Friday, February 25th, 2011

Writing Prompt: What’s Your Super Power?

Kelly A. Harmon as the Super Hero 'Awesome Sauce'!
Me, as my alter-ego teleporting self.

I’ve done a few interviews in the last year where the interviewer asked me: “If you could have one super power, what would it be?”

That’s not something I ever gave much thought to. I’m always dreaming about my characters…not about me. So when I was asked, I had to give it a lot of thought:

Did I want a super power which was a lot of fun (like being able to fly) or one that could help people (like being able to heal instantly)?

If I were given a super power, did I have to use it for good? (Which doesn’t mean necessarily that I would use it for evil…) Did I even want to “use” it all? Maybe I could have a power so strong that it manifested randomly, sort of like luck.

What if I lived in a world where anyone “diagnosed” with having a super power, had to use it for the good of mankind, even if it meant that they couldn’t do what they wanted to do in life? What if in that same world I could be genetically enhanced to obtain a super power instead of being born with one….would I do it?

And would I do it still if it meant that having a power resulted in the loss of something else (like my sight or ability to hear)?

It’s a tough decision.

If given the opportunity, I want the power of teleportation: the ability to think myself anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye. No driving cross country if I need to get anywhere, no worrying about flights – or even accommodations: can you imagine vacationing in Italy, but spending every night in your own bed?

What would you choose, if you could have any power you wanted?

Here’s Your Prompt:

1. Choose a super power for yourself. (If you’re feeling feisty, head on over to Marvel Comics and use their Super Hero Generator and create an identity for yourself. Beware! You can waste a lot of time there!)

2. Write the rules for your super power: if you can teleport, can you take others with you when you go? If you’re invisible, can you still see? What’s the logic behind these rules?

3. What are the political and social ramifications in your world? Are you required to use your power for good? Do you have to give only a few years of your life, or all of it, in service to mankind? Are people with super powers shunned? Are they praised and emulated?

4. Finally, write the story of how you obtained your super power. Were you born with it, or were you mutated by something in the drinking water? Were you genetically enhanced? By choice? If so, why? What did it cost financially? What did it cost you socially? If not by choice, how did it happen? Were you kidnapped? Were you in the armed forces and it was required of you?

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