Today I want to talk about some musings and minor issues I've recently had while writing that novel project of mine: Project:Rosetta (yes, I am sincere - no, I started before NaNoWriMo. Also I'm not American, in case you didn't know.)
Since my novel contains a lot of fantasy themes and is heavily influenced by video games (and of course many other things) it will include magic and in extension of that (mostly young) people learning how to work this magic. Now, helped by the fact that a certain number of young people are quite careless and therefor accident-prone there will be semi-regular training accidents. Some of those will leave quite obvious markings, like burn scars on fire magic trainees, right? But - and this is the interesting part - what about magic that is more subtle? I am talking about mental tricks, illusions and other schools of magic where you can't just calculate the damage on a person by applying enough of its element with a huge amount of force to a human body.
Which damage is there to apply? Which consequences of reckless usage are there to be avoided?
I pondered a lot on these two questions and the answer I came up with was still not quite satisfying. My thoughts were about not being able to control those illusions any more. Around the mage they'd sometimes manifest themselves for no obvious reason and create turmoil on their own, without the mage's awareness. I've thought about voices in the minds of people nearby, to give on particular example.
Still there was a problem to those effects: In contrast to what I wanted, these affected other people and not the trainee himself. Thankfully though a colleague of mine whom I respect a lot suggested them gradually not being able to tell the difference between illusions and reality anymore.
I like this idea a lot and will probably have a mix of all the described effects to give that sense of danger and unease to careless students of mind-focused schools of magic.
Update: Sorry, I wasn't aware that NaNoWriMo isn't US only.