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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lines of Demarcation

In Navronne (re: Lighthouse Duet), pureblood magic is a commodity, used by both of the major religious communities. Danae magic is divine or at least an integral part of nature (however nature might have come into being. ) In Ezzaria (re: The Books of the Rai-kirah), religion is an important component of a seamless social/cultural structure, and the crumbling perception of this religion parallels the crumbling structure of Ezzarian society. No matter how I squirm and wriggle (because religious belief and practice always introduce complications) the lines separating magic/religion/supernatural truth/myth/superstition must be drawn in a fantasy world. Yes, even if religion is not a dynamic thread in the story. Why?

My aim is always to make my worlds real enough that readers can lose themselves in the action and interactions of the plot and characters. And at least so far, I haven't imagined a world where humans did not make some attempt to answer the questions - where did I come from? why am I here? who dun it? - and then codify the answers to those questions. While many humans look no farther than themselves to answer the questions, a goodly number of us do. Which means I need to come up with some answers for what people in my created cultures believe and how it fits with the magical structure I'm developing. Has religion co-opted magic? Has magic co-opted faith? Has the divine been proved human, implying that divine truth is yet unknown? [Mmmm, nope, I've used that one <-g->. ]

My musings on the pervasive nature of magic in Sabria and its historically controlling position have merged with my search for the right name for the local deity, leading me in a direction which leaves me with a somewhat uninvolved deity - at least in an ordinary Sabrian's perception. Of course, the truth of that worldview (or heavenview), as well as how the religious establishment has dealt with the magical (and political) establishment remains to be defined. I probably don't need to know this yet. And I'm left with the question of what ordinary people might fall back on in a personal crisis. I step back and look at my premise - the Veil - the region that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead, and it gives me an idea...[Carol scurries off to write this down.]

7 comments:

Stephen said...

Which means I need to come up with some answers for what people in my created cultures believe and how it fits with the magical structure I'm developing.

Nicely said. Too much fantasy completely ignores the point, as if everything else exists in a vacuum.

Calenhíril said...

It surprises me when religion shows up in what I write. It shouldn't, because it always does. It's always important even when you think it doesn't matter. Same with politics. I hate writing politics because I feel I'm no good at it, but it's necessary...

I love that you ask tough questions in your books. You make me think while enjoying myself.

Do your ideas usually show up when you're in the middle of something else? *g*

Di Francis said...

Hiya!

I didn't know you were keeping a blog. I am, apparently, clueless.

Di

carolwriter said...

Hey, Di! (For those who don't know, this is the author extraordinaire of The Cipher and the "Path of" series from Roc.)

The blog is a new venture - only a few days old - prompted by my need to get a handle on this new project.

Di Francis said...

Aha! So I'm not clueless. This will be fun. I am working up a new novel (well, still fixing the old one while working up a new one). It will be fun to do this together.

Di

carolwriter said...

stephen said:
Too much fantasy completely ignores the point, as if everything else exists in a vacuum.

Exactly so. It isn't enough to define the pieces of the world. You must consider the logical interconnections - or at least enough to make a coherent whole.

Valtinen said...

I am continually amazed and dismayed when I pick up something that involves magic and yet there are no political or religious underpinnings.

I suppose the suspension of disbelief is expected, but that's the difference between merely reading a book and *experiencing* a book.