On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Writing Paranormal -- Consequences of Magic

Image hosting by PhotobucketI Called this, The Basic Rule of Magic You Must Not Break -- to keep your readers.

If you use magic, or psi, or paranormal powers or futuristic technology that seems like magic, you MUST be consistent in your worldbuilding and in your own rules of magic. If you aren't consistent you will alienate the reader. That is, if everyone can teleport only in the city, if suddenly everyone can teleport outside the city in long distances, you have betrayed your reader.

With that basic rule follows two others. Magic MUST have a price. Whether it's the depletion of physical or mental energy, or the sacrifice of anything else, magic can't be free and easy.

Finally, magic can't solve the hero/heroine's problem. Whatever climax you have, whatever emotional black moment you set up, you can't use a magic wand to wave it away. The characters have to pay a price or change deeply to solve their problems. They have to grow – just like in any book.

So if you love paranormal, think outrageous thoughts, jot down ideas, feel the magic and reach for the stars – write the story that only you can tell.

May all your writing dreams come true.



Blogger Maura said...

Thank for this one, especially, Robin. I've had several authors do this and it makes me give up on worlds.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, Maura, this is the one you were waiting for! It's also an excellent discussion all by itself.


1:31 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

I think part of the problem (for me) when an author does that, it gives me the impession they do not think their readers are very smart or pay attention.

I think, honestly, it's more likely that they got confused over what they said in one book, maybe as an aside, and then did something else in the new one.

Here's where I think a good reader would be a true asset. Someone who has read previous works in that world and reads new ones with an eye to continuity and detail.

9:11 PM  

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