. Any tips on how I can keep my focus?
    Thanks alot.

  168. B. Macon 01 Jun 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Hello, Educated Amateur. Great question.

    At some point– not necessarily at the beginning, but hopefully before you’re halfway done–I would recommend figuring out what the central question is. For example, Spiderman’s central question is “can a regular teen be a superhero without giving up the people and values that matter to him?” The central question of the Superhero Nation comic book is “what sort of changes would a regular accountant have to make to survive as a superhero?”

    Once you know what the central question is, it’s easier to decide which ideas are relevant. Ideally, everything– the villain’s plot, the side-characters, the side-plots– somehow relate to the central question. For example, pretty much everything Spiderman does endangers his family and makes it really hard to enjoy a normal life. The plot frequently puts him in morally difficult situations to test his values. Does he kill the man that killed Uncle Ben? Does he save Mary Jane or a bus full of kids?

    It’s easy to get discouraged because you have a lot of ideas that don’t seem relevant. However, please consider whether they could be relevant. For example, let’s say you have a cool idea for a romantic sideplot. Make it relevant to the central question. For example, the Spiderman movies made Mary Jane relevant by using her to create moral dilemmas. Is it possible for him to keep seeing Mary Jane and work as Spiderman? Should he tell her? How can he keep her safe?

    I’d also recommend making sure that the villain’s plot is relevant to the central question. In the first Spiderman movie, the climactic battle between the Green Goblin and Spiderman shows that Spiderman can be a superhero without compromising his values. Spiderman manages to beat the Goblin without killing him. The Goblin dies only because of his flawed morals. (He tries to kill Spiderman and ends up offing himself instead).

    Here are some other miscellaneous thoughts.

    –Write at least 1-2 pages every day. The more material you have, the easier it will be to find common threads to make a coherent story out of seemingly unrelated scenes and characters and plot-twists.

    –If you perform well under deadlines, I’d recommend joining a writers’ workshop. You might want to check out the Critters online workshop (free), our review forums (free), or a workshop at a nearby bookstore or library (usually cheap).

    –Most coherence problems are caused by unnecessary characters. Please try to keep every character strongly linked to the main character and/or the main character’s quest.

  169. Trollitradeon 11 Jun 2009 at 7:36 am

    Hello, B. Mac!
    If it’s okay, I’ve got an idea for a new superheroes writing article, if you have time. ^_^
    “How to Make a Cohesive Superhero Team”
    How do you make a team of three, four, or five characters really mesh well together with their powers, personalities, and roles in the story?
    What does every team NEED to make them interesting for the reader?
    How do you AVOID making a team of five actually feel like two smaller, less related groups? (Like the “love triangle” and the “other two guys”, lol)
    This sort of springs from the comments above.
    “Try to keep every character strongly linked to the main character and/or the main character’s quest”
    So that means that whoever the CENTRAL hero is (I guess in Teen Titans, that’d be Robin…?), you have to make sure the other four heroes (Starfire/Raven/Beast Boy/Cyborg) have a direct relationship with him/her?
    And in fight scenes, all five characters (or four, or three) need to have a role to play?
    Hopefully the question makes sense… ^_^;;
    Thank you!

  170. Wingson 11 Jun 2009 at 8:30 am

    I’d like this article for my six as well.


  171. Marissaon 11 Jun 2009 at 12:13 pm

    And my seven. xD

    Nah, I think I’m doing fine, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to count (five, six, seven).

    Still, I’m sure there’d be a few points in there that I would be like, “Hey, I never thought of that.”

  172. Ragged Boyon 11 Jun 2009 at 5:21 pm

    B. Mac addressed the subject here. He was in a rush to class so he didn’t develop it as much. Hope this helps!

    B. Mac says:

    —On a team, it’s more important that characters have simple origin stories and simple, generic superpowers. There’s just not enough space to explain five separate radioactive lab accidents. (Also, in a fight scene it’d be ridiculously hard to choreograph many complex powers). Realistically, it’s probably best to focus on the origin story of just one character, or of the team as a whole. For example, Soon I Will Be Invincible focused on the origin story of just Fatale and skimmed over her teammates. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a team origin (they were all hit by mutagen at the same time).

    —I recommend 3-4 characters. 5 heroes is doable but usually means that at least 1-2 of the characters will be some variety of unsatisfying (underdeveloped, bland, redundant, etc). I wouldn’t recommend 5+ teammates for a first-time author. I feel it works better in TV, where viewers will accept one-dimensional heroes like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fairly readily. In novels and comic books, not so much.

    —Interesting relationships between the teammates are important. That usually means that you need a bit of tension, but it’s very tricky. There’s a fine line between a dramatic conflict and a wangsty soap opera. For example, I’d say that Justice League Unlimited handles the Green Lantern-Vixen-Hawkgirl love triangle pretty well. In contrast, I find the Robin-Cyborg and especially the Leonardo-Raphael catfights kind of annoying.

    I think it helps to have a few rules that characters can’t break. For example, even if Agent Black thinks that Agent Orange is completely loony and unfit to be a government agent, he’s still contractually obliged to be Orange’s partner. He can’t just go off sulking whenever Orange is in the room. In contrast, there’s not much forcing Leonardo and Raphael together.

  173. Trollitradeon 11 Jun 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks, Ragged Boy. xD
    That does help somewhat, but a more in-depth article would be pretty cool!
    For instance, B. Mac mentioned the Green Lantern/Vixen/Hawkgirl love triangle, and also Robin-Cyborg catfights.
    How would someone use all five of those characters as a coherant GROUP?
    Like I asked, how do you avoid making a group of five split down the middle?
    Hence, the “love triangle” and the “other two guys” issue? xD
    Say the central character was the Green Lantern.
    How do we get “Robin and Cyborg” to be more directly related to him, or to the other characters in the love triangle?
    Does Robin have to be Hawgirl’s unrequited admirer, so he feels resentful towards Green Lantern? xD
    Does Cyborg have to be Vixen’s cousin or something? O_O
    How do you make a team like that WORK in a novel, without getting too cheesy or soap-opera like?
    (I’ve never seen the Green Lantern love triangle before, so a little explanation of WHY/HOW it was pulled off well would be nice)
    I’d imagine in a show like Justice League Unlimited, with so MANY heroes, it’d be hard to portray them all very well. O_O

  174. Ragged Boyon 11 Jun 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I’m blanking on a team with more than three characters. Three members is the highest I’ll go, that way I can have three strong personalities that conflict/compliment perfectly. I’m guessing just make sure everyone has a definite relationship. I’d say the most weakly developed one in Teen Titans was Cyborg and Starfire I don’t know how they feel about one another.

    “I’d imagine in a show like Justice League Unlimited, with so MANY heroes, it’d be hard to portray them all very well.”

    That would be true, but before JLU many of the main heroes were already well-known. You wouldn’t have to worry about developing them because they were already developed.

  175. Trollitradeon 11 Jun 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Good point about JLU. O_O
    I agree on Starfire/Cyborg having the weakest character relationship.
    I can only think of one episode where they interacted directly, and that was in “Troq” when their new superhero friend Valior was discriminating against her, and Cyborg was making her feel better because he’d been discriminated against by people before, too.
    …Except it could’ve just as easily have been Robin, Beast Boy, or Raven in that situation.
    There’s no specific reason why it had to be Cyborg.
    So developing a distinct relationship between all three/four/five characters is probably the most important thing?
    And providing enough storytime to let those relationships SHOW, even if some of them are very minor?
    (If you took too much time developing the relationship between all five characters with EACH of the others, that’d be like, 10 different combos and could get seriously distracting…) O_O
    Obviously, some relationships will have to be more important than others…
    Published “five-man teams” I can think of are from…
    1) The Teen Titans
    2) The Land Before Time
    3) Inuyasha
    4) Sailor Moon
    5) The Animorphs
    In most of those, I don’t think the team was pulled off well. O_o
    Teen Titans did pretty well, though Starfire/Cyborg was an almost ignored combo.
    In Land Before Time, the non-speaking stegasaurus guy, Spike, almost didn’t count as a character because all he ever did was eat and look dumb. O_O
    With Inuyasha, it started out okay, but I thought Shippo got shoved off in the background a lot and became useless to the plot, because Inuyasha/Kagome and Miroku/Sango got paired off early on.
    Sailor Moon (the anime) did a terrible job with this. ^_^;;
    Basically, the titular character did everything, and none of the other characters’ personalities or relationships were really explored.
    The Animorphs was okay, I think…
    Jake and Cassie had a crush on each other, and Rachel was Cassie’s best friend AND Jake’s cousin.
    Marco was Jake’s best friend, and Tobias was some random guy they found…
    Until he became something of Rachel’s love interest.
    Mostly everyone is linked to the main character more than the other characters…
    Perhaps that’s the way to go?
    I’d like to find GOOD examples of a five-man team, though.
    Half of mine weren’t good role-models.

  176. J.M.on 11 Jun 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Trollitrade: Hey, I hope you’re not trashing the Animorphs there, I love that series ;-). For a YA series, I always thought it was very very good, particularly mature not only in terms of actual universe, but also in the portrayal of the characters.

    But if you’re looking for an example of a good five-man team, I would suggest looking at Star Trek particularly TOS and DS9. While the main cast is a bit bigger, a lot of the character relationships are very well done. Now, it’s not superhero related, but I think the principle still applies. Some good relationships that I can think of off the top of my head is the classic Kirk-Spock-McCoy, Bashir-O’Brien, Bashir-Garak, Garak-Odo relationships. Not quite classic Five-Man teams, but I think they’d be a good place to start.

  177. Eddie Macaulayon 17 Jul 2009 at 10:26 am

    Hello ‘B.MAC’. My name is Eddie. I’m new to this site. I am a maverick screenwriter who passionately loves writing superhero stories for film production. I also write moral films that deal with topical issues affecting the world by trying to solve them through entertainment. I want to continue the works of Michael Jackson to change the world through creativity.

    In the past, there were not many blacks represented in most of the superhero films all over the world. Today, however, with success of series like X-MEN- which includes Storm, a heroine of African descent – the diversity of superheroes has translated into higher sales for film producing companies like Marvel, DC, and Image. Also, Hancock stars Will Smith as the main character of the film.

    Nowadays, black characters usually have some sort of stereotypical spin, which is one of the reasons I started writing didactic superhero stories. I enjoy seeing people from the black color in the mainstream of superhero films and my primary objective is to solve topical issues affecting the world through entertainment films.

    I vividly remember some six years ago, when a friend of mine who used to have good health suddenly began to fall ill daily. His health deteriorated everyday and he bluntly refused to go see any doctor. He used different drugs to treat himself, but unfortunately the anonymous ailment defied all his entreaties. Five years after, his family got tired of his mysterious ailment, then came together and talked to him, forcing him to go to the hospital to see a doctor. He was diagnosed and found to have contracted full-blown AIDS. His family was devastated because he would have controlled the virus earlier but he was stubborn and ignorant. Some few months ago he kicked the bucket.

    Sex is a gift from God which should be enjoyed responsibly and maturely, but unfortunately most people are ready to risk their dear lives just to satisfy their lust or sexual desire. In most cases unprotected sex gives birth to HIV/AIDS, STD’s and unwanted pregnancies. The issue of HIV/AIDS has become a major spotlight in the health sector and to the entire world which we all should not exonerate ourselves from fighting this scourge. This pandemic infection has killed millions of people all over the world and we must continue to use whatever remedies available to dwindle the spread of the virus.

    Notwithstanding the fact that HIV/AIDS has reached an epidemic level I believe this sexual mayhem can be controlled if we all set our sexual priorities right.

    However, we all should not allow our sex drive or lust derail and turn us into sex maniac, because whatever controls a person makes that person a slave. We must not just imagine, but believe we surely can achieve the possibility of an HIV free generation. As we all know, Africa is the pivot of HIV/AIDS with a daily increase of the virus, so time is of the essence when it comes to the issue of HIV.

    In an interview I watched on television about celebrities, Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith asked the question ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO CURB THE HIV PANDEMIC? ‘Everyday I wake up and I hear that question echoing in my ears. Also Kelly Rowland of destiny’s child come to Africa to a country called Kenya to campaign against HIV, where she stayed for sometime. She gave a remarkable and heartfelt speech talking about curbing the HIV menace. Her eyes filled with tears when she talked on people being the solution by helping to decrease the population of people with the virus in every possible way rather than increasing it. There’s an adage which says ‘ The journey of a million miles starts with a step’ and another one says ‘Tiny drops of water makes an ocean’. If we want to positively change our world we have to start today by taking steps. I carried out an extensive research on human behaviors and found out a lot of things.

    Nowadays, parents tend to shy away from educating their children about sex which makes these ignorant children vulnerable and fall victim to sexual harassment, that is one of the reasons I feel it’s a duty to do my own little part to stop the spread of the virus, which is why as a maverick scriptwriter I came up with a unique concept and taking time to write vibrant superhero stories for film production where I merged education and entertainment, which in an entertaining way will teach some rudiments about sex and ways of contracting HIV.

    This will be a versatile moral film aimed at educating people about sex on an entertainment platform which is a related to films like Superman, Spiderman…This will be a film which parents can use to teach their children about sex education. It will uplift the human spirit by changing their mindset because this project will provide the main impetus for positive change in the health sector and beyond.

    Moreover, the media is a superb way to reach out and affect people in a positive way. These days films/movies should not just be hilarious and entertainment, but also to be able to exert a positive message to the people watching. Accordingly, teenagers, youths before the adults are the most vulnerable sets of people that contract HIV, STD’s and get unwanted pregnancies. These sets of people love watching entertainment films/movies and I believe we can teach them through what they love.

    Some parents and people have the mindset that being strict is the only way to talk to a child or someone to change his or her bad ways, but I say ‘ NO ‘! You can be jovial and entertaining to change someone who has been a hard-nut.

    This project will help promote more public awareness and with a unique initiative aimed at curbing the menace of HIV/AIDS on an entertainment platform. The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. said ‘ INTELLIGENCE PLUS CHARACTER -THAT IS THE GOAL OF TRUE EDUCATION’. Despite the fact that I want this film to be shot in Africa because presently Africa is the continent with the highest rate of people living with the HIV/AIDS virus. This film is not just for African’s but the entire world, besides it will have amazing and different characters which will feature people with different colors and a great celebrity from South Africa by the name ‘Yvonne Chaka-Chaka’. I also believe this film will help stop HIV discrimination and stigmatization. The concept of this film will be the prototype to other related films all over the world.

    Every investor, businessman and entrepreneur’s aim is to make money. A simple strategy to make money is looking out for the demand of the people and use that to create wealth by supplying their demands. Financially, this project will have a Midas touch, but we all should not be concerned about just making money but also changing lives.

    I believe the production of this film will be a sure-fire because this is the first time a ‘SUPERHERO FILM’ will come out of Africa which will capture people’s attention, and also because the objective of the film is to change people’s lives and mindset about HIV/AIDS which is a very distinctive issue in the world. As a man of creativity I believe Creativity is a concept we can use to solve this problem of HIV/AIDS and other topical issues affecting the world like Cyber-crime, Militant Kidnapping, Pandemics and other vices by merging education and entertainment to produce moral films. The world premiere of such conceptual moral films will have an outstanding effect on the people.

    Mr. Nelson Mandela the former president of South Africa was jailed for years because he fought for apartheid in South Africa.46664 (pronounced as four, double six, six four) was also the prison number for Nelson Mandela from his imprisonment in 1964 to his release in 1990. 46664 is also the name of the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign started by Nelson Mandela, which has held a series of charity concerts. Shortly before Joe Strummer’s death, he and U2’s Bono co-wrote the song “46664” for Mandela as part of the campaign against AIDS in Africa . Moreover, the number 46664 stars as a highly significant number in my story called ‘…-The birth of a legend’. Nelson Mandela said “Development can no longer be regarded as the responsibility of the government alone. It requires a partnership of government with its social partners: private sector, labor, and non-governmental organizations.”

