1. Meteor
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    Meteor Active Member

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    Making a powerful character without it looking like...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Meteor, Sep 1, 2012.

    Hello everyone and thanks for taking the time to read this over. Thank you also for any replies!



    I'm here to ask yet another question about the story I'm still working on when I have the time. Its a futuristic story that takes place mainly on a ship far from home searching for ancient technology or various other items to assist in an on going war. One of these things happens to be my main character. The problem? Well I need my main man to be kind of over powered if you will. The problem is I don't want him to seem like I'm just duplicating a bunch of other ideas. For example I wanted to have him in a highly advanced suit that generates a personal shield. I thought after that though, "Nah, its to much like Halo." and I also wanted his body to be biologically enhanced. Once again I'm just seeing myself copying Mass Effect and things of that nature like the Biomen featured in Vampire Hunter D novels. I'm kind of at a loss by this time. The only thing I've really given him that no one else seems to have taken is that tons of data has been uploaded into his brain. It ranges from extremely advanced tactical information to information on ships of other cultures and even advanced piloting skills. Things of that nature. Should it be capable of being used for warfare in this time period its in his brain. Hand to hand combat styles, weapons you name it and its in there. I wanted him to be a type of anti-ship component who gets thrown into space during combat to invade and sabotage enemy vessels one by one so that they basically blow up after he's escaped to the next ship. Hence the shield suit and the bio enhancements. I just want more originality, but I'm at a loss. Any ideas on places I might look that aren't related to another story/game or are these usually fairly common things in futuristic stories?
     
  2. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    The TV show "Chuck" is about a guy with all the data you have listed uploaded into his avaerage brain. Afterwards he is able to make use of the knowledge like combat, computer skills, world knowledge, language, etc. Also I think a character in the Canadian show "Alice" had that happen.

    Point is: This forum is gonna tell you that everything's been done, and you need to write it your way, etc.

    Question: Why would anyone, in the middle of a war, go searching deep space for some random ancient tech? Seems a bit last ditch. Better flesh that out a bit, since that is the plot. What the MC wears, and what his powers are, should just serve that plot.
     
  3. Meteor
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    Meteor Active Member

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    Alright I'll keep that in mind then and thanks. As for you're question yes it was actually meant as a last ditch attempt. The nation my characters are fighting for is losing and badly. That's the way I want it set up anyway. They went from having fourteen planets under their reign to having ten after two years of fighting. The catch is though that the enemy isn't simply taking over the worlds they're wiping them of life before colonizing them.
     
  4. J. Blake
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    J. Blake Member

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    Unfortunately I'm not a sci-fi buff, so this hangs outside of my natural realm of 'expertise'. However, as a writer who's felt the same way about a million other stories, I can say this: your idea about the tons of data being uploaded into your MC's head has, 9.9/10, also been done before. Trust me.

    This isn't to pop your bubble, but to let you know that every idea under the sun has been done a million different ways. If I constantly worried over what has been done before I wouldn't write a damn thing. It's not about what you do as much as it is about how it's done. I mean, just imagine if Bob Kane never made Batman because it was too similar to The Shadow (an old dark pulp hero).

    Write the story you want to write, man, and don't sweat anything else. When it's done you can look back at it and worry about it then.

    Believe me, you'll save yourself a lot of headache.
     
  5. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    How about a power suit that was from ancient technology, but he doesn't have the user manual. Hence there's a learning process over time where he learns what it can and can't do, and perhaps it's intermittently faulty as well. Or just wearing out. Perhaps as the story develops, he comes to the point where he realises he's better off relying on his own known abilities, rather than a partially understood and unreliable suit?
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Meteor,

    Biologically enhancing someone biologically doesn't mean you're ripping off ME or the other story you're talking about. My MC came about the same way before dying and ending up in a cybernetic body. So, it's no ripping anyone off because it's done a lot in science fiction. Just concentrate on writing your story and everything will be ok.
     
  7. Michelle Stone
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    Michelle Stone Member

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    For each supernatural power you give a character, you should also assign him a defect. The most powerful stories come from the most vulnerable who overcome extreme obstacles. You might have your mc be standard bio fighting against the super badass types. That seems to work most effectively.
     
