The Question of Magic

I suppose as a fantasy writer it was bound to come up. My question is just how magical I should make my world be?

I feel like there are some stories like Ranger’s Apprentice that are fantasy but hardly have any magic in them; they are just different worlds. I would like my worlds to be extremely magical, in the sense that my world is incredible and new and exciting (like a “magical” moment), but I’m not sure that I want it to be too focused on spells and charms. I have an incredibly charming enigmatic slave in my story but I am not sure whether to make him really clever and quick with his hands or whether I should take it to the next level and have him actually be able to make things vanish. I’m not sure whether I want to try explain some of the things that happen in my story as a natural phenomena or from magical causes.

I feel like I’m probably over thing this whole thing a bit much but I think there really is a rather fine line between magic and science. I would be perfectly content to call my morning coffee magic. I’m sleepy and crabby and then after a mocha I’m cheerful, energetic, and an entirely a new person. I want to have the kind of magic that you find in coffee and love in my book…I guess you could call it the natural magic, but I also think I will include at least a little of the spells sort of magic…I guess you could call that wizards magic:)

Any opinions on the subject?

Well, I’m off to go wrestle with the magical elements of my book:)

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8 thoughts on “The Question of Magic

  1. Magic with a ‘c’ explains stage illusions or fantastical impressions one may make on the environment. If you would like to learn more about Magick with a ‘k’, read Aleister Crowley. He explains magick as a system of individualized influence on the reality that is seemingly fantastical, but is altogether real. It does not necessarily involve tricks and wizardry in the postmodern sense. Rather, when one performs magick, a person brings about the True Will and performs The Great Work, the former denoting your purpose on this planet and the latter denoting that which you do on this planet. In studying Crowley, you will see much of the Christian apologetic response to him as being a “Black Magician” which is altogether false. He was simply so controversial with what he wrote that he his name was “blackened” by conservative societies. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole the Law. Love is the law, love under will. In other words, do what it is that is your purpose (will) and master the elements of desire (love) by furthering your purpose. But remember, do not interfere with any other person in doing so. As Crowley wrote, “Every man and every woman is a star.” So make your own universe… if it is your will 🙂

  2. I think what you would have to do first is define what “magic” would be for your story; how would it affect the characters and world, how was magic discovered, etc. I’m going through the same thing myself, as I have a fantasy novel that can’t seem to decide how it feels about magic. xD

    Sometimes it might be best just to write a few short stories, too. Little flash-fictions with your characters taking different routes. See which one works or which one you would want to pursue.

  3. The most brilliant thing about writing fantasy is that the limit to what is entailed in your world is only the limit of your imagination and…. fantasy 🙂 Don’t over think – put pen to paper and let it flow. What ever comes out is what will be true to you and your “creation” will be joyous to read. If you second guess yourself, the hesitancy will come out in your writing. I would strong recommend checking out the pioneers of fantasy writing and see how they’ve gone about it, sometimes it helps to crystallize what you are trying to achieve.

  4. I love that you are questioning this. I think that if you want readers to read the story with full awareness that they are reading something that would never really happen but it’s a fun world to imagine, you give them the full dose of magic and everything else. But if you want readers to pick up the book, read it and love it because it’s entertaining, it almost but not quite rings true and maybe – just maybe given the right coming together of circumstances it could happen to them or for them, you give them just enough to raise it above reality but not so much it keeps them from imagining themselves in the story.

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