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Making Magic: 6 Steps for Creating A Magical System
March 1, 2016
Conjure, enchant, shape-shift, or summon—endless possibilities exist in the world of magic. Cast a spell, fight a dragon, wave a magic wand, but don’t forget the ruby slipper, the mermaid, and the unicorn. And then there’s time travel and scrying and divination—the options can easily overwhelm. Luckily, the talented Mark Fogerty, in his GrubStreet class on Worldbuilding, offered six steps to creating a magical system that can help manage all these choices. Here’s my version of Mark’s list.
1. Define the Magical System. What is your magic and how does it work? Now don’t panic. It’s okay to be vague at this point. Think about the Force in Star Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi described it as “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” 1 This sounds good but does anybody really know what he’s talking about?
According to Rainbow Rowell, it’s okay not to fully understand your magic. In talking about her latest book, Carry On, she said, “I would get stuck and have to remind myself that I don’t really know how the magic works in my favorite fantasy stories. I don’t really know how the Force works . . . I get really confused if I talk specifically about the magic in Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings. I try not to get too bogged down about how it works . . . I just try to be consistent.” 2
Read the full post on Dead Darlings
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