This post originated and grew from an online conversation I had with one of my European fans, Jay Wong.
This post continues from Interview Part 1: How I Developed My Superpowers for Guardians.
Usually super heroes get one or a small set of super powers. You’ve created super humans with what seems like a large number of super powers. Why?
Good question. Simply put, it’s something I’ve always wanted to see but never did. I wanted to create characters that had the best powers of all the comic-book superheroes and villains and create a logicality for them to harness and use those powers.
I think the idea formed years ago when I first saw character of Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was from a bored race of omnipotent beings known as Q and he had a plethora of powers available to him but the story-telling focused on the intelligent use of those powers and not the crude use everything and destroy everything approach. That inspired me to imbue my super-powered people with more power than they knew what to do with, but they have to pick and choose which power they use as each situation unfolds because that makes the storytelling more fun and believable.
Could they use everything at once?
I’m not sure it would physically be possible since the story is set with real-world physics. I think using all of their powers at once would rip them apart (and thus prevent fun and effective storytelling.)
Will you share you superpower charts with us?
Yes, once Book Five, Balance of Power, releases. It will be released as a Behind the Scenes post with that book.
Fine. Can you describe the power structure or hierarchy you created?
Absolutely. I organized the powers into four categories: superhuman, defense, manipulations, and offense. Each power has a name and a brief description. Next, I created three states: uncontrolled, controlled, and involuntary.
- Uncontrolled powers include those that you find predominantly in Books 1 and 2, such as when a power originally manifests without intention. For instance, Quinn discovering he can manipulate water, or Blake super-heating when he gets pissed at Darien, or their initial experiences with invisibility.
- Controlled powers include those the user can switch on and off such as flight or elemental manipulation.
- Involuntary powers include the powers the user has no control over. Since the stories is told from the awareness and perspective of the characters and not a third-person omniscient narrator, the boys aren’t necessarily aware these abilities exist. Neither does the reader, unless they’re picking up on the subtle clues I’ve left.
Lastly, the powers exist within three levels; Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.
Interesting. Can you give us an example of one power and its three levels?
Sure thing. Let’s look at Flight.
- Description: The ability to defy gravity and move through the atmosphere, water, and even space itself.
- Level 1: Levitation or Floating
- Level 2: Can move self (or self with medium sized objects) through very low altitude atmosphere
- Level 3: True Flight with self or limited others and/or objects. Limitation on flying speed is “force of the will.”
As you read novels, it’s easy to see Quinn’s power of flight starts at Level 3. (On the original emotional chart, flight was linked to amazement, surprise, and astonishment). Blake, however is unaware of his Level 1 ability, thought he has a briefly moment in Accidental Awakening when he endos over the handlebars of his bicycle.
Ha, that’s mountain bike slang. It’s when a rider crashes his/her mountain bike in such a manner that the rear tire goes over the front one during the course of the crash.
It seems you gave Quinn stronger powers and made Blake work to develop his. Is that a fair statement?
Totally. Quinn is emotionally mature for his age, while Blake is wracked with pain and hurt that stunted his emotional development. In his frustration, he develops a few specific powers that he masters while sliding further into Victor’s grasp, a trick that causes some delayed development. The powers will still come.
Last question. Unlike Blake, Quinn doesn’t seem to have a weakness the authorities can exploit. He seems to learn and overcome weapons—like the TaseBolts—or powers Blake uses against him. Does Quinn have a kryptonite?
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