Things to Ask a Diviner When You Don’t Know What to Ask
So let’s say that you’ve found a diviner that you really like, and you want to get a reading from them, and you don’t know what to ask. Or, let’s say you do your own divination, and you want to ask your cards/runes/other divinatory tool something besides the general reading - some specific information that will help you, but you just can’t figure out how to ask.
I'm writing a fantasy book and want to use Latin words for the spells, but the kind of magic the characters use is martial and combative, with wands, how can I avoid this being so much similar to Harry Potter? Should I include Old English in the spells? Or change the ENTIRE structure of the magic?
1) How to Avoid Harry Potter
Use a different base language (or add some roots from other languages, as you suggested)
Make different wands (e.g. instead of having a core, they’re fitted with tiny stones or gems and instead of being bought, you have to make it yourself)
Change the rules of wands (e.g. magical characters do not depend on them to perform magic, but use them as a supplement)
Change the magic system
2) Picking the Base Language(s) - Should You Use Latin?
My advice is to do away with Latin altogether. Latin (and, by extension, Greek) based conlangs are very common and it’s also common to just use Latin by itself. Dropping it will also help distance your magic system from Harry Potter.
Whether you should use some elements of Old English or not depends on how the magic system works and who your characters are.
If they 1) speak English and 2) are in an area where Anglo-Saxon styled magic is taught, it’s likely they’ll be using spells derived from Old English (and its predecessors).
However, in this situation, Latin does not have to be abandoned entirely despite what I said above. If these characters are English-speakers, it’s likely that some spells will be derived from other languages such as Latin or French. But the majority of it will probably be Germanic in origin.
And yet, this still depends on your magic system. If spells are language-based, different styles will probably exist within different languages. How closely related these spells are depends on when the spells were created and on how closely related the languages are. In this case, perhaps Latin-based spells are used as the lingua franca of magic (at least in some places).
If you decide to go with Latin as the main base, I strongly suggest coming up with an in-story reason for why spells are mostly Latin based. The reason can be anything. Perhaps spells based in Latin are seen as “superior”. Perhaps there’s a whole debate on that within your world and some people refuse to use Latin-based spells while others use them exclusively.
asked: What are your thoughts on character names that are hard to pronounce? I have a main character whose name is made up, and with the way I spelled it, people often don’t know how it’s said. Do you think I should change the spelling, or dare to leave it the way it is? I thought about a pronunciation guide, but the main character’s name is the only one that’s in this situation, so it seems a bit excessive. That, and I think pronunciation guides are kind of hoity toity (but that’s just me).
Words that are difficult to pronounce are a little like stumbling blocks on a running track. It’s not a big deal to stumble and maybe even fall once in awhile, but if it’s happening continually, your reader is going to get tired of stumbling and is going to stop reading. That said, it’s really important to make sure that a name is relatively easy to read. It helps if names can be broken down into smaller, easier to read segments like her-mi-one or eno-bar-ia. You can also go the route of having a nickname to cut down on the troublesome stuff. In Game of Thrones, the name Daenerys is a bit of a stumbler for many readers, but it helps that she’s sometimes referred to by her nickname, Dany. Not only does Dany tip us off on how to pronounce Daenerys (because we know that Daen sounds like Dan), but it’s also a lot easier to read. And, of course, she’s also sometimes referred to by her Dothraki title, Khalessi, which isn’t simple but is a bit easier to read than Daenerys.
You can test out the difficulty of your character’s name by writing it down in neat, large letters and ask a few people to pronounce it. If most of them stare at it for more than a second or two, hesitate, laugh, or butcher the pronunciation, you’re probably going to want to change it or at least find a less complicated way of spelling it. At the very least, you should introduce a nickname right away and use that instead.
