It may seem silly, but I've got a terror of this part of my MA. I confessed this to my tutor, who was sympathetic enough, but clearly didn't understand why it should bother me. Other students on my course, apparently, have written spectacular commentaries on their creative work.
While I was talking to her, one thing did occur to me. I really don't read that much modern fantasy. And here I am, writing it. That leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage when I come to write it, so I'm trying (again) to read Kate Mosse's Labyrinth. It's hard going, which doesn't make any sense, because it's well written (I think) and I love historical fiction. I've begun to realise if I can unpack what she's doing, I will have an insight into how I have written my book.
Another thing I realised is the idea that you can do a spell, or conjure a being or magically heal someone is irresistible to someone who has had to watch a loved one die. It was irresistible to me, as a parent, watching my daughter Léonie, at the end of her life. Borrowed Time, the concept of the book, leads to terrible consequences - breaking the natural order is dangerous. Part of me felt like that when Léonie was four years old, and only heroic surgery gave her any chance at all. I felt a huge tug towards letting her go, instead of the horrible surgery they were offering. In the end, my decision with my husband, was to try everything we could, and we lost. Worse, I think, Léonie lost. Now that idea has found itself - couched in fantasy terms - into my fiction.
Maybe that idea is relevant for my rationale - who knows? I still haven't really worked out what a rationale is.