View Full Version : Talents in Fantasy
October 9th, 2006, 02:43 PM
I'm currently trying to write an afterlife story, and don't want to use traditional fantasy for magic. I'm thinking of using Talents, but I can't seem to remember if anyone has done so before.
Can you think of anyone?
October 9th, 2006, 05:30 PM
Can you be more precise in what you mean by "talents?"
October 9th, 2006, 05:35 PM
I mean that the supernatural abilities of the characters will be referred to as Talents. "He channeled his Talent and exterminated the giant rat," etc.
I want to know if I've subconsciously stolen this from another series, or if it seems to be mostly original.
October 9th, 2006, 05:38 PM
I want to say that sounds familiar, but don't take my word as gospel.
Thought about just making up a nifty word to describe the phenomenon? Might not be something you'd wanna do, but I'd sure have fun coming up with a neologism for it.
October 9th, 2006, 05:58 PM
Powers, magic, talent, all synonyms. Doesn't matter what you call them. I believe I have seen talent before, but I cannot think of where (So I guess that doesn't count). It's a decent idea, but like I said above, if you wanna be more original think of a different concept instead of just renaming it.
October 9th, 2006, 07:15 PM
I think your best bet would be to create your own word. This way you will have little worries of it sounding just like someone else's idea.
October 9th, 2006, 07:29 PM
Look at role-playing games for terminology:
Talents: Usually someone is predisposed to do something (associated with stat boosts, or skill bonuses)
Skills: Learned Useful behaviour
So diligent, untalented people may eventually outperform lazy, talented people. If you're saying things like, "He channelled his Talent and exterminated the giant rat," I'd expect you *need* a talent to work magic, i.e. that the ability to work magic is inborn (or possibly granted by gods/elementals/etc.) It may not mean that people without said talents can never work magic, but it might mean that they can never, no matter how much work they put into it, outperform people with talent. (A legless ballet dancer may not be impossible, but it's... unlikely that s/he'll ever outperform a ballet dancer with two functional legs, to be blunt and overly obvious.)
Another point: You can use "talent", no matter who used it before you. To be safe, don't capitalise it, and perhaps use the plural, and have another word that no-one ever uses in everyday speech, but that's in all the books on the subject. So: "He channeled his talent(s) and..." would read pretty natural, an unobtrusive speech convention.
Does that make sense?
October 9th, 2006, 08:33 PM
Oh, on that note, talent can be used for so many other things. For instance, talent may also refer to ability to perform "natural" things such as lieng (eg, He was a talented liar). Also talent really isn't a verb, so there isn't much of an option as to what you can use it for. For instance, Robert Jordan uses the phrase channel. That one works, because it can be converted into all forms such as an adj, and a verb. (He is a channeler/can channel, he channeled at me, and I ducked.) if you use talent, you cannot say he talented at you. Then again, you could be wise and say he lashed out with his talent. Now I'm just going in circles, sorry for wasting your time.
October 9th, 2006, 08:58 PM
I was hoping to have to avoid making up my own word, mostly because I'm generally rather pathetic at making up names, words, etc.
But still, if I can think of something nice then it seems a good deal of you seem to think that that new word would be better.
October 9th, 2006, 09:03 PM
post the rules of magic you are going to use, and then maybe I can help you think of a decent word (All magic needs rules, otherwise it becomes riddiculous. If you don't have a set of rules, I sugest you make them)
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