Friday, January 30, 2015

Superhero Story Planning

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Sailor Moon, Spider Man (the first movie,) Iron Man (also the first in the trilogy.)

We all know that on top of my love of horror movies is my love of superhero movies. I don't care where they came from, if they're just made up for the movie, or whatever. Superheroes are my jam.

Moonie for life.

So no surprise when I've pulled some elements from the movies. The most common are as follows. I find it helpful whenever writing some superhero stuff.




Pretty self-explanatory but here are some more points.

NORMAL WORLD
Business as Usual
Ignoring the Bad Guy
Normal Setting
Current Situation
Looks
Normal is Not Perfect
Monster’s Powers
Unsettled
Life Too Busy/Refusal
Introduction to Love
Want
Flaw


INCITING INCIDENT
Reign of Terror
Fight to Survive
Super Powers Start
Getting to Know Love Interest
Supernatural Aide
No One Special (Love Interest)
Crossing the First Threshold


CALL TO ACTION
Expanding Services to Public
Civilians in Danger
Separation from Known World/Self
Willingness to Change
Signs of Essence/Didn’t Know Existed
Vulnerable
Each of these points should be filled or answered with a scene, a piece of dialogue, something subtle. Easily something that normally happens. (Please, for the love of moviegoers.)




Hard Lessons is harder than the others. Up until now, most of those points are okay in that order. During Hard Lessons, the very meat of the movie/story, there's a lot that can be going on at once. Here's a rough estimate on how the points would be ordered.

Feel free to change the order of them.

HARD LESSONS
Training
Appreciation
Fighting Bad Guys
Admiration
Finding Unconditional Love
Distance Decrease


NO CHOICE
ID Blocks Essence/Approach/Black Moment #1
Kidnapped Love
Pummeled/Flaw in the Way/Black Moment #2 (this black moment is completely optional, just another nudge to push the hero over the edge)




Some of these steps will be a little...repetitive, in a way. Still, keep vague line alive.

VICTORY
Monsters Defeated
Fulfillment/Hero Essence
Refusal to Return
Want vs. Need/Outcome


SECRET LIFE
Returning in Superhero Mode
PTSD


REAL WORLD
World Hasn’t Changed
Crossing Return Threshold


CONTINUATIONMaster of Two Worlds




Now Forever is for the standalones and end to series. To an extent. Obviously, Happily Ever After is not going to happen if either everyone's dead or the hero hasn't wooed the guy.

FOREVERMission Complete
Loved Ones Close
Living in the Moment
Happily Ever After for Couple
Hero Got What She Needed?
Succumbed to Grief/Built New Life?


But the rest of those points really do help tie everything together. The best example of this forever piece (either than Sailor Moon) is Big Hero 6, which is great, by the way.


If you're planning to write a superhero story or movie, give yourself the benefit of great material. Watch all of the superhero movies under the sun and if you have the time, series as well.