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Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/ability : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/ability

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Shimmitar
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Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/ability

Postby Shimmitar » Wed May 18, 2016 3:05 pm

When i say spells and abilities, i dont mean like a plain old fire ball, or beam of fire or a stream of electricity. What i mean is like a really complicated spell or ability that requires more thought. Becuase with the abilities in my book, characters can manipulate the properties of the universe, such as fire, gravity or light and use them in a combination, or more complicated manner.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby cynicalwanderer » Thu May 19, 2016 10:01 am

Depends on your genre and level of seriousness of your work, I guess, whether having named spells suits the style. Taking a leaf out of the manga and anime world, for example, it's fairly common for characters to shout out the name of the spell/ability/crushing move they're about to perform - which as well as providing info also serves as a sort of action beat in itself. I seem to recall "Expecto Patronus!" or whatever it was being yelled out a lot in Harry Potter movies as well. Certainly it's helpful to be able to describe the spell in detail the first time it's used, and then be able to just refer to it by name more simply after that.
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby HawkEliz489 » Fri May 20, 2016 4:51 am

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DrG2
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby DrG2 » Fri May 20, 2016 8:39 pm

If the character has to refer to a spell, he's probably going to refer to it by a relatively short name, even if it requires many words/actions/items to cast. I see no problem.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby cynicalwanderer » Sat May 21, 2016 4:46 am

On a related note, it can also be useful to consider how your characters might use slang and abbreviations, as part of your world-building. In my current novel, for example, VR programs have been a part of society for so many years that people just refer to them now as "virts", rather than labouring through the full seven syllables of "virtual reality" every time. To me, that feels like a natural progression of how social language use might develop over time. As long as you define the term reasonably close to its first usage (or offer enough supporting detail, that its meaning becomes obvious in context) then you can keep using it afterwards and trust the reader to remember what it means. Although I do think made up words should be used sparingly - I still cringe at the thought of reading A Clockwork Orange again. All that tolchocking!
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Crono91
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby Crono91 » Mon May 23, 2016 10:51 am

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JasminLoren
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby JasminLoren » Mon May 23, 2016 2:10 pm

I agree with others have said, I think it's fine for your characters to use the names of spells :) If they use a shortened version of the name it will help to make the world you have created seem more real.
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Re: Is it cool for characters to say the names of spells/abi

Postby Shimmitar » Tue May 24, 2016 12:57 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I just asked cause one of my friends (who is also writing a book) said he didn't name his spells. So, i just wanted some opinions on that. The characters in my story don't use spells, they use psychic abilities, but i still name them.


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