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I am in the process of writing a book with many of the characters discovering that they have supernatural powers.

I am trying very hard to find 'original' powers that have not yet been created and explored, however a lot of my ideas (which I thought were my own!) have already been explored in other works.

How can I write my book and have it published if the characters have powers which are similar to those in other books out there.

I am not copying anyone and want to put my own spin on this.

Shall I waste anymore time with this idea, or will I be sued for copying people?

Please help!

Thank you :)

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    Do you have some examples? But in most case you don't have to worry, things like super strength, telekinesis, laser eyes are just general things :) It could only become a problem if it's an exact copy. Like if your character is an alien refugee who came here as a baby and has frost breath, laser eyes, flight and super strength while being weak to a rock/magic xD – A.bakker Feb 14 at 6:51
  • Hey A.bakker! Thanks so much for your reply. Yes a couple of ideas have been: to be in 2 places at once, slowing down time, super strength, speed and the ability to fly! To be able to live a whole new life through dreams, to control the elements, bringing people back to life! I know the most of these are not original! But I really want to get this book done and for it to be amazing and supernatural, I just don't want it to be predictabe and boring and a lot of what's already been done before so I'm stuck! :) Thank for your help I really appreciate it! – Tricia Feb 14 at 10:28
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    That isn't subject to copy right law as far as i know :) Otherwise Marvel and DC would be suing each other silly. I would also suggest checking out "worldbuilding.stackexchange.com" superheroes aren't an uncommon topic there :) – A.bakker Feb 14 at 10:33
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    Thank you I will definitely check that website out! And thanks :) I guess you're right I didn't think of that about Marvel and DC. Keep an eye out for my book in the future haha finger crossed! – Tricia Feb 14 at 11:17
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    Hey I've got characters who can control the elements too! Nice. I guess repetition can't be avoided (although you have way more powers than I do) – Tasch Feb 15 at 0:20
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You really can't avoid having the same magical powers as other people you aren't copying the characters from the millions of anime, movies, or comic books that have fire, sonic scream, or lighting as a super power otherwise all groups would be suing one another for that basic concept. It's how your characters use these powers, what situations you write for them to use these powers, and how they define the character that is were you will be different from anything made with whatever power you're looking at.

There is a reason why most writers choose simple powers instead of reinventing the wheel it's much faster to get into the story when you can pull an element or desired trait (like mental computer hacking) into the world and start the story rather then have to stop and take the time out to explain how characters eating bullets can allow them to alloy bend (similar to a book series that allows their mages to consume metals and based on a ton of minor details = they can do X amount of metal magic at X amount of damage) you can do the later but you want the easier route so the story not the powers is the core focus light magic systems are fine to use not everyone needs heavy or ungodly complex.

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  • Hey Mio! Thank you for your message, this is super helpful and has given me a lot to think about, and I agree that the characters and the storyline should be the sole focus and not the powers. Thank you for your contribution! :) – Tricia Feb 15 at 3:28
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Remember, you are creating a character, not a faceless vessel for super powers.

There are multiple examples of similar superpowers in different universes. Even in the same universe we can have this example (like multiple Flashes, TV Trope warning). Compare Hulk and Abomination, for example - they have essentially the same power, but as characters, they are on the opposite sides of spectrum. All characters coming from Krypton are having similar superpowers - so what?

I can see a potential problem with plagiarism here. Or, even if you are careful about copyright, readers may say "Oh well, this is just another *** character." This is where your talent as a writer should help you. Rather than creating a carbon copy of a well-known character, you should do your best to create someone unique, someone who is not defined by the powers that he or she uses.

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  • Hey Alexander! I completely agree, thanks for replying, this is really helpful and will aid me in developing the characters and the storyline in a way that is unique to them and as Mio said focuses on the story and characters and not solely the powers they possess. I appreciate the insight! :) – Tricia Feb 15 at 3:26

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