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Tangwystle last won the day on October 16

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About Tangwystle

  • Birthday May 1

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  1. How does magic work? Whether you like to figure it out as you go or establish a cross-referenceable index of every spell before you start, it can be tough to figure out exactly how you want magic to work and remain consistently true throughout a story. I was helping our overlord and mistress -cough- I mean -cough- dear sweet @Jedi Knight Muse with figuring out her magic system, and I thought, "Y'know, this might be helpful for a lot of people." So, I'm posting my first topic. ^_^ This is just a handful of questions that I feel, if answered, can pretty much allow you to answer any other question about magic in your world that might come up while writing. First, just the questions in case people want to c/p them, then I'll give some example answers based on my own primary project novel The New Queen. There are NO Wrong Answers here. Hope this helps. 1. Are people born with magic or can anyone learn it? Essentially, is magic an internal phenomenon or is it an element of the world? 2. How is magic performed? Are there certain rituals, gestures, words, or materials required or can a mage simply enforce their will on the world through mental effort? 3. Does all magic share the above requirements or do certain types have different requirements or do certain people cast the same magic through different methods? Ex. Healing requires a detailed knowledge of anatomy. Sorcerers enforce their will, Mages use formulas, Clerics channel their deities. 4. Can people cast in unison for larger more powerful spells? Do some spells require a group? Can any spell be made larger and more powerful by a group cast? OR alternatively, can mages lend their power to a single caster to enhance a spell? 5. Are there special methods of casting magic? Using blood, music, crystals, shapes, colors, runes, or some other medium to channel/focus energy. 1. People are born with a certain maximum level of attainable magic. Most humans can't do more than what DnD call cantrips, simple little spells that don't do a whole lot, but can be handy. On the other end of the spectrum are my High Fae (little mix of Elf, fairy, and sidhe with my own twist). The High Fae are like living magical power houses and can do a lot with relatively little effort. Another major race, the Sanguinari (think living vampires) are all connected to a magical source through their ruler (who changes pretty frequently until someone manages to hold onto the throne for a century or two). They have a minor internal source of magic from before they were changed, but even if they used to be High Fae (most high fae would kill themselves before allowing themself to be changed) that power is infinitesimal compared to the Well of Stars which is the Sanguinari source, however only the ruler can access the full power. Everyone else gets access based on how much the monarch likes them. So, magic in my world has both an internal and external component factor for pretty much everybody. 2. Again, I went for variety. Races with a high natural affinity for magic primarily exert their will on the world, and it doesn't take a lot of effort, but their spells don't have lasting effects generally speaking. The High Fae do study magic, but only up to a middling degree, spells on the level of effect of a cannon or healing a serious, but not necessarily fatal wound. Along family lines are passed the highest levels of magic, but these always carry a high cost to the caster. For example, a castle guardsman named Pine (his family line has a strong affinity for trees) sacrifices his sense of self and his physical form turning himself into a tree in order to tap into the will of the forest for miles around him and stop enemy agents from capturing the Prince. The Sanguinari specialize in long lasting (long casting) spells whether they are conjuring fireballs or healing wounds. They can easily synchronize casting in order to amplify effects, but they're an extremely cut throat and suspicious bunch, so they don't tend to work together very often. They also specialize in enchanting objects that can recharge from the ambient environment or directed energy. Dwarves are even more ritualistic with an ancient tradition of casting in unison, but their magic centers around defending home and family rather than offensive efforts. Human magic is like cooking; there's a science to it, but also an art. Most humans can't do much on their own no matter how long they study, and a lot of human societies frown very strongly on the use of magic because of religious intolerance, ignorance, fear mongering, and a rotten handful of magic users. Human magic is flexible and can be swift or slow, power being relative time spent casting, quality of materials used, and assistance provided from fellow casters. 3. I pretty much covered all this already above, but the question is there to help people expand and further detail their own systems. 4. ditto on 3. 5. Special methods of casting! I love this stuff in other works, so I'm going to branch out beyond my own novel a bit. In my world, the Sanguinari are really the only ones so far who commonly use method casting. Remember how I said they were like living vampires? Well, this is because, in addition to going through the ruler to access the source of their racial magic, they can drink the blood of a creature which naturally possesses magic and it gives them a temporary internal boost to their casting that the ruler can't control. So, if you fall out of favor, you stock up on some good stuff. Blood from High Fae is of course some of the best for this purpose, but hard to get as the High Fae find blood drinking abhorrent and repulsive. The Sanguinari also maintain a discreet slave trade for blood production. Branching out a bit, R.A.Salvatore in his novel The Highwayman had his main character use physical contact with various powerful stones to trigger his heightened abilities (str, dex, etc). In The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro, her mages use the visual input of various shapes and colors to focus their spells with shape complexity determining power and color determining effects. That's about all I can think of. Hope you enjoyed this and found it inspirational/helpful.
  2. Eheheehehheheehhehe! (witch/writer cackle) I was telling my boyfriend about the challenge and he gave me a great notion for the idea I was telling him I wanted to use. I won't give any details yet, but it's gonna be GOOD! 😄
