--==( Internet Access )==--
No, I don't have access at home, but being that it's tax season, and my mom has gotten her return, I've helped her find a decent laptop to play around on. This means that I'll be able to post blogs of my progress as I work on my next story, and post chapters as they're complete. :D
--==( Sibling Magus )==--
I haven't started writing chapters yet, but that's only because I've been putting together and organizing all of the details needed for this story as well as the next one. The plan is to make it a two-part finale to the Lockdown story-arch. As if the cast for Child Magus wasn't big enough, I'll be introducing more characters. At this point, there are no plans for Seth to acquire anymore Fonti though.
Some of the ideas/sub-plots I've been working on...
* The real source of the Lockdown, who's behind it, how it works, and why...
* Seth's family and their issues...
* Other factions interested in the Lockdown for different reasons...
* Oh, and spells - lots of spells...
So far I've put together an overall outline of the major problems. I've listed primary and secondary events that should take place. I've started on a chapter outline so I'll have a rough idea of what should happen in each chapter. And I've worked up different off-stage scenes that will help me understand why some of the characters do and say what they do.
--==( Feedback )==--
Here are a few emails I've received...
Very well worked out. The biggest problem I see with magic in stories is that everything becomes either too easy for the hero, too dark with evil, or just too chaotic and pointless. You provided a natural, slow, very effective development to a positive climax. You came up with useful constraints to challenge Seth, and the overall story hangs together very well. I like the characters as well; the women are interesting individuals instead of cardboard cutouts. Finally, allowing the villain to enjoy character development is a welcome change from the cliché of pointless humiliation.
I look forward to a sequel.
Issues with Magic: I'm forced to recall the a discussion between Scrimgeour and the Prime Minister in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The PM said, "But for heaven's sake--you're wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out--well--anything!" and Scrimgeour's response was, "The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister."
To me, what this really means is that magic is like any tool or weapon - it is what it is. Any meaning, any persona comes from the user. A hammer can be used to either help build a house, or tear one down. It can also be used for murder. In the hands of different users, it has different purposes. Magic should be the same. And in my world, that will make the difference between how Seth uses magic and how anyone who wishes him, his girls, or anyone else harm uses it too.
Will magic make things too easy for the hero? Not likely, especially since he'll be working against others who have used magic a lot longer than him. Will the magic be "too evil?" That would depend on your definition of evil. What one person perceives as justified use, another may see as evil. Yet they both use the same spells. Will magic be too chaotic? To some degree, I hope so. Yes, I do (and I'll explain that in a sec). Will magic be pointless? Well, I hope not.
I've watched a LOT of crime shows and one thing is always constant - any gunfight, any dispute, any problem that calls for the help of the show's stars is going to be confusing, until all the details are deciphered through the evidence. Otherwise, what's the point of the show? So, yes, I hope magic is a little confusing in my stories. Otherwise, what's the point of the story if how everything works is easy enough for anyone to figure out?
Congratulations on an excellent story rewrite!
I have to say that I was quite sucked into your revised story and I think that almost all of the problems that I saw with the first draft were well resolved in the revision. It was compelling enough that I read it in one (very long) sitting.
If you don't mind a little quibbling, I will mention one or two things that I think the next story would do well to address.
1) Did bonding to Katrina lead to the repeat of the initiation ceremony? Since we have spend more narrative time with her than any of the other women, the reader would like to see more Katrina backstory, as well as resolving the ongoing plot device of Seth's increasingly worrying reaction to the binding. You have foreshadowed that this effect might end with his binding the "correct" number of fonti, but with the ending as it is, this issue is unresolved.
2) Why is Danielle rolling over and playing dead in the divorce proceedings? Isn't Texas a community property state? She has the right to at least half of the assets without fighting, not tomention that her husband was abusive. Without lifting a finger, any good divorce lawyer should be able to get her a great settlement, and even a crappy one could get her half. This has the added advantage of developing some extra outside conflict for Seth to deal with (a la the rapist boyfriend in the Protector series).
3) I'm sure that the next will be developed in the next installment, but I couldn't help but wonder why the women are staying away from Seth so successfully, when it is made clear that the longing for touch is getting stronger. Shouldn't Seth's apartment be congregation central for the girls? I can't imagine that especially Erica and her roommate would be over all the time. It would seem to be really hard for Vanessa and Sammi to stay away. Perhaps Jana, since she has issues, but not the others. I would expect to see at least the others getting a sweetheart deal from Milena to move into the apartment complex. Yet the reader is left with the impression that the girls are going on with their lives without suffering the same longing that Seth has. I would expect it to be worse for the girls than for Seth.
4) Finally, speaking of all the time, the last story doesn't resolve how Katrina is going to be able to live with Seth without getting sick. Her living there makes sense from a D/s standpoint, but the early chapters make clear that too much contact with Seth leads to draining.
