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It is important to consider where the source of the magical ability lies. By creating such a source, you add to the believability of the ability. Is the source within the person or external to them? Does it lie within an object which they must keep close such as the Sky Stone from my own novel? Does the power exist in nature and the character need to be able to tap into that source?
Strength of Ability
It wouldn't be very realistic if every mage in your story had the same level of ability. However, if there are variations, what causes them? Perhaps strength is something you are born with or perhaps it depends on the strength of the object or device used as the source for the power. Could the strength be learnt or even triggered by emotion? Perhaps it depends on how much the character wants a result from their magic wielding, or how much they believe in themselves. Is their strength dependent on how much magic they can draw on from their source at particular time?
Every ability should have a counter-ability, something that can conflict with your characters power. When considering magic in the form of elemental control this is fairly simple. For example, my character Skyla has the ability to control fire, so naturally the most effective counter to her ability would be the ability to control water. If a person's power is based on their proximity to an object then if they are separated from that object their ability will lessen. What if there existed magic-nullifying objects or areas where the person's power is worthless such as the Stedding in Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series? The possibilities are endless.
As with all writing, it is all up to you, the author. Magic is not a reality but when writing it into your stories it is important to make the readers believe that it is. So make up the facts!
Scarlett Van Dijk
What magic or abilities have you given your characters? Please comment below.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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