Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writing Wibbles

Dogs got their kibble, I got my wibble…

But first, let’s welcome the new followers here at the free-range insane asylum:

  • Taryn Raye — a romance writer hailing from southern Kentucky
  • Jennifer Shirk — another romance writer, and a Red Sox fan (and I’m a Tigers fan… hm, I’ll bet Jennifer could write a baseball romance based on that!)
  • Maureen Hovermale — writer and reviewer
All three are fellow members of the Writers Worth group on Goodreads. Badges are on the desk. Watch out for the little short inmate; he likes to sucker you in with his cuteness then steal your pens…


Craig Smith has been especially encouraging me to continue with my Termag stories. Most of my fantasy writing has been in that world, in two different ages: the Age of Heroes is where Chelinn and LodrĂ¡n hail from; and the Accidental Sorcerers live in what I call Middle Termag (they just call it home), nearly a thousand years after. There’s also an early age, called Camac That Was, but it’s more a fount of legends than the setting for stories.

This does simplify a few things for me behind the scenes — I only have to keep track of one magic system, and stories in one age provide backstory for another. I’ve been amazed at how much of a writing world I can keep in my head — and my dear wife would, if she knew, chalk it up as proof that my memory is selective — but it’s probably time to start writing things down. I started a wiki on my laptop; that makes it difficult to just send out to the world but that’s probably all to the better since I can keep track of things that would be spoilers to you.

I’m starting with the magic system. As you may remember (Sura explained it as part of her own backstory), magic on Termag is governed by the Three Principles — Necessity, Power (Intent), and Closure — but that’s how it regulates itself. The power is based mostly on the classic four elements, with a little extra wrinkle:


Purely elemental magic is not as common as that based on how two elements combine. The “bowtie” shows that any two elements may combine — except for Fire and Water (it’s said that the two were joined in the time of Camac That Was, which may have opened the door to destruction). Different combinations produce different results: for example, Earth and Water is how Sura flooded Bailar’s basement; Water and Air govern concealment; Fire and Air makes what John Xero called “big flashy battle magic.”

Off to the side are Chaos and Making, two opposites. Chaos is thought to have rules, but too many for a mere human to comprehend. However, that doesn’t stop some sorcerers from thinking they can do an end-run around that… usually, with messy results. Weather magic is chaotic in nature, as are emotions (i.e. love and hate spells).

The opposite of Chaos is Making — the physical creation of something imagined. As Ethtar explained in the latest #FridayFlash, Makers no longer walk Termag… well, maybe…

Not shown is the astrological system, which governs Fate. The Moon powers curses.


And all this is well and good, but sometimes I think it’s an excuse to procrastinate a little more on White Pickups. I have some general comments from my last beta (thanks, Icy!) and now the hard work begins. I keep wondering if I should try to tame this 180,000 word beast into something that will fit into a single novel. But whatever I do, I need to get doing it — especially if I want to get it out next month.

3 comments:

  1. Although I am eagerly anticipating White Pickups as the author only you really know when it's "ready for consumption". If it's at 180K or 100K I think you probably know best. BUT - for what it's worth, those words counts dont seem as important in ebook form as they are in paper book form.

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  2. Thanks, Lace. I'm probably just suffering from a case of "new author angst," while will kick into high gear the day after I launch. ;-)

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  3. It's a pleasure. I think it's great that you're visiting Termag at different times. It's starting to build quite a grand picture in my head too.

    I think the magic system detailing is a nice touch. I need to do something similar for my fantasy world.

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