I’m Just Going to Ask:
Am I Actually Helping You with Your Magic?
Seriously, this is a big deal for me.
When I first started writing I was starving for resources. I didn’t know how to build my world, I didn’t know how to tell a story, and I didn’t know how to flay someone alive. Over time I did manage to find a number of books, websites, and mentors to guide in some of these topics, but others, like worldbuilding, remained aggravatingly elusive.
Time and time again I found websites claiming they could guide me through the process. Every time they resorted to long lists of ambiguous, sweeping questions. Things like…
- Are the laws of nature and physics different?
- How does the culture of this world compare to our own?
- Does this planet have the same ratio of land/water as Earth?
- Can the climate of a region actually support life?
These are great questions, but…
They can be damn hard to answer.
These are outstanding questions to ask if you already have the necessary knowledge and practice.
More than once, I remember thinking, “Thanks, shit-brick, you just referenced at least four entire fields of science. Very helpful.”
This level of broad, unguided questioning left me confused, afraid, and angry.
Where was I supposed to get the knowledge/divine guidance to answer these enormous questions? Was I supposed to know it already? Was there some secret society training authors for world domination? Why wasn’t I invited?
I was paralyzed.
That’s how I came up with the great idea for this blog. I love magic, always have, so set out to help people build magic systems of their own. Only I would teach through guided exercises and detailed explanations instead of asking impossibly open-ended questions. I would be different and my website would be a mind-blowing resource for my fellow writers.
At least… that was the plan
Now, We’ve Come Full Circle
I was reviewing, editing, and generally marveling at the pieces of perfection that were my old blog posts. I—
*Snort* Couldn’t say that with a straight face.
Anyway, I was checking out my old content like 4 Reasons Planned Magic Is Better Magic, my Aeronaut’s Windlass book review, and Types of magic: Hard Magic, Soft Magic and it started to feel like the same crap I always hated.
It was depressing. After several hours of swearing, sobbing, and spiritual cleansing with a bloody cat-o-nine-tails, I gradually came out of my funk.
Which brings me to the point of all this.
How Can I Help You More?
What are your magic troubles? Is there something specific you need? Should I stop asking questions now?
After some serious thought, I sat down and restructured my approach. I outlined the 4 Stages of Building Marvelous Magic, taking the time to explore Generating Ideas, Aligning Your System, Defining Your System, and Iterating The Process. I’ve got all sorts of things planned, including deeper looks at each of the stages, walkthroughs as I build my own systems, and breaking down popular systems. After that first realization/delusion, all I can see is how I’m failing you.
Please, talk to me.
Am I pulling the same crap, or am I actually helping?
This Really Is About YOU
This is not a cry for pity. All I want is to serve and help you to the best of my abilities. Please, let me know what you need in the comments below.
Are there scientific principles you don’t understand? What about your magic is causing you grief? Is there some obvious question I’ve been missing? Which post has been most helpful in your efforts? What would you like to see more of?
Remember, you can always email me, message me on social media, or mail me questions engraved into the skulls of your enemies. Whatever works, just let me know. We’ll talk again in two weeks. I look forward to hearing from you in the meantime.