Monday, July 15, 2013

On Writing Magic Well - Part II: Adding Depth

'The Magic Circle' by Waterhouse
In my first installment, I discussed a few pitfalls we, as writers, must avoid in our quest to create magic that feels truly magical--but success is not the same as simply avoiding failure. So, the question becomes: what can we do to inject a sense of wonder into our magic? How can we give our magic a substance, a texture, an enveloping quality that alters our entire world from within?

Reading classic texts, we can see that for earlier cultures and traditions, magic really was everywhere--it permeated all aspects of life, and people took it very seriously. It could inspire fear and hatred, it could be a source of respect or suspicion, it could produce conflict between different cultures--it often did all of those things at once. Magic was not merely physically powerful, but powerful as a cultural idea.