Hot answers tagged

42

Some people will believe they know how things work, even if they don't If you were to ask a highly educated person 2,000 years ago why things fall down, they'd have an answer. (It just wouldn't be a correct answer.) If you asked them what light is, they'd have an answer. Their answer wouldn't have anything to do with particle/wave thingies which (probably)...


21

My answer is fundamentally similar to JonStonecash's, but comes at it from a different angle. You mentioned the following: the narrative intent behind this is to lower the reader's guard by making them laugh at how silly this is, only for them to stop and be forced to reconsider when the consequences of this “silly” magic system result in mass loss of human ...


15

The most important question is, why does it matter what the details of the magic system are? It may be important for you as the writer to know, but does it matter to the characters or the plot? For example, does the behavior of the protagonist change (or can be explained) because said protagonist has deep knowledge of the magic system. Think carefully before ...


15

Other answers have already given you good reasons why it might be a good idea to not spell out the exact details of your magic system. However, if you still want to share some background on how the magic works in your story and the only thing preventing you from doing so is that the cast doesn't know, you could do it outside of the story. A common way to do ...


6

In somewhat reverse order: Subverting expectations with a false/flawed narrative is fine, and doesn't necessarily lead to outrage. It's all about how the subversion and eventual reveal take place. I can envision several different scenarios that can accomplish this end. I'll share two. Make it evident that the characters providing exposition have a flawed/...


5

Although it has been touched on in the other answers I'd like to highlight something: If it is important to the characters in the story, it is important to the reader. You mentioned that you're not sure how to introduce this exposition dump, or why your character is even interested to start with because it's "ridiculous". Maybe your character is ...


3

Science Will Lead: I think exposition is bad, unless you are establishing an absolute authority of what is right or wrong. This answer is not really radically different from the rest, it's just too extensive to be a comment. So that last line says a truth which seemingly undermines the answer I'm giving (despite it being accurate). Oddly, those of us who are ...


2

According to Ernest Hemingway, the reader can always tell the difference between things that the writer knows and understands, but deliberately hasn't included in the story (because they don't belong there), and things that the writer hasn't thought through, and has left out because of laziness and convenience. The first category is good, the second is bad. ...


1

Introduce it gradually There are many steps in how much detail the specifics of the magic system is known to the characters. You can do the same with the audience. A big infodump right at the beginning which includes many mechanics which only become relevant much later, is detracting from the reading experience, but mechanics being introduced right before ...


1

This is a somewhat tricky question as I don't know the general plot of your book, but this is what I would recommend: You could possibly escalate it to a global/different world/alternate reality, but, does that make sense for your book? You said your book was comedy horror, which usually doesn't go to that big of a scale. You could however like Ceramicino0b ...


1

The obvious answer: Another dimension, a dreamworld or an alternate reality. Of course, that just defers the issue of the escalating settings to the next book. So, given that, maybe the less obvious answer: Back to the basement.


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