1. Vamp_fan22
    Offline

    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    California

    plot holes suck...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Vamp_fan22, Aug 22, 2011.

    I have a problem. In my story my main characters are all psychic and they all have special abilities. They are kidnapped and tortured by an evil psychic organization. I just realized that this might not make sense. I mean, if they are psychic and have all these powers why don't they just use them to get away? What are some reasons they wouldn't be able to use their powers?
     
  2. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I firmly believe that when a character has powers, they should be narrowed so as not to risk making the character seem invincible. Perhaps the powers that they do have can't save them from their torture, or the torturers have powers of their own that supercede those of your protag.

    I can be more helpful if you tell me specifically what powers your MCs have.
     
  3. Vamp_fan22
    Offline

    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    California
    The power to move things with their minds (telekineses?), read minds, see ghosts. And towards the end the power to heal others.
     
  4. Peutra
    Offline

    Peutra Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Er, okay. I'm guessing "see ghosts" wouldn't be helpful in any case here.
    Move things with their mind - telekinetic barrier [sci-fi explanation]
    Read minds - some sort of drug or barrier that doesn't allow them to do it
    Heal others - yeah, they can heal each other after the torture but it won't help them immediately
     
  5. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,997
    Likes Received:
    5,506
    I'd vote for drugs. These are mental powers, so some drug that affects the mind should fill the need. It's been done before, many times, but it also seems perfectly logical to me.

    It could also be interesting - if the mind's main defense is impaired by drugs, could it come up with some new ability?
     
  6. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Mind-reading could potentially work against the protag. Whoever's doing the torturing could send telekenetic signals about horrible ways to kill/torture your MC, some of which might be true and some not, but that would be quite scary.

    The only problematic one I see is the power to move objects, but give it limitations. Maybe they can only move objects of a certain weight, and the torture equipment is too heavy. Another limitation I like is that using your powers will cause a negative consequence of some kind, so they must be used very sparingly.
     
  7. BFGuru
    Offline

    BFGuru Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Somewhere in insomiaville
    Or could their power be deadened when surrounded by a certain material, say a lead room, for instance?
     
  8. Vamp_fan22
    Offline

    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    California
    I was thinking drugs. Like a special drug that they are given that weakens them and makes them unable to use their powers.
     
  9. Quorum1
    Offline

    Quorum1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    On my couch
    Is there a price for using their powers, for example, is telekinesis fatiguing? Can they only heal a certain amount of people each day or risk a build-up of toxins within their own body? Do they have to be within a certain range to read minds, or be able to see or touch the person?

    Create the boundries and then have your torture situation set up so the powers can't be used.
     
  10. StrangerWithNoName
    Offline

    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    the waste lands, somewhere in Europe
    I would use some kind of old school metal helmet that inhibit mental powers.
     
  11. pattycat
    Offline

    pattycat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Chicago
    Possible reasons why a character's psychic abilities would fail them:

    - some sort of barrier (like Magneto's helmet in X-Men)
    - a character (or group of characters) who is able to resist mind-reading or somehow disable it through powers of their own
    - the "evil organization" could send agents with false information, which the MC's would discover through their psychic abilities and thus be misled

    A good way to solve your problem would be to figure out the cause of their psychic powers. Does their hypothalamus secrete some hormone that causes this ability? If so, perhaps there is a drug that could inhibit it.
     
  12. proserpine
    Offline

    proserpine Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    Perhaps the evil psychics have mastered mind control. Or, maybe the good psychics can'tread the evil psychics' minds because the evil psychics are cats. Or not. ;)
     
  13. Gammer
    Offline

    Gammer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    4
    The villain or whoever captures them could make them wear some kind of headband that blocks their abilities. Or even have the bad guy wear something that prevents their mind-reading powers from affecting him.

    Or a drug or some kind of plant that counteracts whatever give them their powers.

    When coming up with powers and abilities for your characters it's usually a good idea to figure out how to handicap them right away do you can avoid plot holes and the like early on.
     
  14. demonmr98
    Offline

    demonmr98 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    This idea is similar to Mallory's, but maybe they can only lift objects that they would physically be able to lift. So say they are really weak physically, their mind moving powers could only lift light objects.
     
  15. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    To pretty much sum up a lot of what's been said already:

    1. Blocking: A drug, electromagnetic/psychic barrier, etc that effectively blocks their psychic abilities.
    2. Superiority: Their interrogators have surpassed the MC's own psychic abilities, and are thus effectively immune.
    3. Misinformation: The interrogators are vulnerable to the MC's abilities, but have mastered the ability to emit false information (double-think?) so as to confuse, intimidate, etc the MC's.

    Personally, I don't see why you couldn't use some combination of the 3.

    The interrogators use drugs & a static electromagnetic field to both dull their psychic abilities and neutralize them - to some extent - when in the environment. However, the ability of the interrogators to read minds (receive psychic stimuli) happens to be more resilient than the ability of the MC's to transmit/emit psychic power (possibly for technological reasons: the antags are mechanically augmenteded, etc - so, MC's cannot use their abilities in any proactive manner, but can still passively receive psychic information - from which the organization uses to . Etc, etc, etc.
     
  16. tristan.n
    Offline

    tristan.n Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    You could also use something like brain implants that prevent them from performing certain brain functions. It may sound a little overused or too Star Trek-y or something, but hey, it's an idea! :) Maybe the antagonist drugs them and then puts those implants in or something?
     
  17. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,826
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    This is the problem with powers. In order to make a story work, you usually have to nullify the powers. Superman has kryptonite, etc.

    So, it's effectively as if your MC doesn't have powers in the first place.

    This is why it's so hard to write decent stories about superheroes.
     
  18. Pythonforger
    Offline

    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Amongst the Mortals
    In Dark Visions, the leader of the evil organisation recruited evil psychics to help, and was also very influential and powerful. Just an idea.
     

Share This Page