Monthly Archives: March 2015
I can’t believe it! The 100th post thanks for everyone whose supported an followed me so far. I will keep putting more content on all of my projects and better incorporate my WordPress with my other social media stuff.
So here is the content that I promised, the revised explanation of the magic system in my projects the Arcane Realm and Shu Ru
Do you believe in Magic?
Magic itself is defined as the extra-ordinary manipulation (either consciously or unconsciously) of natural, preternatural, or supernatural forces towards an intended result.
There is a multitude of ways to define, categorize, and refer to different types of magic but what we are going to focus on today is how magic has been looked at throughout the history of the Arcane Realm.
On a more philosophical level, one of the great debated questions is the true nature of magic. While Magi, Seers, and Shamans and similar types are a common fixture in Kaf society, knowledge of the truth behind their powers was until recently, was hotly debated throughout history. All that was commonly accepted was that spirits and some sort of ‘other-world’ or spirit realm were involved. Several schools are:
The Clerical School believed that spirits are divine beings (‘gods’ might be a better word) who guard the world against demons. Magic is power granted by the spirits to those they consider righteous. They believe books of laws must be followed, and certain rituals performed, in order to achieve this level of righteousness. Evil spirits (demons) exist and can possess people, or grant powers to those of evil will.
The Ritualistic School contended that magic is an impersonal force that obeys a set of fundamental rules, like gravity. ‘Spirits’ are either humanity’s attempts to personify this force, or beings who dwell within it, but are otherwise just as real and classifiable as any other mundane animal or plant. Their studies are devoted to learning these rules and attempting to test them by performing spells. Their name comes from the elaborate systems they have designed for trying to call upon these powers, which include things like playing particular musical notes, drawing mystical shapes, burning certain types of incense, or consuming various mind altering substances.
The Mentalist School is unique in that it stated that there is no independent ‘spirit world’. They believe that magic is simply an extension of the human will, and spirits are voices within one’s own head, giving voice to subconscious knowledge. All sentient beings are theoretically capable of performing magic, they simply need to unlock the hidden potential within their own hearts and minds. Mentalist practices include intense meditation and physical exercise, which is dedicated to giving one as much control over their body and mind as possible.
A fourth (relatively minor) classical faction is the Death School, whose practitioners are known as necromancers. They believe that spirits are the souls of the dead, and the other-world is a realm where the collected wisdom of every being who has ever died is collected into a single whole. Their studies centered around attempting to contact the dead and questioning them in order to gain access to this unlimited pool of knowledge. A few more extreme members even believe that it is possible to become one with this store of knowledge while one is still alive, and thus achieve physical immortality.
It should be noted that with a lot of explanations for phenomena, there are multiple theories that together help paint a clearer picture than they could alone. Even if the philosophies were not 100% accurate in all cases, all of them have contributed a significant amount to the advancement of knowledge in the subject.
So this week I’ve basically had spotty WiFi reception to explain my lack updates lately. I had a special week long series I wanted to do but I’m pushing it back to next week. From the title, you might be able to guess that I based it on the popular Crash Course Series on YouTube.
Basically I’m revamping the types of magic that is used in my Arcane Realm project as well giving ideas for others to build their own magic system. I’ll see you guys next week.
A new literary wind blew into our town last weekend. That’s when Decatur, GA, already a book lover’s Mecca, thanks to Decatur Book Festival, became permanent home to the annual spring conference of the Southern Breeze chapter of the SCBWI. The what? The SCBWI. Sometimes spelled out, other times pronounced “skibwee,” this long and clumsy acronym stands for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a goldmine of resources, education, opportunity, and support for those who aspire to write or illustrate for kids.
A non-profit international powerhouse founded in 1971 by two writing friends in San Francisco, Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser, SCBWI is now the largest writing organization on the planet, with over 22,000 members in 80 regional chapters. Its mission is to “support the creation and…
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Children and young people read just like adult do. They might enjoy epic space battles or lust filled romances or post-apocalyptic civilisation, just like adults. Writing for the younger generation is by no means easier than writing for adults. In fact, it may take a little more effort and planning, and here are some tips to help that along.
