Over the past couple weeks I’ve been brainstorming how each of the different factions in my story might be using their abilities. If a society is capable of using Water in whatever way they’d like, how might that differ from a society that can terraform or grow plantlike in whatever way they want?
It didn’t really hit me until I realized that if these two groups tried using the other’s ability in a similar way, each element would react differently. Water is not as heavy as dirt can be, so what would happen if someone that can terraform attempted to do so on water? What if someone tried to “flow” dirt? The force required for each wouldn’t match, and one might create mist by pushing too hard on water, while the other might hardly affect the dirt, in trying to flow as water might.
If a society has built their architecture and other technologies around a forceful use of terraforming, they are unlikely to value the delicacy that goes into slower, subtler motions of a society built around water. The stoicism found in forests and tranquility in rare uses of explosive strength, would not relate well to the impulsive nature of a society that uses flame and glass structures in the desert. The exertion required to build stars on a whim would require far more rest in between than might those who just control the way the wind moves, which would require far less density to be generated/transferred. The weight of a small star vs. the weight of water, flame, ore, would require a far more advanced control. These are simpler observations, but they are heavily influential on how these different societies pan out. What does it look like for technology to develop in a world where Steam and Water propulsion are the most efficient method of power? What about a world where plant life and earth can be sculpted and grown on whim, but other things like Water and Fire are not? Would any of these different cultures be more prone to reserved use of their power? Which?
All of that has to be considered, because these aren’t simple cultures that exist in similar worlds, they’re heavily shaped by their Element. What does this mean for the Conductor? How and why do they continue to use their power? This helps me brainstorm.