Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Magic in Stories for Children: Part Thirteen - Themes in Magical Stories

Another common theme in stories involving magic features an overwhelmingly powerful spell, which may cause untold damage or destruction if it is miscast. It may be the sole means of salvation for the heroes, but will destroy the entire world if it is used improperly. We also occasionally learn how magic may incur sacrifices, which could be something simple, such as an adversary’s prized possession or perhaps a sample of hair. Or it could be something far more difficult to obtain, such as a sample of someone’s blood, the claw of a ferocious beast or the tooth of a dragon.

The most dramatic examples involve the taking of a life, which also shows up as a recurring theme in magical stories. Despite the incredible powers wielded by wizards, the ability to conquer death is rarely present. The inevitability of death is crucial to make the story more exciting. If the hero can be killed, only to be resurrected at the slightest opportunity like the characters in a video game, the story loses all credibility. The hero has to be in significant danger of destruction or the reader will not be sufficiently interested to turn the page in order to learn what may happen to their hero in the next chapter.

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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