Where logic meets magic

While I participated in (and won) the June 2012 edition of Camp NaNoWriMo, it wasn’t all done with the same story. Maybe what I do counts as rebelling, but whenever I hit a bit of a moot point in whatever novel draft I’ve come up with for a NaNo, I write tiny short stories to keep the creative juices flowing and perhaps loosen up enough that I can get past that troublesome part in the main thing.

However, ten days after the end of the Camp period, the draft remains unfinished, being built only in tiny increments at a time. I’d bring up some kind of generalisation as to why this is and how you can avoid it, but I fear that would ruin the point of me having started writing this blog post in the first place.

The snag I hit during my last departure from the draft was due to an unforeseen mixture of logic and magic, and the way it contradicted the usual principles that accompany both of these concepts in literature, especially considering the fantastic setting the story has. Basically, in order to advance the plot, the characters, who are members of a fantastic race known for its affinity towards rational thought, questions the nature of magic in order to solve a puzzle that has come up involving whether or not a magician can control the monster that has been trying to kill them for a while. This becomes important after another, decidedly benevolent magician attempts to thwart the monster, but finds that it appears to be unable to ‘normal’ magic.

Now, in this universe, magic is a pretty holistic thing– basically, every magician in the world uses the same kind of magic, and the fact that the monster seems to be controlled by a kind of magic different than the one everyone knows soon becomes bedazzling to the people who learn it– however, they also use this knowledge to determine that a magician that was travelling with them earlier could not be the force controlling this monster, as the kind of magic he demonstrated was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the ‘regular’ magic– thus leaving them with the even greater puzzle of who’s controlling the monster, and how.

Sounds fairly coherent when explained in this way, but stick two characters who want to play Sherlock Holmes in the middle of a fantastic narrative, and it feels more than a little out of place, and dare I say… unique? Perhaps it’s my own preference towards low fantasy, but I’ve really grown to like this idea of the characters in a setting that would typically be considered high fantasy questioning the more irrational workings of the world and bringing logic and reason into it.

Again, it’s up to you, the one who bothered to keep reading up to this point, to decide whether I’ve hit something or I’m stark yammering mad, but this is one concept I don’t think I’ll soon forget when it comes to dealing with magical settings.


About ikerrivercast

Iker Rivercast is a natural born loner with a knack for writing and programming. When he's not sleeping or otherwise putting off being productive, you'll likely find him trying something new with his written work. View all posts by ikerrivercast

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