1. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    Powers. Different or the same ones.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MaryMO, Nov 12, 2014.

    I'm having problems getting a clear picture or idea on what types of powers my characters should have. Since they are to be the rulers of the north, south, east, and west, and are quadruplets born to a god and goddess, I was going to make them all have the same types of powers. The idea was that, their emotions will be connected with the change of seasons. Earth, wind, fire, and water they would be able to control them all. But my husband suggested that I separate them instead. Have each control one element, so in the end they would have to work together to defeat their father and bring balance back into the world. Doesn't that sound so much like the "Avatar, The last air bender"? I've watched all of them and I don't want my novel to be like that.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. J Faceless
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    J Faceless Active Member

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    That reminded me a lot of Avatar the Last Air-bender. Great show by the way. The Romans had wind gods and each one represented a different direction. The north wind god brought the cold, I forget the rest. You could look at that for ideas.
    If you're doing the cardinal directions you could do more as in the directions affect their personalities instead of directions, where they have the same powers.
    Like East could be the oldest (sun rises) and is very stern and the leader. The south could be more rambunctious and hotheaded, while the North is cold and calculated. Then the West could be just plain Wild.
     
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  3. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    I know about the sisters of the winds, but that isn't what I wanted them to be. What I wanted was for them to be able to control them all. I like the suggestion on using their personalities as how they would use their powers. I'm off to do more research, Thank you @ J Faceless.

    Psst: Loved that show, I hated when they made it into a movie. My husband and I couldn't even sit through the whole thing. Such a shame.
     
  4. Joe King
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    Joe King Member

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    I personally would find it more interesting if they were to each have their own specific power. If they were to fight each other, I think it would make for a better story for water to fight fire or earth to face wind, rather than just everything versus everything, or if they do align themselves to defeat their father having all power join up to become one or something along those lines. It may help develop character also, the character with the fire power could also have a fiery temper etc.

    Also, Avatar was awesome, such a shame the movie didn't turn out the way the series did.
     
  5. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    @JoeKing I really haven't decided what to do yet. It's one of those things I need to do more research on. I had to stop for a bit, rethink and rearrange my characters personalities, likes, and dislikes. The main character is easier for me to portray in this first novel, because we have similar qualities. I've interviewed a few guys from work who also fit the profile of my other two.
    Their powers are not so clear to me yet, but I usually figure things out pretty fast. I just need to know more about our earths environments and how they can counter it when thrown their way or something along those lines.

    If they made it into a series too, then I think it would have turned out pretty good. Instead of throwing everything together into one movie. It was horrible.:( My family and I still watch it from time to time. Have you seen "The legend of Korra?" Not bad, but I still prefer "Avatar, The Last Airbender."

    Thank you for the suggestion though.:)
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    How about scissors/paper/stone? One is sharp and fast, two is flexible, three is enduringly hard. Sorry, can't think of a fourth quality. Perhaps the one who manages and combines the other three?
     
  7. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    @Shadowfax Isn't that like, The Fantastic Four? And it still doesn't fit, how I'm trying to picture them defeating their father or try to. Which by the way wouldn't really be by their own hand either. The main idea is to get them to learn how to use and master these so-called powers. They'll be using it against his followers and elite guards mostly. There will only be one who can really kill him. I'm still bouncing ideas around in my head, eventually I'll come to a decision. Since I plan on making it a series I'm also thinking ahead so I know the timeline and events will follow in the order I want. But Thank you!

    Psst: Yes, I have an outline of each sibling's description. Who their counterparts are and what parts of the world they are destined to rule, and their parents too. I add more as I go along, but I rarely look at it. It's just more of a reminder for me.
     
  8. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Hmm... it doesn't have to be the element itself so much as a concept. That and it seems like each individual having control over one of the four elements seems to make more sense restoring-balance wise. My characters have powers that are unique to each individual, and depending on what they are they are limited to what they can effect. One has unnerring accuracy, another has sight-deception (illusion, but he can only affect your vision, not hearing, smell or touch), and one of the more powerful ones can change the weather patterns.

    As for your characters, you have four. North, South, East, and West. Again, i say you might want to have the elements split accordingly. North -wind. South -fire. East -earth. West -water. Each direction counters its opposite, and as for powers... maybe the fire one is not so much as raw flame in as they use it but lack, or presence, of heat. Earth could absorb or reject moisture, which is water, and water could freeze or evaporate at will. As for Wind... air pressure?

    Sometimes using a concept of an established power or thing can be twisted and made much more unique, to the point where your readers won't recognize the original and compare it to something else. That's what I do.
     
  9. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    Having them each possess a power of one element is so cliché in my opinion. It does make me think of Avatar, and also, Captain Planet of all things, which is ridiculously lame. Why not give them more complex and unique powers? Like the ruler of the north having the power to make things wither and die (like winter). One could have the power to cause people to fall in love (as in spring reproduction) amongst other possibilities. I think you should shake it up a bit, but that's just me. If it's YA, I'm sure you can get away with cliché.
     
