1. LynnCandy
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    LynnCandy New Member

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    Introducing your character's power

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by LynnCandy, Aug 28, 2012.

    Hi!!!

    Well, I am working on a story about a young man who will discovery he is a supernatural animal (a dragon, a water dragon to be specific). I am at the beginning of his story, and he knows he can manipulate water and still thinks he is a human.

    He discovered his power on the day of his father's funeral, and doesn't want his mother, sister and the people of the village to know.

    I am having trouble with creating a reason why he doesn't want anyone to know about his power. So, if you don't mind, can you throw out some ideas to get my creative juices flowing because I can't think of anything :confused:

    Thank you!
     
  2. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Hello! Well, maybe he's afraid of what other people will think, like that he's a monster or something. Or he just doesn't want to be different.
     
  3. Stupid-Face
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    Stupid-Face Member

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    Maybe there could be a legend that he heard when he was little that people in his village killed dragons? He doesn't want people to go against him just because of his dragon form.
     
  4. J. Blake
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    J. Blake Member

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    Because he'll be labeled a freak, or worse, a dangerous risk that needs to be locked up or executed immediently to preserve the safety of the village. Who'd want to live next door to a guy you know could transform into a damn WATER DRAGON? Not me.
     
  5. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Depends on the social context you have created for him. Does he live in 21st century Manhattan, Bora Bora, or some medieval setting? What are the beliefs and superstitions of the people he lives with? If they knew he had this power, would they think of him as a witch? Possessed of the devil? Would he be burned at the stake?
     
  6. WhiteInk13
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    WhiteInk13 New Member

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    Who'd want to live next door toa guy who could transform into a water dragon? I WOULD :|
     
  7. Volcre
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    Volcre Member

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    Maybe it gives him an advantage to have a secret like that? And it protects his family from people who are either afraid of or want to challenge that power...
     
  8. lixAxil
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    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    Mmmm what's his position with his own power?
    Does he think that is something "good" or "bad"?

    Perhaps he could even be ashamed of it.
    Other scenary could be that he just has that kind of personality that forces him to keep a lot of secrets to himself, because he fears the critic of others. This could be also applied to the power. He doesn't even has enough trust on his own family.
     
  9. Patrick Bade
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    Patrick Bade New Member

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    A bunch of ideas (many points are similar, but they are not the same):

    - He is afraid of being different from the people around him
    - He is afraid of becoming an outsider
    - He is afraid of people who might fear his ability and try to get rid of him
    - He is afraid to put his family/loved ones into danger
    - He wants only himself to know of (and maybe benefit from) his power = egoistic reasoning
    - He intends to surprise the people around him with this power when the time comes
    - He is afraid of getting forced to use his power for the benefit of others (becoming a tool) -> this depends on how useful this ability potentially is to others
    - He sets himself a certain goal and decides to reveal his power to others after this goal has been achieved

    Personally, I would recommend to mix up some reasons, because the reason of being afraid of becoming an outcast/a loner would probably be the most logical. Unfortunately, it is also the most commonly used.
     
  10. LynnCandy
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    LynnCandy New Member

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    WOW such great ideas!!!!

    I want to thank you guys for all these ideas, however, I want to mention that he doesn't know that he is a water dragon, and he'll eventually find that out as the story continues. Some of you gave me ideas that involve him knowing what he is, and they are great!


    I actually did not think about the cultural setting of the story. You have a great point!

    Lol. I would be somewhat apprehensive but my excitement would get the best of me

    Oh yes! Thank you for asking these questions. They really got my creative juices flowing.

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I didn't want to have him afraid of becoming an outcast because I thought this was too common, so mixing up some reasons (like the ideas everyone suggested) seems like a good idea.

    Everyone, thank you again!:D
     
  11. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    Of course!

    He doesn't want people to know for many reasons.

    a) He doesn't want the attention because even he himself can't explain how or why he does it.
    b) Something tells him he should keep it secret
    c) He is afraid of being outcasted or called a "witch" of sorts

    But I also don't think you need to have an excuse as to why he does it. It is a personal thing to him, its something very close to him and its not that he wants to "hide" it, but he has never felt the need to share this incredible power with anyone. Maybe no one has earned his trust, or he doesn't feel that this power needs to be "advertised" because its so special to him, and he's afraid bad might come of it.
     
  12. unearthly
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    unearthly New Member

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    I like the idea of mixing it in with maybe a fable or legend that exists in the village. A child is born with a gift to protect the village, but maybe he doesn't want to play that role. He might want to strike out and do his own thing so he keeps it a secret.
    Also, why did he discover his powers the day of his father's funeral? Maybe his father was a dragon as well and now he is meant to take his place, but that's not what he wants to do?
    xD Just some ideas that came to mind
    It kind of depends on your character and the personality he has too. Is he secretive and quiet, or rebellious and bold?
     
  13. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Maybe he's shy and doesn't want to attract attention?

    Or he doesn't think anyone would believe him, and thinks even if he shows them what he can do they'll think it's some kind of hoax?

    Or maybe using his power requires him to do something embarrassing (if Spiderman's silk came out of his butt like a real spider's, do you think he'd want to show people)?

