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for Grand Arcanum

7/16/2017 c1 22St Elmo's Fire
[OR: PokeSpe, in a sword-and-sorcery setting. Probably just gonna be a one-shot.]

Summaries need to tell us more than just the genre. What's your plot?

["Magic is, for all that the word might evoke images of chanted words and elaborate rituals," Red skimmed off the page,]

It's really awkward to interrupt exposition like this, especially in the very first line. It's fine to just show the whole thing and note that Red was reading it in the next paragraph.

[Whether it is phrased as the second law of thermodynamics, or the principle of equivalent exchange, the fact remains the same: Work Requires Energy.]

That shouldn't be capitalized, also that's the first law, not the second. The second law is that entropy constantly increases.

[For magic, this energy is derived directly from the soul.]

Which now makes this very awkward. This is a common trope, but if you want to say this is physics-compliant I'm going to hold you to a higher standard. If magic is bound by the laws of thermodynamics, soul energy isn't an infinite resource, and drawing power out of your soul starts to look really dangerous. How is soul energy replenished? Can it be replenished? What effect does losing soul energy have on a person, why isn't everyone using magic constantly? If energy can be neither created nor destroyed, it can't just be continually regenerated out of nothing like in a video game.

(And since you brought it up, there is the consideration of the second law, which states that no energy transformation can be perfect. If soul energy is a high energy form like electricity – and it must be, if it can generate lightning bolts, i.e. electrical energy – it's difficult to restore, and magic once again starts looking pretty impractical.)

[It's partly for this reason that some instances of this text will refer to magic as the Spiritual Arts, and to science as the Material Arts.]

That's nonsense. There's no reason for a distinction in a world where magic is real and obeys scientific laws; it would just become another field of physics. Quantum physics is hardly “material arts” anyway.

[That brief overview now covered, the rest of this book will focus on covering a single magical discipline with each and every page, and detailing how to conduct it.]

Anything that can be adequately taught in a single page can hardly be called a “discipline”. How is this even possible? Every discipline requires the exact same amount of explanation? That's nonsense. I believe the word you want is “chapters”.

[Pyrokinesis on page twenty-five, hydrokinesis on page twenty-six, terrakinesis and aerokinesis on the following two.]

Because nothing says hard science like Classical elements.

[summoning a beast from a distant place on this plane could potentially backfire if he had not enough soul energy and consume his bodily energy too until nothing remained of him.]

But losing all your soul energy has no other consequences? Just what exactly is it doing? Does it exist only for magic?

[Only more risky would be to summon a creature from another plane, like Heaven or Hell.]

If Heaven and Hell exist, the Christian mythos (or more accurately, a very warped and mistranslated interpretation of the Christian mythos) is the true model of reality. The Christian mythos also says that no other planes exist. It is quite explicit on this point: there is no god but God. Christianity is aggressively monotheistic; it is fundamentally incompatible with any other magical setting. You can't have both Planescape and Christianity. Pick one.

[the Bull of Heaven]

Okay so you are doing a kitchen sink setting, but also there is only one Heaven and only one Hell? Kitchen sink settings do not actually make a lot of sense. Different mythologies are not very compatible. Think about what you're doing.

You're formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as ["Hello," she said] or ["Hello!" she said], never ["Hello." She said] or ["Hello", she said] or ["Hello" she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn't contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part iis/i considered a separate sentence, so it's written as ["Hello." She grinned], never ["Hello," she grinned]. Note that something isn't a speech verb just because it's a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like "laughed" or "giggled" is in the second category. (“Speak” is also not a speech verb.) Furthermore, if you're breaking up two complete sentences it's ["Hi," she said. "This is it."] not ["Hi," she said, "this is it."] or ["Hi," she said "this is it."] And if you're breaking up a sentence in the middle, it's ["Hi. This," she said, "is it."] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don't use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking out loud, which is confusing to the reader.

This has nothing to do with Pokemon. This reads like a Shin Megami Tensei fic where you've given your OCs the names of Pokemon characters.

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