Magic Trick

Everyone should learn a magic trick, or learn to paint.

Everyone who wants to write should especially learn a magic trick or learn to paint. I don’t know how to paint. I watched Bob Ross on every lunch break for a year (that may be an exaggeration, but it does not matter, the fact is I watched a lot of Bob Ross) and I know that there is so much one can see in a painting that was not painted. That could not be painted. You cannot paint every tree in a landscape and make it look like a landscape. Nor can you show every card in your deck and end up with the queen of hearts in the breast pocket of that guy who pulled it out of your hand moments ago. Painting and magic are cheating. So is story telling.

Painting and magic are about manipulation, in a fashion more tactile than words on the page. That disciplined study of which bits the brain will fill in on its own is intrinsic to how fiction should be constructed to best lean on the foundations of the reader’s brain.

Often I read about how an author had no influence over a cover design, because it is assumed that writers are not visual people. But we all must have our hands in everything. Specialization is a new phenomenon. Remember, once your grandparents built their houses because no one else would do it for them and they did not leave their former lives to become carpenters, they simply learned the craft.

Learn a magic trick.