And My Mutant Ability Is…

Blogger Buddy Thursdays continues with a great guest post from Jamal W. Hankins of Scribereglyph which just happens to be an awesome screenwriting blog. So, knowing you are in capable hands with this gentleman, I’ll simply give Jamal the floor. Prepare to be entertained!


What's your mutant ability?

“You are a fool if you think you can defeat me with your puny weapons! Now, sizzle under the heat of my eye beams!”

Hilarious? Yeah, I know.

When I first started writing, one of my main focuses, if not the main focus was on the abilities of my characters. With interests and influences that stem deeply from the realms of science fiction and fantasy, that ask the reader to stretch their minds and believe in  the mythical and accept unlikely theories, I was determined to have  a solid understanding of how to develop character abilities.

After much contemplation (reading books, watching anime, and playing video games, lol), I realized that there are many different elements that play a roll in developing abilities for a character.

For instance: Is your character good, evil, human, alien, organic, or mechanical? These are but a few of the elements that one must consider. To add to that, the main thing is knowing where the ability comes from. Does it stem from technology? Is it magical? Is it a natural ability? A unique mutation? Or a combination of these elements, for example: a unique mutation that the character further augments with technological enhancements. Lastly, one needs to know how the ability works. Are there any side effects, limitations, or disadvantages to the ability?

To get a better understanding of these elements and concepts I’ve analyzed the abilities of existing characters and focused on how they were put together; and for those characters with a somewhat vague explanation of their abilities, I came up with my own theories as to how they worked.

Ryu, Ken, and Chun Li of Street Fighter

Take the characters of the Street Fighter series for instance, who some say owe their fantastic abilities to their training in the use of their Chi/Ki. I wanted to figure out how Ryu is capable of projecting fireballs from his hands? How is Chun-Li is able to float upside down and spin with her legs outstretched while performing her Spinning Bird Kick? Some say they use their Chi, but what is that? What is Chi? How does it allow one to strike an opponent with an electrified punch or a flaming kick?

My theory was/is that their Chi must encompass the various natural energies and physical attributes of the human body, and through practice allows one to manipulate them and  generate amplified forms of bio-kinetic, bio-electric, bio-thermal, and psychic energies.

So for me, Ryu throws his fireballs or “Hadouken”, which translates to “wave motion fist”, due to the mastery of his natural bio-kineticl energies. Perhaps Chun-Li floats through the air spinning upside down due to a limited form of telekinesis? It’s all possible in theory and is good enough for me.

"I know you want me to say it..."

Another example of this is the Jedi and the Sith from the Star Wars franchise. In my opinion they use a great deal of psychic tricks that seem like something else to those they use them on. For instance, using limited clairvoyance to dodge and deflect attacks which makes them appear to have heightened reflexes.

One thing I do think is necessary when creating abilities, is having a limitation and/or side effects to using it. In my opinion, it makes the ability seem that much more dramatic and interesting.

There should be a balance between the ability’s usefulness and availability. If one could shoot beams that destroy molecules all day long, that character would be very powerful and I think very boring as well. They could destroy anything anywhere and do it non-stop all day. Now if they could only use this “beam” let’s say, once or twice before having to recuperate for a couple of hours to recharge; or if it caused them great pain to use, the character would then have to use careful judgment when using the ability. Do they really need to use it now to defeat the current opponent or should they save it for the ultimate threat?  Either way when the character finally does use the ability, it’ll be an important event because they’ve risked whatever the cons are to use it.

Of course this is all my opinion. What say you? What is your take on it?

ΩPhoto Credit 1

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ΩPhoto Credit 3

 

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Kyra Dawson

By day I'm at Brighter Scribe or blogging at The Scribe's Desk about fantasy, sci-fi, horror, mythology, movies, TV, music, books, humor and some other entertaining ish. I'm also a published author who enjoys random acts of writing, video gaming, the art of fangirlling, and indulging my Inner Perpetual Teenager diligently. I'm also a regular contributor at Cinelinx and am passionate about giving back to the community.

11 Comments:

  1. Great post, Jamal! It had me chuckling. Awesome take on the Jedi mind tricks! Using foresight as a way to block your enemy's moves is a nifty little trick, isn't it? Having Jedi power does seem like the ultimate weapon. I wouldn't mind having it. And your right. Omnipotent characters are boring. I'd much rather have a character like Superman where he has the ultimate in super powers, but one tiny green rock can make him powerless. He's the ultimate superhero in my books. Also Xavier in X-Men. Doesn't he get tired after using his powers? Having limitations even when you are a mutant or have super powers really does make a character relatable AND way more interesting. Thanks for being my guest! 😀

  2. Great post, Jamal! It had me chuckling. Awesome take on the Jedi mind tricks! Using foresight as a way to block your enemy's moves is a nifty little trick, isn't it? Having Jedi power does seem like the ultimate weapon. I wouldn't mind having it. And your right. Omnipotent characters are boring. I'd much rather have a character like Superman where he has the ultimate in super powers, but one tiny green rock can make him powerless. He's the ultimate superhero in my books. Also Xavier in X-Men. Doesn't he get tired after using his powers? Having limitations even when you are a mutant or have super powers really does make a character relatable AND way more interesting. Thanks for being my guest! 😀

  3. Great post, I am loving your picks for Blogger Buddies Kyra (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). And I agree Jamal, having characters with omnipotent powers are boring, where is the fun in that? If a bad guy can't ever be defeated, then where's the story line? Or if a good guy always easily wins, that would get tiresome fast. Variety is the spice of life and flat characters do not provide spice, that's for sure. I should get hubby to read this post, he's all into comics and video games, if he could read the comic "The Walking Dead" while he was playing "Street Fighter Alpha 3" I'm sure he'd be the happiest guy around. He's playing video games as I write this.

    Oh and if I could have a mutant power, it would have to be telekinesis. Moving things with my mind would be the shiznit.

  4. Great post, I am loving your picks for Blogger Buddies Kyra (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). And I agree Jamal, having characters with omnipotent powers are boring, where is the fun in that? If a bad guy can't ever be defeated, then where's the story line? Or if a good guy always easily wins, that would get tiresome fast. Variety is the spice of life and flat characters do not provide spice, that's for sure. I should get hubby to read this post, he's all into comics and video games, if he could read the comic “The Walking Dead” while he was playing “Street Fighter Alpha 3” I'm sure he'd be the happiest guy around. He's playing video games as I write this.

    Oh and if I could have a mutant power, it would have to be telekinesis. Moving things with my mind would be the shiznit.

  5. lol, thanks, I'm glad ya'll liked the post. For me when a character has limitations on their abilities, it makes their powers that much more of a big deal, mainly because they're not using it all the time. So, when they do or are about to use their power its like "Oh OH! It's-about-to go-DOWN!"

    If I could have a special power, I'd like to create portals, like from the game "Portals"? Do you know how deadly I'd be? Man, listen, lol!

  6. lol, thanks, I'm glad ya'll liked the post. For me when a character has limitations on their abilities, it makes their powers that much more of a big deal, mainly because they're not using it all the time. So, when they do or are about to use their power its like “Oh OH! It's-about-to go-DOWN!”

    If I could have a special power, I'd like to create portals, like from the game “Portals”? Do you know how deadly I'd be? Man, listen, lol!

  7. We'd be a kick a** team. Move over X-Men! If I could have super powers I'd want to be a Jedi and be ace with a sword and a couple of sais like Elektra. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_%28weapon%29 AND I'd be in wicked shape cuz I'm a super hero so I could wear a tight super hero suit. It would be awesome! 😀

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