Write Magic Systems Your Readers Won’t Forget


Paperback. Design an exciting magic system for your story.

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Magic is the grammar you build into your fantasy world; spells are the vocabulary. Discover varied possibilities for the design of a magic system for your fictional world—and discover how different magic systems can reveal unexpected opportunities for your story.

“Magic always comes at a cost, dearie,” Rumpelstiltskin glories in telling the heroines of Once Upon a Time. Like other lectures and handbooks that have addressed the topic of magic systems, Write Magic Systems Your Readers Won’t Forget will help you design the costs and constraints that render magic plausible in your imagined world—but we won’t stop there. This book will also help you explore possible cultural functions of magic, define the mechanics of how your magic system works, consider the ethical implications of your magic system, and reveal how your choices in creating a magic system can open up exciting opportunities for character development, conflict, plot, and thematic intensity in your novel, script, or game. Diverse examples of how magic has worked in fictions from different cultural traditions plus 30 unique storycrafting exercises will ignite your creativity and empower you to tackle this particular worldbuilding assignment with both playfulness and intentionality. Unlock the magic in your story!


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“Not only is the advice great, but there’s a warmth to the chapters that makes writing inviting rather than intimidating.” – Todd Mitchell, author of The Traitor King and The Last Panther

“There are other worldbuilding books out there; this is the one you want.” – Travis Heerman, author of the Ronin trilogy

“A master class: Litore has created an accessible, comprehensive approach.” – S.G. Redling, author of Flowertown and Damocles

“This is a clear, comprehensive, and beautifully written guide that will not only help emerging writers to find their voices and build imaginative worlds and characters, but one that will also prove invaluable to experienced writers seeking to spark their creative impulses or deepen the worlds they create.” – Angela Mitchell, author of Falada and Dancing Days

“Stant’s masterclass take on writing fiction…makes me want to rewrite everything I’ve done, and push on to new works. He is clear, entertaining, and passionate. I wish these books were available when I started writing, and I’m happy they are available now.” – James Van Pelt, author of Pandora’s Gun


Stant Litore is the author of the nonfiction titles Lives of Unforgetting and On the Other Side of the Night, and the fiction titles Ansible, The Zombie Bible, Dante’s Heart, and The Dakotaraptor Riders. Best known for his weird fiction, alternate history, and science fiction, he holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver (as Daniel Fusch). He has served as a developmental editor for the independent writers’ collaborative Westmarch Publishing, and his work on character development has been featured in Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. Litore’s fiction has been acclaimed by NPR, has served as the topic for scholarly work in Relegere and Weird Fiction Review, and he has been hailed as “SF’s premier poet of loneliness.” He is fascinated by ancient languages, history, and religious studies. He does not currently own a starship or a time machine but would rather like to. He lives in Colorado with his three children and hides from visitors in the basement library beneath a heap of toy dinosaurs, tattered novels, comic books, incomprehensibly scribbled drafts, and antique tomes. He is working on his next novel, or several.

He has taught these classes for Clarion West, Pikes Peak Writers, Writing the Other, Apex Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and other professional associations and events for fiction writers.


132 pages.
Cover art by Lauren K. Cannon.


Additional information

Weight 0.26 kg


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