Post Sat May 17, 2014 2:10 am

Re: Superpowers: how they are gained and how they work

Okay, so I typed up a reply to this and it seems my computer deleted it instead of posting it. Grr. So now this post will be far less clever and clear and helpful than it was before. :roll:


I've got a story world where the characters get their abilities from science. From learning. You've heard people saying how our brains have far more capacity than what we use them for? And you've heard stories about things like amnesia where the brain sort of shuts down a part of itself, only to maybe reopen it later? Well, I took those two concepts and molded them together. I imagined that there are areas in the brain virtually unexplored and unused. I proposed that someone (select people) with great diligence in a particular area of science could "open the door" that led to that area, and that the door and the new area of the brain allowed them to have physical power over elements/objects/etc. Now, I knew that it couldn't be as simple as just that, so I added the idea that this door could be opened only in the event of a particular trauma or adrenaline. Now, this whole idea plays out very big in the story, because the story is about how/why these people got their abilities. So someone studying fire, for example, gets caught in a wildfire (or something) and in the panic and chaos of the moment, all their learning bursts against that door and floods into this new, unexplored area where the brain can physically affect the world around it.

It's a fairly unique concept (I won't go as far as saying it's original) and I'm rather proud of it. But sometimes the regular old spider's bite does the trick just as well, or even better. This particular method that I describe comes into play in the story a great deal. It's a big part of the background and the plot.

Now. That's not very practical or realistic, is it? But it's super powers, and they don't really need to be. I think they need to have a reason--just like all characters need to have a reason--but how much you need to actually explain how/why they have powers depends on the story and the characters.
"Some are important documents, others maybe doodles I never framed. I can't tell the difference." ~Mr. Magorium

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