Magical Beings

Think about a fantasy story that intrigued you. The images that come to mind will encompass the elements of the world itself (the setting), the characters and their quests (heroes and antagonists) and the magical beings that either help or hinder the success of the quest.

While not all fantasy includes faeries and other such creatures, many do, especially those for younger readers. Belief in alternate realities inspires many children to explore different types of stories.

If you intend to write fantasy, one factor that you need to consider is how to populate your world. Will there only be humans in conflict with other humans as they attempt to find or steal some type of object (such as the Holy Grail)? Or will orcs, wargs, ogres, wizards, trolls and other magical beings participate in the telling? If so, how will they enrich the story?

Your task is to write a story in which at least one type of being plays a major role. First do some research to discover the known options. If none of them appeal to you, create your own by beginning with its physical appearance and then by bestowing a combination of uses and powers.

How will the presence of this being influence the story? Will it be friend or foe to your protagonist? In what ways will it affect the telling? It can either move the action forward or slow it down by presenting obstacles for your character.

Have fun with this one.

Magic in Your World

Most fantasy stories include magic in some form. As a writer of fantasy, you must consider various aspects of magic, such as who wields it, to what degree, and to what purpose. Also weigh at what cost to the user, especially if the user experiences weakness and needs time to recover in order to be back at full power.

In order to be believable, magic must be consistent. For example, if the wielder can quell fire, why doesn’t he when the cabin in which he is sheltering is set on fire by an enemy? If magic is unpredictable, that might be fodder for an unusual story, but will readers buy into it?

A good way to keep track of the ways in which magic plays into the drama is by keeping notes and checking them frequently. Record the person, power, cost and use. As characters’’ powers change, remember to return to your chart and list them as well.

Another factor is public attitude toward magic in your world. Is it revered or feared? Is it a common trait or rare? Is it honed through learning and practice or wild and uncontrollable?

Your task is to create a list that documents who has magic, what type and how it is used. Once this is complete, write a story in which magic influences the outcome, either positively or negatively.

Don’t overdo it. A little magic can be more powerful than a devastating wizards’ dual.

Have fun with this one.