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Let's talk fantasy technology

Forums Fiction Research and Worldbuilding Let's talk fantasy technology

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 85 total)
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  • #49837
    Martin Detwiler
    @karthmin

    @taylorclogston

    Aw shucks. I knew that high fantasy was probably a thing, but I hadn’t heard of mythic fantasy being an actual subgenre…

    Typically, I share your frustration with labels, Taylor. I’d like to think that the best stories break genre definitions in some way, and those definitions only exist in order to loosely tie a conglomerate of similar (but by no means unitary) stories together as a group. This is of far more use to the marketer and the consumer than to the creator.

    But in this instance it would make me happy to see an appropriate label given to Tolkien’s work and those like it because right now what makes him unique from the rest of modern fantasy is overshadowed by the fact that it shares the same label. There’s a difference, but no distinction is being made… which defeats the whole point of the label to begin with.

    I wonder if you’re right about Lewis in That Hideous Strength. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was some interplay between him and Tolkien on the topic, and even less surprised if that showed up in their published works.


    @hope-ann

    Writer friends, indeed. *smh* Lewis proved his point, for sure. And did it well, too.

    *whispers* But it still doesn’t have the same feel as Tolkien.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Sounds like you have some really interesting tech being developed in your world! That’s awesome. I like the “copy-machine”. Gutenberg von Centimanus eh?</p>
    As for your original question about how to incorporate tech and advancement into one’s fantasy, I think there are a couple principles to keep in mind. I’m pulling a lot from Sanderson, too, because he’s one of the few authors I know of who do this well.

    1. Apply your magic system creatively. Don’t follow the path most trod – think of ways that you could apply your magic system to everyday life, and you’ll probably find a good many simple things that will give your stories tech in-world flavor a d character.

    2. Account for economic impact. If magic users figure out a process by which to create gold out of non-precious materials, that makes magic users extremely valuable and thus likely subject to exploitation by those in power. Or it devalues gold and completely upsets the economic backbone of the country, forcing them to find/develop a different currency.

    3. Account for cultural/religious reaction (whether positive or negative to the new tech). If a certain tech develops which is contrary to the teachings of some religious group, that will definitely effect the spread of the tech, and how those who possess it are viewed.

    4. Beware copycatting modern technology. If your magic system is the basis of the tech in question, you don’t have to worry too much about this as long as you are creative in how you get there. However, if not using your magic system, be on your guard. Unless you are able to recast a modern technology and make the reader think of it in a different light than normal, try to steer clear of things that directly resemble modern tech. You’re creating your own world. Go crazy. But stay internally consistent.

    At the end of the day, the direction that you take tech in your fantasy story depends what feel you are going for. It will effect the overall tone! And weird people like me will take guesses about your philosophical stance towards the development of history because of it. XD

    myths don't die

    #49866
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    @Karthmin True. Tolkien does have a more epic feel… though it’s more because of the style than because of a random lamppost.

    Also… I feel like Tolkienish Fantasy is actually a thing. He gets his own genre named after himself. XD

    Those are good points about tec/magic system/etc. The main reason for ‘tec’ in my stories is not that I actually want there to be a lot of technology. Rather, I want to make the world feel real. Give it the impression that it is progressing, even if the newest thing is just a crossbow or exploding powder or some kind of sharp sword. It, along with the Tyler Cycle @kate posted in… some other thread about worldbuilding a while back, gives me context for my world and nations. Where they are coming from, where they are, what is on the cusp of all the young minds. It’s background, but quite fun.

    Another interesting facet is to implant theme into worldbuilding and let it be part of the tec too. My magic system is (somewhat unintentionally) very thematic. Because my theme of the world is ‘love anyway’ no matter who sees, what the cost, with the strongest deeds done when no one sees, etc. And the power comes from starlight and those who have it are strongest at night when they can do their deeds with no one watching. I was proud even though I didn’t mean it to begin with. The whole stars/night deal works with the theme of hope too.

    Which makes me wonder if I could take that theme and the cultures who are based in various ways for or against those themes and implement it into the development of tec too. What is important and why etc. *goes off to muse about it*

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #50387
    Hedges
    @h-jones

    *takes note of conversation*

    I’ll be stalking everything people say here from now on, fellows.

    Married a blacksmith, and now frequently uses his knowledge for writing fantasy.

