Nov 22 2008

Is Your Hero a Chosen One?

A Chosen One is a hero that is passively chosen for greatness, like Eragon.  Readers typically prefer characters that make their own destiny.  This quiz will help you diagnose and fix the problem.

Is Your Hero a Chosen One? » Fun Trivia Maker

51 responses so far

51 Responses to “Is Your Hero a Chosen One?”

  1. Kuroon 30 Jul 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I have a character who is born from a high-ranking family, but in his case, this is a disadvantage for him, as it causes him to have pretty much no friends until he proves himself to others, and is kinda sheltered, so when he comes to his rank, he’s pretty darn clueless, and that leads him to some difficult problems where his rank won’t let him have any easy way out. In this situation, does the fact that he’s high-born make him that much of a Chosen One? It’s rather hard to make him from any other sort of family without screwing up the plot too much.

  2. CarsonArtiston 30 Jul 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I assume this is in regard to the questions in the quiz….

    I think that there are exceptions to every rule so being a chosen one isnt always 100% bad. Yes it can be cliche’ but if its done correctly, it should be fine.

    I have 2″chosen one” style characters in my story and here is why…One of my non-chosen one characters can see the probability of actions and consequences in the future. He can calculate what will happen if one does A and B and C in sequence. He also can tell what people will become special if nudged into certain circumstances. Therefore anyone he finds who could become “super” is essentially a “Chosen One”

    I think that your royal lineage is fine as long as you keep it in context of the story. There are other royals and upper class in your story which says to me that your character isnt THAT special. Also , there are consequences to his lineage which negatively affect his life. He sounds more like a “cursed one” than a “chosen one”.

  3. defon 16 Mar 2010 at 4:21 am

    What if you have a character that was born with the potential to be great, but has to dedicate his life to being that powerful.

    my example is a character in a stroy im writing is a member of a specific group of people who can draw on the life energy of many different things (including people), but in order to use it effectively, they must be trained in specific meditations to call forth the energy, and have to deal with the excess power they use, or they could be killed when they use their abilities. i havent worked out all the details on the powers, but they differ based on the person. someone who is more agressive can make things like constructs and fire energy projectiles, as well as make themselves faster and stronger, limited by the amount of fatigue their bodies can take. On the opposite side, someone who is more of a pacifist would have abilities more in tune with them, like healing abilities, possibly increased intellect, and things along that line. for someone life my character, who is only willing to fight when he has too, his abilites would lie somewhere in the middle.

    my character however, really dosent have a use for his powers, and after an accident that got several people killed, two of whom were his friends, he stops using them. because of this they degrade and become weak. where the rest of his tribe can feel the energies in other people, he cannot, and he cannot manifest the energy in him, so his powers are basicly no existant.

    when he is forced into a conflict with another member of his tribe, my character has to fight without his powers, so the match is very one sided. eventually he is able to use the most basic of his ablities, but he is still overwhelmed by his opponent, and is almost killed.

    while he recovers from his loss, the character knows that his assailant will be back to kill him, and has to re-learn all of his powers in order to survive another fight. therefore, though he was chosen at the begining, he has to work to get back everything that he has let go of and restore his powers.

  4. RandomGirlon 12 Oct 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I have a question on the prophecy question.

    Why do you keep going on about the “great” prophecy?

    All I’m saying is that can’t there be little prophecies or this-is-so-vague-anyone-can-fit-it prophecies? Granted the character I’m writing a story for, while not the “chosen one” is some what manipulated into almost being one due to the this-is-so-vague type. I’m not trying to justify any story that is the Mary Sue Prophecy Plot, but some stories have been able to turn the so-vague prophecy into a viable, or supposedly viable, plot point *cough*Harry Potter*cough*.

  5. Madaliason 12 Oct 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Harry Potter fails this test, btw, with a rating of 44.4% (Poor). I should be so lucky as to have my characters suck that much. 😉

    Luckily my characters are fairly pathetic and unpromising and fail repeatedly before showing any hints of greatness. So I guess I’m good.

  6. Herojockon 13 Oct 2010 at 9:48 am

    What about an alien hero who has his natural birth-powers suppressed by his parents and gradually rewarded as he proves himself worthy in their eyes?

