In my writing, a goddess is removed from her position as a god and reduced to a human. (See my previous question) At the moment of the loss of power huge amounts of energy would be released into the aether, creating a large, magical, overload.

The goddess is a god of creation, magic and protection. She is a good, loving and caring person, with huge power. She would not allow her power to destroy anything and would not want any "collateral damage."

How can I realistically portray the power leaving a goddess into the aether, and show its magnitude, without it causing damage to the surroundings?


The energy release is huge - a world changing event - and the energy is spread to the rest of the universe, meaning that the power is still there but the intent and manipulation of the goddess is not their

  • I don't think we answer questions about what to write. It might be on topic at worldbuilding.se, but I don't hang out there much so I'm not sure... May 21, 2020 at 20:44
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    The first step would be to determine what senses the power would register on, and how. Light, darkness, a deafening sound, or a sudden absence of sound? (Not to rule out any of the other senses.) Do you want to write about an increase in something or a decrease in something, an explosion or a vacuum? (Or, as in Star Wars, simply a feeling of disturbance from light years away​?) Once you determine what happens, then you can describe how it happens, how she controls it, and how other people react to it. May 21, 2020 at 21:04
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    Since it is a completely made up situation, there are no possible realistic answers, just opinions about what you should write. Worldbuilding might steer you towards some pseudo-formula of released energy, but this is writing so any answers here are about context, narrative tone, and what it's all suppose to mean. We're not here to give you pyrotechnic ideas about your own story, that's your job.
    – wetcircuit
    May 21, 2020 at 21:26
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    I think it would be better to work out a question that helps you here, but that can also be more general so it helps other fantasy writers in the future… This isn't a plot or character problem, this is 'pitch me your best idea', like we're employees at your advertising agency. We're all creative-types, but there's a big difference between 'How can I achieve this certain effect...' and 'throw ideas at me like bonbons while I sit back and judge the one that arbitrarily impresses me…" Those green checkmarks aren't paying anyone's rent.
    – wetcircuit
    May 21, 2020 at 22:36
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    If you asked this on Worldbuilding, you'd need to work out some things in advance: the basis of her 'energy', how it was stored, where it is stored, how she controls it, how this whole god-thing works, if it's restored later where did it go in the interim… etc etc etc. Then they would help you work out some pseudo-science pretext why there was 'realistic' lightning and noises… Writing is about the emotional impact of our craft, plot and character, etc etc. We can say it was 'a big bang, but more rainbows' – it's pretty arbitrary as far as your story goes whether the smoke was pink or red.
    – wetcircuit
    May 21, 2020 at 22:44

3 Answers 3


It depends. Answer these questions first:

  1. What kind of energy is it?

  2. How is it released?

  3. Does the energy go somewhere, or does it just vanish?

  4. How big is the energy release, if there is one?

  5. What else should you know about the energy and the release of the energy?

Now that you've answered these questions, it's time to analyze them.

  1. Depending on the energy, it will do different things. Take a list of the kind of energies (magic) that are in your world, and what they possibly could do. What do they do normally? What do they do when uncontrolled? What do they do when released?

  2. How is it released? Is it just taken away? Is it released upon the world? Does it shrivel inside her? Etc.

  3. Where does the energy go? It's about the same as question 2, but it focus on what happens to the said energy.

  4. How big is the said energy release? Is it small? Is it big? Is it vicious? Is it dangerous? Is it calm? Etc.

  5. Think about the energy release and what else comes to mind.

Once you have these, you should know.


@acid-kritana raises some good questions but those not withstanding, one suggestion I would make is that to show the destructive power, have the power destroy.

Show its destructive nature - how it destroys and burns and razes things to the ground but then, since the goddess, as you say is a caring and loving person, she "reins it in", her love battling the destructive nature of the power and controlling it, pulling it inwards in a kind of implosion at the end of which the power escapes into the aether. While at the same time her love heals the destruction in a final act of her intentional use of the power.

Hope this helps.


All of the advice given already is really good, definitely think about that. My suggestion relates more to the actual narrative description. Often times the most powerful way to "describe" something in writing is to give as little description as possible.

William Golding uses this several times in Lord of the Flies to make deep emotional impact on the reader. For example, when Simon dies, the only description we have of his actual death comes in one line, "Even in the rain they could see how small a beast it was; and already its blood was staining the sand." There's a lot of description leading up to this, but once he gets to the punchline, Golding gives only a bit of descriptive narration.

It seems to me the power of this is in forcing the reader to draw a conclusion on their own. It has to be used carefully, because you don't want to confuse people, but implication can be a very powerful tool when used right.

Obviously this isn't the only way or even necessarily the best way to write your narrative, but I think it's something worth considering.

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