Weekend WIP #1: TFG – Magic Systems

DSC_1316Over the past two months, I’ve been planning a novel, currently referred to as TFG, with a focus on birds, cats and seasons. As you do.

When I began the planning of this idea in April, I decided to really plot the book out: as a test run for plotting methods and to see how my writing differed. I picked some images for each character to match their descriptions, looked up possible substances of ecological magic and decided on an urban-style fantasy set in a somewhat clan-based community system.

This Week? With the help of some writer friends, I’ve focused on the magic system.

First, I decided upon the powers — whether I take elemental abilities or just enhance mortal senses, or something else entirely. I like to have powers that will work with others and match each other — creating interesting battles, so I had to bear that in mind.

Secondly, I focused on who would have what powers — were these innate or learned, only accessible to certain people and did they need a substance (or tools) to access it?

But the thing that kept stumping me; was how to limit it between various characters. With the help of two writers, I was offered ideas for how classes would have different levels of access and how money would affect a black market for the tools and social expectations, until I had tweaked the system to give me four levels stretching from “normal” people, with their innate power; up to the highest societal leaders with their new method of using the tools to get the greatest access.

What’s important to you in a magic system?

Are you happy with a limitless, unexplained power or do you want to know the limits and furthest reaches of each aspect of magic?

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