Hello, my fellow BookDragons!
Writing a good magic system is tough. I mean, have you ever tried to write a story and stopped in the middle because the world didn’t seem complete or the magic/technology system wasn’t fitting into it? Or you accidentally wrote an OP character and needed to fix it to get that manuscript back on track? Possibly tried creating a whole new role-playing game and want something new/different/unique but had no idea where to start. No? Just me.
Hm. For those who have been there, you know, just like I do, that there aren’t many resources available that walk you through, step-by-step, on developing a magic system from the ground up that fits perfectly into your story world.
So, I can honestly say there is no other workbook quite like Restrictions May Apply by CR Rowenson, anywhere. I know this because I looked for something to help build magic into the worlds I wanted to write and never found it. Until now, of course.
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The Good Stuff
CR Rowenson’s writing style is conversational and his explanations don’t make me feel like I missed something in science class years ago. There are plenty of exercises to go through to develop ideas into something that works for the world that’s being created.
Each chapter has a minimum of three exercises, most of them have four. And the examples for each exercise are awesome. He doesn’t leave the reader to figure it out on their own because he’s used ideas from popular stories as well as his own homebrew to show you what he means. And, honestly, the price of admission for that alone is totally worth it.
He also offers suggestions on background material and where to find magic-building ideas. Although some of his examples are science-based, he makes a point to say and show how magic systems can be built using ideas from history or art, and other sources. Did I mention I don’t have a degree in Chemistry like Mr. Rowenson? *ahem*
And, if you’re like me, you love using a pen—preferably a fountain pen—and paper to noodle out the ideas. Kindle books aren’t really conducive to that. Duh. So, I totally appreciate that he’s included links to printable PDFs of each form, individually or all together in a zip file.
I think the only downside is that magic building is a huge topic and he scratches the surface of it in this workbook. Helpful, very much so. But if you want to really dig in, you’ll need to search his blog for that information. He does, however, acknowledge this and includes handy links for those sections you may need more information on.
His site is a plethora of interesting articles, tips, and walkthroughs on how to build magic systems. If you hop over to his site, be warned: you’ll be sucked in for a few hours. Possibly days. Seriously. He’s got a lot of good information there.
Who is this for? Fantasy and Science Fiction writers; authors of all speculative fiction; RPG and other tabletop game writers
GoodReads Rating: ★★★★★ It was amazing.
You can find his workbook FREE on Kindle U at https://amzn.to/2FHbAyB
Full Disclosure: C.R. Rowenson is my developmental editor and writing coach. I “purchased” the workbook with my Kindle Unlimited account. I’ve been following his blog for years though.