Superheroes//Guest Post by Sierra Blasko
Heyo!! *waves* Sierra from One Sparrow’s Song here!
Since Rachael is off getting super writer ninja training, I’m STEALING HER BLOG!!!
(But just this once. Because she asked. And I am a polite blognapping porcupine. *nods*)
Anyhow, I’m here to talk about superheroes.
Specifically, the dos and don’ts of how to write them. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tip #1: DON’T overanalyze
Okay, so you’re writing about superheroes, right? It’s gonna be super cool and you’re going to make a perfect origin story with lots of details and sciency stuff!
Let’s be real here; no matter how much “science” you put behind it, superpowers are fiction. Very cool fiction, but fiction none the less.
They don’t have to make perfect sense.
I mean, you should have a reason behind their powers (every super needs an origin story), but don’t freak about it. Sometimes, you just have to sit back and go…
(Also, when in doubt… radiation. *nods* Never fails.)
Tip #2: DO give them original powers
Quick, name a superpower! First one that comes to mind!
Got one? Awesome.
Was it superstrength, superspeed, or flying?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing a super with those powers! They’re pretty cool powers!
But what about something less common, such as invisibility? (Ironically, that’s one of the first powers that comes to my mind, yet I don’t see many superheroes with invisibility powers.)
Or superduper dodging skills? The ability to bend their body in ways that shouldn’t technically be possible, but come in handy everywhere from gym class dodgeball to bad guy bullets?
Now, obviously, don’t give them something super obscure, such as the ability to turn into a toad and fly every fifth Tuesday. I mean, you could, but it’d be pretty hard to pull something like that off.
Tip #3: DON’T make them SUPER superheroes
Superpowers = cool!
SUPER superpowers = not so cool.
Also known as “god-powers”, these superpowers include… pretty much everything. For example, a telepath who can do absolutely anything mind related. They can talk to people… and animals… and control them… and put thoughts in their head… and twist their memories...
Basically, they fall under the category of “perfectly invincible, perfectly annoying.”
There are a couple of reasons why characters like this aren’t the best.
First, they’re annoying. Nobody is perfect, so why should they get to have all these powers?
Second, they’re hard to connect with. Their struggles don’t seem real, because their powers are so diverse. As long as their powers fall under whatever (often broad) category the super fits in, they can suddenly pop out with a new skill- just in time to save them from the big bad guy. #Predictable.
Third, this takes a whole lot of willful suspension of disbelief. A reader’s logic can only be held off so long.
Limit their powers, people.
Your readers will thank you.
Tip #4: DO remember that there is more to them than their powers
Ask yourself what would happen if they lost their superpowers.
If you can’t answer that question… take a step back. Look at them as a person, not a superhero. Their powers are part of them, not the other way around.
Well, there we go! I hope this post was helpful, entertaining, or otherwise! :D