Overall, a great story, although I felt like I was reading Star Trek III (where the whole movie was taking back Spock's death), as the whole story felt like an interlude before we got back to the main plot arc. Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next installment...
1) Honestly, I thought I added enough of Katrina's backstory, both from her directly when she was answering questions from Seth and Jordan, as well as in the Summary chapter (35), to not need a full scene. I thought it would have been redundant. However, Seth's concerns are still viable and not something that would vanish once he had enough fonti. And as to the "correct" number of fonti... who says Seth has reached it?
2) We're going to see more about Danielle's divorce in the next story, so I'm going to leave those questions unanswered for now.
3) Child Magus took place over a period of five days, and the stronger effects of the bonds were only noticed toward the end of the story. I may have to re-write the summary chapter to include what you're describing because, yes, they would all be drawn to Seth even unconsciously (going out for a drive, with no real destination in mind, until they are parked in front of his apartment). As for the others getting a sweetheart deal from Milena to move into the apartment complex... No. It's not a jealousy thing, but she doesn't own the apartments, she simply manages them. If one or more of the girls apply for an apartment (say Leanne and Erica) then Milena might help them get in, but she's not in a position to give anything away.
4) Clarification: Contact with Seth doesn't drain the girls. Sex does. If Seth and Katrina get into the habit of having more-than-prescribed amounts of sex, then yes, Katrina is in danger, but her simply living there, even sleeping next to him (without sex) will not hurt her. It might drive them both nuts, but it won't hurt her.
The only problem with starting any series of stories with something unusual (magic/psychics/high tech gadgetry) requires explanations of how it all works. The High-tech stuff is easy to accept, especially in movies, where it's seen and played with so viewers know what's going on, but to describe devices that haven't been invented yet is something I'm not sure I can pull off. Magic and Psychic powers tho, I can deal with because there's already a level of expectation - being that the reader won't necessarily understand all the complexities of that kind of thing and therefore all the tiniest details don't have to be explained. For continuity purposes, I have to understand it in detail, but as long as the characters know how it works then that's all that really matters in the story. Of course, the same could be said for high-tech stuff too. So, really, these first two stories were meant to introduce the main characters, allow readers to understand what kind of world they live in, and to get to know the ins and outs of that world.
Like any normal story, I saw certain goals being aimed for and achieved (New Magus: Seth has to get through his Initiation. Child Magus: Seth has to truly understand his heritage and attain enough Fonti to keep himself and everyone else safe). In those stories, the conflict was primarily internal. Seth never could have believed that anyone wanted to have sex with him under normal circumstances (it took magic for it to happen, on Jordan's part). And once he got past the idea of sex, then there was the rationalization of magic. Most people would laugh it off and think Jordan needed a visit from the guys in white with a special coat for her. However, once past the laughing-it-off stage, what then? We saw that. Seth had viable explanations for everything up until the Finale. That was his moment of acceptance. In Child Magus, Seth didn't like the idea of putting anyone in danger, not his girls, not even strangers. He fought the idea of seducing more women to himself. If anyone else had been in his position, they would have simply asked, "Where's the best place was to pick up chicks?" Once he got past that barrier, then it was other issues that he faced and overcame.
For the next story(ies), Seth will be facing external issues. He's past his issues of accepting magic and doing what he needs to to take care of himself and his girls. So, now he's getting involved in other issues, not because he's nosy or got a hero complex, but because his hand is forced.
Hi, You gave me another great story. The only thing I find disturbing is you describe just 2 days of his life. I get it, first his Initiation (2 days) then his search for fonte (2 other days) but the problem is the few weeks between these events. For those, it's just a little summary.
For the rest, it was awesome. How he got his new fonte was interesting for most part (the exception: the land lady). The best part was Cass and Katrina. It was good to see him take charge.
He is a magus with 10 fonte and a model but he still lacks confidence. It would be good if he realizes he is good looking and women find him attractive (most of his fonte were attracted to him WITHOUT his fetish). He also think he is responsible for his women so I would like him to show it and take charge more often. Don't change him too much but just give him a little ego boost.
Regarding his origin. I don't know if he is going back to his home town to find out (after he catches the 'magic stealer') but I would like to read that.
In your other story (master PC) the hero was adopted (ie the summary). I just started reading the story and the action takes place in the same University so I hope the hero is not also adopted in this serie. Either he became a magus without a heritage or his mother was knocked up by another man than his father, she was seduced by a magus and told people she was raped (because telling she cheated on her husband would make her lookk bad. If one of the parents were a magus the other one would die so I only see these 3 options. I think the latter idea would be better because it would explain why he was not loved (that's how he felt). His father would know Seth isn't his son and his mother would be reminded of a the mystake she made every time she looks at Seth.
