Here’s my novel summary that I’m probably going to have on my book cover soon.
Initiation – The Spirit Strings Series Genre: Dark Science Fantasy
Magic is regulated under a strict, theocratic movement with global rule on the planet Terrana. The Terrans, paralleling humans in appearance, were created to observe Earth and learn from human civilization to fulfill a 3000-year-old prophecy that will restore Earth from its dystopian, magic-deprived state. Most Terrans are obedient to their theistic government, but Violet LaCroix has arcane power refusing to be oppressed. She’s hidden her multifaceted magic since she was a child. The day she decides to let her power flow changes her life completely, starting with a criminal charge for performing necromancy. To save herself from merciless persecution from the government’s elite organization that hunts disobedient mages, she’s forced to join a resourceful cult that promises her refuge in exchange for her joining their coup de t’at. Violet goes from model graduating student ready for college to joining a cult of rogue mages eager to liberate Terrana from magical oppression and hoping she’ll bring the power needed to end a war between mages, deities, and unknown forces lasting for millennia.
What I’m going to discuss is nothing new to fantasy writers. I’m just expressing my excitement. I discovered a more analytical way to explain the magic system of my world without infodumping. Because if you’re going to be a hunter of mages and witches, you better know your s**t. Although my hunters fight fire with fire (literally and figuratively), I don’t want the combat scenes to be the only way my audience sees magic in action. As someone who performs witchcraft, I know there’s so much more to magic than fighting, healing, cursing, banishing, empowering, and the like. There’s a way you should study magic where you do your best to understand its limitations and potential when it flows through yourself and others or else things backfire and get messy. I think the best magicians in history and now are the ones who developed a sort of classification for types of magic that are not just informative, but also personal while avoiding permanence. There should be a balance or correspondence like the hermetic teachings emphasize. I don’t believe all magical techniques are meant to be uniform because sometimes magic is just an experiential whirlwind, but there’s something really tantalizing and sexy about analytical breakdowns for the sake of efficiency.
Or maybe my sapiosexual, Aquarian energy gives me weird kinks. I don’t know. Don’t judge me.
…because that’s what I know. That’s what I and I’m sure many other American kids grew up in. We had authoritarian Christian parents and it’s basically a mini-theocracy. I recently wrote an article about the bad habits someone can develop when living in a household like this, but I wrote as respectfully as possible. My novel and the way my protagonist responds to being raised will definitely be more raw because I’m channeling a lot through her. Isn’t that what all of us writers do? Isn’t that what makes worldbuilding in scifi and fantasy so thrilling?
It’s good to reflect upon our past with the raw/probably biased view and then take a step back and see the big picture. You have to be real with yourself when it comes to facing your past because deeming it a delusion is just so damning to your psyche. I value all the growth I’ve attained too much to turn a blind eye to what I’ve been through, what my family’s been through, what my friend’s have been through and more. When we review what had happened to us, the fortune, the misfortune, and the awkward moments that challenge our moral compass, we gain so much power from the truth threaded in those memories. I just value the truth so much and even though I’m a fiction writer who wants to make sure their story is interesting to my audience, I’ll still be diving into the truth with every chapter, with every description of the setting, and especially with every figure of authority in my world.
Theocracy…it’s just a flat out oppressive amongst the many we’ve created.
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JRR Tolkien loved ancient Pagan mythology, especially Norse mythology. He also loved trees, flowers, rivers and streams, mountains, woods, and landscape generally. His writing is infused with a love of Nature, as well as an in-depth knowledge of ancient cultures and mythologies. He was, however, a Catholic, both by upbringing and conviction. He wrote his […]
So, I just shared an article I posted today! It was a very enthusiastic review/recommendation of S. Kelley Harrell’s Runic Book of Days, which I strongly recommend to baby witches or pagans on the rise in norse shamanism, but ultimately, this is a blog about my progress as novelist and I’d like to discuss my thought process and construction of magic in my fantasy/scifi story. Rune magick has helped me with my confidence as a person, but definitely gave me inspiration as a writer.
Primarily there are two magic systems in this genre: hard and soft. My novel, Spirit Strings: Initiation, actually fixates on these systems because one is praised while the other is considered dangerous and I have my protagonist decide the truth of these magical systems for herself. The use of rune magick in my story, although they aren’t the Elder Futhark (yet? lol), would be considered part of the hard system, I think. Two videos immediately came to mind and I think if you’re reading this as a fantasy writer, you’ll definitely benefit from watching them. A YouTuber known as Hello Future Me made a concise video on the soft and hard magic systems. If you’re trying to figure out what direction you want to take with your magic system, I recommend giving them a listen. He’s quite silly, but I think he explained the systems wonderfully.
