Updated Mar. 31st, 2021 Originally Published Sept. 5th, 2018 What’s up, storytellers? I’m C. R. Rowenson, and it’s time to talk about magic. Specifically, about how to create a magic system I’ve built a lot of magic systems over the years, dozens of them, both on my own and while helping various authors build their own systems. While going through all of that, I discovered that there’s a seven-stage process
I throw the term “Magic System” around a lot these days, especially building and blogging about them. Today we are going address some of the basics. By the end of the post, you will have a better understanding of what magic is, where it fits in with fiction, why you need a system, and most importantly, start you on the road to building one yourself.
As a magic-builder and writer, you will get asked many questions about your story, your world, and your magic system. There is one question in particular that I’m sure you’ve already been asked many times, and it is vital that you have a good answer prepared. The Question: How common is magic in your world? To properly answer this question, you need to analyze one of the fundamental qualities all
Since the release of Restrictions May Apply: Building Limits for Your Magic, I have started work on my next book. I won’t give away many details yet, unless you happen to be on my mailing list, but it has led to some interesting discoveries. One such discovery is the power of perspective when building a magic system. Perspective may seem like an odd thing to talk about on a magic-building
We recently talked about several of the more important magic system variables you need to address, but they’re only the start. To finish mapping out your system, there are five more magic system variables you need to know about. If this is your first time hearing about magic system variables or want a refresher, this post will tell you what you need to know about magic system variables. Now, let’s
“You’ve got to have limitations for your magic system!” Sound familiar? Even if you haven’t heard it from me a dozen times over, I’m sure you read in an article somewhere or heard it on a podcast or at a conference. It has become so common it’s nearly on the same level as “you’ve got to have engaging characters.” Engaging characters are important, and the magic needs to be limited
What’s the first thing you think of when I say “magic system”? As a savvy, hard-working magic builder I’m sure many different monsters, effects, and technology spring to mind. That’s because you, my friend, are a marvelous exception. Upon hearing the words “magic” or “magic system”, most people jump to the wands and wizardry of Harry Potter or some other classical concepts. Systems like alchemy, divine magic, energy manipulation, and
Types of Magic – Part 3 Right about now you’re probably thinking, “What’s this nutcase talking about ‘Types of Magic in Science Fiction’? Doesn’t he know there is no magic in science fiction? Someone needs to straighten him out with some good old-fashioned waterboarding.” You did think that, right? I can’t be the only person who jumps to waterboarding to change someone’s mind, right? … … … Right? If you
Congratulations! You’ve generated oodles of ideas and optimized alignment, and you’re finally ready to start defining your magic system. Stage 3 is where your magic system should start taking on shape, becoming more awesome and more unique with every step. This stage is also massive, so we’re just going to take it one piece at a time.
That starts today as we take a closer look at the basics of magic system variables, what they are and how they affect your magic.