Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why Magic? Why Fantasy?

What Would the World Be Like?

Why do readers enjoy fantasy? Why do writers write fantasy?

Of all literary genres, fantasy is the most removed from reality. Authors create impossible worlds where impossible things happen. The world of fantasy is the world of the "unbelievable."

Or is it?

Good fantasy inspires the reader to "willingly suspend disbelief." This is an intriguing concept and one of those phrases written in "negative language" to make its point. What it means is that the reader must be willing to believe whatever world and situation the writer creates.

This is tricky, because when writing the unbelievable, it's not always easy to entice the audience to actually believe in the impossible. What the good author does is create a world with laws, rules, manners, characters and everything the real world has, and then add the impossible in the most logical, and consistent way.

Consistency is the key. If, in a world where magic exists, a magic user cannot fly himself, but can make other things fly in the "rules" of the impossible world, the writer must be careful to never let that magic user fly on his own at some point.

In Magiskeep, Magicians cannot directly use Magic on themselves. They can change someone else's appearance for example, but not actually change their own appearance. They can, however, use an illusion to hide their identity, but that only serves as a screen, not an actual change.

Nor, in Magiskeep, can a Magician Heal herself. Early on in Kingdom Beyond the Rim, Sarena, the Mistress of Healing slices her hand as she is demonstrating something for her class. The wound is serious, and bleeding badly. There is nothing, despite all her skill, she can do. In a dramatic moment, Jamus, her young and untrained student, rushes to her side and with an unexpected calling to the Magic, Heals the injury.

Jamus' act sets in motion the primary conflict of the novel as the Masters of Magiskeep discover his hidden talents, all too potentially powerful. And so, the unbelievable element of the story--Magic itself--sets up the all too believable jealousy of Sagari, Magic's master, when he realizes Jamus may well be a threat to his dominance.

Sagari's plot to destroy Jamus, and Jamus' own ingenuity, luck and skill form the primary plot of the novel, creating the "touchstone" of reality each time Magic comes into play. Without solid characters, conflict and a story with high stakes, a fantasy cannot live in the reader's minds, no matter how fascinating the magical elements might be.

Kingdom Beyond the Rim, the first novel in The Saga of Magiskeep strives to keep its audience involved with the story and in that state of suspended disbelief.

Why not find out for yourself. You can find the book on Amazon.

Kingdom Beyond the Rim