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R. Scott Kennan
11-27-2006, 11:21 AM
I'm about to start a fantasy story, and I'm stuck on what to call my magic-users. I really like the word 'warlock' for the males, but I don't like the word 'witch' for the female magic users. It just isn't the right feel; It's more of an exotic bronze/early iron age sword and sorcery, heavy metal kind of story with demon hordes (all magic is demonic), lightning storms, and lots of blood-stained steel.

I'm thinking that in this story, female magic users should be sorceresses, while males will be warlocks.

Would that jar a reader, to use warlock without its female form and sorceress in the opposite way? What if males used one type of magic, while females used something entirely different? I'm not talking about a male side and a female side to magic, but altogether different methods of working magic. For example, males would take a demon into their own soul and gain its abilities, while a female might actually manipulate the stuff of magic itself or bargain with powerful demons to work their will.

This is an important question to answer- my main character is going to be a magic-user and in this story, being a magic user doesn't preclude you being a great warrior as well. In other words, if it were an RPG, there'd be no reason to play anything but a magic-user. Along with godlike demons, they're simply the main players in the story.

Any thoughts or alternate names for magic-users are appreciated.

zornhau
11-27-2006, 01:39 PM
Perhaps you could either:

Carefully pick them to convey just the right nuance, e.g. witch implies a folksy magic, whereas conjurer implies a particular approach to magic.
Make something up that fits your cultural setting, e.g. all magic users are priests, or Fey, or red haired.
Go for something transparent and gender free , such as Adept, Mage.I suspect, however, that you are in love with the term "Warlock". If so, suggest you just use "Witch" as the female eqivalent, and make it your own. If later you change your mind, global find/replace is your friend.

Scarlett_156
11-27-2006, 01:41 PM
Actually the different titles for magicians have to do with the kind of magic they practice and degree of skill. "Warlock" sounds cool but it's a very inexact, sort of lay term; it use to mean specifically the magician who takes part in military actions, usually but not always a male. I don't know if you want to get that technical about it, but you can consider having designations for types of magic and not gender-- I know plenty of male witches who call themselves... er, witches. "Sorcery" is more practiced by men than women but again it's a TYPE of magic rather than a blanket term for all magicians or gender specific. It's derived from the word "sortilege" which is what a sorcerer does-- he sorts through augries as an act of divination. A "wizard" is someone who's at a greater degree of knowledge, i.e., "wise". (and so on)

Anyway, you might want to think up some sort of new term or stick with what you've got-- these are just my comments. In my futuristic novel all magicians are called "workers" because they "work magic".

Vescoiya
11-27-2006, 04:17 PM
Scarlett 156 I don’t suppose you would have a link to what the distinctions between the different magic users terms are? I haven’t seen it defined that precisely before and am very curious, I always thought it was a case of author’s preference.

MattW
11-27-2006, 04:24 PM
Think of what practicioners would call themselves - is warlock a pejorative term to them used only by outsiders? Would they call themselves Summoners, Binders, Demon Wrestlers? Warlock originally meant something like "oathbreaker."

Same goes for women - are they Enchantreses, Sorcerers, Witches?

How organized are they? How rare are they? How do common people react to them? How do nobles react to them? Is fear mixed with practicality? Is there a religious stigma?

Are you getting info from historical sources, or are you using the terms as defined by an RPG?

All of these questions can help you find the right naming convention for your magicians.

Good luck!

Evaine
11-27-2006, 04:48 PM
I use 'wizard' for both sexes - why not call the women warlocks as well? It's your fantasy world.

R. Scott Kennan
11-27-2006, 04:59 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I actually got a bit of writing done on this since my first post to this thread. It was great, and I really got into the flow again after a long hiatus from writing.

So far I'm calling them 'Godeaters', since they essentially devour demons and spirits (collectively considered gods by the primitive peoples of the story). I also know from a previous attempt at getting this story going that there are lesser mages called "Castigators" that strongarm weak-willed demons into doing simple tasks. These guys aren't full magic-users, instead being more like spiritual slavemasters. An example of what a castigator might do is to control a swarm of air spirits for a sailing vessel.

I think that I've found my naming convention; repurposing or combining appropriate words.

