List of Techniques - Book Research

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Simmon, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Hey folks. I'm not much of a magician, but I'm writing a novel that deals with legerdemain and such.

    Certain techniques are being mentioned throughout the text like a Classic Pass or a Zarrow Shuffle. I'm very limited when it comes to knowledge of this stuff, but if I had a list of names of techniques, that would be incredibly helpful. And maybe a category of what it is, like if you said "Up-the-ladder" I wouldn't automatically know it was a false cut.

    Anyone willing to help me out with a list or answer questions from time to time would be really helpful.
  2. I'll be honest, my first reaction is wondering why the terms would be used at all? Laymen aren't going to understand the names of these moves and techniques, and explaining what they mean every time would be narratively tedious I suspect. Magicians would know what they are in many cases, but why target such a small market?

    Regardless, my suggestion is to look for a local magic club so you can actively discuss the elements you wish to include with an experienced magician.
  3. The idea is to casually throw out a few terms here and there instead of "he made it disappear" or something vague like that. People tend to become frustrated if a protagonist can seemingly do the impossible with no explanation.
  4. If [your] literature intends to reflect 'Real Life', consider the fact that many, many people enjoy being fooled and mystified by a magician; whom appears to do the impossible. At the very least it is inexplicable, even if they realize what seemed to have just occurred is impossible.
  5. Conjuring is extremely difficult to portray in literature and/or film. A main reason for that is that laymen don't actually care about the techniques. So you have to explain the terms (essentially exposing a magic technique to the general public) and then hope they remember it if you use it again later in the narrative.

    Even in books I absolutely love, I find attempts to give any kind of detail to magic techniques tedious to read. Like American Gods, my absolute favorite book which I read pretty much every year - there's coin tricks explained in it. I skim those sections and always have. It's all but meaningless to anyone who's not a magician.

    I am generally one who tries to offer solutions when observing problems like this, but I am afraid I don't really have one for you. I recommend using the audience's perspective in general, and that's the path I take when writing fiction. Your novel, your choice, though.

    This may be of use for you:
    DominusDolorum and ParkinT like this.

  6. Did you say Up The Ladder?!:D
  7. Is that not right?

  8. No it's right I'm just a big fan of the move.
  9. Correction. He's the president of the fan club for that move ;)
    Gabriel Z. likes this.

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