Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rules, schmules

I enjoy writing fantasy, or what I guess we're calling "speculative fiction" these days. I like playing "what if" without the boundaries of reality constricting me. I like to take the abstract and give it physical form. But oddly enough, it is not usually the magical setting or system that comes to me first when a story starts to form--it's usually the overall theme, and then I try to think of character interactions that could illustrate that theme, and then I try to imagine what kind of world those characters would live in. This is, from what I can glean from other spec-fic writers' discussions about their process, possibly a little backward. I am NOT a big fan of world-building. Drawing maps and making up cultures and religions and the rules of magic systems does not give me chills or tempt me to spend too much time on it. At all. I draft my stories while making up whatever speculative elements seem appropriate (or just cool) at the time.

This means, of course, that inevitably I reach a point where my logical me is piping in with questions an awful lot. "OK, the emotional groove in the scene is working fine. But that thing she just did with the magic there... Does that really make sense? I mean, yeah, it's cool. But how does it work, anyhow? EXACTLY HOW?"

So I just spent the last two days alternately pacing circles around the kitchen (which makes the dog nuts) or checking my email every five minutes or rubbing my forehead as if I could shove some fresh insight in by force. But I think I have all the major kinks worked out of Crowmaker's magic system, now. It should all make a remote, fantastical kind of sense.

Y'know. Even though none of it is remotely possible in reality.

As a side note, I have grown to love OneNote. A lot.

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