Some days ago I came across a meme I’ve seen around several times already. It said “Reading is my superpower. What’s yours?” and it got me thinking about a Superhero Writers group. Classy outfits like old jeans and t-shirt, hipster vintage clothing, or good ol’ pajamas aside, superheroes had to have some sort of superpowers. We all read, so unless we’re going to compete in the amount of books read or reading speed, we need a different kind of superpowers: the writerly one.
That, of course, left me pondering on what could be considered a superpower for a writer, and I’ve made quite a list (which definitely shouldn’t be taken too seriously).
Creating main characters, sidekicks, villains, and even background Joe who appears in half a scene in a book comes to such writer naturally. They always hit the right spot when it comes to characterization, and they make readers love, hate, or feel sorry for their characters with ease… Sometimes eliciting all three feelings at the same time.
Can turn the dullest and most plain story into an exciting read with the skillfully woven phrase and interesting style. Could write a novel about a rock rolling down the hill, and it would be a page-turner no one is able to put down. At the same time, Words Wizard can make a reader cry or laugh with a single sentence, or have them biting their nails because of the story’s tension.
Supposedly, stories are about characters, but the Plot Twister can take the most cliche characters on a roller-coaster ride of action, unexpected turns of events, and readerly gasps of surprise. With the Plot Twister, any mundane story will become an explosion of excitement.
Battle scenes are not easy to write, and sometimes it seems easier to just skip it and go straight to the aftermath, or to tell the even from the point of view of a character who’d not really engaged in fighting (”Chaos! It was all chaos!”). But fear not! The Fighter-Writer has your back! No one else can depict the battle scenes both realistically and with enough of epicness or tension to satisfy even the most veteran readers.
Coming up with an interesting and memorable title can be a major pain for many writers. How to convey the whole book, its theme, and story in a few catchy words? Title Spitter can mass-produce brilliant titles with an enviable ease, and all of them will be a marketing dream come true. Of course, one might wonder whether there are stories behind these titles, but we’re talking about Writer Superheroes here, so of course there are!
Might not be the fastest writer, but never lacks creative fuel to get going. A single look on a blank wall, and suddenly Idea Factory has a full outline for yet another novel, an interesting sketch for a secondary character, and two rough concepts for scenes that might or might not be used somewhere. And then, the superhero shifts their gaze, upon a cup full of pens, and BAM! Five more ideas come sprinting.
Perhaps one of the less spectacular Writer Superheroes, but impressive nonetheless. Lack of inspiration? Writer’s block? Stuck in the plot hole? Not the Marathoneer! This superhero will keep writing no matter what, past the self-doubt and lost excitement for the project, bringing the story to its well-deserved end. Without the Marathoneer, a lot less stories would get finished, so even though this superhero works in the background, they are as needed as all the others.
So these are the Writer Superheroes I came up with. If was to be one of them… I think I’m the closest to the Word Wizard (Word Witch, maybe?) and the Plot Twister, while the Fighter-Writer would be my ultimate nemesis, because my battle scenes are, well, better left unmentioned. And I’d definitely need the Title Spitter as a sidekick: I might be learning to create interesting titles, but I’m still often stuck and have to rely on my friends to help me through the title-making process.
How about you? Which Writer Superhero would you be? Who would be your nemesis and the opposite? Or maybe you have some more ideas for the superheroes and their powers? Feel free to share in the comments! If you get creative, I might end up with a part 2 to this post: a crowdsourced one.
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I’d be a Words Wizard, and also a Namer of Peoples, I can generally come up with good solid character names without too much trouble. The marathoner would be my nemesis. Tiredness, angst, or self doubt, and I’m out for the count.
I think we need to work on defeating your nemesis! 😉
Hell yeah I do!
What a great article, Joanne:). And me? I reckon I’m a Word Wizard – but I’m going to add another superpower to your cadre… I’m also a Rib-Tickler. No – I don’t write jokes or set piece humour, but in the middle of all the angst and upset I find farce erupts so there are often funny moments that pop up. And my nemeses… Title Spitter and Lurve Machine (another category – sorry I’m on something of a roll here!) who can melt your marrow with the raw passion of their intense love scenes. And – yes please! I want a Part II:))
Ooooh, I love the idea of the Rib-Tickler! With your permission, I’ll include it into the part II (should it ever get written).
You’re very welcome – it is an established phrase I’ve just nicked, after all.
Ideas? No problem. Names? Likewise. Whether they’re good ones … only time will tell (and practice improve!)
Any idea is better than no ideas… Well, mostly, I guess. 😀
What a cool post! I’m definitely an Idea Factory (I wish I was as efficient at writing stories down as I am at thinking them up…) and probably a Words Wizard as well, but only on my good days. Marathon writing and title spitting are my weak points.
All the superheroes have their bad days, so you might be a Word Wizard all the time: just some evil villain (like Day Job or Tiredness) is trying to get you.