Skip to main content

On Sorcery

The Daily Writer by Fred White

Art, because it arises from human longings, enhances everyday reality as it draws from it. Art is the mirror held up to nature, as Shakespeare famously tells us in As You Like It. Yes, art reflects reality, in other words, but reflections are enhancements. A mirror image is like a photograph: it is “faithful” to reality in one sense, but utterly unlike it in another sense. This transformation from intrinsic reality to “captured” reality, we could argue, is a kind of sorcery.

Image placeholder title

Another way to think about sorcery in the context of art is in the way art helps us find magic and beauty in the real world. Once we read a moving novel about the power of love, we seek out such power in our own relationships—or we find ways to enhance our own romantic relationships.

Art enchants and bewitches us; it represents the animation of imaginative thought, our quintessentially human ability to take the raw stuff of nature and magically transform it into story. Art can also add a dash of sorcery to our everyday lives, a case of reality imitating fiction. What greater sorcery can there be than this?

1. Write a poem about the sorcery you detect in the everyday world.
2. Outline a story in which your main character, dissatisfied with the way his love life is progressing, decides to add some sorcery to it. What kind of sorcery does he resort to? Does it work or does it backfire? What are the consequences?

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Porter discusses celebrating the nature of getting older in her new romance novel, Flirting With Fifty.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 610

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a "different way of seeing the world" poem.

How To Research Topics Like a Journalist

How To Research Topics Like a Journalist

From in-person interviews to scouring the web for credible sources, journalist Alison Hill shares tips on how to research topics like a journalist.

Can I Have Your Attention?

Can I Have Your Attention?

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, an announcement is about to change the course of history.

Glenn Boozan: On the Funny Side of Parenting

Glenn Boozan: On the Funny Side of Parenting

Emmy nominated comedy writer Glenn Boozan discusses how a funny piece of perspective turned into her new humor book, There Are Moms Way Worse Than You.

From Script

Adapting True Crime and True Stories for Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers and showrunners Robert Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis (“Pam & Tommy”), Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah (“The Girl from Plainville”) who both have taken creative liberties in adapting true stories for a limited series.

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Author Chanel Cleeton discusses how reader curiosity led her to write her new historical fiction novel, Our Last Days in Barcelona.

Writer's Digest Interview | Marlon James Quote

The Writer's Digest Interview: Marlon James

Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James talks about mythology and world-building in his character-driven epic Moon Witch, Spider King, the second book in his Dark Star Trilogy in this interview from the March/April 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: New Podcast Episode, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our newest podcast episode, your chance to be published, and more!