M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: The Science of Fantasy 02/22/15

This thought literally crossed my mind tonight: “If iron and lodestone can repel magic [in my Michael Lodestone pulp/urban fantasy world], then magic has a magnetic field. That means JT can develop sensors to track it!” [JT is one of my characters I haven’t talked about much.]

It’s the science of fantasy.

Yes, as authors, we can technically do whatever we want. If I want pink trees, I can add in pink trees. However, the buck always stops with the reader. If the reader buys into my pink trees idea, then it works. If the reader stops and say to himself, “Hold on,” then my pink trees don’t work. (This little concept of getting the readers to buy into your fantasy or sci-fi world is called the suspension of disbelief.) I’ve done a few blogs before on this in the past, so I won’t dwell too much in it here.)

The main thing: you can do anything you want as long as you prove it to your audience. Your audience determines the amount of proving you will need. (As in: it doesn’t Takeuchi work to convince a three year old to believe in Santa Claus.)

When it comes to writing fantasy, say, for instance this Michael Lodestone story, I am trying to follow my own rules. I’m approaching the idea of magic from a scientific standpoint. I started with “Iron and lodestone can stop magic.” (Michael needed a bit of help since he is not allowed to use magic.) now I’m thinking through what that might look like if it were true in real life.

I’m currently developing the rules of magic in this new world, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. (I have to think way back to remember that I really struggled with developing all of the rules for the Elysian Chronicles as well. I’m kind of working through it the way Michael would work through it. Start with what you know and work backwards. Whatever I do, I need to make sure of two things:
It needs to sound plausible. Iron repels magic. Michael caries around a sack of iron dust that he can throw in the air for protection. It sounds plausible–if magic from Lodestone’s world actually existed.

I need to work through all the logic loopholes and issues. Last night, I realized the the zombie critters I’m dealing with are under a spell, but the spell has already been cast. It’s inside of them, so iron can’t break it unless it gets inside of them. (Hence, stabbing.) I have to keep working through the ideas to make sure they sound compatible…

Since my evil queen will be using all her nasty magic in the last half of the book, I have my work cut out for me.

How about you? How do you make your fantasy world seem real?


About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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3 Responses to M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: The Science of Fantasy 02/22/15

  1. rhunsinger says:

    Nice. Love reasoning and even so far as the zombies and the rules they have to obey. Dead on post for creating a reality that is believable. Part of the fun is when the villain comes across the rules that they cannot break. When I create my rules its usually in conjunction with character development, I find those very rules, in the case of magic, or even fantastic technology help define the character outlook and even motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • M. B. Weston says:

      I love having to stick by the rules because it creates conflict and tension for the protagonist. While it make for a more complex storyline to have to write, I know at the end that it will be a better product…

      Liked by 1 person

    • M. B. Weston says:

      And I just figured out how the protagonist gets himself to the witch’s lair without having to have him find a cell phone! (By using my “rules” and by realizing that the witch is hellbent on revenge. So sticking with character is a huge help… But that’s another blog post.

      Liked by 1 person

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