    I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle victorious ! We can win the battle of HIV/AIDS if we never give up and keep fighting the good fight with whatever form of resource’s and weapons we can use.

    I started working on this project three years ago, and since then I’ve been investing my life to make the story a phenomenal success. This project gave birth to an NGO called ‘LIVING LEGENDS AGAINST PANDEMICS’. I finished writing the story lately and I had contacted two film producers the United States who are very much interested to work with me in producing the film. He said the production of such superhero films is estimated more than a million US dollars, and South Africa is the best place to shoot such special effects films.

    I also intend this film to be the real McCoy which will serve as the official film to help fight HIV/AIDS in the world. My next step is to internationally collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) in the health sector and beyond to work with me. However, every step I take and every move I make involves finance, which is why I am humbly calling on distinguish and reputable personalities like you to kindly support, promote and sponsor the success of this great project.

    Remember your support will go a long way to help produce a moral film which will change people’s lives, both people who are infected with the HIV virus and people who do not have the virus, and also to educate the younger and unborn generations.

    I wish to dedicate this film in remembrance of a great man who really entertained me as a young child. A man who touch millions of lives all over the world with his music and his mellifluous voice, the great ICON – MICHAEL JACKSON.

    I am just one man trying to continue the works of Michael who healed and changes the world by making it a better place. He was a lover of children and I believe he is in heaven right now smiling down on us to continue changing the world.

    Michael’s best superhero was ‘Morph’ of the X-MEN.I will really appreciate if we all can join our hands together to produce this film in remembrance of him.

    Finally, it has gotten to a time we all should be inspired by the content of our character. Let us put our hands together and make this awesome and effective by supporting this propitious unique project in changing the world and touching lives.
    I can best be contacted through my mobile number ,I dont get online regularly.
    If anyone can help me go about this by finding people who will love to invest in this project or work with me i will appreciate very much.

    Thank you and God bless us all.
    Eddie Macaulay

  178. Tomon 17 Jul 2009 at 11:08 am

    Hello Eddie, you’ve posted the same message in several different places, I’d say that’s borderline spam, especially considering the size of the message. I’m going to delete all but one of the comments, so I’d like to ask you which one you’d like me to keep. That is to say, which place do you want the comment to be? I’d recommend keeping it here, and definitely NOT in someone else’s review forum. The reason I’m asking you which one you want to keep is that you seem to have posted something slightly different in each place.

    I appreciate that you want your message to be read, however it is only necessary for you to post it in one place, I assure you that B. Mac will see it.

    I, and the other people at this site, will be glad to discuss the actual content of the message, however first you must tell me which place you would like me to keep the message.

    Also, feel free to post a new version of the message in the place you want it to appear, and I will happily delete the other versions of the message.

  179. BlooKazzooon 18 Jul 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Hi, my name is Kendall and I thought this would be a cool place to get help for my superhero story. Right now, I don’t even know if it’s a comic or a novel…I can’t draw, so It’ll probabaly be a novel. Or maybe it will even be TV show. I’ve never really been in the comic book scene, so I probabaly will need help. Basically, my knowledge of superheros comes from TV. I’ve seen cartoons and movies of comic books [Spiderman, X-Men, Justice Leauge Unlimited, Teen Titans, etc..] but the only luck I’ve had in my town of finding comic books is an old issue of the Teen Titans from about the ’50’s…and I didn’t like it. Robin called Batman a square, and that’s when it started being a bit ‘eh’ for me 😛 It just all seemed out of character, of course all I’ve seen of Robin is in Teen Titans.

    So, basically, no, I’m not a comic expert. I do sometimes search Wikapedia for superheros and villians I see on TV though. Basically, though, most of the comics I have and read are things like Archie, Peanuts, Calvin And Hobbes, etc…so, I do know what a comic is like, just not a very good background to what a superhero comic is like. I hope this site will help me develop my own superhero characters and figure out what excatly I wanna do with them 😛

  180. Marissaon 19 Jul 2009 at 12:44 am

    Welcome to Superhero Nation, Kendall! B. Mac is away at a wedding at the moment, but I’m sure he’d love to set you up a review forum when he returns.

    You don’t need to worry about your lack of superhero exposure, I’ve not read a single comic in my life and get along fine here. 🙂

    Feel free to comment in any of the entries where you feel you need work, for now (maybe some on characters? You said you needed help there), and we’ll offer what advice we can.

  181. Eddie Macon 19 Jul 2009 at 11:49 am

    Please Tom delect the other post and leave this one here .

  182. Tomon 19 Jul 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Okay, erm… it’s been done. I’ll assume someone else deleted them.

    Now we can discuss the message itself.

    There’s something I don’t understand about your post. Specifically, I don’t understand why you are here at this website. You’ve mentioned that you’ve finished writing the story, and if you’ve finished the story I don’t see how this site can help you.

    However, if you would like a review forum you’re more than welcome to one, B. Mac is away at the moment but when he returns he’ll be glad to set one up for you. I’ll make sure that he gets the message.

    If you don’t want a review forum then I’d like to know what you hope to gain from this website.

  183. BlooKazzooon 19 Jul 2009 at 6:47 pm

    No, I’m not finished with my story…I haven’t even started; sorry, I thought I made that clear. :/ Sorry if it wasn’t, sometimes I say things and it makes sense to me and not for others 😛 I have ideas for plots and characters, but no idea if I’d wanna do a novel-type thing or a comic-type thing. I can’t draw, so it may be a novel. And just a question; I don’t know a lot about the comic making process; but does the comic script writer have to be the same as the drawer; or, is it sorta like a book, where you write and someone else draws? If so, I may be fine on the comic thing.

  184. B. Macon 19 Jul 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Hello, Kendall! I’ve set up a review forum for you here. Good luck.

    By the way, it’s okay if you don’t have much of it done. For example, a lot of authors like discussing plot concepts and other groundwork.

    It’s pretty common for comic book writers to have another person (sometimes several people!) do the art. It’s hard enough to be professional-grade in either discipline, let alone both.

  185. Deadmanshandon 20 Jul 2009 at 7:45 am

    I’d like to have a review forum set up either to continue getting feedback on my the story I entered in the 5 page contest or anything else that happens pop up into my head. Until my leg heals I’m going to have a lot of writing time.

  186. B. Macon 20 Jul 2009 at 8:30 am

    Sure, DMH. I’ve set up a review forum for you here. Good luck with your leg!

  187. Deadmanshandon 20 Jul 2009 at 10:17 am

    Thank you. It’s an injury of severe inconvenience more than anything. A few torn ligaments. And I love this site. Several of the topics under common mistakes of first time novelist I hadn’t even considered.

  188. Eddie Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 6:13 am

    I write superhero stories for film production, but I don’t have anyone to promote me. Please contact me if you can help. murphy_ville@yahoo.com

  189. B. Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 8:36 am

    Eddie, I’m not really familiar with moviemaking. My best guess is that you’d go farthest with some sort of job with a film company. Then network and move laterally. It’s like someone becoming an editor at a comic book company so that he can pitch his book directly to the decision-makers rather than putting his proposal through the “unsolicited submission” meat-grinder. Also, being within the company can give you useful experience and credibility.

    I’d also recommend working on your elevator pitch. Realistically, you’ll have probably a minute or two to convince a decision-maker that this project is worth pursuing. The main point I’d recommend hammering home is that “there is an audience for this movie.” What sort of similar films have done well? I like Storm and Hancock as much as anyone, but I don’t think they are very close to what you have in mind. For one thing, their films were mostly action and not very didactic.

    Who’s the target audience? When you say “didactic,” I get the impression that this is a moral story for kids. So a better example might be Fro-Zone, Sam Jackson’s character from The Incredibles. Kids loved him and he was a role-model of a healthy, realistic and relatable family man.

  190. Davidon 23 Jul 2009 at 8:47 am


    hey Eddie try these guys there stastioned int he uk but i am sure they have a usa branch they will review any movie script u send them (for a price) and if its good enough will help promet you or send it to someone who can

    i plan to use them for my scripts

  191. CarsonArtiston 29 Jul 2009 at 3:21 pm


    Can someone set me up a review forum for my graphic novel?

    That would be great, thanks-


  192. B. Macon 29 Jul 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Hello, CarsonArtist. I’ve set up a review forum for you here.

  193. StarEon 17 Sep 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Um, hello! I’m StarE, and I’ve been lurking/posting around Superhero Nation for a little bit. I was wondering if I could please have a review forum, too? If it’s not too much trouble? 🙂

    I asked a lot of questions all over the place, and now I’ve lost track of everything without getting answers to all of them, haha. I think my posts were too big and scared people away… Would it be better if I tried in a review forum? I would really like some opinions on characters, plots, the title, superpowers, and maybe when school isn’t KILLING me, I’ll be able to actually write pieces of the novel to show you guys?

    By the way, since guests can’t use the page break thingy to make spaces between paragraphs, what should I do to break up my “blocks of text” when I post? I’m sorry that when I wrote a lot, it looked so HUGE!

  194. StarEon 17 Sep 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Sorry for the double-post! But is it okay if I do THIS to break up my text?

    That seems to get paragraphs apart nicely, but I don’t know if it’s okay for me to do that. I don’t want the moderators to have to edit my posts all the time. It seems inconvenient for them. 🙂

    Or is it better with only one line-space?
    Or perhaps with a single punctuation mark? Sorry for making this awful post, lol. There’s no preview button or anything, so I can’t see how things look until I test ’em out. *hides under a rock*

  195. Marissaon 17 Sep 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Actually, that’s one of our main jobs, separating larger posts into chunks. Separate it how you want, and we’ll fix it. 😀

  196. StarEon 17 Sep 2009 at 8:08 pm

    But that’s so inconvenient! lol At least doing the “dots” will take out the guess-work…

    MARISSA EDIT: It’s just a button-click away, I swear. This insert here is to prove it. Not inconvenient at all.

  197. B. Macon 18 Sep 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Sure, StarE. I’ve set one up for you here. Good luck.

  198. StarEon 18 Sep 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks, B. Mac! I shall go and make use of it. 🙂 Though I must be cautious… The very fibers of time and space may dissolve before our eyes if I gather all my story questions in one condensed place… *worries for the future* I’ll try not to write too much.

  199. thablueon 05 Oct 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Hiya – I have been lurking for a while and even posted – once! Only I think I posted a question on an old thread that no one looks at any more :/ So I am posting here instead! I am writing, (piecemeal mostly because I am heavily involved in another creative career that takes up most of my time) a series of various supernatural -based comics and books all based in the same world very like this one (only I make the rules). 😛
    The books are stand-alone, but there are character crossovers, as all the charries exist in the same world. This is my first attempt to really write prose, although I am a published poet and songwriter – and I would appreciate input/advice from like-minded sorts. What must I do to set up a review forum, and how much must I have written to qualify? Thanks a mil!

    – thablue

  200. Luna Jamniaon 05 Oct 2009 at 2:30 pm

    You don’t have to have any qualifications to ask for a review forum, as far as I’m aware.
    Just ask B. Mac or any of the co-mods (Marissa, Tom, right?) if they could set one up for you, and then you just start posting away in it. 😉

  201. thablueon 05 Oct 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks, Luna –

    So, I’ll ask away – could I also have a review forum, please? Pretty please with sugar on top? 😉

  202. B. Macon 05 Oct 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Hello, Thablue. I’ve set up a review forum for you here. Good luck!

    Also, Luna, for reasons not clear to me, the moderators aren’t able to start review forums. My apologies– that would probably be faster.

  203. thablueon 05 Oct 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Cheers! *rushes to post what I have so far*

  204. thablueon 09 Oct 2009 at 3:44 am

    It’s funny, when you publish something – even if it’s only a tiny beginning bit of something on the web – you think “Gee, I could have made that a lot better! And that, and that …and that too!” 😛 So I will be re-posting chapter one of “Blood Bourne” – the re-vamp (pun not intended, lol) on my review forum. Thanks for the forum, by the way – no reviews yet, but it’s already helping me! 😀

    I’ll post then move off to read other people’s wonders! 😉

    P.S. you can read both versions, of course…I just think the second posting is better ..then again, I’m probably biased.

  205. thablueon 11 Oct 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Hi guys. Hope ye are all well. Two short things: a) is there any way to edit my posts on my review forum, or take down a post if I’ve redone it *looks sheepish*…and b)
    I’d just like to say that my 1st chapter is done and up for reading, poking, and prodding. Thanks a mil!


  206. Marissaon 11 Oct 2009 at 6:58 pm

    There’s no way to edit your own posts, but you can leave a note and one of us will do it. 🙂

  207. thablueon 12 Oct 2009 at 6:54 am

    Thanks Marissa! If you could just delete my all posts previous to now on my review forum, I’ll just re-post chapter one. That’d be the easiest way, methinks. And I promise I’ll be more careful to triple check my writing before posting in the future! 😀



  208. thablueon 13 Oct 2009 at 3:02 am

    Ack! Nevermind! It was reviewed and now will make no sense if I repost! 😛 I’ll deal with things the way they are – but thanks a mil!

    *runs off to read review*

  209. Merideson 14 Oct 2009 at 10:35 am

    Thank you all for this site! After a bit of prodding from some online friends at NaNoWriMo (I’m RodwenofRohan there), I finally clicked the link. This site has been immensely helpful! I’m sure I’ll become a recurring poster here. 🙂

    And BTW, Ragged Boy- are you the same one from the Tower? Just wondering…

  210. Lurkeron 29 Oct 2009 at 4:47 pm

    After summoning the courage to post, I just wanted to say I really like this site! I’ll probably post more as I start to be less of a lurker ^-^” But yeah! Thanks for the awesome site and advice 😀

  211. Holliequon 15 Jan 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Hello again, guys! Does anybody here remember me? 😛 I’m sorry that I kinda disappeared in November, but school got really busy and I haven’t had much time to devote to writing. I’ve also just done three exams! Which, as you can imagine, was a lot of fun.

    Or in the case of my history exam, hilarious. But that’s an anecdote for another day.

    On the writing front, I’ve recently written a superhero short-story (ish, it’s only 3,000 words), which I might try to get published in a magazine or something. My mum was very impressed with it, but I don’t quite trust her judgement, so I’m hoping to get some other opinions on it at some point.

    I see that B. Mac has made a lot of progress on his comic book. You sound like you’re close to being published. Congrats, B. Mac!

    How are everyone else’s writing projects coming along? I’d really love to know how you’ve been doing! 😛

    Oh, and a hello to anybody I don’t know. This could be many of you, I’m not sure.

  212. Ragged Boyon 15 Jan 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Welcome back, Holliequ! 😀 It’s good to see that you’ve been productive in your time away. I too have just recently returned to consistently being here. I’ve missed it and all the regulars. I’d be very interested in reading over your story, if you don’t mind.

    As for Showtime, I’ve done some editing and planning. It’s going along steadily and I suspect that I can start writing soon.

    Yes, with SN’s rising popularity we have new people all the time. Some quite interesting and talented and others that I wouldn’t mind sending to a torture/English class.

  213. B. Macon 15 Jan 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Welcome, Lurker.

    Hello, Holliequ. I feel like I’m very close to submitting. I’m not sure how close I am to getting published, though. Among other things, I need to finish the series synopsis, come up with the money to finish the art samples, perfect the cover, and ideally network with some more editors at Dark Horse and independent publishers besides Image. Then I just need to wait to hear back from publishers and pound away at the other issues in the series.

