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NaNoWriMo 2012, Day 20

National Novel Writing Month, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

I’m charting my daily progress on NaNoWriMo. Since you may or may not care, I’ll kindly hide it. Thanks for taking the time. :)

NaNoWriMo Progress: Magic, Psi, and Necromancy for Normals
Actual Required
New Words Today 1875 1667
Daily Average 2215 1667
Remaining Req’d
Daily Avg
518 1667
Expected Total 50000 50000


  • I’ve been thinking on one topic for a very long time. I know that in the real world, if magic actually did work, religion would be profoundly affected, both in some positive ways and negative ways. If I’m going to develop a realistic world in which magic exists, I have to at least deal with this topic. So I wrote some about this, tonight, and realized I haven’t given it nearly enough thought. I then fell back and wrote some more about vampires, including starting a vignette in which a young teenager finds out she is a vampire, and the social stigma causes her to commit suicide. So not everything is beer and skittles in this world.
  • I still have not been able to make myself write about mages, which is what my main character Nick Damon is. What are his powers? I know what I need for him to do, but how to make those things logical and flow naturally from some of the other things I’ve described? Aye, there’s the rub. Well, I have 10 days left. :)
  • Didn’t have to look up anything today. It’s all coming out of my head, although I will have to do some significant research into comparative religions in order to give the new ones that need to be created verisimilitude. If you have people in the world who can literally perform what most people would take as “miracles,” how would religious communities react? Some good, some bad. I need to have balance. And that is a skill I may not possess. We’ll see.

Originally published at WriteWright. You can comment here or there.

Atheists Are People, Too  Antispam  


( 2 hisses — Hiss at me! )
Matthew Quinn
Nov. 21st, 2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
Magic and Religion
As far as Christianity is concerned, the Bible is very critical in both the Old Testament and New about involvement with the occult.


That being said, some of the magic in your universe sounds like it could be written off as "X-Men" style "mutant powers" rather than tarot reading, talking to "spirits" or the dead, etc.

Maybe there is a much stronger religious objection to magic, but not psionics, as the latter could be written off as an unusual natural talent (akin to athletics or performing advanced math in your head) rather than something involving dealing with Evil Forces (TM)?
Nov. 21st, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Magic and Religion
Thanks, Matthew, for the link.

As far as the acceptability, I think I'm going to have things be divided, because there are some very strict, scripture-is-the-direct-word-of-God churches and some more modern, scripture-is-parable churches. You know, the kind of churches that marry same-sex couples and such.

I decided, too, that at some point in the mid- to late-80s, a Pope "comes out" as being psionic, so the Catholic church's response is going to be very mixed. I think stuff like this will add a certain depth to the world, but I don't ever want it to become the crux-point of a plot. Just flavor of the world, and maybe some conflict in the characters.

My psionic character is a devout Catholic, for instance.

Psionics and magic are just two faces of a five-sided die, all of which are "magic" in the sense that it's "spooky action at a distance."

The term "psionics" came from D&D. :)

Roughly, psions are limited by the power their own bodies can generate. Mages have that plus energy they gather from the environment around them (it might get colder around a mage as he uses the heat energy as well as his own, internal energy). Vampires can ONLY get power from other humans, but it's a slow process (and not necessarily fatal), and then they're indistinguishable from mages in terms of how the power is used. Necromancers absorb ALL of the energy from other humans at the moment of their death, plus they have the abilities of a mage. Finally, batteries are basically vampires who can gather energy but can't use it.

You can see that there would be a very useful symbiosis between vampires and batteries. I really hate the term "batteries" but I can't think of anything else.

I need better terms for all of it, probably, but for now, this is what I'm going with. And those are simplified into one-sentence descriptions.

The hard-line, strict-scripture churches would likely view all of them as inherently evil. Psions tend to favor less flashy, invisible magic (telepathy, clairvoyance, astral projection), whereas mages, who have more power available, tend to be more visible. More like Harry Potter or Harry Dresden.

Things like tarot cards and crystal balls are merely crutches that allow the [generic term for a possessor of magical abilities of any kind] [thaumaturge?] to focus his or her concentration and to increase control of the forces in question. They don't actually need anything other than their imagination and will-power.

There is no 'spirits of the dead' or 'reading the future' permitted in my world. At all.
( 2 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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