marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

spell books

Was pondering a point made in Castle Hangnail.  Discussing spell books, which, the narrator observes, are like cook books.

A good one lays out the ingredients and walks you through the steps, and if it's for beginners, explains the details of how to get the ingredients if necessary.

A more typical one is the series of notes the wizard took to jog his memory, vague to the point of being useless to others.

Historically, cookbooks, although intended for others, were intended for other professional cooks who already knew all the basics and just needed to be told to apply them to a new recipe.  Not to mention the vague measurements.  Fannie Farmer's cookbook was the first one to include such rules as "a cup of flour is measured level."  Then, it was the first book intended for people who hadn't boiled water before.

One wonders where there would be a similar progression in spell books.  With the added factor that the early ones might be encoded, as alchemic texts were, for safety and to keep secrets.
Tags: fictional history, world-building: magic (objects)
Subscribe

  • magic in the land

    How much magic lies about in the land? There are no magical creatures like dragons or gryphons, and no people except humans. But there is a spell,…

  • fantastic protocol

    Skipping merrily along in a scene and going, err, ummm. . . . Actually the protocol problems they face do not stem from the fantasy. The heroine is…

  • time of confusion

    Character is confused. And not a situation where he sees a labyrinth before him, goes in with the knowledge that he may get confused, and does so.…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 4 comments