    Image is a strong publisher that is famously friendly to comic book creators, but they only pay in royalties rather than by the page. My teammates would prefer to work for a page-rate rather than royalties that might never materialize. Royalties pay better if the series turns into a blockbuster hit, but page-rates are more steady and guarantee a living wage even if the sales are lackluster.

  214. Wingson 15 Jan 2010 at 7:04 pm

    *gasp* At long last, I have returned. A thousand curses on geometry, Internet bans, and overprotective adults.

    How To Save The World is still being written, however, my first priority now is the soon-to-be-retitled Darkstar Rising, merely because as a stand-alone work it will be easier to complete.

    I also have a few new novel ideas, some of which are extremely promising. I’ll mention then on the other forums.

    In other news, I am slowly wearing down P’s resistance towards being a writer. What? The world needs more good writers!

    – Wings

  215. The Jedi Penguinon 10 Mar 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Hello y’all. I guess this is a good a place as any to introduce myself. I’m The Jedi Penguin. I wouldn’t mind if you called me JP though. I’ve been looking around for abit and am hoping to get some help with plot and character naming which are some of my few weak points. I also hope to make a decision on wether to revert my story to its original superhero idea or to keep it as the fantasy I’ve been imagining it as recently.
    Thanks Wings for showing me the site!

  216. Wingson 10 Mar 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Glad you showed up, Jedi Penguin. The world needs more lightsaber-wielding flightless birds.

    Anyways, there’s at least one character naming article and lots of plot-helping peoples running around, and anything else could probably fit into the Open Writing Forum. Snag a review forum for yourself and the writing gods shall smile upon you…

    – Wings

  217. The Jedi Penguinon 10 Mar 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for the info Wings. I’ve seen the character naming article already it will be of much use in the future. I’ll see about a review forum as soon as I finish putting my characters through the intense rehab program i just started. Then i can put them to the test.

  218. TheNewHeroon 28 Mar 2010 at 4:48 am

    Hey guys 😀 I’ve read tons of your articles, they’re really helpful. And I’d like to officially, unofficially join.

  219. B. Macon 28 Mar 2010 at 8:57 am

    You can register for free here.

  220. alxrgrson 11 Apr 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Hi guys, my names Alex

    I started writing recently and found this site pretty amazing when in need of help. I’ve actually already posted a few comments and got some cool feedback.
    Just wondered, is there like a forum or anything where I can eventually post some excerpts of my story for feedback?

    Anyway, hope to become involved and all that 🙂

  221. B. Macon 11 Apr 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Sure. I’ve set up a review forum for you here.

  222. Terrynon 06 Jun 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Hey B. Mac,

    I’m a writer and I am stuck with a lot of things for my story which is a superhero-themed story. Is there anyway that I can email you and we can chat about the problems I have in my story?

  223. B. Macon 06 Jun 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Sure. I can be reached at superheronation[at]gmail[dot]com.

  224. Terrynon 07 Jun 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Hey B.Mac,

    Hope you got my email. Just wondering if you were able to answer any of the questions for me, as I haven’t recieved a response from you yet on my email.

  225. B. Macon 07 Jun 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I just sent a response, Terryn.

  226. ShardReaperon 07 Jun 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Would you be fine if I sent you some of my work for criticism as well?

  227. B. Macon 08 Jun 2010 at 8:36 am


  228. Terrynon 08 Jun 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Hey B.Mac,

    Sent you another email not that long ago, as the questions I asked you on the second email are the ones that I am most stuck on at the moment. Hope to get a response to the questions soon.

  229. B. Macon 08 Jun 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Terryn, I appreciate your enthusiasm but I like to take more than a day to turn these things around, particularly during the workweek. I think that helps me come up with more useful responses.

  230. Holly Annon 24 Jul 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I was wonder if you could set up a review forum for me that I could use for a number of random projects I happen to be working on, so long as nobody minds me changing projects every now and then.

  231. B. Macon 25 Jul 2010 at 2:48 am

    I’ve set it up here. Good luck.

  232. Gueston 18 Sep 2010 at 7:45 am

    I found this site a couple of days ago and found this site very useful! However, I was wondering if you could put up a thing on tips for effective support groups. I have everything just not a good, effective support group. Could you help me?

  233. B. Macon 18 Sep 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I recommend Critters Writing Workshop, Evil Editor, or doing a review forum here. (If you’d like a forum, just ask and I’ll set one up).

  234. superherofreak7on 18 Sep 2010 at 3:24 pm

    B. Mac, I sent you an extension.

  235. B. Macon 18 Sep 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Okay. I have responded.

  236. superherofreak7on 18 Sep 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Okay, so…did you like my (very) short beginning?

  237. Wingson 22 Sep 2010 at 2:20 pm

    B. Mac, I have sent you another email.

    – Wings

  238. Wingson 08 Oct 2010 at 10:02 pm

    B. Mac, I sent you yet another email. Did you receive it?

    – Wings

  239. B. Macon 09 Oct 2010 at 10:31 am

    I’ve responded.

  240. k1dorkon 16 Dec 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Any advice on how a writer would go about getting his book on kindle or any of the other digital media? Thanks.

  241. B. Macon 16 Dec 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Getting Published on Kindle. 😀

  242. sn2catton 28 Dec 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Awesome site. I’m trying to write a story, only I can’t draw at all. If there’s any drawing tutorial online, I would love to know.

  243. B. Macon 29 Dec 2010 at 11:17 am

    For drawing advice, I like Rob Davis’ site.

  244. A. T. Marieon 09 Jan 2011 at 1:42 am

    Hey! I’ve finally got a good superheroish memoir type thing(such a specific genre I know) and was wondering if you could set up a forum for me. The site I’m on now is getting waaaay too full. I can barely get a chapter reviewed :/ This site is so awesome and I hope it survived 2011.


  245. B. Macon 09 Jan 2011 at 11:27 am

    Okay, I’ve set it up here, A.T. Preliminarily, the summary I’ve given at the top is “I’m writing a superhero memoir,” but please let me know if you’d like me to replace that with something better.

    PS: Thanks for your kind words!

  246. Nicholas Caseon 12 Jan 2011 at 9:48 am

    I love this site and I want to ask for a review form-if that’s okay. I’m currently writing a novel about a boy with the power of ice and can kick butt with it but is extremely sensitive and weak to heat. He basically has to kill a guy names Haden who blew up Europe and Asia with the power of a reincarnated girl named Arre. Arre is just the backwards version of Erra who was the collection of all the evil in the uiverse. So anyways the boy meets Haden’s son and they become mortal enemies, then rivals, then best friends at the end of the story. So can I have a review forum?

  247. B. Macon 12 Jan 2011 at 10:53 am

    Okay, Nicholas. I’ve set it up for you here.

  248. S. Roseon 28 Jan 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Hi! I have to say that i absolutely cherish the advice that i find on this website. Im certainly an amateur at writing and every little suggestion helps. By the way B. Mac, where on Earth did you get these epic writing powers?
    Just sayin’

  249. B. Macon 28 Jan 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Practice and a willingness to say crazy things until something sticks. 😉

  250. bolion 14 Jul 2011 at 8:36 pm

    i’ve been reading this and so far you rock. plus, much respect for your generosity. thanks for this wonderful site. tudo de bom!

  251. bolion 14 Jul 2011 at 8:42 pm

    the ‘the taxman must die’ title itself is worth the book. i wonder if you’ve ever read Preacher (garth ennis). if you havent, please take that as a very lame way i found to reciprocate your generous (and quite enlightening) advice.

  252. B. Macon 14 Jul 2011 at 9:14 pm

    “If you say one word, I will ****ing blow your head off.” “Miss.”

  253. M*A*S*Hon 11 Sep 2011 at 2:30 am

    I found this website to very informative about how to write graphic novels and characters and story development. I also like the list of articles involving superheroes and superpowers in all the different avenues of how they work and don’t work out and how it adds to the characters in the story. I definitely want to read on your advice on how to make a comic. I also have characters in development and I pretty much have all their background stories all down. the origin stories and the superpowers and weaknesses just need to be tweaked. I feel your advice can be my blueprint for completing my comics.

  254. ShyVioletson 08 Nov 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I’ve already posted a bit but i thought I’d take the time to introduce myself here 🙂

    I’m a 15 year old female high school student who loves writing, art and music more than anything in the world.
    I play varsity golf and hope to become good enough to get a golf scholarship to a good college.
    I plan on finishing my first novel before the end of the school year and work on getting it published ASAP.
    I’m terribly inept when it comes to talking to most members of the opposite sex and am throughly unromantic.
    Recently the plot bunnies crawled in my head and had babies so I now have two additional novel ideas.

    Sincerely Yours,
    ShyViolets 🙂

  255. Grenacon 08 Nov 2011 at 10:03 pm

    You seem nice, I like you already 🙂

    My name’s Grenac, or if you prefer, Jade. Nice to meet you. I hope you have a good time here. Btw, you’ll love Myna.

  256. ShyVioletson 09 Nov 2011 at 5:23 am

    Hello Grenac/Jade 🙂

    It’s so nice to meet you 😀 so fare I’ve had a wonderful time here and have found everyone very friendly and helpful. I look forward to meeting this Myna person you speak of. I love meeting new people ^-^

  257. Grenacon 09 Nov 2011 at 12:39 pm

    If you ever think about getting a review forum, I’d be happy to review. I’ve been deprived of good stories lately U_U

  258. ShyVioletson 09 Nov 2011 at 5:10 pm

    That sounds wonderful 😀 As soon as I have few chapters written, I will be asking for a review forum.

    PS: my sincerest regrets for your good story deprivation

  259. Wingson 09 Nov 2011 at 11:59 pm

    I take off for a couple months and all the newbies flood in, huh? Nice to meet you. There’s always room for another teller of tales over here. Fresh blood and whatnot, y’know what I mean?

    …To think I was one of the posters on this thread way back in 2009 at the top. Good times.

    – Wings

  260. Indigoon 10 Nov 2011 at 12:23 am

    I guess I must have missed the forum where we introduce ourselves, so I guess I’ll do it now (even though I’ve been reading the articles for over a year and just barely started posting last month 😉 )

    So I’m Indigo (the name of one of the main characters in my comic book) I’m 19 and I’ve enjoyed reading, writing and drawing since I was little. I am currently working on redoing an old comic that me and my best friend used to write, although I don’t really have plans to publish it, maybe I’ll post it on my web page, but it’s really just for the entertainment of my friends. 🙂
    Let’s see, I have had the pleasure of meeting ShyViolets and Wings already and I am very grateful for their help 🙂
    P.S. Did I read somewhere that Wings is a MaxRide fan? 😉

  261. B. McKenzieon 10 Nov 2011 at 1:19 am

    “I guess I must have missed the forum where we introduce ourselves–” Personally, I would not recommend posting demographic information online unless you have a strong professional reason to do so and, even then, I’d be careful. Anyway, there’s my security spiel.

  262. ShyVioletson 10 Nov 2011 at 5:56 am

    As far as I can tell none of us have really posted anything specific enough to end up as a security threat. Something as generic as age isn’t really useful for tracking someone down and what not.

    Age, gender, and likes and dislikes could however provide some aid to potential reviewers by giving them a little bit of insight as to how your mind works. I don’t think I think much like an average teenager but I still am one which means my mind will work very differently from an adult as my brain won full mature till I’m 24. (mans’ brains don’t full mature till age 29)

  263. Grenacon 10 Nov 2011 at 9:02 am

    This is why I don’t post personal information online. I don’t even go by my real name. We had an incident where some guys called someone in my family asking to send money. Another relative found out their claims about it being for another injured family member were, of course, false. They threatened to find our family connections online. This is also why I don’t interact with family online, because no offense, but they’re really stupid when it comes to online safety.

    That being said, all anyone ever gets from me is my alias and some likes/dislikes, rarely age and sometimes not even gender. I like leaving them guessing 🙂 I do it with email too. The DEVIANTART deactivations taught everyone that.

    Woops, rambling. Anywho, nice to meet you Indigo. Wings, your name siggies are fun 🙂

  264. Wingson 10 Nov 2011 at 10:18 am

    Maximum Ride? Used to like it, then Final Warning came out, and once I started rereading the original trilogy properly they started making me mad. Good authors shouldn’t have continuity errors between chapters and should have a general idea of what the hell they’re doing (Darnit, Patterson, if you’re just making this stuff up as you go, don’t be so obvious about it!). It could have been an interesting story in the hands of a much more competent author (it’s not a necessarily bad idea – genetically altered kids trying to outrun their creators sounds pretty darn cool to me), but at present it’s just above the Twilight level in my eyes.

    Be smart, newbies. Keep your secrets to yourselves. 😉

    – Wings

  265. Indigoon 10 Nov 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Lol, point taken guys, thanks 😉

  266. Marquison 10 Nov 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Ummm fill me in on what we’re doing here. Introductions?

  267. ShyVioletson 10 Nov 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Here’s what’s going on:

    1) Generic introductions so we can get to know at least a little about each other (names and stuff like that are not necessarily included)

    2) Debating the merits of Maximum Ride (i couldn’t get into those books. I never seemed to be able to build affection for the characters)

    3) Discussing internet safety (I personally have no issue giving out age, gender and some likes and dislikes because I’m sure there are about a million other people who share all of those things. without my sparkling personality of course 😉 )

  268. Wingson 10 Nov 2011 at 10:33 pm

    And on those topics…

    1. I’ve no real need to introduce myself -I already did, back at the beginning of this thread. Post number 4 up there is me, back when I was young and stupid and a bit of a flake. Good times.

    2. James Patterson and his “continuity-what-continuity” work make my rage burn with the fire of a thousand suns. I hate research too, Jimmy Patz. But submarines do not work that way.

    3. Don’t be dumb, kids. Spilling secrets on the ‘Net is a lousy way to make the evening news. Common sense will never hurt you.

    – Wings

  269. ShyVioletson 10 Nov 2011 at 11:25 pm

    1) *goes up and reads post four* you don’t sound bad up there at all ^_^

    2) Hahaha 😀 just cause it’s fiction doesn’t mean you can make junk up as you go along

    3) Unfortunately most people have less common sense than an average sized grapefruit -_-

  270. Grenacon 11 Nov 2011 at 2:01 am

    Moral of the story, don’t share sensitive information online and perhaps go that extra step to hide your location.

    So, ShyViolets. Got a story synopsis to share? I’m a little curious about Theo Knight 🙂

    Oh, “fun fact”: My mom has to get her gallbladder removed. We barely have enough money to cover the hospital bills :\

  271. Marquison 11 Nov 2011 at 8:38 am

    Ok Thanks, My names Marquis ( My old French Name Back In 8th Grade Means Royalty So I liked it alot).

    Maxium Ride was good, I don’t remember what book it was but I do remeber the part where Angel turned out to be a traitor Max had lost use of her arm with the chip. But it turned out it was all a fream or something. That’s when I realized maybe James patterson had made it up as he went….. eh Maximum ride was good.

  272. ShyVioletson 11 Nov 2011 at 9:31 am

    @ Grenac

    Well here is basically what happens:
    Theo and her family have just moved to a new city after her mother gets a job transfer. Because she and her her *brothers all have powers there mother has set up an interview at the International School for the Inherently Skilled aka ISIS (a school the trains young people with powers to be full blown super heros). All of them pass the written and interview section of the entrance exam with flying colors but the **power test isn’t so easy for Theo because power of enhanced perception isn’t classically strong and the school almost rejects her application but since she scored higher than anyone they’ve ever seen on certain portions of the test that decide to except her on a trial bases.

    Later, as she’s finally beginning to settle in at the school a very old artifact that contains a strange power source is stolen from the local museum and the crime is pinned on her pseudo step father who was a thief in his youth but went strait. Theo and her group of friends from ISIS begin investigating on their own but are caught by the teachers who over see them. Instead of ratting the out to the administration they decide to aid and supervise the young heros in their pursuit of justice.

