Magic vs. Fantasy

I’ve never been the type to argue. I really don’t like it. But, recently I was approached by a guy who’d only read the back blurb on my book and insisted that it was book on witchcraft and wizardry.  

“This is a book of witchcraft, isn’t it?” 

I shook my head. “No, it’s an urban fantasy novel.”

“Like I said, witchcraft.”

The fact that he swore up and down that my book contained magic probably shouldn’t have angered me as much as it did. After all, he did walk away and purchase the book. 

But as much as it crawled under my skin that a guy would try to convince the author that she wrote a book of spells and potions, it also made me question the line between the two. 

What really is the difference between magic and fantasy?

I took my question to everyone I knew that could possibly shed light on the situation. I’ll post my 5 favorite responses, then tell you what I think.

The First:



The Second:



The Third:




The Forth:



…annnnd The Fifth:




Now, in order of appearance…

#1- (..?..)

#2- Well, deception in any form is not a good thing. So, how could magic be the good form of it? 

#3- (…)

#4- Throw spells, potions, unicorns and faeries all into a mixing pot and what do you get? Something every fairy tale story has had since the dawn of time. 

#5- Love that enthusiasm. 


Alright, so my response to my own question is a mixture of everything. 

Firstly, I agree that magic is more spell, potion and spiritually based without being explained. A person walks into a bar to find out he’s won free drinks for the rest of his life, who’s to say it wasn’t a spell? I believe spells (magic) is used to manipulate situations. To make a person feel as though they are somehow in control of another’s life. 

It works the same way in books. 

Magic is used as the great manipulator. 

A spell-practicing character doesn’t like the way their life is turning out? There’s a spell for that. Want the bully to suffer embarrassment? Yep, there’s spells for that too. 

I believe magic is a cure-all in most books of the genre. Which is probably why karma is so intertwined into it and also places a lot of restraint on the character.


So, I ask the same question to you. 

What do you think are some differences between Magic and Fantasy? 

Or are they both the same?



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