Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WorldBuilding Wednesday Magic Systems

When worldbuilding for fantasy novels, it is a good idea to figure out the magic system at least by the second draft, or so I would think. Like with many aspects of the fantasy world, there are many things to consider when adding a magic system. And the two novels I really need to worldbuild both have magic but the systems are very different, which is important because the stories are very different so I wouldn't want the magic to be the same.

The steampunk-inspired one (needs a title so I can stop calling it that) has a fey main character and the magic is elemental. The elements in the story are water, fire, earth, wood and metal. Wood is the main characters element, so he can't control the others like he can control wood. Limits are good to have because having a character who is all powerful with magic can make the character a little boring and unrealistic. His magic is part of his trade, because he is a wood fey he loves to travel and gets work on a wood airship because he can magically fix the ship which is much easier when flying than having someone fix the ship by hand. But give him metal and he can't do anything with it, can't even really use metal weapons.

The epic fantasy series is very different. Sure, it has a non-human main character that does magic, only instead of a fey it's an elf. But there is more than one elf and not all elves are capable of doing magic, that they are aware of at least. The other elf will eventually be able to do minor magic because all of the elves have a certain level of magic abilities but most are minimal. Only one type has strong abilities and most of those don't exist anymore in the series as they were killed out of fear. The one main character does have those abilities but it's not easy for him, having to hide his abilities because of those that would act out of fear against him. And while he is technically very strong in his magic he is very careful about using it to the point of being self-conscious about what he can do. I'm still working on figuring out this magic system since it's not an elemental type.

Here is some thoughts on building magic systems that I found on a blog that has advice from Holly Black. These are six questions (posted here) to help with the developing of a magic system.

1. Who has it?

2. What does it do?

3. How do you make it happen?

4. How is user affected?

5. How is world affected?

6. How are magic users grouped & perceived?

These are questions I am considering when it comes to the magic systems that I am creating. So, what about you? Does your story have a magic system? What have you done to develop the magic system?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

pick what I read next

I am trying something a little different. I thought it would be fun to do a poll on my blog to let the blog viewers help me pick which book to read. So, I have a poll up on this blog and on for people to vote. I have 5 books available, and if people vote, which ever one that wins will be the one I read next.

But I need votes.

So, it is up to you, readers: Which book should I read?

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Ice Land by Betsy Tobin
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
XVI by Julia Karr
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Year Plans and January Goals

First, some of the goals I made for 2011 and whether I succeeded or not. Then on to goals for 2012 and for January specifically.

2011 Goals/Reflection

Tattle Tell - Finish second draft. Edit. Send to beta readers by the end of February. Work on query.
-- Did finish the second draft. Have a couple attempts so far on the query but have work to do on it. Didn't send to readers yet but will after a round of editing.

Fantasy/Steampunk - Finish Worldbuilding and find a work in progress Title. Maybe start writing.
-- Still have a lot of world building to do but have a couple of scenes written, character profiles and outline done.

Angel/Demon - Finish first draft, edit and then send to beta reader.
-- nope.

Other potential books: Pick which ones and start writing them. This also means write one of them for NaNoWriMo 2011. Also make sure to write for MarNo with either a started novel or one of the new ones. List includes: TT book 2, Fantasy/Steampunk, I'm Sorry I Forgot You, XXY, Border Patrol dystopian, or Blood Prophesy book 1.
-- Did start the border patrol one in March and it's called Lighting the Wall. Also wrote Against the Grain and finished even though it wasn't on the list, and started OttoHahn in E Minor, also not listed.

Now for 2012 Goals.

I would like to finish at least two first drafts that I have already started out of Angel/Demon, Thomas/Kyle, OttoHahn in E Minor or Lighting the Wall.

Edit two novels, both mutant ones with already finished drafts. There is an editing challenge happening in February that I'm going to try.

Be ready to submit to an agent by the end of the year. I think that I'm close enough for this to be a realistic goal finally.

Reading goal = 50 books for 2012 at least and 10 of them being the first 10 in Wheel of Times series by Robert Jordan (though not 0, that one I will wait on for now).

Keep track of all fiction written, word count wise, and see how many words I write for the year in total.

January Goals

Blog at least 4 times
Read and write notes for mutant novel edits
Write 5k in Angel/Demon, Lighting the Wall, and OttoHahn in E Minor

What are your goals for January and/or 2012?
Hope everyone has a great year!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Progress Report

I have worked on a number of different novels over the years and 2011 was no different. So many novels that sometimes it is hard to keep track. So, I figured before I posted my goals for the year and for the month, I thought it would be appropriate to post a status report of all the novels I have at least started in some shape or another.

Young Adult

Tattle Tell - Second draft made it to 50,795. Will edit this year.
Lighting the Wall - Started in March and made it to 15,196
Ottohahn in E Minor - NaNoWriMo that I wrote 25,000 words in so far.


Standing Ground - First chapter fixed, so draft is still slightly over 90k.
the fantasy/mystery with steampunk elements - worldbuilding and have remnants of an outline and other notes
Gathered at Dawn - didn't write any in 2011, so still have the 50k from nanowrimo 2010


Angel/Demon - not much progress but hope to finish this year, currently at 32,753 words.
Thomas/Kyle- would like to get done this year as I have 22,549 so far.
Against the Grain - NaNoWrimo book that made it to 100,000 words.

Books started but on the back burner:

Blood Prophesy series - chapters started for 2 of the books. (1 or 2 each)
Against All Evidence - 5 chapters started
Luigi - couple chapters/scenes done

I hope to finish a few of the ones I have started in 2012 and maybe start a couple. But that will be talked about more on my goal post, which will be the next blog post. ;-)


I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!