    When Theo and company finally track down the ***real thieves there is a chaotic fight during which Theo is captured by them. The leader of the group ends up defecting and helping her escape. Then the two groups band together to defeat the *****true master mind of the crime.

    * i keep going back and forth on weather she should have 2 or 4 brothers
    **the power test it like this big obstacle course/maze
    ***they are a group of teens who were raised by one of the leaders of a mysterious and very danger corporation
    ****initially he seems like a very bad person but really he is just a grieving man trying to do what he thinks is right and the corporation is the truly evil entity.

    PS: sorry to hear that


    I’m not easily impress by books. They have to be really good with a premise I really like or I won’t even finish it. Plus if the main character acts like they live in a Soap Opera I’m not interested. The Maximum Ride series never really could hold my interest.

  273. B. McKenzieon 11 Nov 2011 at 1:42 pm

    “I personally have no issue giving out age, gender and some likes and dislikes because I’m sure there are about a million other people who share all of those things.” 32% of U.S. drivers don’t wear seat-belts, which works out to many tens of millions of people. Most days, it works out fine for most of them. However, I’d recommend avoiding giving away information that could be used to identify you because on the few days when safety matters, it really matters.

    Please be safe. I’ve already had one cyber-stalker (and a death threat from somebody else).

  274. ShyVioletson 11 Nov 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Okay I will

  275. Wingson 11 Nov 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Death threats, B. Mac? This is a writing website. Whatever did you do to deserve that?

    – Wings

  276. B. McKenzieon 11 Nov 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Objectively, nothing.

  277. ShyVioletson 11 Nov 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Some people are just really scary o.O

  278. Wingson 11 Nov 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Yet another reason to not be stupid on the Internet. Take it to heart, kids. Death threats, much like nooses, are bad.

    – Wings

    (B. Mac, there’s a spambot over in Review Forums. Thought you should know.)

  279. ShyVioletson 11 Nov 2011 at 9:28 pm

    If we are giving safety warnings, here is my insightful comment for the day.

    Stay in school and plan ahead because summer school can be a really scary place. I almost died in summer school. Seriously. ALMOST DIED o.O

  280. B. McKenzieon 12 Nov 2011 at 7:08 am

    Granted, I’m not an expert on computer security by any means, but it took me maybe 5 hours of searching to identify the person that sent me the death threat* (and, umm, ask her teacher to bring it up with her parents). I would imagine that people that are actually experienced at this sort of thing are vastly better at it than I am. For example, ABC News did a piece on this guy that locates online trolls. I’m guessing there are people with similar skill-sets but malicious intentions.

    *Also, she didn’t give away anything explicitly identifying like a name, age, sex, address, phone-number, email, etc. Those would have made it easier.

    As always, please be careful. I’m getting back to reviews and the like.

  281. Marquison 12 Nov 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Personaly I feel like kids get on the internet a say all types of thing because they feel as tho they won’t get caught. Also they can’t get hurt. I mean who’s gonna walk up to someone and I say you’re a ( Insert Harrasment Here ) and feel as though something won’t happen to them.

  282. wendyleslieon 30 Nov 2011 at 8:00 pm

    As a new writer with a new blog, I am constantly overwhelmed by established writers’ sites – the extent of information but more importantly the content.

    Yours is a delight to scroll through and the clear explanation of instructional pieces, priceless. Even though my genre, medical romance is at first glance far removed from superheroes (maybe not), 🙂 I would like to add a link if I may.

    Thank you, Wendy

  283. B. McKenzieon 30 Nov 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I find that it usually takes a few years of doing something to get good at it. Fortunately, if you’re already a good writer, that’s 90% of it. In terms of technical skills, it will probably be helpful to brush up on basic HTML and basic search engine optimization if you’re not already familiar with them. Fortunately, they’re pretty beginner-friendly. If you’d like some basic tips to SEO, I’ll include some below.

    1) You’ve already got a niche, which is key. It’s so hard to stand out from the crowd with just a “writing website,” so it’s really helpful that you have a genre/subgenre (medical romance) and your scientific background will probably serve you well there.

    2) As regularly as possible, provide people content that they want to read. This is challenging for a fiction-writer (although you can release fiction on a regular basis–it’s just a hell of a lot of work). I personally had a lot more success writing advice based on the books I had read and eventually the manuscripts I had reviewed. (Identifying elements of strong writing and weak writing and giving practical advice about how you can implement/practice one and avoid/minimize the other).

    2.1. Identify content that would be useful to people in your field. For example, I’m not a medical writer at all, but a lot of authors (myself included) have doctors (superpowered or otherwise) in their writing, so a few articles on how to make doctors sound believable would be really useful. For example, if a character gets shot, how do I write what the doctor does? On the romance side, I’ve found that there a lot of people that are interested in writing romances that are (take your pick) more interesting, more believable, more memorable, more timeless, more gripping, more original, etc.

    2.2. In terms of marketing your writing, one avenue is finding websites that host writers and offer to do some content in exchange for a link. I’d be really interested in hosting some articles on medical writing, particularly as it pertains to action. Even something as basic as “What happens in an emergency room?” could be really helpful to writers without medical training (i.e. pretty much all of us).

    3) Once you’ve identified what information people are interested in, think about how they will search on Google/Bing/Yahoo for it. For example, here’s how this process would work for me:

    Step 1) I’ve noticed a lot of people asking for superpower suggestions.
    Step 2) I thought about how they would search for it. According to Google Analytics, a few will try something like “creative superpowers,” but vastly more try “list of superpowers” or “superpower list.”

    Once you know what the most important terms are, I would recommend incorporating them into the title, bolded text and body text as smoothly as possible. For example, pretty much every article on SN has 5+ topic sentences that are bolded, which gives me a lot of opportunities to put critical search terms into bold text. Google loves to see the search term in the title of the article (page), the name of the website, the URL of the website (e.g. superheronation.com) and likes to see it in bolded text and in the regular text.

    Some other notes:
    –You will have a VAST advantage on search terms if the term is in your title and URL. Right now, I’m beating Marvel and DC on “superhero stories” and “how to write superhero stories” and it’s not because I have more superhero stories than they do. I would recommend picking 1-2 of the most important search terms and making sure that they are in your URL and title. For example, if your blog is just about writing medical romances, something like writingmedicalromances.com covers at least two critical terms and is pretty easy to remember. Many more prospective readers are doing searches that include the word medical and/or writing and/or romance(s) than Wendy and/or Leslie, I’m suspecting. (And you won’t have any trouble reaching the people searching for you by name).

    –Another possibility is adding a colon phrase to the end of your title. For example, the full title of the SN website is Superhero Nation: how to write superhero novels, comic books and graphic novels. The phrase helps indicate to prospective readers what I offer and helps me rank on the searches that are most important to my site (like how to write superhero stories and how to write superhero novels).

    –I would recommend setting up Google Analytics if you have not already done so. After a few weeks, it’ll give you useful information about how people are reaching your site, what they are looking for, etc. It has been a treasure-trove for me in terms of suggesting new articles. (“Wait, someone searched for something that I don’t already have on my website. I should write an article for that!” I wouldn’t recommend paying too much attention to how many readers you have, though, because traffic naturally goes up and down (but will usually trend up if the content is informative and/or entertaining and well-written). For example, I panicked early on when my traffic cratered, but it turns out that almost every type of website suffers during the summer (when people have more recreational opportunities than just staying in-doors).

    –Write for readers/viewers more than search engines. If I ever have to pick between readers/viewers and search engines, I vote for people every time and the SEs eventually come around. For example, I could just randomly bold words because Google likes bolded words, but it is a bit of an eyesore to humans. I like bolding the topic sentences of list items because it’s a more natural way to organize articles. I bold topic sentences not just because they’re more important to search engines, but mainly because they’re more important to readers.

  284. Indigoon 30 Nov 2011 at 11:34 pm

    So that’s why no matter what I typed in about writing comics/anything related to superheroes I was directed to this site! I am so glad too! I can’t even tell you guys how extremely helpful and entertaining this website has been. And it’s also helping me to become a better writer, so thanks for creating this site B. Mac! 🙂

  285. B. McKenzieon 01 Dec 2011 at 12:35 am

    “So that’s why no matter what I typed in about writing comics/anything related to superheroes I was directed to this site!” Haha, thanks. There isn’t a lot of competition. Not enough money at stake.

  286. ArtKingon 12 Dec 2011 at 1:21 am

    I’d like a review forum to star presenting my various stories please. Call it ArtKing’s review forum.

  287. ArtKingon 12 Dec 2011 at 1:22 am


  288. MGHon 12 Dec 2011 at 4:27 am

    It sounds like a cool story! 🙂 I’m anxious to read it.

  289. ArtKingon 12 Dec 2011 at 4:39 am

    Thank you, and I’m anxious to get it published one day.

  290. ArtKingon 13 Dec 2011 at 7:41 am

    So… Could I get that forum up any time soon.

  291. RoLandoon 13 Dec 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Artking I will be looking out for your forum…it sounds fresh and original. I love it! Lol

  292. RoLandoon 13 Dec 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’m working on a story as well. It about a superhero who is preparing to retire for a few reasons. However, when he is standing at the podium preparing to announce it to the world his wife is gunned down by a sniper. Needless to say, his retirement will have to wait.

    It’s not fleshed out as well as yours Artking, but I think its going to be interesting as I develop it more. I don’t have a forum yet, but I hope to soon!

  293. B. McKenzieon 13 Dec 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve set it up here, ArtKing.

  294. ArtKingon 13 Dec 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you sir. B.Mckenzie.

    Oh and just for that I’ll definitely check out your review forum once it’s made RoLando… You’re story sounds cool too, simple but interesting as well and in my book; all a story really needs is to be interesting and enjoyable.

  295. HomuHomuon 25 Jan 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Have you considered making a “read this before posting” link on the front page? It seems people forget that a review forum is for reviewing and not a codeword for ass-kissing. A few things to list out would be:
    -What you post is pretty much open to public viewing and response.
    -Those sensitive to critique should probably refrain from posting or otherwise not get their hopes too high about response.
    -Not to get personally offended when someone points out areas of weakness (?)* offers suggestions of improvement.
    -And those things I mentioned in NC’s forum

    *I wanted to say areas of major suck, but that might not sit well with people 🙂

  296. LeFlamelon 04 Apr 2012 at 11:57 pm

    It’s like I died and went to writer heaven 🙂 hey y’all LeFlamel here. I’ve basically read/skimmed every article on this site, and needless to say I’m pretty much hooked. love the atmosphere here. lol’d hard on my way down to the comment box.

    I can’t reaaally tell if this place is for intro’s or what, so I’ll keep it brief. I’m a lover of ideas first and foremost, so I think too much and the only way to organize all my thoughts is through writing. I mostly write novels (one manga/graphic novel in the works) and I am VERY prone to writer’s blocks, but when school stress comes up I get creative as my little escape, hence I find this page.

    @B. McKenzie can I get a review forum?

  297. LeFlamelon 04 Apr 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Nvm, beat me to it lol.

  298. goodness graciouson 12 May 2012 at 3:56 am

    If i send you the firtst 5-10 pages how can i be sure i wont read a novel someday with the same first couple pages.

  299. B. Macon 12 May 2012 at 6:52 am

    “If [I] send you the [first] 5-10 pages[,] how can [I] be sure [I] [won’t] read a novel someday with the same first couple [of] pages[?]”

    1. Pages from an unpublished author would be more of a hindrance than an asset for an author good enough to get published. An author good enough to write pages 11-300 of a publishable book is good enough to write pages 1-10 as well.

    2. If your writing is valuable enough that people might want to steal it, I’m guessing you’ve already found a paying publisher (or at least a literary agent). If you’re not quite there yet, I’d recommend that you keep practicing. According to a survey by Jim Hines, the average published novelist spent ~10 years practicing before getting published.

    2.1. I find editing fiction much easier than writing it.

    3. Only an idiot would risk destroying his/her career and personal ethics by committing plagiarism. On average, first-time novels earn an advance of approximately $4,000-5,500.

    3.1. If a plagiarist had the first 5-10 pages of your manuscript, it’d probably take him at least 2,000 hours to finish the manuscript and get it published for (say) $5,000. Stealing your manuscript for a chance at $2-3 per hour is not super-appealing. (Except maybe in the DRC or something).

    3.2. Even if a plagiarist had all 300 pages of your manuscript, it would take him *at least* 2 hours per page to rewrite it and get it published for about (say) $5,000. It would still be less than the U.S. minimum wage.

    3.3. Novelists generally accept hideously low pay because they have stories they want to share. Nobody besides you would take a huge pay-cut to share your stories.

    3.4. If anyone is in such a desperately bad situation that they’d even think about stealing someone’s work for a chance at $3/hour, I’d strongly recommend that they consider other more stable and ethical career possibilities, such as everything.

    3.5. It sounds like you’re implying that I may be desperate enough to rip you off for $3/hour. I manage advertising accounts (totaling something like $40 million last year). I’m not a plausible candidate for $3/hour criminal work.

    4. I am excusing myself from reviewing your work because it could not be a mutually satisfactory author-reviewer relationship unless we respect each other’s professionalism. Good luck with your writing career.

    5. I would recommend proofreading more aggressively. If your manuscript has more than one typo per page, it’s probably dead on arrival. You had 8 typos in a single sentence, so that’s a major opportunity.

  300. crescon 15 May 2012 at 4:43 pm

    ^My Hero^

  301. B. McKenzieon 15 May 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Hah, thanks, Cresc.

    I’d like to add a note on plagiarism for writers that are good enough that somebody might plausibly want to steal their writing.

    1. If you’re serious about getting a story published, I would recommend against publicly posting substantial portions of it online. Prospective publishers might raise an eyebrow if more than a few chapters are available on Google. (Please note that discreetly sharing a story with a small circle of reviewers via email or on a members-only site like Critters Writing Workshop would not alarm publishers).

    2. Good news–regardless of your talent level, nobody will plagiarize your story before it has been published. Plagiarists go for published stories because they don’t have the diligence or talent to take a story from unpublishable to publishable. (Not that your unpublished story isn’t great! It might be. But most unpublished books will take more than 50 hours of work to get published–unpublished works don’t scream “easy glory” to a plagiarist nearly as much as published ones do).

    3. If your work does get plagiarized, please check out this article.

  302. Emaon 05 Jul 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Hello there,

    I wanted to drop a line and let you know how much I have enjoyed reading the articles on this website. This is probably one of the most useful and practical sites offering writing tips that I have happened across on the internet. The advice here has helped me target and fix weaknesses in my own writing, which I really appreciate.

    For a bit about me, I enjoy reading and writing fantasy. I have a novel in the works and a goal to finish it this summer (and begin some hard-core revision before it is ready for other people’s eyes). I am working full time now and will be back to university in the fall, so my fingers are crossed that I will accomplish my goal!

    Thank you again for offering so many great articles on writing. 🙂


  303. Hotrod198on 06 Jul 2012 at 7:07 am

    You know what would be a great addition to this site? A section where members can sign up and post their stories for others to give feedback and such. This idea may have been mentioned SOMEWHERE in the comments but the list is too long for me to search for it. But this addition couuld be good for a forum/site like this.

    I’d also like to say that the help given here is fantastic and really helps give me ideas on what to do.

  304. B. McKenzieon 06 Jul 2012 at 11:02 am

    “You know what would be a great addition to this site? A section where members can sign up and post their stories for others to give feedback and such.” Prospective publishers might get antsy if large chunks of the story have been publicly published online. I think it might be more effective to get together a circle of reviewers that you mainly communicate with via email. If you’d like, please send me a summary of the story (ideally up to one page) and a (preferably disposable) email address that I can post so that interested prospective reviewers can ask you for the chapters.

