Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fantasy Tuesdays: Magic


One of the neatest things about fantasy writing is creating your own set of magic in the novel. I would say most fantasies have some form of magic to them. Typically, not everyone in the land is magical. People have different skill levels, even involving magic. A lot of magic involves world building (topic for next week).

A few questions a writer should ask when approaching magic:
Who has the magic abilities and why?
Born magical or can magic be learned?
Is it natural magic or do you have to have something to produce the magic (wand, special ingredients, etc.)?

I love the use of wands and wand-work in the Harry Potter series. They create a great visual, like sword-fighting. I also love the simpler magics, where an incantation can work, a mixture of herbs/plants, or even just energy building into the power of magic. In Lord of the Rings, I love how magic and power are entwined in the objects of the rings.

For The Phoenix Prophetess, I used their own inner power to create and manipulate the world around them. Yet, in The Foxwick Chronicles, there are more incantations and herbs/plants magic. It's fun to work in magic for novels because the possibilities are endless and well, magical.

If you're a writer, what type of magic have you used in your works? As a reader of fantasy, what type of magic do you like to see best?


Sarah Pearson said...

I'm partial to a decent bolt of flame or lightning from the fingers :-)

Christine Rains said...

I love using magic. Usually I have it innate to the person. It's hard to decide which type of magic I like best. It really depends on how well the story is written. Having innate magic poses its own challenges just as having to gain it from an external source.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't use magic, but my science fiction work features mental abilities such as telepathy. And I have strict rules as to how it can be used.

farawayeyes said...

I write mythological characters or ghosts (so far) with special abilities. Never really thought of it as magic,(like HP type magic) but I suppose it is a form of innate magic. I like them to appear as everyday people on the outside with some special abilities.

Nicole Zoltack said...

In my latest nano story, witches use brews at times but also can use magic without help from outside items, while shamans have to use an outside object to focus their magic through for all of their magic, including shape shifting.

Misha Gericke said...

The magic in HP does make for an awesome visual. :-)

My magic works a little differently and is very rare.

stu said...

Magic for me is always a tricky one, because it puts power in the hands of characters, and so takes away some of the sense of them being challenged. I'm currently writing something where an accountant technically ends up as the apprentice to a wizard. I'm still not sure if I'll let him do any magic.