Limyaael (limyaael) wrote,

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On possession, mind control, and hypnosis

Tags: fantasy rants: spring 2007, world-building: magic
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Here's a question: Did you ever write a rant about amnesiacs?
I could have sworn she mentioned it ages ago...
Like this one?
Yeah. That's it.

I have an amnesiac narrator in my unfinished story. Originally, it was total amnesia, but now, it's just partial. That change is in part due to me seeing total amnesia as contrived, and in part to give the narrator closer ties with another character.

It relates to this rant, yes.
I think the best use of mind control is the influence of thoughts. If you can influence somebody to murder someone, then when they get caught, they're the ones who committed the crime, they believe they wanted to. They know they did. And the mind controller is off scotch-free.
It occurs to me that one of the best implementations of the "imaginative" power struggle I've ever seen didn't come in a mind control scenario. It was Dream's, ah, debate with a demon while in Hell, in Gaiman's Sandman.

Just a random thought.
I love the imagination battle- but why is it always the 'clever' people who are resistant to psychics?

Here's the concept: You can't bring anything with you when you invade someone's mind- no implanting of memories wholesale. You have to jump in, completely blind, and find something in your victim's psyche that can be made into a weapon, before his inner self boots you out of his mindscape.

So, Xelric the Misbegot has spent years honing his mind into an infinite library/crypt/clean room. Every thought, every memory, every emotion is kept in a locked, unlabeled vault- except for a display rack with eactly one sword, that he never wanders out of arm's reach of. There's no way for an invader to get a foothold- unless they were powerful enough to throw the walls around, and that's simply inconceivable.

Zack the Wild has a mind that's completely undisciplined- A thick, dense, old growth forest. It'd be a simple matter for Xelric to push over a tree and crush him, take command of one of the wolves and order it to rip out Zack's throat- but first he has to find him, and he's currently knee deep in thorny memories of ex-girlfriends.

Xelric jumps into Bob's mind, and it's an infinite field of dry dust, that Bob is enthusiastically plowing off in the distance. Xelric looks around, and sure enough, the only things at hand are Bob, Bob's hat, the contents of Bob's pockets, and dirt. Xelric gestures, clenches his fingers, and the earth buckles- a towering fist of soil spreads its fingers, leans over to flatten the farmer- and promptly falls apart under its own weight. Bob walks over and hits the man with his hoe.
This was quite a wonderful read since I was brain-storming lately on making a story about a psionic people, and I kept running into ruts when trying to handle their powers. Points 3 and 4 are particularly helpful, and the idea of an imagination battle was pure joy. Oh, and I enjoyed this:
It would be fun to see someone who wasn’t just a Machiavellian mastermind, say a religious hermit who wanted his privacy to meditate on God and used his gift to drive fear into the hearts of those damn kids who kept trying to sneak up into the hills in search of adventure.

Now there's an everyday use for your powers!

By the way, mind if I friend you? I've always enjoyed reading your rants even before I joined up on LJ, and, I gotta say, they're really refreshing. Not to mention inspiring. I always want to go off and write something new everytime I read them.
I also friended you.
"I love the imagination battle- but why is it always the 'clever' people who are resistant to psychics? "

Yes, i have always thought the same... It would be a change to see DUMB people more resistant to psychics, they can't concentrate much, it would make sense.

Then we could have a class of retarded knights to fight the evil psychics! XD
That reminds me of a Futurama episode.
Are you familiar with the YA series Animorphs? Because despite the series' many failings, its portrayal of possesion (by a parasitic alien race that lived inside the brains of host bodies) was quite chilling -- the possessed person could think freely, the parasite and the host could communicate (through 'thinking' sentences at eachother) and when the host was released, for the parasite to feed, and chill with his buddies in their natural state, they were weaker and had more dull motor skills the longer they had been posessed -- after giving up on the struggle to control their own bodies, they got out of the habit of moving their own limbs, eyes and mouth.

A scene where one of the protagonists sees a respected older character (usually controlled by a high-ranking parasite) slump to the ground and slur as he begged for his and his family's life... is prominent in my drawer full of nightmare fuel.
This is a wonderful rant, and it really opened my eyes to just how little I'd thought about the mind control in my story. Thanks so much for that. I still have yet to make it through all your rants, but they're awesome and informative.
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