Spirit_Fire
11-27-2006, 05:03 PM
I always cringe when I watch Harry Potter (yeah, the movie - I haven't read the book) and the male magicians are all wizards and the females are all witches.

I'm kind of in the same boat as you, R. Scott. So far I've jusy been calling them 'magicians', and using words like Adept, Apprentice, etc, to distinguish levels of skill.

However, I still feel like maybe I should have a special name for them, to separate them from 'stage' magicians. My magicians use types of magic that are a bit different to those normally associated with sorcerers, witches, warlocks, etc. I haven't thought of any cool names yet, though.

Maybe you could use certain worlds for specific magic types. For example, people who use earthly ingredients to make potions are witches, whether they be male or female (although they may be more comonly female). Warlocks may use stones or incantations to wield magic, and may be female too, but more commonly male. Then you can have sorceresses and sorcerers who practice a completely different type of magic.

I hope some of these ideas help!

KimJo
11-27-2006, 05:42 PM
In some beliefs, "warlock" is used to designate one who uses magic for dark/evil purposes. I believe this is the case in Wicca, for example, though I'd have to look it up to be certain. (No offense to anyone if I'm incorrect.) Now I've gotten curious, so I will look it up... I'll edit this in a bit.

Okay, further research (from Google, which has a page with info from several different sites.). "Warlock" is from an Old English (or Scottish, depending on your source) term meaning "Oath breaker." or "traitor." It may have been used for those who used their magic for evil or chaotic purposes, which would break the intent of using magic, or one who turned in their fellow magic users as witches. Wiccans, Pagans, and others who practice any form of magic do not generally use the term; a male witch is simply called a witch.

If any of that's incorrect, someone more knowledgeable will hopefully correct me :)

That being said, in your story you could use whatever term you like; however, if you choose the term "warlock", it may not have the meaning you intend to some of your readers.

zornhau
11-27-2006, 08:52 PM
Actually the different titles for magicians have to do with the kind of magic they practice and degree of skill.

Um, not really if we're talking about Western magic.

The modern occult tradition is (a) not unanimous on naming conventions, (b) largely a Modern synthesis anyway, so not archetypal, and (c) apparently ineffective by standards of most fantasy and legend, so - unlike, say martial arts - has no firm claim to objective validity.

The Medieval tradition, thanks to persecution and social division, was not monolithic. At the lower end of the intellectual spectrum, the division was unclear between science and medicine on the one hand, and magic on the other. At the higher end, magic and special prayer were somewhat blurred. Then you have the hidden powers of plants and minerals, which may or may not be magical, plus an ongoing debate about whether all magic involves demons or not. Thus it's not clear how different kinds of magic users would have referred to themselves.

However, it is fairly clear what names were used by the rest of the society to refer to magic users. Alas, their usage slipped a long way from the origins of the word.

For example, according to Magic in the Middle Ages (Canto) (Paperback)
by Richard Kieckhefer (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Middle-Canto-Richard-Kieckhefer/dp/0521785766/sr=1-2/qid=1164645107/ref=sr_1_2/203-0473197-2047130?ie=UTF8&s=books) - an academic text citing original sources - "necromancy" usually referred to any magic involving demons, even though the word itself refers to - roughly - "divination by ghost". The same went for "sorcery", and so on.

So, if you pedantically use the etymological meanings for different sorts of magician, the chances are you'll end up with a lot of different sorts of diviner.

If you go further back to Late Antiquity, it's fairly clear who the witches are, but you'll get into a real knot trying to unravel the difference between a priest and a magician.

Honestly, this way lies a lot of time wasted on something other than writign your novel.

Unless you're emulating the Middle Ages (if so, read Kieckhefer), or writing from the POV of a particular modern tradition (Wiccan/Golden Dawn/Masonic/Rosicrucian/etc) just make up something which fits your world and no other.

A good fictional magic system - IMvHO - should reflect your themes and further your story. It doesn't have to stand up to the sort of scrutiny or heavy use that an RPG magic system would.

Shadow_Ferret
11-27-2006, 09:35 PM
Personally, I've just never really liked the term warlock. Always struck me as a low-level sorceror. And since Harry Potter I've come to loath the term wizard.

