Magic Systems: A is for Atmosphere. #atozsofworldbuilding #AtoZChallenge #amwriting #fantasy #worldbuilding Click To Tweet
Visiting for the first time? Make sure to read the introduction to the A-Zs of Worldbuilding Magic Systems!
Magic in the Air
If your world doesn’t have some sort of magic in it, it wouldn’t be fantasy, even if it’s subtle and almost invisible. Calling a work ‘fantasy’ means that something unexplainable is different from how things happen in our real world, regardless of whether your setting is a completely made-up world, an alternate reality, the historical past, or the speculated future.
The presence of magic affects the tone of your story, and the atmosphere of the world you’ve created (even if that creation is just tweaking our own world a bit). How you want your world and story to feel, and the emotions you want to convey to the reader are vital parts of creating your magic system.
- Whether you have one type of magic in your fantasy world or several, take a few minutes and write down in one sentence how each type of magic would appear to an outside observer.
- Figure out 2-3 obvious ways each type of magic influences the world through its existence, and then what would happen if that magic suddenly ceased to exist.
- Why is the use of magic desirable or detrimental? Is it affected by the magic user, or by the type of magic? What other actions or influences might change someone’s experience with the use of magic?