mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
Just for flavor -- there is a magician here in Japan who does a "bumbling magician" act that is great.

For example, he will come out and show us a handkerchief with red and white stripes running horizontally between his hands. He will then turn around, his elbows move, and when he turns back to the studio audience and the cameras, the stripes are vertical! He looks at the audience and says "Don't you want to applaud?" Which usually gets some applause. Next he puts the handkerchief into his fist, does a mystic wave, and pulls it out -- and the stripes are horizontal again. Wow! And he calls for applause. He'll do something like three tricks involving that striped handkerchief, all obvious. Then he'll look at us, say well, I'm not very amusing today, I guess the magic isn't with me... and toss the blue handkerchief across the stage into his bag. Which is usually when we notice that his white shirt now has red stripes, as he waves and walks off stage.

I've seen him several times, and he usually does either obvious tricks or even ones that "fail" (where the coin doesn't go through the glass, or he drops the prop, or...) until the very end -- when he is packing up and leaving with a burst of very real misdirection. And he always gets a huge laugh and applause for the "magic" that he missed at the end. Great act, setting the audience up with his "failures" and then sliding in the real magic.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Just a very short peek at a magician here on Japanese TV. He's an older gentleman, but does appear fairly often, and I've got to admit, I enjoy his appearances. I think most of the ones I've seen follow a similar pattern.
An example of the pattern )
Somehow that "I'm a joke of a magician" followed by a reasonably good trick that he doesn't even notice tickles my funnybone.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a moment in my day.
The juice . . . )
After a long moment, I stood up again, and walked on to the office. I thought about the golden darning needle that had sewed up today for me, and gifted me with a black reflection of the morning sunshine in its dark eyes.

When we write, we talk to unknown friends.
mbarker: (Me typing?)
Writing Excuses Episode 15: Costs and Ramifications of Magic

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/05/18/writing-excuses-episode-15-costs-and-ramifications-of-magic/

The quick version: make sure that you consider consequences, ramifications, and limitations of magic in your story. Cost provides conflict between using the magic and paying for it. Consequences and ramifications make the magic a part of the world, not some special white box effect outside of it. And don't forget the donkey - using magic should be more difficult than letting the donkey do it.
More words . . . and Schrödinger's Wizard Donkey )
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Episode 14: Magic Systems and Their Rules
http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/05/12/writing-excuses-episode-14-magic-systems-and-their-rules/
little points, all in a line . . . )
The quick-and-dirty summary? Magic without rules may be impressive and awesome, but you can't let your characters do much with it. Magic with rules, on the other hand, let's your characters be clever in applying the rules that you have nicely laid out for them to work through. So think about what you want your viewpoint characters to do - be dazzled by the background of magic or actually use it in resolving their problems?

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