Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: Writing about Magic by Rayne Hall


Writing About Magic: 
Professional Techniques for Paranormal and Fantasy Fiction 
Writer's Craft Book 



My review: 

 May the magic be with you - but get your terms right!

The good first: I was reminded of certain terminology that continues to be misused and abused frequently – especially on TV – which always bothered me. (Of course it only bothers you once you know the difference, so this book certainly helps to enlighten). I also had fun browsing through chapters of spell-creation in countless areas of the needy. These kept me entertained and showed the writer’s own great imagination, as well as her own extensive research in matters of the arcane.

But from all in the Writer’s Craft Series so far, this Book probably disappointed me the most - but then I didn’t expect much new information and was served right. Having said that, the book covers the basics of a variety of “real” and “known” magical systems and some even in detail. It also – as mentioned already - does it cover wide selection of situations in which magic might play a part (as well as tool, timing, ...) 

So a writer new to magic – or the use of it in novels – may find little kicks that – as even the writer suggests – go and research other places in depth. While the author is without doubt extremely knowledgeable, she can only give an introduction to a huge field - and does it well and in depth. The book can help you get an idea before you go and search for your special magic.

My system is music itself. Therefore besides a touch of “Black and White” I am left with my own devices.
While most of the traditional systems described don’t work for me, I was intrigued by some elements and went “to the beyond” called Google myself to check up on things – which usually brings you to more books – or to reading how others did it.

What bugged me the most in this book though was – and this is just my opinion and might work well for others – are the “blunders to avoid”. While some I can accept others (especially in early chapters) I found a touch presumptuous. After all who knows what is possible in a world we create, or on a planet we discover for our story? Maybe I would have slept easier on those would they have been named “think about it” lol

As my own magical system doesn’t fit in either category and gained little from reading, I believe I will move on the next book in the series and leave this to the not-yet-initiated: 
May the magic be with you!