Putting the Pieces Together: Superhero Jigsaw

Wolverine and Omega Red

Wolverine and Omega Red

When I’m not in Windemere or the Shattered States, I’ve been tinkering with my superhero books.  Mostly, I made a list of the characters from that world and wondered if I should leave them in Windemere or return them to Earth.  That’s a constant bit of confusion that I’ve talked about on here before.  Windemere gives me more geography freedom, but tech is limited.  Earth gives me higher tech, but I need to research locations to make sure I get them right.  People seem to get picky about that these days.

This time I was just going to mention an idea I had.  One of the problems with this series is that it has so many characters and stories.  At one point, it was 19 books long to cover everyone.  This isn’t counting The Shields, Savior, Jack, and a few other superheroes with their own series that connect in the final one.  I think I may have found a solution to this though.  I noticed that a lot of the characters have solitary stories and could match up with a few of the others.  So here is what I’m considering:

  1. Novella that has the heroes being awoken, revived, or whatever.  They were memory wiped and returned to the human population as babies after an incident.  Aliens capture some of the big names and inadvertently awaken all of the dormant superhumans.
  2. A large tome of short stories that follow certain characters:  Phoenix Group, The Shields, Savior, New Generation, Duos, Jack, Alien Bounty Hunter, and other divisions.  These would be large books that collect a bunch of short stories.  Savior, Jack, and The Shields might get their own series though because of size.
  3. End it all with a final tome that follows the final hero’s adventure.

Again, this is only a first idea because I don’t have the stories written out yet.  The group ones are easy since not every character has to be in every story.  Duos is a shaky idea since each story would have different characters and I don’t think I have enough pairs to do the idea.  Having those other stories that might need more than one book is a wrinkle as well because they throw off the system.  Having them in Windemere or Earth is another factor that I need to eventually decide on.  Thank god I’m going for the vampires next and only fiddling with this.

One other thing is that a new ‘hero’ is coming into this idea and he’s starting to push me toward Earth.  The story is that one character is an insane criminal who killed a bunch of politicians to avenge his dead family.  He’s only in jail because he finished his work and can’t be killed, so he has nowhere else to go.  A cop needs him to hunt down former allies that he forgot about and have decided to continue his fight.  This kind of works off the idea that there are no superhumans around until this guy, which I might be able to fit into the awakening concept.  Basically, he was the first one to appear and has been in jail ever since.  Kind of abruptly reappeared when the superhumans returned.  This might go into the Duos idea.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been working on when not writing the Windemere finale or being driven nuts by any number of things.  Hopefully this is a step in the right direction because this series has been a pain in my side for years.  I refuse to jettison so many characters and stories simply because I’m missing a few pieces.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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37 Responses to Putting the Pieces Together: Superhero Jigsaw

  1. I think it’s good that you’re thinking about them. A few smaller series, plus a book of shorts to enhance those series could be great. You know how I feel about realllllllly long series. There are also a lot of folks who won’t start until the series is concluded. Some of your ideas remind me of the old Warhammer books I used to read. One world, different stories in it, and some characters return for additional tales. There was no guarantee they would ever meet. Now that I think about it, it sounds a bit like the Marvel Universe too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely influenced by Marvel and DC. Never read the Warhammer books myself, but I do remember worlds like that having core books and side series. The thing here is that the books of shorts would be the core while the other series might focus on characters on the outskirts of main events. I really have to make sure I have enough to work with because the short stories still need to create some type of world and character evolution for those involved. It’s tricky since I can’t just throw whatever story idea comes to mind with these characters because then the collection would seem too disjointed and random. If that makes any sense. Deciding how many short stories per volume is going to be another hurdle. These will all be the length of an Ichabod story, which means 30-40 pages each. Every seems to have an opinion on how much should go into a collection at that rate.

