I want to thank L. for hosting me today. One of the things I admire the most about L and her amazing book is her world building skills. When I read Disciple, that’s one of the things that grabbed me from the very beginning.
There are so many levels and details that go into creating a new world. Today I’m going to talk about one aspect of my planet Sendek—the rules of magic. I’ll fess up and tell you that I didn’t sit down and think this out until after finishing the first draft. That meant a lot of tweaking and rewriting after I figured out my system. So my suggestion is plan these kinds of things before you start writing.
Here are my notes dealing with magic on my planet, and a few thoughts on how the rules might change how Talia views it.
The rules of magic
Magic is hard work .
Magic requires effort. There's a kickback effect for magic used, a sort of karmic boomerang that will slam the user with a force equal to that which the user applies. Mainly, a draining or exhausting of life energy. It will renew, but the magic user is rendered weak until they have time to recover. Prolonged use of magic can in effect kill you if you do not pull energy from other life sources. If you take life from other sources you shorten or end their life depending on how long you steal energy.
The only sources of energy that a mage can draw from without noticeable effect are the suns. Of course, this also shortens the life of the suns, but the energy drawn from them is so infinitesimal that it is almost immeasurable.
This won't eliminate the use of magic—after all, if you know the punch is coming, you can brace for it. And magical defenses will be effective. The majority of people will choose not to use magic on a regular basis, especially in a scientifically advanced society like Sendek.
Magic can be augmented by group work
Magic works on an individual basis, but a group of people working together can make the spell more powerful and sustain it longer. Especially helpful if the group consists of young or inexperienced mages.
There will be a few rogue mages, hungry for power, and they will gather like minded people to their cause.
(Mini Spoiler) Magic is tied to the planets seeded by the dragons
Sorry, you’ll have to wait for this one since it is directly tied to the series finale.
Effects of the rules of magic
These magical rules will have the following effects:
- Because it is so rare, its practitioners will aim big—the main goal of evil magic will be the acquisition of power, good magic to protect the defenseless from the power hungry.
- Magic will be a tool of war.
- Sendek specific—scientist will want to study the differences in those who have magic and those who do not in an effort to duplicate the effect.
- Eventually, with Talia’s help, they will use magic to push science farther than they could without it.
- Law of Magical Reaction: Every action has an equal and opposite, but aligned, reaction.
- Law of Magical Inertia: Inertia holds; spells in force tend to remain in force unless acted on by an opposite force. Spells in latency tend to remain in latency unless acted on by an opposite force. For my purposes, TIME and DISTANCE are forces that weaken spells.
- Law of Magical Conservation: Magic, mass and energy all conserve. Magic conserves by returning to the wildlife, planet core and into space.
- Law of Spellcasting: The force of the spell cast will be equal to the energy used multiplied by the number of casting magicians, minus conversion energy.
- Law of Spellshielding: The damage done by a spell will equal the energy sent minus the capacity of the buffer (or defending mage).
- Law of Harm: Every spell used to inflict harm, damage, pain, or death, no matter the nature of the target, carries a negative charge. Degradation of cellular structure similar to radiation poisoning, death of surrounding nature, possible death of caster (dependent on strength of mage, strength of spell, strength of defender)
- Law of Neutrality: Anything that carries a neutral charge can be affected by and drawn to either positive or negative charges. Neutrality is a position of weakness, not strength.
Back cover: The Magic Wakes
Talia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.
Scientist Talia Zaryn has always had visions of an alien invasion and of her own death. She’s kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.
Talia’s work at the Space Exploration Foundation leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He’s looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.
Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.