njordsbeard (njordsbeard) wrote in writers_guild,

Not Sure How To Start

Hi everyone! I have an idea I kind of wanted to toss around. If you have any feedback, or ideas and opinions, I'll graciously accept them.

I've always been a geeky guy, even when I was little, so naturally I'm almost exclusively drawn to works of fiction. Worlds of unbelievable possibilities, where the laws of reality of bent solely for the sake of adventure, or to stir an emotion within people. I've never had the motivation, or raw talent to complete my own works of fiction; my own worlds.

Though I'm always willing to try. Let's see if I can write this out without feeling like the idea is ridiculous.

So I have an idea caught in my head now that gives me that urge to try and express it into text. It's a gritty superheroes vs. villains setting, but I want the characters to be realistic, or relatable. Flawed human beings who also happen to meta-human. I want to address the battles and corruption we all have within ourselves, but within these superior individuals who are seen by the normal population to be almost alien, or divine. The thought of the strain of being held to such impossible standards, and the effects it has on an individual's psyche and personality as they strive to defend their convictions, whether they be the "villain" or the "hero".

I want the villain the show what happens all of those stresses culminate and break us. A man or woman whose ideals may have once been noble, but the anger and corruption that has plagued them has driven them down a path of violence, and self-destruction to obtain a reality they see as ideal.

Any thoughts, or input for me here? I'm mostly stuck on character development, since this idea has never really been worked on before; things such as the meta-human's abilities, or the ultimate exterior conflict they face. I have one of the "heroes" vaguely formed as a man who can alter the reality we perceive in the form of visual and auditory hallucinations. That character is vital to the direction I want to take this story, and I can explain more on that if you wish, but I can't go anywhere with it until this block on character development starts to fade! Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
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I like the idea behind your story idea! I love, love, love flawed characters –– there are not enough "super power" books with 3-dimensional characters or plots. I think the villain who had begun with strong ideals and then falls victim to corruption is relatable. Are you thinking of writing a parallel story line between the "hero" and the "villain"? How will their stories interconnect?

What comes to mind when hear this story is that perhaps the villain is misunderstood somehow? Perhaps his efforts to at first do good are perceived as negative? Remember the people who were against Batman at one point because they thought his intrusiveness was meant for evil rather than good? Batman never succumbed to such misunderstandings, but not everyone is that strong.
I have this image stuck in my head that the "hero" I mentioned disagrees with how his comrades ultimately decide to deal with the "villain", among other things. Though they only have the best intentions, the man feels like they are abusing their powers and have lost sight of what they should have represented in the first place.

I hope to have this man return as the villain at a later point, turned against his former allies. I want there to be something that disfigures him either emotionally or physically, perhaps even both, and I want him to see that result as a betrayal from the men and women he once stood beside. I believe, because of how strongly he believes in himself and the perfect world he has thought, it would twist him and he'd be an immense challenge for the protagonists.

Though that would ultimately be another story, as this first one I'm focused on leads into that, but I'm really eager to show these characters start to question themselves and their philosophies as someones they once called their friend has suddenly expressed such a volatile hatred for everything they are.

As you can see, it's still sort of a skeleton of a plot. I know where I want to go with it, but some of the most important and pivotal parts of the plot of the first story and everything in between are missing.

And I'm glad you brought up Batman! Batman has served as a lot of inspiration for this story, I've always loved the way that Bruce Wayne is a broken man grasping at the air for an impossible perfection for Gotham, and he dons the cape of Batman to personify and embrace his fears. to leave behind the scared boy of his past, or the defeated man of the present, and become something more than either. I hope to show how fear is something more toxic than any poison, or more sharp than any blade with the return of the former-hero as a villain.

I'm really striving to give this story a basis in reality. We all experience fears and traumas, but the real story is how we overcome them.
I think you have a good theme that most people can relate to. Fear is something we can all relate with, and it often turns us into different people if we allow it to control us. I would love to see a "bad guy" that I sympathize with –– someone I root for. If you manage that, I think you would have something really different, not on the market. I like the idea of friends turning enemies, but that is somewhat common. If you can put a more human twist on the story, however, I think you'd have something special.
Thank you for all of your input! I really really appreciate it. I'm going to brainstorm some more about that, and see what I can come up with. I'll come back when I've come up with something new. I look forward to anymore critique you can offer as I go!
Looking forward to it! I used to edit books for a living (still do a bit on the side), and it always prompts ideas for my own writing. So I absolutely love to critique writing of all genres. Looking forward to reading whatever you put out there. :) Good luck!
I want the villain the show what happens all of those stresses culminate and break us. A man or woman whose ideals may have once been noble, but the anger and corruption that has plagued them has driven them down a path of violence, and self-destruction to obtain a reality they see as ideal.

Here's a suggestion to get your villain character started. Go to this list of heroes and pick one or two that appeal to you. What did that person do that made them a hero? How could that be twisted? Frex, MLK preached peaceful dissent; what if he had become disillusioned, if the assassination attempt had only wounded him but killed his beloved son? What if he had a superpower to .... I dunno, make people love him. How could that be twisted?

You could use the actual hero's personality or, one thing I do, is base the character on one of the Myers-Briggs personality types. Give the villain a back story, write up some scenarios of how he would react to different things.