Monday, January 23, 2012
Okay, Actually Magic This Time
Alright, I confess, I felt kind of bad for that last post, so here's a real one for you, about real things! I've always loved magic. I adore reading abut it, and always intended to write about it myself. When magic started to worm its way into my first novel, The Nesting Grounds, I didn't try to stop it in the slightest. Now, as I read through the book, I'm realizing how poorly defined the magic is. I don't mind not having ten thousand rules laid out for the readers--keeping it vague keeps it interesting. I don't plan on telling everyone how every piece of magic in the books works, but eventually my main character develops a talent for magic. That's where the trouble sets in. I was busily writing at that point--I knew my character needed at least some magic to get her through a few plot points, and I couldn't decide how to teach her. Her martial arts teacher was completely inept and uninterested in magic, and the witch who ran the place she was staying had no interest in being someone's teacher. Eventually, I put a window in her room. That window led to the deepest part of the ocean, and every night mermaids would come and teach her magic in her sleep. Now that I'm reading the story, that sounds not only like a cop out, but like a dumb cop out. So now I'm faced with a problem. I want my character to have some talent with magic, and I don't want to add ten thousand more pages of her learning it. Do I keep the general idea I was working with and just flesh it out more? Have a dream character appear every night to teach her these things? Let her inherit magical powers for slaying dragons? (Skyrim has not eaten my life, I promise.) I could, earlier, have simply cut the magician qualities from her character entirely. But heeere's the problem with that. I've written the second book. And in the second book, though her magic is used sparingly, it is used, and in ways I heartily approve of, and that end up being quite important to the book. In fact, that in and of itself is helpful in that I can use those instances to guide me through how to organize her magical training... There's no real point to this ramble, except the usual one! Writing is hard, and editing is harder. Much love to all you authors out there, and serious respect to anyone who has figured out how to not run themselves into corners like this... Curse myself three years ago when I just started writing! CURSE YOU, PAST ME!!!!