Monday, September 21, 2009

Magic? Did Someone Say Magic?

I love magic. Love it. I love reading about it. I love stories that have magic in them. Because the possibilities are endless. The spells, the words you can use, the places you can go. Just thinking about it gives me a little shiver. Man, I love magic.

So it makes sense that I would write a story about magicians. Yeah, except writing a society with magic is really hard. There has to be a price for everything. Specific laws. That kind of thing. So while I've decided to rewrite the entire book from blank pages, I've learned that I still love my magic system.

Here's a little snippet from the newly written first chapter in my book that used to be called Shadows and then The Mirror. It's called, but I don't know quite what. I have about 11,000 words rewritten.

Jon shook the troubling thoughts of his parents away. They weren't allowed in his circle of wheat. The wind rustled the stalks, whispering things only he could hear. He ignored the taunts, the hisses of darker magic and more power.

Ever since he'd been able to speak, the voices had been there. Teasing. Enticing. His father said it was the burden of a magician with Jon's talent. Jon didn't know what that talent was. He couldn't perfect the spell his father wanted.

No one could.

Humans weren't meant to be immortal.

Carolyn did a blog post about magical rules last week. Be sure to check it out. And the fine folks over at The Literary Lab have a short story contest going on right now for all genres of fiction. So check that out too.

Do you like magic? Or are you more into something a little less speculative? If so, what keeps you away from the paranormal? The magic? I'm drawn to it like stink on a skunk. What are you drawn to in reading and writing?


Tess said...

I love this snippit - how the reader can feel the burden of his gift and the anticipation of what will come all in the same moment...well written.

Scott said...

Magic + Scott = Love! Love! Love!

I'm with you on loving magic. ABSOLUTELY! In fact, when I first started writing many moons ago, in the days sometime after the last Ice Age and the beginning of Global Warming . . . the book was about magic. Woo-hoo. Many rewrites later, the book is still about magic, but sitting on a shelf collecting dust while I embark on a different writing adventure in a world - gasp - without magic.

As for my Epic Fantasy novel . . . well, it slumbers right now, but the project is always in the recesses of my mind. It is going through a metamorphis, a cocoon stage so that it may emerge as a beautiful butterfly, right now. I tweak the idea, here, there, and everywhere, now and then, just waiting for the write (yes, I meant to type 'right' as 'write') time to begin work on this magical project. : )


Unknown said...

Nice teaser! :P

I do love magic! It's why I write fantasy. I read Carolyn's post last week and loved it! I've worked so hard on the magic rules in my own world and I am so happy with the way they've turned out! It was so fun to figure out its limitations and where it came from and what it could do and would do to my characters when they used it.

I think it's safe to say I'm drawn to magic. Anything fantastical. Dragons, different races and species. I love seeing where the mind takes authors. I love believing that there's more out there, that possibilities are endless. I think you get that with most fantasy.

Stephanie McGee said...

I love magic. I write fantasy pretty much because of it. (Though that book is on hold at the moment.)

I think it's the escape that makes me like fantasy so much.

Unknown said...

I LOVE magic...Love to read about it. Not so sure I have what it takes to write it though. But I will never pass by a great fantasy book, especially if it involves magic!

Anonymous said...

Writing without magic is like a day without sunshine for me! For my book, I looked at spells from the Key of Solomon, as well as some Wiccan tomes. My vampires, being supernatural creatures, can do a bit of magic on their own without spells, but the witch in my book needs incantations and herbs to accomplish her desires.

An historical fiction book that I'm currently reading, featuring witches and real magic from the Salem Witch trials is The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane -- it's pretty good.

I only wish I had an active power like the witches on Charmed!

Windy said...

I've found I love to read about magic and other worlds, but writing about it? Not so much my thing.

I believe it's the creating of it, that gets me. I don't know. We'll see. I've got something cooking right now that I love love love and have been working religiously on.

