Fantasy Creation

evanescentdream

Tahveli
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May 22, 2005
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29
I said:
Magic is definitely something to be careful using

I agree with this. Using magic too lavishly is dangerous, for several reasons.

One is generality: magic is no specific term. What qualifies as magic? It differs from author to author, so care should be used to not always employ the same word. After all, how can the ability of some to heal the wounds of Earth and the power to destroy the very mountains be classified under the same category? And indeed, not all magic is indeed magic. Cannot some seemingly supernatural occurences be merely the result of science? Obviously most mainstream fantasy is in a "Middles Ages of Europe" setting, but some advances can be made, such as the invention of Greek fire (which of course in the story would go by some other name).
 
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FelineEyes

Who Walks Through Walls
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May 14, 2005
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I like cats, knives, cuddling, and expolsives. No
I have several stories going (or that have been scrapped) that aren't related to each other so I have worlds all across the sci-fi/fantasy gameboard, so to speak. Here lately though, I been stuck on mixing the two and have no doubt come up with recipies for confusion among my readers...it's been fun though.
Anyway...
I used to have this tremendous problem with setting bounds for my magic, but I think I've got it under control. For example in one of my stories, anyone can work magic by buying it on scroll. Speak the words on the scroll and it activates the compoents in the paper that do the magic. The strenght of the spell is determined by the size of the paper and the energy of the caster so the spells are only as big as their creators let them be. I won't go into further detail on the way I play with magic in my stories, but let's just say sometimes it gets so strange it is laughable.
As for gods, I don't mind factoring them into stories. I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about when they suddenly get involved. People tend to need gods for some reason. What you do with a god is up to you. Personally, I prefer making them a multi-faceted individual. For example, I have a goddess I am working with right now who is both the ultimate power source for light and darkness. She also has a male side to her which is also the ultimate power source for both light and darkness. And you don't have to be the same sex as the aspect you worship or draw power from. And, surprisingly, the Goddess herself doesn't fuss about this and lets people worship her more or less the way they want. She does have limits though and she assigns single person (personally guided by her) to make sure when people over step her wide limits they know it. The story is not about that chosen person, just for the record.
And yes, my character do swear. Not often usually, and sometimes with words I make up, but yes, swear they do.
Anyway that's my two cents.............25 cents, that was a long paragraph. Sorry if anyone's confused. I'm very tired right now.
 

freebird

Science fiction fantasy
Joined
May 12, 2005
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22
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Augusta, GA
Realism is great. So is magic. Why can you not use both?? I will risk bringing up an author that some people are repulsed by, Stephen R. Donaldson. He throws realism in our face at point blank range, and manages to create great fantasy out of it. ....just a thought.
 

Brys

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Jun 13, 2005
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813
aftermath said:
When you write fantasy, how do you create your gods/magic/world. I've noticed that some my my friends in their writing, use hte same concepts continually for how they create these things. I myself, try to use a different concepts for each of my short stories. EX: one story the magic comes from gems that were created with the Earth. These gems are 'tapped'. there are different kinds. (sound fimilar? lol) another is a vampire that has to kill normal people. not wizards, for the wizards are in tune with the earth, and that is apparnently too much magic for the vampire. but anyway, the vapmire uses hte small amounts he takes from others for his magic.




So, how do you go about creating a world with magic and Gods if you use them... I don't really put too much into the Gods, because they normally don't play an important role. Do you use a single style or try to fan out? Also, maybe we could help each refine our ideas... just a thought

For magic - I try to keep it's use pretty limited. The magic that does exist supposedly comes from the Gods, or at least that's the belief of most of the characters. The Gods are less important than religion in mine. The gods exist - but you don't see them directly and they don't intervene. They're worshipped by some, not by others - one of the important themes in my novel is the conflict of religions - ironically between worshippers of all the gods and atheists, who believe that anyone/anything claiming to be a god is some kind of tyrant which uses magic to enslave people so that they will worship them.

@freebird - good point, but on Donaldson, the problem I have with him, as many others do I think, is not so much his realism/magic combination, but his style of writing and the fantasy world which is so similar to Tolkien's, not to mention the plots. The realism bits are great though, and really add to the story. If he had written an original plot as well, it would have been amazing, but he didn't, so it was just good.
 

evanescentdream

Tahveli
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
29
I have thought of a good way to separate my good and evil:

Everything done in the beginnning is good. A certain person, wanting to spread his benevolence, gathers his resources to accomplish this. As his methods improve and his power grows, he finds himself addicted to that power. Lusting for more, his former vision of goodwill disappears, and he is consumed by evil.

Or, this person may do evil things to do something good (such as save a loved one) and become ensnared.

Just a thought.:D
 

Stormflame

The Prolific Warrior
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Mar 19, 2005
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"Many that live deserve death. And some that die d
I created a world from many novels I had been writing for years. The world became like the Forgotten Realms campaign, in the sense, that I used it for a model. Yes, I created Gods, tribes, wars, history, and on and on and on. This makes it easier for me not having to set down and rough out, or should I say 'flesh out' a world. It just made it easier for me.
 

Rosemary

The Wicked Sword Maiden
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Jun 14, 2005
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How did you know which parts to use from your many novels?

You must have had some idea of what you needed for your 'world'?
 

Brys

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813
A minor spoiler for my book: Magic can come from the use of a drug - ie mages are addicts, and they effectively use magic when they're high - ie unpredictable, destructive, and likely to be useful only for one opportunity. The other type of magic comes from the gods (in theory, at least), but is far weaker, and barely used.

I've kept the amount of magic pretty limited so far, though I'm probably going to increase it a bit. Still, it's far from the most important part of my novel.
 

