Posts Tagged ‘Developing an alien magic system’

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up. I got nothing. Yep, nothing. So instead of not posting anything, I am going to post a Craft Post instead. That’s right, this is the next post in our Magic and Technology sub-series in the Approaching a Year-Long Series on Worldbuilding. You can find all the Worldbuilding posts and sub-series in under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. For all the posts in our current sub-series, you can find those here.

So, what do you mean how your world affects magic? Good question. I got nothing…

Okay, just kidding on that one. To answer that question, we need to look at everything we have talked about thus far. No, I am not about to recap a year’s worth of posts. I will say, take a look at your world and how you developed it. What areas did you really develop and those areas you glossed over? You are probably asking why I am asking you that and it is simple. I am going to take an approach to that may seem odd or different. As I see it, if you are just starting to work on your magic systems now after everything else we have gone over, then your magic should be like nothing else in your world. Make it Alien to your world.

WHAT!?

That’s right, make the magic stick out like a sore thumb. It should be so blatantly different that it seems like it isn’t of this world. Why? Because it will make it unique for the first part. I am talking about like your readers are into your story and they are just getting a grip on your world and then you introduce the magic, and they are like what!? I want them to question why you put such something that clearly is out of place into this world. Once they are wondering this, you’re going to show them why. Well, a small part.

Still doesn’t feel like I answered the question why do this, right? That’s because I haven’t fully. It will give your magic a wonder feeling, even if it is a very scientific style system. Second, it will tie into the story going on. Whether that is a huge point or a small one is up to you. The other reason it will get the reader to question why such a different form of magic developed in this world than what should have. This is where you could do something like magic is broken or it turns out to be actually alien (like advanced technology from another world.) Or it is what it is. It really is whatever the reason you want it to be.

This is where I confuse the hell out of you. If you are just developing your magic now, and have everything we have completed so far, make your magic blend into the world. It should feel like it is natural. What!? Yep. Stick with me, I have a reason for this. You could develop this earlier in world

You could develop this earlier in world creation because you came up with a great idea. That’s fine. However, this based having most of your world (or the areas you have selected to really flesh out) completed. With that, you know how your world works. You want magic, in this world. If you know your world as well as you do, that means how your magic works will be able to flow deep and natural. Just like it is a natural resource of your world (not that it has to be or is one). Think of it this way, your world is created from everything that has come from a black hole. In the sky is a white hole and over billions of years, this world has taken form. How life forms, to vegetation, to religions of what the white hole really is.

Knowing all this, you can link the magic from the same creation. Maybe the magic is what is left over from another world that had it and now is different because it has been twisted and deformed from coming through the white hole.

This allows you to layer it into everything else and how it will affect everything in your world even the development of life. A good example of this is Pandora from Avatar. There’s not magic, but life on that world is so connected. Everything works and flows together. This is how magic can work.

All right Tim, what’s going on. You just gave us a paradox for an answer. What one should we use if we are just developing out the magic system?

That’s easy. Whatever one works best to meet your rules, and most importantly serve your story. If you want something cool and unique and feel different. I would go with a magic system that feels alien. However, if you like cohesion and synergy, go with blended magic. Here’s a trick, pick one of the options and develop your magic system. Then go through and see how it affects your story. (No that doesn’t mean write out an complete magic system. But it does mean make it about 4/10ths complete. That much should give you an idea of how it works and how it will change your story or not.

Before I close, I want to give a little note to those who create their magic systems early in their worldbuilding. Whenever you do this, before moving forward and start developing a new area. Go back through what you already have done and see how it affects that. Once you have done that, everything you do from there on you should be able to answer how magic plays into it. (If it does at all.)

Well, that’s all I got for today and on Magic. WHAT! NO POSTS ON HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RULES OR HOW RULES ARE A MUST IN MAGIC?

No. It was a little over a year I did a series on magic, so I really don’t need to go through all that again. Next week we will switch over to Technology. That post will be on Friday. Hopefully, everything will go as plan, this week so I can post my normal Weekly Writing Wrap-up next week.