What she means:
When a girl grows up in Naples, there are roads laid out before her. And you understand, I'm speaking of the times before the war. When a girl grows up in Naples, she is more or less a target for her mamma's expectations, for the boys' infatuations; all you get is one decision: Will she give them what they want? My sister Chiara wore tight-fitting sweaters, unbuttoned just so. Chiara would squeeze every drop of attention wherever she'd go. Chiara said, "'Cesca, you must be prepared." Chiara would act as though nobody cared. Chiara would laugh at me, quiet and scared… And I dreamed of a flat in Siena on the market square. With a book and a pot and a window and a single chair - Far from lonesome, far from Chiara, almost real. Paolo was a boy from down the hill with silver eyes and hair like coal. And massive hands that trembled when he looked my way. Paolo was a boy who loved to swim, and who knows why I fell for him, but soon enough I kissed him on a winter's day. Chiara said, "'Cesca, he's dull and he's dumb. You'll end up a farm wife, exhausted and numb. I'm off to the serviceman's club; you should come!" But I dreamed of the beach at Ancona, where our kids would play. Paolo right by my side, and the ocean only steps away… Close to heaven, far from Chiara, almost real. Chiara went dancing while air raid sirens were shrieking. Chiara would open her legs just as easy as speaking. Paolo went off with the Army and never returned. And all that Chiara could say was, "I hope now you've learned." And the streets were rubble, and the water was filthy, and there were no cigarettes, and no haircuts, and no thinking about the future. And I sat at the harbor, watching the American ships, and then… I looked up and I saw an American smile down at me. And I knew if I just took his hand, I would at least be free. I could love him, I could want him. Only take me from Italia, far from Chiara! Far enough that I could feel... Almost real.
Here’s chapter 2 for you guys. I’m not sure when the next few chapters will be posted since Amber didn’t manage to get the magazines as they were sold out. Please be patient and do not pester us; Amber especially.
The guy’s name should be spelled as Shiyu instead. I won’t be making changes to chapter one because… I’m too lazy. Lol. I hope you guys enjoy reading this chapter as much as I did! :)
I don't know if you take prompts or not but I'll try anyway XD Can you write a short fic where Dean and Cas are turned into kids and Sam has to take care of them? I've read one with Sam being a toddler and I think it would be funny to have something with Dean and Cas as kids. Thanks!
(I’ve already written something like that, so here you go :) This is a part from my multi chapter fic but you can read it as stand alone fic too. P.S They have Crowley captured and he’s in the bunker. )
Sam Winchester never thought that he could hate witches this much. There had been some occasions when he’d even felt sympathy for them – ‘til his older brother stabbed them to death, that is.
That day Sam, Dean, and Castiel go to investigate a case with a witch. Her tracks lead them to an abandoned warehouse. The boys decide to split up so she can’t escape: Dean and Cas would go inside while Sam would watch the door.
The younger Winchester is getting anxious, as minutes pass and nothing seems to change. He’s been checking his watch every ten seconds when a bloodcurdling scream sounds from the inside, followed by Dean’s yelling.
Sam forgets about everything else and just rushes into the building. The first thing he sees is a dead woman’s body. She’s stabbed in the heart, knife still in the wound. The younger Winchester stops calling his brother’s and Castiel’s names when there are no answers and decides to search for them. He’s made only a few steps when his gaze falls onto the pile of clothes near a broken window. Sam’s breath hitches when he recognizes the clothes: they belong to his brother and Cas.
He’s ready to shout in despair and grab his head when the piles move and two pairs of scared eyes looks at him.
“What the hell?” Sam parts the pile of clothes and gasps in shock.
Tiny Dean and Castiel look at him. They are about 3 years old, frightened and naked.
Australian artists are winning global fans thanks to popular playlists. And Taylor Swift.
AUSTRALIAN singer Emmi had been couch-surfing around the world, writing tunes for other artists when one of her own recordings caught the ear of that influential hit-maker Taylor Swift.
After Swift included Emmi’s song Sleep On It on her New Songs That Will Make Your Life More Awesome playlist last year, it changed the London-based artist’s life.
The dancer, actor and singer suddenly found her song on everyone else’s playlists after Swift’s post which also spruiked tunes from other up-and-comers including Alessia Cara, Kehlani and Phoebe Ryan.
