If you’re designing a magic system for a fantasy novel, here are some more questions you might want to ask.
My last post gave five questions you might find useful to ask when designing a magic system for a fantasy novel. Here are five more questions that should have been in that post but weren’t because it was getting long.
What is the downside or cost of magic and how long do any negative side-effects last?
If magic is free, life will be too easy for your protagonist. They might love you for it, but your readers won’t.
So magic must come at a cost.
Maybe magic is forbidden, and if a user is discovered she risks being dunked in boiling butter.
Perhaps the cost of magic is lifespan–each spell cast shortens the practitioner’s life by a month.
Or each spell cast means someone close to the spellcaster will randomly die in a horrible accident.
Continue reading “Questions to ask when designing a magic system, part 2”
If you want to design a magic system for a fantasy novel, these questions might help you. Or they might not. Either way, they’re free.
The title of this post might indicate this is going to be a writing advice post. It’s not! I promise.
A better title might be “The questions I found that I (tried to) answer in the recently-discovered document that explains the magic system in my current WIP”, but that’s a bit of a mouthful.
I almost definitely stole at least some of these questions from someone else’s writing advice blog post, but I’m afraid I did it so long ago I have no idea where I stole them from.
If they’re yours, I offer recompense in chocolate fish.
I’m not saying you must answer all or even any of these questions if you’re designing a magic system for a fantasy world. But if they’re helpful to you, you’re welcome.
Continue reading “Questions to ask when designing a magic system, part 1”
I read the YA fantasy novel A Song Below Water by Black author Bethany C. Morrow. It’s a powerful book, but the oppression it portrays might not make it the best escapist read right now.
As part of my recent mission to read a string of books by Black authors, I read A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow. Sebastian and Rain had strong opinions about it. I’ll let them explain.
In case you missed it, last week I wrote about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. I’m thinking of renaming my WIP so it has “song” in the title.
Rain: I get to start this time! This book was such a weird mix. It’s set in the real world, which I don’t approve of, but it had all these mysterious magical elements that I loved so much. There’s only one gargoyle in Portland, and it lives on the roof of the main characters’ house. Sirens are real–they’re always Black women–but they look like people and live like anyone else, and there are magical elokos who also look like people and are universally adored, sprites whose pranks occasionally go too far–
Sebastian: I got it. You liked the magic stuff.
Continue reading “A rant about A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow”
Sebastian and Rain bicker about what they did and didn’t like in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown, a fantasy novel by a black author that was inspired by West African folklore.
A week ago I shared a list of books by black authors that had jumped to the top of my TBR pile. Ten minutes ago I finished the first, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown.
In a moment I’ll hand over to Sebastian and Rain to chat about it. In case you haven’t met them, Rain is my reader half and Sebastian is my writer half. I should warn you Sebastian is a bit of a prat, but I hope you don’t hold that against him.
The advantage of setting Sebastian and Rain loose rather than trying to write a review is that this way I don’t have to decide what I think about the book.
Continue reading “Not a review of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown”
I’m planning a sequel to my current fantasy novel, and its going to have a more diverse cast. Older women will definitely feature. Here are some of the things I’m thinking and worrying about.
You might think from the title of this post that I’m about to take you on an intellectual exploration of the roles and representation of older women in the fantasy genre. Or you might know me and expect nothing of the sort.
I don’t study literature, but I read, look, and think, and occasionally I have enough thoughts about a topic that I want to share them.
Or I realise it’s 5:30pm and I’m supposed to write a blog post tonight, and I have no idea what I’m going to write about.
Let’s agree I have no good reason to write about this topic, but that I’m going to do it anyway.
Continue reading “Older women in fantasy novels”