  3. 1. If you participated, what is your general, overall feedback regarding the challenge? Uhm...hmm...well, it was kind of like a low pressure NaNo for six months in a row for me. All the mutual support and commiserating was really nice. 2. We are considering shortening the challenge to three months for 2020. Would you still be interested in the challenge? If so, which three months would you prefer? I would still definitely be interested in participating, though I fully support keeping it to six months, maybe even extending it, though that might detract from the Event like appeal of it. No preference on which months. 3. Do you have any suggestions for next year's challenge? I'm sorry, no. I really liked it though. 4. Was there anything confusing about the rules, or how the challenge was run? Nope, nothing I can recall. 5. Would you be open to having the challenge be self-moderated next year, with members putting their totals into the tracking sheet themselves? I think that would be a great idea and help take some pressure off our super busy admins and mods.
  4. The New Queen: Berry (real name Rowan): She was traded to a goblin as an infant so doesn't know her real name. She gets adopted by Meldryth (after he kills the goblin) and taken to the court of the High Fae (Kind of like Tolkien elves but with more colors) where she grows up studying dance and becoming an entertainer until a respected oracle prophesies her at the center of the Major Threat for the series. She has rather low self esteem growing up among the beautiful Fae and feels completely inadequate to her fate. Meldryth: A Darkling Fae who fled his people when his liason with a priestess was discovered and she was executed while pregnant with their child. He is a little out of his mind with grief and exhaustion when he finds Berry and the goblin trader. Knowing he cannot take care of a human infant on his own, he wanders until finding the High Fae court where he asks for work and protection. He becomes a spy for the court and Berry is given the protection of the King and Queen placing her in a unique position as most human infants and children are kept hidden away from the public. Mystral: A High Fae captain in the royal guard is assigned to travel with Berry to the Sanguinari Kingdom (living vampires rule), and he is much more comfortable facing a serious threat than dealing with Berry's insecurities, but he does his best to handle both. He's also conflicted because Berry is about 20, and quite attractive (not that he's a picky one), but to his sense of age, she's still very much a juvenile (High Fae aren't considered adults until 100). In his mind, he feels a bit like a pedo, even though he's not. Aella: A powerful curse breaker and a Sanguinari noble, Aella takes Berry into her home when she and her group arrive in the capital Blackstone, and begins making plans to use her in a scheme to take the Scarlet Throne. She is sensual, provocative, and unrepentantly wicked. Davyyd (Pronounce Duh-VEED): Davyyd is the current king of the Sanguinari, though only people outside the empire call him that. Originally a human from the middle East of the Mortal Realm, he took the title Shah when he claimed the throne from his predecessor. He takes a keen personal interest in Berry who reminds him of his recently departed human lover (who refused to be changed and died of fever).'' Phew, I could go on with a few more fairly major players, and important minor characters, but I'm going to stop here.
  5. My mistake. You're absolutely right. Don't know how I managed to mix that up.
  6. I like this prompt. My only problem is, how am I going to keep it under 5k words?
  7. Well, I think if you're wanting to avoid closely resembling or eliciting (or potentially caricaturing) a real world culture, a good way is to play alphabet soup. By that, I mean, make a sound "ah," "oh," etc. Follow it with another sound. Continue playing with the sounds (and how you might spell them) until you get something you like. Caveat to this, be careful you don't accidentally "invent" a real name. I did that. Jallil Oura, Jalil being Muslim and meaning exalted or magnificent, and Oura being Japanese and meaning a whole host of different things depending on the kanji used to spell it. On the other hand, almost no one outside of those two cultures is likely to identify either name without a google search, and no one ever gave me trouble over the name being stolen or racist or anything like that. Another trick I use is to echo naming conventions but change the element to a different set of letters. For example, a German naming convention is Von, meaning son of insert-family-name-or father's-name. This can potentially make the name echo the culture of the convention you're working off of, but not necessarily.
  8. @Penguinball This is the story if you want to give it a look. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2916285/1/A-Drink
  9. That is by far my favorite adaptation. Reeves played a Harker who was supposed to be a wimpy normal guy, and he played it perfectly, I think. Gary Oldman, I had to look up, because I never pay much attention to actors' names, but he is by far my favorite Dracula performance. I too loved the idea of his wife being reincarnated (actually his third wife if memory serves). I like the idea so much, I kind of used it in a fanfiction, except instead of being reincarnated, her blood was used to craft an independent golem with false memories (she thinks she's human until the final chapter) to trap Dracula/Alucard. She's sort of a magical version of an android with an amazing AI. The book, I tried to read an unabridged version. Years and years ago. I was so super excited to read it, but oh my god it was so dry and slow. I have yet to finish it, though I do pick it up from time to time and tell myself I should finish it.
  10. I am a big fan of the classic deal with the devil origin. Alucard of Hellsing manga/anime comes to mind first. Magic is definitely preferred here, but I'm not entirely against genetic engineering, viruses, or other pseudo science type origins. In my main novel, I have a race of blood drinkers who take it as a serious insult to be called vampire, because actual vampires are more like the zombie of today which is what they were like in old myths and folklore before Stoker's Dracula started a Thing. The first of their kind discovered an arcane well, a natural font of magic. Drinking directly from it gave them incredible power. Too much power, so they started turning others with a bite and exchange system. This helped to ease the agony inducing level of power the well provided, but also turned the first drinker into a kind of conduit. Through them the other Sanguinari could tap the power of the well, but they could also half turn others which gave the half turned near immortality and a nice taste of power. Only the monarch could fully turn someone, and but the half turned were creating something of a drain on the font. It was powerful, too much for one person, but it wasn't infinite. So, being a power hungry lot of blood suckers, they manage their population by any means necessary, and a lot of backstabbing.
  11. I'm easy to remember cause it's Tangwystle in both places.
  12. I agree with both Penguin and bdcharles. Variety of structure is very important because it helps keep the reader fully engaged whereas repetitious structure or word use (as, like, said, etc) will inevitably create a sense of tedium for most readers no matter how thrilling the story or well developed the setting, plot, or characters. So, I definitely don't agree with "don't use as" for a good rule.