The Seven Secrets of the Super Hero

CinnamonEver wondered how to come up with a super hero? YA author Melissa Keil, whose latest book is The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, shared some secrets at the recent Melbourne Writer’s Festival. I’ve condensed her tips here.

How to create a super hero:

  1. Make up an Origin Story. How did they get their power? Did they go from being an ordinary guy or girl to being a super hero? This could be caused by a spider bite (Spiderman) or science going wrong (The Fantastic Four). Or were they born special like Superman? A good origin story allows us to connect with heroes that might be otherwise difficult to relate to because of their powers.
  2. Choose their powers. Then we need to see them grappling and failing to use their gifts before mastering them… Continue reading

The Melbourne Writer’s Festival

In a classic example of don’t try this yourselves kids! research, YA author Justine Larbalestier once followed a shady looking guy wearing a hoody who worked out at her gym.

Would you follow this guy?

Would you follow this guy?

“It’s not stalking,” she told a Melbourne Writer’s Festival school group. “It’s active research.”

The gym Justine frequents in Surrey Hills is a ‘crim gym’ and she’d been watching this guy for a while because he resembled the kind of stand-over man she wanted as a character in her novel Razorhurst. Sort of dead in the eyes. Continue reading