    “I’d also like to say that the help given here is fantastic and really helps give me ideas on what to do.” You’re welcome! If you have a website of your own (or frequent other writing websites), I always appreciate links to SN.

  305. B. McKenzieon 06 Jul 2012 at 11:10 am

    “I wanted to drop a line and let you know how much I have enjoyed reading the articles on this website. This is probably one of the most useful and practical sites offering writing tips that I have happened across on the internet.” Thanks! When you’re ready for beta reviewers, please drop me a line at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com. In addition, I’d appreciate if you would link to SN on your website (or another writing website you frequent). Thanks again!

  306. Hotrod198on 08 Jul 2012 at 7:25 am

    When I do send you the summary, should I at least have the first chapter written by the time I send it or not. Because I am still working out the kinks on the actual story itself and how the first chapter is going to start.

    And if I do get a website and stuff later on, I will be sure to link back to this site 😀

  307. B. McKenzieon 08 Jul 2012 at 7:37 am

    “When I do send you the summary, should I at least have the first chapter written by the time I send it or not.” Yeah, that’d be a good plan. That way, if reviewers are interested in the story, you will have something for them to review.

  308. Emaon 08 Jul 2012 at 10:52 am

    Thank you, I most certainly will take advantage of that when I am ready. I will be sure to spread the word about SN when opportunity arises!

    By the way, I attempted to register for this site at the link provided here: (http://www.superheronation.com/2009/11/26/three-minor-reminders-registration-and-a-new-reader-survey/). When I did so, the page notified me that I would receive my password in my email. I registered two days ago and have not yet received any email. When I attempted to register a second time, it confirmed my email and username had already been registered. I noticed the article was back from 2009 and I am wondering if this registration link is still functioning. Do I simply have to wait a while longer? Thanks!


  309. A11 L1V3S L0STon 16 Jul 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I have only recently found this site (like yesterday at the earliest) but I really have enjoyed the content that I have found here. I would love to join the site even though I’m not exactly sure how. I tired the link that Ema had tried, and I am having the same problem.

    Also, I wouldn’t mind some help with my latest story idea. I don’t have much for it yet, to be honest I haven’t even started writing it yet. Reading everything on this site has encouraged me to try and do things a little diffrently, so I’m trying to think it out a little and plan ahead this time. Atleast more than I normally do.

    Ema, best of luck to you with the registration!

    Any and all, feedback or corrections/advice on my grammer or spelling is always welcomed!

  310. YellowJujuon 16 Jul 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Having the same problem :/

  311. A11 L1V3S L0STon 16 Jul 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Yea, I hope that it’s just a waiting game but I do hope if it really is a problem it’ll get fixed soon. Website is to good for a bad link (or whatever it is) to stop it though,. I think people’ll still keep coming. Know I will atleast.

  312. B. McKenzieon 16 Jul 2012 at 8:16 pm

    You’re not having any success registering here? http://www.superheronation.com/wp-admin/

    That should take you to a screen where you have the ability to register. Here’s a screen-shot of what I see…


  313. YellowJujuon 16 Jul 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Told me: “Email cannot be sent. Possible Reason: host as disabled mail function.”

  314. B. McKenzieon 16 Jul 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Hmm, okay. Thanks for letting me know. I’ve emailed SN’s technical guru, but he’s on his honeymoon. Hopefully he’ll have time to fix this in the medium-term.

  315. Contra Gloveon 17 Jul 2012 at 3:12 pm

    B. McKenzie, a while ago, I e-mailed you a story just before you left for Japan. Have you gotten around to reviewing it yet?

  316. writers of destinyon 17 Jul 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Helllo everyone. Just found this site when I was looking for help in making my superhero origin story.

  317. d3stin3d writ3ron 17 Jul 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Just Changed my name. Any way I am working on a super hero story but right now I am trying to decided if I want my hero to have powers or be more like batman. I want it to be a darker mature story thats for sure. Something Emotionaly moving.

  318. A11 L1V3S L0STon 18 Jul 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Well D3stined writ3r, you can have an emotionally moving story with, or without powers. Same applies to a darker more mature story. I personally think that it depends more on how dark you want your story to be, though like I said, you can do it with or without powers, so it’s more about your personal taste and what exactly you want out of your story.

  319. M. Happenstanceon 18 Jul 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Powers don’t necessarily make for a less emotionally moving story. Goofy powers maybe, but you’re unlikely to use those unless you’re explicitly writing a comedy to begin with.

    In truth, the tone of a story, while depending somewhat on the subject matter, rests more on the shoulders of the execution. Powers or no powers.

  320. B. McKenzieon 18 Jul 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Contra Glove, I’m still working on it. It’s 40 pages long. I should have something within 2-3 days.

  321. Marquison 18 Jul 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Duuude! You went to Japan!!!!

  322. B. McKenzieon 18 Jul 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I did not encounter any city-eating reptiles, but I did see some Pokemon painted on a subway car and another groomsman mentioned something about a guy dressed as a Totoro at a bus stop. Also, my plane got diverted by a typhoon/hurricane.

  323. Contra Gloveon 18 Jul 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks. Forgot it was so hefty.

  324. Fluffmongeron 26 Aug 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Hey there y’all.
    I’m the Fluffmonger, and I specialise in writing romantic fic. I have not been professionally published. My main focus is short stories and anthologies.

    I am familiar with sci-fi, fantasy and superhero works, and am well read (as writers should be!)

    I have posted here before, under a different name. It’s been a while though.

    So, yeah.

  325. PlagueHearton 01 Oct 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Well hello PlagueHeart here Im trying to get one the stories I have been working on for a while going two story lines planned out the only thing I need is the final piece should his powers be physical or mental based on that I will determine how the story will flesh out.

  326. B. McKenzieon 01 Oct 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “The final piece is need is whether his powers should be physical or mental. Based on that, I will determine how the story will flesh out.” Hmm. I’d take it the other way–figure out the story you want to write, and then come up with appropriate superpowers.

  327. PlagueHearton 01 Oct 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Let me rephrase/correct that i allready have the story lines fleshed its just that i need t make the final decision what his powers will be mental powers or physical powers

  328. B. McKenzieon 01 Oct 2012 at 3:47 pm

    So… could you tell me more about your plot, characters and main conflicts?

  329. Gummyb2on 13 Oct 2012 at 10:57 pm


  330. YellowJujuon 14 Oct 2012 at 12:59 am

    I have recruited Gummy to the site. I’m trying to get my other writing friends too!

  331. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I want to have a forum, but I’m a little nervous about having my works on the Internet where people could find them and steal stuff. Is that much of a problem?

  332. B. McKenzieon 17 Oct 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I would generally recommend limiting how much material you have publicly available–e.g. if you limit yourself to 5-10 pages online, you should be okay. For any reviewers that want to read more chapters, I’d recommend emailing the chapters instead so that the chapters aren’t as exposed to Google.

  333. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Ok! Could you set me up a forum please? 🙂

  334. B. McKenzieon 17 Oct 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Alright, I’ve set it up here.

  335. YellowJujuon 06 Nov 2012 at 10:09 am

    Do you know how many SN people have gotten published successfully?

  336. BMon 06 Nov 2012 at 11:30 am

    According to one survey, more than 20 SN readers (something like 5% of the respondents) indicated that they have been professionally published.

    As far as authors that I definitely know were published after reading and/or contributing to SN, three have sent me emails and I’ve recently been published myself. And I’m guessing some SN readers have been published without letting me know.

  337. Nayanon 06 Nov 2012 at 8:57 pm

    @B. Mac.
    Your user name is undergoing a lot of changes.

    Brian Mckenzie=B. Mckenzie=B. Mac.=BM=???

  338. B. McKenzieon 06 Nov 2012 at 9:27 pm

    [link to title theme of Casino Royale]

  339. Dr. Vo Spaderon 06 Nov 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Ha-ha-ha! Awesome.

  340. YellowJujuon 06 Nov 2012 at 11:41 pm

    BM, I just wanted to let you know that I love this site. I don’t know how I’d write without the articles and helpful people on this site. I check the site pretty much whenever I can to look for new comments. When I’m bored, I click on a random archive date and read all the articles from that month. This site is the only website I visit regularly and it’s my only bookmarked page. I’ve reccomended SN to all my writing friends! Thanks for running a wonderful website! 🙂

  341. B. McKenzieon 07 Nov 2012 at 1:47 am


  342. Kirbyon 14 Dec 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Hi! I found this wonderful site while searching around for ideas for a school project I’m doing. We’re allowed to do pretty much whatever we want, and I wanted to make a unique superhero origin story that plays around with superhero characters and tropes. Fortunately, the information on here is both helpful and hilarious. I would really like to meet some of you guys and get some feedback on the project. I might as well make this schoolwork entertaining!

  343. YellowJujuon 14 Dec 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Kirby! I’m YellowJuju!
    I was wondering what grade you were in, as my 8th grade LA class has no creative writing projects the entire year. Which really bums me out.
    Anyways, what is it you have in mind for your project?

  344. Kirbyon 14 Dec 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I’m a sophomore in high school. This is going to be the big project for my critical thinking (“gifted”) class.

    My idea was to try and do a plot and protagonist not usually seen in superhero stories, but still keep most of the marks of the genre. For example, instead of being impulsive or angsty, like a lot of superheroes nowadays are, the heroine instead has a wild imagination and is so curious about everything (like how she got her strange ability to switch between a solid and gas form) that it causes a heap of trouble for both herself and everyone around her. There are still things like superheroes, costumes, and hammy supervillains, though.

  345. B. McKenzieon 14 Dec 2012 at 6:20 pm

    “Fortunately, the information on here is both helpful and hilarious. I would really like to meet some of you guys…” I’m not sure our wardens would go for that, but I’d love to help with the story. 🙂

    “My idea was to try and do a plot and protagonist not usually seen in superhero stories, but still keep most of the marks of the genre.” One possibility which comes to mind here is that many stories have a mostly normal character in a sea of extraordinary/strange happenings (e.g. Peter Parker, Virgil Hawkins, Luke Skywalker, Agent Coulson, Ando and Hiro in Heroes, Gary the titular accountant in The Taxman Must Die, and most lone teen superheroes are more relatable than unusual)… but what if the character experienced substantial conflict because he was a strange element in a mostly normal setting? For example, Hot Fuzz sent one of London’s SWAT officers to a seemingly mundane village and his attempts to get his teammates to see what was really going on were pretty hilarious. Or, for a more macabre take, Homeland has a Marine struggling to adjust to family life after getting captured and tortured by the enemy.

    “She is so curious about everything… that it causes a heap of trouble for both herself and everybody around her.” That sounds promising. I like that her signature trait causes trouble–the repercussions will probably be more interesting that way.

  346. Kirbyon 14 Dec 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I’m sorry, by “meet you guys” I meant meet online. Stalking would take up way too much of my limited time, believe me!

    Now that I think about it, it would be pretty interesting if my heroine is the only superhero in town. I do want to go for a more lighthearted vibe for the most part, and it could make interactions with the police a lot funnier if they had to deal with a pesky teenage girl that keeps asking if they know anything about JFK or why there are supervillains vying for control of Chicago and no superheroes to stop them.

  347. B. McKenzieon 14 Dec 2012 at 11:37 pm

    “Stalking would take up way too much of my time…” Heh.

  348. Elecon 04 Jan 2013 at 12:35 am

    Hey all! I’ve been visiting this website somewhat frequently for the last three months or so and I haven’t really made any comments, so I thought I would make one now.
    … 😉

  349. Cute Hydraon 26 Jan 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Hey all, I’m really liking your website, lots of really helpful articles. I’m not after reviewing Per se but I really want to bounce my ideas off people!!

    For a quick idea of what I’m playing around with, the novel is a collection of first person accounts of the significant other of a super hero. So things like lying in bed as your partner comes in at 5am with teeth missing and you lie there wondering if you should go to them and ask if they’re okay or should you just pretend to be asleep.

    The story covers from when they first meet in their early twenties to when the narrator is old and grey.

    I don’t know if this is the right place to ask for help but if it’s not please correct me.

    The Real Cute Hydra

  350. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2013 at 3:30 pm

    “For a quick idea of what I’m playing around with, the novel is a collection of first person accounts of the significant other of a super hero. So things like lying in bed as your partner comes in at 5am with teeth missing and you lie there wondering if you should go to them and ask if they’re okay or should you just pretend to be asleep.” Hmm. Most fiction is organized around a central goal of the main character(s)–e.g. “defeat Sauron/Voldemort/Lead Supervillain” or “Overcome the obstacles to living happily ever after with the love interest.” Would this collection have that sort of organization and, if not, would the stakes be high enough to interest people that enjoy superhero stories?

    That said, I think your example about the missing teeth strikes me as interesting.

  351. Cute Hydraon 26 Jan 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Well, I’m interested in writing it for it’s own sake, I have no particular desire to be published and it’s deliberately not a classic super hero story so no it won’t be of interest to people who want to read about violent combat. Not a slight against that kind of fiction, it’s just not one I want to write about.

    However, I think there could be an interest (even if it is interest in looking at things differently for it’s own sake) in having a story told by the Mary Jane of the story instead of the Spider Man.

    The reason I think it should be a collection of short stories is there is no ongoing objective apart from to keep people safe, each story explores the psychology of their lives in a different way. So each chapter would be mostly self containing, with different events being resolved with the overall theme of advancing their respective careers and working together.

    It’s not specifically a romance story either, but more an exploration in a semi-realistic sense of what it would be like to live with a classic superhero.

    Other ideas:
    – Being out shopping and having something happen and having your partner jump into a phone box (metaphorically) change and run towards danger.
    – The wedding obviously gets gate crashed by villains, and you have the dynamics of hostage guests having to find a way to sneak off to change into their hero modes.

    The narrator starts the story as a young masters student doing their thesis on the sociological effect of superheroes and coming from quite a sceptical perspective. They are giving lectures as part of their studies and one of the students is the hero who has to watch footage of their failings being scrutinised by students. The hero approaches the narrator for help and with help transforms themselves from an incompetent hero to a successful one.

    As the story goes on the narrator becomes the most respected thinker on super hero affairs but always feels inferior to this hero who lives such an exciting life. Meanwhile the hero feels stupid and small scale compared to the narrator who can stop atrocities with words.

  352. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2013 at 8:14 pm

    “I have no particular desire to be published…” Okay! Best of luck with your writing.

  353. Cute Hydraon 26 Jan 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Sorry, published is just an objective, what if I am interested in writing because I enjoy it?

  354. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2013 at 10:31 pm

    “Sorry, published is just an objective, what if I am interested in writing because I enjoy it?” Getting published is an objective I can help with. I don’t think other people can help you enjoy your writing more. That’s not something I can do for you.

  355. Every Published Author Everon 27 Jan 2013 at 2:03 am

    “Sorry, published is just an objective…” Getting a job is an objective. Getting published is a lifestyle choice.

  356. B. McKenzieon 27 Jan 2013 at 4:13 am

    Moving to Hollywood is an objective. Staying in Alaska is a lifestyle choice.

  357. Nayanon 27 Jan 2013 at 4:56 am

    If getting published were a lifestyle choice, I would have published 20 comic books and 10 novels by now.

  358. Dr. Vo Spaderon 27 Jan 2013 at 8:22 am



  359. B. McKenzieon 27 Jan 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I think the lifestyle choice is staying on the course to publication even after months/years of rejections.

  360. B. McKenzieon 09 Feb 2013 at 1:06 am

    “(mans’ brains don’t full mature till age 29)…” Then there’s some hope for me yet!

