I’ve been asked to share a few words about writing a story with magic. My first novel, Open Door, is a tale weaving witches, magic and a mansion with a story of love and self-discovery for a young girl who does not know who she is. I hope you will give Open Door a try, and I hope you love it. In the meantime, here are some of the things I keep in mind when I write about magic.
- Magic must be consistent to be believable. After all, if we writers are going to ask a reader to walk into our world and buy that magic is real, we’ve got to borrow enough reality from the world they know to make them feel at home. After all, “It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done” ( Terry Pratchett). Consistency is a first step to writing stories with magic.
- Magic has to feel original. One of the first questions to ask yourself when you’re beginning a story with magic is, What does this story bring to the paranormal genre that is not already there? I know, with the explosion of interest in paranormal young adult writing, this gets harder and harder to do, and, yet, you can make magic new. Just remember the last time your favorite novel or movie or TV show in the genre took a turn you hated. Where did you see it going? Can you make a story out of that? Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
- Magic can teach you something about the real world. It’s true. Remember how people said J. K. Rowling made Latin cool again? It’s the dead language Harry and Hermione are speaking when they cast spells. You can use your advanced knowledge of gardening in writing magic, or those dog training classes (when it comes to authority with dogs, body language is everything!), or the Greek mythology course you thought you’d never use again. Hemingway said to write what you know; you can make your magic original by interweaving it with a subject on which you are already expert.
- Most of all, magic has to take the character where he/she most needs to go. I mean this in terms of character development. Harry had to save the world, but first he had to grow up. Magic pushed him to overcome his own childish weaknesses to do both. Is your character a budding baddie? How will magic and the desire to use it compel him to a life of darkness? Best example: Darth Vader, who thought he could use magic (the Force) to recapture lost love. What does your character need, and how will magic get him/her there? That, for me, is the biggest question when I’m starting a story with magic.
What do you love about writing magic in stories? If you have a favorite magical tale, what do you love about its magic? Thanks so much for stopping by the blog of my gracious host, Banshees, Books and Baseball. Happy Reading and Happy Writing, all!
About the Author:
Christine Locke was born in California and grew up in various locations around the United States as a Navy brat. She was the oldest of six children and today is mother and step-mother to seven. She attended Texas A&M University, receiving her Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature in 1995.
Christine has worked as a writing instructor, a salesperson, and an award-winning retail manager and management trainer, among other things. Today, she co-ordinates makeovers for a local magazine. She and her husband, Mike, live with their children, two dogs, and two cats in Arkansas.
For years, Christine has been writing novels around her work and family life. Open Door is her first published novel. Several other manuscripts are almost ready to follow Open Door onto Amazon KDP, including the Open Door sequel, In Time.
Twitter: @wrtrdoll and @CarinsGriffin