It's the same with magic.
From the tiniest snippet used, to a massive explosion that could wipe out the enemy army, there has to be a cost to magic. But before we dive into that, if you haven't caught up on this blog series yet, you can check out part 1 and part 2.
That brings us to the two essential questions this week:
What is the cost of magic? What are its limits?
As Rumpelstilksin famously says in Once Upon a Time, "Magic always comes with a price, dearie."
1) What is the cost of magic?
There are rules and consequences that apply to Earth. You don't eat = you get hungry. You drop something = gravity pulls it down. Likewise, your magic system should be full of consequences. This will not only make your story seem realistic, but could also escalate conflict if your character has to make sacrifices to use their magic.
Examples of consequences of magic use include making characters hungry, draining their energy, or deteriorating their body. Using a lot could even end with their death!
The more extreme the cost, the higher the stakes.
|You can also fulfill your fictional food dreams at the same time!|
It wouldn't be great if every evil wizard ever could complete their evil plan in a blink, would it? There would be no realism in that (unless they obtained some otherworldly source, and even then they're pushing it). The limit of how much magic can be used at once ties in with the source; not enough source, not enough magic. Also, if the cost is great then your characters will have to fight to get to their magical goal.
While developing your magic system, make sure that magic can do great and bold things, but keep it on a leash. We don't want worlds accidentally blown up in training, do we?
|Think of limits as a wall separating what the magician can't reach, and can.|
Did you find this series helpful? Any other blog topics you'd like me to talk about? Let me know in the comments; I love hearing from all of you!