  361. Blackscaron 02 Apr 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Hello again! 🙂

    B. McKenzie, I was just curious: if it isn’t too much trouble, would you mind setting up a review forum for me, please?

  362. B. McKenzieon 02 Apr 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Blackscar, I’ve set it up here. Thanks.

  363. Blackscaron 02 Apr 2013 at 7:01 pm

    @B. McKenzie

    Thank you so much!

    But, err, I have a question. Do I post about my novel in the comments section, or what? I’m not quite sure how this works…


  364. B. McKenzieon 02 Apr 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Yeah. If you’d like me to post something in the article itself, just let me know.

  365. Blackscaron 03 Apr 2013 at 8:45 am


    Oh, alright. Thanks!

  366. Blackscaron 05 Apr 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I seem to have noticed that my forum disappeared. Is this because I haven’t found the time to post anything yet? (It’s due to something beyond my control!)
    Just curious. Would I be able to have a second chance, or…?

    Sorry for bothering you!

  367. B. McKenzieon 05 Apr 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hello, Blackscar. I’ve reactivated your forum here: http://www.superheronation.com/2013/04/05/blackscars-review-forum/

  368. NerraKenobion 25 May 2013 at 12:18 am


    I tried to post a comment on another post before, but it popped up with ‘you are posting comments too quickly’, so I thought I’d try again here in case it didn’t post or something.

    I’ve been looking around this site for a while and it offers some really good advice! I was wondering if a forum could be set up where I could get some feedback for the book that I’m writing? It’s a Science Fiction novel. I’d really like to get some feedback and help with character development. I think that I’ve saved my main character from Mary Sue-dom, but I’m not completely sure.

  369. Amber Don 08 Jul 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Should add a to top / to bottom button, some of these collums are getting pretty long

  370. Elecon 12 Jul 2013 at 12:50 am

    Just letting everyone know that over the next few days I’m changing the name I use on this site to Jed H instead of Elec. For the next week, I’ll be Elec/Jed H as a transition period.

  371. Nature Witchon 21 Oct 2013 at 4:04 am

    Have registred myself on the site, but the activation-email hasn’t landed in the inbox. Is there a reason for that? It would be nice to actually log in to not get the message that I write to fast.

  372. Kalobodakon 18 Nov 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I was wondering, is there any way to edit comments that we have already posted?

  373. B. Macon 18 Nov 2013 at 9:42 pm

    “I was wondering, is there any way to edit comments that we have already posted?” This is definitely our most requested feature, but it requires technical capabilities I don’t have. Sorry.

  374. LoneSword7878on 21 May 2014 at 6:31 am

    Wow… 0_0

    This is a pretty expansive site!

    I can’t remember the first time I came across this place, but I do remember taking some sort of test that measures whether I have a character that can considered a “Mary-Sue.” Well, I don’t think I need to explain why I’ve come here because we’re all here for the exact same reason.

    I feel that it is safe to say that I have a significantly broad imagination and have already come up with ideas for a few series. Some of these are simple but there are others that I think I could really use some help on for certain reasons. I will admit that I have done zero storyboarding or concept work save for a tiny cutout figurine that I made way back in high school and have only been in the planning stages ever since. I have made a number of rough drafts for episodes of one series but they’re pretty sloppy. Also, I have no concerns with being original for its own sake but I have a lot for pacing and coherence.

    Seeing as this is, like I said, a very large site, I was wondering if there are places here where I can go one step at a time or so?

  375. Fixgooon 04 Aug 2014 at 2:27 am

    Hello B.mac, I’ve been following your site for years and have taken a step towards completing the first novel in a superhero trilogy, but I would need a review forum to receive constructive criticism, I know I’m new and I don’t warrant it but I would be glad if you could do this.

  376. B. McKenzieon 04 Aug 2014 at 10:43 am

    If you’d be interested in sending me a draft (to superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com), I can send you feedback, but generally I’ve stopped issuing review forums.

  377. Mister_Magicon 06 Sep 2014 at 12:54 am

    I know this is a superhero nation site, but I was wondering if you do different types of heroes, such as anti-heroes or is it simply superheroes only

  378. […] 5 Ways to Write Intense Fight Scenes (Superhero and Fantasy) by Superhero Nation […]

  379. Kevin Holsingeron 14 Oct 2014 at 6:03 am

    Good morning, Mr. McKenzie.

    Do you have a Facebook page? I ask because I figured I’d give it a “Like” as a show of support, but the first page I see when searching for “Superhero Nation” is just a bunch of pictures…leading me to wonder whether it has anything to do with you.

    Enjoy your day.

  380. Alpha Flighton 13 Dec 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Hey! I was wondering what the forums are like? And where they are?
    Also… Could you set up a forum for my plot ideas/characters? I think it would make my scattered thoughts a bit more coherent to read or review. It wouldn’t have excerpts, just for refining plot ideas or characters. I’m not that far along in any of my plots yet 😀
    Also… when I try to comment it keeps telling me to “slow down”?! What does that mean?

  381. Jed/Elecon 29 Dec 2014 at 5:53 am

    Hey B. Mac, I’ve just written an article about choosing your tense and POV. Just wondering if you’d be interested in looking over it and possibly publishing it on this website? I’ve sent you an email. 🙂

  382. Alpha Flighton 03 Jan 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Hey B Mac… I don’t mean to pester, but do you still do forums?

  383. B. McKenzieon 04 Jan 2015 at 6:54 pm

    “Hey B Mac… I don’t mean to pester, but do you still do forums?” No, sorry.

  384. Alpha Flighton 05 Jan 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Oh, ok. Thanks for letting me know.

  385. Michellon 26 Jan 2015 at 8:35 am

    Stumbled onto this website while browsing. So good to see my fellow action hero lovers. I try to refrain from using “super hero” since Marvel owns the rights. Where to start? Not sure. Going to continue to browse, but where are the ladies? Any female hero lovers out there ?

  386. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2015 at 6:03 pm

    “I try to refrain from using “super hero” since Marvel owns the rights.” It’s just a trademark… A trademark on the term “super hero” would affect someone who wanted to use the term “superhero” in a title (particularly in a comic book, GN, or another illustrated story), but I’m not aware of any case in which Marvel or DC has attempted to sue over the use of the word “superhero” outside of a work’s title.

    Some thoughts here:
    1) At least one hugely popular superhero site (Superhero Hype) uses “Superhero” in its title and I’m not aware of any pending legal action regarding its title. Personally, I haven’t received any legal threats regarding “Superhero Nation” (either against myself or the thousands of SN comments on the site that have used the term “superhero”).

    2) Creatively speaking, I’d recommend against naming the genre or subgenre of the work in the title of a work of fiction. E.g. for a submarine thriller like Crimson Tide or The Hunt for Red October, I’d recommend not having “submarine”, “military”, or “thriller” in the title. I feel it would be similarly artless for a superhero action story to have “superhero” or “action” in the title.

  387. Rachelon 03 Jun 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Hi! I just randomly got an idea for a superhero story about two weeks ago – and while I’ve done a lot of other writing, I’ve never written action/superheroes so I was looking for a resource. This site has been wicked helpful (yep, I grew up in New England) in my superhero pursuits, so thank you! =)

  388. The Book Thiefon 28 Dec 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Hello all! I am new posting to Superhero Nation but I’ve been reading your articles for a while now. They’re very helpful and entertaining at the same time. (:

    I’ve come up with an underdeveloped idea for a story (not sure if it should be written or graphic novel) but I’m not sure where to start with it. The premise is Green-lanternish but not outright idea theft. Just inspiration! So, there was an ancient group of people called the Motic who were ruled by their emotions and gained powers through their emotions. They were so powerful eventually a sect developed against them and murdered many of the Motic people. Eventually, the Motic died out. Many years later, a group working to recreate the Motic tribe and their emotion-driven powers discover 7 girls who have experienced so much emotion in their life that Motic-like powers are inside of them. Joy, fear, sadness, peace/serenity, anger, trust, shame. The group, Motic Preservation Society, is working to create a team out of these girls. Unfortunately, with the rekindling of the Motic comes the rekindling of the sect against them…
    So, clearly not the best summary or most developed plot which is why I could use some tips. Thank you!
    – The Book Thief

  389. B. McKenzieon 28 Dec 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Hello, Book Thief! Some suggestions:

    –I’d suggest making the characters more front and center. (Developing what makes the characters interesting usually takes months rather than days, so probably more of a long-term effort).

    –I’d suggest reducing the team size to 4-5 to save time/space for character development.

    –I’d suggest making the characters deeper than the signature emotion implies. I’d recommend against taking this in a Power Rangers or TMNT-style direction where most characters have a single personality trait (or defining emotion) and that’s pretty much it, e.g. the genius scientist, the hothead, the smartass or (most half-assed) the leader. Would suggest incorporating them in a more organic way, as part of a larger whole — for example, Walter White and Tony Stark are great scientist characters because they’re not just genius scientists. Their traits interact in very interesting ways to create scenes we’d never see from a one-dimensional character, e.g. this scene from Walter White (Breaking Bad), the lead scientist for a drug cartel. His boss Gus is about to murder him, and Walter’s only way of surviving the scene is showing his boss RIGHT NOW that he’s indispensable. A low-ranking enforcer oversteps himself and declares that he can replace the scientist because he’s watched the drug-making process and knows the steps. Walter’s response is the best scientific dialogue I’ve ever encountered. It’s high-stakes and 100% natural. CAUTION: NSFW after 2:00.

    Honorable mention:

  390. Anonymouson 09 Jan 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Hi ,I am having a team of superheros

  391. Anonymouson 09 Jan 2017 at 9:36 pm

    If you could give me some suggestions ,I could make them better

  392. B. McKenzieon 10 Jan 2017 at 5:07 pm

    “I have a team of superheroes. If you could give me some suggestions, I could make them better.” Could you be more specific? What do you see as the main problems you’re facing?

  393. Jacobon 17 Jun 2017 at 3:58 pm

    So I just came across this site looking for advice on my characters and ways to develop the plot past a rough idea in my head and a few events on half a timeline and I’ve noticed a lot of the articles are from way back in 2008 so I’m wondering is this site still active or or is this like a dead feed?

    If it is still active I’d love to chat with some fellow writers, (beginners like myself or more experienced ones.) maybe talking about my ideas for my novel will help me to actually put them together.

  394. B. McKenzieon 18 Jun 2017 at 10:36 am

    “I’ve noticed a lot of the articles are from way back in 2008 so I’m wondering is this site still active or or is this like a dead feed?” I’m not actively writing new articles but do respond to most comments.

  395. Jacobon 20 Jun 2017 at 12:26 am

    That’s awesome. I really like this site, I’ve found slot of articles on it that have helped me round out my characters and story events.

  396. Danielon 24 Jun 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Hi! Discovered this site a couple months ago and it has been very informative and helpful from the bit I’ve been reading and browsing. I was wondering if you still accept submissions for reviewing a story, or the first 5-10 pages anyway, as you mention above.

  397. B. McKenzieon 25 Jun 2017 at 6:28 pm

    “I was wondering if you still accept submissions for reviewing a story, or the first 5-10 pages anyway, as you mention above.” Yes, I do.

  398. Kiraon 13 Jan 2018 at 5:36 am

    Hey , I was wondering if B. McKenzie and B. Mac could tell what are they doing know. I mean , it has been pretty while since they stopped posting new articles but I read somewhere that they still reply to comments. I would like to know about your books and comics(specially, ROD).

  399. B. McKenzieon 13 Jan 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Kira, I’ve semi-retired from blogging to spend more time on my career, but I still read/reply to most comments. “I would like to know about your books and comics(specially, ROD).” What is ROD? The project I’ve posted about here is titled The Taxman Must Die.

  400. Kiraon 14 Jan 2018 at 5:12 am

    Yeah, but somewhere someone dubbed it as Read or Die. If you do not mind , I would like to know more about your career. I also want to know about your next book ~200 pages with 13/14 movie reviews(or is that already out?).

  401. Kiraon 14 Jan 2018 at 5:13 am

    PS: If you do not mind me telling…are you still studying?

  402. B. McKenzieon 14 Jan 2018 at 11:27 am

    I’ve referenced Read or Die a few times when discussing twists on standard superpowers, but I didn’t work on it (it’s a manga series about a telekinetic whose powers only apply to paper).

    “I would like to know more about your career.” I work in digital marketing. I started out as an ad-writer. It’s a lot less stressful than working with publishers.

    “If you do not mind me telling…are you still studying?” I graduated a while back.

  403. Kiraon 15 Jan 2018 at 4:37 am

    Oh..Thanks for replying.I will check ROD out.
    From which background you are …humanities? And are you working on any superhero novels?

  404. Kiraon 15 Jan 2018 at 4:39 am

    I did not knew you were awesome in marketing too!

  405. B. McKenzieon 15 Jan 2018 at 10:42 am

    “From which background you are …humanities?” I majored in political science. In retrospect, this was a huge mistake in my case (statistics or applied mathematics would have made it much easier to find a job, and have much higher average salaries).

    “Are you working on any superhero novels?” I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think that going to college basically ruled out a career in fiction for me. My first year out of college, I think I had ~$5000 of tuition payments due (and $10,000 of other expenses), and the average first novel manuscript earns $4000-6000.

  406. Kiraon 17 Jan 2018 at 12:14 am

    One last question: Are you and B.Mac the same person.

  407. blon 11 Feb 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Yep they are, he used B. Mckenzie so teachers can quote him in class; it looks more professional, oh and it feels like forever since I’ve posted, so… hi!

  408. firebird1314on 17 Jul 2018 at 3:12 am

    Hey I am beginning with a screenplay but the problem is I have god morphing as my superpower this means by character can use the power of anty greek god is this to OP? If this is to OP how can I make it less OP because I really want to use this power.

  409. firebird1314on 17 Jul 2018 at 3:14 am

    sorry for my writing errors

  410. B. Macon 17 Jul 2018 at 9:38 pm

    “Hey I am beginning with a screenplay but the problem is I have god morphing as my superpower this means by character can use the power of anty greek god is this to OP? If this is to OP how can I make it less OP because I really want to use this power.” I’d suggest worrying less about whether a character is overpowered and more about whether you’re able to write interesting scenes for him. Secondarily, most of the movies/screenplays I’ve seen have focused on characters with relatively clear capabilities, which feels more promising to me than a grab-bag approach to a character having a huge set of powers to pick from. Among other things, I think it’s easier for viewers to perceive clear threats to a character when they have a better idea what his capabilities are, and it’s easier for writers to come up with interesting scenes applying known powers than drawing new powers out of the bag, and it needs less explanation/setup.

    I’ve never worked on a movie, so I’m not familiar with logistics/budget issues. From a reviewer perspective, I’ve noticed that most of the lower-budget superhero movies I’ve watched focus on more basic options like flight, telekinesis, strength/endurance and agility. (Fun trivia: in one Deadpool scene, the main character forgets his guns in the car to set up a cheaper fight scene).

    Lastly, if you’re writing professionally in English, I’d recommend working more on mechanics.

  411. Chatonon 20 Sep 2018 at 12:48 pm

    I’m new here too… sort of. I’ve visited this site before and added it to my favorites because it was UNBELIEVABLY helpful!!! I am currently writing eight novels at once, but I’m mainly focusing on one so I won’t get overwhelmed. xD But today is my first time actually posting a comment. I’ll come back, as I’ll definitely need help with my books.

  412. Chatonon 26 Sep 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I have a request. Could you create a page for creating interesting origin stories for villains? My sister needs some. O-O

  413. Jeffery L Harrison 01 Aug 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Howdy. As with most things in my life, I believe I came to this website very late in the game. I wish I had found it earlier, it would have been very helpful.

    Like so many other amateur writers, I have a book on Amazon.com (see below), and a Facebook page to support it. (NOTE: This is not a plug, just putting my bonafides out to show I have gone through the same kind of creative struggles so many other participants here have.) Since the first book (of three) is already in cyberspace, it’s too late to apply some of the suggestions I’ve found here. Hopefully, the next two can be adjusted appropriately before they get too far along.

