I am an aspiring author, currently working with my second novel. Some of you might know me from my previous comments on this blog, and I am honored to be given the opportunity to guest-blog today. Having a good grasp of mythology, paranormal and science along with somewhat creative mind, I truly enjoy reading books of all categories, but I truly love books playing with the potentials of magic, extending the "normal" boundaries of limiting magic into working in set categories. However, while working with my recent novel, I found that I had to overcome some of the limits I had imposed to myself. For instance, having a mage or wraith perform an act that normally would be considered way too powerful to maintain characters balance and power to keep the story interesting. Why bother reading a book about an omnipotent characters that simply can do anything in their own realm of power?
One of the works that have inspired me are actual older mythologies and national epochs of various countries. Rune singing, a talent nearly lost from some language families, is considered one of the ways of changing the world. As with the old world thinking, to know a name of a thing is to be able to control it. To name and to rename was considered magical, since truly changing a meaning of an object is to change it in reality. Language used itself controls the thinking. As such, holding a power of naming is considered truly powerful and very, very old magic. Additional definition and difference between magic and praying is that magic is to change the world through oneself, where praying is to ask the world to be changed by God. Is it not that the words and their definitions change the world? Old words get new meanings and their origins get lost for ages.
Not many of us think of the origin of a word "policeman", which is simply "a man of polis", a man of the city. Remember the power of life and death is in the tongue. One way to think of this is that the power of language is decisive factor between life and death, or even a transcending force between the two. Do a small test, switch your entire thinking from a language to another one. Now, do the same and switch words and sentences to physical images. This may seem strange but go ahead and try to think about life, while discarding all knowledge of such things as number 0. Seems strange? Now, how do you think about paying for groceries? What is the consept of number 0? Check into it. Its small little things, but so important that we don't think twice about them.
This boils to what magic actually is, the talent of shaping the world in a way or another. As such, its true strenghts are not reliant in its raw power, but rather subtleties of the thought itself. The same goes with the language. Political speeches, thesis, professional lingo all use varios different ways to influence others throught subtle little adjustments. Why would not the same apply to magic in literacy as well? Instead of raw force, one would have to approach the world from a complete different setting. Lighting a candle and increasing its flame, instead of shooting a fireball from the palm of the hand. Using and growing shadows in an underground station, instead of some invisibility cloak. Tapping into local power outlet and throwing the current outward toward a subject, instead of shooting lightningbolts. These small changes help to keep the characters alive, interesting, cunning and let them play out their own roles out in the book.
These minute small changes into thinking about magic in literacy and in my own writing have helped to break down the classical, somewhat boring, thinking of magic for me. Changing ones thinking is to influence the world. It has helped me to open myself more and to bring out ideas that have previously seemed too obscure (such as why should there be any limitations to power of thought if the user has unique way of thinking).
So, as a small idea, try to think something differently, and see where it will lead you. It opened a huge new view for me... what could it do for you?
Friday, March 13, 2009