Discussion Forums - The Writers' Forum The Writers' Forum

Topic: Fantasy Writing Question

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Fantasy Writing Question
Date Posted: 3/13/2011 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2010
Posts: 40
Back To Top

OK, I'm writing this fantasy, and I need an original way for my magic to work. I have some ideas, but I would like to know what, in your opinion, has been overused. Put another way, what  "gimiks" have been used so many times I shouldn't even consider it?

Thanks for your input. :)

Date Posted: 3/14/2011 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

wands..LOL Anything else is just fine because you can make up words or hand movements, gestures etc that are new and different.

I really feel wands are over done big time in many fantasy novels. Same with crystals at the tip of the wand. And being able to pick up someone else's wand and use it after we have been told each one is special and only works for one person.

BUT my big piece of advice is, make rules for your magic and follow it. If blonds cannot do magic then do have some freak of nature mage that is blond.
As long as you put your own spin on things, anything is ok.
 

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
Back To Top

What I really enjoy seeing is when someone has done the research to incorperate magic 'rules' into their 'world' from other worlds... its so much fun, and I respect the research. So, using a wand as a real Pagean would, for instance, instead of a fancy shiny thing with a crystel on the end. And, no, as is probably obvious by now, I am not Pagean. But I partucularly enjoy fantasy set with researched Pagean practice as the background to its magic rules.

Date Posted: 3/17/2011 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2010
Posts: 40
Back To Top

Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.



Last Edited on: 3/17/11 8:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2011 7:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 8,672
Back To Top


 



Last Edited on: 2/14/15 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2011 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
Back To Top

On type of 'exeception' I don't mind is when the main character of the story keeps becoming more and more aware of their skills in a series. They might start out with 'I could never do that', then find themselves surprised that they are more skilled than they thought - and rather frightened by the idea. Does that make sense?

Date Posted: 3/21/2011 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

Latricia- that is called character development.  Since most people do not know the extent of their skills until put to the test or how they will react to a situation.
BUT it depends on what they are finding out they can do.

For example

Say Jimmy Mudhead is told that wizards cannot use magic on bot flies, it just not work no matter what spell or potion is used. Half a page is dedicated to this bot fly weirdness, and then near the end of the book Jimmy uses a spell he finds and kills a large swarm of bot flies.   Now if they'd said "no wizard has been able to find a spell that effects bot flies" that is a whole nother ball game and can create wonder for the reader. 

OR the " Mike picks up Jane's Wand, announces the spell and zap, Jimmy falls dead" After you've spent all the book telling people you cannot under any terms create magic with another's wand.
You could have told the reader, using anothers wand was not common and most wizards did not do it for fear of the unknown effects.

Doing things against the rules you created will get a lot of angry readers writing to you.