- Know you’re age range
It goes without saying, but writing for a three year old who will have the story read to them by their parents is not the same as writing for a fifteen year old. Before plot lines or characters must come your target audience. Who do you want to be reading your book? The age of your reader is going to determine some pretty important aspects of your story: the words you use, the characters, maybe even the plot line or message, so it’s important to have a…
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This week is the first Vanessa Fly Trap Comic I did, “Get Out There”. I made it with the intent of establishing the relationship between Vanessa and her brother Victor. Victor doesn’t like particularly like other people and certainly doesn’t go out of his way to accommodate them or go out to meet them. He would much rather spend his time at home reading books, browsing the web, or working on an invention. His sister is basically the polar opposite and is constantly trying to get him outside and bring him along when she goes to see her friends. This comic plays with that particular dynamic show how each sibling tries to work with the other, Enjoy!
Hello there fellow readers! Some of you might know I’ve been working on writing and drawing my children’s book but what if I told you that I actually drew a few comic pages revolving around the main characters. This week I will be showing 1 per day with a brief look into what I was thinking at the time. If those get a lot of comments, likes or support, I might start drawing more comics with more characters from this project.
So with further ado, the cover page of the comic I made all the way back in 2012, unedited with the old logo.
The Tricky World of Children’s Fiction
Ever since I started taking my writing craft seriously, I have read a lot of advice on how to write dialogue. Specifically on dialogue tags.
Whether I’m reading writing advice books, studying creative writing, or perusing blogs on what to do and what not to do, the advice is all the same.
1. Don’t be afraid to use ‘said’.
People don’t see ‘said’. More importantly, don’t suffer from Dialogue Tag Thesaurus Syndrome.
“Where are we?” Marina whispered.
“I don’t know,” Jacob answered.
“It looks like a cave,” Marina replied.
“It’s too dark to tell,” Jacob murmured.
This is good advice. There’s nothing worse than the obvious ‘trying too hard to avoid said‘ you see in some writing. Although I think there is a place for using some of these words sparingly to help add to the description and texture of the dialogue. Especially…
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There is no task for a game master more daunting and gratifying than worldbuiding. Creating a universe in which a group of PCs can romp around in is very gratifying, but the seemingly Herculean effort it takes to get there can be miserable especially if you have many life commitments outside of gaming. For the last decade I’ve been running Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs in published campaign settings, but it was always a dream of mine to create a new world. I mean a full, rich world with a huge history. We’re talking original rules modules, big honking maps, new monsters, intrigue, dungeons, rivalries, and more open-ended story than the closing chapter of a Goosebumps novel. The kind of thing I had the time to do as…
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Disclaimer: Remember this is only about how magic works in the majority of Arabian Nights tales. Being orally told for a long time, some did deviate from this. Also you can have a Middle Eastern setting which does necessarily follow this.
The traditional term for a sorcerer in Arabic is “kahin,” and they are strongly associated with djinn. In Middle Eastern folklore magic is strongly tied to invoking spirits. A sorcerer may command and bind djinn, ordering them to perform tasks for him. If a sorcerer claims his powers are purely innate, he is usually thought to be lying. For example, if he claims he is flying, he is usually just being lifted into the air by invisible djinn. If he claims he can tell the future, it is because djinn have flown to the gates of heaven, listened to the conversations of the angels, and relayed them to him. You get the idea.
Magical items are often associated with djinn as well, based on the idea that a sorcerer could bind them to physical objects. In this case, you did not need to be a sorcerer yourself to command a djinni, you simply needed to own one of these items. Sometimes you also needed to know an incantation that would summon the djinni and let you control him, but most of the time simply holding the object was enough.
There were other cases when people could use djinn to further their own ends. Very holy men, like King Solomon, were thought to be able to command them through divine authority. Djinn who fell in love with people might sometimes offer to do them favors. And some sorcerers claimed djinn aided them willingly, that they had been born being able to see the invisible creatures, and that they were drawn to one another.
Keep in mind; this is just a rule of thumb. Most belief in magic in the Middle East might have involved the invoking of spirits, but there was room for other beliefs. Alchemy, for example, flourished in the region (the word itself is Arabic), and its practitioners were sometimes regarded as semi-supernatural.