Monday, July 1, 2019

2019 July - Science or Magic? Fantasy or Reality?

Magic is something that happens that appears to be impossible. What I call 'illusion magic' uses laws of science and nature that are already known. Real magic uses laws that haven't yet been discovered. — Doug Henning

As I've said many times, a writer must never forget that readers are logical people. Humans want logic and order in their lives, not chaos. 

Yes, readers want to escape to fantastical venues, story worlds that are larger than life, which means making the unbelievable seem so logical and "realistic" that the reader is very willing to suspends their disbelief. Make one mistake in a logical premise and the reader will scoff at the absurdity and likely not finish reading the story.

Let's look at an example of, say, rains that lasts five years (rain every day). The logical reader is flummoxed. How can that be? 

If a science fiction story, did some rain-making machine go haywire?

If a fantasy world has a rain forest, does it rain in spurts once or twice a day? Just enough to keep the forest lush and beautiful?

If a magical world, was a curse set upon the land for rain and gloom?

Let's tackle the toughest scenario of rain for five years. How can you prove to the reader that it can very well rain every day for 5 years? Answer— by trolling the Internet or your local library for facts like this one at (The photos alone would do a fantasy world proud!) 

Now extrapolate what you've discovered and learned and apply it to your story world's setting dynamics.

You might think that because you're writing fiction, you can do anything you want. After all, it is YOUR story. The problem comes with selling that premise or story idea to a reader (or editor or agent). 

To get ideas for your story world's premise, be it scientific, fantastical, or magical, I recommend a visit to the children's section of a library for books on fairy tales, legends, myths, fables. Once you arm yourself with such knowledge, ideas may come to light so you can prove to a reader how fantastical, yet believable, your story world is.

As long as you're delving into possibilities, consider what is complex that lies beneath the surface. In other words, what's hidden that can be spotlighted for the good of the story's setting and the character's world?

Other questions to ask are—

* What's the "marvelous?

* What's magnificent? 

* What's astonishing? 

* What's grand?

* What's wonderful?

* What's the awe factor for the world?

Make your world so believable that the reader will never question the unreality of it.

August's topic about setting and world building will be -  Old Worlds, New Worlds — Medieval, Steampunk, Futuristic

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