I prefer mage or magi, sorceror, spellcaster, alchemist, and for women sorceress and enchantress.

badducky
11-27-2006, 09:46 PM
Personally, I've always thought this was a "six of one thing and a half-dozen of another" problem. I know, setting the right tone is important. But far more important than this is writing a great, compelling story.

Also, in this day and age, one can write the whole story and call their wizards or whatsits whatever one wishes. Then, one can go to the "Edit" pul-down menu to select "Replace".

How do you know what the right flavor of name will be until you've got the rest of the thing made?

Write the story. Worry not on this small issue. As you go, you will probably experiment with multiple names until one sticks in your craw as the correct flavor of mystical moofti-ism.

Medievalist
11-27-2006, 11:27 PM
Don't use warlock; it's not a male witch. It's used that way now, thanks to Bewitched, but it originally was used for an oath-breaker, and that's literally what it means. In addition, you'll piss off the Neo-Pagan community if you use it.

JBI
11-28-2006, 02:02 AM
There are plenty of terms to toss around:
mystik, magician, sorceror, sorceress, warlock, witch, wise woman, shaman, witch doctor, witch, etc.
there are ofcourse other terms you could toss around or make up.
For instance, Robert Jordan calls all of his magicians "channelers", and has them sorted into a "guild" called Aes Sedai. You could always toss up terms like Enligtened, Talented, <insert random giberish>, and other things that are based on real words like Magi, or Maia or something. There are tons of phrases that can be created.

MattW
11-28-2006, 03:43 AM
I will never forget being subjected to the "horror" movie called Warlock.

Dreadful, awful, terrible.

The title character bit off another man's tongue during a kiss, then fried it up in an omelette. It could only have been more evil if he had killed a puppy after his breakfast.

JDCrayne
11-29-2006, 07:47 AM
I'm about to start a fantasy story, and I'm stuck on what to call my magic-users.

I don't call mine anything. They're just individual people, and I *show* what they can do. If you really need a collective, you could call them the Users, or the Makers, or even the Tricksters, if it's by someone who doesn't like them much.

dclary
11-29-2006, 11:03 AM
As an average joe and fairly voracious reader, I come into every fantasy story understanding that I'm entering a unique world uniquely imagined by the author. It's your world. Call your men warlocks and your women sorceresses, and not one rational person will ever give you guff over it.

dclary
11-29-2006, 11:04 AM
Don't use warlock; it's not a male witch. It's used that way now, thanks to Bewitched, but it originally was used for an oath-breaker, and that's literally what it means. In addition, you'll piss off the Neo-Pagan community if you use it.Can't have that. They'll go all anti-mojo on you.

;)

RTH
11-29-2006, 08:21 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm by no means a medievalist (and my apologies if someone hit this already and I passed it over), but I think "wizard" was the original counterpart term to "witch" in the old Germanic Beowulf-type days. The etymology is the same as the word "wise" -- so both terms originally applied to wise, shamanistic type figures in iron age germanic communities.

So if you want to use "warlock," it may be better not to use "witch" -- I don't know where the association of these two words came from, but it seems like a bad link-up...

PattiTheWicked
11-29-2006, 08:29 PM
The neoPagan community has promoted the idea that "Warlock" means oathbreaker, or someone untrustworthy, but there's been a lot of specualtion that this is incorrect. If you read some of the old Norse eddas, you'll see the word "vardlokker", which is used to mean a singer of spells or caller of spirits. The Old English word "waerloga" does mean "oath-breaker", but there is a Scottish version of the word that translates into "cunning man". Invariably, as Lisa mentioned, use "warlock" and the fluffy Wiccans will be up in arms.


Actually the different titles for magicians have to do with the kind of magic they practice and degree of skill. "Warlock" sounds cool but it's a very inexact, sort of lay term; it use to mean specifically the magician who takes part in military actions, usually but not always a male.

Scarlett, I've never heard of this before and I've been studying the occult for around twenty years. Do you have a source for this so I can do some further reading?

Medievalist
11-29-2006, 09:59 PM
In Old English law texts, the cognate of warlock is used for an oath-breaker; in magic texts in Old Norse it's used for a bond-breaker, both in terms of spoken bonds (oaths) and the bonds of spirits of the dead. Usually, the bonds that are broken are that of speech/silence and of the spirit/grave.

