Magic School

David Evil Overlord

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I'm having a small technical problem.

In one of my current WIPs, there is a superhero school. At one point, the teacher mentions magic as a super origin. One of the students refuses to believe magic is real, and states that this superhero school is not (insert name of famous fictional magic school here).

A few things have happened recently that make me not want to include (insert name of famous fictional magic school here) in my WIP.

The problem is, the scene hints at the alternate-universe origin of one of the characters, who has never heard of (insert name of famous fictional magic school here).

So, I need to come up with a famous fictional school of magic. I tried to cheat, and use the magic school from another one of my WIPs, making it fictional in the superhero universe. But the character who never heard of (insert name of famous fictional magic school here) comes from that universe. Her own parents went to that alternate universe school, so she can't say she's never heard of it.

Either I come up with an alternative so-famous-everyone-in-this-universe-has-heard-of-it fictional magic school, or I completely rewrite the scene to make alternate-universe girl look like an obsessive fangirl when she's really talking about her home.

Ideas? Thoughts? Villainous laughter?
 

-K2-

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Well, you could go with classics like Blackstone's Magic School:



Or Strathmore's Magic Universtity:





But I prefer to learn my witchy ways from; Bob Jr.'s Discount Magic Tricks and Poo Poo Cushions, an Acme Co.

K2
 

Stable

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There's always Brakebills from The Magician by Lev Grossman. (Which I just finished and enjoyed immensely.)
 

Abernovo

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Well, thankfully, schools of magic are numerous.

You could mention Pratchett's Unseen University, or Le Guin's Roke Island, which was where my head immediately went to, before I even looked further.

That said, I like the possibilities of your alternative option, as well.
make alternate-universe girl look like an obsessive fangirl when she's really talking about her home
 

TheEndIsNigh

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@David Evil Overlord

I think, you're over thinking this.

You're quite happy to give one of your "supers" the power of flight, invulnerabilty, and Xray vision, expecting the reader to just go with it without question.

So why wouldn't they go with your made up fictional school.

as in:-

"What's the problem Grust?"

"Well sir, magic isn't real. So how can Cromberton School exist? I mean it's just a story."

"I see," said Mr Two Dogs, "Is it not possible that the story is based on fact with the names changed to protect identities?"

Grust considered this. He looked round the room at his fellow students. All of them only used their "powered identity" name out side school, keeping their true names secret.

"Well, I suppose that could be true," he said.

Mr Two Dogs bowed his head holding his hands together and bowed. On the projected screem behind him strange symbols appeared and Grust floated into the air: as though by magic. The class busrt out in spontanous laughter. Even Grust seemed to enjoy the joke.


Or some such. The point is, now the characters in the story believe the existance of the school and so by reflection does the reader. Now, I assume this magical school will play some further part in the story so at every mention, the name will be reinforced.

OR

If no further part, who will care. It lived in the reader's head for a moment and is gone, as thousands of things do in fictional tales.

(Think the discussion on LOR info dump)

Just an opinion

Hope I helped

Tein
 

Dave

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As someone from the UK, I've never heard of those American magic schools mentioned by @-K2- so excellent suggestions but they might not work worldwide, and Acme might be better.

If you don't want to reference one author's work, then why reference any author's work. There is one that has had an extremely popular book and film series but it wasn't the first.

Instead, if you want to reference pop culture then I'd go with "real-life" magicians and illusionists - David Copperfield or Harry Houdini
 

Matteo

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I'm not a writer so take this with as big a pinch of salt as you want, but...if you don't want to say the school that shall not be named (or allude to it by calling it something like "Pigpimples", or have a character interrupt her before she actually says the name) I can't think of any other magic school that is as well-known as the school that shall not be named. Therefore, you may as well make up a name (e.g. Nightingale College or Hunter High School). Although the sense will be different to what you originally intended.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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@Dave

Surely the problem there is the danger of how the character is portrayed in the story.

If your character is depicted as an evil bank robbing super villain there might be some litigation to consider.

Even painting the character as an Angel of the first order, might get you into trouble with his lawyers. Cos that's the world of imagination they live in.