  7. B. Macon 13 Oct 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Hello, Madalias. First, I’d like to preface this by saying that tests like these are pretty crude. There are very few “rules” in the publishing industry that cannot be broken under any circumstances, and I offer pretty much all of my advice as guidelines that are hopefully helpful in most cases but could not predict the success or failure of every case.

    Having said that, I think that Harry Potter “passes” the test. Some of the questions are a bit ambiguous with regards to Harry Potter, but when I applied the test to Harry Potter, I got 7/9 correct (Very Good).

    #1–Is he born with unusual magical talent? Not really. Voldemort remarks at one point that he’s actually a pretty lackluster wizard. The only impressive spell he learns is the Patronus, with intense effort and many setbacks. Outside of that, the closest thing to an offensive spell he has is the disarming cantrip. In contrast, pretty much all of his adversaries (even the low-ranking ones) knock back deadly curses like they’re margarita shots on New Year’s Eve, particularly as the series progresses.

    #2–He isn’t born to a high-ranking or royal family. (In contrast to, say, the Malfoys being preposterously wealthy).

    #3–He is the subject of a great prophecy. This is the first of two wrong answers I found.

    #4–Is he selected from an early age for his task? No, I don’t think so… He’s selected for Hogwarts at around age 10 or 11, which is the same age as everybody else. Also, it’s a major plot point that he learns about wizardry/magic much later than almost all of his peers. However, I think this question is a bit ambiguous because one could argue that the prophecy is a form of “selection” even though Harry doesn’t know about it until he’s much older. I’d lean towards “no” because the main problem with a character being actually selected is that he usually doesn’t have much of a say in picking his quest. Aside from Harry’s parents getting killed, which is out of his control, Harry is otherwise very much his own man, I think. He freely chooses to be a Gryffindor, he refuses Voldemort’s entreaties, and he pursues the fight against Voldemort even when authority figures (such as the Ministry of Magic) push him to stop.

    #5–“Which of these would you say is more accurate? Like Eragon or Peter Parker, my hero is fortunate to receive incredible powers. OR: Like Wonderwoman or a Navy SEAL, my hero does something to win her powers and rank.” I’d say he’s more of a merit-based hero like Wonderwoman than a beneficiary of luck like Peter Parker. In the context of the story, Harry’s inborn abilities are pretty minor. He’s not a particularly talented wizard and, while he’s an ace on a broomstick, that doesn’t really have any bearing on the central plot (stopping Voldemort). Hermione and (especially) Voldemort/Tom Riddle strike me as characters that are born with incredible magical ability.

    #6–“Does the character get defeated?” He fails to stop Voldemort from returning. He fails to stop Pettigrew from getting away. Also, he’s pretty rotten at keeping his friends and family alive. (In the Harry Potter universe, the most dangerous thing you can do is to introduce yourself to Harry Potter). At the very end of the series, he himself is sort of killed. Sort of.

    #7–Yes, he faces situations where his preferred solutions don’t work. For example, at the end of the first book, to get to the Philosopher’s Stone* he has to overcome several puzzles well out of his range of talents (notably, the chess game and the potions logic game). Also, while he’s most comfortable working with Ron and Hermione, the potions puzzle forces him to go on alone.

    *Or the Sorcerer’s Stone, in the U.S. edition.

    #8–Yes, he’s sometimes let out of a tight spot by factors beyond his control (such as pulling out Gryffindor’s sword out of the Sorting Hat, the time-travel, Voldemort’s spell failing to kill him for real in book 7, etc). Along with #3, this is the only one that I marked “wrong” for Harry Potter.

    #9–Is there resurrection in the story? Also ambiguous, but I don’t think so. The close call that comes to mind is Harry’s brush with death in the end of book 7. I don’t think he actually died. If so, then I don’t think he could have been resurrected.

  8. B. Macon 13 Oct 2010 at 1:47 pm

    “What about an alien hero who has his natural birth-powers suppressed by his parents and gradually rewarded as he proves himself worthy in their eyes?” I think it’s more interesting that he gradually unlocks the talents rather than is just born with them.

    However, depending on your plot, it may feel contrived that the parents are withholding powers from the child. Especially if he’s doing something as important as (say) saving the world, why wouldn’t they give him everything so that he has the best chance at success? (Note: depending on the plot, the parents may reason that it’s more important for the kid to learn on his own, and earn everything that he has, than it is to succeed).