PattiTheWicked
11-29-2006, 10:28 PM
Lisa, are you familiar with some of the popular interpretations of "warlock" that link it to the idea of shapeshifting, particularly werewolf-y stuff? I've often wondered if there was any documented historical credence to that theory, or if it's just wishful thinking on the part of the lycanthropic community.

Christine N.
11-29-2006, 10:35 PM
Thank you, Lisa! I always die a little inside when someone uses warlock as a title for a magic user. I know Charmed did it, but they used it so infrequently I forgave them.

Warlock is just a traitor. A human, non-magic person who can't keep an oath.

Witch, Wizard, Practicioner, Novice, Journeyman, Adept, High Priest/Priestess, Sorceress (I've used it myself, although in a dark magick connotation) Sorcerer, Wise Woman/Man, and Shaman are all acceptable to me.

Magician is someone who pulls a rabbit from a hat. They might perfer Illusionist or prestidigitator (did I spell that right?)

Evaine
11-29-2006, 11:54 PM
How about dewin? That's the Welsh for wizard.

Medievalist
11-30-2006, 12:03 AM
Lisa, are you familiar with some of the popular interpretations of "warlock" that link it to the idea of shapeshifting, particularly werewolf-y stuff? I've often wondered if there was any documented historical credence to that theory, or if it's just wishful thinking on the part of the lycanthropic community.

I'm not, but I haven't worked much with ON, for, oh, about five years or so. It's not something I can think of in OE either.

Medievalist
11-30-2006, 12:06 AM
How about dewin? That's the Welsh for wizard.

That's a borrowed word from English "divine" as in "devining the future."

If you're writing in English, and not creating names for your fantasy, don't go borrowing from other languages without a reason (i.e. your character speaks said other language or its the ancestral language of the area, or something).

It's just weird looking, and people who know the other language are likely to be annoyed or puzzled.

R. Scott Kennan
11-30-2006, 12:10 AM
How about dewin? That's the Welsh for wizard.

That's a new one for me, but I'm not really going for a European cultural feel- I probably should have specified that in the first post. Thanks though.

As I mentioned up thread, I've found my working name for them: "Godeaters". It will do unless something leaps out at me. I suppose this thread can be helpful for anyone else who's running into the same problem, of course.

Scarlett_156
11-30-2006, 12:11 AM
Lmao! I always love it when people accuse me of being ignorant. I mean, I AM ignorant, but I've been practicing magic for more than 30 years now. (If I was truly ignorant, I know y'all would be a lot friendlier toward me.) My description of terminology is garnered from my discussion with other magicians, not from books. Reading and not doing tends to give one tunnel vision.

A warlock is called "oath breaker" because he has broken his oath of nonviolence and used his magic skills to help one king or another in war. Druids are only supposed to give advice, not fight. That's something you will probably not find in a book. I myself would not attempt to find a reference to it, because I have other things to do and all my books are still packed away anyway.

Besides, homeboy wanted some suggestions about how he could develop original terms for magicians. That's what I was trying to help with.

On the various discussion boards I belong to that are devoted to magic, people have the same problem of over-defining things-- a person will ask a simple question and all the boardies fall all over themselves trying to outdo each other in defining this or that word, getting into arguments, and accusing each other of numskullery, and meanwhile the question never gets answered.

If I was trying to make up a fictional world in which there are magicians, I would categorize the magicians by degree of skill and by type of magic practiced, not by gender-- or else I would use the same words as I did in everyday life. As stated above, in my futuristic novel in which magicians play a large part, all magicians are called "workers".

In spite of my great ignorance, I hope this was helpful in some way! :tongue

Medievalist
11-30-2006, 12:20 AM
Druids are only supposed to give advice, not fight. That's something you will probably not find in a book.

1. Don't use a Celtic term, druid, in the same context as a Germanic term, warlock; they are independent cultures, languages, and religions.

2. Re: "druids are only supposed to give advice, not fight" -- this may be true of a particular Neo Pagan druid group; it is not historically true regarding historic druids of the pre-Christian era.

dclary
11-30-2006, 12:57 AM
Nor everquest druids. Those guys are wicked.