    Anyway, nice to be here, and I hope you all have had great success with your writing.


  414. B. McKenzieon 02 Aug 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Jeff, I removed the product links, but if you’d like to bring them up as relevant in discussion, okay.

  415. Jeffery L Harrison 02 Aug 2019 at 8:12 pm

    That’s cool. I can see where they were inappropriate.

  416. B. McKenzieon 03 Aug 2019 at 8:59 am

    If anybody has a question about some story element (characterization, plotting, whatever) talking about how your book handled these elements in a way that would be helpful to the asker (or future readers) would be great.

  417. Nickon 14 Oct 2019 at 6:23 am

    Hey, I found this site pretty interesting.
    Is there a way I can submit some of my ideas for my original superhero story? Right now I have a wikipedia style plot that describes the events of what I hope to evantually make a movie script. Please let me know, thanks

  418. Cat-Vacuumer Supremeon 17 Feb 2020 at 9:53 am

    Can you do a post about what books you have out? Has “The Taxman Must Die” been published?

  419. B. McKenzieon 18 Feb 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Just the one book, Learning How to Write Superhero Stories. Taxman Must Die: I have an murder mystery novel concept which slightly resembles the comic previously discussed. I hate discussing a project I probably won’t put into production but I’ll throw out these ideas I’m case they’re helpful for anyone else.

    First off, Game of Thrones radically changed my view on how much more interesting a setting can be than the “generic modern city” used by many comics. In particular GOT is so much better at handling political wrangling than almost any political drama set in the real world. The stakes are higher, there’s less reader baggage on what readers think is realistic, fewer ideological propaganda problems, and above all ANYTHING can happen. Characters can go from positions of power/status to “entire family murdered” for picking the losing side.

    So, I’m thinking about authority figures (cops + nobles, mostly) drawn into larger conflicts by the moves their noble families are making.

    Setting: we’re looking at a slightly democratic city state maybe fifty years after it got conquered by an increasingly despotic empire. Local authorities have some autonomy but there’s a lot of conflict between locals (some humans, mostly caste driven lizards) and the central authorities (Lovecraftian fishmen and human allies). One of the main characters is a tax chief that’s brought in to keep the money flowing to the empire in the face of increasingly bold calls for universal suffrage rather than fake elections where a handful of hand-picked nobles can vote for an even smaller number of candidates picked by the empire.

    Separately we have an almost alien serial killer targeting humans that almost kills the taxman. The city’s in a panic, human tourists are critical to the city and also the central authorities think that the attempted killing is an act of rebellion. The second main character (minor son of a noble house that’s fallen out of favor with empire) is a cop trying to solve the serial killing before the central authorities take direct control over the city. Along the way he gets pulled into the democratic movement as one of the serial killing victims died with an incriminating list of a voters participating in a very illegal underground election, thirty people who will be dungeoned if caught. He clandestinely tries to help the voters, notify them they’re compromised and escape the country. His family furiously disapproves—they are pursuing their own revenge plot against the empire and him getting busted would bring a lot more suspicion down on them.

    Some setting details I like:
    —Mostly modern technology, with some pieces missing. Examples: no guns (because melee weapons consistently have more potential for interesting scenes), no cellphones (to make emergencies higher-stakes), and no DNA evidence (it’s almost always one of the least interesting ways to push a case forward compared to the detective having access to the same information as a reader but using it in a clever or unexpected way).
    –Flavor: No airplanes, satellites, or space travel yet. Most of the world is unknown and unexplored, and boat voyages to far off continents take years and are very dangerous. The serial killer is a type of creature well-known on another continent but unknown here.
    —Social norms are relatively strong, especially for nobles (very limited job selection, few socially acceptable romantic options, etc). Kids learn their parent’s trade from a very early age. The cop character failed at his father’s trade (banker turned district chief, like a mini mayor) and got demoted in inheritance.
    —Hard inheritance customs. If you’re a second son/daughter you’re working for the family or you’re OUT. Main character was set to inherit but got demoted for leaving the family business. Now he’s an honor guardsman, which is like a major cases unit for the city police mainly consisting of non-inheriting nobles.
    —District chiefs are a mostly hereditary position the empire used to buy off a few key families, but the central party is increasingly willing to install its own people instead.
    —Being identified as opposed to the empire is very dangerous. Even the biggest noble could be “disappeared” if careless. An imperial policeman will run into problems if he blindly accuses high-ranking people, though — in a society where noblemen CAN be disappeared, they will be careful to avoid being obvious about their intentions.
    —A long time ago there was an occult practice in the city, now extinct (“mirrormen” cultists would make terrible sacrifices in pursuit of eldritch knowledge). The serial killer’s targets are strange enough (humans that have recently experienced joy and/or excitement) that the police suspect a mirrorman angle. (They’re mostly wrong).
    —As a status-oriented tourist hub, it is customary for nobles to welcome high-status visitors to the city. (This might help set up a more distinctive introduction to the city and its customs than a tourism brochure — e.g. a character trying to smuggle something into the city might get greeted by a homicide detective covered in somebody’s blood, or possibly by a noble running a competing smuggling operation).
    —The city, being mainly not human, has some different legal priorities than most real-world societies have. Perjury is a capital crime — this is a democratic tradition that has survived the “reunification” with the empire. Lying to one person is unseemly, but lying to the people is unforgivable. In contrast, low-level violence is not punished very seriously, a misdemeanor “scuffling” if no one is harmed enough to require urgent medical care.
    –GOT has trials by combat, which are a genius high-stakes form of conflict resolution/expansion and a way for a character to escape dangerous situations (or die trying) in very satisfying ways. It’s a stellar fit of genre, setting and plotting. In this hypothetical story, people have some legal leeway on breaking (local) laws if necessary to prove the truth of some matter affecting their reputation or public welfare. E.g. if person A calls person B a weakling, a violent response from B would probably be permissible. This would give characters some leeway to consider high-conflict responses and escalations. (Federal laws cannot be bent in this way).
    —It’s a high-conflict society with a lot of turmoil. Almost everybody has major grievances (real elections have been suspended for fifty years, an independent judiciary might be on the way out soon, some noble privileges have been taken away, the empire thinks the city is a den of spies and rebels and cultists, the empire inflicted long term damage/humiliation on resisting peoples, and the regular set of noble-vs-noble rivalries). Separately, the strong-family/primogeniture angle encourages conflict for characters pushed into careers and/or relationships that they wouldn’t freely choose, which I hope helps with distinctive character behavior and backgrounds. E.g. instead of a crime scene technician being stereotypically nerdy/awkward, maybe he actually would rather be driving racecars or competing for a boxing title and is plotting how to get a more exciting job without getting disowned by his family.
    –95%+ of Bruce Wayne’s interactions with other superwealthy people are charity galas and dinner parties no one cares about that bury Bruce Wayne in a no-stakes setting with cardboard jackasses not involved in the main Batman plot. If you NEED a generic hostage-taking event where Bruce Wayne is present, okay, but surrounding him with characters that can have higher-stakes interactions with him and/or know more about what’s going on and/or matter more to the story would probably help. In this hypothetical story, I think a high-stakes dinner party might involve a major job offer, a marriage alliance torpedoed, 1-2 murder plots progress, and/or characters picking up a major clue and maybe a false lead in their big case. There might also be canapes but all available evidence suggests that Carcossa’s nobles get together for the murder plots and not the food.
    —One major theme of GOT is that many of Westeros’ major traditions and institutions are falling apart (e.g. guest right gets wrecked, people betray their kings and families, clergy get murdered, and formerly respectable institutions like the King’s Guard and the Night’s Watch have become dumping grounds for rapists and thieves). In Carcossa, mangoes are THE only respectable wedding offering in a major religion but the empire ravaged most of the mango groves a long time ago. The few surviving trees are closely guarded shrines, and dying. Mangos are desperately scarce, maybe enough to murder someone over if you want to get married. (Accommodationists have suggested alternative fruits and even diamond rings, but giving up on preconquest traditions is bitterly contentious).
    –Harry Potter-style demographic conflict, a la “you’re born a mudblood so I guess I have to hate you” is not terribly promising, I think. That said, people in different social circles might understand or misunderstand behavior from a different group. E.g. if a city of lizards decides to move some prisoners from 24-hour prison to 12 hours in medieval-style stocks and 12 hours at home, a human character might think that sounds barbarically brutal and the authoritarian central government might appreciate that the city finally appears to be taking crime seriously. In actuality, the stocks are probably a sly gift to some VIP prisoner, e.g. allowing key prisoners to help their family enterprises at least part-time or giving political prisoners opportunities to escape.

  420. Snehil Tripathyon 02 Sep 2020 at 7:46 am

    Hi, I am working on a novel and am struggling on the hero name and origin story. The name is not much of a problem, the origin story is. I think once that is clear, the name comes naturally. I have pinned on using something like the few cool ones I made. Neos Helios, Kraken Hood, or Jade Warrior. I need serious help. How do I become a member of the site?????

  421. B. McKenzieon 02 Sep 2020 at 7:10 pm

    How much do you know about the central story at this point? E.g. if you’re writing an alien invasion story (e.g. Man of Steel), you’re probably going to have a very different setup than if it were a mystical ninja quest building up to a brawl on the Statue of Liberty or an obsessed journalist proving that the city’s most successful businessman is behind a murderous conspiracy or an impulsive scientist/CEO trying to survive his withdrawal from the arms industry or a dark coming of age story like Chronicle.

    Character names: of the three I think Jade Warrior is the best starting point but it sounds like a completely different story than Kraken Hood or Neos Helios.

    I’d also generally recommend considering something that could pass as a real name. E.g. for a urban fantasy serial killer, I liked “Raymond Ray” as a misunderstanding about what he is. (When asked who he is, he introduces himself to the police as “We are reiminrei”, a kind of shape shifting mind flayer, but the police think he’s giving a name rather than a species, and the police gradually realize that multiple assailants are involved and they’re shapeshifters).

  422. Snehil Tripathyon 03 Sep 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Okay, so I have changed the plot a bit and finalized it. This time, on the planet Enkantado, lives a small thief called Scott Kendrick. Scott lives with his mother in a slum as he is one of the slaves brought from other planets. One day, the owner of VR Experience company Cataract, Thanaton El B’Gaba visit’s the slum as he plans to go into politics. There he asks Scott’s mom who her husband was and upon hearing the answer, takes her aside and tries to convince her about something. He is rashly told to leave immediately by Scott’s mom and does so. A few days later, members of the terrorist organization Krios Neutra attack his home and badly injure his mom. The doctor tells him that only a strong energy or a genetic mutation can save her. Scott goes to the abandoned planet Drakon where the Phoenix Cell is kept. Phoenix Cell is the particular cell that stores a huge amount of energy from the very hot and thus blue coloured sun. He tries to take it away by deception but it instead blasts transferring it’s powers to him. He wakes up in a hospital where he sees Thanaton El B’Gaba talking to the doctor about Scott’s condition. Scott overhears that due to him absorbing the energy from the Phoenix Cell, he now is a lethal weapon and that he could be used to fight the ‘worst enemies’. That they did not know something of this sort could happen and now they had two advantages. Scott then goes into the room where the files of patients are kept and looks at his own one. There he sees the effects of the Cell. It has given him :
    ‌Ability to convert any form of energy into nuclear energy
    ‌Ability to release nuclear energy of his own
    ‌Superhuman strength and speed

    Discovering him to be there, the Imperial State Force makes him forcibly come with them to a totally dark interrogation room. There he is tortured and asked questions by the members of Krios Neutra who attacked the slum and the Imperial State Officers. He escapes by using his powers to the place where his mother is kept. After healing her with some of his powers, he asks her about what actually was going on. She gives him a letter and tells her to deliver it to a particular address on Earth. The person would tell him all. Scott rushes to Earth. After delivering the letter of introduction successfully, he comes to know from the man ( Charles DeMudvick ) that his father was the person who actually made the Phoenix Cells. He was affected with super heat endurance due to being present in a large star blast and came to be known as The Phoenix. He stores the energy in the pieces of the star in the Phoenix Cells for future usage of Earth. As the Phoenix or Howard Kendrick was from the Earth, the rightful owner of the Cells was Earth. But few years ago, one was taken away along with many slaves ( including Scott ) to Enkantado. The Cell had been kept secretly in Enkantado so that Earth does not know about it. Recently, the one who stole the Cell came to know that there were many more such Cells from which energy could be taken and set out to find the descendant of the Phoenix thinking that he/ she would know where they are kept. Charles DeMudvick is, BTW the friend of Howard and runs the State Sentinel, a SHIELD style agency that thakes in Superheroes from all around the universe to stop the villains that threaten to destroy it. Scott understands the person trying to get the Cells is Thanaton El B’Gaba. After meeting two more heroes – Howler Monkey ( 20 year old Andy Perkins ) who has a super suit that allows him super agility. And Agent Necroblade ( 30 year old Driadalleon Lydia )who is a human with alien genes allowing her endurance towards heat ( yes, Scott is really happy she can not be affected by heat ) and a healing factor, he gets a suit and a metal headband to control and direct his superpowers. Then they all, along with Scott’s friend Talpade Pauvermont and Necroblade’s pet panther Madame Sinistra. After a hectic chase between them and Thanaton and them, Scott finally deduce where the Cells are and discusses it with Talpade. I have not yet figured where they would be kept. Thanaton El B’Gaba but gets to know of the Cells location. Here, two revelation take place: Thanaton is actually brother of Howard Kendrick, Talpade works for Thanaton and tells him about the Cells location. Thanaton gets hold of the Cells and after capturing the heroes too, he goes back to Enkantado where a huge fight between him and Scott takes place resulting in his death. He is finally able to save the Cells and bring them back to Earth. Afterwards, he and Necroblade decide to get together and stay on Earth. In an epilogue, they come to know that Thanaton kept many Superheroes as prisoners so as to be powerful. They save those Superheroes and take them to State Sentinel headquarters.where they are accepted. Later on, DeMudvick proposes to make a team of a few heroes as all over the world, many dangerous bomb blasts are taking place and they need more than one hero to stop them. He names the team as The Dark Watchers.

  423. Snehil Tripathyon 03 Sep 2020 at 8:54 pm

    As for the names, I loved Kraken Hood as it is supercool and also highlights the thief nature of Scott.
    Neos Helios means New Sun in Greek and was used by Emperor Caligula. It sounds too mythological.
    Jade Warrior is just deleted now as he gets his powers from a blue sun and not a green sun.
    Pls suggest if you think some other name is suitable or one from these few.
    BTW, how do I join your website? This place is amazing for aspiring Superhero writers.

  424. Snehil Tripathyon 04 Sep 2020 at 12:05 am

    If you feel it is uninteresting, I also feel the same way. Suggest what I can do with it to make it something like Spiderman. A cool teen superhero in college on Earth. If you like the earlier story, then suggest what I can do with that one.

  425. Snehil Tripathyon 06 Sep 2020 at 7:16 am

    @# B. McKenzie please respond!!!!

  426. B. McKenzieon 06 Sep 2020 at 2:25 pm

    -A thief’s mom gets injured by terrorists and the doctor tells him that only a strong energy or genetic mutation can save her. I think there could be smoother ways to connect the inciting event (the attack on the mother) to the next step (getting the MC to look into the technology that his father’s been working on). Throwing out a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes: if hypothetically a scientist were working on an experimental cure to a widely-known disease, then infecting the wife with the disease is a plausible way to draw the husband out of hiding and/or to bring the son to the father.