  9. Madaliason 13 Oct 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Hello, B. Mac. 🙂

    If it was not clear from the lack of tone, my comments were meant to be tongue in cheek. I would dispute your generous scoring regarding JKR’s Harry Potter, but I’m afraid it would give the impression that I am disagreeing with you on the important points, when in fact I am not.

    Regardless of the score on this quiz, I think it’s quite clear that J.K.R. manages to dodge the gag-worthy effects of using a Chosen One by upsetting expectations in key ways. I would argue that Harry is given unique gifts and chosen from an early age, but that doesn’t mean that he’s powerful or infallible. He has to work at his skills and win his place as a hero. Even when others do step in to save his arse, it’s because he’s earned their friendship and loyalty earlier. I’m quite happy to agree that JKR is not guilty of creating the kind of character you are warning us against even while I would insist that she is playing with the chosen one trope and our expectations for a mythic hero in the Joseph Campbell Monomyth sense. The fact that she uses characters referring to Harry as the Chosen One in a facetious manner kind of gives it away.

    Anyway I hope that it’s clear enough that I’m agreeing with you on the important stuff, because I’m getting a kick out of this sight and the advice in general.

  10. Miathion 20 Aug 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Yeah.. I got 33.33% 😛 isnt that brilliant? Though admittedly my ‘Chosen One’ doesnt really become the ‘Chosen One’ until the very end, seeing as her powers and soul are suppressed and she is basically a machine, and its up to the other characters to save her, so she can save them. Cliche?

  11. B. Mac (Brian McKenzie)on 20 Aug 2011 at 10:37 pm

    “Admittedly, my ‘Chosen One’ doesnt really become the ‘Chosen One’ until the very end, seeing as her powers and soul are suppressed and she is basically a machine, and it’s up to the other characters to save her, so she can save them. Cliche?” I don’t think I know enough about the plot to have an opinion yet.

  12. Miathion 20 Aug 2011 at 11:18 pm

    opps…right sorry i’ve been going through everything in my head.. but i know i have to many characters. There is eight main characters (‘Chosen One’ and friends) and then the evil guy and his henchmen. Admitadly, the henchmen are extremely minor parts and they all get destroyed. The problem is that i cant think of a way to get rid of any.
    Note: Please, i dont mean any offense to anyone who is religious, i just thought it would be a cool idea.
    My main story line is based around the seven sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride) and the seven virtues (chasitity temperance charity diligence patience kindness humility). The ‘main character’ is called Virtue, and she is the living embodiment of ‘good’. She’s been kidnapped by evil dude, living embodiment of ‘evil’. That sounds soooo corny i know, but Virtue’s powers and soul are suppressed by evil dudes, but evil dude is having trouble destroying her so she can rule the world etc. He kidnaps seven teenagers. The seven’s personality revolves around one sin, and evil dude plans to use them to destroy Virtue. They manage to escape, and in their quest to escape the weird place (hell/underworld whichever term you prefer) they each must pass a ‘challenge’ which helps them to defeat their sin, which helps to ‘cure Virtue (at the beginning, she can’t talk, move without being led, or basically do anything useful). They eventually escape, however Virtue gets re-kidnapped and stabbed by evil due. Cue giant battle back in the seven’s home town, where Virtue ‘reappears’ and traps evil dude in a statue. She places herself in another statue, explaining that good and evil are twins, and if one is contained the other must be.
    *takes deep breath* whew…. that need a LOT of work, i know, but that’s my unformed, basic idea that i may spend the next four years planning 😛

  13. B. Mac (Brian McKenzie)on 21 Aug 2011 at 2:15 am

    Using personifications for the 7 Deadly Sins is a bit cliche. I’m pretty sure it happened in Fullmetal Alchemist and Doomtown/Deadlands, probably among others. That said, I think that’s a relatively small issue.

    –Does Virtue have a personality besides being the living embodiment of good? Does she have any flaws? Does she make mistakes? Is there any way in which she’s NOT a Purity Sue? Is there anything interesting about her? If you answered no to any of these questions, I’d recommend checking out this article. If you answered no to every question, or were pretty close to no on all the questions, I’d recommend considering whether it would be more effective to reboot the character entirely and start from square one.