MattW
11-30-2006, 01:17 AM
The denizens of planet Druidia would also disagree.

dclary
11-30-2006, 01:20 AM
Funny, she doesn't look Druish!

Christine N.
11-30-2006, 02:11 AM
Scarlett, I have to bow to Lisa's expertise. It's a matter of history, not how long you've been practicing the Craft.

She spends her life studying such ancient things. She makes a living at it too.

PattiTheWicked
11-30-2006, 02:15 AM
Lmao! I always love it when people accuse me of being ignorant. I mean, I AM ignorant, but I've been practicing magic for more than 30 years now. (If I was truly ignorant, I know y'all would be a lot friendlier toward me.) My description of terminology is garnered from my discussion with other magicians, not from books. Reading and not doing tends to give one tunnel vision.

No one has accused you of being ignorant, as far as I can tell, unless I missed a post somewhere. The reason I had asked earlier for some sort of source is because honestly, I'd never heard of the descriptions you used earlier in the discussion. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a reference point so I can learn more. As to discussion with other magicians, there's a large contingent of the NeoPagan community that operates under the assumption that if you "feel it in your heart, it must be true"... which means that just because someone TELLS you something, doesn't necessarily make it historically accurate.


A warlock is called "oath breaker" because he has broken his oath of nonviolence and used his magic skills to help one king or another in war. Druids are only supposed to give advice, not fight.

You're making very sweeping generalizations here. I'm trying to figure out what this "oath of nonviolence" is and how it applies to any early forms of magic use. As to Druids only being supposed to give advice and not fight, I'd recommend reading up on some of the studies of the early history of the British Isles. The whole pagan-as-pacifist is really kind of a new concept.


That's something you will probably not find in a book. I myself would not attempt to find a reference to it, because I have other things to do and all my books are still packed away anyway.

If one wouldn't find it in any documented source, it's probably not a good idea to use it as a point of arguement.

I'm not trying to pick at nits here, but usually if someone makes a claim, it's not unreasonable to ask them where they got their information.

zornhau
11-30-2006, 03:02 AM
For fiction, the etymological truth - since it's rather unknowable - probably matters less than the associations in the reader's head.

For example, if you have "druids" they'd better be...

EITHER

White bearded blokes who're intimate with trees and hang out around stone circles in Fantasyland

OR

Plausibly authentic reconstructions or extrapolations of the Celtic originals inhabiting a specifically Celtic setting. (I seem to recall a rather good book by Stuart Piggot on this.).

That said, if you're looking for a quasi-authentic source for your fantasy magic, you need to go back to the Middle Ages and late Antiquity before you find some proper flash bang stuff. The modern practitioners might have claims to spiritual enlightenment, astral surfing and all sorts of subtle effects on reality, but they don't as a rule claim to chuck fireballs around.

Euan H.
11-30-2006, 03:46 AM
Plausibly authentic reconstructions or extrapolations of the Celtic originals inhabiting a specifically Celtic setting.

Hmm.

"The druids are mentioned by the ancient Roman authors Strabo, Diodorus, Posidonius and Julius Caesar, who portray them as overseeing bloody religious rituals." Here (http://skepdic.com/druids.html).

Bloody religious rituals.

"Pomponius Mela (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomponius_Mela) is the first author who says that the Druids' instruction was secret, and was carried on in caves and forests. Certain groves within forests were sacred, and the Romans and Christians alike cut them down and burned the wood. Human sacrifice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice) has sometimes been attributed to Druidism. While this may be Roman propaganda, human sacrifice was an old European inheritance and the Gauls may have offered human sacrifices, whether of criminals or, to judge from Roman reports, of war captives." Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druids)

Human sacrifice.