Anyway, conflict, cooperation, and consequence are essential in a story’s plot; if your story has magic, following the Sanderson laws is a good place to start. For my story, I really wanted the use of magic to be a controversial and stressful topic because the ability to wield it lives in everyone and facing the responsibility of using magic can be twisted into either oppression or empowerment. That is commonly seen in fantasy, of course, but I’m striving to go beyond character development. I want a psychological shift in my characters and I want my audience to wonder who’s going to snap, this way, as I reference Sanderson’s first law, my audience’s understanding of magic won’t bring a detrimental effect to the plot whether they want or expect hard magic or soft magic. As an Edgar Allan Poe fan, my knowledge of the supernatural, paranormal, and psychology wasn’t expansive when I was introduced to his work, but I was still allured by his writing because I connected to his commonly used first-person narrative voice. He wanted me to be right beside him while he experienced what terrified him. Audiences understand fear, stress, and other very common human instances. So when it comes to the magic system, yes, it’s important to have those foundational laws and thorough world building, which I’m definitely aiming for, but as I write, I want the magic system to be fueled by strained perceptions. I want the “cost” in hard magic to feel like suffocation. I want the “sense of wonder” in soft magic to reflect falling helplessly into the dark unconscious, the abyss of the psyche.
I want this because maybe you and others have ventured there before. I certainly did while working with rune magick guided by The Runic Book of Days. In my article, I spoke about the springtime, but in my novel series, you’ll get a glimpse of my bittersweet winter. I’m not trying to be edgy; just being honest. I relish in the fact that I trudged through my cold unconscious and survived. I still visit from time to time enthusiastically.
I recently published this article as an excuse to explore a book of symbols I completely forgot I had. I learned about how a corpse can be a candle, how skulls make good cups, I discovered a new belief, and that image you see in the thumbnail is an actual lion-serpent with an interesting history. I made the summaries of each discovery short and tasty so I hope you’ll give it a look and find it to be an interesting read. The Hand of Glory is my favorite.
Additionally, this is another one of my favorite research topics. In fact, it’s something I’ve been looking into since I was a kid. I was sort of in love with Jean Grey from X-Men and Raven from Teen Titans, which led me to wonder about the possibilities of telekinesis. They’ve influenced the creation of my main character in my novel as well. I’m sure most of us have felt silly for trying to lift something with our minds (I have tried many times…I still try sometimes; don’t judge me), but there’s a report I found that claims success so I had to explore that. I also came across a really good video about how our thoughts and emotions affect our body and even though that may seem like a “Duh!” kind of topic, the information I found really highlights the importance of mental and emotional health, but I also couldn’t help but compare the power of our emotions and thoughts to the structure of how telekinesis could work…supposedly.
If you’d be so kind as to like my Facebook page too, that would be appreciated. I don’t even mind doing a follow back. 😉 Leave a comment of your page below if you’re into the same stuff I am.
My first novel will be about loss and gain. Death and life. There’s a sweet spot in the middle of those concepts. Progress. Rebirth. It just hit me, at this moment, after shuffling some tarot cards contemplating whether I’m on the right path with my creative projects. It’s representing how I came to recognizing the middle path. I can’t just focus on what I’ve achieved and how I’ve grown. I have to dive deep into the moments of loss, suffering, suffocation, misery, grief, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, that deep, deep pain that found art and clung to it so I wouldn’t throw punches at others and myself. That sorrow, that darkness wants to speak. It’s words will overlap with the light because even the light side of my life isn’t the opposite of sorrow. It’s not happiness. It’s the defensive. The protection. The facade that blinds. The ego that smiles. The consciousness that flickered at the sight of certain truths and epiphanies, like realizing light doesn’t erase darkness. Life doesn’t erase death. What was gained doesn’t mean something was lost. My light is a shitty bandaid. My darkness is a soft, cool pool that can either drown me or make me. In my novel, I’ll explain how I found the middle of light and dark through a protagonist that hears the calling like I did. How I took the first step to realizing true power and true healing, the stability and creation of the self, is found in the almost indiscernible median of the conscious and the subconscious, the light and dark, the gains and losses.
My novel is about a life dying. My novel is about taking that first step towards transformation. This is the start of the Spirit Strings series.