I must admit, I’ve been dipping in and out of Horizon Skies for the last few weeks and realising that, despite all the editing, the book I presented to agents is still not completely finished.
The notes from my editor are incredibly helpful but have raised more questions about my work.
World building and my magic system are two areas that still need expansion. I honestly thought I had built my world quite nicely. Apparently, it reads as rather generic with no unique markers to differentiate the various locations. Weird how, what is in my head has not necessarily translated that well onto paper.
Luckily, she has been complimentary overall about the book, the story and my writing style so at least that’s an affirmation of my ability to write.
After spending a few hours on Horizon Skies yesterday, I achieved very little. I’m focusing on the minor revisions such as, what people look like and adding in a bit of detail here and there. When I get to an area that needs a major overhaul, I’m terrified! In my head, I’m thinking, “I spent YEARS writing this, I can’t face it again!”
So, giving it some thought this morning and I think I’ve come up with a battle plan:
- Work through the minor revisions first
- Print the chapters off requiring more of an overhaul
- Get the old notebooks out again and revise by hand (I prefer writing this way)
- Expand upon the magic system
I think the magic system will be quite hard. The basics are already there but I have to consider the following:
- Type of magic i.e. elemental, chemical etc.?
- Are magic wielders born with it or is it taught?
- Are there levels of magic?
- Does everyone have an ability or just a select few?
Elemental magic is a very common trope in Fantasy, mainly because it is an incredibly easy system to write. People with the ability to manipulate fire, earth, air and water are seen quite often in the books we read from this genre.
I’d love to be able to have the ability to create different magic systems the way Brandon Sanderson does. He manages to create something different in all his novels, they are all unique to the planets within the Cosmere (his universe for the uninitiated). From swallowing different metals (Mistborn) to Lashing (The Way of Kings) Sanderson cleverly demonstrates that we don’t have to rely on tried and tested tropes.
I lean towards elemental, it’s in a lot of books I read plus, as a bit of gamer, I’ve seen it’s very common in RPG’s. The earlier Final Fantasy games had characters specifically gifted with one of the elements.
There are some very handy charts and diagrams all over the internet explaining magic systems, some of these are very intricate but I don’t want to borrow from anyone else. Let’s face it, a lot of fantasy stories have very common themes, especially in Young Adult so it’s important that, as writers, we do create something unique. Something that will make the story stand out just that little bit more to an agent.
Here I go again…