I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to plot development. Most of the books I like to read involve characters with unusual gifts who are tasked with saving the human race. I always find myself asking, “Why?”
Suppose that you’re an all-powerful being with no need for human creature comforts or the ability to attain them without effort, what would you do? Let’s say for instance that you won 200 million dollars in a lottery. You’re set for life. No need to work and any whim you have can be easily attained. Would you set out to save the world? Maybe. Would I? Nope. See, here’s the thing. I don’t really like people very much. I understand that at our essence, we’re just animals. Animals need food, shelter and mates and they spend their lives fighting to attain those things. Everytime I read the news it’s murder, rape, theft and general mayhem. Humans are overpopulating the planet and the heightened aggression over scant resources is only going to get worse.
No, if I woke up one day with super powers I’d neither save nor destroy the human race. I’d sit back and watch as mankind destroyed itself, contending that as I was no longer human, their problems really didn’t apply to me. So what conflict does my fictional character have? She needs a cause, a reason to want to use her gifts to protect mankind, not hole up in a hermit shack and spend her days watching the decline of humanity. Then I read the news, get cut off in traffic, go to Walmart and think, “No, totally not worth saving.”