How to Master the Art of Writing Magic

A few years ago I had a totally ingenious idea: “Magic,” I proclaimed to myself, “isn’t real. So I can make up my own rules about it and BOOM! YES! It won’t matter, because no one knows if it’s wrong or right anyway.”

Yyyeeahahahh, so I think, for those of you who know me by now, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Sorry younger self!

Today we’re going to figure out the 4 main questions on the rules of magic, plus some mini questions to help you along. Let’s get started! 

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM


1. What are the Rules of Magic?…Or Are There Any?

The first step is to ask yourself whether or not there are going to be rules and limitations to the magic.

  • Can the power be used only if there’s a source similar to it nearby? (example: waterpower would need a lake or something to draw from).

That would be like the ability to control the element, but not to create it, which is something good to keep in mind. 

Now ask yourself:

  • Can the power be used to create something out of nothing? (example: water magically appears on the palm of their hand).

Maybe they have to draw from it inside of themselves, maybe they have to take something already there and use it…there are lots of things to choose from!

Next, once you’ve decided on whether they can control, create, or anything else you had in mind, think up of some rules/limitations for the power. This is SUPER helpful for when you have a highly powerful power like, for example, the power of Time. You might end up asking yourself confusing things like:

Can the character only go into the past? Only the future? Can they do all three times? Can they return at all? Can they slow time? Speed it up?

The questions can only continue, and there’s LOTS to think about (I know it! I HAVE the power in my book!) 

So, instead of just saying, “Oh. My character can do it ALL! MWHAHAHHA-” think of some rules and limitations to what they can and cannot do.


2. Where Did the Magic Originate From?

What I mean by all my big weird wording is this: Where did magic come from?

Maybe it started nowhere. Maybe it started right now with your very own protagonist. Who knows? 

But if magic started before your protagonist, where and when did it start? And is there a reason why?


3. How do You Control it, and Who?

Are there limitations to magic on how to control it? Do you have to use your hands, or do you have to think really hard? 

And also, can only certain people control it? Like only leaders, maybe only kids, maybe just anyone!


4. Are There Laws About It?

Are you only allowed to practice magic in a specific place? Is magic forbidden? Or is it just free for-all?Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM


Do you guys have magic in your book?

Did this post give you some ideas on limitations or non-limitations for your magic?

And did you guys enjoy the cheat-sheet?


*Also, you might have noticed I’ve started to use a few graphics now. (My line breaks, and name sign-off). I’m currently designing a lot of graphics for my blog, along with a really pretty email page. 

Anyways, the blog is undergoing a little bit of refurbishment, so not a whole lot of other posts have graphics in them yet, so I’ll be updating them whenever I have time. And who knows, I might find better ones and switch them out! So lots of stuff going on, and I just wanted to let you guys know what’s up! *salutes*


I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!




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6 thoughts on “How to Master the Art of Writing Magic”

  1. This was great, Mary! I really struggle with creating magical worlds as I start writing fantasy for the first time, and these are some fantastic tips! I especially need to keep the “where does it come from?” one in mind!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad it helped you Kellyn! 😄 Ohh yes, that one is a really interesting question to think about! I loved that this helped you, thank you for commenting! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hiya, Mary!!!😀 I told ya I would be doing research on writing magic. *wink wink* This post was so helpful!!!!! I’m so glad I found it!!!!😀 And I was excited to see that I’m not the only who thinks magic needs rules and limitations! I mean, if magic could do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING then characters would get out of difficult situations easy peasy and it would feel kinda useless sticking them in difficult situations in the first place. Anyway, I enjoyed reading the post (plus I made some great notes)!!!!!!😃😃

    Liked by 1 person

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