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Magic-Induced Problematic Behavior

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Amanita, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

    Hello everyone,

    I’d like to know your opinions about a potentially controversial part of my story.

    The situation unfolds as follows: One of my two female main characters attends an event where a terrorist attack happens. (Fire with locked doors save for one way out where there a toxic fumes.)
    She’s a mage and trained to deal with these kinds of situations. The male character in charge of the event has powerful magic himself but no such training. They don’t really like each other and there’s a back story between them, the male character isn’t aware of that however.
    Therefore she decides that the quickest way to make him understand what needs to happen and save the other people attending is to form a magical connection with him. She’s aware of the fact that this is extremely dangerous in their situation but sees no other alternative.
    In short, she succeeds and they’re getting the other guests out relatively safely. Afterwards, there are plenty of talks to be made, and later she attends a meeting of this country’s magic users to discuss the situation that led to this and be thanked for her help.
    After the meeting it’s too late for her to take the train home and she has to spend another night there, the male character offers that she can stay with him.
    The magical connection between them still exists, when they’re reaching his house, they’re making dinner together because they need to eat after such a straining magic use. Having finished eating, they don’t feel like sleeping and he plays some magic from her home country to her, she’s surprised by the fact that he owns something like that. They’re dancing for a while and later end up in bed together to put it shortly.
    When she wakes up the next morning, the magic has gone and she’s shocked by the fact that she’s waking up by his side.
    She’s leaving in a hurry and regrets what she’s done.
    Later in the story, both characters are part of the group going on a quest and the male character believes that there will be more between them but she actively dislikes him under normal circumstances. The main male character is interested in her as well and before this has happened, but she only learns about this later. This causes quite an amount of conflict within the group.

    I’d like to put this in a source of trouble for the characters, but also because I think it’s a good way to show the immense power magic can have over people’s minds. Even a well-trained woman like her can end up doing something which she wouldn’t have done under normal circumstances which shows that this may happen to other characters as well.

    Would this scene put you off, or would you understand it in the context I’ve described? And what do you think about the general idea that elemental attraction leads to sexual or romantic attraction? I know I shouldn’t overdo this but I’m quite fond of the concept for some circumstances.
  2. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    I'm sorry, maybe I missed something, but what exactly is controversial here?
  3. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

    Well, the fact she's having sex with someone she doesn't love or even care about. This kind of thing is happening in plenty of stories but usually, it's males who do it. I think making such a difference about this is hypocritical, but I don't know if other people might be offended.
  4. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    Personally, the act is going to irritate me regardless of the gender of the person who does it. But for your purposes it depends on your audience. Female readers might relate to this as a power fantasy or otherwise condone her behavior... or they could end up detesting her. Male readers might like a woman who subverts the female commitment tropes... or they might identify with the poor fellow she brainwashed.

    Also, for better or worse, how attractive your character is plays a role. If she's described as a bombshell, male readers may be inclined to overlook the issue, because titillation. If she's rather plain, they may be more inclined to react negatively. Curiously, the opposite will likely be true for women. Female readers might identify with a rather plain girl who's sexually independent (power fantasy/self-insert), while an attractive character might trigger jealousy or be judged more harshly.

    It could go either way. Weigh the factors involved and make a judgment call.
  5. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

    I think it's a great thing for you to try and break out of the stereotype mould and go beyond something that's expected, something that breaks established roles, views and what is seen as typical behaviour. Besides, in life, people make mistakes, and bad decisions... so really, it's not that far removed from reality.

    If it works well with your story, then use it.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  6. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    I think it's always good when magic is seen to have consequences, and if the consequences are unexpected - even better! It all seems very plausible to me.
  7. shangrila

    shangrila Inkling

    I've seen it done both ways, so I wouldn't say it's a male only thing.

    That said, it's not like you haven't given her a reason. She didn't have sex with him on some random whim, she was connected to him magically. Now, I don't know how your magic works, but I can assume it's something personal. A connection like that is more than enough for them to make love, in my opinion.
  8. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    I don't have a problem with it particularly, except maybe how it ties in to the rest of the story. I did something similar with a wizard of mine, when after a huge battle where he had blasted magic at a spider like never before he was completely drunk on the magic and groped his love interest.

    Cheers, Greg.

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