I have always written in the paranormal/fantasy space so supernatural is clearly my jam. But I do have to admit that Bait N’ Witch is my first book which focuses almost exclusively on magic users. The focus isn’t supernatural creatures with specific special abilities, but instead on witches and warlocks with the ability to use magic in various ways.
And it was a TON of fun to write, because of the magic.
If you think through most popular fantasy and paranormal fiction and entertainment today, you’ll find a good majority includes magic of some sort. Lord of the Rings has Gandalf and Saruman and others. Game of Thrones as Melisandre and the various members of her sect/religion. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Willow. Then there are the ones that are primarily about magic like Harry Potter, the Magicians, Charmed, The Good Witch, Sabrina, Merlin, A Discovery of Witches and so many more.
So clearly, people love to read about and watch magic in use. But why? What’s the appeal of magic?
After some thought, here’s what I came up with…
When the Real World is Too Much
Let’s be honest, 2020 has been rough. I don’t know about you, but I heard a lot of “thank goodness 2019 is over” sort of statements at the end of 2019, and this year has been…worse. Magical fantasy becomes an escape, a way to take a mental break.
Rules Aren’t As Set
The limit of worlds using magic are only those of the writer/author/creator’s imagination. Magic can be both infinitesimally small and universally large. It can be both beautiful and horrible. It also, and this is key, isn’t always the same. Where many creature-based supernatural stories (think vampires, shapeshifters, etc.) have some aspects that are fairly consistent between worlds, magic is more up to the world builder. The limits, the way it’s accessed, the way it’s used, who can use it, the rules and laws, who enforcers rules and laws and how, and so many more aspects of magic are all up to…well me this time. 😉
Use Both for Good & Evil
Magic can be the source of the conflict in a story. Maybe even more maybe than other supernatural powers, it’s not always about the wielder and their character and intention to use their magic for good or evil. Sometimes magic itself can be either good or evil. Or it can be neutral. The thing is, it opens so many possibilities which it comes to the conflicts within a story.
Not Always the Answer
I love that magic can create as many problems as it causes. It can produce a worse situation or a bigger bad guy. It can not react the way the wielder intended. It can not work as well as expected. It can be unpredictable. It can drain the wielder and kill them. It can have unforeseen consequences years later. Which makes magic not perfect or easy, and therefore more interesting.
Are Witches Among Us?
Admit it… Of all the supernaturally enhanced options out there, you’re more like to believe in witches/wizards/mages/warlocks walking among us today. The fact that magic (usually) comes from somewhere else and is simply wielded by humans makes it… possible!
Delight & Wonder
Magic—whether the mystical arts or Houdini—we love to marvel at feats of magic. Delight and awe are a lovely set of emotions. Fun to imagine. Fun to escape into.
I do hope you find delight and wonder along with adventure, humor, and a wonderful slow burn romance in Bait N’ Witch!
What about you? What do you find most magical about magic?
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