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New fiction story! Click here for "The Voice of Cassandra."

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004
The History of Magic in the 21st Century

I'm writing a novel, titled "The History of Magic in the 21st Century." (Click here to open it in a new window.)  This blog entry is to fill in some details.

What sort of novel is it?

A humorous fantasy novel.  The lowdown:  magic has existed all along, but has recently "woken up" again, leading to all sorts of changes in society and other sorts of craziness.  Think Aldous Huxley meets Douglas Adams meets Stan Lee.

So how does this work?

The unique part is, I'm writing it day-by-day, and putting it up online for anyone to read.


Well, yes.  There are lots of blogs with stories, even novels, but they write them ahead of time and just post them in chunks.  Here you'll actually be reading it as I write it.  So far as I've been able to tell, it's unique.

But will it be any good?

Well, it's going to be a mostly-readable, hopefully-amusing first draft.

Do you really think you can write a novel from start to end?

Most novels aren't written that way.  But yes, I think I can.  Why?  Because I've
done it before.  I wrote the linked horror novel bit by bit from story beginning to story end, and gave it to my wife and friends as I did so.

Why blog it online?

Two reasons:

1)  By making a public declaration that I'll be writing, it'll be a strong incentive for me not to slack off.  It's an online version of how I wrote the other novel.

2)  By making it public, hopefully I'll get some interest in the novel being published at some point.  (The horror novel was completed, but never published.)

But what if it sucks?

I'm willing to take that risk.

No, really, what if it sucks?

I realize that all writing, and especially humor, gets way better after it's polished.  But I've been thinking about this novel a long time, and I think I can make even the first draft reasonably interesting and funny.  Plus, I'm likely to go over each day's writing at least once before posting it.  So first draft or not, it'll have a bit of editing done already.

What if I want to comment?

There are lots of ways on the
History of Magic blog.  There's a tagboard for general comments, comment areas for each posting if you have something to say specific to that part of the novel, or you can email me at with longer or private comments.

What about this, your regular blog?

I still plan on doing daily entries, like always.  The multiple-entries-per-day may go away, since I'll be spending more time writing and less surfing the Internet.

And you promise to write every day?  EVERY day?

Well, just like my regular blog, I can't write if I'm away from my computer for the day, such as on holidays.  If you want, you can sign up for email notification at the History of Magic blog, or just add it to your Favorites to come back occasionally.  But yes, every day I plan on posting at least something, come hell or writer's block.

Posted at 03:06 pm by brandonstarr

November 24, 2004   03:19 PM PST
Kinda sounds like Shadowrun, a RPG by the now defunct FASA Corporation out of Chicago.

Answer one question for me, there is a significant, yet gracefully understated role for a beautiful, 23-year-old mixed race witch from Chicago named Jez, right? ... Right?

:-P j/k. Good luck on the novel. Let me know if you want info on Shadowrun.
Brandon Starr
November 24, 2004   03:26 PM PST
I read the rulebooks to Shadowrun back in my RPG days, but never played.

It's going to have a lot of similarity to a lot of fantasy stories. I plan on plenty of parodies and allusions throughout.

Though I'm setting the story in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of flights from O'Hare to SeaTac...
November 24, 2004   03:54 PM PST
Oh I miss Washington :(

Awesomeness though! I'll definitely be checking up on it!
November 24, 2004   06:02 PM PST
I LOVE the Pacific Northwest! I haven't been, but I love rainy weather and until I can get to the UK or Ireland, the Pacific Northwest will have to do.

I basically just read the Shadowrun RPG books too. Never played, just watched my brother and his friends play. This sounds so awesome and ambitious. As a fellow writer, I wish you much luck!
J f Z
November 25, 2004   05:00 AM PST
In the unreconciled dominon of Earth, the ongoing suppression of anything magical was the job of the members of the secret society called the Tabula Rasa, in London.

Unlike Imajica, reality is uglier. The suppression of fact and fantasy is left up to the religious fundamentalists of various faiths. Apparently, either group can be just as murderous though.
B a b
January 28, 2005   05:47 PM PST
Very cool, I'll have to check it out for myself.
August 23, 2005   01:07 AM PDT
*sigh* I guess this is another dead blog ..... Came back, hoping to AT least see my comments remarked upon.. You'r a gifted write, Brandon.. keep it up, Add me to your mailing list if you ever come back here and write more stories
Best wishes Pam,,, who also lives in the great PNW!

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