That's just my idea on the subject. I trust you to continue this excellent story.
Story Time-Lines: In New Magus, I originally planned on three days, but it didn't work out that way, which for that story was fine. In Child Magus though, it started on a Monday morning and ended on a Friday night. Not just two days by my count. :P As for the summary of the time in between, those days were the more monotonous "Go to school, study, have sex, try to sleep (while wanting more sex)." I know, to you and me, that's not monotonous But 30+ days of the same thing would get there fast. Basically, what I'm saying is, not much happened other than what the summaries described.
Fonte Acquisitions: I'm curious why you thought Milena (the land lady) was an exception?
Seth taking Charge/Ego Boost: Changes like what you're describing are a gradual thing. For instance, in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurel K. Hamilton, Anita was opposed to sex before marriage for two primary reasons: 1) She's Catholic-turned-Protestant (being an Animator is an innate thing she cannot simply turn off and the Catholic church excommunicated all members who chose to give in to their "evil powers" - she left the catholic church and became protestant and they didn't have a problem with her being an Animator). 2) Before the series started, she was engaged to be married. She had sex with her fiancé and then he changed his mind about marrying her. Eventually, she HAD to have sex on a regular basis because she gained a feeding ability from a Master Vampire (Jean-Claude) she was linked/bound to. Even then, she fought the idea, and even the power, but she eventually learned that it was inevitable. It took a long time (each book covers like 2-5 days and are considered to be spaced apart by several months). She gained the feeding power in book 12 and stopped fighting it in about book 17. Now, while I'm emulating aspects of that series, I don't plan on letting things take that long. Seth isn't as stubborn as Anita. He'll gradually gain confidence in his abilities, but that will take some external influence - which is about to hit in the next book.
Seth's Background: I have been a gamer in the past (desktop rpgs such as Dungeons and Dragons, Rifts, White Wolf, etc.) and ran a few games as GM/Storyteller/DM. One of the things I enjoyed was allowing the players to discuss a situation, coming up with ideas about why this happened or who was behind that. I usually already had an idea for the immediate issue they were discussing, but I would remember what they said and use some of their ideas later. ;) At the moment, the only thing I can say is you'll have to wait to see what Seth's background really is.
Thank you for writing this. It was a great read with no major problems. The only problem I could find was how big of a time skip the last chspter was. Would it realy take the magnus sherif so long to question a prime suspect? Other then that it was fine.
Actually, there was a reason the Sheriff took so long to get to Seth, and that will be covered in the next story.
--==( Posting Suggestions )==--
I received the following email regarding how I should post the next story...
I read your Protector series (and I think I sent you my thank you for that one, too) but wanted to say I'm enjoying the new series as well. Your blog mentions you were going to decide by the end of January whether to post the whole next book at once or post in chapters. I can see benefits to both. Posting in chapters you are likely to get more ongoing feedback which could help (a) motivate you to keep writing and (b) generate feedback to point out inconsistencies or logical gaps which you can fix to end with a better story as a result. On the down side, it may mean more work if you need to go back and make changes to previously posted chapters. Speaking for myself, I'd say you're probably better off posting in chapters - but I like reading stories in one gulp and get impatient, so chances are I'll wait until I see that "Concluded on ___" note and then read it through together.
I hope it happens quickly, though, because I enjoy your stories immensely.
I have to agree with his assessment, especially the first reason. Inversely, I hate the idea of leaving an unfinished story posted, so that'll be even more reason for me to continue writing. And, since we are past the end of January, I'll be posting in chapters, rather than trying to write it all and posting the whole story in one go.
--==( Character Bios )==--
I received another suggestion regarding the Bios, it strips out most of the info I've presented in previous blogs and looks like this...
Character Age: 25
Model Name: Jordan Carver
Measurements: 40-24-35 in (102-61-89 cm)
Bra/Cup Size: 32I (81I)
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Weight: 121 lb (54.89 kg)
Body Type: Slim
Eye Color: Gray Blue
Hair: Light Brown, Curly, and Mid-Back Length
I like it because it's very simple, and since most of the details in the previous versions were more for me to maintain consistency with the characters, I'll go with this version.
What I'll do with Sibling Magus is post a "Previously on Sex Magus..." type of chapter and include the Bios. In later chapters, when someone knew is about to be introduced, I'll post their bios at the end of the chapter. I say the end because it would spoil any surprises if I posted it at the beginning. Once the entire story is posted, I'll re-post the entire story, with an Index type chapter at the end with all bios moved to that Index. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but honestly, it's the only way I'll be happy with it.
I'll soon be re-posting the summary chapter for Child Magus along with an Index Chapter. Then I'll begin work on chapters for Sibling Magus. I hope everyone has a good week. :)