Writing Ranting – Magic Makes a Story

Magic systems are more than just world building in fantasy fiction. As a writer, you make the rules and can use your magic system as part of the plot.

Here are things to consider for your magic system when planning your story…

  • Create a challenge for your characters like newly discovered magic, opening a magical room, translating a magic book.
  • Represent something emotional for your MC. Maybe trauma locked away their powers. Maybe an estranged parent has answers.
  • Establish a social hierarchy. More power could mean more respected or feared. Certain abilities might be good or bad in society.
  • Tools to complete a bigger task. Maybe a specific power will achieve the final goal. Maybe a certain combination of abilities is the only way to solve a problem.
  • Secret magic. Perhaps magic is banned, so any magic users have to hide it. Someone could dabble in dark magic and they have to keep it a secret.
  • A race. There could be something special that multiple people are trying to find.
  • Base your magic system on something real. Manipulating natural energy or elements can make it easy to set limits and exceptions.
  • Magical conduits like devices, runes, spells, etc. can have specific magical effects on things or people around them. 

There are probably more, but these are some of the main things that I have in various WIPS. 

My favourite is connecting emotion to magic. I have a character who fears her magic because her mother couldn’t maintain control, and my MC is worried she’ll end up the same. Another WIP has merging magic that is only possible with a strong emotional connection like family, friends and extra fun when it’s between lovers.

In one WIP, I imagine the magic as a way to combine magic, science, and religion in that one all powerful being (a sort of star) released a massive amount of energy that created the universe. This being then created worlds and more masses of energy that are like stars from a science perspective but are also similar to angels. Each ability has a scientific explanation or theory behind it, such as creating wormholes like portals, breaking down and reforming physical matter for shifting, bending light, etc. Sure, much of it is pushing it in relation to exact science, but it helps me as the writer decide what is and isn’t possible. 

One WIP has stones that hold the power of the elements, and only specific people can use them through special devices. The stones are also used for everyday things like light, heat, showers, helping plants grow, and powering airships.

Writing Update- The Fourth Wall Series.

Oops. I meant to give this one last check yesterday before posting it, since I post my writing ranting on Wednesdays. This week has been a bit weird with final prep for summer camp at work and family health stuff getting to me. Actually, this is perfect way to introduce todays post because it’s something I work on when I don’t have much.

The Fourth Wall is a new mini series I’ve started based on a TikTok video I made about my MC accidentally hearing me as the writer. I thought it would make a few short and fun pieces to have for various characters where they overhear me or tumble into my world if it suits the story’s magic system, which in some cases, it does.

It’s also a way to get an interest in my novels as prequel chapters since they’re set not long before the mains story and don’t spoil anything. I have some other short stories planned for various WIPs as non-spoiler backstories, and some bonus chapters from other POVs. But they’re something to share after I’ve published to keep people interested in between each book in the series.

Mostly, these started when I got into writing slumps or in the middle of planning. They helped with world-building and fleshing out my characters or detailing past events that don’t need whole scenes or chapters in the main book. 

I have my debut novel about to go through the publication process once I’ve chosen my editor and made some decisions on art, etc. My Fourth Wall story with Clair will be available before publication as a glimpse into her life. Also, it’s something fun to write during a busy few days where I need to write but can’t focus on the main novel.

Plotting World Domination!

I’m in plotting (well, re-plotting) my Starlighters novels. It’s going well, mostly. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. But what I’m pondering it scene order. 

I have already planned the POV carefully based on each scene. Now I have to decide the best order. Some things happen simultaneously in different POVs, and some things are a little flexible if I account for the small details. So how do I decide the order? Honestly, I don’t know. Nobody can give me that answer, and I couldn’t give someone else an answer to the same question about their novel unless I read it. 

My best option is to break each scene down into even smaller scenes like walking from one room to another, breaking down emotional shifts, and making bullet points of each change in topic within the scene. This way, I can see it in its parts, and maybe something might prompt a thought on the right order for the story. 

