It's that time again: Blog Chain time!
This round, Eric started us off by asking the question
Do you create characters that are larger-than-life or are your characters more like the average Joe?
Hmmm. Good question!
I'm sick of what I like to call, The Superman Problem.
Superman is as awesome as it gets--he doesn't even break a sweat fighting supervillains. Nothing can stop him except for a tiny green rock, and let's face it, kryptonite has been less than successful at taking him down. He can fly, has super speed, is impervious to bullets, can hurl a planet at you if you piss him off, and has even turned back time to save Lois Lane.
What's the problem then, you ask? Well, as I see it, why do I care if Superman's in trouble? He's just going to kick some ass and save the day. Like always. Because he's Superman. He's almost perfect.
He's not flawed enough to be interesting!
Spiderman on the other hand, is behind on the rent, flunking History class, and his girlfriend thinks he stood her up, all because of that damn Doc Oc! Now, this is a superhero I can care about! :)
When I'm creating my characters, I don't want them to be Superman, so I try to make them as real as possible... even if they have super human abilities. I want my characters to be flawed and relatable.
However, there is one more problem to avoid in the other direction. I call this, the Twilight Problem.
Here is an example:
Girl: "Oh, I am just a normal, average, run-of-the-mill boring, not very attractive person just bumbling through high school. OMG!!!! Who is that tall, dark, AMAZING stranger who has come into my life?!"
Stranger: "I am special, and for some reason am paying attention to you, normal person."
Girl: "SQUEE!! Now my normal, average, boring life has become interesting due to someone cool talking to me!"
Stranger: "Um... yeah. I guess. I'm now going to sparkle and brood. Also, have adventures that maybe you can be a part of. Maybe."
Girl: "I can't wait!!!!"
In this scenario, the main character is normal... but also doesn't choose to do anything special or have any cool adventures on her own. She waits for someone awesome to come and make choices for her. Hooray. Oh, wait. THAT SUCKS.
I want my chracters to be realistic, relatable, but also to CHOOSE awesomeness and adventure :). I want my heroines and heroes to say to themselves, "Self, let's take our talents and our courage to go save the world!"
I guess my answer is, I want normal characters to choose to become larger than life.
I want to be larger than life in real life. Doesn't everyone? We can choose to make the most of what we're given, or we can wait for some sparkly person to come along and do it for us. I, personally, chose action.
What do you guys think? Superman, Twilight, or a Happy Ass-Kicking Medium?
Please check out the Courageous Cole's answer before me, and the Karate-kicking Kate's answer tomorrow!