Sanderson's Second Law + Updates
This week's Writing Excuses podcast episode covers more on fauna and flora. Check it out.
My assistant Peter has uploaded a new Twitter posts archive and the final chapter of my abandoned 2001 novel MYTHWALKER. He's also put up my Sanderson's Second Law article, which was first printed in the June 2011 issue of LEADING EDGE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. The failure of MYTHWALKER was a contributing factor that led me to develop the Second Law.
A few years back, I wrote an essay on creating magic systems that I titled Sanderson's First Law. It had to do with the nature of foreshadowing as it relates to solving problems with magic. In that essay, I implied that I had other "laws" for magic systems that I'd someday talk about. Well, that time has come, as I've finally distilled my thoughts for the second law into an explanation that will work.
I'll start, however, by noting that none of these "laws" are absolute. Nor am I the only one to talk about them. By calling them "Sanderson's Laws" I'm merely referring to them in the way I think of them—they are rules I try to live by when designing magic systems for my books. There are a lot of ways to write, and the only real "laws" are the ones that work for you.
These work for me. I think they are actually all principles of good writing, not just writing as it pertains to magic systems. However, because magic systems are one of the things I most like to toy with in my writing, I have designed them in such a way that they encourage me toward stronger, and more interesting, magic in my fantasy books.
Read the rest here.