Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magic in Stories for Children: Part Seven - The Fantasy Realm

Magical realms have always had a place in folklore and legends in cultures around the globe for thousands of years and play a major role in fantasy literature. Sometimes these are the author’s own wonderfully detailed imagined worlds, complete with a form of government, architecture, currency, natural features, history, myths and legends, flora, fauna and traditions. Middle Earth and Narnia are two of the best known examples, but there are countless others. And even within these enchanted realms there are other special places too, areas where magical forces or auras are strongest or where special rituals have to be performed for spells or curses to work properly. Parts of the kingdom where only fairies can go, rivers only certain people can cross, the lake where Arthur first receives Excalibur, enchanted woods, mystical mountains, forbidden forests, caves where monsters or demons dwell and so many more.

These fantastic universes are nothing like the real world in which we live, yet still have to be realistic. An author’s own invented fantasy universe in which magic is commonplace can be inspired by non-fictional beliefs and deeply rooted in the history of mankind’s many cultures. However even if based on real practices the effect, strength and rules of the magic are usually what the writer requires for the plot of his or her story. And yet magic should never be used when it is merely convenient for the writer, to simply solve a tricky problem in the plot or save the hero’s life, otherwise the use of it will lose all credibility.

Learn more about The Alchemist's PortraitThe Sorcerer's LetterboxThe Clone Conspiracy,  The Emerald CurseThe Heretic's TombThe Doomsday MaskThe Time Camera and my many non-fiction books on my website.

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