Tags:
  1. iniminimoshimo
    Offline

    iniminimoshimo New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Belgium

    Are the powers too much?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by iniminimoshimo, Sep 19, 2015.

    Hello there.
    My favourite kind of book/film/story has always been fantasy and it will probably stay that way. So of course, the genre of the story I want to write is.. you guessed it... fantasy.

    The idea I've been toying around with lately is based on a game me and my brother used to play.
    We loved Avatar (No, not the film with the tall, blue space people, but the animated series) so we pretended we were benders. We felt like that wasn't enough, so we also pretended we could turn into animals..
    Now, I have been told that it's just too much powers. I also realise it will be difficult to write multiple characters developing their own very different powers and describe fights of such massive variety. Because of this reason I have put the idea on hold for years.
    But I've started reading a book by Licia Troisi about a girl who has the sleeping soul of an ancient dragon hidden in her and must develop her powers and work together with that dragon. Roughly said, she can control plants and as she grows stronger, she will be able to physically turn into that dragon.
    Isn't that basically what I wanted to do, but in a different skin?
    I feel that, if written correctly, this might actually work.

    I will describe the ideas I have so far:
    • The main character will be based on myself, which means she will start out very insecure and will grow stronger by time.
    • The fighting characters will have the power to turn into an animal and also have another power, such as bending water or telepathy. I have not decided on the source of this power yet.
      The powers will not be directly related to personality to allow for ironic match-ups.
    • I plan to have the "good" ones attend a school of sorts, founded by a secret organisation, to learn to control their powers. The school will be infiltrated by the villain at some point.
    I don't want to go into detail, but this is pretty much all I have.
    I would like your opinion on this.
     
  2. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    671
    Short answer: No that isn't too much.

    Long answer: Powers and abilities being too much is all about context and how in context they will tell a story. I mean take Harry Potter for example. Wizards could learn to control the elements and turn into animals along with many more powers. Yet since all notable characters have a similar potential never did it feel like one power simply undercut the growth of the character in the story.

    While I am sure there are better examples. Lets take a look at Superman(Mainly because I hate him.) Superman powers might be long if you know them but only one it particular matters. Indestructible. He can't be harmed basically. So when you pause and think about it. He is never really in danger. Nothing ever really threatens him. It is stated rather clearly he could leave Earth or destroy it with no ill effects towards him. This makes that one power he has too much. It is hard to feel for a character that isn't challenged. This is true with powers or without powers. Which is why a story in a teenage high school is more about the underdog geek who is struggling then the queen bee. If the environment isn't challenging them. Then they are boring.

    Though that isn't the only thing to worry about. Obviously if your list of powers is so large that me the viewer can't remember then all and as such forget about some which in turn leads me to be confused. That is also bad but two is a far cry from that. I would also personally try to avoid person so awesomely useful that you need to create weaknesses. Example: Supermans green rocks. lol. Weaknesses should be a natural existing counter balance. Like turning into an animal may grant the user that animals insticts which could be hard to control. This connects so much deeper than random created weakens. Like turning into animals thus makes you allergic to sand. That just seems random.

    Medium Answer: To sum my position. You don't want powers that;
    - Make the characters life too easy
    - Too many powers where it is hard for a viewer to understand/remember them all
    - Require random counter balance.

    I hope it helps. :)
     
  3. iniminimoshimo
    Offline

    iniminimoshimo New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes, this helped me very much, thank you!
    I really like the idea of weaknesses and will probably use it (in a natural way, of course!) :)

    Yeah, I also don't like Superman for those reasons. He's too overpowered.. That's why I prefer superheroes like Spiderman and Ironman. They have obvious weaknesses.. Spiderman may be stronger than your average human but he's basically still a human. Ironman is nothing without his suit.
     
  4. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    671
    :D

    I am glad I could help. :)
     
  5. Delrohir
    Offline

    Delrohir Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    London
    I think it's fine, as long as it doesn't go overboard- the powers should be a way to move the story forward, not a solution to the character's problems in and of itself.:superagree:

    One of the things I find work really well in some books I have read:read: is the writer creates this kind fantastic world, maybe through their abilities or organisations of the actual setting itself, but still makes the character's problems personal and relatable.:superthink:

    The difference between good and great writing (as I understand) is the ability to evoke actual emotion and sympathy in the reader, not just an interest in the story. :write:

    -Del.
    :supercool:
     
  6. ballislife
    Offline

    ballislife New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    A lot of great answers here already! I might add that it helps to introduce the simpler fantasy elements first. Get readers to buy in, then slowly introduce the ones that might be a bit more farfetched.
     
  7. iniminimoshimo
    Offline

    iniminimoshimo New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Belgium
    Thank you very much for your replies. I'm getting so much great advice here! :)
     

Share This Page