Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Seeds of Magic: inspiration & spark

This post is Part 1 of a series to augment the Author's Manifesto available for free download.

This and other inspirations of mine are gathered in the Spark Directory for you to explore.

Find more mystic content in my Magic Directory.

I started my Magic Codex in 2001 with the question, What if an entire race of people could prophesy? I wondered how the sheer volume of constant new portents would affect their culture, and how their culture would use prophesy to affect the world.

I also envisioned magic equality, a system where any person could study any magic, even if you weren't born with it. And I wanted diversity, a system where any power could be represented.

Check out this Author's Manifesto for more of my inspirations!

From there I outlined which races had which magics. At first, there was just one magic per race -- mers could see the future, humans could speak to animals, faeries had air magic, nymphs had plant magic, elves had sound magic (sharp hearing, stealth, and music powers).

But these five magics were hardly comprehensive. There were a lot of other magics in the story too, powers that played a role in my Tales of the Known World saga, but that I hadn't built into the magic system yet.

So in 2011 or 2012, as I was knuckling down to re-draft my first book, I took a detour to codify the magic system. I added the different branches and fleshed out how each race has both a prime and latent power.

I wanted to defy the trope that humans are lame and non-magical, and explore the trope about humans being the most prone to evil. So I came up with Dark magic.

Without it, humans are the weakest race but with it, they are the strongest. And I world-built stigma around it so even though humans don't have to be evil to wield it, people assume anyone wielding it is evil.

That's it for this post! Up Next: The evolving taxonomy of magic...

Download the Author's Manifesto here, or start your adventure below.

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