• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Elemental Magic and Sorcery

In my book, I am including a form of magic, which involves the elements, along with certain fantastical creatures such as elemental spirits and wyverns.
How can I write such an aspect without sounding to cliched?


I think you just need to write it.

As someone who worries about stuff like that constantly, I've found that a lot of time what you think of as cliche when you just say "elemental based magic" gains depth with the context provided by the story.

K.S. Crooks

Create one aspect of your world, beings or magic being different than anything you know. If this works for your story then add another and continue until your happy.


My advice - if you're doing the earth, wind, fire thing - don't make it different flavors of the same spell. Usually, it's just pointing a wand, saying a word and fire comes out but if you point a wand, say a different word then wind will come out.
How about casting a fire spell is an entirely different ritual than casting a wind spell. Maybe fire magic requires sigils instead of wands and spoken words.
Just something to make the elements really feel different.
My 2 cents: Write a scene with the elements as you envision them. Look at what you've written. Does it sound cliché? Change something about it and re-examine. Keep going until you have something that sounds unique to you. Then write some more and repeat.

There is nothing new under the sun, as they say. Things are cliché because they work. The trick is to put your own twist on the familiar. There are plenty of twists possible, so work until you find yours.