The danger of writing magic

I recently wrote about why writing and reading fantasy is so, well, magical.

There are lots of opportunities and benefits that come with writing in the fantasy genre and adding magic to your story, but there is also a temptation to avoid.


When we include sorcery or a magic system in our story, and we have characters who are beautifully powerful and can do amazing things, sometimes we can make the story LESS about people and MORE about action.

You know, those magical fireworks.

The fantasy stories I have fallen in love with, I fell in love with because of the characters: their honor, their courage, how they grew and matured.

Samwise and Frodo. Merry and Pippin. Harry, Ron, and Hermione: they have more than magic elven cloaks and magic wands.

The magic is fun, don’t get me wrong. But to me, it’s always secondary, whether I’m writing or reading fantasy.

Good fiction always explores, at heart, what it means to be human, regardless of the genre. What is nobility of character? How do we achieve it? What does it mean to face your deepest fears? To endure in the face of boundless odds? What IS love, exactly? What does it look like? How do we show it?

If stories are about what it means to be human, it follows that if your major focus in fantasy is the magic itself, then you’ve gotten off track.

Do you agree? Comment below!

Check out more recent posts below, if you liked this, and please, consider liking my Facebook page and marking your calendar for the June 15 release of The Crimson League: The Fight for Hope


2 responses to “The danger of writing magic”

  1. From “Sorcerer of Deathbird Mountain”:
    “It’s a dangerous craft, that’s for certain,” the wizard said.
    Strogulus nodded. “Yes, judging by the hole Urdugoth blew in our wall and its outcome,”
    Rebezemon waved his hand. “True, but what I was referring to is the danger to the mind: an immense inflation of the self and self-will, driven by a pride that essentially boils down to something as childish as ‘I can do something you can’t do!’ That was probably what killed Urdugoth….”

    More on Vella.


    1. love this! there is a lot of tension in my fantasy series between those who can do magic and those who can’t and this is a large part of the reason why


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