    –8+ protagonists and 8+ villains strikes me as a huge cast. I would recommend cutting down to 5-6 total. One possibility would be axing the 7 Deadly Sin characters and just making the main villain the embodiment of all 7. (Then maybe you could bring back one of the characters as like a lieutenant or something). Another possibility would be cutting down 3-4 of the 7 Virtues. For example, charity and kindness could be merged, chastity and temperance could be merged, patience or diligence could probably be removed altogether, etc.

    –Do these characters have personalities beyond their one defining trait? If not, their lack of depth could be problematic.

    “at the beginning, she can’t talk, move without being led, or basically do anything useful…” Uhh… If she’s the main character, I’d recommend being careful about removing her ability to do interesting things. Also, I’m not sure about your gender and don’t want to know, but I think publishers are especially sensitive to useless/helpless female characters without personalities written by male authors. If you are male, that’s something to think about.

    –If your goal is to be professionally published, I’d recommend proofreading more aggressively.

  14. Mynaon 21 Aug 2011 at 6:47 am

    I got 88% for Seth.

    Probably going to change in the second draft since I’ll have him choose to join the Core and use the serum, ‘stead of that happening to him by accident.

    “Q.4) Is this character selected from an early age for his task? ”
    Like idk I picked yes for that, even though he chose what he’s doing, the Core picked him ’cause they thought he had powers. xD

    Either way, I’m not writing fantasy so there’s less chance of Chosen One stuff goin on.

  15. Miathion 26 Aug 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks 🙂
    I know its slightly cliche but i was running out of ideas for stories, all my other ones trial off because it I have trouble writing the in between parts and it sounded interesting.
    Virtue will be able to do ‘interesting things’ not to far into the book. I started a very basic first ‘chapter’ and it has Virtue how she is ‘normally’, fighting against evil dude, and it has her becoming a robot. So it does she she clearly isn’t helpless because she does hurt the villain. I’m not sure now whether she is actually the main character. She is more like the guide, after she ‘wakes up’. I’m not trying to be sexist or anything, and she will become extremely unhelpless later on and actually fight, and save the some lives etc etc. Once the other protagonists sort of realize they are slightly evil, it helps her. I’m trying for a bit of inner conflict in her, because she is ‘contained’ because she is with the other protagonists, but because she is good, she wants to help them, so she doesn’t really know what to do. She will gain her movement back first, and I’m playing with the idea of her leaving after she gains her movement back, but them arriving in the nick of time to save a characters life, and doing the hero thing, because she changed her mind and decided to help them get out. Or maybe she came back because she couldn’t get out herself so she might as well go with them. Or course she can’t explain this because she can’t talk… I’m not entirely sure, but she does need work.

    I have sort of changed it around in my head, because Virtue did seem a bit two-dimensional. I thought maybe I might change her to being extreme justice, and not really having ‘mercy’ in her personality, which may make her seem a bit cruel at times. I also thought about the other characters, and your right, there is way to many. I’m doing what you suggested and axing the 7 Sin characters to just one. The lack of depth may also be a problem. They do have other traits, and there is ‘competition’ between them because vanity is popular, sloth and gluttony are unpopular, because vanity mocks them at school, so there will be depth and they will have ‘backgrounds’, that may become important. Of course, once they ‘defeat’ their sin they become ‘good’ (but they might not like each other still). So yes, they do need work and combining them might partially fix that.

    I don’t think I will be professionally published in the near future but thanks again 🙂

  16. Brian McKenzie (B. Mac)on 27 Aug 2011 at 1:39 am

    I know you’re not being sexist. It’s solely a matter of writing an interesting character that is female, which could be especially tricky if you yourself are not female. I think this situation is fairly common, so I’ve written an article with some points about how to write interesting female characters.

    “I might change her to being extreme justice, and not really having ‘mercy’ in her personality, which may make her seem a bit cruel at times.” That sounds promising. PS: A bit of mercilessness might not totally compromise her likability, I feel, especially if it fades a bit over time. (For example, maybe the other characters gradually convince her to be more merciful, and she gradually convinces them to become tougher).

  17. Gnomeon 14 Aug 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Okay, so my hero was chosen at an early age to become a secert agent. BUT he was’nt really chosen, per se. The agency was monitoring thousands of potentail candidates for the job. But my character proved himself to be the best candidate, and that is why he was chosen. Is this okay, or should I change it?

