Friday, October 14, 2011

Building a fantasy world

When you write fiction, the sky is the limit. The reader is introduced to new characters, new concepts and often new rules. One thing I wanted to talk about was the basic foundation of "Sterling".

The first thing the reader will notice is that there are new words and they are used in specific ways.

Learner - not just a term, but a title used for an inexperienced Mage (a novice).

Creator - a title used for a Mage with a pecific and rare gift of being able to transform a human into a Mage.

Ghuardian - a Mage word for one who is directed by the Mageri to step in as a mentor to a young inexperienced Mage. They are not only one who teaches them about laws, history, and other breeds - but they help discover and shape the abilities of the Mage. This word spelling was intentional to separate it from the base meaning the human word has, as it is so much more among their kind and an honorable position.

Mage is also used differently in this world in regards to pluralization. These are rules defined by my characters, age old rules that I simply could not interfere with.

Mageri - (pronounced ma-jur-ee) is the higher order of law over the Mage. It is the equivalent of government. They are the overseer of laws and govern the Councils who are over various territories.

Later in the series there will be other breeds introduced  from the world of Breed (a term used to describe the order of creatures that live separate from humans) such as Gemini, Chitah, Relics and Sensors. There are also terms such as binding, bonding etc. that have a specific definition.

Special abilities among the Mage are capitalized. Such as a Charmer or a Unique. This is to separate the word from the literal meaning. Saying "Justus is a charmer", vs "Justus is a Charmer" will have completely different meanings in my story. The first means he is just a dashing kind of guy. The latter means that is his gift. My hope is that readers are accepting of these differences and understand they are not typos. :)

Additionally, I enjoy a gradual introduction of concepts. I did not want to bombard the reader with so many new terms, details of wars and politics, etc. In some books that shiny new feeling can be exciting but for others it leaves them flipping to a glossary, if included. Because the book is told from the leading character's perspective, we learn right along with her.

I have always been fascinated by mythical creatures and fantasy. Every book written and each movie made puts a different spin on things. A book written 300 years ago written about a Vampire, for example, would vastly differ from how they are described now. Not only that, but it varies by the country. So, who is right? Well, if these beings have managed to keep themselves in hiding from humans for this long, then there is a lot that humans don't know. When you do not understand something or are afraid of it, then it becomes easy to weave stories around it that are not true. It would suggest that the intent of that person would be to warn others (such as bedtime stories about the big bad wolf to keep your kids from straying far or trusting strangers) or glamorize. This opened up possibilities in regards to the abilities of my characters.

I like explanations. For this reason, you won't find that a Mage is something completely opposite - such as a scaled creature who flies. To deviate that far from the concept and I might as well give it a new name. But, given what we think of what a Mage is (a person with power, magic) I put a  twist on it that made it believable in how easily humans could have misinterpreted their magic.

Oh yeah, back to explanations! Have you ever read a book about an immortal character with healing abilities and wondered how the heck they can have scars or tattoos? Sometimes that's never explained, but in Book 2 you will learn a little more about this. In other books this explanation will be an important detail in the story and/or characters.

So, to the reader - I hope you will always remain open minded when picking up a new book and exploring the mind of the author.

To the the aspiring writer - color outside the lines.

No comments:

Post a Comment