Building a Magic System — Chronicle of Creation IV
After finishing Chapter 1, I’ve started in on Chapter 2. Historically speaking, I’ve always had trouble with second chapters, so we will celebrate when I get over the hump. Ch. 2 is action-packed so far. Certainly no one will be remarking that my main character doesn’t have agency this time around!
I’m hoping to round out Chapter 2 over the next few days. Between the next entry in the series and this one, you’ll get to read a lot more of Chapter 1 — yes, I’ve relented, and I’m going to post more. For today’s segment, I’ll include what I included last time and the next bit, so you won’t have to jump all over the place. But I thought for the topic in general today, we’d talk about magic and building a magic system. Because… I really missed writing about magic. Magic is cool. And figuring out the mechanics of magic, how exactly it works, taps into the imagination like nothing else.
Magic in the world of The Many
We have to talk a little bit more about the gods before we talk about magic, because in my world magic and religion are tied together to some extent. There are six gods (that people know of). Three are called the Divine Triem — they’re the “good” gods. The other three are called the Perditem — the “lost” gods. Several centuries before my MC was born, the Triem sent a prophet, Ipsen, who brought a new type of magic to humanity. The Perditem opposed them in this decision. There wasn’t a full-blown war of the gods, but the Perditem were cast out of council (or, in some cases, chose to walk away from council).
For now, the provisional name for the magic Ispen brought is candem — “light magic.” And the name of the pre-existing magic is tenbrem — “dark magic.” I don’t think that these names have much to do with the magic itself. It’s just an easy way of separating the two types.
Below: Three examples of what the use of magic might equate to in my world, all from Unsplash. In the first picture, there are several implements for use with healing magic. In the second picture, there’s a wolf — my point there is that many people have an “animal spirit” that they can tap into with varying degrees of success. The most advanced of these people can shape-shift. And the third picture shows a person standing in sparks. Fire magic is a type of magic that’s looked down on as dangerous, because of the potential damage and destruction an untrained user can cause by wielding it.
Here’s more from The Many, Chapter One.
Building a magic system…
… isn’t easy, and is a different process for each story. Luckily, I’ve already spent enough time in this world that I know (sort of) what the magic system is all about. I haven’t gone into a whole ton of detail, though, because in the end my story is not mostly about magic. There are some fantasy novels that are very magic heavy, and they often have super fleshed out mechanics for that magic and theologies or ideologies behind it. My story will never be like that… but I do aim to present a consistent base for the magic that I’ll use through multiple books, if I continue using this world beyond just this book. (Since future books in a series starting with The Many would probably be more magic heavy.)
If you’re looking to dive more in-depth into the magic for your world, try out this handy magic worldbuilding sheet from Eva Deverell (AKA Lady Writer). I’ve used her material before, and I think it’s pretty great. She has a ton of free resources on her site that are beneficial for writers who are just starting out on their writing journey, or for seasoned writers rediscovering fantasy… like me.
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Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my update and my insights on building a magic system! Next time…
I’ll hopefully be writing to inform you that I’ve finished Chapter 2. Fingers crossed! Wish me best luck. And thank you very much for reading.
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A review of Ernest Hemingway’s debut novel, The Sun Also Rises, including an overview and a discussion of character and themes.
The second Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day, and the release of a collection of short stories and poems titled METAMORPHOSIS…
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