Most superhero origin stories begin with something beyond control happening to someone. A chemical spills on someone. A radioactive spider bites someone. Gamma radiation radiates someone. Someone’s genes mutate. Someone’s parents put their baby in a ship headed for Earth.
If you ever feel like something has been done to you beyond your control, use it. You are a superhero in the making.
In writing, the well-known trick is to write what you know, but many writers get sidetracked by this and confuse what they know with what they think they should know. A writer may indeed know what it feels like to be a Russian spy posing as a Norwegian chef in the U.K. whose vital mission is to decode a message that will save the lives of countless human beings–including their secret lover.
I invented Seattle, once.
I did! I thought it up, right down to the name.
Later, I discovered someone else thought it up before me and built the whole thing!
So I moved there to check it out. Not bad!
My idea was to have conveyor belts instead of sidewalks, but whatever. Still pretty decent.
Want to know why the world seems like it’s out to get you?
It’s like walking on a sidewalk of an average city block.
If half the people are going your direction and half the people are walking against you, you’re much more likely to encounter the people who are going against you. The others you may never notice.
Sometimes putting a title on a book is more challenging than writing the book itself. Here’s a list of titles that weren’t quite as good as Super. The book is about Superheroes that work for a county agency, so that’s what most of these titles were attempting to express.
The Right Thing or Whatever
Hostile Work Environment
To Err is Superhuman
Municipal Light and Powers
Rescue This Book
Not a Zombie Book
I Just Work Here
A Poorly Titled Novel That’s Actually Rather Good
Materials that Stretch
You Are the Hero
You learn something every day.
Perhaps a comforting thought related to people being relatively easy to manipulate is that people can be heavily influenced by an idea, and so if the world seems too commercialized, too homogenized, or just too stupid due to a general lack of independent thought, then take heart in knowing that the right idea could easily catch on at any moment, and transform the world.
See that? I said “lost” without capitalizing it because I wasn’t talking about the TV show.
So I saw this guy sitting on some steps the other day, and I was like, “Huh. Wonder what he’s doing?”
And then I realized what it was–he was doing nothing!
I totally want to try that someday. It looks awesome!