Oct 21 2012

“Learning to Write Superhero Stories”

Published by

Learning to Write Superhero Stories is a set of superhero movie reviews which will help you write better superhero novels, comics, and screenplays. This book will show you how to develop interesting characters, write more exciting plots, and use superpowers in more interesting ways. Buy a copy on Amazon today for $6!

 

 

What Readers Are Saying

  • M.G. Harmon, the author of Wearing the Cape, wrote that Learning to Write Superhero Stories “does a good job dissecting each movie and explaining why you left the theater going ‘wow!’ or ‘meh.’ For aspiring writers, or writers looking to move into the superhero genre, it is a very useful tool… It is a worthwhile addition to any writer’s How To collection.”
  • “The reviews of the films are intelligent and humorous, with a keen insight into the effective mechanics and dynamics of writing superhero stories… This book is a fantastic resource for writers or even humble fans of the genre.”
  • “I hope that everyone who reads this book will treat it as their superhero-writing Bible.”

Learning to Write Superhero Stories - Cover

38 responses so far

38 Responses to ““Learning to Write Superhero Stories””

  1. Droid Manon 24 Jan 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Congratulations on the book, will this be available at Barnes & Nobles as well? Because I’m working on a novel myself but i’m not having any luck.

  2. B. McKenzieon 24 Jan 2013 at 5:21 pm

    If you have a computer but not a Kindle, you can read the book on your computer with Amazon’s free Reader Apps. I don’t think that the publisher plans on releasing it on B&N.

  3. Kon 22 Mar 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I say, go with your imagination!

  4. Kon 22 Mar 2013 at 12:05 pm

    And, with a superhero book, really ANYTHING can happen. Any powers. Any names. Any creatures.

  5. Danielon 06 Apr 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I’m only a kid who’s just gotten into comics but has been wanting to do writing since last summer. I have a story I’m still working on but I wanted to know to enter in for a review does it have to be a comic because I do not have an illustrator nor do I have comic illustrating abilities. I can draw out the character but attempting to do it in a comic style has been difficult for me.

  6. B. McKenzieon 06 Apr 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I work with comic scripts and summaries as well. Would you like a review forum?

  7. Danielon 07 Apr 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Yes, please.

  8. jameson 24 Apr 2013 at 9:58 am

    i think super hero nation is the best web site for kids right now im writeing a store call red star and the black mist in the story a boy named isaiah gets these powers and fight to save his girl friend

  9. jameson 24 Apr 2013 at 10:08 am

    i think that its cool that daniel illustrating would be cool to see

  10. XosMelon 08 Jun 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Hey B. Mac, are you and B. McKenzie the some person? I have been confused for a while about you guys o_o

  11. B. McKenzie / B. Macon 08 Jun 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Yes.

  12. XosMelon 09 Jun 2013 at 1:53 pm

    same*

  13. joey lennonon 10 Aug 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Im writing a story about twins parker and jason (jay)pryde who are stopping supervillan magmamight

  14. Raksha Killianon 13 Aug 2014 at 1:04 am

    I’m writing a story with twelve main heroes, they’re kind of like the Young Justice League becuase they’re friends and all that jazz, but I’m having trouble thinking of a good villain for them. The theme I’m going for is action comedy, but it’s not coming along great.

  15. B. McKenzieon 13 Aug 2014 at 3:42 pm

    “I’m writing a story with twelve main heroes, they’re kind of like the Young Justice League becuase they’re friends and all that jazz, but I’m having trouble thinking of a good villain for them. The theme I’m going for is action comedy, but it’s not coming along great.” If possible, I’d suggest reducing the cast size, perhaps by deleting or merging together main characters. If you had, say, 4-6 protagonists rather than 12, I believe they’d probably be more effective in terms of character development and comedy.

  16. Shawn Lloydon 21 Oct 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I’m writing a story in which the main protagonist is attends an academy of superheroes, it’s like an affectionate parody of works involving a school for super-powered beings like X-Men, but I’m having a hard time coming up with an opening that could really grab a potential reader right off the bat.

  17. Den Warrenon 07 Nov 2014 at 8:24 am

    I am thinking about generating a shared world for superhero short stories or collaborative novels.

    Please email me at bigontraining@yahoo.com if interested.

