The Superhero Blues (Reprise)
Carrying on from yesterday’s post, one option for all of the characters for Earth set fantasies is to move them all to my Superhero Project. It has been almost two years since I last wrote about “The Superhero Blues,” but my problems remain. As much as I want to write superheroes (especially superhero inspired epic fantasy), I still have several hangups that prevent me from moving forward. No matter how much I wish it weren’t so. Maybe I can work through these roadblocks.
The first issue I have is the plethora of superhero stories in publication or circulation. Superheroes are everywhere. Even in novels (which was not quite the case when I wrote “The Superhero Blues”). If I had written earlier, maybe I would have a leg up.
The second issue I have is one of originality. I want to write a superhero epic fantasy, not a metafictional comedy or a literary slumming trip. The problem lies in that every possible superhero story has been told. At least ten times over.
The third issue lies in how I want to tell the story. I want to mimic in novel form the breadth of comic book story telling. Yes, the easy approach involves a novel equating to a story arc. But that is not what I want. I want a set number of chapters spread over four or five books that tell a continuing story. That means that numerous story arcs exist in each novel and carry over between novels. I am not sure publishers would really go for such a mosaic novel.
But, should I really let my hangups prevent me from writing the story I want to tell? Shouldn’t I write what makes me happy? Is there, actually, an audience for this? Allow me to try and refute my previous three arguments against writing the Superhero Project.
Is there really a plethora of superhero stories in circulation? Yes to comics. Yes to film. Yes to television (the CW might as well be called the DC Network). But not so much when it comes to novels. There is currently, to my reckoning, no more than ten books (not counting Wildcards) dealing with superheroes. And certainly none that approach superheroes in the way that I want to.
Finding (or creating) a new take on a seemingly exhausted subject is an interesting challenge. (And, to be honest, it is highly tempting to push the envelope further than most comics seem interested in going). It is a challenge and temptation I am happy to tackle.
Am I selling publishers short? Yes, the mosaic novel (or multi arc novel) is out of fashion. But maybe it just needs the right push to get back in the game.
I should not let my fears hamper my creative impulse. I will write my Superhero Project. Will I be successful? I don’t know. But I won’t know if I don’t do it.