GUEST POST: Behind the Scenes – Rafael Lovato

Rafael LovatoMagimakía – the quest for Merlin is the first book of a contemporary fantasy series for Young Adults that explores the universe of RPG and MMORPG. In it, Oliver, a naive young virgin bullied 15 year old boy, without any knowledge of magic, trying to find the mage Merlin and save the Order of Mages and Witches of undoubted extinction, ends his journey victim of a magnificent and at the same time terrible event.

From a young age I always wanted to write a fantasy novel, because of my experience with (MMO)RPG games like Diablo and World of Warcraft. The magical universe, the battles and the powerful characters fascinated me. But writing a fantasy book is not something simple. So, after five books published and feeling capable of a foray into this universe, I finally wrote Magimakía – The search for Merlin.

The first step was to choose about what would be the story, and what kind of races and powers I would use in it. Since I always liked fantasy movies, and there was no way for me to escape this influence, I took Tolkien’s idea of introducing demons as non-religious entities (from ​​Lord of the Rings, the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog). Alongside the demons, I brought angels, who resemble paladins, also not religious, and mages, witches, elves, trolls and goblins.

Regarding the writing itself, to construct the history I used the Hollywood structure, with the characteristics turning points structure (10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 95%). Also, took great care to develop the “arc of the characters”, and build well-marked voices for the three book narratives: Benjamin, goblins and Oliver. The scenes and sequels respect the international structure (Scene: objective, obstacle and disaster; sequel: reaction dilemma and decision), and wrote the entire text within the MRU’s technique (motivation and reaction units).

The story itself respects the dynamics of the RPG universe, with close attention to powers mathematics. This means that all races powers are balanced, as well as the most powerful entities. To a careful analysis, you can identify that in the mechanics of battles there are warriors, generals, mini-bosses, bosses, and world bosses. This engine respects the dynamics of RPG games, to appeal to the book’s target audience, who are young adult video-gamers aged 12 to 25 (and adults too, of course).

The book was originally written in Portuguese and published in Brazil by Editora Zap Book (eBook and print) and in Portugal by Editora Chiado (print and eBook), both in June/15. Availing the fact that I speak English fluently, I wrote the English version of the book, and introduced it to a US editor, for editing. I was fortunate to present the manuscript to Ravenswood, who did not hesitate to offer me a publishing contract.

About myself, I am a well-established Brazilian author with six books commercially published, being Magimakía – the quest for Merlin the latest. Recently the Oxford University Press bought a short story of my to use in their courseware as writing model for fiction short stories, already published in the book Portuguese language for 6th grade, by Oxford. Magimakía already is the best-selling book of my Brazilian Publisher, which is starting a national advertising campaign of the book.


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