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How to Write a Superhero Novel


Writing a superhero novel allows you to create an entirely new world and even an entirely new species. With knowledge of plot development, character and conflict, creating a superhero novel is possible for fiction writers. Translate your interest in superheroes into a novel by creating a well-developed character.

Create the Superhero

Decide what type of superhero to create, such as whether the hero will be human or some type of creature. Give the human character a backstory, a day job and other humans to interact with. Include the backstory in the first chapter of your novel or in flashbacks throughout the novel to develop your character. If you create a nonhuman character, decide upon a species, the physical description of the character and whether it will be able to speak to humans. For example, Superman is a human whose alter ego is Clark Kent. He works as a newspaper reporter, has parents and has a love interest in Lois Lane.

Give the Superhero Powers

Whether the superhero is human or not, choose the superpowers she will have and how she will go about using them to save other characters. General categories of superpowers include transportation abilities, the ability to manipulate time, the ability to manipulate the elements or surrounding world and mental superpowers. For example, transportation abilities may include the ability to fly or breathe underwater. Time manipulation may include the ability to fast forward, rewind or freeze time. Manipulation of the elements includes controlling the weather or the ocean, and mental abilities include the ability to read the minds of others. For example, Superman has superhuman strength and the ability to fly. When outlining your novel, think about introducing your character's powers in early chapters when she faces smaller conflicts.

Create a World

Create the setting of the story. Setting is present throughout a novel, but your first few chapters should give the reader an overview of the world they are entering. Will your superhero exist on Earth, another planet or even another dimension? If your superhero exists on Earth, decide what city he will live in or where he will travel to frequently. Decide what time frame the superhero exists in -- is he in the future, past or present? Depending upon the elements of the hero's backstory and family life, decide where the majority of the story will take place. The superhero may frequent a bar, spend a majority of time at home or spend most of his time at work. For example, Superman largely exists on Earth and saves other humans from danger every day, but he comes from a planet called Krypton.

Create a Nemesis

To create conflict and a plot in your novel, develop one or two antagonists -- or villains. The antagonist emerges during the rising action of the novel and should be present during the climax, which will occur in the middle of the novel. The villain should serve two purposes. She should stand in the way of the superhero saving someone or reaching a larger goal, like saving the entire planet. She should also prey on the weaknesses of the superhero, causing him to work harder to overcome a problem. For example, Superman's primary nemesis is Lex Luthor, who uses Krytponite to exploit Superman's weaknesses.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Jana Sosnowski holds Master of Science in educational psychology and instructional technology, She has spent the past 11 years in education, primarily in the secondary classroom teaching English and journalism. Sosnowski has also worked as a curriculum writer for a math remediation program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from the University of Southern California.

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