1. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    What's a wizard do for quick cash?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by bossfearless, Mar 14, 2015.

    My story starts off on the heels of my last novel, where the main character, an apprentice wizard, has just graduated and now he suddenly finds himself without his school's financial aid, housing stipend, or research grant. Rent is due at the end of the month and the adult world is all up in his grill demanding money for this and that. So an early chapter of the novel will revolve around him trying and failing to make a quick buck any way he can think of, but right now I'm having trouble thinking of various ways a rather unscrupulous wizard might try to pay the rent.

    Anyone have any suitably ridiculous ideas?
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    How common is magic and what can you do with it?
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Porn. :p

    Or pizza delivery. Whatever works.
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I have a hunch, although memory might not serve me well here, that this is a dilemma the hero faces in Patrick Rothfuss's books from time to time. I think he makes a living outwith his wizardry by playing the harp in the fantasy equivalent of nightclubs. Or something like that. Has your wizard got any other talents he can use? If he does a day job, that might offer some story ideas as well, as it's likely to put him in contact with non-wizardy types. From which he might learn something?
     
  5. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    @Chinspinner magic is very common and well developed, integrated into industry and is generally regarded as a science. The MC's particular talent in magic lies in time manipulation, speeding things up and slowing them down, but he's got enough education to be an almost-jack of all trades.

    @minstrel Pizza delivery might actually be a fun idea for him to try out. 30 minutes or it's free? Teleport!
     
  6. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    He's fresh out of mage school, only 16 at the time of this story (but as mages are rather short lived and prone to explosion, he's already an active drinker and a frequent patron of discount brothels across from campus), so he's never had a day job before and doesn't want one. In fact like many at that age the prospect of getting a regular job is one of the worst things he can imagine, and he's in the middle of a larger get rich quick scheme that comes together slowly, in the background of the books. One thing I had considered is that he's uncommonly large for a mage, so maybe he could try boxing and realize that it's no fun when all the other guys are also really big. Damned weight classes!
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Does boxing pay well for beginners? No, I thought not. Maybe getting this 16 year old to think about how other people earn a living might help mature him a bit. This could be a test he needs to pass. And again, it would put him into contact with non-wizards.

    What I would not like to see in a story like this is for him to merely come up with some 'magic' that allows him to conjure money out of thin air. That's too easy, and won't develop his character in a good way at all.
     
  8. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    Oh no, these are all going to be things he tries and fails at, so that he's good and frustrated enough to try something a little more extreme, which then leads to this, which leads to that, and so on until he accidentally does something heroic despite his best efforts to the contrary. One of the big things I want to do with this character is have him stay as uninterested, unheroic and selfish as possible throughout the series, none of that "I learned a valuable lesson today about doing the right thing" nonsense. So despite his many failures, he'll never stop trying to come up with a quick fix for his money problems.
     
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  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    He can form a con ring. :p Or engage in a bit of theft. From what you've told us, he sounds like a seedy 'I want to get rich as fast as possible!' sort, so anything goes. I imagine he'd use his gift of time manipulation to his advantage.
     
  10. Frankovitch
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    Frankovitch Member

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    What about the magic cup game? If he can manipulate time it should be easy for him to snatch the ball away from a cup without people noticing. Or at the least moving the cups in a very confusing fashion.

    Or, depending on how your magic system works, how about making fake antiques? Make forgery of Van Gogh, speed time, have it dated, sell it, ka-ching?
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have a few answers, all of them unsavory. :unsure::-D
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, fair enough, if you want him to try to take the easy way out. I guess he could try magic. I think I'd be disappointed if the magic worked, though, and he got money without suffering any consequences. But then it's your story, and it might well be a great way to go.
     
  13. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    He 'turns tricks,' heh, heh.

    Or he busks that wizard levitation number that is all over the place 'on the streets.' I'll find a clip:

     
  14. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    Hehehehe, I like the magic cup game idea. "I tried doing that magic cup game, you know the one where you shift the little ball around? Turns out, people don't take kindly to real magic cups. Personally I think they need to change the name to something that isn't so misleading, but apparently everyone else just thinks I should get hit with rocks."
     
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  15. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Have the wizard use magic to try to grow a money tree, but then have him end up growing a tree with only pennies attached. Or maybe some countries inflated currency, like 2 billion Zimbabwe dollars, I don't know.
     
  16. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    The thing with magic cups is that if you can win with sleight of hand then why would magic be a particular advantage.

    Perhaps he could hire himself out to slow time at opportune moments, that could get him in all sorts of scrapes.
     

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