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Judith Solberg

March 05, 2021 at 07:20 PM UTC

I am so glad you posted this. I have been thinking about a similar problem in some writing I’m doing, and you pointed me toward a workable solution.


February 28, 2021 at 07:50 AM UTC

This is a great insight into writing. I agree that it is over done. I think that’s why your books are so much fun to read! They are never just about 1 person doing it all.


February 27, 2021 at 11:23 AM UTC

I really HATE the Power Creep thing in every book, I mean its like that if the Hero/ heroine wasn’t born the entire world would cease to exist! There are soooooo many books that get so main character centered that they deliver cracky romances, and ignore the rest of characters. This post just gave me another reason to love your books!❤😁


February 28, 2021 at 06:37 AM UTC

Yes, that is so true! Most books I read are all about the protagonist and the power creep thing almost always happens. Your books are so awesome because you actually talk a lot about the others and they add so much depth! Mostly in hilarious ways which make them even better 😀

Merie Shen

February 27, 2021 at 07:54 AM UTC

I love that!!! I hate “power creep” because of how unrealistic and protagonist-centered it is. That’s why I love how your books require large casts to not only back the protagonists up but actually provide the path to success.


February 27, 2021 at 04:45 PM UTC

Yesss ! its so annoying cause then at the end they become allpowerful and almighty etc and its not realistic at all !


February 27, 2021 at 08:59 PM UTC

Yes! It’s like all the other characters just fade into the background and get forgotten. That’s really annoying when it’s always one person who saves the day, gives the best idea, etc. I’m so glad Leila escaped power creep! I guess it’s just another way Kitty’s awesome 🙂


February 27, 2021 at 07:00 AM UTC

This was an amazing post! It was fun to hear about power creeps (which I’ve now read about around 50 times due to a book I read about today). I’m really excited to see if Leila reaches Fae Emperor by the time the nexts series in this world comes out. I’m still thinking of ideas of what our next main character’s species (I think is what I should call it) is. It’ll be fun to see them grow throughout their books.


February 27, 2021 at 04:34 AM UTC

So wonderful to see and understand more about your thinking and planning . . . you’re so creative! 😀 Thank you for letting us “see behind the curtain” – such a fun thing! 😀 YAY to more of Hazel and Leila . . . and . . . ? 😀


February 27, 2021 at 01:43 AM UTC

The sheer amount of thought and deliberation that you give to every event in your books is astonishing Ms. Kitty! I lack the foresight to plan what I’m going to wear for the day, let alone plan an elaborate world with multiple character arcs and an overreaching plot series while also making sure to let everybody grow naturally into their personalities.
The power creep is definitely something I wondered about in Hazel’s series. You made her more powerful, but not the most powerful, which is an unusual move for a book character, but is playing out wonderfully in your series.
Thank you for sharing!


February 26, 2021 at 11:55 PM UTC

This post is exciting for a few reasons. 1) It shows us just how many more trilogies we can look forward to in Magiford (a LOT – woohoo!) and that you’ve clearly thought out all the questions us Champions have lingering in our minds. 2) We’ll continue to see our beloved heroines and they’ll continue to grow/get better which is amazing! 3) Your brain is way bigger and brighter than mine when it comes to writing and we can count on you to give us a complete picture in due time if we’re just patient and gracious in the waiting. Seriously this post is why we love you…you make it so worth it!


February 27, 2021 at 04:43 PM UTC

You said it!


March 01, 2021 at 07:05 PM UTC

I second it… You really hit the nail on the head!

Series Experiment: Fae Emperor

Warning: Today’s post has big spoilers for Court of Midnight and Deception! Do not proceed if you haven’t read it yet!

When I wrote the Hall of Blood and Mercy series, I mentioned I pulled a few experiments. I had repeating scenes that you see in every book–in HoBaM it was dinner with the vampires, in CoMaD it’s the cafe scenes–that I played around with, and I experimented with plotting systems, characters, and more. (If you want to read more, click here!)

In Court of Midnight and Deception I carried out another mini experiment–or perhaps we could even call it a mini quest–and that was combatting power creep.

Power creep is what you see in long book series/TV series/movies as the heroes acquire new skills that make them increasingly more powerful and are then pitted against increasingly powerful villains. (It’s also commonly called Power Escalation.)

You may start a series where the villain is threatening the city and in order to save the city our hero has to learn the most ultimate of all magic skills: Power XYZ. At the end of the book, the hero learns XYZ and is able to defeat the villain. But what can the writer do for the next book? They have to up the tension, of course, which means the baddie will now threaten the entire country, and power XYZ isn’t strong enough to overcome it! The hero has to learn a new ultimate skill!

You’ll see this most often in fantasy shows/books/movies, but it’s pretty prevalent in entertainment in general.

The danger of power creep is that it can make things feel boring. By the third time it happens, you know the Hero is going to get the new ultimate skill to conquer the villain–who is now the 5th generation of badness our hero is facing and frankly not frightening given that you’ve seen this happen again and again and again.

Power creep tends to especially be a problem with magically inclined heroines/heroes. Their magical powers keep increasing so they can face the problems they come across–because they have to since the hero needs to face everything all by themselves, right?

Leila, as an inexperienced queen with a broke Court and ungrateful citizens was in serious danger of experiencing power creep. Sure, I could make her charisma what wins her people over, and give her a hefty amount of magic so she can do cool things like wake up a hydra, and there would be little danger there, particularly since Queen Rime is around and she can kick Leila’s butt any day.

The real danger would be if Leila was the one to save the night realm all by herself–talk about over powered!–and if she also became the sole figure the fae rallied behind.

The problem was…Leila needed to become the monarch the fae look to. Given what I have planned for future series that follow the Paragon’s search (more on this coming in future posts!) I needed the fae to get it together and collectively wake up and stop all the infighting.

Leila is best suited for that for all the reasons laid out in the books…but the power creep!!

So I tempered her powers by requiring her Court to stand with her to save the Night Realm and even to get her wings. She still doesn’t have wings unless her people are there and standing in the gap between Leila and the Night Realm for her. But that still wasn’t quite enough to steer her into the clear.

Leila saves her Court–which was bankrupt, on the brink of destruction, and the biggest dumpster fire ever–in the span of a year. If I added into it that she needed to become the fae empress–which requires the blessing/support of Courts from multiple regions, not just the Midwest?? I’d never be able to pull it off in three books–there would be too many Courts to introduce–and it would make Leila ridiculously powerful in the span of a few months. No thanks.

So, I decided to slowly have Leila gather additional support in the background of future trilogies. She’s got the Midwest behind her, but as we know there are lots of fae Courts out there in other regions–including all of Rime’s siblings that rule the Winter Courts.

And giving Leila the opportunity to keep growing is something unique I can pull off because we’ll keep seeing her. Hazel is similar. She’s the Elite’s trainee, not the Elite herself–it’s kind of like she’s got training wheels on, so it shows how important she is without making her the most-important-wizard-in-the-whole-universe.

Hazel and/or Leila working by themselves won’t be able to fix magic and save supernaturals. Even if the two of them work together they still couldn’t pull it off. It’s going to require help from a lot of groups/people, including supernaturals who are older, stronger, and more experienced than them.

And THAT is how I figured out how to combat power creep in this series, muwahahah!

I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtains of my mind. I typically do have some sort of writing issue/axe to grind with every series I write. For Leila’s series, it was power creep!

Thanks for reading, Champions, I hope you have a fun-filled week!

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