Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Magical Locations

I think I broke free of the event horizon yesterday and have now reached my target page count. At least, until I start tinkering with things and cutting out parts I decide are unnecessary. There's one scene that I'm not sure of. I think I'm setting up something for later, but I'm not yet entirely sure what that is. I've got a long mental list of things that I think justify the inclusion of the scene, but it still comes down to the fact that the story as it's going so far could go on without it. Today I'm going to revisit the new parts of the book and do all that tinkering. That is, between getting a few errands done and dealing with a couple of business-related tasks.

I'm continuing to address questions related to the Enchanted, Inc. series. I'm down to one more after this one, so if you've got questions other than when the next book is coming (I don't know -- that's a publisher issue that I have little to no control over), let me know.

I was asked about the location issues related to magic in my series -- there's a lot of magic and magical stuff in New York, but little in Texas, so where else might magic be strong?

I won't say where else magic might be strong or weak because I don't know since it hasn't come up yet and I don't want to commit myself until I need it for a book. I came up with the idea of having strong and weak magical places in part because I wanted to contrast my heroine's home to the city. If she was immune to magic so that she saw all the magical stuff, then why hadn't she noticed it already? I decided that was because there wasn't any magic where she came from, so all this is new to her. I think that also worked on another level that I could identify with. I'm from a small town that doesn't feel at all magical, and I felt like New York was the magic kingdom the first time I went there.

But then I developed the idea further as I developed my magical system. I like the idea of magic having a cost. You can't just zap things willy-nilly. Some places have more natural magical power available, and there you have more power at your disposal. Some places have less magical power, so it takes more personal energy to do magic and more effort to draw upon the power. It's kind of like the way a weak cell signal will drain your phone's battery faster because it has to work harder to send a signal to the tower.

As I worked further into the series and did some research into folklore related to magic, I came across the concept of leylines, and I liked that idea, so I worked it into the fourth book, where the characters went to a place low on magic. The magic centers are the places with stronger lines or an intersection of lines. Magical people settle around those places, like the way settlements tended to spring up around sources of water. Magical people tend to get entrenched in those places in their communities, so they don't really spread out much. They hung in around the east coast after coming to America. Out west, not only is civilization more spread out, but so are the leylines, and therefore the magical community, which is mostly limited to native creatures who were there before mankind.

Magical settlements may appear if I decide I need them for plot purposes, such as if the characters have to go to Europe or the west coast, but for now I'm leaving my options open instead of committing to anything.

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