In the present day is my cease on the 21% Monster weblog tour and I’m excited to be sharing a visitor submit by the writer himself, PJ Canning about what makes a superhero. I used to be fortunate sufficient to learn an proof copy of this unimaginable motion packed guide, and let me inform you, it was such an adrenaline inducing, thrilling learn! My assessment shall be up very shortly.
As all the time a giant thanks to Usborne for inviting me to participate on this weblog tour and do go and take a look at the opposite stops.
What Makes A Good Superhero?
What makes a superhero?
The odd factor about superheroes is that there aren’t very many who resonate with most readers. You’d have thought there can be lots contemplating how simple it’s to invent an individual with superpowers. Just about each child does it in some unspecified time in the future with a outcome no much less plausible than Spider-Man. Maybe therein lies the issue – the superpower itself holds no actual curiosity. It’s the character who have to be partaking.
My debut novel, 21% Monster is mostly considered as a superhero sci fi journey. I didn’t initially intend it as such, however as I wrote (with my agent’s excited phrases, ‘it’s like Hulk meets Stranger Issues’ ringing in my ears) I slowly realised that’s what it’s. It’s ironic as a result of I’ve tried and failed to put in writing a superhero earlier than. So, why did it work this time and what would I do to repeat the trick? I imagine the reply is the next:
1. Begin with the origin, not the powers. The query I’d ask is what has been happening to result in somebody gaining powers? This, actually is a world constructing query. In 21% Monster, the primary thought I had (whereas taking a look at a packet of purple Monster Munch) was ‘what if consuming one thing made you monstrous?’. Earlier than I wrote the story, I’d labored out how a secret organisation might have laced meals. This led to 2 attainable outcomes. Both Darren Devlin (my important character) was primarily a lab rat, or he was an unintended aspect impact that has since been found. I selected the latter which fashioned the background to the plot.
2. The second step, I believe, is the really vital factor to get proper: When taking a look at Darren himself, I didn’t initially think about his skills. As a substitute, I thought of how his character and means of seeing the world may be influenced by being half ‘monster below the mattress’. So, he hides – not simply bodily however emotionally. He says little and watches and listens. Just like the monster you by no means see, in case you don’t search for him, he received’t trouble you. This implies he will get remoted and doesn’t interact at school.
Additionally, being monstrous, he has a horrible mood, however this rage solely triggers when he’s threatened – identical to the monster in your wardrobe who you understand will solely chunk in case you take a peek.
This step additionally led to 2 vital choices for the way partaking Darren is as a lead character. The primary is that I realised he wanted a loving household. In any other case his monstrous qualities can be too excessive. Attributable to his capability to hear, I felt inside an in depth household he’d develop sturdy empathy and optimistic values. This led to an easy motivation for Darren whereas on the run from the organisation that created him: “I simply wish to go residence.”
The opposite resolution was that I made a decision the monstrous genetics would impression how his mind is structured. This implies he can’t learn. It additionally makes him extraordinarily intuitive and so intelligent in his personal means. However on account of tutorial failure, he believes he’s silly which hits his confidence exhausting and means he’s judged socially.
3. Solely in step three would I think about superpowers. This was the simple bit with Darren. He’s extremely sturdy and has extraordinary listening to. Since he’s half ‘monster below mattress’, he’s distinctive at hiding and might see at nighttime. I used the talents of assorted animals to make these skills plausible and constant.
However whereas Darren’s powers are thrilling and funky, it’s not why you root for him whereas he’s on the run. The individual you’re cheering for is a quiet, delicate boy who lacks confidence and is barely going to take down an evil organisation as a result of he needs to go residence.
So, that’s how I did it. I want you the perfect of luck constructing your individual superhero. The world might do with a couple of new ones, don’t you assume?
21% Monster by PJ Canning
Revealed By: Usborne
Launched: seventh July 2022
Bookshop.org / Goodreads / Waterstones
Enjoyable, fast-paced, high-octane motion journey, 21% Monster is an ideal page-turning new collection for followers of Alex Rider, Percy Jackson and the MCU technology.
When Darren Devlin is arrested for destroying his college together with his naked palms, it’s not simply the police who’re after him. Enter Marek Masters, 14 years previous, 19% alien, and essentially the most clever, most needed “nearly human” alive. Marek is right here to inform Darren the reality – he’s 21% monster, and collectively they have to take down the key organisation that created them. Darren and Marek are needed, highly effective and harmful. And now it’s payback time.
Concerning the Writer
P.J. Canning has a PhD in Chemistry and works in Cambridge. He’s married with three kids, all of whom are brutal critics of his work. P.J. heard somebody say “write about what you understand”, however he prefers to put in writing about aliens and monsters as an alternative. 21% Monster is his first novel.