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Superhero! Writing Prompt Part 2

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Yup. That's a pretty good encapsulation of writing. (Image from flickr, via The Commons)

Yup. That's a pretty good encapsulation of writing. (Image from flickr, via The Commons)

See part 1 here.

Welcome back! Now that we have the characters for you story set, they need something to do. One of the best ways to help yourself think through a story is with a graphic organizer. Yes, it's a very school-y thing to use. It's also a fantastic resource and space to let yourself work through the pieces of a story. One of the best ones we've found is here. Let's take a quick walk through it and then we'll leave you to create your story.

Right in the middle of the page you have the main component of the story: your protagonist (superhero) against your antagonist (super villian/crisis/etc). That CONFLICT is the drive behind your story will be represented on the first line on the left side of your plot pyramid. The complications that arise from that conflict are the lines going up the pyramid: RISING ACTION. Where that conflict comes to a head is the top of the pyramid at THE CLIMAX! That should be your most exciting moment in the story because that's what the story has built to.

After the climax, however, you're not done writing. There is going to be fallout from the climax. How does the climax affect both the protagonist and the antagonist? Is one of them vanquished? Is there a change of heart? Will they both slink off to fight another day because they are so evenly matched? These are the questions that should get answered down the right side of the pyramid: FALLING ACTION. Where the story ends is the where the reader ends up: the RESOLUTION.

The other boxes on the graphic organizer are there for you to use or not. The exposition is likely something that you mapped out using the first part in your assemblage of your characters. And theme? Well, the thing about a theme is that it's really hard to assign one to your story before you begin. Don't worry about that one. And when you've finished writing/revising your story and are ready to share it, ask someone you trust what he or she thinks the theme is. It will often be something different than you would have said.

We hope that this will be helpful going forward with your writing. And hey, don't just use it for superhero stories. It'll be a resource for any story you decide to write in the future. And hopefully, you'll share them with us. We wish you good writing! Have fun!

Results of the First Annual Poem-A-Thon

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Flashbang! Writing Studio is pleased to announce that the First Annual Poem-A-Thon raised a grand total of $2,055 for Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. We thank each and every one of you who submitted a poem to us, bought an issue of KaPow! Poem-A-Thon Edition, showed up at the East End Book Exchange and let us write a poem for you on our old typewriter, raised money alongside us, or donated just out of the goodness of your heart. 

The $2,055 Flashbang! raised will help GPLC provide educational services to over 4500 people in the Pittsburgh Area. Our donation will support: reading, writing, and math education; GED preparation; English as a second language programming; workplace skills development and preparation; family literacy education; a health literacy program; computer skills education; and the OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring program, helping at-risk students in grades K-3. 

There's still time to support the poets of the Poem-A-Thon and send some money to GPLC: issues of KaPow! are $6 each and include all the kick-butt poems we published on the blog during National Poetry Month. And Flashbang! is donating all money from sales of KaPow! to GPLC. Buy your copy today

Superhero! Writing Prompt Part 1

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Image from page 310 of "The golden fleece and the heroes who lived before Achilles" (1921). Used via  The Commons  on Flickr.

Image from page 310 of "The golden fleece and the heroes who lived before Achilles" (1921). Used via The Commons on Flickr.

We're going to be doing something a little different this time. See here for our call for submissions for the next issue of Kapow! This is going to have a superhero theme, and we'll be using that idea as the basis for the work we'll be putting up on the blog over the summer.

To wit: our first prompt is going to be in a couple of parts. Today, in part 1, we'll be starting with the idea of creating a superhero. You can make one up out of whole cloth, or you can base him/her/them on yourself, as presumably, you are a solid jumping off point for your own imagination.


  • Appearance
  • Superpowers
  • Weaknesses
  • Origin Story
  • Time Period
  • Any other pertinent information to make your superhero yours.

And of course, what is a superhero without a nemesis? One cannot fight the whole world, surely. So create someone or something to give your hero some pushback. It makes things way more interesting. Use the same considerations in creating your nemesis. It's no fun matching wits with a cardboard cut-out.

Use this as a starting point. Next week, we'll work on creating the plot for your story. This week, work on creating your characters and where you want them to do battle (of whatever stripe). We'll make them do stuff next time. Have fun!