It is very easy to write about overt, heavy, high magic fantasy.

One thing that makes the Pathfinder setting, Golarion, a bit hard to believe for me is how high magic everything is. Golarion was their answer to Forgotten Realms, and they decided to take it one step further (in a very Marvel kind of way) as they were creating it. It feels extremely… extreme. Like fireworks in the middle of the night, on New Year’s Eve.

And don’t get me wrong: There is nothing wrong with that. I appreciate that it is different; Forgotten Realms is getting very tired in its old age, in my opinion. From a gaming perspective, it is fine for me.

It’s from a writing perspective that I start to have issues.

I live, or at least I try to live, very deliberately. Which, when it comes down to it, I feel is one of my strongest and most pronounced traits. Everything I do, from brushing my teeth to working on this blog, is very deliberate. There are mistakes, sure. After all, I am only human. But nothing is accidental.

I am deeply enamored with the small things in life: I like to crochet, cook, mend clothes, wash clothes, and other such mundane things. Something about those little necessities feels so human, so alive to me. It makes me happy to exist here, and I would not trade that for many things.

In a way, this is one of the things which drew me to things like the Circle of Magic series when I was young, and led me to people like Ran Prieur as I grew up: I have a deep love for escapism, which is tempered only by my desire to live in this reality as best as I can. I love the boring bits of life: The grinding, the cooking, the mending, the traveling… But feel that, even as I do these things, there’s so much more going on there than what it looks like.

High Fantasy usually glosses over these boring bits, or waves them away with a simple mention of the word magic. Non-Fantasy fiction, of course, doesn’t consider these actions important or special at all, and will usually stick to the characters and the story events.

I think that, even on the most Fantastic Voyage ever, there will still be chores to do. And in those unifying acts are where the real magic happens. You can’t ignore the limitations of life and just focus on the exciting things, even when You are talking about dragons or spaceships.

Yesterday, I saw an article on brambles- the plants that grow things like raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries. When You look at how many of these bramble-fruits are the result of us making hybrids of the above three, or realize that they are all closely related to another well known plant, the rose bush, or that most of those same plant’s leaves can be used in tisane… that feeling You get when You realize how deep small things can be?

That is the true fantasy to me, and as an author I want to communicate that to my audience. I want them to see the world (and life itself) the way I see it. I wrote a story code recently, for my serial blog. And the point I just expanded here is on there: In my stories, there should be Beauty and Magic in Mundanity.

Just something that has been on my mind lately, and I thought I’d write about it here, since it was a slow day yesterday

Categories:  writing 
Tags:  magic systems  pathfinder  explanation  world building