Friday, March 11, 2011

Magic Powers in your MC

Today we are writing about magic and the rules for usage. You can read what the Fantastic Friday Writers think think of this as well: Deirdra Eden Coppel, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Anastasia V. Pergakis, and J.D. Brown!

 I like free-range kinda magic. It would be as easy as doing a karate chop or a round house kick. I apply that same technique to my characters. I don't do Eragon kind of magic where the user "borrows" from their surroundings--for me, that's limiting. It's like being solar powered, there's only so much and so deep you can go on borrowed energy.

I've written 2 books that have magic in them. My high fantasy Tragic Innocence (yes, the name sounds like a soap opera, but it's just a Band Aid title), my heroine has the ultimate power once she realizes it's within her reach. All she has to do is believe in herself and the gift is hers.

In my Paranormal Romance Darkspell, Winter achieves hers when she hits 18. Not even the evil that stalks her can compare--that's why he tries to make her his queen. I do give Winter's love interest limited power as his talent will allow, but he doesn't "borrow" or deplete unless beaten like  normal person in a losing fist fight to another magic user.

I base it to real life: if you're a skilled fighter, you win, if you are wimpy, you lose. If you are skilled with magic, you win, if you're wimpy, you lose--but I have a discrepancy that separates this concept from fists. It is the ability of using your brain. So my magic users are mathematical geeks to an extent, like playing Chess.

Strategy strategy strategy.

How do you weave your magic?

Next on FFW: March 25th, on languages.

photos' from


  1. I do like when authors use a MC's own energy and power, because I think it's close to what we experience in real life. We learn to control our selves, work our muscles and our minds, in order to use them in more powerful ways.

    My only question for this style of magic is, if it's like being a skilled fighter, aka being strong, or even a mental power, do your characters get tired at all? I mean, a guy might be a third-degree black-belt, but it still takes a great amount of energy to kick someone's butt. Can your magic users run out of this energy within themselves? Do their minds ever get tired or flustered if they've been working them too hard?

    I do have magic in my current WIP. Characters don't learn incantations, but they use scientific methods to study out the natural world in order to learn how to manipulate it. It's a technology of sorts for them.

  2. I'm not up with my magic stuff but your pics/drawings/animation here are just GORGEOUS!!! They're sublime! I keep staring at them!! Lovely!!! Using magic with intelligence is always very attractive!! Take care

  3. Beautiful pictures. Interesting thoughts on magic too. I like the term free-range magic. Having some sort of cost or limitation to the magic can be useful in some cases too, and create some conflict, but you're way is fine also.

  4. Great post, Elizabeth :)

    I have magic in my MG fantasy trilogy, Truth Teller. I use it sparingly though. Once to transport my mc into the fantasy world, a little display from the baddie, a few hints during the story, and in the big final battle scene. My mc is unaware that she wields this magic, so it comes as more of a surprise for the reader. And to her LOL

  5. I always reckon there has to be some kind of limitation or boundary, otherwise if it's unlimited then there's nothing to challenge the MC. All problems are easily solvable by magic.

    But what form those limitations might take...that's where things get interesting.

    Maybe it costs something to use (you get tired, can only do so much).

    Or maybe it takes skill to wield. That seems to be your preference (and I don't recall any effort to magic use in Harry Potter, but it was clearly tricky to get it right). That, too, is a limitation. And there might be interesting consequences to getting it wrong, too. (Eat slugs, anyone?)

    Or maybe magic is only good for certain things, or can only be used at night, or...

    But, I think it's important to have some limits to it.

  6. I agree that I don't just give my players the all mighty power and let them lose. They build their knowledge and power. I enjoyed your post. Thanks.

  7. Christine! We could have so much FUN with this! Just like a black belt, the would eventually tire out. They still use their own means to fight or create or whatever it is they are doing. I like your method as well! I appreciate you sharing with me your style. ;)

    Jennifer, you're so sweet. Thank you SO much for saying that. I feel warm and fuzzy now. XD

    Alex, thank you! I love geeks. <3

    Angie, it's interesting the many different ideas authors have, isn't it? :)

    Emailman, wow, this sounds like something I want to get my hands on! I can't wait to see it published!

    Botanist, I agree with you on that. It's like having the villain completely unchecked. What a way to set the reader up for failure!

    Regina, thank you! It would be too predictable to have someone all powerful and never defeated. Great point!

  8. I really need to get back on track with my blog. I got lazy after my Blog Birthday. By the way, I got your email. You'll get your prize soon. :)


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