1. Akeenestories

    Akeenestories New Member

    May 15, 2016
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    How long can I hold out on revealing character's powers?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Akeenestories, Aug 18, 2018.

    I am writing a story in which four teens are given miraculous powers in the aftermath of a storm. One can become invisible, one has super speed and strength, another has the power to harness electricity, and the last one can manipulate people into doing things with her words. I just realized that the first "use of powers" does not come in until midway through the fourth chapter and even then it is just the teen with manipulation telling a bouncer to let them into a club.

    I drop "mentions" of it before hand, such as mysterious murders involving electrocution that have been troubling the city (one of the teens is the antagonists) and a couple vague arguments between the protagonists where they use the word "gifts". The teen with invisibility mentions sneaking into the local precinct, though he doesn't mention how. I realized that in my outline the first "fight" in a story that I planned to be very action driven does not occur until Chapter 6.

    Am I holding out on my readers who were interested in the fantastical elements of the story by not including more scenes earlier on? I've been reading books of a similar genre and noticed that they are often more upfront about character abilities.
  2. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

    Dec 28, 2016
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    Without knowing or reading the story, it's always hard to answer a question about the way it's written. But from what you've said I think you're doing the right thing - personally I like a slow burner. We want to get to know your characters and be able to connect with them, and if the reader finds himself/herself bored of that character without knowing about the power, then that character needs developing. But if they're strong, individual people then take as long as you like - a little mystery is a good thing. If the reader is invested enough in your writing, then chapter four won't seem too long to wait at all.

    Another thing: if all the books that you've read in this genre all do one thing, do something completely different. Take inspiration, and if something works, use it - but a publisher will always look for something new and different.

    Hope this helps you
  3. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke

    Jun 5, 2018
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    From how you've described it, the plot of your story is very reminiscent of the movie Chronicle, so it may be a good idea to give it a watch (if you haven't already seen it) and see how they did it. As Piper said, it's always good to do things differently, but the general formula is there if you want to take it and mess around a bit.

    I'm also in agreement with Piper on the fact that your story should have a bit more of a slow burn. Introduce the powers subtly.

    One other thing to take into consideration is whether or not they can adequately control these powers upon first learning of them. Maybe invisible guy accidentally becomes visible again in the middle of the women's locker room. Maybe super speedy strong guy doesn't quite grasp how to stop and runs straight through a wall. Maybe electric guy accidentally fries some guy's car when the guy almost hits him. Stuff like that.
    I.A. By the Barn likes this.
  4. I.A. By the Barn

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

    Oct 26, 2015
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    for me I think it depends on what point of view the story is told from. I assume its third person far otherwise we'd have scenes like @Zerotonin mentioned of them getting used to them, cus from the sounds like there's some hints and then its them just using them easy peasy which would be weird at a close pov but if the pov is focusing on other things cus it can, with those little sprinkle of clues I think it'd be really exciting for people to find out, either through being told a little later in the story or even working it out themselves, because I once read a book like that (I was 13 so I can't remember it's name) and I actually worked it out and it felt so cool for my brain to be told it was right! And I don't think there's enough stories about powers that are secretive about them!

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