What is a superhero? Let’s see what Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary has to say:
Main Entry: su·per·hero
Pronunciation: \-ˌhir-(ˌ)ō, -ˌhē-(ˌ)rō\
: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also : an exceptionally skillful or successful person
: “an exceptionally skillful or successful person”!
So, you see, Superman, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman aren’t the only ones who can whirl around like magic, whipping themselves into their alter ego and race off in a flash to save the day!
We, as writers and bloggers, are (in a sense) superheroes, too. I mean, without talented and creative professional writers, what would the world read? Can you imagine if all that was available to read were books and articles filled with grammar and spelling errors? And what if movies were based on that writing? What if you had to sit through movie after movie sprinkled full of incorrect dialogue and super boring plots? (Okay, so that happens already, but what if it was worse?!) Wouldn’t the literary world be such a bummer if that were our reality?!
Living Like a Superhero
Seriously, though, have you ever been interrupted by your Muse while having a phone conversation, during a dinner date, or even at a party? You know the scenario: You’re chatting away, laughing and having a blast and then it happens: Your beloved, highly-sought-after, well-respected Muse strikes you like a bolt of lightning with an idea so fabulous you’re tempted to say “Hold that thought, I’ll be right back” so you can escape to don your Writer’s Superhero Cape and dash off into the night to save that story idea, right? Or, maybe you’ve done just that. You’ve cut a phone call short or excused yourself for a restroom break so you can jot that idea down on a napkin, or even the palm of your hand!
I’ve been there. I’m often visited by my Muse at the most inconvenient times. For example, the idea for this very article struck me in the shower this morning! Yes, that’s right. Who knew Muses were so persistent they wouldn’t even let you wash in peace?! Hmmm…. Talk about standing beneath the Idea Waterfall!
Act Like a Superhero
I should be used to it by now, really. Sometimes I’m too tired to make a mad dash for the laptop or notebook and write down my Muse’s sweet whispers. Other times, I’ll break my neck (figuratively speaking, of course!) to find the nearest notebook and pen. Yes, there have been (many) times I forgot the idea(s). It’s like they went in one ear and out the other, never to be whispered again. But, for the most part, I’m usually pretty quick at catching those whispers in one of the many cobwebbed corners of my brain and documenting them. Some are still sitting there, waiting to be birthed into stories. The rest have been used in one way or another.
Want to be a Writing Superhero, too? Grab a cape and join me!
Seven Superhero Writing Tips
- Keep a small notebook and pen with you wherever you go.
- Always carry your camera. (Sometimes the Muse doesn’t talk, she points!)
- Don’t be lazy! Get up out of bed and write those ideas down!
- If you don’t have a notebook (like in my case with this article idea, I was in the shower), repeat the idea – or title, which is what came to me first with this article – over and over until you can find something to write on.
- Tune in to your sensitive writer’s ears. Learn to listen carefully for your Muse’s soft voice, you never know when they’ll swish right past you for a quick idea-filled visit!
- Don’t be afraid to take a minute to write something down, no matter where you are. You are, after all, a professional writer and you have to take notes for your business!
- And don’t forget to pack your cape like any good superhero does. You must be prepared for emergencies. 😉
Did you enjoy this article? Feel free to visit the other articles Michele has written for The Craft of Writing Fiction.
So, how does it feel to be a superhero? Have you ever thought of yourself as a superhero? Have you ever dashed off like Superman (or Wonder Woman) in a desperate effort to salvage your idea? What were the results? Published articles, books, plays, blogs? Or maybe it was a novel idea or finished book you have stuffed away in a drawer collecting dust instead of money and a byline…. Take your cape off for a while and share your superhero adventures. We want to hear all about them!
Photo – julostock