    Or maybe he just got so caught up in grieving that he forgot to mention he'd developed a superpower.
     
  14. LynnCandy
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    LynnCandy New Member

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    Letters a,b and c are very good. Also, I didn't think of him wanting to keep his power hidden because it's something close to him. Great point!

    A legend sounds pretty cool too! Ever since his father died, (oh, his father is a dragon, and the reason why he discovered his powers on his fathers funeral is because after his father's funeral, he went to his sercet pond in the forest and an overwheming current of emotions took over him at the bank of the water, and of course, the water suddenly rose like a tsunami and collasped when he realized the water was practically above him. It's kind of like a heroic cliches; the hero discovers his powers at an emotional state. I've been thinking I should have him discover his power on the day of his father's death instead.) he had to help his mother financially and take care of their home. Since his father died when he was nine, he had to grow up alot faster than other kids, so it might be a good idea to have him go on his own with his power.


    Lol, I imagined Spiderman making silk come out of his butt. That's really funny:D . And you have very good points as well. Also, he is very shy and he'll probably doesn't want attention.
     
  15. catchkatch
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    catchkatch New Member

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    All of the ideas suggested are good, but to make them even better--and make sure your story has something different--try and add a personal element to it that makes it stand out from the other 'I've got a secret but can't let anyone know' stories (not that it's not a great idea, haha). e.g....

    If you go with a legend: have something like a close friend, family member, powerful person in the community etc has a fear of the dragon in the legend, or wants to use it. If it's a family member, you could make it so the mother (or someone) has suffered a great loss in the past because of the legend and do the whole 'oh noes, they will never accept me' angle. And if it's an outsider you could set them up as an enemy that would exploit his secret, or kill him (or, better, his family!) because of it.

    Essentially my point is that if you make it more personal it helps raises the stakes, and gives the story more depth.

    Ooh, and what you said about him discovering his powers on the day his father dies-- you should totally have it happen before his dad dies. You could do a thing like he accidentally does something small and is all confused about it, and then later WHAM his dad dies, and then his powers are all dramatically unlocked as he is struck with grief. Little signs happening before the dramatic father death could act as foreboding and intrigue to heighten the story.

    Plus then you can weave in some sub-plot about how he feels guilt for not talking to his dad about it, or he wonders if his dad knew about him and why he didn't say anything, or you could even try a thing where he thinks he's somehow partly responsible for his dad's death because he inadvertently kept his powers a secret from him (which, as the sympathetic readers, we will know was not really his fault, but will make an awesome tragic hero origins, haha).

    Hope any of this helps :-D
     
  16. Padfoot
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    Padfoot Member

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    Well, I was thinking maybe he's scared of someone trying to use him for experiments or testing to find out why he has these powers.
     
  17. omrmstro
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    omrmstro New Member

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    it can be a reason like maybe if he tells about all his powers to the other people of village he may loose all of them inside him and will not be able to use it any time
     
  18. Anthrax
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    Anthrax Member

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    It’s been proven over and over throughout our history that people are afraid of things they do not understand. Since you use the word village (and there is a dragon in it) I’m assuming this is a medieval setting. If that was the case he would be justified in hiding his abilities as they may think he’s possessed by demons and try to kill him or some variation of this depending on your world construction.

    A second possibility, if this is a world of magic and the villagers are used to magic, maybe he’s afraid to tell them because they might enslave him and use his powers to ensure the village is prosperous or attack other villages. Controlling water would be very useful for a village. It’s possible the villagers have encountered this before and there is something they can use to control him. Maybe his father knew before he died and told him to keep it a secret or maybe he accidently killed his father with his new-found powers and he’s afraid of what his sister and mother (as well as the villagers) will think if they find out.

    Another is if your character is young or a teenager maybe he just doesn’t want people to think he’s a freak. Or if the village people worship people with this power, maybe he doesn’t want to be worships. And finally, maybe he just wants to keep it a secret because it’s his and his alone. He just buried father, he’s hurting (if they were close) and he just does not want to talk about it.

    Hope this helps
     
  19. LooneytoonM
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    LooneytoonM Member

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    have you considered that maybe he can't tell people, not that he doesn't want to but physically can't. (maybe something in his genes denies him speaking of what he is. like a built in defence mechanism for survival purposes)
     
  20. LynnCandy
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    LynnCandy New Member

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    Thank you! Your advice does help! I understand what you're saying about "add a personal element", and that is a great idea. I am thinking about having one of his undiscovered family member (his father's younger brother) try to control him for evil usage. This is mostly an idea I am playing with, but I guess I could start from there and see where it goes.

    Thank you for your advise!!!
    Yes, I am incorporating mediveval themes in this story, so having the villager accuse him of being a demon or think he is possessed by a demon is a high possiblity.

    And, he is 21 years old, so he does think his powers are weird.

    Since I am getting a significant about of ideas/feedback from my question, which have caused me to have so many ideas (thank you!), I am thinking about posting a thread about my general plot ideas and backstory as to why my character has these powers. So, I will probably post a link to it once I created it, and I would love to see what you guys have to say.

    Thank you again!
     

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