  18. Volitionon 14 Aug 2012 at 2:53 pm

    That sounds workable to me. Although, he is somewhat ‘chosen’ he is still afforded an opportunity to prove himself worthy. That helps makes it more about his actions and character than his parents’ genetic background or education level.

    What would be his motivation to go through with the screening process? I assume it would be pretty rigorous, perhaps even deadly. Are his parents threatened? Does he want to prove something to himself or others? Is the agency working towards an outcome that he deems worthwhile? Girls?

  19. Gnomeon 15 Aug 2012 at 5:45 am

    He actually is not aware that he is being monitored.

  20. Volitionon 15 Aug 2012 at 7:14 am

    Okay. That’s somewhat understandable. So are they training him while he doesn’t know? Like, does he get harder tasks in school or an alternate schedule or something? Or do they just show up when they think he’s ready?

  21. Gnomeon 15 Aug 2012 at 4:17 pm

    They just show up.

  22. B. McKenzieon 15 Aug 2012 at 4:24 pm

    “Okay, so my hero was chosen at an early age to become a secret agent. BUT he wasn’t really chosen, per se. The agency was monitoring thousands of potential candidates for the job. But my character proved himself to be the best candidate, and that is why he was chosen. Is this okay, or should I change it?” It’s more promising than him being chosen at random. How did he attract their attention at an early age?

  23. Dragondevilon 24 Sep 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I got a 7/9 in this quiz.

    The answers that i got wrong:

    #8:[b]External help/gaining random ability[/b]:=>*Well,my hero, [b]RAKSHAK[/b] ,while battles a super-villain for the first time , the catch is that the villain is immortal and totally invulnerable to the hero’s powers!
    But during the climax,after getting beaten to a pulp!The hero uses his energy blasts to propel him and the villain in ocean…..(the villain cannot swim)*…just when you think the hero is gonna die/blackout he develops [b]gills[/b].
    *But the villain doesnt die,he is saved by his son!

    #9:Resurrection:=>*In my story,the hero is only resurrected ones.As my story revolves around mythology,i felt it was coherent to the plot.But it isnt totally out-of-the-blue Resurrection,the hero fights with the hell guards in order to escape his death!

    Do they sound workable?

  24. Scarletton 24 Sep 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Dragondevil: They sound very workable, and your novel sounds awesome!

  25. Dragondevilon 24 Sep 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Thanx a lot! Scarlett!

    By the way,I am working on a Graphic novel..:D

    But do u think the part where he develops the gills seem like a deus ex machina?!


    P.S. I just realised i used bb-codes! 😛

  26. Dragondevilon 24 Sep 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Sorry was posting that stuff simultaneously in my site.

  27. B. McKenzieon 26 Sep 2012 at 11:48 am

    DD: “In my story, the hero is only resurrected once. As my story revolves around mythology, I felt it was coherent to the plot.” I’d be more likely to pass on the story–how will readers know that it will only happen once? As soon as any character is resurrected, I think it forever cheapens the fear of death in the story.

    “The hero uses his energy blasts to propel him and the villain (who cannot swim) into the ocean. Just when you think the hero is gonna die/black out, he develops gills.” So… a character puts together a suicidal plan and is saved by the unexpected/lucky development of a new superpower? I’d highly recommend putting him in the driver’s seat rather than just making him lucky. For example, maybe he figures out some way to survive being plunged that far down. Or maybe he had the gills before (so his plan involves a creative use of a seemingly-useless power rather than just luckily developing the power at the moment it would save him).

  28. Dragondevilon 26 Sep 2012 at 12:06 pm

    hmm…Thanx a lot!

    #But,the ressuerection would need the hero to fight the hell-god.
    The ressurection part isnt that important though,It isnt part of my first issue and I am still working on it.

    *”So… a character puts together a suicidal plan and is saved by the unexpected/lucky development of a new superpower?”
    Thats where I was getting stuck~
    So it does look like a DEUS EX MACHINA!

    *I guess I will have to change it.(*sheesh* How can my hero escape/defeat a villain on whom his powers dont work!)

  29. B. McKenzieon 26 Sep 2012 at 3:46 pm

    “How can my hero escape/defeat a villain on whom his powers don’t work!” Does he have any notable skills or traits besides his superpowers? Is there anything he can do without superpowers?