Ashley said...

My YA books contain plenty of magic, but the characters understand it in the same way we view physics and chemistry. There are rigid rules about how magic can behave in their world. When it comes to powerful magic, they see it in the same way we see atomic power. It can be used for great good while any potential uses for evil are taboo, though still all too plausible. It keeps things balanced.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great snipit! I love reading magic, but I haven't tried writing it. I think I'd have a hard time with it. I don't know; maybe I'll give it a try sometime.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Nice teaser!

I wrote about magic on Friday, too!

Jen said...

I adore magic, especially when it's mixed in with everyday life. Spices things up :) I also am drawn to anything that plays with old myths and legends. My trilogy I've finished and in the process of shopping around is based on Greek mythology. I had a heyday doing research for that one!

Love the teaser :) I want to read more!!


Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i love magic and seeing how authors build new worlds and skills

Unknown said...

Elana... for me, it's all magic even if it's not.
When black and white shapes (words) can come together and transport me to another place, even if it's a story with no magic... it's.... magic!!!!!!!!!
BTW: I am a big fan of that snippet.

If you get a sec, shoot me an email.


Teri said...

Wonderful! I adore magic, reading about it, writing it, experiencing it. There is something about being transported into another realm where anything is possible. It just makes me smile.

lisa and laura said...

Fabulous little snippet, Elana! As for what I'm drawn to in fiction it totally depends on my mood. Sometimes I'm up for a little magic, other times I want a good contemporary read, when it comes down to it I just want to read a good story with compelling characters. Original, right?

kathrynjankowski said...

One of the joys of teaching, as I'm sure you know, Elana, is working with kids who see magic everywhere. ;-)

I've always been drawn to fantasy stories and all elements of magic. I just blogged about a fortunetelling scene in my story, which might not be magic per se, but has some of the same intrigue, I think.

I enjoyed Carolyn's post. If you want a super-detailed guide to fantasy world building, go to:

It's incredibly complex, but it's put together by the fabulous Patricia Wrede, who knows a thing or two about writing fantasies.*grin*

Great snippet!

storyqueen said...

love magic. hate rules. Which makes the writing of magical places rather difficult for me sometimes.

Love your snip!


Danyelle L. said...

You have such a wonderful way with words!

I love magic. It needs to have it's rules and logic, but that's part of the fun of it. :)

MG Higgins said...

I'm working on my first novel without any magic or paranormal elements and it's taken some getting used to. I must say I don't miss creating all those magical laws and rules--if they aren't perfect, I get myself trapped in the most complicated holes!

I'm really intrigued by your story!

Carolyn V. said...

I love magic because you can do anything with it. Plus it is so magical. =)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

It's all about magic for me. My WIP has magicians, dragons, and magic based on music. To my horror, I just read FAIREST and LIBYRINTH, which both use music in the magic. Sigh. Mine is different but still........Anyway, in revision I am shoring up the magical systems and that is tough work.
I love your snippet, intriguing in just a few words.
ooooo, word verification: trysme

Christine Fonseca said...

Love your snippet...LOVE IT ALL!!! Nice post.

Krispy said...

I love magic for the same reason - the possibilities. It just kicks down barriers (while also putting its own up). Love to write it and read it, and your snippet is quite intriguing. :)

Unknown said...

Wow, I love the start to this. You do have a magical way with words. I'm so jealous.

I used to write YA urban fantasy and paranormal (I still have one waiting for me to submit it to my crit group). But after hearing agents say that fewer editors are buying fantasy and paranormal stories than last year, I decided to try writing YA contemporary instead. Turns out I'm better at writing that genre since I'm no longer able to use fantasy elements as a crutch. And to think I once said on the QT blog I would never write anything but paranormal novels.

L.T. Elliot said...

I live for speculative fiction. Truly. I love everything about it. Even if I WANTED to write something NOT speculative, it would probably find its way in there anyhow.

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