  10. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    @Ketisemah I was thinking about that too. Wrecking my brain really and researching since yesterday? I can't even remember anymore, I've lost sleep over this already. I understand what you're saying, but there is something else to it. It's been nagging at me for awhile now, I can feel it. Almost like when you can't remember the title of a song, but you know the lyrics and beat to it. It'll just keep bothering you until you look it up. Thanks for the suggestion though.
     
  11. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    @AlannaHart That's just it, it's not going to be just a YA. I like to call it PG. I'm planning on walking that fine line between YA and adult. Why stick to just one genre? In my opinion it's better to have a broader audience then to target only a specific one.

    As for the Captain Planet, I've been told that before by my husband. So I'm staying away from that too. If I can just wrap my head around this, I know I'll get it down. After that it should be a little easier to complete this first novel. The concept of the story is great and so is the main idea of it, at least to me it is. If you've read my other threads you'll see what I mean. I've given little incite to what I'm trying to do, but I don't want to give too much away. There's a lot more to it and I intend to put my best work forward.
    Thank you, I'll be taking all of your suggestions into consideration.
     
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  12. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it would be interesting if you started your novel by presenting your characters as you say, (children of gods with supernatural powers), but then gradually change this. Reveal to the readers that all may not be as it seems. You could have a servant overhearing conversations etc. The servant realizes that the four people are actually very ordinary, and have been using their childhood fantasy to hoodwink the population in order to extort money from them, (the four characters live a life of luxury while the population suffer in poverty). The servant becomes a rebel leader, persuades others to join him, and attempts to overthrow the cruel dictators. But maybe the servant is wrong. Be ambiguous and keep the reader guessing till the end.
     
  13. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    @Aled James Taylor. I started off my novel with their mother dying, so as to orient the readers and throw them into a world they never knew existed. A whole new world and race of people who even The children themselves didn't know they were apart of. It is to be the beginning of their journey to become rulers of the Four Corners. There is already a lot of action in the first few chapters and very little downtime, which I was having problems with at first.

    I had to separate the four siblings, because what makes an easier target? If they were all together, then it would make it easy for their father to just strike them all down in one shot and then there goes my novel.
    I have more plots already in play that I've presented in the one I'm currently working on, so those are set. There will be other mythological beings who they will meet and befriend along the way. Including some of their own people who were apart of the rebellion against their father and have fled to earth to await these four, for when they will need their services. It will all come together in the fourth novel when I will have them go to war against their father. But like I mentioned previously, it will not be by either of them to be the one to kill and finally bring an end to his reign. Plus I have two other players in the background who is also helping them as much as they can, all without them knowing who they really are. I want the ending to be epic and grand.
     
  14. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    So, I think I figured out how to use their powers in accordance with the four elements. After doing a bit more research, I found that if I used energy as the main one, it'll act as a conduit to control each element along with their personalities. If I word how they use them then it wouldn't seem so much like the Avatar, The Last Airbender or Captain planet. They even have the ability to enhance each others element through their own energy or use it if they need to. What do you all think?
     
  15. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I still think you should move away from the elements and make their powers more unique.
     
  16. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    Not sure how though, especially since my novel is based on the balance of the world. They're parents alone are from the earth and sky. Their people are called Statera's, Latin meaning for balance. The idea is to get them to come together and bring that back.
    After their father realized something he didn't like with the humans he decided there was no use for them. What happened after set off a chain of events that caused a shift in that balance, more towards his side. Now he's too powerful to take on, that is why their mother left while she was still pregnant with their four children.
    I honestly don't see any other way, but I will still keep looking.
     
  17. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you need four powers slightly related but unique, what about the 4 states of mater?
    Solid
    Liquid
    Vapor
    Plasma

    It is sort of elemental but also mildly different at the same time. Gives them a shared power as they all control on aspect of the same thing?
     
  18. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    Well I don't expect you to take my advice, but like I said, you could always link their powers to the seasons without stating it outright. Winter could be a bitch that has the power to kill, Spring could the cupid-like one, Summer could be able to make light or something, Autumn could be able to dull the powers' of the others. Just think about what the balance between the seasons represents in our minds and play on that.

    If you really want to go the whole Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! (Heart...) route, I don't think you could avoid letting the story down. Maybe if you made the earth ruler the one who protects the lands, the fire ruler the one who brings destruction, the wind ruler the one who brings change and the water ruler the one who cleanses everything, or something very metaphorical like that, it could work. I wouldn't suggest actually mentioning the elemental connection though. I have zero faith that anyone can save that cliché. But again, that's just me.
     
  19. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    One question. You said zero faith in someone save a story that uses that cliche? Doesn't avitar use those cliches? Isn't Avitar a good story?(Haven't seen avitar myself.)
     
  20. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    Thank you all for your helpful advise. I think I've got it down now. Good luck everyone!
     

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