    #52591
    Martin Detwiler
    @karthmin

    @hope-ann I love the fact that you wove a thematic influence into your tech. That is beautiful and efficient and art. Really, you took theme development and worldbuilding and developed both with one (set of) detail(s). That’s just plain good storytelling right there.

    myths don't die

    #52763
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    @karthmin It also actually makes things easier because I have something to base everything else off of and don’t have to start from scratch with every angle of my world/magic/tec. Besides, it’s fun. And internally consistent even if it’s not something most people would notice.

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #52943
    Martin Detwiler
    @karthmin

    @hope-ann The simplicity of good world-building/writing is something that I have also noticed. When you find that balance between form, function, and meaning, it seems like things begin to fall into place almost as if by themselves. Its always a great feeling to see it happen in our projects.

    By the way, I absolutely love your signature. That was the best lesson I have ever taken away from anything that Sanderson has written, and it really helped me this summer as I was going through a really difficult period of my life.

    myths don't die

    #53188
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    @karthmin It’s quite fun. The whole ‘things that happen out of sight and impact everything else’ keeps seeping into other parts of the world. Earthquakes, for example, are a big danger and happen out of sight beneath the ground, etc. *grins* it’s cool.

    And thanks. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve drawn from his work as well. As well as the whole ‘perception is power’ deal (for manager work and such). Though recently I’ve been focusing on the ‘journey before destination’ lines. The actual process and life itself, not just random ‘accomplishments’. I love Sanderson’s themes.

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #53262
    Martin Detwiler
    @karthmin

    @hope-ann Dude! When earth-quakes accidently line up perfectly with your theme, you know you did something right lol!

     

    The ‘power is perception’ one never struck a very deep chord in me; perhaps being a bearded white man has influenced my experience in such a way that I’ve rarely had to consciously think about power dynamics. Who knows?

    But regardless, the journey before destination theme is also very powerful.

    It was in reading his books (specifically the Stormlight Archive, that I realized that a spelled-out theme can have a lot of impact even if the reader knows it is being explored. I tend to hide my themes more, so it was cool experiencing something that transferred very well into real life and yet felt so true to the story being told all at the same time.

     

    myths don't die

    #53686
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    @karthmin ‘Power is perception’ wasn’t so much a life-changing idea as a mix of something I subconsciously knew/did being put into words and an ‘oh, cool. Let’s see how this works.’ XD Especially when everyone thinks you six to eight years younger than you are due to your small size, a young face (I suppose) and seeming innocent sweetness. *smirks*

    But yeah. It’s been really cool watching how he spelled out themes. Well, him and another favorite author who managed to put philosophical discussions in their works with them seeming completely natural to the story. I think my themes tend to be more subtle. But I also want them clear with a nice ‘catch phrase’ people can remember. Something that comes to focus around the third plot point/climax. I mean… in my current WIP I kinda forgot about theme for most of the book and just have it slipping in an out because I built the plot around it. So we’ll see how it goes in the rewrite. XD

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #53797
    Martin Detwiler
    @karthmin

    @hope-ann Aha! Now I see why that would be an interesting theme for you to explore in your personal life. Don’t get me wrong, I also found it to be an interesting theme, but one which I had more or less assimilated already through living life for long enough with enough of a thinker mindset to pay attention to things like that.

    It really is quite cool to see how he did it. Who is that other favorite author, if I may ask? Always on the lookout for more good authors I can put on my bookshelf and wish I could read. 😛

    myths don't die

    #53844
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    @karthmin The other favorite author doesn’t acutally have books published yet. So you don’t have to stare sadly at books you don’t have time for for another year or two.

    She’ll kill me or die of embaressment herself, but it’s a risk I’ll take. *coughs* @kate and her writing. Mainly the Rememberence series. The themes and characters and relationships (and pain). And more subtext/better prose than Sanderson. XD They’re really good. Or would be if she’d finish the storming things.

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #53846

    *pops up from her grave, where she lies dead of embarrassment*

    *Remembrance

    *returns to grave*


    @hope-ann


    @karthmin

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

    #53847

    *realizes this is a really good topic*

    *resolves to return*

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

    #53849
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    @kate yeah, yeah. If I actually had one of the books maybe I’d remember the series title.

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #53850

    *turns up nose* You can’t rush genius, brightness.


    @hope-ann

    INFP-A. If you can't be brilliant, odd will do.

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