Questions, questions, questions

July 24th, 2018Posted by Nancy

Now that I’m officially sort of retired, and I’ve travelled, and I’ve caught up on X,Y and Z, it’s time to get back to writing, which I sadly neglected during my “hey, let’s work two jobs” period.

In order to get back up to speed (and to procrastinate, let’s be honest), I’ve been going through all my notes, adding the ones I’ve scratched on random pieces of paper, and trying to reimmerse myself in the world of the novel. Such as it is…. and that’s the rub.

A depressing number of my notes are really questions.  Here is a brief example:

  • Is there a Patron saint of magic? Archangel figure? “Magi” function as “saints” – ask them to intercede before you call on the big guns
  • Is there a devil figure? What other figure of evil could there be? Is this considered a controversy in the religion, i.e. established religion does not consider devil powerful but older versions do?
  • Common people view magic differently vs. how it REALLY works. Much more accepted as part of life, though mostly good for crops and dubious love spells (hedge witches).
  • Is there a Christ figure? Perhaps seen as the greatest magician, able to commune directly with God (who may or may not be his father)
  • True magical ability must be rare, though there are hedge witches/fortunetellers/wise women around. Perhaps these are required to be approved by the magic hierarchy – inspected to determine power then certified to carry out only certain activities.

Note the daunting number of question marks.  I certainly do.  This is part of what contributed to the long delay in completing my last novel (Cold Hillside, of course).  I have lots of ideas and then get caught in a tangle of choice paralysis, where any decision seems as if it will close off any other options and WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE?!

But I suppose that if I will insist on writing fantasy novels when my worldbuilding skills are somewhat limited (to be charitable), then this will always be my struggle. Anyone who’d like to pass along a fully-realized world that’s a bit like 17th century France and a bit not at all like 17th century France, feel free to get in touch.

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