Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Building Believable Magic in a Fantasy Book

Children have been raised to believe in fantasy – Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, and fairy tales galore. What is the attraction? Why do we enjoy the fantastical realm? I think one reason is the fairy tale ending, “they lived happily ever after”. These five little words bring a warm cozy, safe feeling. After all, don’t we strive to find our very own “happily ever after” in real life?

In most fantasy stories, there is not an easy magical answer to every trivial problem – true magic needs what all good stories need…conflict. There also needs to be a real chance for the hero of the story to fail, after all, if he can simply magic his problem away, where is the suspense of the story? The reader needs to feel compelled to feel the adventure as they enter the magical realm and join the hero on his magical quest. One sense the author must develop in a work of fantasy is the sense of wonder – stretching your imagination to places it may never have traveled before, then going beyond those limits to expand into the vastness of the “what if”. It stirs feelings within us, a familiar recognition of a realm where anything is possible and you must expect the unexpected. In this world logic is stretched, tested and redefined. Often, along the way the champion will have to face fantastical beings often with their own magical powers and qualities.

In my fantasy series, Kylie (the writer of the group known as the destineers) keeps a journal as a chronicle of the group’s adventures. It is filled with entries about all the magical beings they encounter. Later volumes will address their magical lessons and recounting of the legends they witness in the making. But, for now, those stories are being categorized and recorded by ghost writers in the Cybrarie. For updates about the series and new postings in the forum or book review blog, join the Destineers’ Fan Page.

The fantasy being reviewed by the Cybrarian this week is The Lost Years of Merlin the first book from T.A. Barron’s 5-part series following the wizard’s young teenage life. Why not click over and check out young Merlin’s tale?

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Alexis Grant said...

I like how you brought this post back to your book -- applied it to your book. I think that's important for author bloggers to do sometimes, since part of the reason readers check the blog is probably because they're fans of that book! Nice work.

N A Sharpe said...

Hi, Alexis!
Wow! You are fast - just posted and was in double checking the links, lol.

Thanks, I am trying to find a way to talk about the book without nagging about my book, to find tie-ins. PR is NOT my thing, it is very difficult for me but very necessary in the life of an author.

Also the book review blog is a tie in to my book so hopefully a subtle tie-in :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Karen Walker said...

I'm glad you brough the post back to your book as well. It worked! The introduction made me want to click on the links in the post to read more. Good job!


N A Sharpe said...

Thanks Karen! I appreciate the feedback and appreciate you stopping by.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Interesting blog, Nancy. I've always thought it would be a huge challenge to have magic in a manuscript, but not allow the magic to solve the problems. (I don't know how the writers on "Bewitched" did it for all those years!)


N A Sharpe said...

Magic is a lot of fun to work with in a manuscript. You weave it through the story and, much like a mystery, you can't have the quick fix easy to stumble upon answer. We have to make our MCs work for it (grin)

Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth!

NA Sharpe

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