1. talieseen
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    talieseen Member

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    Merging Genre's

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by talieseen, Nov 19, 2009.

    I've had this story stuck in my brain for over a decade now, and I've tried rewriting it, rewriting, over and over. I've posted up my presently working prologue on the novel section, but I'm having an issue with it still. What I wanted to do was to have a story that was a mixture of magic and technology, a space-faring society that still possessed arcane knowledge. Cybernetics and lightning bolts. However, the main character is over fifty-percent cybernetic due to a severe accident he had on a space station. Why would he have to have cybernetics placed into him if magic existed? Why would they not merely go about and magically regrow all his limbs? This is my problem and affects the plot of my story severely if I cannot find a solution to it.
     
  2. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    They did it in Star Wars, so why not? Write it how you want to write it. Let the publishers decide which "genre" it falls into.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quite a few novels I've read involving magic have different 'conditions' or penalties attached to the use of magic--otherwise, why would any of the characters try do anything? They'd just wave their wand.
    Also, there are things like the way using magic drains the life force of the giver, or affects how much magic the character will be able to access in the future etc. So I don't really see a plot hole here if you explain it a bit to make it seem logical in that universe.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's the superhero syndrome. The magic in good old Dungeons & Dragons is a perfect example. There's a magic spell for every task you can imagine, so nothing ever becomes a problem. In such a universe, death has absolutely no impact -- you can just fling your wrist and raise the dead, after all.

    Why not limit your magic? Why should magic be able to regrow limbs? Just say it can't.
     
  5. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Yep, a good Magic System could help you out of this one. Why not check some? You would easily find them over the Web, and there are plenty of 'em. Anyway, good luck, as I know these kind of things can be frustrating.
     
  6. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    Since you've got magic and science together, I would suggest that magic did not exist on the homeworld before they developed spacefaring technology.

    Perhaps the civilisation discovered the magic on a long abandonned planet and, despite the research and experimentation done over the centuries, the magic stubbornly refuses to harmonise with human phyisology.

    Or, to put it another way, the magic is alien. It can kill but it cannot - whether due to its very alienness or some self-aware willfulness - be used to heal any of humanities wounds. Either possibility why it doesn't heal could provide a lot of backstory fodder.

    If the reason is its alienness, its practitioners would necessarily cut themselves off from humanity and immerse themselves in the alien culture. They would speak differently, dress differently, think differently.

    If the magic is preventing healing by its own choice, it could mean that the magic has a plan or is testing humanity's worth. An intelligent source of magic could spell disaster for any civilisation if it chose to destroy rather than continue being used.

    Since the magic was only on one world when humanity discovered it and it now covers known space, it could mean that those who come into contact with the magic are unknowingly facilitating its spread. I'm thinking that the stronger magic users become conduits through which the magic can reach.

    Hmmm... maybe I should write this one myself... :)
     
  7. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having an explanation for it is great, but I don't think it's even necessary to bog down the flow of your story or risk sounding like you're making excuses, by explaining things too much to the reader. Just because other stories have magic that can do this and that, there's absolutely no reason why the reader should assume your magic is similar. Last I checked, magic is fictional and by the meaning of the word, defies logical reasoning. By having the guy being 50% mechanical you're already telling your reader that magic doesn't work that way -- it doesn't heal the sick. If they don't get it, well, shame...they probably played too much WoW then.

    The idea above, with the magic being of alien origin sounds pretty cool.

    I'm just saying there's no need for being defensive in your writing. A reader should be ready to assume that if something isn't done in the story, it's probably because it can't be done, not because the cast is too dumb to think it up.
     
  8. talieseen
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    talieseen Member

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    These are all good ideas, though I'm more of a trek fan than a wars fan ;). I never thought it of along the lines of it being an alien thing, I prefer magic forcing a toll upon the caster for the spells cast. I always thought that IF it existed in reality, it should work along some of the laws of physics. Such as energy can never be created nor destroyed, only reformed. So the energy for say, a fireball would have to come from somewhere.. or someone. The original idea I had was that magic would be seen within someone's DNA, so at birth they were labeled with the greek alphabet and the subtype of magic they used. Alphas were those who had little to no magic within them, if any magic was done by them it was without their knowing it. Betas could sense magic but not knowingly cast it, etc. Omegas were very, very rare. An omega would be someone whose magic was litterally flowing from them, they had to hold their emotions in check alot of the times or else the magic within their DNA would seep out into the surroundings and based upon their emotion, would cause growth, or destruction, both were random. This original idea of magic being the main focus was based on the main bad guy wanting to achieve god-hood by basically, genetically altering others to be linked to him, to be his servants. He himself was originally merely a Beta, but through multiple genetic manipulation (and the help of siphoning off the magic of the only known dragon) he'd become an Omega.
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why turn it all into mediclorians? Consider reading the thread in general writing about Sense Of Wonder.
     
  10. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or, perhaps the injuries sustained a long time ago occurred on another world? And, as many have already pointed out, there is no reason you cannot put certain limitations on the available magic. Perhaps, if someone on the home planet had some accident which might require the reconstruction of a hand or whatever, that could be done if you needed it but, for the hapless hero, the 'damage' as it were, is already done. The tissue is gone and the limbs cannot be recreated after a certain period of time.

    There are a number of ways of resolving this issue and you have, I think, been given a lot of insight here. Now it's your turn. Go at it. Sounds like an interesting premise and now I am going over to the Novels site to read your prologue.
     
  11. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    Why bother worrying about this at all? I don’t mean to sound blasé, but at the end of the day this is your story don’t worry about the rules of magic and what you may or not be able to do, after all you create it so your can change the rules however you see fit, as some have suggested maybe there are rules which govern what you can or can’t do, or maybe restoring limbs is simply something which can’t be achieved by magic, remember in your world you are god, and so whatever you decide goes, and all readers will (or at least should ) follow along this same reasoning and accept what is told to them
     
  12. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    It's your book, you can do anything. You can go back in space, go back in time, go back and make the marching band. Okay. Magic does not cure everything. Even in Harry Potter magic cannot save Albus Dumbledore. Therefore, in your world you cannot magically ingrow his limbs. Or perhaps he is a rare case where you cannot regrow his limbs. You can always make him an "acceptation." I love making people acceptions. (Did I spell that right?)

    I think that the answer should be "magic can't cure everything". Magic cannot cure his limbs.

    Hope that helped,
    Writewizard :)
     
  13. Thetalpha
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    Thetalpha Member

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    What you're writing (or attempting to write) goes by the name Science Fantasy, and it's quite common; as InkDream mentioned, Star Wars is the most prominent piece of this genre, and started the hype of mixing magic and fantasy elements into uber-modern/scifi worlds, or the other way round (I once read quite an interesting story set in a medieval environment, but they had cars and mobile phones).

    EDIT: @writewizard: It's an "exception", not an acception. That's if you accept something.
     
  14. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even magic has its limits. Although you don't need to spell the rules out to the reader, have rules that create these kinds of limitations.
     
  15. talieseen
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    talieseen Member

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    Yes, one of the things I've decided is that long standing wounds that have had time to start healing on their own, or cauterized wounds would be nearly impossible to heal via magic. I don't want to do a star wars based thing, but rather something where in a persons capacity for magic is known at large, but that capacity is not always met. It requires training in the arcane arts, the will, the imagination, and the belief that you can do what you set out to do. But, after a lot of thought and looking through all the replies here, I've decided on how to do it and I have decided to keep magic in the story. Thanks!
     

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