January 10th, 2010, 03:28 PM
An idea I'm sitting on - feedback?
I've had fantasies of writing a novel for the better part of my life. I just turned eighteen and I've finally realized if I don't start writing this thing now I may never start writing it.
I've been sitting on a few ideas, and I was hoping to get some feedback on them. For starters, this is a dark medieval-ish fantasy.
Magic in my world comes from the four seasons - spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each of them had their own distinct magics, and each of them gave birth to a different 'family' of men. This all happens over a thousand years before my story begins. In any case, each season elected a 'leader' of their own family of men (think kingdoms), and offered them a book of magical knowledge. All four books contain different knowledge, and it was told that any man who controlled all three would become god in the flesh.
In the world there are two dominant species. Mankind, and the Malum. A specie of creature with very pale white skin, large horns, and incredible physical strength/power. The seasons always regarded these creatures as savage, which is why men were created. Naturally, said Malum didn't take very kindly to being given the divine shaft, so they struck back at mankind. The battle raged for many, many years. Eventually the Malum had begun overtaking the legions of mankind, and an alliance between the four kingdoms had to be made. During this alliance the leaders of the kingdoms combined their magical knowledge to create what are essentially magical warheads. A magic so powerful that it had to be locked inside a human soul, lest it lay waste to everything.
These humans were not informed that they were walking 'nuclear' catastrophes. They were taken behind enemy lines and "blown up", leaving nothing but death and magical irradiation in their wake. From this came both strange creatures, zombie-like survivors, and legends of ungodly monsters confined to darkness.
After this each of the seasons took the books from the men, and burned them to ash. The damage had already been done, however, as the magical radiation left upon the world was nothing to gift some men with interesting abilities. Sometimes improved vision, advanced hearing, resistance to fatigue - other times strange illnesses, deadly diseases, etc
Not all of the knowledge was lost. One of the kings took it upon himself to record the procedure involved in creating the magical nukes, and since then his knowledge has been passed down. When my story starts mankind has exterminated nearly all of the Malum, but there is still one great enemy of man left to destroy: the four gods of the seasons. Most men would see these god's as unobtrusive, most see them as myth. The final descendant of the king is six hundred years old (his immortality was attained through magic his father recorded), a man who has been plotting to undo the gods who stole the magic of men.
My plan is to have my main character sort of be the final magical warhead. The last ounce of godly magic mankind wields. My issue with this is I'm not sure how to introduce said dilemma: perhaps the father (who worked for an underground military organization) returned after a particularly deep trip into irradiated territory and made love to his wife, and said irradiation was passed onto the child, who somehow was developed with the magic infused into him during birth. His father passes away from excessive exposure.
The child comes under severe illness, and in desperation the mother seeks the help of her husband's military commander, an incredibly wise and experienced magnus. He sees the boy's potential to be the ultimate weapon, and thus makes him so.
I'm struggling, but I can tell this is an idea I'm attached to, it's definitely got a lot of dust and missing parts, though.
Help, feedback? Everything appreciated.
January 10th, 2010, 04:20 PM
I was with you untill you mentioned magical nukes and zombie like creatures. it was all downhill from there.
January 10th, 2010, 04:30 PM
Is it just the sheer idea of it that you don't like, or a specific detail? Why not massive concentrated magical explosions? The zombies are overused I suppose, definitely cut-able in the final draft of it all, more or less just an idea being thrown around.
Originally Posted by JHerzog01
January 10th, 2010, 08:21 PM
This is just my two cents so take it for what it's worth. I am going to have to agree here. I loved the idea of magic being tied to the seasons. As for the magical nukes, that really kind of threw me. It seems very anacronistic to me, and I was never a big fan of zombies.
Originally Posted by JHerzog01
Why not take that great idea of magic being tied to seasons and run with that. Winter wizards can cause blzzards and frost. Summer wizards can cause drought and tornados that kind of thing.
January 10th, 2010, 08:53 PM
... and Spring Wizards would cause...
January 11th, 2010, 02:08 AM
Flowers and happiness?
No, they could be healers.
