I got asked once how I come up with all my ideas. I explained that they came to me as random thoughts and snippets. I just made notes and went back to them when I was ready to write. They commented on how vivid my imagination was and how I must spend so much time alone perfecting my craft. (No, I haven’t perfected my craft. I’m still working on that.)
I will tell you all a secret…I don’t work alone on my books. I know, a shock, right? My writing partner is my husband. He doesn’t actually write with me, but he’s the one I turn to for help when I get stuck on things. He’s also helped me build my worlds up, create a cogent magical system, and change my characters from god-like super beings to ordinary people with some extraordinary abilities.
My husband has a great deal of experience creating worlds. He was a GM (game master) for several years. He didn’t believe in using the pre-made adventures. He built his own, complete with maps, cultures, and magic systems. I played in a number of his games and his world building skills are awesome.
An example of his help is how we dealt with my magic system in my primary fantasy world. I needed to figure out how to do magic in my world. So, over a series of conversations, we set down the rules regulating my magic. We also have a form of magic that we’re calling thread magic that is technically divine magic but is often seen as more of a curse. It is a complex concept and we have spent the better part of a year hammering it out. We’re still working on it, refining and changing it to fit what the story needs. Of course, we’re also changing the story as we go so the alterations to the magic come as part of the territory.
My initial inspiration for the magic I first created was D&D, Arduin, and all the fantasy books I grew up reading. I piled everything together and built something that was so overpowered it was ridiculous. But it still wasn’t bad for a teenager. As I got older and my writing changed, I started whittling down my magic system.
Even after I started to change it, I still had the problem of it being too OP. That’s when I turned to my husband and his expertise. He told me we needed to rebuild it from the ground up. So that’s what we did. And what we continue to do. As my world changes and evolves, so does the magic.
My husband does so much more for me. He’s literally become some of my characters for me during our conversations, giving them life in a way I couldn’t. That’s helped me give them life in the story. He gives me ideas to better fit the characters to the worlds, and the worlds to what I want/need for the story.
I don’t think I’d be in the place I am with my writing today without my husband. He continues to help and inspire me and I am so grateful to him.