First, I want to talk about magic.
All those Potterheads and fans of lame, sparkly vampire romances can relax, I’m not talking about that kind of magic.
I’m talking about magic as it appears in super fiction, or super-hero-type stories. Marvel and DC comics both have prominent characters that wield magic. Both are considered powerful, and have their fans. But besides Dr. Strange having his own straight-to-DVD animated movie (which was better than the Iron Man animated DVD), and Dr. Fate getting props on Justice League Unlimited, magic doesn’t seem overly popular. I’m not including characters that use magic to access powers, like Thor or Wonder Woman. I’m talking about waving hands around, spouting off latin or some equally obscure language to do whatever the hell they want.
I bring this up because I recently uploaded a bunch of characters I created onto my computer, as to file them. Now these characters aren’t part of the Infinatum per se. They are part of a project I might work on much later. But the idea is that these characters are a part of a world where typical superheroes exist.
In the Infinatum, there are super-powered beings, but they exist within a world more based in reality. They don’t run around in flashy costumes, they don’t want to become superheroes, some are irregulars (humanoid animals, some with powers) who are treated like monsters, and they are something new that society has to deal with.
In my future project, like the Marvel and DC universes, super-powered being have been around for nearly 80 years. Some are worshipped as heroes, others fight on behalf of their nation, and some are villains. I like to think of this world, what I call “First World”, as my straight-up homage to the superhero genre.
One of these characters, one of the first ones I thought up, would be comparable to Dr. Strange and Dr. Fate (he’s also a ‘Dr.” too). But since I’m not a fan of magic, I have made sure not to mention the term “magic” too often. I prefer that he wields “mystical energies”. It may be an indistinguishable difference to some, but for me, it is a wide gulf.
As I mentioned earlier, “magic” to me requires chanting, potions, scrolls, and a bunch of other stuff that, to be honest, would take up too much of my time researching. I’m not afraid of researching, but the problem is, I’m a research freak. I can start looking for one thing, then spend the next two hours following up on something else connected to the first thing I was looking for! In short, I want to keep is simple.
For me, using the term “mystical” is sort of like saying “magic-lite”. The basis of mystical powers can be more vague, which more easily fits into the logic of the Infinatum (which I may explain another time). The character’s powers can come from any source, and that character doesn’t require all the conventional magic crap. Sure he can have books, scrolls and books, but he won’t be wasting his time running around for eyes of newt and crap like that. I prefer his powers come artifacts, symbols, or from somewhere beyond this world.
That is the beauty of writing. You can say “screw it ” to the conventional means of telling certain types of stories. But, when you do that, you have to stay within the logic of the world you’ve created. Also, you can’t change them later on because of a care-free whim. If you’re serious about changing the rules of your world, you better have a really damn good reason, or else those readers who have followed you that far may get pissed off.
I may have mentioned this before, but back in October, I filed for bankruptcy, lost my house, then was laid off from my job. Although it has helped my writing immensely, the job hunt hasn’t been going well. I recently went to an employment help center to see what they might be able to do for me. When they asked me what I’d like to do, or was good at, I told them.
Writing. Scriptwriting. Creative Writing.
But they, and the government, don’t want writers. They want people who will do the jobs that need filling, the kind of jobs I’ve been applying for over the past few months.
It was just another reminder of how hard it can be to follow your heart, your dreams, to try to do the thing you most want to do, especially if everyone else doesn’t think much of it, or doesn’t understand it. I think all writers, successful or struggling, have had that feeling, at one point or another. That includes any other creative types too.
Pretty much anyone with a pulse, two legs, two arms, and can lift things can get the most basic jobs. Those who can’t either get social assistance to help get them a job, or do everything in their power to get on TV by showing they have no shame or dignity. Kids don’t wish to grow up and become lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats, secretaries, or some other adult-sounding job. That is generally something they either choose later on because of financial reasons, or they give up on the things they love. But, if they find happiness in whatever career they choose, then it all become moot. Happiness should be the goal in life.
For creative types, our happiness comes from creating. Many of us continually suffer indifference from others, especially friends and family. But to be told that our choice of career isn’t the kind of career that doesn’t matter, or warrant assistant, just because it isn’t popular, is just another shot, another frustration, another disappointment.
Fortunately, it just adds fuel to my fire.
I want a career that I love. I’ll continue to do what I love. I’ll also do it to prove all those who didn’t believe wrong.
I’ll keep going my own way.