  8. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    and power armor was done before helo. take the idea and make it your own.
     
  9. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    "Greatest American Hero" television show plot,ABC 1981-1983. I had to say it.
     
  10. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Everything has been done before. Either in film, literature, or both. Like other people have said, you just have to write your story the way you want to without worrying to much about whether you're ripping something off. If everyone thought like that, no one would write books anymore because they are all influenced by something.
     
  11. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't seen the show But it shows how much has been done before.

    If this was a story that I was writing, then my natural reaction would be to watch the entire show, then sit back and think how I can develop my story to be better than "Greatest American Hero", and how I can add new original twists to the basic plot.

    Although, I should point out that I'm not an experienced writer, so that may be just so much hot air :)
     
  12. Volcre
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    Volcre Member

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    Just my 2c:

    Like everyone has said already, all these ideas have been done over and over and over again. Power suits have become associated with Halo but they're in Fallout, Warhammer 40k and probably 300 different animes. But think about it, when you think about Halo or Warhammer and you think about what makes it 'cool' or what appealed to you, it wasn't the small details like the power suit, but more the fact that Master Chief or the Space Marines are semi-invincible superhuman super-soldiers (or maybe it was something else... like intergalactic conflict).

    Well anyway idea that you're trying to convey is that your character is incredibly powerful, a one-man army so to speak. You need to pick the best tool to convey that message and as long as your ideas are original, then the plot device you use to frame it should be alright. But in your particular case, I'd look at the setting your world is in. What kind of technology is available in your world? Who are the opposing forces? What would they equip their last hope with to maximize the success of his mission? What resources do they have and how does it compare to the enemy?

    Ask yourself these questions about your own world and if the setting isn't developed yet, then it's up to you to develop it. Once you have a good grasp of the world you're in and the nature of the conflict, it should become more and more apparent what they'd kit their super-solider last hope out in. My opinion :p? If we were about to lose a war and all our hopes rested on just one small crew trying to find Ancient Technology, I'd give him every last resource I could. After all, if he dies, aren't we all screwed right :p?

    Anyway enjoy and let me know if you found anything here constructive
     
  13. Meteor
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    Meteor Active Member

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    Well seeing that everything really has been done and much more I'd just like to say thanks for the advice. Just write it and don't worry about it that much. I guess it reminds me of vampires. Done over, and over and over again yet someone always comes up with something to make it interesting at some point or another. I'll certainly work on that. Thanks for the help guys and yes Volcre I did find many things constructive. In all these posts really. Thanks again.
     
  14. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    You could just watch one episode and get the whole series. In fact, all you'd have to do is watch the introduction. TV in the eighties was quite simple.

    And I'd like to say that I don't subscribe to the notion that every story concept has been done. I think that idea, along with worrying if a concept has been done, can be a real hurdle in creativity. Basic plots, like man vs man, man vs world, etc. are finite. but story ideas and original concepts are not. They are infinite. The only way to access them is to become a conduit, not to be afraid to be wrong and daring, to be able to surpass boundaries that restrain us.

    Go get 'em,
     
  15. Patrick Bade
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    Patrick Bade New Member

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    Especially in Sci-Fi, it is quite difficult to invent new, fresh features for your hero. The 'uploaded data' thing is also very old and I know at least of three or four movies/stories in which this feature has already been put in, exactly according to the way you are thinking about it.

    Rather than concentrating on new things, in my opinion, it is more about using old-fashioned features and making a good compilation of them for your hero. Your goal is uniqueness, and you can actually achieve this by being creative in the mix of your features instead of concentrating on creating entirely new ones. That means, for me, your hero would be more interesting than others (despite having the same features) when he has got for example not only the uploaded data you mentioned, but also something in synergy with the included information, maybe some build-in tools in his suit fitting to the mechanical and technical knowledge he possesses to maximize the damage on hostile ships. This is a very simple example of what I intend to say, but it should make clear how it is meant. Try to find ways to create synergy between your features, and don't care for the fact that they have already been used somewhere. Think about HOW to use them (together).
     
  16. ...
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    ... Member

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    I had written my own post, but then I glanced up, saw this and promptly deleted it again. The above quote says everything I'd like to say and a bit more besides.
     

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