You might be wondering why I've been posting philosophical texts on deviantART. Well, it's all part of a quest. One that will let me write fantastic stories the way I want to. Because I feel there are two issues that threaten and influence many stories of the fantasy genre.
The first issue is being too removed from the world we know. If your story is about things so strange and odd, we don't even have words for them, then it is of little use trying to make up substitute words and describe how non-understandable they are. Who's going to care about something they can never understand?
The second issue, which I think is a very typical one, is when the fantasy world becomes just as mundane as our own. Sure, you make up new laws of nature, new animals, sentience in non-human form, and you let strange things happen. But in the end, when you think it over, it is no more strange and magical than our own world. Magic, as it appears in many stories, can be manipulated, researched and understood. Alternatively, magic comes from higher beings with personalities of their own. It all makes sense, and almost everything in the story is a distorted imitation of humanity and the world around us.
So I set out to find magic. What are its characteristics, where does it fit in, and where does it come from? Now, because stories are read by humans, we need something to relate to in order to even give a damn. So I try to locate magic as it appears in our own world: what we'd like it to be, what it really is, and what that means. Next, I mean to extend that core into the fantastic realm, where possibilities are limitless, without losing the human touch.
Well, enough of the background. Allow me to move on to the "fictional" magic. This is the role it might play in my stories.
Magic is an element independent of all else in the world. It is not the world itself, but it makes the world run, like our concept of energy. However, whilst our energy is apathetic, dead, the magic can react and change. Magic as a whole is sentient in a sense, but not conscious, and without identity. It is futile to try and understand magic as a person, for it has no wishes or interests. It is also futile to try and understand magic as an object, for it will rarely oblige to keep reacting the same way when you push it or beg it. It is not a random force, but does not act on either rules or conscience.
Creatures have gotten their emotions from this element. Magic flows through living things, enabling them to carry out their will, and also enabling them to access a finite range of emotions. So our feelings give us a hint as to how magic might work, though the whole of magic contains many more feelings as well as other things. For one, magic is, within itself, full of independent features, even contradictions. It is not at all governed by logic, because logic itself is governed by other elements independent of magic. Logic is limited to acknowledge the limits of logic. It is also unbelievably silly, whereas magic touches something deep in our understanding.
Besides flowing through its body, magic can also be statically present in a being. This is, however, not the soul, which is different. The being will become a hybrid sentience, and though it won't be able to command magic, it is become part of the whole of magic. As such, magic can come to act through it or aid its interests.
There is a harmony in magic, and also between magic and other elements. The perfect harmony is not a stillness, but a dance from emotion to emotion. In result, some magic will always occur. Furthermore, the harmony can be shaken. Then, more dramatic things can happen in magic, ranging from obvious illogic to fatal calamity!
So much for the description of magic. It is no more than an ignorant estimation, seen from the perspective of reasoning. You'll have to wait for my stories for a more meaningful demonstration.