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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Advice on writing a book (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JonathanW
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I guess this is an alright place to post this.

Subject sums it up. If anyone has any tips or things you would like to see in a magic book etc.. feel free to respond.

I'm not asking how to write a book, I'm more curious about what magicians like the most. You know, what makes a good magic book for you personally.
DiegoNovati
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Difficult to answer without knowing the subject of the book, because each subject has different requisites.
For example: in a book for mentalism the technical part is less important than presentation/misdirection, while in a book for cardicians the technical part is the focus of the book.
Could you provide us with more information about the book you would write ?
JonathanW
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Quote:
On Apr 16, 2018, DiegoNovati wrote:
Difficult to answer without knowing the subject of the book, because each subject has different requisites.
For example: in a book for mentalism the technical part is less important than presentation/misdirection, while in a book for cardicians the technical part is the focus of the book.
Could you provide us with more information about the book you would write ?


it's all magic. No mentalism. I'm currently deciding what material to put into the book. I could put everything, but I think I am going to focus on more of the original creations instead of my take on certain plots.
Tim Cavendish
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Skilled writing and clarity of detailed description are crucial. History and credits. Judiciously chosen photographs/illustrations to clarify the text. I enjoy discussion of not just how to do the effect, but WHY this method is chosen instead of others, etc.

Have you contributed tricks anywhere for publication? (Genii magazine, for instance?)

You could learn a lot by writing up an effect, submitting it, and seeing what changes get made as it gets published by a professional. To what degree is it edited (or completely rewritten) for clarity? Etc.
JonathanW
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Quote:
On Apr 16, 2018, Tim Cavendish wrote:
Skilled writing and clarity of detailed description are crucial. History and credits. Judiciously chosen photographs/illustrations to clarify the text. I enjoy discussion of not just how to do the effect, but WHY this method is chosen instead of others, etc.

Have you contributed tricks anywhere for publication? (Genii magazine, for instance?)

You could learn a lot by writing up an effect, submitting it, and seeing what changes get made as it gets published by a professional. To what degree is it edited (or completely rewritten) for clarity? Etc.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7t0hY05j-c ((only effect out. Non written ))

I haven't published any written effects. So this would be my first. I may try that. I know someone that works for Genii and I may take up their offer to put an effect in a magazine. I'll message them soon.
WitchDocChris
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For me a good magic book has, as Time mentioned, the "why" of it. Why use that method? What problem did you have with existing methods? What problems did your choice of methods solve? Performance theory and philosophy is more important to me than a list of methods.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Rachmaninov
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As said before, it’s all a matter of choice and focus. You can write a 500 pages book for a single effect if you explain everything really deeply.
Rachmaninov
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Jonathan,
How did you make the clip ? It looks professional. Which software I mean ?
JonathanW
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On Apr 16, 2018, Rachmaninov wrote:
Jonathan,
How did you make the clip ? It looks professional. Which software I mean ?


http://sansminds.com/ made it Smile lol
Rachmaninov
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It looks professional because it is !
willtupper
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I'm not 100% sure what I'd like in a magic book. Every book I buy feels like a discovery. Some things I love. Others I don't.

One thing I would VERY MUCH LIKE in all my magic books in the future, though, is well-written work. Sometimes - not always, but certainly sometimes - magicians do not make the most wonderful wordsmiths.

To that end, I would (humbly) suggest you read Stephen King's how-to / memoir, "On Writing." So much stuff (that can be applied to any kind of writing) in such a short, punchy book.

It will make all your writing better, no matter the genre.
Doc Willie
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A great magic book tells a story in addition to technique and theory. The better the story, the more memorable the book.
Huzzah
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I really love Darwin Ortiz's writing style and the layout of his books. So much so that I often use them as points of reference when judging another book. One thing I think is a must is that you include a brief description of the effect before every trick. Few things frustrate me more than having to read half a dozen pages of detailed finger placements just to figure out what's supposed to be happening. I also really like (as other people have said) when books go into the "why"/theory. I like that Darwin's books have this throughout the actual handling as well as "performance tips"/"analysis" sections at the end of each trick. Another thing I admire is how he put consideration into the organization of the books (typically a gambling section and a non gambling section). This may not be applicable to your material, but I'd recommend taking this into consideration as well
Poof-Daddy
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John Bannon says it very well in this excerpt from the intro to "Dear Mr Fantasy" -

"THANK you for reading this book. I write magic books because I like to read magic books.
In a way, I am always writing the magic book that I would want to read:"
- John Bannon

I think the only way to write a book is to do what "You" want. Otherwise, it may never reach the potential "you" see because you spent too much time wondering what others would think, like, want, agree with... If the material is good and you are a seasoned writer, it will show.
Cancer Sux

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






Smile Smile
JonathanW
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Maybe some others will comment as well. This could be a good thread for anyone else that has the same question.
JonathanW
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Quote:
On Apr 24, 2018, Huzzah wrote:
Few things frustrate me more than having to read half a dozen pages of detailed finger placements just to figure out what's supposed to be happening.


Tell me about it. Some effects it's almost impossible to figure out lol.
chappy
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I agree, write a book you'd enjoy reading. That's all.
DETAILS OF DECEPTION at www.thedevilsstaircase.com
willtupper
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Not really related to magic (although there IS a pretty sweet mind reading effect in it), but as a former English Major who has written for magazines, newspapers, websites, and comic books, I would recommend reading and absorbing Stephen King's wonderful memoir/how-to book, "On Writing."

It'll teach you as much (if not more) about writing as many high-quality college courses could.
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