How to reveal powers that the main character knows they have?

by Katie
(Cumming, GA, USA)

Question: My character has superpowers, and she was in a group of heroes so they know, but nobody else knows. How do I reveal these powers to the new group that recruits her? It's like, she gets in an argument with another member of the old group who was also recruited, and I have her hair burst into flame, (because she can control fire) but it doesn't feel right.

Response: I'm going to nitpick a little here...

Why is a group recruiting her and her old teammate if the group doesn't know they have superpowers? If the group is recruiting these two, isn't it because they know the two have superpowers? And if the group knows these two have superpowers, it's likely they know what those powers are and have a use for them.

Also, if she can control fire, but can't control her power... doesn't that mean she can't control fire? In other words, she can generate fire and is immune to fire, but seems to lack control.

At any rate, it seems unlikely that your character was ever going to keep her powers concealed for long anyway. So why the effort to conceal them?

Now, it might make sense of the leader of this group knows about your character's powers but concealed this information from the rest of the group with the intention of revealing it only once everyone is committed to whatever purpose the group has. That might explain why she was recruited.

On the other hand, if she is being recruited into a group of people who don't have superpowers, then I have to wonder what kind of group this is and why they are recruiting people (you may know this already).

You need to answer all the questions that might arise in the minds of your readers in order to make the story plausible. Try to eliminate as many contradictions, gaps, or gray areas as you can, as these will undermine the story's plausibility. You should have answers even to questions that may not need to be provided in the story.

It could be that the reason you aren't happy with the scene at the moment is because you haven't answered all the questions, so there is a little bit of implausibility that is nagging at you. And if it bothers you, it might bother readers too.

Try to figure out what that bit of implausibility is and resolve it. That might tell you how to make the scene unfold in a better way.

Best of luck.

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