1. Adam Bolander

    Adam Bolander Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2010
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    Which would you rather read?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Adam Bolander, Jul 30, 2020.

    In a story about a world full of superheroes, which of these scenarios would you rather read about?

    1. The main character has the power to steal other heroes' powers, and spends the whole story acquiring a vast collection of them in order to take down a godlike villain, finding unique ways to use and combine them.

    2. The main character still has the power to steal powers, but here he ends up accidentally taking them from essentially his world's Superman. Now he has to learn how to use these powers without destroying everything around him, and also inherit the hero's place as the world's defender...while also still fighting the godlike villain from the first idea.
  2. Jan Karlsson

    Jan Karlsson Member

    Jun 30, 2020
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    Personally, I prefer scenario 2, because it also gives you the ‘Superman’ character to play with. How do they react to losing their powers? Do they become a mentor to the new hero? Become bitter that someone else has their powers? Tries to get the powers back? Is happy to be relieved of the burden?

    The first scenario sounds similar to Season one of Heroes, where Peter Petrelli gained so many powers to fight Sylar (who also gained multiple powers in a more gruesome, evil fashion), that in the second season they had to hand wave away them both not being able to use those powers. Power creep caused the characters to be unusable.

    Just my 2cents.
    Adam Bolander likes this.
  3. hirundine

    hirundine Contributor Contributor

    Jul 25, 2016
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    The second one. I feel like I could identify with the character's journey more, and also that the storyline would result in much more interesting character development for the protagonist.
    Adam Bolander likes this.
  4. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Contributor Contributor

    Nov 26, 2019
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    I feel like the first one leads into the second one, so the second one makes more sense to follow as a story to me. The first one feels like an introduction of sorts and then the second one is like the midway point where the person realizes what he's done and now the Superman guy is SOL and All the Powers guy has to deal with all of that.
    Adam Bolander likes this.
  5. Whitecrow

    Whitecrow Active Member

    Jan 23, 2020
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    I would prefer the second option.
    There were and are many different stories with characters who have different great powers and where they tell about different interesting ways of using these abilities. But the most memorable stories are those in which the heroes are shown not just superhumans, but superhumans, who remain people, people with problems and internal conflicts.

    These problems and experiences become a connecting experience for the reader and the character. The reader who has his own problems ceases to feel alone in his struggle and it becomes easier for him to deal with his problems knowing that he is not alone.
    Plus, you can make a lot of funny situations, about how a hero can save the world at one moment, and at another he can fail in very simple life things.

    The hero can be a simple method to make both positive qualities and negative human qualities (Greed, ambition, lust, envy, etc.). How he behaves about his shortcomings, and how he fights against them, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. Asking difficult moral questions for the character and the reader.

    1) The hero has two options, to let the drug dealer go and take his money to give one terminally ill child for an operation, or to catch the drug dealer and clear the streets, but let this random child you don't know die.
    At the same time, any of the choices that you think are correct may not work ... One drug dealer may be replaced by another and the situation on the streets will not change, at the same time the operation may go wrong and the child may die anyway.

    2) Two groups of racists, hating each other, and trying to destroy. What to do try to reconcile them and be hated by both sides, but with a clear conscience, or stand on the side of some and help them do terrible things, but at the same time get their support.

    3) You have caught a maniac killer ... Having arrested him, he will probably go to prison, but he will be released after a couple of years and will kill again. Or you will arrange lynching over him, but because of this you yourself will become a wanted criminal, you yourself will become a murderer.

    It can be made much more personal.
    For example, the character hates thieves, since the robber killed someone dear to the hero. At some point, the hero meets a thief who, like Robin Hood, helps the poor, steals money to buy food for the homeless. At such a moment, the hero can literally be broken in half and made of him two opposing sides of him as a person.
    By making this conflict not a boring choice between good and evil, but a choice between two things that the protagonist considers right at the same time.

    You can add flaws to him, show that he can be a hero, but he is not perfect in everything. These flaws will be the bonds that bind him to other characters in the story: Family, Friends or comrades.

    The hero does not know how to navigate in space. Every time after heroism, he will need someone's help to return home.
    He may have an allergy to something.
    He may have a phobia or other disorder.
    He may have memory problems.
    Or as you said he has problems controlling his power.
    And much more.

    In some places I was carried a little further than necessary. I apologize for this, I hope this is not a problem.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020

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