  18. victor jon 10 Nov 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Ive been lookin for a good story line but i cant seem to find any and i can draw d characters also in comic style

  19. Pharyn rolleron 12 Nov 2014 at 6:16 am

    I learned to write a drama-fantasy called “tuxedo mask” by Pharyn roller the writers gonna love this new writer story

  20. thomas mcavoyon 03 Jan 2015 at 1:50 pm

    im finding my story a bit hard my super hero is a bit like spider man my super hero is
    called simon the superhero im from usa but if people could please help that would be great

  21. Iurion 20 Aug 2015 at 7:40 am

    I am trying to write a superhero story as well. However, I still have many things left to decide before I take my pen and start writing. My story takes place in our planet Earth but it is a sort of alternate version of Earth, where real-life animals and locations exist alongside locations and creatures I created myself. I am kind of torn up if I should just have one superhero or create a group of them. The main superhero will be the main focus regardless of what choice I make here. The villains have a similar problem: I don´t know if I should go for a classical “Rogues Gallery” or have only a villain. While I do like the idea of being only one villain and make the affairs with the hero more personal, I also dig the idea of having a variety of them.

  22. Anonymouson 21 Sep 2015 at 10:09 am

    I would personally say go with one main villain. That way, like you said, you get more personal interactions between the main character and the villain

  23. catswoodsriveron 03 Apr 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I’m also writing a story on Earth, where there are places called realms. They’re kind of like pocket universes, but are just worlds. They are reached through gates in various places. The story is mostly set on Earth proper, some villains come from Tartarus, the twin worlds of Olympus and Hades are where the greek “gods” hide out, Fairy is used, and the Borderlands is sort of in-between.

    Iuri: You could have a main villain and some side ones that appear rarely. Kind of like Batman, The Joker is the main villain but there are others.

  24. Anonymouson 07 Sep 2016 at 5:44 am

    Am writing a story about mutants. The main character uses his superpower to protect the city with the help of his friends. Even though the main character can therianthropise himself he still finds trouble fighting villains who can control the weather, become invisible, teleport, telekines.

  25. Daniel Eworyion 07 Sep 2016 at 10:00 am

    This mutant story is entitled Mutant City. A scientist found a cure to a mysterious illness. He released the antidote into the atmosphere and those who breathed it gained superpowers years later. The main character decided to save the city from evil. His two best friends helped him because they also had these powers. One can control ice and the other can breathe out fire whiles the main character can transform into any animal.

  26. Daniel Eworyion 07 Sep 2016 at 11:54 am

    I just need names for my supervillains

  27. Andrewon 08 Sep 2016 at 12:51 am

    @Daniel Eworyi

    What kind of villains do you have? What’re their powers and such?

  28. B. McKenzieon 08 Sep 2016 at 6:55 am

    “This mutant story is entitled Mutant City. A scientist found a cure to a mysterious illness. He released the antidote into the atmosphere and those who breathed it gained superpowers years later. The main character decided to save the city from evil. His two best friends helped him because they also had these powers. One can control ice and the other can breathe out fire whiles the main character can transform into any animal.

    I just need names for my supervillains.”

    I’d also recommend thinking about the story title*, the inciting event (probably moving it from backstory into the “now” of the story), the main character’s motivation, probably the side characters’ motivation, and character development all around. This sounds sort of generic. When you do a logline of your work, I’d recommend incorporating a memorable character choice and/or a cool concept.

    E.g. for The Taxman Must Die, my one-sentence summary would be something like “After nearly getting assassinated by a supervillain, an IRS agent blackmails his way into the Homeland Security team running the case.”

    *(If the city is actually named Mutant City, I’d recommend revisiting that as well when you’re ready to submit).

  29. Daniel Eworyion 28 Sep 2016 at 2:56 am

    The city is Phoenix not Mutant City. I gave Mutant City to my story because in that city, there are lots of mutants.

  30. Daniel Eworyion 28 Sep 2016 at 3:00 am

    Are these good supervillain names?
    1. Thrun the Crusher
    2. Stygian Beast
    3. King Fusion
    4. Neuro the Pain Master
    5. Captain Clone

  31. B. McKenzieon 28 Sep 2016 at 6:25 am

    “I gave Mutant City to my story because in that city, there are lots of mutants.” I think that the title Mutant City establishes this is a superhero story, but doesn’t do much to develop your plot or characters apart from the superpower angle, your writing style, the tone/mood of the work, etc.

