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Sanderson further subdivides these flaws into Limitations, Weaknesses, and Costs. Limitations are those things which the magic can't do (such as "Superman can't see through lead" or "magic cannot unmake something"). Weaknesses are things the magic is vulnerable to, or ways that using it makes you vulnerable (such as "kryptonite takes away Superman's powers" or "while you're wearing the One Ring, the Ringwraiths can see you"). And costs are ways in which using the magic has a cost, (such as "men who use magic eventually go insane", or "if you run out of spice, you can no longer travel faster than light").


The Law is meant to express two things. First, if MagicAIsMagicA and [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in its most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

to:

The Law is meant to express two things. First, if MagicAIsMagicA and [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, Creator/JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in its most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.


Sanderson demonstrates the first aspect in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.

to:

Sanderson demonstrates the first aspect in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where were able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.


Sanderson's Laws of Magic are a set of rules of fiction which are meant to help writers have good magic, but also to integrate that magic in the worldbuilding.

to:

Sanderson's [[TheLawsOfMagic Laws of Magic Magic]] are a set of rules of fiction which are meant to help writers have good magic, but also to integrate that magic in the worldbuilding.


Extrapolating is when you ask the "What happens when...?" question. Sanderson gives examples like “What happens when a wizard converts to Christianity?” “What happens to warfare when a magic can create food out of thin air, enabling much more mobile armies?” [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime “What happens to gender dynamics if magic causes all of the men who use it to go insane?”]]

to:

Extrapolating is when you ask the "What happens when...?" question. Sanderson gives examples like “What happens when a wizard converts to Christianity?” “What happens to warfare when a magic can create food out of thin air, enabling much more mobile armies?” [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime “What happens to gender dynamics if magic causes all of the men who use it to go insane?”]]


-> "An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic."]]\\

to:

-> "An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic."]]\\"\\


->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law "An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic."]]\\
->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-second-law/ "Limitations > Powers"]]\\
->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-third-law-of-magic/ "Expand what you already have before you add something new."]]

to:

->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law -> "An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic."]]\\
->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-second-law/ "Limitations > Powers"]]\\
->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-third-law-of-magic/
are more important than powers."\\
"Expand what you already have before you add something new."]]"



'''The First Law''' claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."

to:

'''The '''[[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law The First Law''' Law]]''' claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."



'''The Second Law''' is that Limitations are more important than Powers. This means that powers don't make a character interesting; what matters is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

'''The Third Law''' tells writers to expand what you already have before you add something new. To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.

to:

'''The '''[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-second-law/ The Second Law''' Law]]''' is that Limitations are more important than Powers. This means that powers don't make a character interesting; what matters is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

'''The '''[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-third-law-of-magic/ The Third Law''' Law]]''' tells writers to expand what you already have before you add something new. To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.


The First Law claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."

to:

The '''The First Law Law''' claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."



The Second Law is that Limitations are more important than Powers. This means that powers don't make a character interesting; what matters is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

The Third Law tells writers to expand what you already have before you add something new. To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.

to:

The '''The Second Law Law''' is that Limitations are more important than Powers. This means that powers don't make a character interesting; what matters is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

The '''The Third Law Law''' tells writers to expand what you already have before you add something new. To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.


->" An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic."
-->-- [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law Brandon Sanderson's First Law of Magic]]

'''Sanderson's First Law of Magic''' is a rule of fiction which claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."

to:

->" An ->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law "An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic."
"]]\\
->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-second-law/ "Limitations > Powers"]]\\
->[[http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-third-law-of-magic/ "Expand what you already have before you add something new."]]
-->-- [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law Brandon Sanderson's First Law Laws of Magic]]

'''Sanderson's First Law
Magic

Sanderson's Laws
of Magic''' is Magic are a rule set of rules of fiction which are meant to help writers have good magic, but also to integrate that magic in the worldbuilding.

The First Law
claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."



Sanderson has also written two other Laws of Magic.

'''The Second Law''' is that '''Limitations > Powers''', meaning that powers don't make a character interesting. What's interesting is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

'''The Third Law''' tells writers to '''expand what you already have before you add something new.''' To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.

to:

Sanderson has also written two other Laws of Magic.

'''The
The Second Law''' Law is that '''Limitations > Powers''', meaning Limitations are more important than Powers. This means that powers don't make a character interesting. What's interesting interesting; what matters is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

'''The The Third Law''' Law tells writers to '''expand expand what you already have before you add something new.''' new. To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.


