I love magic.
Not the pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your-hat tricks, but the idea of REAL magic. Like Tinkerbell making the Disney castle sparkle and glow. Or Cinderella being transformed by the fairy godmother. Or the idea that a human could shift into an animal or another form. Or that stories, legends, whispers in the night really could be true … and we have a chance to share in them.
Magic is the possibility that anything is possible, that rules – ALL rules – can be broken, and things can still turn out okay. And paranormal fiction is rife with magic of all kinds.
- Magic as rule breaker. Now, while I say that magic can break the rules, good paranormal fiction also establishes new rules. And I think magic shows up in almost all paranormal fiction even if there aren’t fairies, beasties, or fairy dust per se. Consider time travel, where the rules of time and space as we understand them are broken, allowing characters to travel through time either on a one-way journey, or potentially a round-trip. The author then establishes for us 1) how this happened, 2) the repercussions, and 3) how this establishes a new pattern for their fictional world and the future. Poof! Magic.
- Magic in the traditional sense. Here be fairies, beasts of legend, fairy godmothers, wishes coming true. Magic is usually possessed in the traditional sense by magical creatures (ie: witches, wizards, fairies.)
- Magical for everyone! Here perhaps the entire world is so rife with magic, even non-magical beings can encounter and use it. (As a non-magical myself, I find this particularly appealing – the idea that perhaps I, too, could somehow “become” magical.)
- Love as magic, or the magic of the Happily Ever After. I think that the magic of the happily ever after and love against odds deserves to count as part of the magic I love in paranormal fiction. Because magically, even different species can find ways to co-exist and love each other while in the real world, humans have problems co-existing with their own species, let alone others. Besides which, there is something magical in two strangers somehow coming together and finding a greater intimacy and depth of connection they may never experience again – whether they’re the same species or not.
- Magic as embodiment of “what if.” Paranormal fiction allows readers to delve into the ultimate what-if scenarios, and prove everything is true. Loch Ness monster? Sure, I have tea with him on Friday. Vampires? Some of my best friends are vampires. Whatever the “real” world has decided is “fiction” can become a slippery, sliding puddle in paranormal fiction. Best of all? If the [insert supposed myth / untruth / legend here] is true, why couldn’t this story be true? Why can’t I achieve / discover / become my own greatest dreams, too?
Okay, so that’s why I love magic in paranormal fiction.
What about you? What do you love about magic? And for that matter, what are some of your favorite elements of paranormal fiction? Share, and who knows? Your idea could become the next post. 🙂
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