For this week’s post, we’re going to look at another classic of the Fantasy genre, spell-casting. Writing spell-casting is one of the most fun things you can do on your own, up there with angry birds and watching Machete on repeat.
Below are five scenarios. Your job is to create a scene that evokes a sense of wonder and well, magic, yet grounds the events in some form of reality. So in other words, try to think outside the box of what you’ve read or seen previously without throwing the reader out of the scene.
- Different worlds:
This is taken directly from one of my novels, and was lots of fun to write. The characters are; an old hand bad guy and a newbie good guy. The battle had already begun and things have been thrown, fire cast and what-have-you. To up the ante, the bad guy creates a series of scenarios in which to trap the newbie, miniature worlds where brand new terrors and dangers can be inflicted. Take up the fight just as the newbie is thrown into a new world. The challenge is to describe the setting without losing the pace or sight of the end goal.
- The fireball classic:
Two wizened and grumpy old sods are going at one another, possibly over some slight made many moons ago about a hat, or staff, or both. The reason matters not at all. What does matter is that both of the old dudes have got serious game and an unpleasant fascination with fire. I’m imagining this as a slow, old-style scene, with plenty of description and focus on the moment. Perhaps tell it from the point of view of an observer, or from the miserable mind of one of the combatants. There could be some comedy one-upmanship going on as well.
- Weather magic:
Controlling the elements must be one of the coolest things, like, ever. In this scene, the Islanders, wedded to the sea are invading the mainland. They bring with them their greatest priest, a master of the sky and storm. Facing him on the shore is the Lord’s mage, a wielder of fearsome earth magic. Before the physical battle is joined these two will fight for supremacy of the mind. Create this part of the scene, before the swords come out. I’m thinking lightning, quakes, elementals, you name it.
- The Charm part one:
Something Harry Potter does well is the charm, the creation of something new outside himself that buggers about and causes mischief. This scene may be less about having a fight and more to do with solving a problem, or learning something. The main aim is to set up a magical device, or charm, that then interacts with those around it. Good places to start are animals, or fictional creatures. Using the charm conceit you can create something that has no right to physically exist, so no rules!
- The Charm part two – illusion:
This is similar to the one above. The main difference is that whatever is created is only illusion, something made to cause fear or confusion perhaps. Equally, it may be used to sneak someone in somewhere, or convince someone or something of something tricksy.
- Total Destruction:
I’m thinking Milamber at the games in Magician. You have at your disposal one seriously powerful and pissed-off magician, intent on ruining a whole bunch of peoples’ days. Why? Because he can. What’s the most inventive way you can think of to destroy a city using magic?