    –Another smoothness issue, probably resolvable: does it make sense that a slum-dwelling thief’s mom will actually be able to get a doctor who is able to point the family towards an exotic and hard-to-find treatment? In contrast, if we were looking at a widely-known disease, a slum doctor might have some experience with the energy treatment options and/or knowledge of where they come from or used to come from before the husband disappeared.

    –Krios Neutra: assuming these are what they appear to be (terrorist thugs), when you’re closer to publishing I’d suggest a name with a harder and/or colder sound. If nothing else comes to mind, maybe the Sons of Krios as a placeholder.

    –There’s a couple elements here which (from this super-condensed version of the plot) seem potentially extraneous. Do the CEO’s VR experience company or his political plans have something to do with him wanting the Phoenix Cells? Also, assuming that the VR CEO/aspiring politician is involved with the terrorist group that attacks her a few days after she tells him no, will readers be able to follow along from what we see on day 1 (he’s a CEO making a political run that asks the wife something which we don’t see) to a few days later (OH SNAP he’s got a terrorist army)?

    –Scott finds out about his superpowers from reading his patient file. I think there are more interesting ways for him to find this out (e.g. through exploration or field practice or an escape scene or training or whatever). Maybe he wakes up feeling that something is obviously wrong, and with a bit of trial and error gets a hang on how to use what feels obviously wrong to do something cool. Alternately, perhaps he gets a high-stakes bit of advice from an outside character (e.g. someone smuggles a message or cell phone into his room, and BRIEFLY tries to give him enough information to walk him out of the building before he can be re-captured. It was very dramatic in the Matrix, even though Neo actually failed to make it out in that case).

    –I’m cautiously hopeful that Scott might have an interesting scene(s) where he tries to acquire the Phoenix Cell, but I’d recommend experimenting with a more interesting resolution to that than unwittingly getting injected with powers. Worst case scenario, in Captain Marvel, the main character’s unwittingness probably contributed to the rampant boredom in the scene leading up to her getting injected with powers, and a scene that SHOULD have been interesting — escaping aliens in a dogfight to prevent them from acquiring a key piece of equipment — instead becomes a character blandly escaping a force she can’t identify with an unknown technological device in her possession, and she attempts to destroy the device when another character she doesn’t know anything (accurate) about asks her to destroy it and she unintentionally gets superpowers. CM’s approach is way too passive. (In addition, the dogfight choreography absolutely sucked but I’m guessing this isn’t applicable to your situation, unless you were planning on having Scott tell us that an enemy ship was firing backwards at him. If any of this is the case then I’d recommend not doing dogfights).

    –I’m having trouble following what’s going on with the Krios Neutra/Imperial State Force and his mom. So, they torture him and have the mom in a dungeon-like interrogation room. She gives him a letter and he leaves to deliver it. Does KN/ISF let him leave? If so, why? (I’m assuming there’s an escape but this isn’t mentioned).

    –I’d recommend renaming Howler Monkey and Agent Necroblade on stylistic grounds. If they’re working for a SHIELD-like agency I think something plainer would be very suitable. E.g. personally I’m more favorable to the style behind Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Hawkeye and Black Widow, etc. In that vein, I’d suggest “Howler” or “Banshee” vs. “Howler Monkey”. If you’re set on a graveyard theme for Necroblade I’d suggest Undertaker or Agent Graves instead.

    –“how do I join your website?” No signup necessary. If you leave questions I will usually answer within several days.

  427. Snehil Tripathyon 06 Sep 2020 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Brian
    Thanks for your advice.
    But, I figured out the fact that I was not really good at this sci fi stuff. So I have decided to go with a different story. This time, it’s about this young boy who lands in this mystical place ( and no, it’s not a different dimension but a hidden part of the real world. There he learns to harness the life force Chi and becomes the fabled warrior guardian of the people who live there.
    How’s that???
    I m not able to think of a sensible and cool origin story of the chi fueled superhero. Could you help??? And pls try to respond a bit faster.

  428. B. McKenzieon 07 Sep 2020 at 12:48 am

    “And pls try to respond a bit faster.” I think it’s way too early in the process to feel a time crunch. The average unpublished novelist takes ~8-12 years to get published, so I’d recommend against rushing yourself (or others) here.

    “it’s about this young boy who lands in this mystical place… a hidden part of the real world. There he learns to harness the life force Chi and becomes the fabled warrior guardian of the people who live there.” I’d suggest fleshing out the story more before getting other people involved. This premise could be executed in interesting ways but I’m not familiar with your writing style or the direction you’d take it in or what you want to do with the plot or conflicts or characters.

    For a comedic take on a vaguely similar concept, I wrote up a humorous summary for NINJA EXPRESS a few years back.

    “NINJA EXPRESS is a picture book about Ken, a boy who attempts to escape a boring life by sneaking aboard a train to the land of the ninjas. Along the way he is confronted by demons and angry spirits who try to trick him into giving up his quest. After taking part in a climactic ninja battle, he is welcomed into the land of the ninjas but chooses to return home: a real ninja never runs from anything. NINJA EXPRESS is 1,000 words long, maybe 950 if you count “jump-kicked” as a single word. This ninja life manual and/or thinly veiled adaptation of JANE EYRE is best suited for anybody interested in a ninja train, presumably boys 5-8 and Zen Buddhists.”

    So at least for a children’s picture book hopefully it’s clear what’s motivating the main character and what sort of obstacles he’ll face.

    Before asking others for feedback, I’d suggest having…
    –At least a basic idea of what makes the main character(s) interesting
    –At least a basic idea of central plot and the main conflict
    At least 25-50% of the project drafted (to ensure that you’ll have something concrete to talk about and that you’re committed to the project).

  429. Lysander Blackon 07 Sep 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Hey B. McKenzie!!
    Really cool for budding authors. How do I put up questions on other articles.

  430. B. McKenzieon 07 Sep 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Lysander: “How do I put up questions on other articles?” Almost all of the articles have a “Leave a reply” box at the bottom of the comments. (1-2 articles do not).

  431. Unknownon 25 Sep 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Do ypu give superhero story prompts too????

  432. Snehil Tripathyon 29 Sep 2020 at 8:09 am

    Hello there.
    See I am sorry for the huge delay 😞. But I got bad confused this whole time about my hero and had to drop off topics several number of times. I had to drop two heroes on which I had been working on for two months. So please do not feel offended or irritated with me jumping to a totally new character, world and story arc.

    I will give you an idea of my fictional universe :-
    This is based in 2017, New York ( which is situated very close to another megalopolis Lan Salvadreo ). A secret special operations agency with advanced tech called A.C.R.O ( short term for Agent’s Clique for Red Operations, “red ops” being a codename for covert ops ) is working on a case dealing with a person who is collecting a special kind of substance called Draconite. Now let me fill you in about Draconite.
    So, the universe, the Big Bang, in fact even the Holocaust was due to this substance. It was present in the core of meteors even before the universe was created. It has the immense power to change reality ( whether it can warp reality or cause time travel is not known ), cause genetic mutation, even kill a being if used in excessive amounts. It was this very material which leaked from a meteor and under some circumstances gave birth to the universe via the Big Bang. Now, a person going by a codename is trying to harness the energy of some Draconite particles that had fallen on Earth many years ago due to a meteoroid fall in a particular region of Earth. Draconite is very dangerous. Just a few particles could destroy all of New York City. If you are not immune to its energy, it could deform your body or even kill you. You gain immunity to this Draconite by being exposed to very minor amount of its energy. Your body would be able to cope with that much and in the process, would learn how to not let the ill affects of it happen and it would thus, cause mutation by triggering your reflexes and senses ( and some other minor stuff ) to reach to their peak. But if you are exposed to immensely high amounts of the Draconite energy, then even your immunity won’t stop some burns and bruises.

  433. B. McKenzieon 30 Sep 2020 at 4:35 am

    Snehil, from an earlier comment:

    Before asking others for feedback, I’d suggest having…

    –At least a basic idea of what makes the main character(s) interesting
    –At least a basic idea of central plot and the main conflict
    —At least 25-50% of the project drafted (to ensure that you’ll have something concrete to talk about and that you’re committed to the project).

  434. Snehil Tripathyon 30 Sep 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I have the whole story, but it would take me some time to write down the whole synopsis.

  435. Unknownon 30 Sep 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Do you give superhero story prompts too????

  436. B. McKenzieon 01 Oct 2020 at 10:44 pm

    I haven’t done many story prompts before. Here are some ideas.

    Idea #1 – Superhero story pack: Pick any 4: A journalist in over his head. A crime that fails because the criminal is not as bad a person as the victim. A scientific discovery that comes at a great cost. The mayor’s been abducted, and he might be in on it. A crime the police need to happen. An unusually bad time to visit Nepal. A detective on vacation. A fun-loving criminal informant. A martial artist in the right place at the right time. A public defender on a case he was picked to lose. An unsuccessful police investigation. Rushed scientific testing. An accident faked as a murder. The city’s most prominent journalist is not doing a great job of pretending to be human, and his coworkers are starting to wonder. A routine armed robbery. A secret compartment. An expert bodyguard. How desperate would a criminal have to be to try using the Bat-Signal? A swordfight in the news. A faked accident. Even the honest cops have to pretend to be dirty. An expertly faked accent. A search warrant for a dinosaur. Teleporting onto a plane. A child with a laser. A murder by illusion. It’s a dirty rotten sham, and even Canada is in on it. The aliens/exotics are not necessarily hostile, they’re frenemies, it’s complicated. How did Batman’s lawyer become Batman’s lawyer? Even if a supervillain took your powers, she wouldn’t know what to do with them. The speedster was five minutes late to the case, what was he doing instead?

    Idea #2 – Pick any 4 of these story elements: A medical error. A hard breakup years ago. Well-intentioned lies. A love columnist. A false confession. An unwanted burden. A disappointing breakfast. A farmer in the news. An unknown tragedy. Clothes that are too nice. Evidence at the office. Tough love. A sports conspiracy.

    Idea #3 – Write a scene where hero and antagonist are unable to openly fight each other (e.g. because they’re in the presence of a VIP).

    Idea #4 – Hero mistakes cause and effect. E.g. instead of X being revenge for Y, Y was revenge for X.

    Idea #5 – The perpetrator passes themselves as a victim, or vice versa. (This is classic in noir. Most of the clients of noir private investigators are criminally involved in the cases, e.g. using the detective to find information about a loose end that needs to be removed or locate something they stole in the first place).

    Idea #6 – the main character’s self-perception and/or perception of the plot are VERY off in some way from what most readers see.

  437. Manfred von Vulteon 15 Apr 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Could you kindly contact me regarding the use of one of your pieces of content?

  438. Goldlizardon 01 Jan 2022 at 11:33 am

    I am working on a novel, may I have a forum for feedback?

  439. B. McKenzieon 02 Jan 2022 at 9:46 am

    I don’t do open forums any more, but if you’d like to email me a chapter(s) for review, my gmail is superheronation.

  440. Goldlizardon 06 Jan 2022 at 3:14 pm

    Sent! I know the start is a wake-up, but I think it works because It’s an effective way to introduce the world

  441. Stormon 07 Jan 2022 at 11:04 am

    Hey, B Mac, pls reply to my comment if possible… My plot is waiting.

  442. B. McKenzieon 11 Jan 2022 at 12:38 pm

    Goldlizard, I’ve responded to what I think is yours. Thanks

  443. B. McKenzieon 13 Jan 2022 at 4:43 am

    Update: Goldlizard, I’ve sent you a review for the first few pages.

  444. LBon 22 Jan 2022 at 6:41 am

     I have been planning to write a humorous, middle-grade book based on Hindu mythology in the modern world, which I wish to turn in for RICK RIORDAN PRESENTS (an imprint series within Disney Publishing Worldwide. The imprint features books that are connected to ancient myths in the modern-day, much like Rick Riordan’s books, with a few exceptions. The editor of Rick Riordan Presents, abbreviated to RRP, is Stephanie Owens Lurie. All the books in the imprint series are children’s books that focus on mythology in the modern age, with a few exceptions. All submissions to Rick Riordan Presents are made through literary agents and sent to the attention of Stephanie Lurie, Riordan’s editor. The final decision will be taken by Riordan, who will review proposals and manuscripts and also serve as editor for the acquired projects. The books and the authors will also be promoted by Rick Riordan through his social media accounts and appearances.) Problem is, the mythology should be one from my religion or region, and there already is a book series called Aru Shah focusing on hindu myths. I cannot understand how to make my plot different enough from that series. I know you mainly see queries relating to superhero projects, but please, please, please could you help me?

    Of course, Rick Riordan Presents is the absolute aim. If it gets rejected from there, I might settle for some other publication.

  445. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2022 at 6:05 pm

    “Problem is, the mythology should be one from my religion or region, and there already is a book series called Aru Shah focusing on hindu myths. I cannot understand how to make my plot different enough from that series. I know you mainly see queries relating to superhero projects, but please could you help me?” You might consider different character traits, different journeys, different problems, different antagonists, different genres, different plots, different tones… Terminator, The Matrix and Man of Steel are sci-fi messiah stories that share some conceptual similarities (a Christ character against some sort of alien/robot invasion) but took it in very different directions. E.g. The Matrix took a well-established concept, genocidal robots, and added the Matrix as a unique setting/concept and an unusually complex antagonist setup* for the concept. Terminator didn’t do anything wildly innovative with the genocidal robot concept (besides using one as an eventual protagonist), but the execution on the pacing and mood on the first two movies is exceptionally strong. (Also, while Terminator might have been doable without time travel, the time travel definitely works here. SKYNET works much better as a distant, off-screen threat than it would have as a present-day villain. In all of the Terminator movies where the SKYNET apocalypse has already happened, the Terminators are a faceless horde rather than a single exceptional super-antagonist, and SKYNET itself has always been bland and one-dimensional on-screen). Alternately, District 9 and Avatar are both about a human turning into an alien, but one is a hard look at apartheid and the other is an action-romance. (An action-romance exactly as bizarre as it sounds and somehow still less bizarre than The Color of Water).

    I’d also recommend taking a look at how Roahl Dahl, Lemony Snicket and William Golding took very different styles on “fantastically horrible things happen to British schoolchildren”.

    *Here’s an example of the Matrix going in an unusual direction, an interrogation scene between a genocidal robot (Agent Smith) who has major philosophical differences with his also-genocidal bosses which come out as he’s interrogating a captured resistance fighter Morpheus. Most movies would center an interrogation scene on the information extraction (or the information to be extracted) and limit villain involvement to savage and/or dumb (usually both for James Bond interrogations). The most noticeable thing about Agent Smith in this scene, though, is not the information but that he desperately wants to escape his existence and has high-conflict intrigue with his bosses. This is weirdly human stuff for someone who spends a paragraph talking about how he hates humans for lacking equilibrium/self-control and is mainly fighting with humans looking to escape/stop the same prison he hates being in.

    Agent Smith to Morpheus: I’d like to share a revelation I had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure.

    Agent Smith: Why isn’t the serum working?
    Agent Brown: Perhaps we’re asking the wrong questions.
    Agent Smith: Leave me with him. Now.

    Agent Smith: Can you hear me, Morpheus? I’m going to be honest with you. I hate this place, this zoo, this prison, this reality, whatever you want to call it. I can’t stand it any longer. It’s the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel.. saturated by it. I can taste your stink. And every time I do I feel I have somehow been infected by it, it’s repulsive. I must get out of here. I must get free and in this mind (Morpheus’s mind) is the key, my key. Once Zion is destroyed there is no need for me to be here, don’t you understand? I need the codes. I have to get inside Zion, and you have to tell me how. You are going to tell me or you are going to die.

    (other robots come back)
    Agent Jones: What were you doing?
    Agent Brown: He (Morpheus) doesn’t know.
    Agent Smith: Know what?
    Agent Jones: I think they (the heroes) are trying to save him.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply