Creating a community: the witchfolk

Creating a community: the witchfolk

This post was originally patron-only content posted to patreon in October 2019.

If you’ve read BOOKS & BONE, it probably won’t surprise you that my worldbuilding is less focused on countries and nations and more focused on communites.

I think what really grips me about this is that a country is huge and the people in it aren’t that connected, but a community is much closer-knit. These are people that live next to each other, maybe, but are definitely people that interact with each other. Something has drawn them together, and compels them to keep up their relationships.

In Tombtown, this is necromancy and their shared hurts. And maybe I’ll talk about that sometime.

But in BLACKWING WITCH, my current WIP, this is the witchfolk.

I created the witchfolk because I wanted Wy, the main character, to be outside of regular society but still a part of something. They are a sparse and sometimes nomadic community that meet a few times a year to celebrate and share knowledge — its theirs witchcraft that is the common thread between them, something between religious belief and practical skill.

They send their children to each other for training, as different witches have different areas of expertise. A fire witch might do better to go study under another fire witch than to train with family with other skills. This is another thing that ties the community together, and lets me have a group of people who are very much together, even if they are spatially apart.

It also means it’s a community that is open to outsiders. Anyone who wants to take up the witchfolk ways can become a witch, and they have close ties to anyone who lives in the wild areas they range.

It’s fun to write because they have an unusual way of life that is nonetheless warm and sympathetic. But they’re still outsiders who have to deal with prejudice from the settled folk living in villages and towns.

I’m working now on developing witchfolk magic, which was a much vaguer concept when I started writing and is now starting to get a clear aesthetic and rules. But that’s a post for another day!

Image by Karen Smits from Pixabay.

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