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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    A god and a bird

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GuardianWynn, Aug 21, 2015.

    Me and my random titles. I was just thinking and was suddenly quite curious what you guys thought of a couple of concepts. It boils down to two seperate questions.

    1. When do you find the word god as correct in a story?

    I have a group of characters that as insanely powerful. To the point that no person on Earth could meaningfully harm this person. Well except themselves in this case as the character is from Earth. The concept is like a perfect genetic person that will later in life(assuming they live long enough to do so) will awaken and become insanely powerful. I call such a character a god because I feel it is what the world would call it. I mean someone strong enough to shake the Earth with the sheer force of there spirit, or someone that could take the effects of a nuclear bomb with no outward signs of damage strike me as things we would call god. Or a god. I find some people take offence to that as this character is not invincible and there ability to take damage decreases with exhaustion. What do you think?

    Question 2 Sort of needs context first.
    So I have this awakening god. They were insanely strong before awakening. Like near physical peak of humans without much effort. Once she begins awakening her power practically triples over night and continues to rise slowly. She notices with her new ability she can slow her perception of time(something she could do before but add a factor or 3x to its effectiveness and it is a lot different.) Now when she goes all out she can move so fast that animals such as birds can appear to be standing still for a moment. (This power can only be used in bursts.) As she feels amazing at her new abilities she tests them out. She sees a bird stop in mid air and goes to look closer. The idea is that she hurts the bird accidently. Her soul has become so strong that even being within a few feet of the bird for too long, in this case a few seconds is enough to harm it. It would be as if the intensity of her soul is so strong that the birds soul is quite literally being crushed in the prescence of her.

    Which story wise I bet you see the idea. Her great power comes at a cost, that she can accidently hurt others if she isn't careful. This applies to humans too. Actually ahe notices rather quickly that a standard human will begin breathing heavy if they remain in her presence for more than a few minutes.

    The question is this. 2. Should the bird die?
     
  2. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Well, to be a God you should be worshiped, right? Will the normal humans 'worship' your 'insanely powerful' characters or will the normal humans rebel? And recall from all the issues between Christianity and Judaism and Islam -- any physical being causes problems.

    Yes, the bird must die --- but you can have that character revive it if you wish. This is needed to show the power of the 'disease' and the 'cure'.

    I think a better term for your powerful characters is deific - meaning they want to become divine.
     
  3. mad_hatter
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    mad_hatter Active Member

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    I think most people understand God to be the creator, rather than just being "a powerful being". If this were me, I'd probably have my humans refer to this person as "God-like", meaning that they understand this persons power, while also understanding that they aren't the creator.

    And yes, the bird should die. If you can, you should try to give that scene some real emotional impact. That way, readers will understand the characters concern that they could potentially kill their human friends / acquaintances.
     
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  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    She isn't worshipped. She isn't even known really. Once she awakens she has very little contact with people for previously stated reasons. She more or less lives alone, focusing on control. She occassionally visits her friends, breifly enough to prevent harm and then goes back to being alone. She does keep her ear to the ground. When something happens that threatens the lives of the people she cares about she will return, which is bad for them. lol. Not to imply she solves all of there problems for them. She knows they are fighters and doesn't just win for them. Such an assist is reserved for when it is really needed.

    Well on the bird. I mean injury vs killing it. She can't revive it if she kills it. Her powers wouldn't include that. I thought of dialing it down to just hurting the bird but I thought the scene might be more meaningful if she kills it. It makes me wonder how sad that would be. To learn you are so strong that some living things just die being in your prescence. Funny enough this isn't the only thing she kills this way technically. Bateria in the air can also be destroyed this way. Meaning she can and likely does without realizing it at first turn her immediate area into a clean room. lol
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah many have made the distinction that it should be god-like. It is neat to see the defintion of god to other people.

    Never heard the worship arguement before. The creator argument is kind of new too. The most standard one is the "immortal argument"

    Doesn't it seem like spliting hairs though? I mean. it seems to be in a real life scenerio, if this person was in front of us. Able to bend the elements to her will(fairly common power in my world) as well as could move so fast we couldn't even see her. Take any damage we could through at her and kill people just by pushing the effect of her soul on someone. So pretty much she could will people to death. It seems like people might go running away or towards her proclaiming her god. Would you really argue with there reasoning? I mean I don't mean like to the god. I mean would you really find a peson at fault for saying god instead of god-like?
     
  6. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Okay, so I think we're all on the same page that 'they' are not Gods.

    I still think she has to kill the bird (revive the bird later or not). Otherwise there's no reason to bring this up -- unless your point is that she hurts 'living things' when she's near without any control. If so, then she's pigeonholed, right?

