Monday, October 22, 2012

Magic on Monday by Christine Locke

“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” ― Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

What's the most important element in a story with magic?

I think many readers would say consistency.  A few might want originiality in magical descriptions, an author who can "make it new."  Or what about making a magical tale educational?  After all, it's been said that J. K. Rowling made Latin cool again; the dead language is on the lips of every child who imitates Hermione's masterful spells.

I get asked to write about how to write stories with magic, and while all of the above are increasingly important, I think the most significant thing an author can remember when writing a story with magic is that, in reality, we read about magic in order to understand ourselves.  We may say that we like paranormal tales because we want to get away from reality, but there's really more to it than that.  After all, going on vacation is not the same as moving to another city.  In the real world, we escape in order to come home.

In my stories, magic is fun and dangerous and exciting, but it's also going to reveal more to the character than they have found in themselves so far.  It's going to challenge them, make them stronger, better, more inspired.  It might be a terrifying journey at times, but it's where they arrive in the end that counts--not unlike life, after all.

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.”  ― J.K. Rowling

Why do you write about magic?  If you have a favorite magical tale, what makes it your favorite?  Is it originality?  Consistency?  Consequences?  Something else?

Happy Monday, all, and happy writing!

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats

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