1. daiisydukes
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    daiisydukes Member

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    How do you write about people who can in essence change the future?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by daiisydukes, Mar 1, 2013.

    I'm writing a story in which every person is born with a gift. The main character, Nevaeh, was born with the gift of deciding fate. At 16 she was brought to this mountain where here and the rest of the recruits are to be trained to properly use their gifts to help mankind.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea how to execute it.

    I'm on chapter four, and she's supposed to start training for the first time (also being the first time she's actually attempted to use her gift). As part of training, all the recruits are assigned a family to watch over for a month. They're supposed to decide their fates, and from that the people at the top of this hierarchy will choose where this person's gift will help the most (deciding who gets what gifts, what a persons life will be like, when someone should die, etc.).

    There are 3 different ways you're supposed to be able to work with this family: One, is on the television. There would be a specific channel that you can access which would give you stats on your family, tell you what's been going on, etc.
    The second one would be a tiny box that can give a hologram of the family's household, and from there you can decide on minor things like whether they'll have a good night's sleep.
    The third is what I'm having trouble with. It has to be something where she can somehow use her ability to make decisions on a larger scale. Originally, I was going to make a room. One where if you gained access to it, the technology would be able to access this certain part of your brain that only the people with this gift had (which is why you needed the gift) and you would be able to see where the person was and everything, without actually having them see you.

    Although in execution, it seemed like a not-so-great idea.
    As well, I felt like that was taking a shortcut out of my problem, and I want something really good.

    Help?
     
  2. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Why limit yourself with technology?
    Would think if you made it sort of a talent some people had would give you more options to play with, like sort of they would need to focus and meditate and some were good at it some did more damage than good as its hard to control...
     
  3. JohnW
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    JohnW Member

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    Telepathy

    I would have thought that since everybody is born with a gift that some would have the gift of telepathy.

    Therefore if Nevaeh, her trainer and a telepath linked mentally, the trainer and telepath could give Nevaeh limited access to the family dependant on her level of expertise.
     
  4. A.Tad.of.Conrad
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    A.Tad.of.Conrad Member

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    Fate and free will are a tricky things to deal with.

    I suggest that the training at first helps Naveah develop her gifts of telepathy, memory and omniscience concerning the family she is assigned to (since a controlling force would need the proper knowledge to become a controlling force)
     
  5. daiisydukes
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    daiisydukes Member

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    I understand that, it's just the aspect of showing how they train that I'm having difficulty with.
    As well, Nevaeh is supposed to be extremely powerful. So my thoughts were that maybe other people are exhausted and need tons of work on it whereas she gets the hang of it on maybe the first or second try (to a certain extent)?
     
  6. Sanjuricus
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    Sanjuricus Active Member

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    I'm having similar troubles writing in a fairly similar ability. The power in my current story is the ability to see the consequences of an action taken by the person possessing the power. Turn left or right at the fork of the road? He knows exactly what will happen down each fork, probability is laid wide open right down through the ages. Turning left might result in the fall of an empire, turning right might result in the founding of one!

    It's too powerful as it is and needs toning down a little. Any comments welcome but I have no desire to hijack this thread, was just offering it as a comparison. I'll start my own thread when the writing of it is a more immediate concern. :)
     
  7. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Power doesn't equal control. More power might actually imply less control. By the way don't double post your threads, it is against the rules (i think) and we can't keep track.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i was about to say the same thing, daiisy... you should ask a moderator to blend your duped threads... and don't post the same thing in more than one section from now on, or you can be banned for breaking the spamming rule...
     
  9. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    Destiny is a funny thing. As Xatron points out, power doesn't equal control, and more power is probably less control.
    Poor control and high power might mean she always gets the end result desired, but with horrible side effects. The cute pizza delivery boy delivers pizza to her house by mistake... and runs over her dog.
    I have to ask, how do you plan to handle conflict?
     
  10. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    You can't have a serious conflict with a person who decides fate. Unless you can decide fate as well and have equal power. Then it becomes a pissing contest no one wins in the end, but still.
     
  11. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Isn't this a duplicate thread?:confused:
     
  12. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    Oh, you certainly can. I will describe how after she answers.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, it is a duped thread...
     
  14. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    Power works in two dimensions: the degree of control (the better your control, the more powerful you will be) and raw effect (the greater the effect, the more powerful you will be).

    So, in order to train a power, a novice would need to work on both of these aspects. The raw effect of their power might dictate the degree of influence they can exert (how far into the future, how significant the decision, how much it goes against the nature of the target); while the control might be anything from needing line of sight to a target, being able to affect one or multiple targets, how intimately they need to know the target, and so on.
     
  15. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I am officially interested. How do you call this a conflict when the other guy will decide you are fated to lose the moment the conflict is even hinted. Hell, he can make it so that he is always fated to win in every conflict and thus be unaffected even by surprises. And do the powers of two people deciding fate cancel each other out? If i set you to lose and you set me to lose and we fight, doesn't that constitute a paradox? Does a later cast overrule an earlier cast? If one of them says someone gets X fate, and later another one with the same power says the same someone gets Y fate, what happens then?

    The mechanics of such a power are a cool topic for discussion on a "what if" level, but when you try to implement them into a consistent story it is quite troublesome.
     
  16. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    It's called a Xanatos Gambit.
     
  17. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    This doesn't qualify as a Xanatos Gambit. Xanatos Gambit refers to plotting and planning. Someone who commands fate has no need of such things because he doesn't have to plan for different outcomes. He only sets as an outcome the fate where "he wins" and that will be all. Unless the mechanics of their powers are such that any new use of the power renders the previous use invalid. If so then we have a paradox, because since after the first cast the antagonist was set to lose and that fate took effect, then wouldn't any next fate-altering that benefits the antagonist be rendered impossible from the first one?
     
  18. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    You have limited imagination, and completely missed the point. I will give you another chance to figure out how you can win against someone who can control fate.
     
  19. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    so just reading your guys posts about this and I like where your going so I'm just going to throw in my 2 sense. Two people with such an ability, to me, would be similar to a Mexican standoff. If I could look into the future and alter fate to allow me to win, and another did the same, then in essence we would be fighting over the course of our lives without actually living through them. I would see the other interjecting, and choose from their my course of action until their was nothing left but death. Thus the only real way for the conflict to resolve without dying of old age would be to decide if the person I'm trying to beat is worth losing to. taking it farther, altering the course of fate for any reason will incur the butterfly effect. Simply put, what will be will be and where their is death, their will always be death. nothing can truly change that, only prolong it.
     

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