Monday, 26 January 2015

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

AA Milne

As a writer, I am a classic and incurable pantser, meaning I make it all up as I go along and hope it looks like a story at the end. Planning ahead is something I've never been able to do - it kills my interest in writing the story. Usually, as far as an outline goes, I know where I want to start and where I want to finish. Everything in between is a surprise.

That means I do a lot of research on the fly, because I have no idea what I might need to know ahead of time. This is why I would probably never be a published author without the internet. I think you can get away with a fair bit of  "winging it" in urban fantasy (it's fiction, after all), but I like to refer back to real-world sources when necessary, as a starting point for all the crazy fantasy.

In Blood Witch, I'm doing a lot of on-the-fly world-building, creating a magic system that relies a lot on my imagination (blood magic), which is fun and allows for some real freedom. But I want to keep in some real-world elements, so I'm also working in magic systems and spells that draw on Wiccan practices, but that aren't meant to reflect real-world Wicca. To round it out, I'm also including a touch of aura reading and magical crystals.

Aura-reading is a particular ability of my heroine, Lola, and I've tried to stick close to traditional aura colour interpretations so far. I'm sure I'll start taking liberties as the series story progresses, but it's nice having ground rules in place to mess around with. For magical crystals, I'm looking more at the traditional properties associated with stones like amber and amethyst, and then working those into my world's magic system. Amber, for example, is considered to be a favoured stone of witches with great protective qualities, which makes it a perfect tool for my rebel witch, Lola.

I'm also adding in a dash of demonology, necromancy, ley lines, and vampirism for good measure...But I don't want to give too much away at this point, so that's all I'll say about that right now. Hopefully it will all come together smoothly by the end of the book...

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