  30. Agnion 26 Sep 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I love it when the hero defeats villains in unusual ways. When the hero defeats the villains using his powers, it becomes boring and predictable. My hero does not have any superpower. So he tries to find different ways to defeat opponets. In one fighting sequence, he faces a villain with high physical strength. After getting beaten very badly, he uses a special technique of acupuncture to make the villain temporarily paralysed. It that workable?

  31. Dragondevilon 27 Sep 2012 at 4:27 am

    Yeah,My hero does have notable skills!

    Its just that,The villain is Invincible! and a recurring character.So.I want to make the Hero get beaten to a pulp but still somehow escape….
    What if I mention the gills before itself?

  32. Agnion 27 Sep 2012 at 4:41 am


    I think you should mention about the gills before. Otherwise, as B. Mac said, it will make the hero lucky.

    And please reply my post.

  33. JVKJRon 30 Nov 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Is it still bad if a character is born royalty, but they have to earn their title? One of my characters is, essentially, the high ruler, but they had to earn this by getting the other rulers’ approval. Ex: they had to duel with one (who was an extremely skilled dueler and fighter).
    Also, if there is (reasonable, not evil) opposition to their rule, then does that make it any better?

  34. Thorgronon 30 Nov 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Alright I’ve got a question. I know this test is not 100% accurate and that basically anything can work in the right setting> so I would like to pose some questions based on a story I’m helping some friends work on (my name ^ is actually the name of the character I am contributing. So first, Resurrection. In the story it is impossible to bring a person back from death. There is no magic that could save someone who has passed, however there are a handful of characters I think five in all that do it. These characters are either incredibly powerful or are exposed to things so unnatural that they rend the fabric of reality. Someone resurrected does not come back as themselves. Instead they are a being of evil no longer bound to natural law with an ultimate goal of eliminating all creation and recreating it in their image. So I’m not sure if this still false under the whole chosen one Resurrection thing.
    The other thing I am not sure about is the born with natural powers thing. The three main characters are all certainly born or gifted with great power but in all cases this comes at an even higher cost. Two of them, mine included are genetic experiments, beings infused with such power that their very existence is an abomination and screams out against nature. They arent these things all the time but become them when they are at moments of intense emotion (rage for Thorgron, despair for the other character) and are near death. These beings do not distinguish friend from foe but destroy everything. They hate their existence as much as nature does. The other main character is the last living offspring from the two races of gods. He has intense power, hes the strongest magical charcter in the story but if he uses any amount of magic outside the realm of what a human could do, the gods will hunt him down and kill. I would just like to know what you guys think of these things in the the context of this quiz?

  35. B. McKenzieon 30 Nov 2012 at 7:03 pm

    It’d definitely be more interesting if they had to do something to earn their position–it will give you a much better chance to develop the character and his/her key traits than by having him/her born into royalty. The unevil opposition also sounds promising.

  36. JVKJRon 30 Nov 2012 at 7:37 pm

    The character’s parents (the king and queen) were killed when she was a baby, and there were no other relatives to take over. Many other nobles and officials were also killed, so the kingdom was pretty much in anarchy until she became old enough to take the thrown. Once she was she had to prove herself to the rulers of the other kingdoms, which she struggled with, but was able to accomplish.
    However she is still somewhat ill-prepared to be the queen, much less in the middle of a war. She has her good traits, and also bad as a ruler. One of the more notable ones is that she sometimes disregards the advice of her counsel, which tends to blow up in her face. As a result, she makes many decisions which her people disagree with.
    I plan on this coming to something of a turning point when she has one of her advisers executed for rather personal reasons (he started a military draft without her permission, and her friend was drafted, and sent to a particularly dangerous area).
    How does this sound? I’m sorry if I’m being a bother, but I really would like some input that isn’t from my friends and family. Just to get some 100% unbiased opinions.

  37. Derp Writeron 30 Nov 2012 at 10:40 pm

    “Q.4) Is this character selected from an early age for his task?”

    I answered “yes”, because the character, Barrett, was drafted into the military as soon as he was old enough to join on his own.
    Would this still count against him as a “Chosen One”?

    Also, I just got an error message saying that I’m “posting comments too quickly”, when I haven’t been on the site in several days and this is my first post today.

  38. XosMelon 11 Jun 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Yeah that happens periodically. It’s just an error with the code.