Brys

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813
Well, look in the critiques section for an extract of my novel. It slightly demonstrates the idea. I keep thinking that the idea somehow isn't actually original at all, and that in some way it's a copy of Mieville or Swainston, but when I look at their magic systems or use of drugs (rare in fantasy, it seems limited to New Weird, which mine certainly isn't) it's pretty different.
 

bendoran

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Aug 16, 2005
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192
hello, (first post)

been reading these forums for ages but never got round to signing up. i am currently working on my second book, the first one disappeared into obscurity years ago where i hope it stays :rolleyes: anyway i am currently half way through the first rewrite of my "fantasy" novel and came across this thread.

for myself i decided that our own world was interesting and diverse enough to warrant some attention, so instead of creating a new world, i decided to envisage what our own would be like if faith and belief had true physical consequences beyond the realms of reality. as well as thta though the question that i really wanted to deal with was how would normal people cope in a world where people existed who could change the world simply by believing.
 

Tim Bond

Mendlebra
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
46
Realistic hard edge:
I like a hard edge of realism.

Very important -
except in a slapstick pulp -
where it is a bore.

Magic and rapidly changing conditions:
if magic is used, I think consequences of using it can tie it down well
if the author really considers a realistic edge to it all.

A hard edge of realism allows something (values and tension) for drama and emotion
to flow along with and this always adds depth to the characters. If realism and
consequences get neglected, then magic can only take away even more flavor than what
would otherwise would be missing due to this defect.

If done careful - then magic is fine.
 

Tim Bond

Mendlebra
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
46
There is a genre called magical realism!

Its from latin america primarily where emotions run high and a magical flight can bring to light modern or future concerns. - i just sum up what i read about it - i have not personaly read anything along this line before beyond western authors.

i guess one example is:
where in the story an entire village has so much magic they never sleep and this illistrates the changes in mexico and latin america where - the big cities come up and no one seems to go quiet or to sleep anymore - where in the past they used to take ciestas in the afternoon and nights were quite. nothing stops anymore.

a social commentary this one it appears.

Colombian Nobel Prize winner:
Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

There appears to be a long standing and legit literary designation down south for this, been around a long time and it seems to have alot of good authors they celebrate and reward for preceived relivance behind the work.
 

ras'matroi

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Mar 20, 2005
Messages
139
in my opinion magic is an important element of fantasy. but that doesn't maen that every fantasy book has to have it.

if magic is there it should be limited. i once read a book where the mage had an hourglass and everytime he used magic the sand was running...
and the idea with the drug appears in dune (i know it's more a sifi story),too. the navigators af the spacahips take it and they get capabel to 'fold space' and bring the ship foem o´ne point to another. but by eating the spice they become addicted and stop being human...
in both examples 'magic' is used but limited....
 

KajiunVu

Keeper of Wind
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
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29
I maybe one of those different, but I tend to use Gods in as much as I can. What got me that way was the Greeks with their gods that seemed more like people. And with gods I use religion, to form a mythology of my own. As it was said before magic is good sometimes to a point. if I do magic it is through the act of markings if anything, even then it will give the person using it a very bad side affect and sometimes isn't even that great to use against any mortal man anyway. One thing I never dealt much with and never was fond of was the fact of elves and dwarves. I always felt they we're too overused in this day. But in the end my story would be a mixture of mythology, some fantasy, philosphy, psycology, and anything else that fits. And from all that my one world would be created.
 

Brys

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Jun 13, 2005
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813
ras'matroi said:
in my opinion magic is an important element of fantasy. but that doesn't maen that every fantasy book has to have it.

if magic is there it should be limited. i once read a book where the mage had an hourglass and everytime he used magic the sand was running...
and the idea with the drug appears in dune (i know it's more a sifi story),too. the navigators af the spacahips take it and they get capabel to 'fold space' and bring the ship foem o´ne point to another. but by eating the spice they become addicted and stop being human...
in both examples 'magic' is used but limited....

I know about Dune, but the way it works for me is pretty different (Spice being a relatively beneficial thing - addictive, but generally is good for you) - in mine, the drugs are devastating, illegal, and most addicts don't realise that they can do magic - in fact, it's very difficult to control. The idea is more of an extrapolation of hallucinogens - what if these drugs didn't just create hallucinations, but made these hallucinations reality? Usually the results aren't particularly nice. But for the most part, magic isn't hugely important - it isn't used in battles, because it's too unreliable, it isn't used to enhance anyone important, because they don't think it can do anything - very similar to drugs in our own world. The rest of the fantasy comes from the world itself, not from magic.
 

hellborn

Litriture butcher
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Messages
50
When i want to write i read lots of other authors and when i finaly get an idea i write it down and expand it thinking about differnt aspects and putting it all in my note pad.

Then i type it all up about the hierarchy of goverment, magic (if i use it) and that kind a thing.

Then i get a pad of A2 paper and draw out a map of the land or country and continent, labling differnt areas of intrest, eg. religious sites, sites of great battles and typw up some notes on them, as well as lableing the cities and things. This really will help you to plan the characters journey and make the whole thing seem a bit more real.

THEN I START WRITING
 

the_faery_queen

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Dec 17, 2005
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1,096
for me, religion and magic are just backgrounds. they aren't that important, so they are fairly simplistic and don't really drive the story. (not at this stage at least) the world itself is created out of need. when a situation arises where i need to develop or explore something, i will figure out a way of doing it. i am not someone who plans a huge world before writing, i plan characters and plot (to some extent) and then let it go where it wants. but for me it is characters that drive the plot and shape the world, and the world in turn shapes other characters and subplots. basically, i just write and see what happens and try and be consistant :)
 

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