-->-- [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law Brandon Sanderson]]

Sanderson's First Law is a rule of fiction which claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."

to:

-->-- [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law Brandon Sanderson]]

Sanderson's First Law of Magic]]

'''Sanderson's First Law of Magic'''
is a rule of fiction which claims that the better defined and understandable a magic system is, the more an author can use it in their plot. Simplified it can be interpreted as: "The better the reader understands a magic system, the more it can be used to resolve conflict."



Sanderson demonstrates the first aspect in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.

to:

Sanderson demonstrates the first aspect in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.provided.

Sanderson has also written two other Laws of Magic.

'''The Second Law''' is that '''Limitations > Powers''', meaning that powers don't make a character interesting. What's interesting is what they ''can't'' do. Sanderson uses Franchise/{{Superman}} as an example, pointing out that Superman has flight, super-strength, laser vision, and plenty of other abilities. But what makes Superman interesting are his moral code and his weakness to kryptonite.

'''The Third Law''' tells writers to '''expand what you already have before you add something new.''' To do this, there are three directions a writer can take: Extrapolate, Interconnect, or Streamline.

Extrapolating is when you ask the "What happens when...?" question. Sanderson gives examples like “What happens when a wizard converts to Christianity?” “What happens to warfare when a magic can create food out of thin air, enabling much more mobile armies?” [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime “What happens to gender dynamics if magic causes all of the men who use it to go insane?”]]

Interconnecting means that, rather than keep all the different kinds of magic as separate "isn't that cool" abilities, a writer should think about how different powers can be part of both the worldbuilding and the story's core themes.

Streamlining is when you look at all your magic and think, "Where can I combine these?" Again, this can be done with the powers themselves, or you can take one aspect of magic and have different cultures understand it different ways.


The Law is meant to express two things. First, if MagicAIsMagicA and [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

to:

The Law is meant to express two things. First, if MagicAIsMagicA and [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's its most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.


The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

Sanderson demonstrates the use of his own law in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.

to:

The Law is meant to express that two things. First, if MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

The second aspect is that [[NewRulesAsThePlotDemands poorly-explained magic]] should not be used to solve problems, only to create them. Then the protagonists have to solve the problem using more mundane means. This formula is good for building worlds that feel mysterious and dangerous, such as the worlds of [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Middle-Earth]] and [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Westeros]].

Sanderson demonstrates the use of his own law first aspect in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.


This law was laid out and explained in an essay by [[Creator/BrandonSanderson Brandon Sanderson]] [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law here]] on the subject of creating magic systems in fiction.

The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

Sanderson demonstrates the use of his own law in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Mistborn Series'' where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.

to:

This law was laid out and explained in an essay by [[Creator/BrandonSanderson Brandon Sanderson]] Creator/BrandonSanderson [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law here]] on the subject of creating magic systems in fiction.

The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules can be like the ones used in ''TheDresdenFiles'' ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

Sanderson demonstrates the use of his own law in his own magic systems, most notably in his ''Mistborn Series'' ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' books where even when only half of the magic system had been explained, the readers where able to (correctly) [[FridgeBrilliance determine the nature and abilities]] of the ''other'' half based on the information provided.


This law was laid out and explained in an essay by [[Creator/BrandonSanderson Brandon Sanderson]] in an essay [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law here]] on the subject of creating magic systems in fiction.

The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules need not be like the ones used in ''TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. It can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

to:

This law was laid out and explained in an essay by [[Creator/BrandonSanderson Brandon Sanderson]] in an essay [[http://brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law here]] on the subject of creating magic systems in fiction.

The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are defined and followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules need not can be like the ones used in ''TheDresdenFiles'' by JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. It Or the rules can be more amorphous so long as the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.


The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules need not be like the ones used in ''TheDresdenFiles'' by Jim Butcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. It can be more amorphous so long as it is equally clearly defined on what can and can't be done and the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

to:

The Law is meant to express that MagicAIsMagicA and that [[FunctionalMagic it has rules,]] and the more rigidly and clearly these rules are followed, the easier an author can incorporate the magic into a story without causing Fan Backlash or creating a sense of DeusExMachina. The Law is advice to authors on creating and explaining the basic rules for their magic system in story, so that the readers understand what is going on and how/why it works. These rules need not be like the ones used in ''TheDresdenFiles'' by Jim Butcher, JimButcher, where magic is very clearly laid out at a "nuts and bolts" level, with set limits and explanations on how it works in it's most basic form and never exceeds the boundaries of what is stated. It can be more amorphous so long as it is equally clearly defined on what can and can't be done and the reader is able to understand just as well whether or not the magic is applicable to a given situation.

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