  39. Wordweaveron 15 Sep 2013 at 11:18 am

    For question 8, would it be acceptable for a villain to win once or twice through this method? Or maybe showing off a villain’s skills alone is better. Anyone have thoughts on that? I think it would be more *realistic* for a villain’s gang to come in on time to save him, although it might be considerably more dramatic for the villain to crush the hero single handedly.

    I got all of them ‘correct’ for my current character. But I’m not sure if this is a good sign, because he’s a pretty weak (as in powers) kind of character. He has a bone disease, and therefore can’t face his enemies head to head, and rather takes a safe distance in the back. (Also, it would be good to note this is a historical fiction instead of a superhero novel.)

  40. Tirion 28 Jul 2014 at 7:59 am

    Regarding question 9, does it still count if the character in question in resurrected by someone else, who is later killed? (The resurrector cannot resurrect himself, so he stays dead.)

  41. B. McKenzieon 28 Jul 2014 at 10:54 pm

    “Regarding question 9, does it still count if the character in question in resurrected by someone else…” Yes.

  42. Innocent Bystanderon 13 Oct 2014 at 8:29 am

    The problem with tests like these is that it assumes every trope associated with a Chosen One is bad when it’s just people generally using them badly that get them such a bad rep in the first place.

    Someone already mentioned Harry Potter, so I’ll use another Chosen One; Luke fon Fabre from Tales of the Abyss. I put him through the test and the results were:

    1) He’s born with impressive gifts (can create his own hyperessonance)
    2) He’s born to a high-ranked family (for bonus points, his uncle is the king and his betrothed is the princess)
    3) He’s the subject of a great prophecy
    4) He was chosen at birth for this
    5) As mentioned before, he’s born with his powers

    Also, to add to cliches, he’s a clone of the original Luke.

    On paper, without any other details, Luke is a cliche character. But as anyone who played the game can attest to, he’s an interesting character with one of the best character arcs seen (It also helps that Tales of the Abyss deconstructs the idea of the Chosen One and prophecies in general).

  43. Draven Kraxon 15 Jan 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Some of these questions were hard for me to answer because my character isn’t really born, he’s created. Here are the ones I got wrong, and hopefully someone could give me their opinion about how I might make improvements.

    Q1: Is your character born with impressive gifts?
    Yes AND no. You see, as I said before, my character is created, so he has these abilities once he wakes up from his comatose state, but he isn’t “born” with them because he wasn’t technically born.

    Q5: Which of these would you say is more accurate?
    A. Like Eragon or Peter Parker, my hero is fortunate to receive incredible powers
    Like I said before, my character was create with these powers in him. He receives these powers, but he has to train in order to use them effectively.

    Q7: Do you ever put a character in a situation where his preferred method of problem-solving won’t work? For example, maybe the Punisher has to talk his way past a guard instead of shooting the place up. Or a Jedi has to win a fight without using The Force or his lightsaber.

    In the first few chapters of my novel, my main character, Greyson Kappa, does not realize he has powers. He eventually discovers them, but his close-knit group of friends does not want him to use his powers in fear that he will become a monster. So when he goes out for things such as battle training, he has to rely on conventional human methods instead of using his abilities.

    These were the questions I got wrong, but I think my story will justify them.

  44. Tomason 12 Apr 2016 at 8:21 am

    I have a question: My characters are the Chosen Many. They are the 12th reincarnation of 12 powerful magic warriors who watch over the world. There is a prophecy, yes, but rather than defining their destiny, it establishes what they could be able to do if they chose to. They have impressive magical capabilities, but they have to work hard to learn how to control them and to reach their full potential. They are scattered around the world, unaware of their powers, and the ones who realize it first have to go travelling in order to find the others. While they are very powerful, they can be defeated, and instead of defeating the Big Bad, they just keep it at bay while their allies are making their way to the battle. They take a part of a massive collective spell that, by definition, involves everything on Earth. They choose to fulfill the prophecy in order to prevent another generation of kids from being forced go through the same experiences they have gone through. ¿Do they still qualify as the BAD version of Chosen Ones?

  45. B. McKenzieon 12 Apr 2016 at 10:57 am

    “I have a question: My characters are the Chosen Many.” I’m not feeling the enthusiasm here, on your end or mine.

  46. Tomason 12 Apr 2016 at 11:32 am

    Sorry, that was intended to come as a separate paragraph. It seems that my mobile automatically put all I wrote as only one paragraph.

