On Magic

I recently ran across an interesting discussion on Twitter about magic. Magic has been a part of stories since storytelling began. It takes us from the mundane and transports us further into fantastical.

Using magic in a story can be tricky. If it solves the problems too easily, then it feels like cheating. On the other hand, if the characters don’t use magic often enough it seems useless.

I believe magic should always remain mysterious. If we try to explain the magic, it loses its impact. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. For example, in Lord of the Rings magic is deep and mystical. It always remains hidden behind blinding light or mysterious darkness. Magic generally stays in the background and only moves to the fore occasionally.

In Harry Potter magic is a skill that must be mastered. The characters wield wands like guns or swords. It is rarely in the background. Even here though magic is left largely unexplained and that is for the best. Magic is just there to be used by the those with the ability.


What are your favorite magical stories?

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