World Building Series: Navigating the Power of Majick—The Importance of Limitations & Boundaries

World Building Series: Navigating the Power of Majick—The Importance of Limitations & Boundaries

IN the enchanting realms of fantasy literature and folklore, majick often reigns supreme as a force of limitless potential and wonder. From spells that defy gravity to incantations that summon mythical creatures, the allure of majick knows no bounds. However, within these fantastical worlds, a crucial element often overlooked is the concept of limitations and boundaries that govern majickal abilities. Today, let’s delve into the intricate balance between the awe-inspiring power of majick and the necessity of setting clear constraints to enrich storytelling and world-building.


MAJICK without limitations is akin to a river overflowing its banks—an uncontrolled force that can lead to narrative inconsistencies and diminished suspense. Limitations, whether imposed by inherent rules of magic or societal norms within a fictional world, add depth and realism to magical systems. They force characters to grapple with challenges, make strategic choices, and undergo personal growth, all of which drive the plot forward and engage readers on a deeper level.

Consider iconic examples such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, where majick is governed by strict rules and limitations. Wizards and witches must master spells through study and practice, wand movements must be precise, and certain magical feats require innate talent or knowledge of ancient incantations. These limitations not only ground the fantastical elements in a sense of believability but also create tension and excitement as characters navigate the boundaries of what is possible.


IN addition to limitations, the concept of boundaries in majick plays a crucial role in defining ethical and moral dilemmas within a narrative. Just as real-world societies establish laws and norms to regulate behavior, majickal societies or individuals in fiction must navigate ethical boundaries to prevent misuse or abuse of power. This thematic exploration adds layers of complexity to characters and storylines, exploring themes of temptation, redemption, and the consequences of unchecked ambition.

Take, for instance, the classic tale of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The One Ring symbolizes ultimate power, yet its corrupting influence highlights the dangers of unchecked majickal abilities and the importance of respecting boundaries—even when wielding immense power for noble purposes. Characters like Frodo and Gandalf exemplify the struggle to resist temptation and maintain integrity in the face of overwhelming majickal allure.

Balancing Wonder and Realism::

ULTIMATELY, the importance of limitations and boundaries in majick extends beyond narrative cohesion—it fosters a deeper connection between readers and fantastical worlds. By establishing rules and consequences for majickal actions, authors invite readers to suspend disbelief while maintaining a sense of wonder grounded in relatable challenges and dilemmas. This balance between the extraordinary and the plausible is what breathes life into majickal realms and keeps readers eagerly turning pages, eager to explore the next enchanting revelation or harrowing trial.

In conclusion, while majick in literature and storytelling dazzles us with its endless possibilities, it is the careful crafting of limitations and boundaries that elevates majickal narratives from mere escapism to enduring works of art. Whether traversing Hogwarts’ hallowed halls or embarking on epic quests across mythical lands, let us cherish the nuanced interplay between boundless imagination and the structured framework of majickal rules—a testament to the timeless allure of fantastical storytelling.

Restoration & Relaunch

Restoration & Relaunch

AFTER much deliberation, while browsing through the original Bearded Scribe Blog, I have decided—against what I initially stated in earlier posts—to restore a great deal of posts from there to the new site for posterity and reference.

Looking through the multitude of Book Spotlights alone that appeared on the site, I’d be stupid to turn my back on the content that was the foundation for this new site. There are so many great titles that were reviewed by The Fellowship of Scribes, and to not have that library of content on the new site when I can still view it on the original blog still would be asinine…

So, over the course of the next few weeks, I will be reaching out to the old team to see if they would like to be a part of the restored site; for those that don’t, I will be posting their spotlights as the admin account for posterity, with a link back to the original post on The Bearded Scribe Blog.

This will also help re-establish the depth of history this site actually has, and broaden the titles featured on the site versus just the brand new stuff.

If you are an avid Speculative Fiction reader and would like to read the latest books coming onto the market before they make their way to the shelves in the form of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), then please feel free to fill out the form HERE to be considered.

Writer’s Unblock

Writer’s Unblock

ABOUT a month and a half ago, I decided to bite the bullet and start writing again. I had been postponing doing so for years because I know myself—I can get pretty single-minded in my focus, and it’s hard to break from writing when you’re in a groove, hard to stop thinking about the story as you’re trying to complete other tasks. So while I didn’t have actual Writer’s Block, I was blocking myself from writing because I was afraid of it consuming all of my free time.

Yes, I know. BAD WRITER! How could I continue to call myself one if I refused to actually write? And it’s rather funny that what “unblocked” me was a logo design project for a client with my Graphic Design endeavor, FORGE. One of the options I presented to the client was a logo for Wonderspark—I am forever grateful that the client went with DreamQuest, because I kept staring at the logo I presented for Wonderspark and a whole story started to unravel.

And haunt. And pester. And then the characters started presenting themselves, and it got to a point where I could no longer avoid them or the story they wanted me to tell. Little by little, I started doodling and scribbling. Notes. Character descriptions. Place inspirations. Plots. Subplots. And at that point I realized I needed a better way to organize my notes and doodles and scribbles.

