All That Glitters: Building a Believable Magic System

All That Glitters: Building a Believable Magic System

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Do you tie down your magic with rules, or take it off the leash and let it roam free? Whether using a rule-based (limited) magic system or a free-roaming (unlimited) one, establishing the believability, originality, and world-building of magic is key to creating stories as methodical and real as Sanderson's, or as sweeping and artistic as Tolkien's. In this presentation, Charlie N. Holmberg not only discusses the differing concepts and roles of magic systems, but factors the implications of a magic system into the world surrounding it.


Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg is the author of Followed by Frost; Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet; and The Paper Magician Trilogy, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician. A RITA Award finalist, she majored in English and minored in editing at Brigham Young University. Raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names, Charlie plays the piano and ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day adopt a dog. For more on the author and her work, visit

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