    From a related comment:

    I think some examples of titles which are more effective at developing their plots/characters include “Soon I Will Be Invincible”, “Captain Freedom: A Superhero’s Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves”, “Cape Killers”, “Evil Inc.”, “America Against the Squirrel Uprising”, and “The Death Ray Will Be on the Test”. For example, I think that identifying something which is unusual about your characters/story compared to most other superhero stories can be a helpful starting point.



    “Are these good supervillain names?” I’d recommend shortening “Thrun the Crusher” and “Neuro the Pain Master” to just Thrun and Neuro, and maybe “Stygian Beast” to just Stygian. I feel King Fusion and Captain Clone sound more like Golden/Silver Age heroes than villains. I think mixing in an actual name or something that sounds like it could be an actual name (e.g. Sylar or Bane or Heisenberg or Hugo Strange or Victor Zsasz) might be helpful for a change of pace. (I think these names tend to be more natural in conversation, less likely to create style problems for readers, and less likely to feel dated).

  32. Daniel Eworyion 29 Sep 2016 at 2:49 am

    So what if the title of my story is Faunaman-Mutants Invasion

  33. Daniel Eworyion 29 Sep 2016 at 2:50 am

    The name of my superhero is Faunaman

  34. B. McKenzieon 29 Sep 2016 at 6:54 am

    “So what if the title of my story is Faunaman-Mutants Invasion. The name of my superhero is Faunaman.”

    1) I’d recommend proofreading the title. First, in the phrase “____ invasion”, the blank should be filled either by an adjective (e.g. “mutant invasion” or “Swiss invasion”) or more awkwardly by a possessive noun (e.g. “mutants’ invasion”). Second, “Faunaman-Mutants” looks like a compound word, like you’re referring to a type of mutant. If Faunaman is the series name and the Mutants Invasion is the individual book title, I’d recommend making the hyphen (-) a colon.

    1.1) For a very minor rephrasing, I’d recommend __(character name)__ Against the Mutant Invasion. However, if the character’s name is Faunaman, I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the title (or the series title). I think the name sounds really old-school — e.g. the character “Animal Man” was introduced in 1965. I’d recommend going more modern.

  35. Daniel Eworyion 30 Sep 2016 at 1:25 am

    Then, give me a name for my superhero

  36. B. McKenzieon 30 Sep 2016 at 6:55 am

    –I don’t know anything about this character besides his superpowers.
    –I’m not you, and don’t know your writing style all that well. Names are usually pretty distinctive to the author.
    –Personally, I gravitate towards names that don’t directly draw on the superpowers, and usually sound like they might be given names (generally an unusual first name and an ordinary last name or vice versa, like Hex Abrams and Jacob Mallow. I don’t need readers to like the names or be impressed by them, just to not hate reading their names 100+ times or get thrown out of a story when someone addresses them by name).

  37. Daniel Eworyion 03 Oct 2016 at 3:24 am

    Is this a good introduction.
    People call me Faunaman but my real name is Daniel Anderson. The cool stuff about me is, I’m a mutant. When i was seventeen years old, I felt certain changes within my body. Sometimes, i felt very cold and at other times, i felt hot. A few months later, i realised i had the ability to transform into any animal. With my ability, i decided to fight crime. No sooner I began, i found out I wasn’t the only mutant in my city(Phoenix). My friends, people i never knew and some villains i fought were mutants. With the help of my friends, Frost Fist and Hot Blaze, crime fighting wasn’t a problem. Not until i moved to my aunt’s place. There, i found out my girlfriend was also a mutant. We fought crime together but villains sometimes get away. Now, i decided to find out how humans became mutants and finding this answer could mean SACRIFICING MY LIFE. Remember, I AM FAUNAMAN

  38. B. McKenzieon 03 Oct 2016 at 5:27 am

    “Is this a good introduction.” I don’t think it introduces the character or the plot effectively enough, character personality and writing style could be clearer, and the narration is an infodump. If he were interacting with other characters, that might give you more opportunities to build the story and characters more naturally.

    I’d suggest checking out these articles on opening lines, surviving to page 2, and developing characters beyond their superpowers. I’d strongly recommend reading the first page from 5-10 of the books listed in the article on opening lines, thinking on what the authors accomplish on these first pages and how, and trying this again. Best of luck there, let me know when you’re ready to proceed.

    (Secondarily, from a previous comment, “When I encounter a story with a first line of “Call me [name]” or “My name is [X], but you can call me [Y],” I usually stop reading unless there’s something strikingly interesting about the names”).

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