    To save yourself a lot of headache in the novel later, the bird has to die and she has to learn a lesson from it -- otherwise you'll forever be explaining this..
     
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  7. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I think I like your questions. :D

    For me godhood indicates one or more of the omnis: omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent. Sounds like your character is omnipotent.

    In the scene where the AI is born and assumes control of every piece of electronica in the world, the scientist asks, "Is there a god?"
    The AI replies, "There is now." (omnisicient)

    In the scenario you describe, the godhood comes from within. If that person thinks and says they are a god, who can stand before them and deny it?
    Noone.
    Therefore IMO yes, they are a god. (omnipotent)

    Zeus is a god and does not create things.

    Gods do not need to be worshipped or create things to be gods, IMO.

    I think this is a brilliant opportunity for some foreshadowing. There are 3 possibilities:

    1. bird dies (death / freeze)
    2. bird feels the pain, reacts to it and flies off, squawking angrily (fight), perhaps staying just out of range and continuing to harrass her?
    3. bird feels the pain, reacts to it and flies off, fearing for its life (flee / flight)

    Through the rest of your book, the way people feel when around her can be hinted at here, setting up the pattern of interaction her powers elicit.

    HTH!!

    I am getting more and more intrigued with your story, btw. Might have to sign me up to the beta list :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well. Not all on the same page. I think she is a god. Looks like a new poster agrees.

    Looking how you and DC responded to the bird post. I think I might have fussed up the context. This is more an end then a beginning. People call this girl, "the sleeping god" because ths story is about her waking up. See the story is about a struggle. She begins as the weakest player, in a sense. Because she lacks skill. Physically she is always the strongest but it takes more than raw power to win a fight. Constantly she sees her friends with less power overcoming daunting challenges that she with her strength can't. Her story in that sense is learning from the badasses around her and in doing so becoming a bad ass. The end is about a threat they can't beat and her realizing she has the power to stop it and accept that. The bird is like a bittersweet taste of the end because she tried to awaken her power to save the ones she loves and she succeeded yet her celebration is cut short in realization that her power is so extreme now that she can't stop it from hurting others such as the bird.

    Most of what I said towards the other poster in this message applies to you also. So no reason to restate it.

    Though I am glad I ask good questions. I am also glad I am interesting you. :)

    Funny enough I told you about this girl. Her name is Valorie. lol :D. I posted a chapter about her in the writer workshop. It is (The Order: Main Story). Just so you know. God I hope that doesn't sound rude to say. lol
     
  9. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Yep I knew who you were talking about.
     
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  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    You lost me. I answered completely differently to the other poster (it depends vs yes it should), and am not seeing how what you've written applies to my 3 suggestions, or the possibiity for foreshadowing, which you then go on to talk about here.

    No biggie, just want to express my confusion.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL! Really? Wow! How? I mean had we discussed this more and I didn't realize it? Didn't seem like you had enough information for that connection.
     
  12. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    We had a PM chat about chi or chakra styled powers allowing someone to maintain structural integrity yeah?
     
  13. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    "For me godhood indicates one or more of the omnis: omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent. Sounds like your character is omnipotent.

    In the scene where the AI is born and assumes control of every piece of electronica in the world, the scientist asks, "Is there a god?"
    The AI replies, "There is now." (omnisicient)

    In the scenario you describe, the godhood comes from within. If that person thinks and says they are a god, who can stand before them and deny it?
    Noone.
    Therefore IMO yes, they are a god. (omnipotent)

    Gods do not need to be worshipped or create things to be gods, IMO."

    Aaron -- this is the first time we're in disagreement. It was bound to happen.

    First -- I agree with all your root descriptions of omnis.

    After that you depict a scene where an AI is born and states, "There is now..." I didn't see that in her post and I re-read it. I'll take it as supposition of another similar piece -- but the relevance is all over the place -- it could be sci-fi or fantasy or drama or thriller.

    Finally, you said: "In the scenario you describe, the godhood comes from within. If that person thinks and says they are a god, who can stand before them and deny it?
    Noone."

    Everyone. Everyone could deny it. Just because Jim Jones thought he was a God didn't make him so.
     
  14. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah. Let me explain. I was saying that since the concept is near the end. It isn't really foreshadowing anyhing. It is just a counter balance. A touch of reality saying "Your power comes at a price."

    So the point is just causing pain because that would cause the effect. The bird recognizing she did it and being angry or being afraid or dying doesn't change the concept by much. Any of the three would affect the girl in a fairly negative way. Death being the worse. Soon after this scene the book would end and Valorie would become a character rarely seen from that point on. Does that clear the confusion?
     
