Monday, November 14, 2011

Building Believable Magic

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. Check out Kylies' journal about the creatures of fantasy they encounter in the Netherscape in The Destineers’ Journal of Fantasy Nations available on Amazon; autographed copies available through the Cybrarie or here.

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