Follow up on Rule #20 and Rule #21

The Red Pen of Doom just posted about the Invincible Hero Problem and he included this video:

Please watch it. Too funny and it clearly shows why Superman –  Man of Steel failed for this viewer.

Now, the next rule…

Rule #21

For those of you new to my blog, I am going through Emma Coats’ Pixar’s 22 Storytelling Rules. For a list of earlier posts, check out my Tips page.

Without further delay, here’s the second to last ‘rule’:


You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool.’ What would make you act that way?

Doesn’t that just remind you of something? Like, maybe, my last post about Superman – Man of Steel?

During all those epic fight scenes, not once did Superman stop to gnash his teeth over the fact that thousands were dying. Well, yeah, there were the chosen few strategically located for dramatic effect, and yes we all understood he had to fight the aliens lest we all die, but seriously – the cool factor far outweighed whatever the character(s) might feel. Consequently, it is difficult to identify with our hero.

How might we had better relate if the scriptwriters had shown why he would go to such lengths?

Until next time, dig deeper and keep writing (or take a rest if you are coming off the NaNoWriMo high).


4 thoughts on “Follow up on Rule #20 and Rule #21

  1. Step 1) Create invincible superhero with all sorts of cool powers
    Step 2) Create something that takes away these powers so there can a threat to superhero. Give it some cool name other than “Thing to allow dramatic tension”

    I’ve never liked Superhuman. He seems even worse than Hulk or Thor (as depicted) because those two at least have character flaws. Superman never even seemed to have that, to me.

    But I’ve never really cared for superheroes of any stripe. Some of the movies are fun if you don’t think about them too much. My wife likes them more for the eye candy (especially Thor …)

    Thanks for the post!

  2. What’s interesting about Superman is how his powers have evolved over time. Originally, he was strong but couldn’t fly. Leaping over tall buildings, remember? In the 60s, he and Supergirl both had telepathy and a number of other powers that are no longer in use.

    Different writers use the character in different ways. If the stories aren’t interesting, that strikes me as more the writer’s problem than the character’s.

    And, yes, I noted the devastation to my husband after we got done watching. This, too, is the writer’s fault.

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