Archive for August 11th, 2011

Aug 11 2011

Building a Magical System: A Questionnaire

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

This questionnaire will help you design a solid magic system which won’t have your readers asking questions of their own.

 

1. What can magic users do?

  • Do they use tools, their body and/or sheer willpower?
  • Are there subtypes or specialties?
  • Is magic a born talent, a learned skill or both?
  • If there are races, which ones are most adept at magic and why?
  • Are there certain areas with high concentrations of magic?  What happens in those areas, and how are people who inhabit those areas affected?

 

2. What costs and limits affect the use of magic? 

  • Are there personal costs like running out of energy or the possibility of physical/mental damage?
  • Are there societal restrictions like actual laws affecting magic use?  What is the main goal of these laws?  What are some of the consequences like for disobeying these laws?

 

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