January 11th, 2010, 09:27 AM
I was thinking more along the lines of fertility, sort of like Cupid with an attitude. Perhaps even the power to resurrect the dead.
January 11th, 2010, 09:53 AM
Damn fool idealist
Yeah, the idea of magic being tied to the seasons is a strong one. But rather than different schools of magic for each season, the first thing I thought of is that certain spells can only be cast in certain seasons. So, for example, if you wanted healing, you could only do so in spring and fall (traditional times of renewal). And a wizard's personality might change as the seasons progressed and their magic came into tune with them. So a wizard might be bright and cheerful in the spring, quick to anger in the summer, quiet and contemplative in the fall, and bitter and anti-social in the winter.
January 11th, 2010, 10:17 AM
This was where I thought the idea was going also.
Originally Posted by DailyRich
January 11th, 2010, 12:12 PM
it could be worse
I really like your ideas. I have to agree with the other posts that the whole zombie thing is a bit much. The person-nuke is an interesting idea - sort of like today's suicide bombers with a twist - they don't know they're bombs, right? I like that idea, don't chuck it just yet.
In regards to the seasonal magic, great idea. Run with it. You might tweak the restrictions and capabilities of the magics and their wielders, but having the magic tied to seasons is a cool idea.
January 11th, 2010, 02:02 PM
Interesting idea. I agree that the use of zombies and nuclear bombs seems a bit jarring with what could be a very original piece of fantasy literature. I'm also in agreement that the magic would be tied to the times of the year in which they would be most powerful, as opposed to simply having different spells for the different "schools" which smacks a bit too heavily of D&D. Concentrate on simple levels of effectiveness for the magic based on the season as this reflects actual beliefs regarding the way magic worked in many ancient cultures. It could also be used as a plot tool to force your characters to work together should your story span a time-frame of over a year.
Hit your library or google ancient religions dealing with nature worship and shamanism. Soak in as much real knowledge about the actual belief systems that did and still do exist, which mirror your own system best. Your work will gain greater depth and you will likely find your own creative juices fired up like a baseball player on steroids. Remember, Tolkien's Middle Earth seemed almost real because he had a real model for it. His languages, his naming conventions and his races all had roots in real mythology and history.
It's funny, once you start drilling down into one subject matter for your work, it invariably leads you to another subject. For my WIP, I started with string theory. This in turn led me to have to become an armchair expert on quantum mechanics. That in turn meant I had to know something about Einstein's two theories of relativity. Now I am beginning to suspect I may have to know a bit about how DNA and RNA work.
Last edited by Inkstain; January 11th, 2010 at 02:06 PM.
January 11th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Damn fool idealist
I really wish I had thought of this seasons thing, 'cause it's kicking off all kinds of ideas in my head.
January 11th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. The idea of magic being tied to the seasons has really sparked my interest back into writing. I've been sitting on this 'seasons' concept for awhile now and trying to think of a significant way it could affect my story; this is clearly it. Thank you everyone for the brainstorming session, it's helped loads.
I also noticed there was some support regarding my 'walking a-bomb' concept, so here's my re-wrapped version: what if different people were differently attuned to the seasons, and thereby differently attuned to the magic? There would be the Sons/Daughters of Autumn, Sons/Daughters of Spring, etc but each person would be given a different affinity with the spells, some learnable others simply "gifts". In this way I wonder what your interest would be in a main character who's magical "gift" was the power, and purpose, to bring about the end of the world.
Thoughts? Once more, thank you for all your feedback and insight.
Last edited by Davian; January 11th, 2010 at 04:11 PM.
January 11th, 2010, 05:18 PM
Originally Posted by Davian
Put that way it does sound more interesting than a walking A-bomb. now get writing so we can read this, you have stired some interest with your ideas thats for sure.
January 11th, 2010, 05:51 PM
it could be worse
I like the walking nuke idea as it was and as you redefined it. But then again, I'm the sort of person to leave 'em all dead in my own stories.
Would that person know what his purpose was or not? I would like the idea either way, just curious. But the character knowning or not would, of course, have a profound effect on how he acted and reacted to stuff.
Like JimF said, write it, baby. It's a cool idea.