Showing posts from March, 2012

Rules on the Use of Magic (Or Guidelines, Anyway)

A quick post to gather my thoughts and the thoughts of others on the subject. Laws on magic: Nesbitian laws (as stated by Brian Attebery): What is wished for must be paid for. In a growing number of fantasies, this is written out in some form of “Magic has a price.” Every magical act sends ripples of consequences out to the ends of the world. Magic tends toward chaos unless checked by patterns of word or number. Brandon Sanderson’s Laws of Magic: An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic. (Sanderson uses this to delineate “hard” “soft” and “middle ground” magic, based on the level of explanation and understanding given to the reader in the text.) Limits > Powers, meaning that what limits a person’s powers makes that character more interesting than the possibly limitless powers would. Sanderson cites Superman’s weakness to Kryptonite as an example. Expand what you already have before you add somet

Magical Realism and Fantasy

Current Reads: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (for class)                              After the King edited by Martin H. Greenberg                              Walking with Frodo by Sarah Arthur Current Writing Projects: SOMEDAY , various short stories Once again, my classes are inspiring me to put thoughts down on the page. Magical realism - what is it? What makes it different from fantasy? How do you know if something is or isn't magical realism? Furthermore, how does one write magical realism? These are some of the questions I have been mulling over this semester, both because of class and because of my own curiosity. Before this semester, I held the opinion that magical realism was just another way of saying fantasy, only written either a) in another language (as Terry Pratchett claims) or b) in a fashion atypical of the fantasy genre. I still hold this opinion somewhat, but I have refined it and made it less reactionary. Here is how I have come to de