Ah magic. Whether it is from books, movies or games, it is something that can be found in many settings. This is a subject I’ve always found fascinating. There are different ways of explaining it, showing it and describing it. None of them are wrong, in my opinion, but many out there are very specific in how they see it. I want to look at the different ways I’ve seen them explained throughout the years.
Magic by items:
To me, this is like you see in Harry Potter or other movies where a wand is included. There is almost a magical property to the object that the person holding this wooden stick can harness. It is, in its basic nature, a conduit of magic. To me, this is one of the more basic kinds of avenues or magic. Some prefer this method, me, I could take or leave it. Wands can be neat, but I have others I prefer.
Magic by words:
These are where spell casters and such come into play. A bit more in-depth than those who do magic via items and trinkets, it is also very basic. With this one, it is going by the belief that words contain the power to create change. This is a very important ideal and one that I do agree with. Many times magic by words is also done , in conjunction with, items. For example, casting a spell while using specific herbs or crystals etc. The words invoke the change while the items are the conduit to project that change. You can find this in movies like The Craft. Again, I don’t mind these kind of writings and/or movies, but they are not my favorite way to describe.
Magic by energy:
This is by far my favorite way to write about magic usage. In this way a person holds the magical power within them. Their body is the conduit and they must learn to control that energy and find out how to use it. It is a part of who they are, an extension of their own being. To me, this is also the hardest one to explain in a storyline. There are distinct rules that you must follow or the whole path of this magic usage can falter. Out of all the books I’ve read, this way of describing magic has been done best by The Black Magician Trilogy. In those novels, Trudi Canavan’s descriptions are so detailed, and vivid, that the reader can actually see the way magic is viewed in their world. It is because of this and the way she explains magic, to me, is by far the best. It is in-depth, descriptive, and easy to understand. She makes their energy, essentially, part of what makes them who they are.
So there you have it. The three ways I see magic usage in literature and movies. I’m sure there are many others out there, but those , to me, see to be the most widely used around. So tell me, readers and writers, what are your favorite books/movies etc on usage of magic and which do you prefer?
Till next time.
Happy writing and reading.