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Magic Systems (was 1998 Books)

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  • Staci Dumoski
    ... Diane, I am not aware of any thing that specifically deals with the creation of magical systems. Unfortunately, most of the How To books out there for
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 6, 1999
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      On Wed, 6 Jan 1999, Diane Baker wrote:
      > Maybe you can help me: I'm looking for some material on magical rules
      > and systems. I don't necessarily want spells or original sources (a la
      > Dion Fortune) but articles on how to design a good magical system. Any
      > pointers? Have already checked out the *Encyclopedia of Fantasy* by
      > Clute and Co. Interesting, but I really want a copy of the whole
      > encyclopedia, and can't afford it just now! My library doesn't have a
      > copy, so can't Xerox or take notes. Thanks. ---djb.

      Diane,
      I am not aware of any thing that specifically deals with the creation of
      magical systems. Unfortunately, most of the "How To" books out there for
      writers of fantastic fiction are aimed more at SF than fantasy, and I
      haven't had the opportunity yet to read any of the ones that are aimed at
      fantasists, so I can't tell you if they deal with magic or not. Once
      place you might look is at gaming resources. They might be more technical
      than you are interested in, but they should provide an overview of what
      you need to include, and some ideas of where to start.

      I should think that you have much more freedom in building a magic system
      than you would in building a technological system, simply because the
      rules of science do not apply. I would start with deciding what the
      effect I wanted the magic to have within the scope of the story I was
      writing (story is always first!) and then build a magic system that will
      produce that effect.

      This is a really interesting topic, though, and I will continue to do some
      research on the subject and see if I can't turn anything up. I'd also be
      willing to consider articles on the subject for publication in upcoming
      issues of Phantastes. Like I said, most of the world-building stuff out
      there is for SF. It's time for fantasists to take charge!

      Best,
      Staci Dumoski
      Phantastes, The Online Journal of Fantasy Criticism
      http://www.nocturne.org/phantastes
      Fantastic Reads, Readers Retreat
      http://readersretreat.com
    • Staci Dumoski
      ... Thanks for you compliments. Unfortunately Phantastes doesn t have any forums at this time. I know of a couple of mailing lists where you could no doubt
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 7, 1999
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        On Thu, 7 Jan 1999, Diane Baker wrote:

        > Since I don't want this to range off topic, I just want to thank you for
        > your comments, and ask if you have a forum for discussion of such topics
        > on your site. You have a great publication going. It may become a
        > regular bookmark of mine.

        Thanks for you compliments. Unfortunately Phantastes doesn't have any
        forums at this time. I know of a couple of mailing lists where you could
        no doubt find lots of people willing to discuss the subject. The is
        fantasy@.... You can find information about joining the list
        and the Internet Fantasy Writers Association at http://www.chaosmanor.com
        Also, there is the Dreamsong Fantasy Writers list, which you can join
        through Onelist.com. You'll find lots of great advice from pros and
        amateurs alike on both lists.

        Best,
        Staci

        *** *** ***
        Staci Dumoski unicorn@...
        Editor, Phantastes http://www.nocturne.org/phantastes
        The Online Journal of Fantasy Criticism
      • Diane Baker
        ... Since I don t want this to range off topic, I just want to thank you for your comments, and ask if you have a forum for discussion of such topics on your
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 7, 1999
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          Staci Dumoski wrote:
          >
          > From: Staci Dumoski <unicorn@...>
          >
          > On Wed, 6 Jan 1999, Diane Baker wrote:
          > > Maybe you can help me: I'm looking for some material on magical rules
          > > and systems. I don't necessarily want spells or original sources (a la
          > > Dion Fortune) but articles on how to design a good magical system. Any
          > > pointers? Have already checked out the *Encyclopedia of Fantasy* by
          > > Clute and Co. Interesting, but I really want a copy of the whole
          > > encyclopedia, and can't afford it just now! My library doesn't have a
          > > copy, so can't Xerox or take notes. Thanks. ---djb.
          >
          > Diane,
          > I am not aware of any thing that specifically deals with the creation of
          > magical systems. Unfortunately, most of the "How To" books out there for
          > writers of fantastic fiction are aimed more at SF than fantasy, and I
          > haven't had the opportunity yet to read any of the ones that are aimed at
          > fantasists, so I can't tell you if they deal with magic or not. Once
          > place you might look is at gaming resources. They might be more technical
          > than you are interested in, but they should provide an overview of what
          > you need to include, and some ideas of where to start.
          >
          > I should think that you have much more freedom in building a magic system
          > than you would in building a technological system, simply because the
          > rules of science do not apply. I would start with deciding what the
          > effect I wanted the magic to have within the scope of the story I was
          > writing (story is always first!) and then build a magic system that will
          > produce that effect.
          >
          > This is a really interesting topic, though, and I will continue to do some
          > research on the subject and see if I can't turn anything up. I'd also be
          > willing to consider articles on the subject for publication in upcoming
          > issues of Phantastes. Like I said, most of the world-building stuff out
          > there is for SF. It's time for fantasists to take charge!
          >
          > Best,
          > Staci Dumoski
          > Phantastes, The Online Journal of Fantasy Criticism
          > http://www.nocturne.org/phantastes
          > Fantastic Reads, Readers Retreat
          > http://readersretreat.com

          Since I don't want this to range off topic, I just want to thank you for
          your comments, and ask if you have a forum for discussion of such topics
          on your site. You have a great publication going. It may become a
          regular bookmark of mine.
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