Dear sir,
Our client, Mr Tein, had instructed us to serve you with a "Cease and Desist" notice for your depiction of him as an Archangel. Mr Tein has spent his whole career developing his persona of a miserable, cynical old git. To suggest that this was in fact not the case, as you do in your book "Tein the Happy Wanderer", is likely to damage his earning potential for years to come. We therefore require that all copies of the book are pulped worldwide and demand damages of £20,000,000 to paid immediately to our bank.
 
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Dave

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Maybe I misunderstood what @David Evil Overlord wanted then. I thought he was simply looking for a pop culture reference for a character that doesn't believe in magic. If the character says that "this superhero school is not Harry Houdini" or "this superhero school is not David Copperfield" then what is there for him or for his estate to sue over? He is saying that it is not something, so that you could argue that he believes they are examples of actual real magic.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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@Dave

**Off topic maybe but....

"This school is not Harry Houdini", jarred so much it grabbed me by the short hairs and threw me out of the world of fiction and even of this site.:)

**Please delete if you agree.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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Yes, but now we are back to "named" ownership and what the school does.

If it turns out it's the source of all evil - here's my writ.


Remember it's not the right or wrong, but the costs involved.

I was once party to a legal agreement about world wide rights to a product.

In the agreement there was a clause to the effect I would not allow the product to be copied.

Our solicitor pointed out that it would mean if someone in India just used the the name and properties of the product, then I would have to sue them to stop them in India at my expense.

Needless to say, the clause was "modified"
 
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David Evil Overlord

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Maybe I misunderstood what @David Evil Overlord wanted then. I thought he was simply looking for a pop culture reference for a character that doesn't believe in magic. If the character says that "this superhero school is not Harry Houdini" or "this superhero school is not David Copperfield" then what is there for him or for his estate to sue over? He is saying that it is not something, so that you could argue that he believes they are examples of actual real magic.
There is one character who does what she thinks is magic (the truth is a little more complicated, but she comes from another world where magic is common and superheroes not so common.) The character she argues with is the kind of arrogant ass who is headed towards supervillainy. He KNOWS there is no such thing as magic. Everything has a scientific explanation.

What I was hoping for was either:

A) a school of magic so well-known that the real magic girl not knowing what this pop culture reference means is setting off alarm bells in the heads of the other students (hopefully without any copyright hassles for daring to speak it's name), or

B) to convince myself that I would be better to rewrite that scene, have someone mention the mythical school that, in her world, magic girl attended, and everyone gets sick and tired of this obviously obsessed fangirl latching on to fiction to explain her super powers...until her mother shows up. Her mother, the powerful necromancer.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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Doesn't work in my opinion.

obsessed fangirl latching on to fiction to explain her super powers

Surely if she has the powers of "apparent magic" then her mothers powers are of no signifiacance.
 

David Evil Overlord

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Doesn't work in my opinion.

obsessed fangirl latching on to fiction to explain her super powers

Surely if she has the powers of "apparent magic" then her mothers powers are of no signifiacance.
The problem is, none of the other supers have ever seen real magic. They all doubt it's real. He's just the most vocal and obnoxious. But, he's right; scientifically sound superpowers could explain what she does.

In her origin universe, there is debate about whether magic is a gift from the gods, or inherited. But her mother's powers only matter because mother will show the super kids that A) magic is real, and B) magic can be very dangerous.
 

-K2-

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As someone from the UK, I've never heard of those American magic schools mentioned by @-K2- so excellent suggestions but they might not work worldwide, and Acme might be better.

If you don't want to reference one author's work, then why reference any author's work. There is one that has had an extremely popular book and film series but it wasn't the first.

Instead, if you want to reference pop culture then I'd go with "real-life" magicians and illusionists - David Copperfield or Harry Houdini
Actually, Harry Blackstone (and ultimately his son) were a magicians who along with their stage, radio, tv acts, published some books and ended up selling novelty magic sets and tricks...So, I suppose you could say they were real to some degree (and it's even more fun being some cheap novelty company and booklets.

Strathmores was 'I believe' just a novelty company, and as to Bob's? Well, though i meant to put 'whoopie cushion,' I couldn't remember the word. How it goes when you're making up nonsense as a joke ;).

IOW, come up with something absurd and fun. Kind of a Jumanji, Zathura, Kung Fu Hustle booklet kind of thing.

Al'KaBob's School of Far East Mystics and Snake Charming, Podunk, Kentucky
Acme Stage Props and Voodoo Warehouse, 30 Magic Tricks to Impress your Friends

K2
 
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