So I had this experience a while ago but I wasn’t sure if I should post it. I decided to anyway.
My son has really been into asking what if questions. It’s a little bit ridiculous how often he brings up “what if” questions. It can be the most random things as well. I try to explain to him that we don’t always need to ask what if, or we could go down that road with the most outlandish things. This time, however, I’m glad he asked me.
“Dad, what if I was gone for like a minute, but it was actually an hour?”
No, I have no idea where the question came from, what he meant by it, or what my answer should have been. But his question got me thinking about the ability of super speed/time control, at the end of the day they are essentially the same thing.
Right? Like the Flash moves so fast, everything else seems slow. That’s not much different than someone who slows down everything else.
(Yes I do know that there are differences in the actually application of each power, but for the point I’m about to make, they are the same.)
My wife and I have started watching the TV series Heroes (yes I know it’s quite an old TV show). In it there is a character who has the ability to affect time. He simply focuses his mind and boom, everything freezes in place. He then goes around, la dee da, changes things, moves things, etc. When everything is just how he wants it he focuses once again and boom, everything goes back to normal speed.
The Flash and other speedsters do the same thing. They often zip in, change a few things, then zip back out and watch it all unfold. Quicksilver in X-Men did this in almost every one of his scenes.
There is a GLARING problem with this ability and let me tell you what it is.
Have you ever opened a door really fast? Or used a hand fan? They create a draft and blow wind.
If you were super fast or slowed time and proceeded to open a door, for the sake of a visual, a glass door. When that door moved it would displace a ton of air. When everything returns to normal speed one of two things would happen. Option one, and the most realistic, the glass shatters and explodes all over everything. Option two, the glass somehow doesn’t break but creates a wall of wind that knocks over everything halfway across the room.
Not to mention the vacuum it would create in it’s wake.
It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. When it comes to abilities and magic systems, they really need to have just enough believability. And by believable, that means in your world. There have to be valid reasons things happen.
They don’t need to be rooted in hard scientific fact. That’s what makes them magical. That’s what people who read fantasy want to read. But make sure that you have thought out your magic system.
Every now and again I’ll share other musings I’ve had regarding magic and super powers.
Subscribe to The Wylie Writer to get notified of new blog posts, writing resources, and book recommendation.