"Diodorus Siculus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diodorus_Siculus) asserts, on unnamed sources, that a sacrifice acceptable to the Celtic gods had to be attended by a Druid, . . . and in very important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest; by observing the way his limbs convulse as he falls and the gushing of his blood, they are able to read the future.’ These Greco-Roman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Roman) comments are supported to some extent by archaeological excavations. At Ribemont in Picardy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picardie), France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France), there were revealed pits filled with human bones and thigh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thigh) bones deliberately fixed into rectangular patterns. This shrine is believed to have been razed to the ground by Julius Caesar while he was subduing Gaul. At a bog in Lindow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindow_Common), Cheshire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheshire), England (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England) was discovered a body which may also have been the victim of a druidic ritual. The body is now on display at the British Museum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Museum), London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London)." Also Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druids)

More human sacrifice.

Conclusion?

Don't mess with the Druids.

They'll flip you. They'll flip you for real.

JDCrayne
11-30-2006, 06:56 AM
Can't have that. They'll go all anti-mojo on you.

;)

And all 20,000 of them will refuse to buy your book, and probably burn copies of it at the dark of the moon ... oh, wait a minute. They'd have to buy copies of it to do that, right?

Birol
11-30-2006, 11:01 AM
Reading and not doing tends to give one tunnel vision.

Strange statement for a writer.


A warlock is called "oath breaker" because he has broken his oath of nonviolence and used his magic skills to help one king or another in war. Druids are only supposed to give advice, not fight. That's something you will probably not find in a book. I myself would not attempt to find a reference to it, because I have other things to do and all my books are still packed away anyway.

You purport to have lots of information (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=946617&postcount=68) that cannot be verified through any other source. Have you offered any other credentials that would make you an expert outside of other, reputable and verifiable sources?


Besides, homeboy


all the boardies

Let's not diminish our fellow board members by assigning pet names and labels to them, okay?

MattW
11-30-2006, 04:53 PM
I posess secret arcane knowledge passed down through ages, but I refuse to share it in the thread.

There's just no font for druidic runes.

Spirit_Fire
11-30-2006, 04:55 PM
As long as you don't write about wizards who use magic wands or ride on frickin broomsticks, I'll be happy.

:rant:

RTH
11-30-2006, 07:36 PM
Speaking of Lindow Man, there are actually a number of bog bodies from Britain and Northern Europe which seem to be good evidence of human sacrifice -- girls, men, often strangled and stabbed in a ritual manner but well fed (and so probably considered important)

However, I wouldn't be willing to say that a symbolic arrangment of human bones in an ossuary or burial is a sign of sacrifice -- could just be ritual treatment of human remains. But I'm not familiar with the Picardy site so there may be other evidence of sacrifice there, too (cut marks, broken neck vertebrae, etc.)

Pre-Christian shamans certainly weren't bloodless, regardless. I think the Icelandic sagas contain other good examples, too, but can't recall anything off the top of my head... But then, I'm mostly a bone guy -- Medievalist probably has scores of good stories from the literature.

Qelenhn
12-01-2006, 06:25 AM
In my world the ability to use magic is a race trait, so they usually go by the name of their race. Witch is the derogatory term used by others, because the witch-hunts that occur in some areas of the world are similar to the real world phenomenon, even if the magic is completely different. My biggest problem is that I want to avoid the use of the word magic, but I don't want to end up with something like "the power" or something in its place. Magic feels like something you learn to use, as opposed to something you are born with. But I haven't come up with a good alternative.

Birol
12-01-2006, 06:40 AM
Ability? Trait? If it's tied to their race, it's nothing special for their race.

PattiTheWicked
12-02-2006, 01:51 AM
Quelenhn, are you using magic in your world as something that's an inherited or genetic trait? Interesting take on it. If magical ability is racially determined, then that opens up all kinds of possibilities for racially motivated crimes. I do see what you're saying about magic being learned, as opposed to being something you are born with -- it sounds like you're almost describing it along the lines of a chromosmal abnormality, like the mutant gene in X-men. I hope you'll post bits of this in Share Your Work as you get it going.

Pthom
12-02-2006, 02:28 AM
Trait? If it's tied to their race, it's nothing special for their race.Oh, I don't know. The traits of red hair or green eyes (or the ability to understand calculus) are tied to the human race, and I think they're pretty special. :)

Qelenhn
12-02-2006, 04:55 AM
I have come to realize that my "magic" would be described in the modern world as psionics. But it's more a matter of what the regular humans in that world call it. In the country where the race originated they never had to have a name for it, though they might have made distinctions in their language between things done manually and things done with these abilities. In a multiracial environment I often find the need to mention these abilities, and I find calling them Orean powers or Orean abilities kinda lame. I also don't like "she used her powers to..." or anything like that. But they don't cast spells, so I have trouble figuring out how to describe it. (I also kinda want a race name that doesn't make me think of cookies, but I'm still working on fixing a lot of the names I made up in high school or college).

