November 13th, 2012


Read "Seasons in the North"

You can now read the article "Seasons of the North" which ellenmillion and I wrote together.  It describes the arctic environment where the snow-unicorn riders live. 

This is very different from temperate settings where most of us live!  One of the things that makes Torn World stand out as a science fantasy setting is that the creator, ellenmillion, lives in Alaska.  So the North is significantly inspired by that, although it also has some unique features like the snow-unicorns and the Others.  The terrain and climate are similar to very northern America.  I have found this to be among the more challenging exercises in writing that I have ever tackled, because my personal experience often points in a wrong direction.  So we're making a series of articles about the important details of the Northern environment to help writers and artists with accuracy.

Schrodinger's Heroes: Multiple Intelligences

The Schrodinger's Heroes team spans different types of intelligence. While Alex is most often hailed as the genius of the team, she is not the only one. Several other folks have exceptional ability in their own areas of expertise. Even the "everyman" Chris has important skills and information, despite not being an actual genius. One recurring character, Midge, is noted as being hopelessly outclassed -- but she still manages to cause trouble (and more rarely, to resolve it) for the heroes. See the menu post and character posts one, two, and three for more details.

First, what is genius? It involves remarkable intellectual ability, creativity, and insight which place the individual notably above the competition. It can refer to mastery of a single field to the point of domination, or the ability to function fluently in many fields and acquire new ones easily. Some quotations on the topic include: "Doing easily what others find difficult is talent. Doing what even talent finds difficult is genius." and "Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see."

There are different types of intelligence. They deal with very different types of perception, knowledge, and skill. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences originally listed seven types: logical-mathematical, spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal; naturalistic and existential have been added since.

A person may excel at one or more types, yet still be average or even wretched at another(s). One indicator of high intelligence is the capacity to work across a very wide range of fields; but that's not a universal. Most people, even geniuses, are better at some things than others. In character development especially, literary characters are more interesting and deliver better plot conflict when they have a balance of strengths and weaknesses.

Let's take a look at the types of intelligence shown by different members of Schrodinger's Heroes:

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