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AA (Amateur Advice) Impact Report

When you create something, I suppose the general rule for the first step is deciding how this thing impacts the rest of the world. In a sense, you're like a Customs Agent and you decide whether adding something to your story is going to vibe well or create chaos.

However, it might be really hard to imagine all the scenario's that could come of a thing. A step around this may be to find a real-world corollary. For example, to flesh out how magic is learned and how it's study and understanding evolves in your world, think about how science and technology evolved in the real one. Magic and technology are almost synonymous in that as people understand and apply the basic principles of each, they become tools upon which one can build with and upon.

It's not a bad thing, but if imitation (tribute, parody, or whatever) is NOT your goal, then take care to make sure you aren't simply CAP'ing (copy and pasting) an idea into your story.

However, depending on the type of story you are writing, impact requires a flexible understanding of perspective. You need to be aware of the many perspectives your story takes on and how each of these perspectives are influenced by the things in your story. A good way to work on this is to pick any subject of debate and listen to the many differences of perspective that different people arrive at. One of my favorite to listen to was the differences in the philosophy of education of people around the world. Another might be digging around the concept of "culture shock". Growing up and remaining in a single place all your life, you can become sort of boxed into thinking that the world runs fairly similarly to how you live- aside from the media's traditional selection of cultural depictions. However, reading accounts of peoples journey's into other places, and people's migrations here (your going to have to dig. Most tend to be the typical [and in my opinion, not very informative or honest] story, but there are some that provide very detailed and enlightening insights) really gives you a sense of the real breadth of the world and how culture is much, much more varied and colorful than we think. I think I mentioned that National Geographic was my earliest inspiration in terms of global awareness. It certainly isn't perfect in retrospect, but in terms of at least introducing the concepts...it's gold from the mines of my childhood.

Comments

Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I think it is reasonable to proceed from that statement with the notion that learning how a piece of technology works, and understanding the underlying science and mathematical engineering, makes it seem a lot less magical.

Does the study of magic have a reverse effect? Any sufficiently studied magic is indistinguishable from science?

I guess it depends, because after all, there's always an on-going debate of how much you should explain about the magic in your story. Sanderson basically makes it a pseudo-science and with Tolkien it was completely ambiguous and deus ex machina.
 
Smith;bt11459 said:
Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I think it is reasonable to proceed from that statement with the notion that learning how a piece of technology works, and understanding the underlying science and mathematical engineering, makes it seem a lot less magical.

I reckon I'd go along with that. As for what I've deleted from the quote, I simply don't care to comment, would require too much effort on my part.

My first thought after reading the O.P. was " I don't believe in magic ". Maybe I'm just old and/or cynical but as Smith says, what can be explained ceases to be magical and to some extent that's a shame. We could all do with a little magic in our lives. Maybe that explains the need for fiction and make believe. We create our own... magic.
 

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