John says . . .

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 November, 2009, 12:00am

What would it be like to follow a superhero around for a day? Would their life be as we imagined? Or could their attempts to help ordinary people sometimes create problems for them? Wai-ki's story comes up with some interesting answers to these questions.

In 'An 'Amazing' Day', we see Mr Amazing tackle three incidents. In many simple stories, and in lots of jokes, there are often three main events. Usually the first two events are similar, or have a similar result. This leads us to expect the third event to follow the same pattern. But if there isn't a surprise or a twist at this point, the story will probably be disappointing, and the joke will probably fail to make us laugh.

In Wai-ki's story, Mr Amazing deals with the assault on the woman and the bullying of the boy, then walks away after each of these incidents. However, when he tackles the thief, vehicles crash, the stolen bag is damaged and he receives a fine from the police. This is not what most readers would expect.

While the structure of 'An 'Amazing' Day' works well, I wonder if Sam's role could have been developed more.

In stories that feature monsters, aliens or superheroes, the main focus of the story is not usually on these extraordinary characters or creatures. Even though these figures grab our attention, the central character is nearly always the one who is most like us. The story tends to concentrate on this ordinary hero's reaction to the 'Amazing' events happening around them.

And usually by the end of the story, the hero has been changed in some way by their contact with the extraordinary character.

Let's see if we can work these ideas into Wai-ki's story.