marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

Magic and Showmanship

Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers by Henning Nelms

This is a how-to-write book.  Really.  I even picked it up because it was recommended as such; here, I think.
Since it was published in 1969 and is still in print, it's probably a good book on being a conjurer, for reference or if you want to do it.  I can't recommend it as such, as I read to learn how to write.  Where it is good.

The source of information, where all eyes ought to be.  Devising your magic system (where the author cites fantasy literature as much better than most conjurers), giving characters roles and color, structuring the story/show, unifying your tricks with a theme after ensuring the trick has one -- motivation, while he talks about giving motives for acts you need to pull off the trick, is still a good look at motivating stuff.

Even when he talks about misdirection -- writers want to misdirect.  Not so overtly, but you want to be able to set things up without the reader going -- look, setup!
Tags: foreshadowing, how-to-write books, motivations, non-historical non-fiction reviews, primary source review, set-up, story structure, unity of theme, world-building: metaphysics
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