  15. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    @AspiringNovelist there's a reply function, it makes quoted posts a lot easier to read!
     
  16. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    You wrote, As she feels amazing at her new abilities she tests them out.

    So she gets new abilities at the end?

    I was confused then, yes. :D
     
  17. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    It's an example where an omnipotent being (the AI) calls itself a god. In my definition it is a God, does not create things and is not worshipped.


    And I would crush them like the bugs they are.

    No one can stand against me.

    I am a God.

    Kneel, or feel the wrath of a God, you mere mortal weakling.
     
  18. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah but I didn't mention she became a god. Plus the level I mentioned her at was pre-god. lol Sniper bullets and such. Her godmode would be able to crush sniper bullets before they reached her with just her aura. lol.

    Still confused? Or no?
     
  19. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Not confused as to why it does not allow foreshadowing.
    Confused as to why the powers only manifest towards the end of the story, kinda yeah.
     
  20. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well it might help to know. I hate superman. Which might sound off considering there are moments when I realize my god or goddess in this case is strikingly similar in terms of what the environment can do to her.

    Yet the point of my story is well, the sleeping god that wakes up. Well and her story is also heavily about accepting that we define our nature and are not defined by it. As I intend for her to say at a point. "I define my darkness. It doesn't define me."

    But the point is well once she wakes up. What story is left? No one can hurt her, for the most part. It feels to me that at this point her story is over. So I intend to shift POV and move to someone else.

    Doesn't mean she will never be seen again. Rather her appearances will be reserved for moments that warrent it. One such example. Someone is attempting to summon an ancient creature! Powerful enough to destroy planets. She comes to help the heroes stop its summoning. When they fail it is up to her to fight it back to where it came from. But that story still won't center her. It will be about a new cast, a new journey. Near the end when the stakes start to get revealed fully is when the call for help will be sent.

    Does that make sense?
     
  21. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Aaron - I'm confused.

    Guardian - I'm even more confused.

    I'll kindly step out of the way, and let you two hash it out. :)
     
  22. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Me and DC had discussed aspects relating to this before. Though if you want I would gladly explain any parts that confused you if you want me to. :)
     
  23. mad_hatter
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    I’ve just finished reading the comic book ‘Watchmen’. There is a character in it called Dr. Manhattan, who becomes an all-powerful being in a laboratory accident. He can, quite literally, do anything. At one point he even chooses to leave Earth to live on Mars. He has God-like power. He is not a god.


    Gods do need to be worshipped; is that not the ultimate definition of a god? They are the supreme beings that religious practitioners place their faith in. The level of worship shown by any individual may vary, but their faith alone is a form of worship.

    This is why I wouldn’t refer to Zeus as a god. As far as I am aware (and please, correct me if I’m wrong), there is nobody in the word that that considers the mythological, fictional character of Zeus to be a real god. I’m not sure that the ancient Greeks actually believed in these deities, did they (again, could be completely wrong here!)?


    Superman is a good example. He’s an all-powerful being. Is he a god? Or does he simply possess god-like power?
     
  24. Lea`Brooks
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    Why did you even ask what we thought then if you already had your opinion formed? I understand you want to see how people see her, but every response except one has said they don't think she's a God. Why do you cling to that one response that agrees with you instead of looking at it from everyone else's perspective?

    If one person makes a critique of your work, take it with a grain of salt. But when multiple people start saying the same thing, you need to consider that it's perhaps time to reevaluate your piece.

    Yes, you're completely wrong. The Greeks did indeed worship the Greek gods. Go to Greece and visit Athena's temple -- or even Pan's temple. The temples were built to worship the gods. The Greeks would pray to the gods, make offerings to the gods, etc. So you're very much wrong. While they are mostly myths now, they were then (and still are) worshipped.

    I was going to say the same thing. Wynn, you need to consider this. Just because your character is strong, invincible, or what have you, it doesn't make them a God just because you want them to be. Gods are worshipped. Gods are ethereal. Gods control things in the world, or are the physical embodiment of something. Zeus controlled storms. Pan was the god of nature. Nyx is the embodiment of night. Hera was marriage, Apollo was the sun, Artemis was over the hunt.

    If you're calling your character a God just because she's strong and immortal, you have an immortal, not a god. If she is suddenly the only person who can make the leaves change colors or send the dead to the underworld or has to ride a chariot to raise the sun, then you have a God.

    ETA: Ask yourself this. "What is she the god of? What does she control?" If you're answer is "nothing," she's not a god. If you're answer is something along the lines of "to fight [something]," she's a superhero.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    No?

    Sporting heroes are worshiped all the time. Just because someone worships you does not make you a God.
     

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