Fantastic Friday Writers - Magic

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

Hello everyone. Here is another installment of Fantastic Friday Writers. We are talking about magic this week.

How do you define magic in fantasy writing? Spells, powers, things that cannot be explained. All of the above?

The elves in my book Cleanse Fire having keen eye sight, hearing, and can heal rather quickly. While that is beyond normal abilities for humans it is the norm in my elves' world - so that's not magic. But the faery's in Burden of Prophecy are born with powers and they attend school to learn and master them. While it is the norm for them in their world, it's magic. I would say magic to me is something beyond normal human capabitilities, but that would include more than I wanted.

Now, when you have magic in your stories one must consider the rules. Rules?! I know, I hate rules too, but in order to make your magic seem realistic it must have some sort of restrictions. Ask yourself the following questions: 1) If my character uses their magic what happens to them? Do they get tired, weak? If they go too far can they die? 2) Where does their magic come from? Inside the character? From nature? Some other force? 3) What culture aspects come into play with my character magic? Meaning are there laws against using it? Perhaps religious consequences/rewards? 4) Who has magic and why? Only the first born? Only women or only men?

Once you have those questions figured out then y ou can begin to shape the magic in your world into something tangible. Then you can determine at what age does their magic show up and how do they learn to master it. Do their powers show at birth or closer to puberty? Do they attend school or do their parents simply teach them control of their powers? If you have spells in your story rather than powers, the same questions apply. At what age do they begin learning the spells and who teaches them?

Since magic is a huge part of writing fantasy and even sci-fi sometimes, you have to consider all the rules, restrictions, and other considerations of your characters magic. If a character can use their magic willy-nilly with no consequences and has the ability to do anything, it takes all of the suspense out of the story. After all, an all powerful character can fix and get out of anything right?

Don't forget to check with the rest of the Fantastic Friday writer team at their blogs and see what they say about magic.

JDBrown ~~~~ Elizabeth Mueller ~~~~ Deirdra Eden-Coppel ~~~~ Alex J. Cavanaugh

6 Responses to "Fantastic Friday Writers - Magic"

Emailman Says :
March 11, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Great post, Anastasia :) Sorry I haven't been here for like FOREVER! haha!! Crazy days, you know the one :)

Oh no! More rules! You have to have rules for magic? Did I break any of them in my stories? lol

Susan Gourley/Kelley Says :
March 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I've learned to define the rules for magic in my fantasy world. Great post for making magic 'realistic' in your novel.

Alex J. Cavanaugh Says :
March 11, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Rules must be enforced!

Elizabeth Mueller Says :
March 12, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Important to have rules to make it unpredictable and exciting! :)

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

M Pax Says :
March 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Magic without rules or consequences is ... well, I read some sci-fi book - no magic, but they created some tech without consequences, like omnipotent. I never finished reading it.

Deirdra Eden-Coppel Says :
March 21, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Fantastic Fantasy Award.

Go to and pick up your award.


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