Sunday, July 13, 2014

How the Magic Works

On the world on which my science-fantasy novel is set, Ashara, there will be magic. And this magic will have rules.

Any fantasy novel involving magic needs to set some ground rules. Even if to only vaguely state who is able to use magic. In my novel the magic has a few attributes that require me to set the
rules down so that I won't be contradicting myself as I write it. I'm sure I will be adding more to it as the novel progresses, but here they are as they stand now:

The Gods on Ashara are the source of all magic there. The Gods are the only ones who can create magic items. And the Gods are the ones who bestow the magic-users of Ashara with the abilty to use those magic items.

The magic-users need to be "charged" with the magical power before they can use the magic items. The Gods are the only beings who can do this. The magic-users also need to be periodically re-charged by a God or by way of crystals that have been charged up by a God.

Magic-users cannot directly perform magical actions, but must use magical items that Gods have created for their use.

Magic items contain no power themselves, but serve to focus the magic user's powers to perform specific tasks.

The Gods of Ashara pull their magic energy from the "aether" (or whatever I decide to call it).

The Gods don't require magic items. They can perform any magic they desire directly.

All magic-users and Gods glow with a magic aura. Only Gods and other magic-users can see these auras.

Well, that's it for now. I like having these rules set out ahead. I feel it will help me to keep it all straight. And knowing the limitations can also help me to think of plot twists that involve them.


  1. Nice start Jim. You are right, it is important to understand what can and can't happen before you get too far into the book. There is nothing that says 'bad writing' more than when a character pulls a magical miracle out of a hat. An author has to be honest with the reader, so that the reader can say "well, that is possible." Keep up the good work and best of luck.

    1. Thanks. Yes, the deus ex machina can crop up very easily where magic is involved if the rules of said magic are not presented at the outset.


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