R. Scott Kennan
12-02-2006, 07:26 AM
(I also kinda want a race name that doesn't make me think of cookies, but I'm still working on fixing a lot of the names I made up in high school or college).

I don't know; Orean makes me think of "ocean", which makes me think of whitecapped blue waves and fresh air- overall, it's very calm and powerful stuff. Is that the impression you're going for?

Diana Hignutt
12-02-2006, 04:14 PM
Magician is someone who pulls a rabbit from a hat.

Oh, I don't know about that...

UrsulaV
12-02-2006, 07:32 PM
Heh. You say "warlock" to me, and I think "Hmm, spellcaster, any chaotic or evil alignment, no casting limits, and they aren't nearly so squishy as sorcerors."

So I suspect we've all got our baggage with words, and while the derivation of the word is obviously debateable, I gots my 3.5 edition handbook right here.

Personally, I quite like the word "warlock" aesthetically, and given the option on my business cards, would much prefer it to "witch" or "magician." It has a hard K. K's are sexy. You can utter the word warlock. Try to utter "witch" and you run out of syllables in a hurry.

Use whatever word you like, and which gives you the proper...oomph. It's your novel.

tjwriter
12-02-2006, 07:56 PM
Nor everquest druids. Those guys are wicked.

LOL. I was a great druid back in the day before they ruined the game. Sigh. All this magic talk makes me long for the days when the game was good.

dclary
12-02-2006, 11:24 PM
Personally, I quite like the word "warlock" aesthetically, and given the option on my business cards, would much prefer it to "witch" or "magician." It has a hard K. K's are sexy. You can utter the word warlock. Try to utter "witch" and you run out of syllables in a hurry.


This is why I call magic users "Crackalackers of the Kraken"

UrsulaV
12-03-2006, 12:14 AM
This is why I call magic users "Crackalackers of the Kraken"

I have no idea why that made me laugh so hard, but now my spleen hurts.

badducky
12-03-2006, 12:43 AM
I'm going to name something "spleen cracker" in my WiP now.

frimble3
12-11-2006, 11:01 AM
LOL. I was a great druid back in the day before they ruined the game. Sigh. All this magic talk makes me long for the days when the game was good. These lines are turning into a character as I read them. Old magic user sitting in front of his son-in-law's cottage where they have kindly taken him in now that the war is over and everythings gotten all 'civilized'. The new king has brought in organized religion and is discouraging magic-use (as are the regular folk who are sick of anything that reminds them of war and the bad old days.) Ideas are easy, it's the rest of the work that's hard.
Back on topic, I agree that all words come with baggage, choose your terms to suit you and make sure you define them at first use, so as to stamp your idea clearly in the reader's mind.

frimble3
12-11-2006, 11:12 AM
[quote=Qelenhn] But it's more a matter of what the regular humans in that world call it. I find calling them Orean powers or Orean abilities kinda lame. I also don't like "she used her powers to..." or anything like that. But they don't cast spells, so I have trouble figuring out how to describe it. quote]
How about leaving it at the 'show, don't tell' phase. What would regular humans call it? I'm thinking 'Orean powers' or 'Orean tricks' would be about right because if only Oreans have these gifts, that would be the defining characteristic. Especially if they are chiefly psychic-type gifts, with no obvious phenomena. As for 'she used her powers to..', how about just 'she...', if the 'Orean powers' have been previously explained, what she did should be clear. Or, 'she used her mind to...'

Euan H.
12-11-2006, 05:10 PM
It has a hard K. K's are sexy.
Kthulhu rather than Cthulhu? I can see that.

Kthulhu = sexy old one. Mmm, I like slime, screaming insanity and inhuman geometry. Ahh! The angles! The angles!

Crackalackers of the Kraken
That's just button-pushing.