      As much as I understand people not touching a series until it’s concluded, I’ll admit it’s a pet peeve of mine. Mostly because that increases the risk of the series never finishing. Imagine not eating the appetizer until the rest of the meal is in front of you. Parts will go cold and you’re really screwed if the chef dies before he gets to making your dessert. Still, that’s just a personal opinion and I do know the frustration of starting something that disappears in the middle.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds like you got a lot of writing ahead of you. That is a good thing.

    Like

  3. L. Marie says:

    Good, Charles. This is good. I’m glad you have another series planned, especially one with superheroes. Sounds like you’ve already laid the groundwork for making this possible.

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  4. It sounds like you have a good solid start to a plan, I do have two suggestions;

    1. Make it a new world, that way you don’t have to do research and you can change anything you want. Pyramids in Canada? Why not. Steam powered airships over the Atlantic? No problem.
    2. As for connecting your short stories, consider a ruling body or congress, they could hand out the missions to the super heroes in a main base, your heroes could retreat there are each short story, have lunch with another super hero, who in turns tells about his or her last mission, which just happpens to be the next story, which triggers a fade in effect, for lack of a better phrase.

    Well that’s my two cents worth of suggestions, good luck and keep us posted, I like your ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m considering #2, but there was a previous incarnation like that. Things didn’t go well because I found that I gravitated toward only 2-3 heroes. Why send out Blue Beetle when Superman is in the break room kind of situation. This is why part of the story is that the heroes and villains were mind wiped and reintroduced to society. Now they’re remembering and getting their powers back. At least something like that. I was going to make the connection a shadowy figure behind the revival. Still probably should have one group that is government sanctioned.

      So, an alternate Earth type of deal? Interesting. Trying to think of an example of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I haven’t been checking replies very well lately, sorry.
        As for why send one super hero out instead of another, it could be in the guild charter that each one gets equal opportunities, or just don’t make one as strong as superman.

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      • For some reason that feels too organized to me. I’m seeing this as more of a world where these characters are awakening and looking for a place to fit. Some go to the group while others go solo. Villains would be even more confused. The guild and charter idea would probably be something that develops after the chaos.

        No problem about the replies. Hard to keep up as the year ends.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. zombiephreak says:

    Any chance that Shockwave might show up? 🙂

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  6. I think you could take the concept a step farther and have whoever “baby-ized” the superheroes still be out there. So when they recover memories, these bad-guys will try to shut them down. It might take someone like your former villain, who can’t be shut down so easily, to bring it all together. I don’t know how you feel about villains reforming, but it sounds like this one was pursuing a very dark justice, so perhaps that could be part of your over-all arc — whether he can transcend his pain or remain imprisoned by it.

    Structurally, I think you can start with a book of short work, including where all the heroes wake up. Then continue to novels, but intersperse shorter work (either novellas or collections) as palate cleansers to break up long arcs.

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    • First, damn the WordPress app for crashing in my middle of my lengthy reply. Thing is barely worth the space it takes on the phone.

      I do a lot of villain reform because I think it’s a fun arc. There may be a few in here that wake up in roles that are more heroic. As much as these characters get their memories back, it doesn’t override what they are doing in present time. A superpowered criminal that has been a cop before the revival won’t immediately jump into the old life. Good chance that they’ll say put.

      The babyfication was actually government ordered. One of the more powerful heroes went rogue, killed several of the others, and turned on humanity. This was stopped and the stories live on in the ‘fiction’ of the modern age. Since nobody wanted to execute all superhumans and they couldn’t be locked up, the reintroduction was done. This way they could be revived in an emergency or when the world could handle them better. There is a reincarnation element to it as well. The final villain may be a side-effect of the event though. As for the rogue hero, he’s going to be one of the first awakened and will be fearful of snapping again. The catalyst was the death of his son and he has one or two kids now, so the threat is there.

      The short work definitely appeals to me here because of the comic-like format. I guess I could do that first and lead into the early adventures before the other groups. It’s really a toss up between a collection or a novella at this point.

      Liked by 1 person

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