By Valerie Routhieaux
Day 20 – Magic
I hope some of you look forward to these tips and I’m glad I can help. I’m not an expert. This is what I’ve gleaned in my time as a writer and now author.
I’m still going through the world-building points. There are six of them. This one is the fifth—magic.
Magic is a broad field. It can come from any direction. Through science, through the supernatural, through technology.
Consider what you know today and where you are technologically. Now place this same knowledge in a different by-gone era and people would accuse you of witchcraft. We know the supernatural exists. All religions have some basis in the supernatural. It isn’t a far stretch of the imagination to tap into the supernatural.
You also don’t need to use the supernatural or magic in science fiction alone. Consider the best-selling book of all time, the Bible. God presents His people with signs and wonders throughout the Old Testament with the plagues of Egypt, and Elijah calling down fire from heaven and going to heaven in the whirlwind. In the New Testament, you have Jesus’ resurrection, and signs and wonders done by the apostles. These are factual representations of a mighty God.
As a Christian author, I showed God’s mighty power with the supernatural in two of my published books, Manifest Destiny and Freedom’s Cry. Magic can be presented in different ways. Consider JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Not everyone had magic and not all magic was good, some were bad.
How you present magic will bring your reader into your world or leave him or her standing at the door. It must be done in such a way that it’s natural to the story.
Is magic something your characters dabble in and learn, fearful that anything will happen and what happens when something does? Is magic a way of life for the people of your world and everyone has magic, some more than others? Is magic a magicians’ conjuring trick? Admit it, you enjoy a good magician’s trick. You’ve even tried it yourself.
When considering magic as the main topic of your story, you need to present it at the beginning. Even if your main character is unaware of his or her ability with magic, it must be shown at the onset of your story. Then your audience will be waiting for it to manifest in your character or will wonder how he or she will use their magic.
You can also use magic as a surprise element for your character. Again, it must be a natural outcome for the character, even if it is a surprising one. Once presented, your audience will wonder what’s going to happen next. Don’t disappoint them.
There’s also magic in the world around you. Watch nature and see how it fits together. It’s an amazing world we live in. Use it in your writing to help develop your characters. You never know where you’ll find a bit of magic.
Have you tried using magic in your writing?
Tomorrow’s Perspective: Culture