I’d read something interesting the other day, when I was aimlessly researching the manifestations of magic in fiction.  It said very bluntly that the only reason magic has limitations to create conflict within the story, as without limits the magic would always win in any confrontation, thus preventing any truly dynamic plot.

As such, the fantastic, a thing which defines the very existence of its genre, is controlled, restricted and answerable to the very novel in which it finds itself.  It’s a genie who created its own lamp.  In order to exist at all, its existence must be limited, otherwise it would be a short and boring story.

So we can’t just create magic, we have to create a whole magical system including its limiting factors.

These are the things I think about while the Munchkin mushes pear slices into his trousers, squealing gleefully to himself.

One response to “Magic

  1. Even the limitations have to make sense though, right? I’m thinking in particular of Twilight, just because it is the worst offender of setting up all these exceptions to the common myth. Oh he’s a vampire, but he can have sex because reasons. Werewolfs imprint because reasons.

    On the other hand, if you start defining it too much and working out this whole system of limitations, it kind of becomes science. Ooooh deep.

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