A few months ago I had never heard of Magic Realism. Imagine my surprise when a reviewer read my work and suggested that that was what I had written. His comment piqued my interest so I began to check out what Magic Realism was and how it could be demonstrated in writing. What I learned, and am still learning, opened up a whole new way of looking at writing.
There are widely differing opinions as to what Magic Realism may or may not include. Some even suggest it cannot be fiction. Others allow a wider definition so that fiction can be included. This is where my writing fits in. I also have my books listed in the Fantasy category. It’s not a bad fit but doesn’t quite cut it when compared to most other Fantasy books. I include no spells, no mythical creatures and even very little of what others would class as paranormal.
What I do have is a seer with the ability to tell if someone is being truthful, who can communicate with certain animals, and has visions sent by a goddess. She has a unique understanding of the interconnectedness of the earth and those living on it. As I understand it, these things are in keeping with some aspects of Magic Realism.
This discovery, and what I have since learned, led me to think about my current work in progress. This book, in contrast to the previous trilogy, will be a stand-alone novel. I have set myself quite a challenge. The bare bones of this story came to me in a dream. I rarely remember my dreams. So when this one remains so vivid in my memory I have a sense that it must be written, albeit fleshed out and, shall I say, leavened with the yeast of imagination so that it becomes more comprehensive. And intelligible to the reader. I want to stay true to the feel of the dream and to its three components vis-a-vis setting and plot. There is a definite sense of fate or destiny for the protagonist which needs to be maintained. But in this case there is no single god or goddess revealed to my main character. Also, unlike my trilogy, the cast of characters is much smaller. And some things that at first appear to be magical are not. Others, ones she is not expecting to be, are.
I am still in the early stages of this story but I can tell you that a strange little lizard has some guidance for M’rain. This creature will interfere only cryptically and only when absolutely necessary. I have not yet decided what other forms of magic will find a place in this story. I think the story itself and the characters will tell me what is required and when to use it.
What I hope to accomplish in this story is to use magic only as little as necessary and to keep the ways it manifests more closely aligned with what I have learned about Magic Realism. But one thing is certain. M’rain will not achieve her destiny without a little help from beyond the obvious and observable.
Wish me luck.