Damn Wizards, Bleeping Gods, and Serial Cosiderations

I have a wizard problem.

I’m wary of using wizards too often in my projects. For regular readers of this blog, you’ll be familiar with these sentiments. I’m not fond of returning to the same subject, or subjects, over and over again. While exempting themes, this discomfort reaches to the level of genre. I don’t want to be limited to one genre or one set of settings/ magic user/ etc.

To criticize myself (for a bit), yes there are many types of wizards I can use. There are the traditional ceremonial magician (on it), the wise (wo)man in either village or castle, the quasi scientist, mundane but for magic, or a practical super human (like in Fairy Tail). Perhaps I can use different kinds of wizards in different projects.

That could work, honestly. But would my approach be the same? Would the themes and symbols I attach to magic use be the same or different?

And there is the rub. I don’t know. My opinion on magic flip flops. In many ways, I view magic in mush the way that Howard, Lovecraft,and Smith view magic. Magic is dark and forbidden. It is inherently corrupting. But there is a part of me that marvels at magic use turned to a super power. I don’t have anything profound to say here. But if the use of magic is (for all intents and purposes) a regular super power, does that really make it magic? If not, what is it then?

Those damn wizards haven’t been the only problem plaguing me, lately, I’ve got a gods problem, too.

Maybe it is a good thing that I didn’t make it through The Lightning Thief. I’ve wanted to do a project dealing with gods for years. But I’ve never quite figured out how I want to do it.

Should I write a massive alternate history/ universe where all mythologies are true? How then, would that affect the world we live in? Especially if I get rid of that stupid masquerade? (In some cases, I can see a reason for it. But when we’re dealing with gods? Tartaros no).

Another (and less headache inducing) approach would be to just create a secondary world. Advance it so much (maybe use some schizo tech and a dash of punk- when did punk become a synonym for modernization?) and ta da! Got a setting.

To be honest, both ideas have merit. But I’m leaning towards the second idea. For one, I don’t know enough about various mythologies as I would like. And two, I feel better messing with my own made up pantheon of gods rather than risk offending anyone who still worships the old gods. (Remember, how often I complain about bad usage of Greek Mythology? I will not hold back on myself.)

So, secondary world it is. But hey, if anyone out there would like to have a crazy mythology mash up with no masquerade, let me know how it turns out.

The bright spot of my creative headaches this last week has been my answer to whether I want to publish traditionally or independently. I can do both. Novels meant to standalone (at least in my own mind) will be published traditionally, and projects meant to be serialized will be published online. George R. R. Martin might not be yo’ bitch, but I can see the advantage of regularly updating a serialized project rather than waiting four or five years for a new installment.

Of course, for single novels, that means no sequels. What you get is that. There is danger in this approach, however, in that the current preference is for novel series. But that does not mean while I may write a project to completion, it cannot be published as a whole (baring an eventual omnibus). Just look to The Lord of the Rings for an example.

One of the great things about this blog is that I can use it to talk myself through my own creative struggles. And, hopefully, gain further insight through reader comments.

Now, it’s time to go work on my practice serial. And do the dishes.


Posted on August 24, 2013, in Books and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sounds like you have a few things to decide! As someone who reads/writes scifi and fantasy, I love finding authors who have a new “take” on the traditional magical aspect. I get tired of elves (tall and superior) and dwarves (short and brusque) and wizards (elderly and wise) being portrayed the same way. Same thing with gods.

    I found a great writer (who has also become a friend) who has just published her 2nd book in the “Children of the Gods” series. It is YA fantasy and deals with Greek Mythology, but it is based on the descendants of those gods, the powers they possess, and the struggle of power between them. I liked how Therrien used an existing concept and wrote how she thought it could have naturally evolved.

    I don’t know if that helps you, but I’m always interested in a new take on “wizards” and “gods”. Is there a type that isn’t one of the ones you listed above that you could create? One story I read a long time ago talked about that every time someone used magic, it stole time off the end of their lives–in order to use energy, it had to take energy. Again, not sure if this is helpful, but as you can see, your post definitely got me thinking! Good luck!

    • I’ll have to check out Children of the Gods, thanks for the recommendation!
      The strange thing is that I’ve never felt the urge to include Elves or Dwarves in any of my ideas. And my wizards tend to the Howard, Lovecraft, Smith end of the spectrum. My gods, on the other hand, want to be in a shonen manga. . .
      I’m familiar with the magic demanding a price trope. One of my favorite movies, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, utilizes it. And damn, does it work!

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