In the meantime, I have a list of micro events and their best choice for POV so that I can move them around until they slot together. This is a lot of trial and error, but I’ve already fixed a few of the actions which helps me decide what goes in between.

One thing that I do have to consider is cliffhanger scenes. There’s a significant moment that I could quite easily follow on from in the next scene with a different POV, or I could leave it for a few pages and tease the reader. I’ve read scenes like that before where it’s flipped to another situation right in the middle of a critical moment. Do I want to be that kind of author? Probably, yes. But I will still give it serious consideration. 

Plotting and re-plotting can be a lot of fun if you like organisation. But it’s also fun from a creative aspect. Title image by Khamkho at pixabay.com.

Belated 100 Followers Celebration!

I missed sending my gratitude over this amazing milestone because I was preoccupied with family stuff at the time. But I noticed. Don’t think for one second that I didn’t see my followers hit 100.

Some people may think that’s a miniscule number compared to what is considered a “real blogger” but this site is far more than a blog to me. It’s a place to share my creativity. Not just my writing, which is why I started this site, but my music, my love for visual arts, and even cooking. 

So I’d like to thank every follower, even if you skim my writing ranting. 

I started this site to share some secret links with my writing buddies. Then it evolved into sharing teasers about my novels and posting some of my snippets and flash fiction. Not long after, it became a blog of my writing progress, It still does those things. But as I’ve grown as a writer and am working on the final stages of a novel I hope to send out for publication, I’d like to think this site is a great jumping off point for some marketing and branding when the time comes. That isn’t at the forefront of my mind, but it’s something that I ponder on occasion. Why not use those occasions to help me in future endeavours when I need said marketing and branding. I’d only procrastinate anyway. 

One never knows where their creative endeavours may take them, so let the creativity guide you to where it needs to be. It’s part of you and your desires even if you can’t see it yet. I didn’t see where my writing would lead me the day I opened a Word document and started writing a crazy dream that turned into a pentalogy, albeit a WIP for now.

Like all stories and its characters, things grow and evolve and adapt, just like me and this site. 

Here’s to growing, evolving and adapting. 

I think Gatsby sums up my feelings right now,

TItle image by Dariusz Sankowski at pixabay.com.

Reigniting an Old Flame!

This is very much how I feel rewriting my Starlighters book one, Wings of Fire and Fury. It was my first. The words have changed so much since I sat down at my document five years ago. Now, my voice has changed along with my ideas for the characters and the story. But it’s still the same at its core.

When you go so long without seeing or touching something, it’s like you have to relearn everything about it. For me, as a writer, I’ve thought about this story lot since I last did anything significant on it. And due to personal issues, I went a long time without even looking at it. But I still thought about what I wanted it to be.

Unlike an old flame, and old WIP can become exactly what you want it to be when you’re ready to put the ideas into it. An early WIP might have a lit of messy parts and a plot all over the place, but with renewed vigour and experience, you’ll be surprised how you can turn that old WIP into something new and exciting. 

I need a break from Out of Ashes while it’s with my beta readers, so reviving my first project makes sense. It’s a pentalogy, so not the best idea for a debut novel. I’m not saying that all series are bad ideas for first-time authors. But I found the project a little overwhelming not so long ago and chose to focus on my standalone novel, Out of Ashes, as my debut. It’s on the shorter side for fantasy fiction and more likely to be published for this aspiring author.

That didn’t mean that Starlighters left my heart or my thoughts. It was purely on hiatus in the writing sense, but I’ve made regular notes as I’ve thought of new and more interesting events. 

Now, I’m trying to put those ideas into my latest version. Some things are getting completely rewritten while others are simply getting a prose upgrade, but at the end of the day, the whole thing will look different when I’m done with it. 

This is a good thing, and while my primary WIP is pending feedback, I’m going to use my writing time to rekindle this old flame and make it loveable. 

Title image by Myriams-fotos at pixabay.