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Inspiration from Authors and Books

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson (born December 19, 1975) is an American author of epic fantasy and science fiction. He is best known for the Cosmere fictional universe, in which most of his fantasy novels, most notably the Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive, are set. Outside of the Cosmere, he has written several young adult and juvenile series including The Reckoners, the Skyward series,[a] and the Alcatraz series. He is also known for finishing Robert Jordan's high fantasy series The Wheel of Time and has created several graphic novel fantasy series including the White Sand and Dark One.

Source: Wikipedia


The idea of hard magic and soft magic was popularized by Sanderson for world building and creating magic systems in fictional settings. The terminology of hard and soft originate from hard and soft sciences, which gives us hard science fiction (or fantasy) and soft science fiction. Both terms are approximate ways of characterizing two ends of a spectrum.[


Hard magic systems follow specific rules, the magic is controlled and explained to the reader in the narrative detailing the mechanics behind the way the magic 'works', and can be used for building interesting worlds that revolve around the magic system.


Soft magic systems may not have clearly defined rules or limitations, or provide limited exposition regarding their workings, and are used to create a sense of wonder to the reader.


Sanderson's three laws of magic are creative writing guidelines that can be used to create magic systems for fantasy stories.

  1. An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic.

  2. Weaknesses, limits and costs are more interesting than powers.

  3. The author should expand on what is already a part of the magic system before something entirely new is added, as this may otherwise entirely change how the magic system fits into the fictional world.

Additionally, there is a zeroth law.

0. Always err on the side of what's awesome.

Source: Wikipedia

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