My sister is writing a book which incorporates elemental "magic" or control. Each person can use one of the four elements. We want to ensure that elemental control in everyday life seems natural and is used properly. Using elements is like using your hands, just part of you. Not everyone is a warrior or something super special, so thinking of a normal person living a normal life, except with control over one element. So what are examples of things someone can do with their element to aid in everyday life?

Elements are air, water, fire, earth (geode based not nature/plant based).

Edit for background: 1. This is not earth but a similar world in terms of planetary development. 2. The society is developed like earths modern world, but everyone has a power over a single element. Basically think of earth as it is, but everyone has power over an element.

  • what kind of world are they in? Modern? Medieval? Fantasy? Are your protagonists the only people with such powers? or everyone in your universe has 1 of the 4 powers? – dolphin_of_france Oct 29 '19 at 17:14
  • This world is similar to earth in terms of how developed it is, but the people have these powers. So I would say mostly modern with fantasy aspects. Everyone has 1 of four powers in this world, some stronger or more skilled than others. – WitchCuddles Oct 29 '19 at 17:42
  • 6
    Welcome to Writing.SE! I'm afraid this is off-topic here because it's asking for world-building advice, not writing advice. I'd advise you to try WorldBuilding.SE instead, but it would probably be closed there too as "too broad", as it's currently an open-ended list question with no objective criteria by which to judge the answers, and those sorts of questions aren't really suited to the Stack Exchange Q&A format. – F1Krazy Oct 29 '19 at 17:54

If everyone had one of these powers, you would imagine human development to have taken a very different path.

Example: The Air people would have mastered flight before written history began. The Fire people would definitely have been cooking from the beginning. They would have fire hardened spears right from the get go as well.

The Water guys would have discovered the ability to make igloo anywhere, taking care of shelter. The earth guys (I never understood what earth power is) would probably have a similar fast shelter building ability. They probably could fashion giant fortresses of stones long before humans (without powers) could build the pyramids.

You would imagine they would cooperate, Fire and Earth could forge steel. Stone, porcelain and ceramics would probably be the dominant building materials.

Hunter gathering would be pretty trivial, when humans can fly and drop sharpen iron spikes from height great enough to kill even the biggest beast in but moments.

Wars would have been fought in a 3 dimensional way since the beginning of time. Forts of giant stones would probably be needed to protect oneself from the enemy's fire troops and Air troops.

And instead of a fossil fuel based world, this world would probably be far more steam punk. Electricity might still be nice to have. Even if you have fire guys, you can use heat to power engines to generate electricity. And you can't get to the modern age without electricity.

But still heavy machines powered by heat and steam would make a lot of sense.

Entire ice cities can float in the vast oceans.

you can go totally crazy with this concept.

PS. you might want to introduce some limit to your elemental powers. Otherwise it would be chaos.

  • 2
    Please don't answer off-topic questions; it encourages people to ask more of them. – F1Krazy Oct 29 '19 at 22:07
  • I am not convinced it is off topic. It is really a question of how to construct a fantasy world. There are some basic questions one needs to ask as a writer. One can't just say, ok a bunch of people have these fantastic powers and somehow that doesn't change the world we actually live in. In that regard, I have never really liked Harry Potter's universe.. How the muggles even stand a chance against the magical people and creatures is never even explained let alone addressed. That's kind of lazy on JKR's part. – dolphin_of_france Oct 30 '19 at 14:32
  • "I am not convinced it is off topic. It is really a question of how to construct a fantasy world." And those questions are off-topic here. As I told OP in the comments, those questions are for WorldBuilding.SE, not here. – F1Krazy Oct 30 '19 at 15:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.