As if to answer me, the Universe gave me a well-placed ad for a software I had yet to hear of—Plottr. As I learn the program better, I hope to offer tutorials on how to best use it, but in the meantime, it’s a great tool for plotting out your story—either using pre-made templates or your own. You can organize characters, settings, notes, research, etc—all in one place, which can easily be exported to Scrivener and other writing tools.

GETTING back into has been both exhilarating and frustrating—exciting because it’s been a long time coming, but a bit difficult getting back into the flow due to the long hiatus I took. It’s like taking time off from the gym (I may have done that, too… SSHHH!), and when you get back to it, muscle memory eventually kicks in, but not without the soreness. It’s like rekindling a long-lost passion, rediscovering a part of yourself that may have been neglected amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Whether it’s journaling, crafting short stories, writing a poem, or tackling that novel idea that’s been lingering in the back of your mind, returning to the written word offers a sense of fulfillment and creative expression that few other pursuits can match. It’s been cathartic and has definitely elicited a fair amount of smiles lately, like a missing part of me has returned, one that has been wandering and lost and has finally spotted the porch light through the thicket of trees, beckoning it to return home. I’m excited to share my progress as I write my new series, delving into the exciting venture of plotting with Plottr (I can’t rave enough about this program!) and finally knocking out the manuscripts scene by scene.

PART of me hates that I am not revisiting old projects, dusting off half-finished manuscripts or abandoned notebooks, and breathing new life into them. Unfortunately, the chance to reconnect with characters and stories that have been waiting patiently for their voices to be heard will have to wait a bit longer. For now, I am moving forward with a new project, a 7-book, YA Urban Fantasy series called Echoes of Eden, which is a re-imagining of the Prometheus myth. Sometimes the newness of building a new world, embracing the blank page and exploring new ideas, letting creativity flow without constraints or expectations, is a lot less daunting than re-visiting a world you more or less abandoned—the guilt alone can create focus blocks.

Echoes of Eden follows twin protagonists, Asher “Ash” & Ember McKenna, who navigate everyday conflicts most teenagers face while also facing more other-wordly conflicts, such as stumbling upon a dimensional rift, discovering a hidden world of magic, and uncovering their family’s hereditary ties to a secret society of artifact hunters and protectors. The series is intertwined with themes of Light versus Dark & Good versus Evil, pulling from ancient myths & stories of the Garden of Eden, the spark/fire of Creation, and even the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

I soft-plotted the story arc, which (at the moment) stretches over seven books; it will change as I write them, of course, but at least I have a route planned even if I decide to take a different path to the same destination. You might say it’s a bit ambitious, but I wanted to give myself room for the story to develop and grow at a good pace without feeling rushed to cram it all in fewer.

The first book, Wonderspark, opens up just before a mysterious stranger shows up at the McKenna residence. Summer plans with their parents are cancelled as they are called away for an impromptu dig in the Pyrenees, and the twins, Asher and Ember, are forced to spend the summer with their grandparents on the quaint island town of Willowycke. When their parents go missing, their stay with their grandparents is extended.

The story picks back up three years later; Ash & Ember lead seemingly ordinary lives until a chance encounter with a mysterious rift thrusts them into the hidden world of magic. As they navigate newfound abilities and uncover family secrets, they discover their pivotal role in the age-old battle between light and shadow. With the help of their grandparents and a band of allies, the twins embark on a thrilling journey to uncover the truth about their parents’ disappearance and unlock the secrets of the Wonderspark. But as dark forces gather and ancient prophecies unfold, Asher and Ember must harness their newfound powers and embrace their destiny before it’s too late. The fate of both worlds hangs in the balance, and only they can unleash the true magic of the Wonderspark.

Over the course of writing (but without giving too much away), I hope to share some of the world-building—settings, mythos, characters, et cetera—as I build it, as it builds itself. It’s been nice re-entering the writing world with tools I didn’t have before—like the aforementioned Plottr, Scrivener, and even Artificial Intelligence.

Now I know there are a lot of naysayers of AI, but before you jump to conclusions, know that I am not using it to actually write the manuscript, but instead using tools like Midjourney, where I can feed in descriptions and have the prompts spit out beautiful renderings of my characters so I can upload the images into the other tools and reference them frequently while plotting and writing. And, let me tell you, seeing life breathed into my characters who normally only live in the written word and in my mind, makes the world that I am building more tactile. More tangible. More real. And living within it becomes a lot easier, which makes writing within it that much more believable because it’s no longer just in my head.

AS a treat, I am going to reveal the renderings of the two main protagonists of the series, Asher Rune McKenna and Ember Reign McKenna. The first of each set is how I initially described them into the prompts of Midjourney, which is how they look at age 13 in the opening chapter of the first book; the second of the set is how they look three years later when the second chapter opens. I was blown away at not only the precision at how my descriptions were executed, but also the character continuance of the characters being fraternal twins, and in seeing the aging process to my description while still keeping the physical features of the younger character in mind.

Asher Rune McKenna
Asher @ Age 13
Ash @ Age 16
Ember Reign McKenna
Ember @ Age 13
Ember Reign McKenna
Ember @ Age 16