Playing by the Rules

Writing Guide by Kathleen White


As writers of fiction, we have incredible power over creation and destruction. We can create entire new worlds, creatures, and characters and make them do pretty much whatever we want to.

However, we also have the responsibility to remain consistent. When we create a rule of a universe, we have to stick by it. You can’t kill someone in chapter one, only to have them pop up two chapters later, without a good explanation.

With that in mind, I’m constantly trying to find new challenges on just how far I can stretch the rules without breaking the boundaries of pre-established law.

A thought came to me a while ago when I was watching a sci-fi show regarding traveling through space. When thinking of my own characters from Zalyndrya, which is a world that is very heavily rooted in magic, I wondered how they would fare in that type of environment, and what might they learn if they found themselves four hundred years into the future.

So, following that train of thought, I found myself with the question of “how would the rules apply?” For starters, Lalasa is known for her skill in magic. In fact, it’s been established that the entire world of Zalyndrya is practically laced with it. If the ship’s crew discovered that they could not transport themselves down to this world due to magical interference (although it’s unlikely they would know that to be the cause), would they risk taking a smaller vessel to explore further?

Looking at it from another point of view, what would happen if Lalasa and Lothan found themselves aboard the ship? Would they even be able to get there with the technical complications? Lothan probably wouldn’t be a problem since he has little to no magical skill. However, even as a mortal, Lalasa had trained in the arcane arts. I think she would have to be neutralized (most likely staked) for an attempt to transport her there to even be possible.

So, keeping those in mind, we have their reactions to each other as well as the reactions of the crew when they’re faced with magic and (as they would eventually discover) vampires.

It presents a challenge for me as a writer, because the two universes are complete opposites of each other, but when writing immortal characters, the possibility is there, no matter how small. It’s something to think about when planning a story concept and plot development.


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