There was a challenge I didn’t expect in War of Nytefall: Anarchy. The villain’s plan involved a lot of subterfuge and traps. This isn’t surprising considering you’re dealing with an army hell bent on destroying the Dawn Fangs. It shouldn’t have been too hard except for one problem:
Nytefall has Lost and her telepathy.
Originally, Lost’s powers weren’t supposed to be this strong. In the notebook, it was simply a mind jacking ability. She could take over someone’s body and have them do whatever she wants. Yet, this also allowed her to read their thoughts and alter their memory, so they didn’t know what happened. I realized that this is basically telepathy without calling it so. Not sure which book I gave up trying to make it seem like it was something else, but it happened. This helped to show how the powers of a Dawn Fang can evolve with practice too. Well, that’s the story I’m going with since I do it with other characters.
Of course, I didn’t realize Lost became a massive obstacle to get Anarchy off the ground and not destroyed immediately. As I said, the paladin army and those attacking temple members weren’t going to get far once she scanned their brains. She had become too powerful for this specific story, so I needed to figure things out. I know other authors would kill the troublesome character, but Lost plays a major role in the finale. Didn’t make sense to make one story work by crippling another.
Something that I remembered with telepathy and psychic powers in general is that they work a lot off emotional stability. If a telepath is stressed or gone through trauma then they might lose some of their power. It isn’t gone for good, but they have to work through the problem to regain their strength. Keep wanting to say it’s like a car needing a tune-up, but you’re still on a road trip. That analogy is kind of clunky though. It’s really just a person with mental health issues, which are getting in the way of their abilities. This just happens to involve the ability to read and alter minds.
With Lost being so happy-go-lucky, I found it hard to give her a reason to fall. I gave myself a little time before I had her reveal the reason for the block. Mostly because I didn’t have a clear idea until I had written her for a bit. Turns out that Alastyre coming so close to destroying everything she loves created the block. It isn’t connected directly to her powers, but I only needed some trauma. This means she isn’t at her best, so the villains have a better chance at success in their plans gaining ground. Being aware of her doubts also means she isn’t straining herself, so distance becomes an issue too.
This does come off a small plot point, but it has a big impact. It also gives Lost a minor path to follow on her own. It’s been a while since she’s been more than a sidekick to other characters, so she deserves a little extra attention here. This way she will be at her best for the finale too.