Magical realism is one of the most interesting and unique genres in writing. It can be difficult to define, but it can be summed up as a story that contains magical elements but is written in a realistic style. This genre has been around for centuries, but it has become more popular in recent years. If you are interested in writing magical realism or want to learn more about this fascinating genre, then keep reading!
What is magical realism?
The term magical realism refers to a genre of literary fiction that contains elements of fantasy and reality. It combines fantastical elements and the mundane, creating stories that can be both entertaining and thought-provoking.
The magic in these stories often takes the form of strange events or coincidences, as well as everyday objects with unusual powers. They take everyday life and give it an unexpected twist.
Magical realists often weave together different themes, from science fiction to horror and romance, creating stories that can be both entertaining and thought-provoking.
It’s important to note that magical realism should not be confused with fantasy, as the two genres are quite different from one another.
This history of magical realism
The genre of magical realism has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that it was widely recognized.
Latin American authors such as Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende are credited with popularizing magical realist literature. Their works of Latin American literature contain elements of fantasy that explore themes of political and social injustice, making them powerful yet accessible stories to readers all over the world.
In the modern day, it’s become increasingly popular due to its unique blend of reality and fantasy.
What makes magical realism compelling?
Magical realism is a captivating genre because it allows writers to explore new and imaginative worlds without losing the narrative of reality. It’s a perfect blend of the real world and the surreal, making it an exciting genre that appeals to readers of all ages.
A magical realism story can also give you the freedom to create stories that can be both entertaining and thought-provoking, as it can tackle difficult topics in unique ways. Plus, it encourages readers to look at everyday objects with fresh eyes and appreciate their beauty.
Tips for writing magical realism
There are some basic elements of magical realism you should stick to when writing your stories.
Focus on characters
Magical realism is all about creating compelling characters and giving them a story to tell. Think about how your characters will interact with one another and how they will face challenges throughout their journey.
Include subtle magic
The magic in magical realism stories should be subtle and believable. If your story contains too much fantasy, then it risks becoming too far-fetched for readers. Focus on creating believable moments of magic that will make your story more interesting.
Create vivid imagery
Vivid imagery is essential to writing magical realism. Use vivid descriptions and details to evoke a sense of wonder in your readers, making them feel like they are right there with your characters on their journey.
Incorporate symbolism and allegory
Symbolism and allegory can be powerful tools in magical realism stories. These elements help to make the story deeper and more meaningful, as they often have hidden messages that will resonate with readers long after they’ve finished reading the story.
Research relevant topics
If you want to write a story that tackles difficult topics such as politics or social injustice, it’s important to do some research beforehand. Reading up on the relevant topics will help you gain a better understanding of the issues and how they can be explored through magical realism.
Magical realism examples
If you’d like to experience it in action, below are some well-known magical realism books:
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The magical realism genre is an engaging and powerful genre that combines elements of fantasy and reality. You can use it to explore difficult topics while providing readers with captivating stories filled with vivid imagery and symbolic meaning. It's a popular genre in Latin America and the world that has made its mark in literature.
Whether you’re reading or writing in a magical realist style, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression. Now you're on your way to becoming a real magical realist.
StoryFlint's World Building Bible Notion template
StoryFlint's World Building Bible is an easy-to-use Notion template that will help you organize all the information about your world! It’s perfect for writers who need to keep track of their characters and settings in one place.
This Notion template will help you:
- Gain clarity on your fictional world by organizing your characters, locations, history, settings, and more.
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What's included in this Notion template:
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Neil Gaiman - The Art of Storytelling
As a writer, you want to improve your storytelling skills and learn from one of the world's most successful and well-respected writers.
Writing a good story can be difficult, especially if you don't know how to start or execute your ideas. It can be frustrating to work on a story, only to find that it falls flat or lacks the impact that you were hoping for.
Take the Neil Gaiman – The Art of Storytelling course on MasterClass. In this course, Neil Gaiman, a renowned writer, provides valuable insights and tips on how to write a story from idea to execution. You'll learn how to subvert the familiar, develop memorable characters, and create conflict that will drive your story forward. With Gaiman's guidance, you'll be able to tell more honest, memorable, and impactful stories that your readers will love.