    Also, re-reading what I wrote I understand why it’s difficult to understand: the style is HORRIBLE. I should have made the question first and then the explanation, or viceversa. I did not notice because that’s how I usually speak, but spoken language is different from written, I know that; but as I was technically asking a question and providing context (like when you don’t understand something and ask a teacher) it came out as it was. I should fix that.

    If you were referring to something else, let me tell you that I am completely clueless about what you were trying to say.

  47. B. McKenzieon 12 Apr 2016 at 4:36 pm

    In my opinion, “Chosen One” is generally a dismissive phrase for a character/plot overly dependent being selected by destiny, some mystical force, or some other character/group, or maybe being born with a winning superpower lottery ticket. I think that it usually sets up the character to be relatively inactive and over-rely on what he’s born with (or what he’s given) rather than what he makes of himself and the choices that he makes. If you DID have to use a Chosen One, I’d recommend playing with the trope in a major way — e.g. characters rebelling against their destiny, a Superman-like character (i.e. someone completely dependent on being born with incredible abilities) getting wrecked because he’s never learned a fighting style more involved than flying at his enemy really fast*, or a Hunger Games situation where being chosen is usually more of a terrifying prospect than an opportunity.

    *He can’t even dodge Batman shooting a Kryptonite grenade in his face.

  48. Tomason 12 Apr 2016 at 6:18 pm


    Actually, I have already made “arrangements” to prevent them from becoming Mary Sued Chosen Ones.

    Firstly, the main story is set in our world, over which a spell is cast so that magic is suppressed. That way, they natural capabilities do not manifest until something triggers it. Also, magic is literally just a legend, so there are hardly any means of learning it and casting spells is really difficult, even for experts (and they are just rookies)

    Secondly, the prophecy specifically states that they are capable of choosing they own fate (as they need complete free will to fulfill their role as guardians of the world) but that their decisions will affect the whole world. I decided that pretty early while I was conceiving the story. I hate stories where the prophecy says “This will happen and your mission is to save us all, or the world is damned. Good luck”. I mean, predictions like Angela’s are fine, because the character ASKS about their destiny; but when a prophecy is cast like a shadow over a character who has no choice on the matter… well, that’s restricting.

    Thirdly, they are reincarnations, but they aren’t in any way a copy of their previous incarnation. They are pretty much their own selves, people who make their own decisions, have their own lives and families, and do things their own way. Obviously, they inherited their powers and can ask their previous lives for advice (or rather they mess with their heads), but their births were (mostly) randomly assigned, and their appearance is unique.

    Finally, not everyone thinks the same about them. Some think that they are bringers of hope, others that the only think they bring is destruction. They can be very respectful, bordering on reverent, or think that they are just brats. And that’s good!! I mean, if your destiny was on the hands of a bunch of teenaged kids who are virtually immortal and excessively overpowered, wouldn’t you like to have a saying on the matter?

    I’d like to explain a bit further, but I gtg

  49. B. McKenzieon 12 Apr 2016 at 7:00 pm

    “Secondly, the prophecy specifically states that they are capable of choosing they own fate (as they need complete free will to fulfill their role as guardians of the world) but that their decisions will affect the whole world.” So, why have the prophecy? I think there are probably smoother / more natural ways of drawing characters into a plot…

  50. Tomason 12 Apr 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Well, the prophecy says that, as the 12th generation, they are destined to restore magic and become the eternal watchers of the world, keeping evil at bay forever. But they are able of not fulfilling it, either by failing (AKA dying), becoming evil or simply rejecting that fate. The prophecy states that if someone will do it, THEY will be the ones. As a villain one said “Prophecies can be twisted, Chosen Ones can be spoilt”

    The issue is that (most of) the good people expect them to fulfill the prophecy and some will try to force them into it (yay! Morally gray authorities!!), while others (mainly villains) would try to kill them or rather corrupt them in order to perpetuate their own existences. This leaves a strain on the characters that I will exploit for character and plot development; as coping with pressures coming by outside influences is more human and complex than just “Oh no I have to save the world what do I do”.

    As I said, characters have different views on the protagonist. Maybe they hold some kind of resentment against them because they lost a loved one, maybe they are hopeful that they will fix everything. Thay will be faced to cope with everyone’s expectations and opinions, and that will change them and (hopefully) mature them.

  51. Tomason 12 Apr 2016 at 8:12 pm


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