“My music, including my first single My Kinda Swag, seemed to really resonate with the US and I was getting featured on playlists,” Emmi said.
“Sleep On It ended up on this one called It Hurts Sometimes My Broken Heart, right next to an Adele track.
“When Taylor included it, I landed on so many other playlists, people who probably would not have given me the time of day before now knew who I was — even though she spelt my name wrong, which I loved. I wondered if I should change it to her spelling.”
Vera Blue is No. 2 on the charts thanks to collaborating with rapper Illy while her own tunes attract more than one million listeners a month. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Vera Blue is No. 2 on the charts thanks to collaborating with rapper Illy while her own tunes attract more than one million listeners a month. Picture: Tim Hunter.Source:News Corp Australia
Emmi’s fractured pop song scored more than one million likes on Instagram and landed in the top 10 of Spotify’s viral charts.
Music fans are increasingly turning to playlists to discover their next favourite artist and consequently influencing the charts and record label signings.
Spotify are vigorously lobbied by the major labels to feature their wares on the platform’s most popular playlists which include Just Chill and Indie Mix Tape, are heavy with local artists and have tens of thousands of followers.
The “editors” of their genre and mood playlists proactively promote the new tunes of independent and unsigned artists, often contacting the bands or their management to submit their track for streaming on the site.
Spotify can manipulate the attention of music fans by moving a track that is getting noticed up the order of the playlist.
And they will demote a track or move it to a different playlist if it gets too many skips.
Spotify’s Music Editor Alicia Sbrugnera said they listen to at least a 30-second snippet on every new song released each week to choose which tracks to feature to their audience.
She then helps promote the more popular tracks to international editors who are on the hunt for buzzworthy music from Australia and New Zealand thanks to the phenomenal successes of Lorde, Tame Impala, Sia and Vance Joy, another artist who benefited from a Taylor Swift shoutout.
Melbourne electronic pop duo Kllo booked shows in Europe and US after going viral on Spotify.
Melbourne electronic pop duo Kllo booked shows in Europe and US after going viral on Spotify. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
“The international editors think Australia and New Zealand have the most exciting music coming out because they regard us as having one of the healthiest scenes in the world right now and they get incredibly vibed by the new tracks,” she said.
The biggest consumers of new music tend to be in the 18 to 24 years demographic, fans who also seek out fresh tunes via SoundCloud, Triple J’s Unearthed, Apple Music, Bandcamp and Youtube.
“They are the ones who tend to hunt out the most new music and save it to their own playlists,” Sbrugnera said.
Other local artists who have scored playlist-assisted boosts to their fan bases included Melbourne electro-pop duo Kllo, indie pop sensation Vera Blue and blue-eyed soul teen Joel Adams.
Kllo has had more than 10 million streams, most of them from America, with their latest single Bolide scoring 3.5 million listens in just over a month. Their online success has helped them to book tours in Europe and the US.
Vera Blue now has more than one million active listeners since the songs from her Fingertips EP migrated to Spotify playlists in UK, Germany, Canada and the US.
Teen singer songwriter Joel Adams has had more than 92 streams for his song Please Don’t Go. Picture Rohan Kelly.
Teen singer songwriter Joel Adams has had more than 92 streams for his song Please Don’t Go. Picture Rohan Kelly.Source:News Corp Australia
And Joel Adams found global buzz when a British editor picked his track Please Don’t Go for a pop playlist. It has now reached a phenomenal 92 million streams.
Meanwhile Emmi is landing on the radar of British tastemakers courtesy of her singles, My Kinda Swag, Sleep On It and the upcoming You Said You Loved Me, as well her collaboration with French DJ Feder on the track Blind, which has had more than 20 million streams.
“I like to tell stories and music is my biggest passion but being a dancer, I can choreograph my own videos with ideas that are quite thespian because of my acting background,” Emmi said.
“I’ve probably written thousands of songs by now but I feel I am yet to write my masterpiece and I hope I will always feel like that.”
And she remains forever grateful to Swift for including her on that viral playlist.