marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

metaphysics and magic

Sometimes you can get away with ignoring metaphysics of monsters and magic. Pick the right plot -- one where the question why some people have powers, and other people don't, doesn't affect the plot -- and the right characters -- who will not think about such philosophical questions, even if resentful that they are in the "other people" group.

If the characters will think about it, or the plot will force them to, you're out of luck. If, for instance, there are two kinds of magical beings in the world, and the entire plot centers on how some people are conspiring against one group, stealing their powers at the source, at some point, someone is going to reflect on the other group, if only to say, bitterly, how lucky they are.

Especially if there are ordinary people about, and their resentment of how magical people treat them is crucial, and in fact motivates the theft.

Let one of the powered ones declaim to a person without powers about the theft, and you need very careful characterization not to put in the other's mouth, "You mean being like me is insufferable?" Probably followed by an observation that he should not be surprised that people are trying to get to his position, if theirs is so contemptible.
Tags: characterization, plotting, world-building: creatures, world-building: metaphysics
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