Monday, August 5, 2013


I receive on average one to three scripts per month from aspiring comic book writers. The majority of the stories are superhero stories and those scripts really lack a good motivation for the hero. I have read one too many stories where a mother, father, brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband are killed for no reason and that's the motivator for the hero to go out and get revenge.

The problem I see with some writers is that they think killing a person for no reason is good enough to motivate a person to be a hero. I have read some silly death scenes in scripts where a demon, assassin, or beast appears out of nowhere and kills a loved one that was introduced one or two pages earlier. It's usually a girlfriend that was killed moments before the boyfriend proposes marriage. That is stupid as hell and readers will stop reading your story in a heartbeat.

I'm not saying you can't use death as a motivator, but if you are going to do it then at least make the death part of the story and not just some unnecessary random event. If you kill of the hero's girlfriend then create a believable mystery where the hero has to link clues together to find the killer. Readers will want to see that mystery solved. They do not want the girlfriend killed for no reason and then the hero decides to put on a silly costume and fight crime.

I'll digress a bit and add that I'm amazed that writers are willing to develop these incredibly violent deaths that are witnessed by the hero. Also, these violent deaths apparently create no psychological damage to the hero. They see a violent death, scream and/or cry, and go on with their lives. Amazing.

TonyDoug Wright is the owner and head writer for Champion City Comics. 

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