marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,


Being further pondering on the magic of the last post but one. . . .

Once you chose your magic, particularly if it's exotic, if you chose that it should be popular and wide-spread, you have to always be remembering that it's about. 

Let us suppose that a world has spell-singing, and only spell-singing, and it's not some esoteric art.  Great fun isn't it?

Until you are describing a scene and only with hindsight remember that the cartier should have been singing to get the wheels out of the mud, and a woman sewing on her threshold would have been singing to mend it instead, and otherwise that since it's the background of the world, you have to have it as local color. 

Also, you don't want to annoy your readers by appearing to forget it.  L. Frank Baum was not inconsistent about what the colors of the four quarters of Oz applied to in those areas -- everything?  everything human?  human artifacts and flowers?  -- he kept on mentioning it just to orient the reader and then forgetting it.  This is not a virtue.

And all the other details.  If the world has optical telegraphs, news will get around fast even without so much as trains.  If your world has a dozen moons, the tides will be interesting, and those who live on the seashore will always be aware of them. etc.

Tags: local color, world-building: general, world-building: geography, world-building: magic (effects), world-building: technology

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